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Crime Wave

Director John Paizs
Year 1985
Run Time 80min
Genre Comedy, Drama
One of the quirkiest and funniest films ever made in Canada, Crime Wave follows neophyte screenwriter Steven Penny (Paizs), a strangely silent young man who aspires to make the best "colour crime films" imaginable. But Steven has one major problem: He's only good at writing the beginnings and endings of movies. With the help of a young neighbour (Kovacs) and the mysterious "Dr. Jolly," Steven struggles to beat his writer's block.

Set in a 1950s fantasy world, this wryly humorous combination of post-modernism, surrealism and genuine affection for old Hollywood films is irresistible for anyone who likes unusual movies with an inventive take on storytelling.


John Paizs

Since filming the widely-praised Crime Wave in his native Winnipeg, Paizs has directed Top of the Food Chain and Marker, and has worked on such TV series as Kids in the Hall, The Adventures of Shirley Holmes and John Woo’s Once a Thief. He is currently writing and illustrating a graphic novel and working as the director in residence at the Canadian Film Centre.


John Paizs


John Paizs, Eva Kovacs, Darrell Baran


John Paizs


Comedy, Drama


Arts and Culture, Cult & Offbeat Cinema

Original Language


Canadian Distributor