Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Black Fawn Brings SILENT RETREAT to DVD: SEPT 2nd

On Friday, August 8th, Horror in the Hammer is screening the award-winning Canadian horror film SILENT RETREAT at a special charity screening of Fright Night Theatre with all net proceeds going to SACHA (Sexual Assault Centre Hamilton). A little less than a month later, SILENT RETREAT will hit home video on September 2nd courtesy of our friends at Black Fawn Distribution!

Black Fawn Distribution continues to make a name for itself as one of Canada's most unique genre film distributors with their growing catalog of hot, cutting edge horror films like recent acquisition DISCOPATH (review). SILENT RETREAT is available for pre-order as a single-disc package including a "Making Of" documentary and filmmaker commentary OR as a double-bill package that also all of the above plus a signed poster and a copy of the film Discopath. As always, Black Fawn Distribution offers free shipping!



Black Fawn Distribution To Release A Film Monkey Production Feature “SILENT RETREAT” On DVD In Canada September 2nd

(Toronto, ON) – After taking home the prize for Best Canadian Feature at last year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival, SILENT RETREAT has now found a home on DVD through Black Fawn Distribution. A Film Monkey Production has granted the Canadian home video rights for their award winning creature feature SILENT RETREAT to Black Fawn Distribution to be released on DVD in Canada on September 2nd, 2014. After taking home the prize for Best Canadian Feature at last year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival, SILENT RETREAT has now found a home on DVD through Black Fawn Distribution. A Film Monkey Production has granted the Canadian home video rights for their award winning creature feature SILENT RETREAT to Black Fawn Distribution to be released on DVD in Canada on September 2nd, 2014.

SILENT RETREAT celebrated its World Premiere at the 2013 Toronto After Dark Film Festival and has since gone on to screen at the Nocturna Film Fest in Madrid, Spain. Led by talented actresses Chelsea Jenish and Sofia Banzhaf, SILENT RETREAT is ultimately about women finding their voice and refusing to be silent, a theme that resonated with Lee while developing the film. With SILENT RETREAT, Lee added her own spin to the genre: strong female characters combined with an emotionally resonant theme and classic horror imagery.

“We really wanted to acquire a film that was very different thematically,” states Black Fawn Distribution Sales Manager C.F. Benner. “What makes Tricia’s voice so unique is her ability to build quality characters by using small pieces of social commentary. It’s a very clever style that really allows these characters to come to life and drive the film forward. Obviously SILENT RETREAT is a creature feature, but this film has a lot of layers that are enjoyable to peel back and explore as you’re watching.”

"After learning of Black Fawn Distribution's grassroots marketing and their mission to sell directly to genre fans, I was very excited to begin working with them on SILENT RETREAT,” explains director Tricia Lee. “I think they’ll do a fantastic job getting the film out there.” Described by Rue-Morgue.com as a film that “beautifully blends supernatural horror with the terrors of the real world,” SILENT RETREAT is already being noticed by critics. The National Post stated that SILENT RETREAT is a “chilling little number from Canadian director Tricia Lee” while Ain’t It Cool News heralded the film as “a tense little beast of a movie that has some powerfully terrifying moments interspersed with some even more impactful silences." The SILENT RETREAT DVD will include a behind the scenes featurette, director and writer commentary, an exclusive artwork gallery and trailers for the film.
# # #
CF Benner Chad Archibald
Sales Manager General Manager
sales@blackfawndistribution.com chad@blackfawnfilms.com

Monday, July 28, 2014

Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare (Review)


(aka. The Edge of Hell)

review by AARON ALLEN

Directed by John Fasano
Written by Jon Mikl Thor
Starring: Jon Mikl Thor, Jillian Peri, Frank Dietz

You can't really consider yourself a red-blooded Canadian fan of exploitation and trash cinema until you've put down your hockey stick, set aside that Tim Horton's, and popped in a copy of the ridiculously bizarre Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare starring Canadian god of glam metal: Jon Mikl Thor. 

