NFF Masquerade: THE QUIET REVOLUTION Review – Canadian Horror Makes Its Mark

Starring Pierre David, Steve Hoban, Paul Lynch, The Soska Sisters, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Don Carmody, William Fruet, Mark Irwin, Jennifer Wallis, Karim Hussain, etc.

Written by Ernest Mathijs & Xavier Mendik

Directed by Phillip Escott & Xavier Mendik

The Brood. Ginger Snaps. Rabid. Death Weekend. Shivers. American Mary. Scanners. Cannibal Girls. And so, so much more. If you are a horror lover, chances are good that you’re a fan of at least some Canadian horror films, particularly those from the 1970s and 1980s. But what gave birth to that initial movement? And what fueled the films that continued to follow over the past 30 years? These are the questions that The Quiet Revolution: State, Society, and the Canadian Horror Film sets out to answer.

Despite the fact that Canada is a neighboring country, I honestly did not know much about its history beyond the usual British and French colonization shenanigans that America went through as well. Generally, when the classic drive-in and grindhouse era of Canadian horror cinema is discussed, the subject always turns to tax shelters. Tax shelters are very much the reason behind a lot of Canadian horror from that timeframe and how that filmmaking boom came about because of them is discussed at length here.

All of that is fascinating and insightful, but what intrigued me most were the discussion about all of the social and cultural upheaval that was taking place in Canada in the 1960s and 1970s. The documentary tackles these subjects early on and lays out a clear path for the rise of filmmakers like David Cronenberg, Ivan Reitman, and Canadian horror/exploitation titans Cinepix out of those movements. It’s incredibly interesting stuff and I almost wish there were more of it.

If you are worried that this is solely an academic exercise examining sociology, politics, and cultural movements, fear not. There is still plenty of discussion to be had within about landmark films like Shivers, Rabid, Ginger Snaps, Subconscious Cruelty, and so on. There’s room for more such discussion, of course, which brings me to my next point.

Normally this is where I might say that this documentary tackles a bit too much for its short running time. I would suggest that the filmmakers actually split the doc in half and expanding each part. Well, if IMDB is to be believed, they have done just that. There is no longer a single listing for this film, but instead for two separate volumes. Not only that, but the overall running time appears to have been expanded. You cannot see me right not, but I am jumping for joy.

This isn’t a perfect documentary, but it is one that I greatly enjoyed. I am pretty pumped that it is going to be allowed some more breathing room whenever it arrives in its double-feature final form. There is still so much more that could be spoken of on this matter. Hell, they never really even get into the Canadian side of the slasher film boom! That would be an easy third installment all to itself right there. Keep them coming, Escott & Mendik!

Are you looking forward to The Quiet Revolution? Have you already seen it and agree or disagree with this assessment? By all means, let us know in the comments below or on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram! You can also hit me up directly on Twitter @DanielWBaldwin.



The Quiet Revolution is a dense piece of documentary filmmaking that examines the cultural and societal changes that birthed the 1970s horror and exploitation movement in Canada. It is packed to the brim with information and well-worth your time if you are a fan of this particular subsection of horror cinema.



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