Tag Archives: Canadian horror

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.


Really Awful Movies: Ep 178 – Pin

Pin (also known as Pin: A Plastic Nightmare) is a 1988 Canadian-made horror film released in 1988 that many people haven’t seen. Directed by Sandor Stern and starring David Hewlett, Cynthia Preston and Terry O’Quinn, the unconventional psychological thriller is based on the novel of the same name by Andrew Neiderman.

Pin went the direct-to-video route, released in the United States on January 27, 1989. The IMDb synopsis says it all: “Isolated by his strange parents, Leon finds solace in an imaginary friend, which happens to be an anatomy doll from his father’s doctor office. Unfortunately, the doll begins to take over Leon’s life, and his sister’s life as well.” The strange parents include Dr. Linden, who puts his kids through the paces before bed, with math puzzles (doesn’t sound like the guy who’ll have a mug that reads “World’s Greatest Dad”) and the imaginary friend, from which this film’s title derives (and is short for Pinocchio).

Kids Ursula and Leon, are not allowed to be in their pop’s doctor’s office alone with the anatomical doll (as we find out, this is because the doctor speaks through it like a ventriloquist). However, the strange, stoic, plastic face of the “creature” becomes more of a malevolent force. This is weird stuff, folks.

On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, Chris and Jeff discuss:

  • How we came to discover this underseen Canadian tax shelter horror movie
  • How as we get older, we come to appreciate psychological horror rather than merely gore
  • Similarities between Pin and Hitch’s Psycho
  • The surprise man behind the pin-doll’s voice
  • Coming-of-age sexual dyanamics

(and much much more!)

Check out new episodes every Friday!