Horror Night in Canada: Filmmaker Karen Lam on Cannibal Girls
And now, true believers, for this unholy edition of Movie Night in Canada (in which we ask film folk what obscure, weird, or underrated Canadian film they'd tell people to watch), we descend into the icy depths of Canadian horror archives to unearth the latest recommendation of Canuck film. Mwaa-ha-ha.
There, within the bowels of Canadian horror cinema, we encountered Vancouver filmmaker Karen Lam.
Lam is best known for her short films, such as "Doll Parts" and "Stained", and the 2013 feature film Evangeline, about a sheltered college student who attracts a sociopathic fraternity leader.
Lam's creepy pick (separate from her ice-pick) for this round was the low-budget 1977 Canuxploitation classic Cannibal Girls.
Directed by Ivan Reitman (who went on to direct and produce numerous Hollywood hits including Meatballs, Ghostbusters, and Kindergarten Cop) and shot in Ontario, this comedy horror stars Eugene Levy and Andrea Martin as a young couple who become stranded in a small town. There, they meet a mysterious reverend—and three even more mysterious women who accompany him.
Here's what Lam had to say about Cannibal Girls:
This film is part of the legacy of B-exploitation horror in Canadian cinema. Plus, if you've never seen Andrea Martin and Eugene Levy in their formative years, this is a treat. Eugene Levy whips out his guitar and you will never hear or see anything like it again. Plus, how can you go wrong with a bell that signals to the audience that something horrible is about to happen?
Yes, it's true: being the ever-so-polite Canadians, the filmmakers added a bell to warn audiences that horrific or erotic scenes were about to unfold. (Pavlov's dogs, anyone?)
Although it was made in the 1970s, this film has topical resonance with vegetarian and vegan diets (and aversion to eating suspect meat) all the rage these days.
Well, that's it for this stomach-churning edition of Movie Night in Canada that has ruined our appetite for dinner, but stay tuned because there are many more on the way. (Canadian movie picks, that is.)