Today’s idea: Once content with sending musicians and comedians southward, Canada has moved in on cult-film territory with the “Canuxploitation” flick.
Film | In the Montreal quarterly Maisonneuve, John Semley sings the praises of Canuxploitation films. “They’ve got demons, kung fu, heavy metal and a whole lot of full-frontal nudity,” he writes. “They’re Canadian cinema’s dirty little secrets.” At the same time, to some cinephiles they “rank among Canada’s most enduring and exciting artistic achievements — precisely for their success in rejecting the elements Canadians often associate with their cinema.” Or to quote Paul Corupe, founder of Canuxploitation.com:
“Some people might think it’s exploiting the fact that it’s Canadian,” explains Corupe. “In fact, it’s quite the opposite.” … [T]he bulk of Canuxploitation films make no effort to capitalize on their Canadian-ness. In fact, many bigger-budgeted genre films less embarrassed about their Canadian point-of-origin —”Men With Brooms,” “Bon Cop, Bad Cop,” “Duct Tape Forever” — rarely register among Canuxploitation buffs.
A Canadian B-film, says Corupe, looks “either American as possible or as nondescript as possible to make sure it’s saleable in other countries.”
It’s this anti-ideological pragmatism — its readiness to chuck identity to earn a buck — that makes Canuxploitation so fascinating.
That and stars like Shannon Tweed and titles like “Cannibal Rollerbabes.” [Maisonneuve]