Another October has come and gone and another year of 31 Days of Horror is over. To wrap things up is Black Christmas from 1974.
It Christmas time and the women at a sorority house has are having party while getting ready to go home for the holidays. Soneone climbs up into the attic of the house. Jess (Olivia Hussey) answers a phone call to house and lets the other women listen to what seems to be an obscene phone call. Barb Coard (Margot Kidder), Phyllis “Phyl” Carlson (Andrea Martin), Clare Harrison (Lynne Griffin) and several others listen in. Barb provokes the caller who threatens to kill the women.
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John Russell (George C. Scott) is a composer who has just rented an old Victorian style house while recovering from the deaths of his wife and daughter who were killed in a tragic car accident.
Russell has been noticing some strange occurrences around the house. Every morning there is a persistent loud banging. One night Russell finds a bathtub full of water and what looks like a drowned boy in it. Later he finds a hidden door that leads to a room upstairs where a boy’s wheelchair has been left in a dusty room.
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A security firm called Con-Sec has discovered that there are people out there called scanners. Scanners are psychics with telepathy, mind-control, and telekinesis. Con-Sec is gathering up scanners so they can use them as weapons.
At a demonstration Con-Sec’s scanner asks for volunteers so he can show off his abilities. A man named Darryl Revok (Michael Ironside) volunteers but demonstrates that he is an even more powerful scanner and kills off Con-Sec’s scanner in a very memorable opening scene.
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Mary Mason is a medical student trying to work and pay her way through school so that she can become a surgeon. She applies at a strip club but ends up saving the life of a man who has been tortured in the basement of the club. She saves the man’s life but feels disgusted afterwards.
Several days later of the dancers at the club, Beatress Johnson (Tristan Risk), who has had surgery to look like Betty Boop offers Mary $10,000 if she performs body modification surgery on a friend of hers, Ruby Realgirl (Paula Lindberg) who wants to become a living doll. Mary takes the money and performs the surgery.
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Thierry Richard (Marc Paquet) and his roommate Henri Dieudonné (Frédéric Pierre) go out to celebrate one night and pick up a couple of prostitutes, one of them tries to kill Henri but Theirry saves him.
Later Thierry meets a lovely young woman named Claire Lefrançois (Marianne Farley). He becomes infatuated with her but then some strange things begin to occur. One is that her sister is the same prostitute that tried to kill Henri. The other is it seems that Claire has cancer. But the truth is very very different.
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A man flees into a field leaving running away from a farm house. A woman is running with him but is shot by two men and set on fire.
Deputy Daniel Carter (Aaron Poole) takes the man, James (Evan Stern) to the hospital when Carter finds him crawling on the road. The local hospital is running on a skeleton crew, the hospital itself was damaged in a fire and has seen better days. Currently only Dr. Richard Powell (Kenneth Welsh), Carter’s ex-wife nurse Allison (Kathleen Munroe), nurse Beverly (Stephanie Belding), intern Kim (Ellen Wong), pregnant girl Maggie (Grace Munro), her grandfather Ben (Grace Munro), and patient Cliff (Matt Kennedy).
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On a distant planet called Sirius 6B in the far future, a war has broken out between a mining company called New Economic Bloc (NEB) and the workers who call themselves the Alliance. The Alliance have created a machine called a screamer that looks like a little clawed robot rodent with buzzsaws to kill the NEB soldiers.
Screamers hunt by detecting people’s heartbeats. Alliance use a device to block their heartbeats. The war has gone on far too long and the planet is a wasteland. The Alliance led by Hendricksson (Peter Weller) get a message from a dead NEB solider saying that the NEB wants to discuss a truce.
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Les 7 jours du talion or 7 Days is an intense thriller from Quebec about a man driven to extreme measures.
Bruno Hamel (Claude Legault) is a surgeon whose life is destroyed when his very young daughter is raped and murdered. When he finds out that the police have the prime suspect in custody, Bruno takes it upon himself for revenge.
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I know I originally said I would try not to make the entire 31 Days of Horror all David Cronenberg movies but well a lot of his movies are really damn good.
Max Renn (James Woods) is the president of CIVIC-TV in Toronto. Max is looking for a new show for his station which tends to play trashy violence and softcore porn. One day Harlan (Peter Dvorsky) who runs CIVIC-TV’s unauthorized satellite dish shows Max a pirate broadcast of TV show called Videodrome where people are just tortured and killed. Harlan thinks it comes from Malaysia but later discovers that it’s coming from Pittsburgh. Max thinks that this is the future of TV and starts airing it.
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Well I’d be remiss if I failed to include our local cult favourite 2014’s WolfCop. Winner of the CineCoup Film Accelerator which lead to an actual theatrical release in Cineplex theatres WolfCop is about an alcoholic cop who ends up being a werewolf…cop.
Sergeant Lou Garou (Leo Fafard) is an alcoholic cop who barely does his job in the small rundown town of Woodhaven. Responding to a complaint of some occultists in the woods, Lou finds a mayoral candidate hanging upside down in the woods before he is attacked. When he wakes up he finds himself back at his place but with a pentagram carved into him.
