Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Grrrr!

What did I do for Halloween? Well, I didn't have Thor staying at my place, and I didn't get interviewed by eTalk Daily, but my entire class did dress up like our prof (Allan Thompson, formerly of Toronto Star fame), which was pretty hilarious. Check it out:





We all wore dress pants, dress shirts, dress shoes and ties, parted our hair to the left and tucked pens behind our ears. The masks were what really made it, though, particularly the one guy who brought a Stephen Harper mask instead. See if you can spot it! Allan was pretty amused, in his toned-down, "what the hell are you doing?" kind of way.

In other illustratable news, here are some of the best shots from the trip Chris and I took to the newly renovated Museum of Natural History here a couple of weeks ago. Chris finally overcame his deep-seated fear of dinosaur skeletons with heads on them (formed when he was but a lad at this very same museum), as you can see here:



He also found a kindred spirit in an ancient rhinoceros:



We saw a giant flying turtle:



I made out with Albert Einstein:



And Ottawa was pretty:

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hallowed Wiener



While that could be the best ever name for a gay cult (members of which clearly would worship at the Altar of the Hallowed Wiener), it’s also the title of my Halloween post – and a reason to catch up on recent goings on. Working at a horror mag makes for busy times leading up to Oct. 31st and the last few weeks have felt very hectic. Here’s the play-by-play of some of the notable goings on in The People’s Republic of Frightsylvavia.

-A couple of weeks ago I programmed a movie night at the Bloor cinema for one of the greatest Can-con cult movies ever: the hilariously cheesy and certifiably insane Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare, starring legendary glam rock gladiator Thor. What made this particularly special was that we brought Thor himself in for the screening to intro the film, do a Q&A and play a gig afterward at the Bovine (a sketchy a somewhat endearing bar on Queen St.). I really pushed hard to make the event happen, despite the skepticism of some co-workers (not out designer Brett, though, as he designed Thor’s latest album cover).
Thankfully the event went over huge. Thor also booked some additional gigs around town, went on some TV shows, and the Toronto Star did a piece on the event.
Before each of our movies, there’s a sort-of theatre group called The Cloven Path Ministries, which does a Satanic parody of faith healer/old time revival thing, where the Pastor Wilkes and crew trade bibles for porn, cure retardation and generally come up with crazy stunts. That week they actually held a bake sale in the theatre, and hocked muffins and squares (for the Dark Lord, of course). Thor was incorporated into the show and threw one of the guys off the stage into the table of baked goods. Although the dude apparently has stunt training, he barely glanced off the table and onto the concrete floor. He just laid there in a pile of smashed baking and, shit, I thought he was really hurt. Thankfully it was all part of the act. Awesome.

The gig at the Bovine was a hit, with hipsters, headbangers, horror geeks and few assorted skids banging heads and pumping fists to Thor’s GWAR-ish metal show, which combines rubber props and costuming with hard drivin’ songs about all things Viking. It was without a doubt one of the best times I’ve had a gig for a long while. So many shows, particularly in Toronto, consist of a bunch of jaded music nerds standing around, arms crossed, bobbing heads. Nothing like an irony-free hesher meltdown to remind you how uninhibited and catchy plain old rock can be. If you get a chance to see Thor live, do not miss the opportunity, as he’s wildly entertaining and one helluva performer.
He’s also one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Thor (real name Jon) and his very cool wife Katherine stayed at my place that night. In case you were wondering, The God of Thunder is not averse to having a bagel for breakfast. Sadly I had no mead to wash it down.

-After that it was The Toronto After Dark Film Festival, a four-day event in its first-year, which showed about a dozen genre films. Rue Morgue helped sponsor, so I had a pass. Among the best stuff I saw was the opening film Special (described as Unbreakable with a touch of Kevin Smith), which is one of the darkest and most interesting superhero films ever made – I loved it (star Michael Rapaport is pictured). Also highly entertaining – if immature in an American Pie kinda way – was the German zombie comedy Night of the Living Dorks, which played after a zombie walk, so the theatre was full of “the undead”, who hilariously moaned and grunted their approval. For the closing film of fest, a fantastic revisionist slasher mockumentary / dark comedy called Behind the Mask played, and I introduced the director, Scott Glosserman, who should prove to be a important filmmaker in the genre.
-Next up, because it’s Halloween, the media wants comments on all kind of stuff. I was interviewed for the National Post (article here), these guys and even for TV on eTalk Daily (click on “Celebs fear their horror pasts”). No, I didn’t get within strangling distance of Ben Mulroney, but I wasn’t expecting to go on (we agreed to let them shoot at the office and I thought a co-worker would do the segment but she didn’t want to), so I was totally talking out of my ass – thankfully they were super-nice and it was edited into something slightly less embarrassing. Of course, now I expect to start wearing a blazer, bleaching my teeth and saying “K-Fed” a lot more in the future.

-After that was the gigantosaurus Rue Morgue Halloween party at the Church at Berkley on Queen Street. Free booze and food, killer costumes and entertainment (including a Chinese dragon dance) always makes for a good time. You can see my more-than-offputting Ed Wood Jr. costume and some genuinely amazing costumes (love the Destro) at the RM message boards, here. Like an idiot, I shaved my creepy moutache that morning, forgetting I had a whole day of running around ahead of me, so I went out and about (down to Kensington Market, out for dinner, etc.) looking like a pedophile – with out-of-town guests, no less. And Christ, there is absolutely no reasonable way to hide a ‘stache, short of a giant scarf. I kept forgetting I had it too, but luckily Alana reminded me with many disgusted looks. On a side note, the friends that stayed over for the Halloween party – Ken and his wife Yvonne – actually brought us mead, from a “meadery.” I didn’t know such a place existed. If you get a chance to try the stuff, go for it, it’s great, kinda of a refreshing mix of apple, honey and subtle white wine. Now we’re ready for the next time Thor drops in.

-The next day I was good and hungover thanks to much vodka and tonic and little self-control. I came around in time for a set visit to the new George Romero film, Diary of the Dead, being shot in North East Toronto. It was a cold evening to be outside, but shit, I got to interview George fucking Romero and watch him direct a zombie movie! Aaaaa! He’s a cool chain smoking hippie with the largest set of glasses I’ve ever seen on a human being, Steve Urkel included. I’ll be writing a piece on the film for RM closer to its release date.

-That brings me to today, Halloween, which reminded me why my job is so fun, as we bought Halloween candy and by around 4:30 this afternoon threw gumballs painted like eyeballs at each other. Wheee… . Brett and Rod came over tonight, we ordered pizza, watched Jaws then the absolutely insane ‘60s monster movie The Horror of Party Beach. Life is busy but very good.

-Lastly, check out this music video for British group The Horrors. I usually have little patience for British band with eyeliner and fancy haircuts, but they write some great garage rock, and this video for Sheena is a Parasite was directed by Chris Cunningham (and stars Samantha Morton). And how 'bout all you other wieners? What'd you do for Halloween?