Being a Canadian can be a real hassle. Not only do we have to deal with a devilishly handsome Prime Minister, quality Tim Horton’s doughnuts and free healthcare, but we – tragically – have an international reputation as being just so damn nice.
Really, it’s both sickening and unwarranted, as this massive tundra is as packed full of dopes, simpletons and nitwits as the next windswept utopia. But it’s a reputation we’re stuck with, no matter how peeved it makes us.
Thankfully, while real life has painted Canucks as gracious and kind dunderheads, cinema has taken a much different perspective. Here are five times that movies got it right, presenting your friends to the north as the vicious, blood-hungry maniacs you’ve always suspected we are.
5. The “Fiend” from Science Crazed
In some ways the “Fiend” from the classic Canuxploitation no-hoper Science Crazed is the most Canadian of all film villains. He’s confused, a bit dopey, and has a rather irritating sense of superiority considering his essential blandness. Still, he’s able to rack up an impressive body count considering he spends a good 80% of the movie slowly walking through the same generic hallways. Just like the country that spawned him, he’s a classic overachiever.
4. Colt Hawker from Visiting Hours (1982)
You might know and love Michael Ironside from his performances in Top Gun, Total Recall, Starship Troopers, and, uh, Highlander 2: The Quickening, but he started his career with a series of low-budget horror films (and appearing in Canadian TV shows like The Littlest Hobo).
Of course you’re already intimately familiar with his mind blowing (see what I did there?) performance as Darryl Revok in David Cronenberg’s Scanners, but just a couple of years later Ironside was delightfully unhinged as the proto-MRA woman-hating Colt Hawker, who attempts to murder Lee Grant as she’s recovering from a previous attack in a hospital.
Who stands between Hawker and his prey? William Shatner. It doesn’t get more Canadian than that.
3. The Miner from My Bloody Valentine (1981)
Despite its generic “Valentine Bluffs” setting, My Bloody Valentine is Canadian through and through. It’s Nova Scotia locations give it an unmistakably east-coast Canadian look, and this no-frills maritime approach is pleasantly at odds with our unforgettable killer, strikingly decked out in a gas mask, mining helmet (/w flashlight), and his trademark pick-axe.
The 3D remake, while technically superior and extremely entertaining, was not filmed in Canada and therefore should be avoided at all costs.
2. Mary Lou Maloney from Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987)
The original Prom Night featured Leslie Neilsen and was nominated for two Genie awards, which are both things that are very, very Canadian. However, it was the sequel (filmed mostly in Alberta) that introduced us to the former prom queen/current psycho demon Mary Lou Maloney, who escapes from hell to rain havoc upon a new generation of unfortunate High School students. The character would return in the much more explicitly comedic Prom Night III: The Last Kiss, but this one has Michael Ironside so it’s better.
1. Billy in Black Christmas (1974)
Look, if it wasn’t for Canada (and our ever failing dollar), the world might never have had those thousands of middling slasher movies released throughout the 70s and 80s. With all due respect to Mario Bava’s A Bay Of Blood, this was the one that broke the door wide open, and while the director was American-Canadian, and a good chunk of the cast were Americans, Black Christmas is so Canadian it hurts. From the frigid Ontario locations to the supporting cast visibly trying to repress their “aboots” and “ehs”. You even have Art Hindle, who is contractually obligated to be in every Canadian feature films, in the cast.
For many, it was the first time they might have suspected there was something darker resting under out denim-clad Canadian exteriors. It broke the mould in all sorts of ways, and for that… you’re welcome.