(The Big) Crime Wave (1985)
Shot on a shoestring in Manitoba and rarely screened outside of underground-film festivals, (The Big) Crime Wave is a brightly bent oddity about the agony and ecstasy of the creative process (sort of). Winnipeg-born writer/director John Paizs also stars as Steven Penny, a shy would-be screenwriter who yearns to pen the ultimate "color crime film" but can only write beginnings and endings. Steven is befriended by his landlord's daughter (Eva Kovacs), who tries to help him complete his opus, Crime Wave, the various beginnings and endings of which are depicted to hilarious effect. Whimsically deadpan and at times determinedly weird, (The Big) Crime Wave has an amiably off-kilter quality that brings to mind John Waters and the Kids in the Hall (Paizs later worked on the Canadian comedy troupe's TV show). But it's genuinely unique--every time you think you know where it's going, it veers off in some strange, and strangely fascinating, direction.