31 Days of Horror: Canada’s “Canuxploitaton” posters
From the rise of the Tea Party to the shutdown of the federal government, the recent fissures in American politics boil down to one essential question: What should our government – and by extension our tax dollars – be paying for? Healthcare? Corporate tax breaks? Education? Exploitation movies?
Did I lose you on that last one? As ludicrous as it may sound, funding exploitation movies with tax dollars is essentially what Canada once inadvertently did, inaugurating an era known as Canuxploitation. (continue reading)
Hoping to spur an indigenous movie industry that was virtually non-existent outside of documentary and experimental films, in 1975 the Canadian government began allowing 100 percent of money invested in a film’s production to be tax deductible.
By the time the rule was amended to a 50 percent deduction in 1983, nearly 350 Canadian films had been produced – many of them B-grade genre pictures.
The “tax shelter” era ultimately ended because of outrage over the types of films being government subsidized – a Canadian film critic famously derided David Cronenberg’s directorial debut Shivers by telling his readers, “You Should Know How Bad This Film Is. After All, You Paid for It” – and because a hefty portion of the films were merely tax dodges and were never even released.
But while it lasted, “Canuxploitation” launched the careers of Cronenberg, Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman and A Christmas Story director Bob Clark while spawning a Mom and Pop video store’s worth of genre gems including Visiting Hours, My Bloody Valentine and The Changeling.
Oh, and if you’re wondering why a blog post dedicated to Canadian horror lacks a single poster from its most famous son, it’s because David Cronenberg will be getting his own Deep Fried Movies poster homage tomorrow.