If any of our readers happen to be hanging around in Canada at the moment, boy do we have a few treats to send your way…

Check out this press release merrily thrust at us by our good friends at Spectacular Optical:

Sister organizations The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies and Spectacular Optical have two special events planned for horror fans in Montreal and Toronto this summer.

In partnership with the Fantasia International Film Festival and the Frontières International Co-Production Market, The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies will be presenting a career talk with iconic Canadian cult actor Michael Ironside at the festival on July 20th, moderated by film writer and producer Heather Buckley.

To celebrate Fantasia’s screening of Knuckleball, a Frontières project, the Miskatonic Institute is proud to present this career talk with one of the most iconic character actors of our time, and a true legend of the genre film world. Over an hour-long illustrated discussion of the key films, directors and collaborators in his life, Ironside will discuss his many film roles – which includes work with David Cronenberg, Claude Jutra, Jean-Claude Lord, Tony Scott, Walter Hill, James Glickenhaus, Paul Verhoeven, RKSS and more – as well as his origins and approach to acting, how he captures his characters, and his command of voice and physicality.

Spectacular Optical will also be at Fantasia, offering its fourth annual Barry Convex Award for Best Canadian Feature of Co-Production making its Canadian, International or World Premiere at the festival. Winners receive $1000 cash from the Paul A. Ray Memorial Fund and a (fittingly convex-shaped) trophy designed by renowned Canadian genre artist “Ghoulish” Gary Pullin. The jury for this year’s Barry Convex Award are House of Psychotic Women author (and founder of the award) Kier-La Janisse, producer Michael Kronish, Arrow Video’s Nora Mehenni and Fright Fest programmer/Sight & Sound critic Shelagh Rowan-Legg.

PLUS! In Toronto on August 4th, the first-ever Horror Express, a chartered bus tour of iconic horror film locations, taking place throughout the greater Toronto area. This 6-hour tour hosted by writer, musician, filmmaker and ex-Fangoria EIC Chris Alexander will stop at 15 iconic horror locations for photo ops and pass by many others as we navigate through the history of Toronto’s cinematic underbelly.

Spectacular Optical artistic director and film locations aficionado Kier-La Janisse conceived of the tour after being asked for several years where certain iconic locations were, such as the Black Christmas house or the Somafree Institute from David Cronenberg’s The Brood. “Only days after I first moved to Toronto in 2014, Bill Ackerman of the Supporting Characters podcast said he was coming to Toronto for a visit and wanted to go see locations with me,” says Janisse. “Since I had only just moved here, I didn’t know where anything was, so I just spent a few days researching and our resulting locations tour became a great way for me to get oriented in a new city.”

The tour will wind up at The Royal Cinema at 608 College, where the Royal programmers have lined up a 35mm screening of Mark Lester’s Toronto-shot Class of 1984with star Lisa Langlois in person!

Tickets for the bus tour and screening are sold separately.

Tickets for the bus tour are $70 and available HERE: http://www.spectacularoptical.ca/store/product/horror-express-bus-tour-toronto/ 
Note – there is extremely limited seating on the bus so act fast!

Tickets for the screening are $12 advance / $14 door and available through the Royal HERE: https://www.universe.com/classof1984

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle