We've compiled this beautiful, handy dandy list of the horrors coming to Fantasia Fest 2022. You can check it out over on our Letterboxd account to keep track as you go or add these titles to your own watch lists. The offerings run the gamut from brand new horror like Rebekah McKendry's Glorious and Carter Smith's Swallowed, hailing from all over the globe including Huesera from Mexico/Peru and La Pietà from Spain.
Aside from new horror, the festival is also serving us some glorious retrospective screenings with beautiful restorations like Grzegorz Warchol's I Like Bats and the World Premiere of Synapse Films' New 4K restoration of The Deadly Spawn, accompanied by a special first-look presentation of Michael Gingold and Glen Baisley's featurette, Return To The Spawning Ground. As the largest genre festival in North America, the list of suggestions is meaty with a little something for everyone, but by no means is this a full and comprehensive list. One of my favorite things about festivals is finding something I didn't necessarily expect to cover, and discovering a new title to share with you all that maybe wasn't initially on my radar.
Check out some of our top horror picks below (as described by the official Fantasia Fest website). In the meantime, I'm preparing to dive in and can't wait to share some exciting new movies with you. The Fantasia Film Festival starts today (July 14th) and runs through August 3rd.
Shot in the midst of the pandemic, a tiny-budget flick with vastly creative design and a twisted story, Alex Phillips’ debut feature is possibly the greatest earthworm-junkie-horror flick in history of earthworm-junkie-horror cinema (unless you count TREMORS… only because it has Kevin Bacon in it). A cavalcade of upcoming performers, gathered like a millennial ensemble of John Waters’ dreamlanders, Phillip Andre Botello (PLEDGE), Betsey Brown (LACE CRATER, ASSHOLES), together with Noah Lepawsky, Trevor Dawkins and Eva Fellows—all of them bringing a vibrating excess to their wormhead characters.
It’s not the end of the world as we know it, just a violent storm approaching, and at first, Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) and her friends are feeling fine. They’re taking a break (though not really) from lives lived online to gather for a sex-drugs-and-rock-’n’-roll “hurricane party” at a middle-of-nowhere mansion owned by the father of the debauched David (Pete Davidson). Sophie has brought along her new girlfriend Bee (Maria Bakalova), whose apparent innocence makes her out of place in this nest of kidding-but-maybe-not-really toxicity. Then a game of Bodies Bodies Bodies gives way to an actual body count, and amidst the gory demises, the question becomes whether the survivors can let go of their animosity, determine who the real villain is, and make it through the night alive.
Just before he leaves for the big city, Chief of Police John Hawkins (Allan Hawco) is asked to consult on a strange case. A body is found in a boat on the Porcupine River with unsettling the wounds. It’s a find that shakes up the small town of Lone Crow and a job for local coroner Jacob Redgrave (Wesley French). They begin to suspect the remains are of a missing physicist, Dr. Cole Parsons (Adam Kenneth Wilson), and Hawkins is forced to revisit old ties with his ex, Meg Fulbright (Emily Alatalo)—the town’s charter-boat captain who knows the waterways like the back of her hand. She takes Hawkins and Redgrave to Parsons’ leased house, where he conducted secret research deep in the woods. When they arrive, they find the home in disrepair, with an indescribable heaviness and a strange machine in the attic. Parson’s missing daughter and a visit from his grieving wife Linda (Natalie Brown) put the investigation deeper into mystery, and more secrets revealed push everyone to the brink of danger.
Stop us if you've heard this before: A tiny film crew is shooting in an abandoned warehouse when, suddenly, zombies appear. The crew runs from the few extremely slow zombie invaders and never stops filming, resulting in the first-ever one-take zombie movie. End of act one. Then we learn of the history of this would-be zombie epic and the director (Romain Duris) who just wants a chance to prove himself and his small, loyal family and crew who support his vision, proving that getting any movie made is not just a minor miracle but a group effort of the highest order. One that makes you feel like part of something special, no matter how it may turn out. Yes, that's ONE CUT OF THE DEAD, Shinichiro Ueda's micro-budget comedy sensation won an award at Fantasia 2018 on its way to becoming a worldwide sensation, but we're also describing COUPEZ!, the new film from Academy Award-winning director Michel Hazanavicius, making its North American premiere at Fantasia 2022 after opening this year’s Cannes.
