Really Awful Movies: Ep 198 – Rabid



Part outbreak / contagion / zombie / vampire movie, Rabid is a wonderful little nugget of exploitation horror Canadiana.

On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, we examine David Cronenberg’s masterpiece, starring ex adult film star Marilyn Chambers as Rose, a young woman who’s involved in a motorcycle crash and who undergoes life-saving experimental surgery at an oddball clinic.

It’s at this clinic (the Keloid Clinic) where she’s given a skin graft for burns. And when she’s in a coma, she starts experiencing strange side-effects. When her friend Lloyd visits, Rose comes to, biting him and penetrating him with an underarm dart (hey, if that sounds weird, we’re in Cronenberg’s wheelhouse, remember) and then biting him. Lloyd starts having odd symptoms.

Before you know it, both have left hospital and are spreading something weird, something untoward, something that’s a lot like…rabies! Hence the film’s name.

This a gross-out tax shelter movie, the kind we LOVE to watch. Seriously, there are a lot of Canadian exploitation fare that people should check out (Siege, AKA, Self Defence, Search and Destroy, Black Christmas to name a few).

So, we have an outbreak, and the government has to crack down on it. And there’s lots of sexual subtext (not the least of which being the casting of Chambers), and even some gallows humor. And there’s also the Cronenberg gross-out trademark, and some spectacular kills.

Take a listen!


Really Awful Movies: Ep 197 – Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II



Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II is a 1987 Canadian slasher film directed by Bruce Pittman, and starring Michael Ironside. If that isn’t enough enticement to make you wanna watch, we don’t know what is. Frankly, Michael Ironside is a genre icon. C’mon, look at this resume, people: Scanners, Visiting Hours, Total Recall, Starship Troopers…

He plays Billy, a 60s teen with an impossibly receding hairline, who’s gettin’ down to Little Richard at the prom. After being rebuffed by the queen, one Mary Lou (from whose name the movie title derives) he angrily lobs a stink bomb toward her as she’s accepting her crown in front of adoring masses. Unfortunately, things go haywire, the incendiary devices ignites a spark, the drapes catch fire, and so does Mary Lou.

Flash forward to the 80s, and Billy is now high school principal at ill-fated Hamilton High. And the spirit of Mary Lou, is haunting the halls, like bad Axe deodorant spray. Mary Lou’s trapped in a treasure chest, and emerges, to haunt those who did her wrong.

Prom Night II doesn’t have Jamie Lee Curtis or Leslie Nielsen (and hell, Robert A. Silverman too, he of Scanners, eXistenZ, The Brood), but what it does have is the same low-budget cheap-and-cheerful Canadiana (it’s filmed in Edmonton, Alberta, with some re-shoots in Toronto). There’s also some supernatural weirdness and sinister dreamscapes going on.

This is a much better film than we remember.