Sadly, John Fasano -- the director of this and several other little oddities of Canadiana -- passed away last week at the age of 52. I point this out because in my original review of Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare I called his directing "inept to the point of self-satire but ... nevertheless fun as hell." Is that disrespectful in the wake of his passing? Look, I respect Fasano even if his work here is not the best. Independent film-making is a hard road to travel, and it's easy for audiences on the sidelines to criticize after the fact. Fasano's early directorial output might not win any awards here, but films like Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare and Black Roses (which was filmed in Hamilton) endure in the hearts and minds of cult film fans exactly because of Fasano's quirky interest in these weirdo flicks. As we reflect on Fasano's passing, let's take a look back at one of his first films to explore just what exactly makes Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare a charming trash treasure.

Electric perm? Check. Muscle oil? Check.  Let's go!
Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare is the film version of every nerdy metal fan's adolescent wet dream inspired by comic books and images of rock warriors airbrushed on the sides of vans -- but shot with a less-than-epic budget. It's an amazing gem of trash and cult cinema, and it's all set in Toronto. It begins when metal band Triton rents out a farm house in rural Ontario so that they can practice their sets and get their fuck on! Lead singer John Triton (Jon Mikl Thor), a beefy blond metal machine who loves Canada for the arts, has a hell of a time getting his band to focus on their music. Between sneaking off to fuck their boyfriends and girlfriends, the band is being tormented by evil demons in the shape of silly latex puppets and Halloween props. The band is picked off, one-by-one, by an evil presence until only Triton remains. Then, the film takes a spectacularly out-of-nowhere twist that concludes in one of the most mind-boggling and cheer-worthy final battles ever filmed between good and evil.

Was it good for you, baby?
Rock 'N' Roll Nightmare might give new meaning to the word "silly." Obviously, the film is not meant to be truly scary, otherwise it wouldn't be populated by one-eyed puppets that smoke, people in ill-fitting leotards and metal rock costumes, and unforgivably bad monster masks. Yet, it's precisely this haunted house of cheap tricks and completely random host of demons and goblins that gives Rock 'N' Roll nightmare its indelible charm.

Aside from the silly effects, actor Jon Mikl Thor brings the movie to a whole new level of endearing ridiculousness with his portrayal of Triton, an impossibly earnest metal band front-man. Thor is simply so clearly into his role despite the bad script and bad direction that his commitment to this bizarre movie should put a grin on your face. Watch him rock that mic in a red vest and belt out complex lyrics such as, "Energy takes me where I want to be. And you're where I want to be. Girl, you give me (give me) energy!"

I experience the energy of Jon Mikl Thor's hammer at SHOCK STOCK 2011
where Thor was an honoured guest.
After teaming up with Thor in Zombie Nightmare, Jon Mikl Thor re-teams with John Fasano to demonstrate that they still don't quite have a handle on this whole movie-making thing. Case in point: I REALLY hope you like to watch a van driving...for 10 minutes.

Someone needed to give the film editor a hand on this picture
What Rock 'N' Roll Nightmare lacks in quality, story, and genuine scares, it makes up for in shamelessly gratuitous female nudity. Almost every woman gets nude in this movie, there's plenty of bouncing busts, and even the chiseled Thor gets into the buff for an awkward shower sex scene. There's no time to get bored with a movie that has this much bare flesh on screen!

The always classic Handbra
Peek a Boob!
Oh yeah. That's steamy.
Rock 'N' Roll Nightmare would be just another cheap Canuxploitation film if not for its balls-to-the-wall ending. As the devil appears to claim Triton, Triton reveals that he's been the only one in the house the whole time. All the other band members, even the one he awkwardly tonged in the shower, have been illusions created by Triton, for Triton is no mere mortal. In fact, he is THE INTERCESSOR: a warrior angel.

He-Man: The Rock Opera
The Intercessor looks like Dolph Lundgren from Masters of the Universe crossed with a heavy metal runway model. We learn that the Intercessor's imaginary friends were just a ploy to trick the devil (played by a rigid rod puppet) out into the open so that the Intercessor could lay a WWE beat down on him.

