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Michael Ironside to Appear at the Fantasia Film Festival Plus a New Horror Express Bus Tour

Chris Savage

We have a couple of things to share with you guys, especially as the Fantasia International Film Festival is nearing ever closer. First, 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. And secondly, in Toronto on August 4th, the first-ever Horror Express will be taking place throughout the greater Toronto area. Read on for all the details below.

From the Press Release:

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. Read their full bios HERE

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 1984 with 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
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

About the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies:
Named for the fictional university in H.P. Lovecraft’s literary mythos, The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is an international scholarly organization that was founded by film writer/programmer Kier-La Janisse in March of 2010 and now has branches in London, New York and soon-to-be Los Angeles (Fall 2018).

About Spectacular Optical:
Named after the sinister institution in David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, Spectacular Optical is a small-press publisher of collectible film and pop culture books owned and operated by film writer and programmer Kier-La Janisse. In addition to our print books, throughout the year Spectacular Optical produces and curates film events and brings you articles, essays and interviews with established and emerging genre filmmakers, artists, curators and exhibitors on our website. Through our film production arm, we support the creation of genre-related short, feature-length and episodic media.



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