Thursday, September 17, 2015

HELLIONS: Bruce McDonald Director Profile

Canadian cult film fans are familiar with Toronto director Bruce McDonald. If you attended the Toronto International Film Festival in 2008, you might recall Pontypool, which mutates the zombie genre in the most fascinating and frightening ways.

McDonald is back at the Festival with Hellions, described as a "deliciously creepy tale about a pregnant teen whose home is besieged by a ghastly crew of trick-or-treaters." Sort of like À l'intérieur but set on Halloween instead of Christmas. Maybe. (You'll have to see it to find out, mwahahaha!)
Roadkill: Hand over the cowboy hat and no one gets hurt.
With more than 60 directorial credits to his name, McDonald defines "eclectic." He first appeared in the consciousness of both film and music fans with his 1989 movie Roadkill. It started as a tour documentary, but due to the increasingly unhinged environment surrounding the band A Neon Rome, it soon transformed into a fictionalized portrait of the madness of rock and roll. With a cast including Nash the Slash, Joey Ramone, and Don McKellar (another Canadian film icon), Roadkill is a bona fide cult classic. (And yes, McDonald admits that he did spend that $25,000 prize money on a big chunk of hash.)
Hard Core Logo: Hugh Dillon, rocking a cowboy hat.
But that wasn't it for Bruce McDonald. In 1996 he directed another music movie, this one about the dissolution of a fictional punk band called Hard Core Logo, hence the title of the film. With unforgettable characters like Joe Dick (Hugh Dillon) and Billy Tallent (Callum Keith Rennie), Hard Core Logo would inspire more than band names. It is considered one of the greatest Canadian movies ever made, not to mention one of the greatest movies about punk rock.
McDonald on the set of Pontypool wearing his trademark hat.
Not content to just direct fiction films, McDonald has also worked on several documentaries and many different TV series, including Twitch City (with Don McKellar and Callum Keith Rennie), Lexx, Queer As Folk, and the forever-beloved Degrassi: The Next Generation. And of course, 2008's Pontypool (did we mention we love this movie yet?).

Although Hellions is only McDonald's second horror film at TIFF, he did direct the blacker than black comedy The Husband, which screened at the Festival back in 2013. If that name doesn't ring a bell, it's the one about the man who's forced to care for his infant son alone when his wife is sent to prison for cheating on him with a minor. Yep, THAT movie.

McDonald has long praised Roman Polanski's The Tenant and Stanley Kubrick's The Shining as his favorite horror movies, saying that "people losing their minds" is "what I'm afraid of rather than monsters."

If that also terrifies you, you'll likely go mad for Hellions.

Of course, McDonald has also mentioned another thing that scares him:
"At the festival there's a certain kind of character that's around. It's this desperate, wide-eyed, glassy, I've had a script for 12 years that I've been working on kind of crazy. To me that's a bit scary and disturbing. You're not sure what's going on there."
HELLIONS Screening Times:
Fri. Sept 18 4:00PM, SCOTIABANK 4

No comments:

Post a Comment