Dale Domazar (Ry Barrett) is a washed-up private investigator and “cult-buster” whose last cult bust resulted in a mass suicide. Kallie Jones (Liv Collins) is a realtor who needs to control everything. With her husband Brad (Justin Bott) sleepwalking through life, Kallie is certain a stay at Master Jagori’s (Tony Burgess) retreat for men will help their marriage. But when Brad extends his stay against Kallie’s wishes, she suspects he’s been indoctrinated into a cult and calls Dale for help. This moment couldn’t have come at a better time, giving Dale a chance to redeem himself with this “Karen” lite, and—you guessed it—mayhem ensues, especially when they discover Master Jagori’s sinister plan.
For high-end sex worker Diana (Ilenia Pastorelli, THEY CALL ME JEEG), being blinded in a car accident is just the beginning of her trauma. The white-van-driving psychopath who caused the crash, and has already murdered another call girl, is out to finish the job, relentlessly stalking Diana through Rome and its outskirts. And because she’s been harboring Chin (Xinyu Zhang), a young boy whose parents were also victims of that accident, Diana can’t go to the cops, who suspect her of kidnapping the child. So she and Chin have only each other to depend on as they flee through the night, trying to stay one step ahead of the maniac and facing other perils along the way.
Joy (Hannah Emily Anderson, JIGSAW, X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX) is a survivor. After leaving an abusive relationship, she needs to regroup. Stricken with flashbacks of her volatile ex six months later, her best friend Carmen (Madison Walsh, DON’T SAY ITS NAME) encourages her to go on a retreat to heal. It’s no ordinary retreat—they’re hiking into the Rocky Mountains to face traumas holding them back. Led by Dr. Dunnley (Kyra Harper, ORPHAN BLACK), a specialist in helping trauma survivors face their demons, and joined by two other women, Tara (Helen Belay) and Shaina (Roseanne Supernault, THE NORTHLANDER), they all have to deal with a past. The trek into the wilderness might be the thing to help them move towards a better future, but Joy isn’t at ease and thinks her ex-boyfriend is following them. The women also find discarded items of past hikers on the path, and hear strange noises. Soon, vivid flashbacks and nightmares afflict Tara and Joy, and when Tara goes missing, Joy is convinced there’s something darker afoot, and the trauma they strive to leave behind is only the beginning.
It’s been six months since Shawn Ruddy (Joseph Winter) pulled a stunt on his “Wrath of Shawn” livestream that got him in legal trouble and cost him his sponsors. Now he’s aiming to make a comeback by outfitting himself with all manner of camera and computer gear, and locking himself in the haunted Pratt House for a night. The place has a tragic history involving suicide and murder, and we watch through his assorted lenses as he makes his way through the spooky rooms, waiting for something ghostly to occur. But he’s not prepared for what will happen when he finds out he’s not alone in the old place, and the house’s awful past comes back to torment him.
Elderly Manuel’s world falls apart when Rosa, his wife of decades, suddenly commits suicide. The shock and grief are so consuming that it triggers an onset of dementia. Unable to live with checking him into an institution, his son, Mario, takes him home to live with his young family. This despite Manuel’s newfound inclinations towards sudden outbursts of violence and inexplicable behaviour that puts everyone in danger. Unbeknownst to the family, already struggling to cope with this disturbing new living situation, Manuel has also taken to cutting himself. Among… other things. An unspeakable series of paranormal happenings begin to unfold.
What does a lifetime of service get you? That's what Inès (Jasmina Douieb) wants to find out. As the long-time office manager for EcoCleanPro Cleaning Supplies, she's the only woman on staff in this very sexist office. She does whatever it takes to keep things running – even if it means replacing toilet paper her male coworkers can't seem to do themselves. After the regional manager's visit reveals abysmal numbers in gender pay equity at EcoCleanPro, Inès wants her dedication to pay off with a raise. Unfortunately, her request is rejected by her incompetent boss Patrick (Peter Van den Begin) and, fueled by the unfairness and under the watchful eye of Melody (Laetitia Mampaka), the new intern, Inès redoubles her efforts for compensation. When her history with Patrick rears its ugly head and leads to an accident, all hell breaks loose, and the two women must combine troubleshooting skills for possibly the biggest mess of their lives.
Long classified as merely a sub-species of plants, molds and fungi have captured the imagination of scientists in recent years. Far more sophisticated and far-reaching than ever imagined, fungi not only stand out as nearly indestructible but are possibly the absolute rulers of our planet. In his feature debut, THE FIFTH THORACIC VERTEBRA, South Korean filmmaker Park Syeyoung tells the story of mold left behind on a mattress after a couple splits. Structured around a countdown to a mysterious birth, the film follows the life of the mold as it slowly grows into a creature that steals the vertebrae of humans who inhabit the bed. A movie filled with deep longing and even deeper loneliness, it captures the wistfulness of young love lost and the monster of despair that emerges from that sense of abandonment.
Sissy St. Claire has one dream: Making It! And she has finally arrived… on stage, that is, for an evening full of laughter, introspection, gossip, glamour, song and dance… with the occasional flight of vanity, anger and disillusionment piercing through an increasingly uncertain act. Standing before us, “the living proof that television is in a golden age”, she addresses the audience with confidence and glee. Yet something is slightly off. Uneasy. Honest. As she tries to reconcile the multiple characters she must perform on stage, the veneer cracks. Worse, a hooded man is seen lurking in the wings, threatening to shut it all down—her dream, and all there is.
When you gotta go, you gotta go. Exactly where you're going is another matter. That's definitely the case for the heartbroken Wes (Ryan Kwanten), who has pulled over at a roadside rest stop to figure out his next move in life. A night of solo drunken revelry leaves Wes with a massive hangover and a serious need to puke, so into the scuzzy restroom he goes before he hits the road. But whoever's in the next stall (J.K. Simmons!) has a few questions for Wes. And very few answers. But what they do tell Wes is that he's about to become someone very important, but he can't leave this bathroom and he's going to have to make a big, big sacrifice. Glorious? Maybe not.
“I can move around, but something else is making my choices.” Monique (Gabby Beans, HOUSE OF CARDS) has been quarantining with her father and brother a good distance away from town, in a bubble they’ve worked hard to maintain. One day, her oldest friend, Mavis (Emily Davis, THE PLAGIARIST), reaches out in a state of mortal fear, tormented by dreams so intense that she’s unable to wake, sleeping through alarms, sometimes laying trapped in a nightmare state for days. Monique drives into New York city to visit Mavis at her Queens apartment, in a building now racked with grief and distrust. She soon discovers that the dreams haunting her friend are contagious. Along with the demon behind them. The Harbinger. Attracted to cities through dark energies brought out by the pandemic, it visits its victims wearing a plague mask, bending the threads of reality to erase every trace of their existence. Monique is not ready to be forgotten.
In the heat of summer, somewhere remote in the countryside, a group of bored young women, Willow (Sophie Bawks-Smith), Leader (Destini Stewart), Jules (Jillian Frank), Vicky (Mari Geraghty), and Millie (Rowan Wales), leave their lives behind to inhabit an abandoned cabin that one of them found . One last summer before college, before the responsibilities of adulthood… Surrounded by infinite open fields, in what anarchists would call a Temporary Autonomous Zone, an untouchable bubble of sorts, a pirate shack that can’t be found on any maps, their summer is a one of seemingly endless cycle of weed, booze, and some sexual encounters... The young hive’s social experiment is at first idyllic, though soon “rules” arise and the bad trip begins.
Valeria (Natalia Solián) is expecting her first child. It’s what she’s always wanted. At the least, it’s what others have always wanted for her. Her boyfriend, Raúl (Alfonso Dosal), couldn’t be happier. Her family is mostly thrilled. Tempered joy soon turns to something different. Skin-crawling visions jolt her sensibilities, a terrible presence permeating every molecule that she breathes. Valeria feels powerless as her body begins to twist. She comes to the terrible realization that she may be cursed by a supernatural entity, La Huesera (“Bone Woman”). As her pregnancy progresses and panic intensifies, her behaviour now scaring many around her, she reconnects with people from the life she gave up when she settled down. She sees her first love, Octavia (Mayra Batalla). She seeks the help of witches. Can Valeria save herself?
Back when Will was 12, his mentally ill mother (Marlene Forte) tried to kill him and was subsequently put away. Eighteen years later, Will (Zach Villa) says he has cured himself of any past traumas and has a happy life with boyfriend Luke (Devon Graye). Then packages begin showing up from his mom, containing disturbing and paranoid tape-recorded messages, and Will begins seeing things and feeling sick. Doctors keep telling him he’s physically fine, just stressed out, but as his mind continues to deteriorate, he fears he’s following in his mother’s footsteps and becoming a danger to others. Fleeing from one potential haven to another, Will may not be able to escape the familial demon grabbing an ever stronger hold of his psyche.
As demonic forces descend on Argentina, the world’s best hope is confined to an insane asylum, powerless to avert a dark resurrection. The once legendary warlock Antonio Poyju (Germán De Silva) is haunted by the mistakes of his past, and is now reduced to rebelling against orderlies in an institution. When a malevolent demonic force reveals itself, Poyju must rally a ragtag ensemble of certifiable inmates to spring him from his confinement, so that he can reconcile with his estranged daughter Helena (Lorena Vega) and reunite their magical bloodline to stave off the evil. But the confines of modern life and an unnatural influence has stripped Helena of her belief and cheated the world of her magic. Will Poyju be able to remind his long-lost daughter of her cultural heritage and reignite the magic that has been smothered by corporate life?
A film about the weight of patriarchy and the illusion of Manichaeism, questioning the invisible line between victim and executioner and how it is crossed.
Depressed and in debt following the death of his wife, Santoshi (Jiro Sato, FABLE) tells his young daughter he has found a way out. Pointing to the reward note, he vows to find infamous serial killer “No Name” (Hiroya Shimizu, TOKYO REVENGERS), claiming he saw the man in the flesh a few days earlier. Kaeda (Aoi Ito, BLANK) cannot believe her aloof, goofy father. But when he goes missing without a trace, she starts fearing the worst—and begins looking for him.
Deep in the Dutch countryside, in a house at the end of a vast peat bog, Betriek (Sallie Harmsen, BLADE RUNNER 2049) lives with her six-year-old daughter and her parents. Their area is remote and overall, quite tranquil. That changes when an ancient cadaver is dug up from the bog, prompting the invasion of an archeological team that begin to dig. And dig. And dig. Soon, their excavations bring forth whispers. Not from townspeople, but the bog itself. Workers who report hearing these inexplicable whisperings soon lose control of themselves, committing actions that they’re powerless to resist. Actions that will put Betriek and her family in terrifying mortal danger as occult forces take hold around them. All the while, the bog continues to whisper.
One day in a future so near it may well be next Wednesday, everything about the ways that we relate to death changes. Research Scientist Dr. Stevenson (Karen Gillan, OCULUS, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) has discovered that “ghosts” are demonstrably real, in that existence continues beyond the end of physical life. Through her groundbreaking technology, deceased persons can now be identified and tracked in the afterlife. A call goes out for volunteers to further her research. Two strangers, Rose (Katie Parker, ABSENTIA, THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE) and Teddy (Rahul Kohli, THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR, MIDNIGHT MASS), each struggling with personal demons, choose to sign up into the unknown. They will exit their earthly lives to become a part of history and to maybe, possibly, find something closer to happiness in wherever their afterlives may bring them. Fate has them splitting a car rental, and they embark on a drive across America to meet their destinies.
With its Pepto Bismal-coloured walls and soft-lightning, Eduardo Casanova's latest presents a toxic relationship between a mother and son. The overtly composed shots and hyperreal colour schemes allude to a world of elaborate bubblegum fantasies in the style of MGM musicals and telenovelas. Still, the pitch-perfect world quickly gives way to the grotesque. Sitting across from each other in a perfectly symmetrical shot, Libertad (the great Ángela Molina, frequent Almodovar collaborator who also played one of the Conchitas in Bunuel's swan song, THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE) questions her son, Mateo (Manel Llunell) about his bowel movements. As the scene devolves, both projectile vomit across the room, an incident that will lead up to a cancer diagnosis and Libertad's already stringent grasp coiling ever tighter around the freedom of her adult son.
Set in a rural Spanish town, PIGGY tells the story of Sara (Laura Galán), an overweight teen living in an overbearing family environment and dealing with incessant bullying. Her physical appearance and the fact that her parents are butchers has cursed her with the titular nickname coined by some local girls. On a hot summer day, a mysterious stranger happens to be present when Sara starts to get harassed at the pool, nearly drowning, and is forced to run home wearing nothing but her bikini. She is suddenly faced with a choice, one that’s easy to make in the moment, but that ultimately gets her caught up in a whirlwind of troublesome events.