Arrrrgh! Cyclops starfish attacking!
Seriously, as the battle between the Devil and the Intercessor gets underway, it consists of Thor grimacing like a wrestler and putting wrestling locks on a cheap rod puppet.

No Sympathy for the Devil
Does any of this make sense? Not one bit. But it's a surreal and completely left-turn from demon possession horror into superhero pseudo-fantasy. And I love it. Rock 'N' Roll Nightmare is not a good movie -- that's why we call it trash cinema -- but it's a crusty Canadian gem that provides a guilty pleasure for fans of horror and glam metal. Jon Mikl Thor is admirable for keeping a straight face as Triton (aka. The Intercessor). He's the heart of the film. Without him and the insane Intercessor twist, Rock 'N' Roll Nightmare would be little more than a dusty old VHS sitting in someone's basement. As it turns out, the film has enough kooky qualities and a cult fan base to support it that Synapse Films put out a very nice DVD full of extra features. More than you ever thought you wanted to know about Rock 'N' Roll Nightmare courtesy of an audio commentary with the late but not forgotten John Fasano.

RIP John Fasano. Thanks for the laughs!

A version of this review originally appeared on monsterchiller.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Canada delivers Aliens, Living Dolls, and a WolfCop to the 2014 Fantasia International Film Festival

Canadian horror/genre filmmakers can't be stopped! Today, the Fantasia International Film Festival announced its full 2014 lineup, and you better believe that Canada has brought its Eh!-Game to the prestigious and lauded genre festival!

Check out the full list of Canadian feature films including fan-favorite horror comedy WOLFCOP and the world premiere of the new alien horror film EJECTA


The story of one night on earth that changed everything we know about the universe.

August 3 • 7:00 PM
DB Clarke Theatre

Directors: Chad Archibald, Matt Wiele
Writer: Tony Burgess
Stars: Julian Richings, Lisa Houle, Adam Seybold


After almost drowning in a lake, Madison finds herself bound to a life of fear. Unable to describe what happened to her during the moments she was underwater, she begins to develop hydrophobia. Crippled by her post trauma, Madison attempts to shut out the world but her fear intensifies and she is faced with the vision of a dark figure that haunts her.

August 2 • 5:15 PM
DB Clarke Theatre

Director: Chad Archibald
Screenplay: Chad Archibald
Cast: Michelle Mylett, Caroline Korycki, Gemma Bird Matheson, Sydney Kondruss


As a series of strange and violent events start happening, an alcoholic policeman realizes that he has been turned into a werewolf as part of a larger plan, so he investigates with the help of his partner and his friend.

August 1 • 11:55 PM
Concordia Hall Theatre

Director: Lowell Dean
Screenplay: Lowell Dean
Cast: Leo Fafard, Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry, Sarah Lind


Forced to barricade themselves in their apartment, a young couple is brought to the edge of the already existing divide between them.

August 1 • 7:30 PM
J.A. De Seve Theatre

Director: Maude Michaud
Screenplay: Maude Michaud
Cast: Shannon Lark, Alex Goldrich, Dega Lazare, Lynn Lowry


Black Mountain Side follows a group of archaeologists after they uncover a strange structure in Northern Canada, dating over ten thousand years before the present. The team finds themselves isolated when their communication systems fail and it is not long before they begin to feel the effects of the solitude.

July 30 • 7:00 PM
DB Clarke Theatre

Director: Nick Szostakiwskyj
Screenplay: Nick Szostakiwskyj
Cast: Shane Twerdun, Carl Toftfelt, Michael Dickson, Marc Anthony Williams, Andrew Moxham


Travis is an underground comic book artist with a penchant for the obscene. When one of his comics insults a Chinatown crime boss, the gangster punishes Travis by removing his drawing hand. A daunted Travis retreats into a life of alcoholic misery. That is, until his hand returns from the grave...

