Month: October 2020

Queen of Schlock! Oh Canada!

Oh Canada! How we forget about the amazing and amazingly bad movies you’ve made! The thing is, we shouldn’t be forgetting about the movie industry of our truly wonderful country. Some of my all time favourite movies have been made here and I think I need to talk more about them. I’ve decided to add a new series to Queens of Schlock called Oh Canada. For this post I am going to give an overview of some of my favourites and then upcoming, I will talk about specific movies, actors or directors.

What sparked this? We recently watched Frankenstein On Campus. A gem from 1970 that was shot in Toronto. It stars Robin Ward. Robin Ward was a favourite of mine when I was a kid. I will have an upcoming post about him as well. The thing is, we live in a country with so, so many talented film makers and actors. We need to be watching way more Canadian content than we actually do. I remember watching a lot of Canadian horror in the 1970s and 1980s and being so much more creeped out by it than our American counterparts. One of my all-time favourite Christmas horror movies to watch is Black Christmas. I watch it every single year!

As someone who tried her hand at acting and who has many friends in the film industry, it is high time we start talking a lot more about Canadian film. The Good. The Bad. And The Ugly.

Click here for a list of a few dozen movies you should be checking out!

Currently, these are some of my top Canadian made films. Much of it is low budget, but all if it is awesome! What are your favourite Canadian made movies? What classic Canadian films do you suggest I watch?

Frankenstein On Campus (1969) This movie stars one of my all-time favourite Canadian actors, Robin Ward.

Blood & Donuts (1995)  is a 1995 Canadian super natural comedy horror film directed by Holly Dale, written by Andrew Rai Berzins, and starring Gordon Currie and Helene Clarkson. David Cronenberg plays a cameo role as the local crime boss.

Black Xmas (1974) This is part of my yearly Yule tradition. I watch this movie, every single year!!!

Cannibal Girls (1973) There are lots of recognizable faces in this movie, especially if you are a fan of SCTV and the Hilarious House of Frightenstein. Anyone recognize Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy and Fishka Rais. 

The 1970s and 1980s were also huge for Canadian horror movies, especially those made by David Cronenberg. Below is a list of a few of my favourites. (no all are by Cronenberg)

Scanners (1981)

Rabid (1977) This movie freaked me out as a kid.

Dead Ringers (1988)

Videodrome (1983)

The Brood (1979)

The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane (1976) Raise your hand if you recognize a young Jody Foster.

Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! There will also be trivia with prizes & much more! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

Spookytown! Haunted Ontario

As we creep up to the most spooktacular time of the year, we are all likely itching to get out to Fall events. In the before times, I would usually be seeing invites or posts about all of the spooky haunted houses and Halloween events that would be happening in October. One of my favourite things to do in October is go to as many of them as I can… this year… well. We all know what 2020 has brought us. I will be sticking close to home and keeping an eye out for Social Distancing events. Each year High Park puts on a wonderful Ghost Walk and tour of Colbourne Lodge. I’m hoping it still happens. We will also be doing a tour of the front lawn decorations and of course our annual walk over to Halloween House!

It makes my black heart sad that Halloween for the most part won’t be quite the same. There is a huge possibility that Trick or Treating might be cancelled as well. My favourite part of Halloween, as a kid was dressing up and going door to door in my neighbourhood. I feel for all of the kids who may miss out this year.

Once we are out of the pandemic, I want to take ghost walks a little further. I want to actually figure out my own ghost adventure in other parts of Ontario. It’s a great way to see my own province and even take it on the road to other provinces.

Though, they aren’t quite the same, I’m hoping a few virtual ghost tours also happen during the month of October. I’d be more than happy to go on a few of those. If you want to go on your own, I am going to write a bit below on places for you to read about. Mostly, there will be a bunch of links to follow or books I suggest, heck, I will even throw in a few podcasts and YouTube videos.

Ghost Towns and Lost Villages Ontario boasts that it has many ghost towns. There is even a website dedicated to them. Click here to see the list. I have also provided a few other websites below.

https://www.blogto.com/city/2016/04/5_ghost_towns_to_explore_near_toronto/

https://www.narcity.com/travel/ca/on/toronto/10-creepy-but-beautiful-ghost-towns-you-can-visit-in-ontario

This one is an extensive list. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ghost_towns_in_Ontario

This link also includes great resources.
https://torontopubliclibrary.typepad.com/local-history-genealogy/2019/10/ghost-towns-of-ontario.html

https://www.ghosttowns.com/canada/ontario/ontario.html

https://www.ontarioabandonedplaces.com/

Podcasts

https://hauntedwalk.com/podcasts/

Videos

Websites To Explore

https://southeasternontario.ca/haunted-waterway-12-locations-ghost-hunting-paranormal-intrigue/

https://www.toronto.com/things-to-do/haunted-places-in-ontario/

https://www.narcity.com/travel/ca/on/toronto/these-are-the-most-haunted-spots-in-ontario-that-you-must-road-trip-to-this-fall

https://www.insauga.com/5-most-haunted-houses-in-mississauga

Books I Suggest

https://www.biblio.com/ghost-towns-of-ontario-by-brown-ron/work/153391

https://www.dundurn.com/books/Haunted-Hamilton

Ghost Walks of Southern Ontario These are only a few ghost walks. There are many, many more. Please post others in the comments section.

https://ghostwalks.com/

https://hauntedwalk.com/

https://muddyyorktours.com/

https://www.insidehalton.com/news-story/2981098-walk-with-ghosts-in-bronte-park/

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g154999-d1119850-Reviews-Ghost_Walks-Niagara_on_the_Lake_Ontario.html

Queen of Schlock! Bad Ass Women: Tura Satana

Tura Satana. Oh how I love thee. Let me name the ways. I love your badassery in Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, your martial arts prowess in The Doll Squad and your careless whimsy as you off your enemies in Astro Zombies (though… sadly not my favourite of your movies), not to mention that amazing pink cutout dress! Your style, your flare, your sass.