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Yannick Bérubé (Marc-André Grondin) has just been accepted into film school and has started filming everything around him in the new town where he’s going to study. While riding his bike he crashes and goes to a house for help – 5150 rue des Ormes.
When he enters the home Yannick hears screaming from up stairs and witnesses Jacques Beaulieu (Normand D’Amour) murdering someone. Jacques takes Yannick and locks him in a room. Trapped in the room Yannick tries to figure out a way to escape.
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Elizabeth Lucy (Karen Black) has either fallen or jumped off the top of a tall building. Or maybe she was pushed. It’s up to Dt. Sgt. Jim Henderson (Christopher Plummer) to find out.
Lucy was a heroin addicted prostitute and the movie follows her final days leading up to her demise. Dt. Sgt. Jim Henderson in the present is trying to figure out what happened to Lucy and what she ended up getting involved in.
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Harry (Chuck Shamata) is a wealthy dentist who is taking model Diane (Brenda Vaccaro) up to his place in the country. Harry told Diane that there was a big party happening at his place over the weekend.
On the drive up to place Harry lets Diane drive his convertible. They encounter four hoodlums driving in their car and the hoodlums want to race. A chase ensues but the hoodlums end up driving off the road and crashing their car. Harry takes over driving and takes them to a gas station where he leaves his car and takes a station wagon to the his house. The house is a big mansion by a lake.
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Rose (Marilyn Chambers) and her boyfriend Hart (Frank Moore) are out driving along the road on his motorcycle when they crash because a car has broken down on the road. Hart is fine but Rose is badly injured in the crash and badly burned.
Rose is taken to the Keloid Clinic for Plastic Surgery where Dr. Dan Keloid (Howard Ryshpan) decides to try a new procedure on Rose to graft new skin on her damaged body. Rose is in a coma for a month after the procedure when she finally comes to. She appears normal but something has changed. The procedure has altered Rose. She now needs blood to survive.
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Five doctors are taking a camping vacation out in the woods. Things start off OK but one night someone steals all their boots except for one pair. The doctor who still has his shoes goes looking for help. That’s when things start to go wrong.
Shortly after the doctor leaves they find a someone has left a deer head just outside their camp. They decide to leave but things are tough going and someone or something seems to be stalking them.
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12-year-old Glen (Stephen Dorff) has discovered a geode in his backyard after workers remove a tree. Glen’s friend Terry (Louis Tripp) comes over and they find an even bigger geode.
Glen’s parents go away for a couple of days and leave Glen’s older sister Al (Christa Denton) in charge. She quickly throws a party at the house. While the party is going on Glen and Terry crack open the geode and find a note with an incantation on it which they read. Unbeknownst to them they have opened up a portal or “gate” if you will where little demons have escaped. The creatures slowly start messing with Glen, Terry and Al.
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It’s the early 1980s and slasher movies are all the craze. In particular seems to be a trend of having the killer murder folks on a holiday. The producers of what was originally titled The Secret decide to try and cash in on the trend and The Secret becomes My Bloody Valentine.
Set in a mining town called Valentine Bluffs where during a Valentine’s Day dance 20 years ago several miners got trapped in the mine due to the negligence of a couple of supervisors who went to the dance. Only one miner survived, Harry Warden, who had to resort to cannibalism to survive and went mad and murdered the supervisors he felt were responsible for the accident. The town hasn’t had a dance until now but someone remembers the horror and Harry Warden might be on the loose.
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After making Cube director Vincenzo Natali wanted to make Splice as his next film but budget and effects restraints forced him to wait until he felt the time was right.
Genetic engineers Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody) and Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley) work for a company called N.E.R.D. (Nucleic Exchange Research and Development) that wants them to create creatures that they want to use for medical purposes. Clive and Elsa have created a couple of weird creatures called Fred and Ginger which they hope to mate and use create all sorts of proteins for medicine but it’s not enough for them. They want to create a hybrid using human DNA.
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The success of John Carpenter’s 1978 Halloween created a surge of slasher films in the 1980s. In 1980 two slasher films hit the big screen only a few months apart. The first was Friday the 13th and second is today’s 31 Days of Horror feature – Prom Night.
Prom Night starts with a group of 11 year kids playing hide and seek in an abandoned convent. Young Robin wants to play too but the other kids scare her and she falls to her death. The kids promise each other never to tell anyone.
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It took Canada a long time to start trying to support a film industry but in the late 1960s the Canadian government started the Canadian Film Development Corporation (CFDC) which would later become Telefilm Canada. The vast majority of Canadian movies made since then have been with the help of Telefilm. Most of the films I have talked about so far have had some help from Telefilm.
In 1975 David Cronenberg finally got funding from CFDC aka Telefilm to finance his first feature film. Originally titled Orgy of the Blood Parasites, the title was soon changed to Shivers. In the U.S. it was changed to They Came from Within.
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