July 27 • 5:00 PM
DB Clarke Theatre

Director: Matt O’Mahoney
Screenplay: Matt O’Mahoney
Cast: Adam Boys, Kasey Ryne Mazak, Ken Tsui, Gabrielle Giraud


In this dark comedy / adventure-fantasy, an abandoned living toy named Jon works in a factory where new living baby dolls are harvested from gabbage patches and sent out to be adopted by little human girls. When Jon and his wife Mary steal one of the newborns from the factory floor, they must flee the shadowy factory and enter the human world, but they are pursued by an evil child catcher who manufactures the living dolls.

July 19 • 3:15 PM
J.A. De Seve Theatre

Director: Craig Goodwill
Screenplay: Craig Goodwill, Jessie Gabe, Trevor Martin
Cast: Rob Ramsay, Zoie Palmer, Julian Richings, Suresh John, Stephanie Pitsiladis


A hunt for easy money turns into a deadly search for a missing loved one as outsiders confront the evil forces behind a native American myth.

Director: Max Perrier
Screenplay: Matthew Altman
Cast: Jared Cohn , Ardis Barrow , Victoria Curtain , Brandon Perrault, Nahka Bertrand


A relentlessly-paced hybrid of gritty crime thriller and Lovecraftian supernatural horror, Devil's Mile follows a trio of kidnappers who take an ill-advised detour en route to deliver their hostages - two teenage girls - to their mysterious and powerful employer. When they accidentally kill one of the girls during a botched escape attempt, their simmering mistrust explodes into shocking violence. But what they thought was their worst case scenario is only the beginning, as they are engulfed by the hellish forces that haunt the road - a road they realize they may never escape... THE DEVIL'S MILE

July 26 • 7:25 PM
J.A. De Seve Theatre

Director: Joseph O'Brien
Screenplay: Joseph O'Brien
Cast: Maria Del Mar, Casey Hudecki, David Hayter, Samantha Wan, Frank Moore

Friday, June 27, 2014

CONTEST: Win Tickets to RADIO SILENCE & CALL GIRL at Fright Night Theatre (June 28)

To celebrate the Canadian Premiere of the award-winning German horror/thriller RADIO SILENCE and short film CALL GIRL, Horror in the Hammer is giving away 3 double-passes to see both fright-tastic films at Fright Night Theatre in Hamilton, ON this Saturday (June 28, 2014 @ 7pm at The Staircase Cafe Theatre - 27 Dundurn St. N.

Horror in the Hammer has three (3) double passes to RADIO SILENCE CALL GIRL

DEADLINE: 12am on Saturday, June 28, 2014 (ET)

Three winners will be selected at random and notified at midnight.


A pirate radio host is the only person who can prevent a serial killer called the Nightslasher from slaying his next victim, but saving one innocent soul may means sacrificing another.

Radio Silence delivers a pulse-pounding game of cat and mouse that takes audiences on a nail-biting plunge into the depths of human depravity through a maze secrets, lies, and murder. Nothing is what it seems. The killer is closer than you ever imagined. There is no escape. Directed by Marco Riedl and Carsten Vauth.

CALL GIRL: Synopsis

In one man's attempt to exploit his date night via online video-chat, he ends up sharing something far more disturbing. Tristan Risk (American Mary) and Laurence R. Harvey (Human Centipede 2 and Human Centipede 3) star in this sleazy and shocking micro-movie from director Jill Sixx Gevargizian.

Monday, June 16, 2014


On Saturday, June 14th, Horror in the Hammer was a proud co-presenter of the 2nd annual Little Nightmares Canadian Horror Shorts Festival. Organized and programmed by HITH's own Darrell Marsh, Little Nightmares is an annual festival of 10 Canadian-made horror short films representing some of the best and most unique genre talents Canada has to offer.

One of the big draws of Little Nightmares is the fact that audiences vote for their favorite picks in the category of BEST SHORT, BEST DIRECTOR, and BEST FX. Today, the winners were announced with the the horror-comedy Tasha and Friends managing a near sweep. Wow!