For those who don’t know who this badass woman is (how dare you), here is a little blurb from Wikipedia.

Satana was born Tura Luna Pascual Yamaguchi in Hokkaidō, Japan. Her father was a Japanese silent movie actor of Filipino descent, and her mother was a circus performer of Native American (Cheyenne) and Scots-Irish background. After the end of World War II and a stint in the Manzanar internment camp in Lone Pine, California, Tura and her family moved to Chicago.

Tura Satana studied martial arts since she was a child (sadly, due to being sexually assaulted as a child – she later sought out all of her attackers and got revenge), as a teenager she formed a girl gang and as a result was sent to reform school, at the age of 13 she was forced into a marriage to a 17 year-old boy by her parents, at the age of 15 she moved to Los Angeles and using a fake I.D. she became a burlesque dancer, was romantically linked to Elvis and was convinced by Harold Lloyd (yes that Harold Lloyd – silent screen star) to become an actress. Tura was an incredible and fascinating woman. I would have loved to have met her.

In my own opinion, I always hoped that Tura Satana had a longer career. Her screen presence was undeniable. After the movie The Doll Squad, she lived through the tragedy of a former lover shooting her. She stopped acting for a few decades because of it, returning in 2004 to make a couple more Astro Zombie movies. Thankfully, she did the comicon circuit, allowing new generations to appreciate her! There is a documentary being made about her and I hope it gets released one day.

A few of her other roles were in The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., Irma La Douche, and the sequels to Astro Zombie.

My two all time favourite movies are Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and The Doll Squad. She is beyond a total badass in both of those movies. We recently had a movie night in our backyard, a way to get our Killer B Cinema fix, while socially distancing with our neighbours. It was a first time viewing of Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! for everyone else who joined us. If you haven’t seen either of these movies, go do it now! I’m posting either trailers or full movies below.

The Astro Zombies (1969)

The Doll Squad (1973)

Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)

Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! There will also be trivia with prizes & much more! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

Spookytown! My Halloween Traditions

Welcome to Spookytown! A weekly blog post about, you guessed it… all things spooky. Ghost stories, books, hauntings, movies, music, history and so much more!

Ever since I was a kid, there were several things that would happen as part of the lead up to Halloween. Figure out our costumes, go with our Mom to buy the Halloween candy, figure out where Mom hid the Halloween candy (which we never found, she was really good at hiding it. I’m sure she still has to), help Mom bag the candy while trying to steal some of the candy and watch lots and lots of Halloween cartoons. Of course my Dad had a tradition of raiding our candy as soon as we went to bed after Trick or Treating. “Reeses Peanut Butter Cups… no kids, you didn’t have any of those in your Halloween candy…” Anyone else’s parents do that? I’m sure all families have one parent that does.

That feeling I had as a kid has never left me… ever. Each year I do a bunch of things starting October 1st. I already mentioned that I still watch cartoons (in this post), especially, It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, I also like to watch several movies leading up to the night, but for a really, really long time viewing Carrie the Halloween Eve tradition, along with The Exorcist, and Halloween.

A few other cartoons/animation I didn’t mention in my previous post are Mad Monster Party (I highly recommend this one), The Nightmare Before Halloween and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

I also love to read gothic horror throughout the month October, starting with my all time favourite Edgar Allan Poe. I still read The Raven, every single year!

I also still love to plan my costume and dress up, even if we aren’t going to a party. Heck, one of my all time favourite things to STILL do, is walk around my neighbourhood to see all of the decorations and check out what the kiddies are dressed up as. I’ve lived in apartments for such a long time, that I haven’t given out candy for decades. Maybe one day we will finally be able to afford our dream house, a spooky Victorian, then I can dress it up and give out bags of sugary loot! A ghoul can dream!

Another tradition growing up, was to carve a pumpkin! (then leave it out for the local critters to munch on afterwards) Another down fall from living in an apartment is I had no where to put our orange art piece. I’m considering carving a few this year and leaving them out front anyway. Considering the year we’ve been having, I need to ramp up a bit this year for my favourite day.

Another tradition, has been to take a stroll or two in a cemetery. I haven’t been able to do it for the last few years and I really miss it. Two years ago, we got married in October, so we were a bit busy, then last year we were in Japan for the month of October. I’m hoping this year we can squeeze a walk in. I’ve mentioned it in a few other posts, but our good friend runs the Toronto Cemetery Tours and she will be doing a few walks over the next month.

I’m looking forward to our Halloween traditions and to adding a few new ones. What are your Halloween traditions?