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Getting your schlock on: 24 hours at Mayfair Theatre, Ottawa’s home of stuff you won’t see anywhere else

By Paul Hockett on November 23, 2012

As part of their 80th birthday celebrations, the Mayfair Theatre ran a schlock cinema marathon last weekend – a 24 hour celebration of all that is sublimely bad in moviedom. These are films to be enjoyed, in our post-modern era, at a very high level.  Your faithful correspondent made it out alive and elated, but ever since strange and dream-like memories of the event are flashing back to me in a uniquely cinematic form…

The following previews contain scenes not suitable for those of a nervous disposition, or an aversion to trash movies.

SEE – a yeti skiing, barbarians at war, magical kingdoms of the orient, post-apocalyptic mutants, bikini-clad babes with guns, kung-fu, a 9-hour Save The Gym dance-off and, er, Vanilla Ice.

HEAR – guttural cries of existential angst, muscle-bound jocks joshing, automatic weapons ripping apart the very fabric of the earth, a yeti purring: all reproduced by the amazing, low-fidelity sounds of VHS and, er, Vanilla Ice.

ENJOY – the joie de vivre engendered by a lack of conventional narrative structure, cheap sets, cheap locations, cheap action, cheeseball action, trash talking, topless heroes and heroines, hilarity both intended and unintended and, er, Vanilla Ice.

CONSIDER – the sublime beauty of schlock cinema, the philosophical and methodological rigour required when concepts are high and budgets are low, the taut plotting and lack of exposition, the unique view into the mind of the straight-to-video auteur unencumbered by a panel of script-writers and executive producers, and, er, Vanilla Ice.

BUT – don’t fret if you missed the fun, just revel in the trailers for a sense of the action, then keep an eye on the Mayfair programme for more schlock, as well as a range of blockbusters, documentaries, classic family movie matinees, late night kung-fu, art-house, grind-house and everything-else-house. And, er, Vanilla Ice:


AND REMEMBER – you don’t get this at the multiplex. Help keep Ottawa’s independent cinemas alive!