In a surprise twist, two films walked away with the top honour this year! The audience was divided between Alex Hatz's Uncommon Enemies -- the tale of a hard-boiled US sergeant and a Nazi taking on vampires during WWII -- and director Greg Kovacs's Tasha and Friends: a homicidal muppet movie about a vengeful troop of puppets looking to exact revenge on their human co-star. Although every film received at least one vote for Best Short, audiences were clearly extra thrilled and chilled by Uncommon Enemies and Tasha and Friends. In 2013, Greg Kovacs and the Tasha and Friends production team won Best Short for their film THE POST-LIFERS.


Not only did Tasha and Friends tie for Best Short but its director Greg Kovacs also took home the inaugural Best Director Audience Choice Award. With an eye for blending humor with horror, Kovacs lead Tasha and Friends on quite a sweep at this year's festival. A very honorable mention goes to Karen Lam, director of The Meeting, for coming in as a close runner-up.


Guts, gore, and puppets galore! Tasha and Friends completes a near-sweep by bagging the coveted award for Best Special FX. The audience of Little Nightmares 2014 obviously fell in love with Tasha and Friends's cast of mentally perverted puppets. With the accomplished work of special makeup effects artist Mitchell Stacey, Tasha and Friends solidified its domination of the audience choice ballot. Runner-Up: Dead Rush (dir. Zach Ramelan).

Congratulations to all the official selections and winners! To be alterted to next year's festival, please like its official Facebook page: facebook.com/LittleNightmaresCanadianHorrorShortsFestival

WIN Tickets to BLOOD GLACIER at Sinister Cinema in Hamilton (June 19)

Win tickets to the Sinister Cinema presentation and Canadian Premiere of BLOOD GLACIER at the SilverCity Hamilton Mountain Cinemas (7:30pm on Thursday, June 19th).


Scientists studying global warming in the German Alps discover that a glacier leaking a red liquid appears to be mutating the local wildlife, causing changes that are at first curious, then horrifying. Soon the team has their hands full defending themselves against a growing horde of biological monstrosities. Harking back to classic creature features, BLOOD GLACIER combines classical film-making techniques with imaginative practical effects to produce a roller-coaster ride of laughs and jolts.

Raven Banner has given Horror in the Hammer three (3) double passes to BLOOD GLACIER

DEADLINE: 12am on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 (ET)

*Contest open only to residents of Canada
**One entry per email address

Three winners will be selected at random and notified in the morning by email on Wednesday, June 18, 2014

This special screening is part of Raven Banner's Sinister Cinema Series

Sunday, June 8, 2014

WOLFCOP: Full Moon Hamilton Double-Screening - JUNE 13

The stars have aligned... 

It's a full moon next Friday, June 13 and Horror in the Hammer is presenting a howling double screening of WolfCop in Hamilton! Advance ticket holders will be entered to win a Fangoria and Wolfcop Prize pack.

Use promo code HELLYEAH for discount.
Advance ticket sales end Thursday, June 12 at 8pm

WHEN: Friday, June 13 7PM or 9:30PM screening

WHERE: SilverCity Mountain Cinemas (795 Paramount Drive, Stoney Creek, Ontario L8J 0B)
When you get your ticket here, your name will be entered to win a FANGORIA / WOLFCOP PRIZE PACK including:
  • Hot issues of Fangoria, Gorezone, Delerium, and Kiss magazine!
  • a WolfCop Tshirt, signed comic novels, large format poster!


1.) Select your showtime 7:00PM or 9:30PM screening on the Eventbrite Event Page
2.) Use discount code HELLYEAH by clicking the link above the order button: "Enter Promotional Code"
3.) Select your ticket quantity and click ORDER NOW
4.) Enter your name, email and billing information
5.) Eventbrite will send your order confirmation and your name will be on our guest list.
6.) At Cineplex on June 13, check in with the rep from Horror in the Hammer to get your Cineplex ticket(s) and prize raffle tickets.