CanCon 101: Our Man Flint, Lo-Fi style

October 30, 2013 | By

Before I get to the latest installment of CanCon 101, just a quick note the second part of my podcast interview with Italian composer Fabio Frizzi is up & running. The main links are at Big Head Amusements, and the podcast is available from Libsyn and SoundCloud. I’ve also uploaded both parts to my YouTube channel, which will soon be augmented with some past podcasts from the archives.

Now then.

For those not in the know, CanCon refers to government regulations which mandate a minimum level of Canadian talent that must appear on the airwaves (TV, radio), as well as the minimum amount of talent required to enjoy tax benefits when producing a film to TV series north of the 49th parallel.

The term doesn’t really have any pop culture push – the nomenclature tends to be shared among policy wonks, industry bureaucrats, artists, and flippant / cheeky writers like myself who use the term with affection or as a target worthy of satire, especially when it comes to the tax shelter productions of the 70s and 80s.

Paul Corupe’s Canuxploitation is the pre-eminent hub of info, interviews, reviews, and archive of things we made that are good, or are good-bad. The goal of some producers & investors was to make a movie purely to get a 100% tax write-off during the 70s, making it irrelevant as to whether a film had to be any good, let alone enjoy any distribution.

(Sexcula [M], for example, was funded by a building contractor, and after one screening, the horror porn flick was shelved and thought lost for 35. Synapse released the film on DVD this year, and Canuxploitation has a trio of rare behind-the-scenes stills. My only comment: there’s a continuity person in one still. Why is there a continuity person for a blowjob shot?)

Yeah. They sure do look tough.

Our Man Flint: Dead on Target [M] (1976) was clearly an attempt to do something purposeful: a pilot for a series based on the late sixties super-spy films produced by Fox during the heyday of spy-spoofs as James Bond became an inevitable target of imitators and satirists.

Target isn’t very good – it’s actually quite inept, and an embarrassment to the genuine talent involved with it – and yet it does have a certain fromage factor which makes it worthy of a viewing. Maybe not a repeat, but I’m sure you’d do better in a second round of Spot the Stupidities – like continuity gaffes, camera reflections, and padding the running time with badly shot helicopter footage of a powder blue Mercedes meandering in & around the edges of Vancouver.

Any hope of generating a Flint TV series was stillborn when the makers of this amateurish mess delivered it to Fox, and it pretty much vanished until Fox included it as a bonus feature in their 2006 Ultimate Flint Collection. Twilight Time ported over almost all of the extras to their Blu-ray editions, but Target wasn’t part of their Our Man Flint [M] (1966) and In Like Flint [M] (1967) releases.

Directed by Joseph Scanlan, starring Ray Danton and Gay Rowan, the teleplay also has several direct links to the worst sci-fi series ever made up here – The Starlost [M] (1973) – an ambitious show initially designed & supported by Harlan Ellison until funding woes and bad creative choices resulted in episodes so dreadful that Ellison took his name of the show’s credits. I’ve added my epic review of the series, released by VCI on DVD, to the mobile database so you too can learn about some amazingly great Canadian fromage.

Coming next: a review of Grindhouse Releasing’s Corruption, where the esteemed Peter Cushing grabs blood-splattered bare boobies, and caused some of his most ardent fans to pinch their noses in offense at the rampant nudity, throat slashing, stabbing, and full beheadings.

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Mark R. Hasan, Editor
KQEK.com ( Main Site / Mobile Site )

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