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Film | by Shane “The Flashback Fanatic” Hnetka

I’m little shocked this slipped under my radar. A couple of months ago, Synapse Films announced they were releasing the first two Coffin Joe movies on DVD. “Coffin Joe” is the alter-ego of Brazilian director José Mojica Marins, and his long-fingernailed villain was the central character in three films: At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1963), This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse (1967) and Embodiment of Evil (2008). Soul and Corpse have been remastered under the supervision of Marins. Unfortunately, this is a standard-definition release — the original prints are apparently too fragile for HD. Oh well. I’ll take whatever Coffin Joe I can get.

Coffin Joe

Too Many Movies

Cineplex has renamed their annual Great Digital Film Festival — it’s now the Flashback Film Festival. From Feb. 3 to 9, 17 movies from the past four decades will return to theatres.

There’s something awesome about seeing classics on the big screen with a crowd that appreciates them. Last year, I saw Big Trouble in Little China and The Thing back-to-back, and both audiences were fantastic. Everyone was ready for fun with Big Trouble, then the theatre’s mood shifted to quiet and tense for The Thing.

This year’s selection is pretty damn good, with iconic films such as Blade Runner, Fight Club, Groundhog Day, Jurassic Park, Shallow Grave, The Princess Bride, Trainspotting and more. There are too many great films and not enough time in my schedule to catch them all. My must-sees are Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, and the Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple and Fargo. Blood Simple was the Coen’s first movie. A bartender having an affair with his boss’ wife is spied on by a very shady detective hired by his employer. Double-crosses and horrible murders ensue. It’s hilarious!

Schwarzenegger’s Running Feud

The Flashback Film Festival also has a few guilty pleasures I wouldn’t mind seeing again, like The Running Man. Arnold Schwarzenegger is framed by a corrupt government and forced to star in a murderous reality show. Original Family Feud host Richard Dawson plays the evil game show host perfectly (go figure). The movie was based on a Stephen King story and was directed by Starsky himself, Paul Michael Glaser.

A guilt-free film is Heat Michael Mann’s brilliant heist movie with criminal Robert De Niro trying to stay ahead of cop Al Pacino. The gunfight in the streets is still impressive.

Shane Hnetka is a made-in-Saskatchewan film and comic book nerd.