Aiiieeeee!!! Canada: 31 Days of Horror – Black Christmas

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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Aiiieeeee!!! Canada: 31 Days of Horror – The Changeling

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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Aiiieeeee!!! Canada: 31 Days of Horror – Scanners

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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Aiiieeeee!!! Canada: 31 Days of Horror – American Mary

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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REVIEW: Thank You for Your Service Works for Blue and Red States

Miles Teller and Beulah Koale in Thank You for Your Service.

At the advance screening of Thank You for Your Service, I was informed it was from the same writer of American Sniper. My heart sunk. Alongside Lone Survivor, American Sniper is the most questionable portrait of American military in modern day. Not only Sniper presented a warped version of the Iraq War courtesy of Clint Eastwood, a number of the events depicted by the film turned out to be false.

I’m happy to inform Thank You for Your Service is nothing like Sniper or Survivor. A subdued approach to the less than welcoming environment that awaits soldiers deployed abroad, Thank You for Your Service is devoid of any jingoism. For the characters of this movie, becoming a soldier is a final career opportunity after running out of options.

Adam (Miles Teller), Solo (Beulah Koale) and Will (Joe Cole) are three close friends from Topeka, back in their hometown after serving a tour of duty in Iraq. None of them are in good shape. Adam is wrecked by guilt for his responsibility on the death of a fellow soldier, Solo’s brain is “scrambled” after being blown up seven times (!), and Will is putting all his hopes and dreams on his fiancée, who may not be in the picture by the time of his return.

This is not one of those movies in which the lead doesn’t want help to deal with their PTSD. Adam and Solo are eager to receive assistance, but the backlog is such, they could be waiting for months on end. The delay proves to be unbearable for the young veterans, whose family lives hang by a thread.

Through the entirety of Thank You for Your Service, first time director Jason Hall sustains enormous tension, even though towards the end the film leans on dramatic tropes not at the same level than the rest of the movie. Miles Teller is becoming a very effective and unassuming performer, especially now he is not involved with comic franchises or YA adaptations.

A mishap worth mentioning is the casting of Amy Schumer as a soldier’s widow. She is not bad per se (although her climatic scene could have used a more seasoned dramatic actress), but is definitely distracting. It’s one of those cases in which name recognition comes with a price tag.

Overall, Thank You for Your Service is a healthier take on the costs of war, which reverberate long after the conflict has ended. Something to keep in mind when casually suggesting bombing some country, or stating soldiers know what they signed up for. Three planets. 

Thank You for Your Service is now playing at Galaxy Cinemas.

Aiiieeeee!!! Canada: 31 Days of Horror – La Peau blanche

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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Aiiieeeee!!! Canada: 31 Days of Horror – The Void

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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Aiiieeeee!!! Canada: 31 Days of Horror – Screamers

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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Aiiieeeee!!! Canada: 31 Days of Horror – Les 7 jours du talion

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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Aiiieeeee!!! Canada: 31 Days of Horror – Videodrome

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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