THE APPRENTICESHIP OF DUDDY KRAVITZ
1974, Paramount, 120 min, Dir: Ted Kotcheff

Director Ted Kotcheff earned a Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival and writer Mordecai Richler got an Oscar nomination for this funny and insightful portrait of an ambitious young man from a working-class Jewish family in 1950s Montreal. Richard Dreyfuss is perfect in the title role, making Duddy’s ethical lapses almost endearing as he hustles for a success that might impress his father (Jack Warden). Randy Quaid, Denholm Elliott and Joseph Wiseman costar.


THE GATE
1987, Lionsgate, 85 min, Canada, Dir: Tibor Takács

A mainstay of 80s/90s VHS rental stores, an entire generation grew up with repeated viewings of this creepy, at times bizarre, cult classic. Al (Christa Denton) is a good kid faced with the dilemma of responsibility versus teen hormones and fitting in with her cool friends. Glenn (Stephen Dorff, in his feature debut) just wants to shoot bottle rockets and hang with a sister whose outgrown him. When Glenn and his best friend, Terry (Louis Tripp), investigate a menacing hole in the backyard left by a tree removal service, unexplainable phenomena begin occurring. The slightly unhinged Terry, who has turned towards heavy metal to deal with feelings of anger and loss after his mother’s untimely death, starts connecting the spooky dots with the help of his record collection, concluding that the hole is a gateway to hell that they’ve accidentally opened. Featuring incredible effects work by Frank C. Carere (VIDEODROME, POPCORN), THE GATE uses a combo of stop-motion animation and forced perspective to create a deeply unsettling atmosphere, filled with a legion of tiny, terrifying demons.


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