Sunday, October 5, 2014

Canadian cult, care of a quiet man

First of all, this is not a porn film.  If you're looking for that, go elsewhere.  Rather, it is a gem of Canadian post-modern cinema, a low budget send-up of the creative process at work - and a woefully neglected film.  Crime Wave is the brain-child of John Paizs, who now works as Director-in-residence at the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto.

Back in the late 1980s, living up in northern Ontario, I found this film at my local video store.  I was in university and I had recently been reading up on The Winnipeg Film Group, who were breaking the conventions of what Canadians knew as 'Canadian cinema' at the time.

The film itself had a hard time being seen, as much as it had been hailed as a refreshing and ground-breaking comedy.  Through a legal clause in the distributor's contract the film was shelved, so it went mostly unwatched in cinemas.  The video company that took up the reins to copy it renamed it (in order for it not to be confused with a big budget American film of the same name by Sam Raimi in the same year, 1985).  Crime Wave became The Big Crime Wave and Cinema Group Home Video went out of business about six months later.  You can still find it on VHS, but it has never been formatted to disk commercially.

I hadn't seen it for 25 years when I recently got a burning desire to see it again.  I bought a VHS copy on eBay and set about finding someone to reformat it to DVD for me (my old VHS player has gone to heaven).

If you have an open mind, enjoy spoof and parody and camp and biting comedy, feel free to click the link below.  I'm not sure how long I will be able to retain this link before I get an email telling me to cease.  But then, this film is in a kind of limbo - so maybe never.  I am only trying to get it out there (again). I am not a pirate, I am a disseminator of culture :)

(be sure to use Chrome or Mozilla to download, IE doesn't work)

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