Weird connection made between folk horror and the Hip

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      Anybody heard about the connection between the cover art for the Tragically Hip's Trouble at the Henhouse album and the obscure 1983 folk-horror film Eyes of Fire?

      Me neither--at least not until today.

      This morning I was interviewing director Kier-La Janisse about her new Severin Films documentary on the folk-horror genre, Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched, and as the chat wound down she said that she noticed I had written a book about Gord Downie, and that she had a bit of trivia to share about the Tragically Hip. 

      "Weird thing that just came up connected to my folk-horror movie that I just found out a coupla days ago," she said.

      "So, in the movie there's a film called Eyes of Fire, which is a long-unavailable folk-horror movie. It's kinda considered like the seminal American folk-horror movie, but the director [Avery Crounse] was like a recluse for a long time. It was really hard for anyone to find him or track him down, which is why the movie was unreleased for so long.

      "But we [Severin Films] managed to get a hold of him, and we're releasing a new 4K restoration of Eyes of Fire in our box set, so I was doing the bonus features for it. Apparently he used to be a photographer before he made this film, and he had all kinds of spreads in photography magazines and stuff like this, so he sends me this spread from the magazine American Photographer, and there's a photo that is called 'Trouble at the Henhouse' and it is the cover of that album--but it's from like a decade before that album came out.

      "So he says, 'Yeah, there's this guitarist from this band called the Tragically Hip'-he had no idea who they were--'the guitarist contacted me and said he saw my photo and wanted to use the photo for their album cover, but he also wanted to use the name of the photo as the name of the album.'

      "So it's crazy to think that this Tragically Hip album--both the cover and the title of the record--came from the director of the folk-horror movie Eyes of Fire."

      For more from Kier-La Janisse about her new film--which screens at the Rio Theatre on October 8 as part of the Vancouver International Film Festival--see the feature story in next week's issue of the Georgia Straight. Read it on paper for that old-school Trouble at the Henhouse/Eyes of Fire vibe.