Zale Dalen’s Skip Tracer (1977)
& the Canadian tax shelter era

Things get dark when John Collins (David Petersen) harasses George Pettigrew (Alan Rose) past the breaking point in Zale Dalen's Skip Tracer (1977)

Writer-director Zale Dalen made one of the most distinctive Canadian features during the tax shelter years, but Skip Tracer (1977) all but disappeared with the tide of low-budget disaster movies and slasher films produced by financial support from the government between 1975 and 1982. Dalen ended up doing mostly episodic television, though he did briefly return to features in the ’90s, culminating in the absurd but entertaining sci-fi martial arts potboiler Expect No Mercy (1995).

Another mixed bag …

Emily (Mariclare Costello) haunts a Connecticut idyll in John Hancock's Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)

Another seemingly random collection of movies, this time including some cheap exploitation, cheesy fantasy, horror and noir. I revisit an old favourite, re-evaluate a low-budget Canadian film from the ’70s, and finally catch up with a couple of movies I’ve wanted to see for decades.

My one sad shot at stardom

Yes, that's me, the least convincing state trooper ever to appear on screen, hanging out with the very affable Ed Asner on the set of Paul Shapiro's Heads (1994)

In 1993, back when I was working at the Winnipeg Film Group, I was offered a few days work as an extra on a TV movie being shot here: which is how I became the least convincing state trooper ever to appear on screen in Paul Shapiro’s serial killer comedy Heads, starring Jon Cryer, Ed Asner and Jennifer Tilly.

Blasts from the past

Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women (2016): Criterion Blu-ray review

Project Update: End of the Journey …

Thinking About Genre, part 2

The Complete Jacques Tati on Blu-ray

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