NORTHERN SCARS: THE FOUNDATIONS OF CANADIAN HORROR CINEMA (Los Angeles)

Date/Time
Date(s) - Mon. Jan. 6, 2020
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Location
Philosophical Research Society

Instructor
Caelum Vatnsdal

Admission
$12 advance / $15 door BUY TICKETS or get a Season Pass for $50 HERE

*Note this class is on a Monday, not our usual Thursday, due to our visiting instructor’s travel schedule!

Prepare yourself for a snowstorm of malevolent miners, ravenous rats, killer sex-slugs and ZED (not ZEE)-grade zombies: all this and much more can be found in the frosty annals of Canadian horror movie history. Oh, and there’s some Cronenberg in there too, of course.

Canada got into the horror game late, and even then started slowly, but by the beloved and despised tax-shelter years of the 70s and 80s the country more than made up for its initial delinquency. Movies by the dozens were being turned out: during the peak years of Canadian moviemaking, more films came out of Toronto than they did Hollywood, and a great percentage of these were horror pictures. Monsters and maniacs, scientists and shamans, Leslie Nielsen disco dancing and John Candy rolling around in his underwear: Canadian horror delivers more of what you want.

This lecture will bring the audience through the development of this genre in Canada, including behind-the-scenes peeks into the making of the movies; personal stories of the makers and stars; scandals and controversies associated with them; and the political gamesmanship behind the development of the Canadian commercial film industry. Never a dry recitation of facts, the talk describes a wild tapestry of high drama and crazy incident, with characters from David Cronenberg to Lawrence Zazelenchuk: a sort of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls with a much more specific focus and a lot more plaid flannel shirts.

This rollercoaster ride through history will be capped by a snapshot of the state of things today, and we may even take a guess as to where things will go next. A question and answer opportunity at the end ensures that any remaining bafflements will be addressed.

Accompanying the lecture will be mind-twisting clips from movies like The Mask (Canada’ first horror feature), The Corpse Eaters (its cheapest), Shivers, Black Christmas, Rituals, and Spasms.

Lecturer Caelum Vatnsdal is a filmmaker and writer from Winnipeg, Canada; the author of The Came From Within: A History of Canadian Horror Cinema, he is currently in the process of turning his book into a feature-length documentary film.