Former Vancouverite Reg Harkema’s film Leslie, My Name Is Evil draws heavy inspiration from a misheard Pink Mountaintops lyric. The self-described “pack rat”, now living in Toronto, was reading a first edition of Helter Skelter, snagged at a Vancouver Value Village, when, as he told the Straight, he “saw that the hottest Manson chick was this Dutch Christian girl named Leslie Van Houten, who was the same age as my mom, who was also a hot Dutch Christian chick. I was intrigued. How the hell does my mom become a hippie-death-cult murderess? And the entire time I’m reading it, I’m playing the first Pink Mountaintops album on heavy rotation, and it’s got the song ”˜Leslie’ on it. The way he slurs the words together, it sounded like ”˜Leslie, my name is evil.’ ”
Harkema’s ensuing meditations on “how we define evil” inspired the title and the film itself, which was already in production when he discovered that Stephen McBean actually sings, “Leslie, my name isn’t Eva,” and that the song—according to Harkema—is “actually about a lesbian hitting on a drag queen”. The Pink Mountaintops track appears on a limited-edition soundtrack LP for the film, which also features several songs cowritten by Harkema and ex–John Ford guitarist Paul Kehayas.