Monday, 12 September 2011

Canadian Content: My Favourite Canadian Movies

I haven't done enough with this section, and that's a shame. I've been all over the place lately. So I am bringing it back to my roots. I have been living in America for roughly a month now. It's a weird experience. Little things trip me up a lot, and my friends tease me quite a bit about my Canadian "accent." You gotta be who you are. No matter what. And I think my previous post I posted today wasn't ready yet. Needs more work. But I do want you fellow bloggers to know I am working on showing my love, my way, to you. I want it to be fabulous when I do.

Anyhow, let's talk movies. Canada is full of awesome filmmakers. Hell, I'm can't wait until I get the chance to see Jovanka Vuckrovic's short film The Captured Bird. If you don't know who she is, Jovanka was Editor-in-Chief of Rue Morgue magazine. She has recently been working on her own freelance stuff after leaving the Rue Crew. But I digress...

I love film. Next to books, they are wonderful wastes of time. So I thought I'd bring to the blog table a list of my favourite Canadian Horror Films. These puppies are my top 10 Canadian Horror films. It's sad that sometimes people don't hear about all the great films made in Canada. I hope this helps get the word out. And you might be surprised which films are Canadian after all.

10. The Dead Zone
This Stephen King adaptation is directed by David Cronenburg and stars Christopher Walken and Martin Sheen! I love Christopher Walken and his wacky visions! But did you know it was filmed in both Toronto Ontario and the Niagara region, home of the famous Niagara Falls?

9. Silent Hill
Based off the awesome game series that made me almost wet myself the first time I played them with friends, Silent Hill is a creepy place full of fog. Watch out for Pyramid head! It was filmed in both Branford and Hamilton Ontario, and some sound stage work was done in Toronto. The film was a collaborative effort of France, Japan and Canada.

8. The Changeling
This is a classic and got remade, but I'm talking about the 1980's version. This story was based on so called actual events, so it's up to the viewer to decide how they feel about it. Ghost stories are scary. But did you know that though the films settings are supposed to be American, the movie was largely shot in Canada?There are a few shots that are based in the USA, but like me, this film is more Canadian than American. But we can all work together in harmony right?

7. Hobo With A Shotgun
This film was based off a fake trailer done for the Grindhouse movies. And if you're not into Grindhouse/exploitation movies, you won't like this movie. It's over the top, gorefest action with none other than RUTGER HAUER starring as the down-and-out hobo out for revenge. This movie was filmed in Nova Scotia.

6. Fido
A refreshing new take on zombies. Who doesn't want a pet zombie who mows the lawn and dances? The film was produced by Lionsgate, filmed in Canada, and was funded on Canadian grants. It toured the film festival circuit and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

5. Graveyard Alive
This is a little known gem that I think deserves more attention. It's shot in black and white, and is a quirky tale of a nurse who becomes a zombie...and is in love. I particularly love the part where she saves bits of her victims for later, putting them in ziplock baggies and storing them in the freezer! The movie was filmed in Montreal Quebec.

4. Cube
I just love the concept of this film. People trapped in a booby-trapped cube and having to rely on each other to survive. Of course they don't all survive. People never know how to work together in horror movies. If they did the movie would be short and we'd be bored! I love that the Cube isn't overly explained. This film is one of three movies made in the series, but in my opinion the first movie is the best. This film was funded and shot on a sound stage in Toronto.

3. Pontypool
Seriously, if you haven't heard of this movie, go see it NOW. Amazing story, great acting. I love films that make characters work in confined spaces. Most of this movie is shot in a radio station, and what is effecting the world outside doesn't come in to get them until half way through the film! It was an adaptation of Tony Burgess's novel. Even the setting itself is Canadian. Yes folks, there is a place called Pontypool in Ontario.

2. Splice
This movie is an awesome take on the "making a monster" theme and shows how science should leave some things be. It's about a really cool creature named Dren, and raises a lot of uncomfortable questions. Filming took place in both Toronto and Hamilton for this film.

1. Ginger Snaps
My all time favourite werewolf film! I just love it. It's dark, sometimes snarky, and tells a coming of age story in a whole new way. While I did enjoy the second one, the third movie in the series left something to be desired for me. It just fell flat. The first film was just more intimate in my opinion, and more visceral. They did a lot with a relatively small budget in the first one, and the film was shot in three Toronto suburbs: Brampton, Scarborough and Etobicoke.

And that's my list! If you haven't heard of any of them, totally give them a viewing. Worth your time! I think Canadians tell interesting stories. We have our own unique voices in the genre. Now I'm off to dreamland with my hubby.


  1. An excellent list, and I'm proud to say I've seen the whole lot, with the exceptions of Graveyard Alive and The Changeling. (And you know me- if it's within my power, I'll have that fixed by the end of the day.) :D

    I agree with you about The Cube never being fully explained- I like it when a horror movie leaves some things to the imagination. I think the Plague from Hobo with a Shotgun are especially compelling because we never find out who they are or why they do what they do- merely that they've supposedly been at it for a long-ass time (judging by the pictures they have crossed out on their wall).

    Much the same with the Cenobites, for my money- sure, it's Pinhead that gets shit done, but really, I'd be more frightened to run into the Chatterer- I know what Pinhead would do to me, but I don't even know what the Chatterer _could_ do to me. (But it's a safe bet that it wouldn't involve ostrich feathers or chocolate frosting.)

    Mankind's greatest fear is always gonna be the unknown, and leaving questions unanswered in our horror media simply keys into that primal fear to go along with the nasty shit that does get revealed.

  2. Amazing post and amazing films!!! I haven't got round to seeing Hobo yet but I'll definately give it a go soon. Gotta say though, not the hugest fan of Silent Hill. But I think that's just because I love the games so much, but Pyramid Head did look pretty bad ass. Nice choices though!

  3. Fido and Pontypool!!!!

    As both a zombie film fanatic, and a proud Canadian, I wholeheartedly thank you.

  4. Great list! Love Cube! A Very underrated film.

  5. Cube was pretty good... Nightbreed was supposed to take place near Calgary... (It is my favorite Movie)... And I have an "Award" for my newly formed "Blog" .... that is cool...

  6. I just thought you'd like to know about Repo! The Genetic Opera. It's not exactly a horror movie, it's more like a goth opera, a morbidly twisted musical filmed in Toronto.

  7. I love Repo actually! It's my favourite musical ever. (Sweeney Todd is second). However, I didn't know it was filmed in Toronto! That just makes it cooler. :D

  8. I'd include Silent Partner with Elliot Gould and Christopher Plummer. A nice cameo by John Candy as well! Best Santa movie ever!


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