Margaret (Rebecca Hall), a pharmaceutical executive raising her teenage daughter Abbie (Grace Kaufman) alone, seems to have a well-ordered life. Then one day, the mere sight of a familiar face causes her to freak out. David (Tim Roth) doesn’t do anything overtly menacing—he simply shows up at the places she goes, throwing her sense of safety completely out of whack. Clearly, David had a damaging, destabilizing role in Margaret’s past, and as it is revealed, he worms his way into Margaret’s headspace all over again—preying particularly on her motherly instincts in truly disturbing ways. Her life is no longer her own, and her downward spiral will lead Margaret to the darkest depths a human soul can go.
Ever since the legendary screening of Hideo Nakata's RING at Fantasia 1999, the festival has continued to follow Sadako's curse and the downfall of her many victims. Just when everything seemed to be said, the hairy spectre returns with a surprising twist: humour and self-mockery.
An old belief from Korean folklore dictates that family members should never venture down a potentially taboo path when their child is born, as this could lead to a curse called Seire, involving evil spirits. To Woo-jin, this is all nonsense and he doesn't care, despite his wife's reluctance. He decides to attend the funeral of a former love, Se-young. When he arrives, he meets Ye-young, the twin of the deceased, who strangely enough he did not know existed. She tells him that her sister had a hard time getting over their break-up and that something seems to have broken inside her. When he returns, Woo-jin and the people around him start experiencing strange paranormal manifestations. Things quickly escalate to the outright terrifying. Perhaps the solution lies in Woo-jin's past...
Cecelia (a terrific Aisha Dee, CHANNEL ZERO) is a super popular influencer with legions of followers hanging on her every online word as she gives out daily self-help guidance for healthier living. She wasn’t always this confident. In her childhood, Cecelia went by the name of “Sissy”, and was mercilessly taunted by one particular bully to such an extent that she eventually became an outcast. She’s 12 years past that now. A better version of herself. Stronger. Self-aware. In control. Until a chance encounter with her long-ago best friend, Emma (co-director Hannah Barlow), sees her invited to a getaway bachelorette weekend. People from her childhood will be there, bully included. Terrible, long-suppressed emotions are about to explode her past into her present, forcing a collision between the person she once was with the identity she’s worked so hard to develop. There will be nowhere to hide. For her. For everyone.
With his feature debut, SKINAMARINK, director Kyle Edward Ball plunges us into those endless childhood nights in his expressionistic and experimental horror vision. Two children wake up in the middle of the night to find their father is missing, and all windows and doors in their home have vanished. While they decide to wait for the grown-ups to return, they realize they’re not alone, and a voice that sounds like a child beckons them.
Sometimes, it would be wise for parents to follow the advice they give to their kids. ‘Don’t talk to strangers’ being a good one to start with. This fundamental lesson will soon be learned in ways most unfortunate by a friendly Danish family vacationing in Tuscany who find themselves befriended by a Dutch clan. Months go by, then suddenly the Danish couple get an invitation to visit the other family for a getaway weekend in their remote house. It would plainly be rude to decline such generosity. How could they say no? Not long after arriving, one awkward misunderstanding follows another. Energies begin to shift. Boundaries start being crossed.
Set in a remote township on the border of Maine and Canada, Benjamin (Cooper Koch) and his Dom (Jose Colon) are headed for the lights and promises of the city of angels, with the dream of Ben becoming a professional porn performer. Though Dom proclaims he is straight, their friendship is delicately intertwined with sexual tension and a deep emotional bond. Attempting to earn some quick cash, they meet up with Alice (Jena Malone). Smuggling drugs across the borders is no easy task. One does not become a mule overnight… though our two friends are “persuaded” by Alice to swallow up those little bags, and boy, that’s only the beginning of their troubles.
In a futuristic Spain lorded over by the rich and good-looking (often thanks to cosmetic surgery), a group calling themselves Accion Mutante (Mutant Action) begin a violent uprising. Led by Ramon (Antonio Resines), bearing assorted disabilities, and united by their disgust with the status quo, they massacre everything from an aerobics class to the wedding of heiress Patricia (Frédérique Feder). Kidnapping the young woman, the gang go on the run with the authorities pursuing and distrust rearing its ugly head among them, while Patricia falls for Ramon (“Not the Stockholm Syndrome again!”). And things only get more brutal when the crew wind up on a desolate mining planet…
A young Brion James doing a Rodan impression turns out to not be the most bizarre thing that happens at a party early in this film. After his wig is pulled off, revealing a bald head, another guest (Billy’s brother Richard Crystal) goes crazy and murders three women in an especially horrific manner. The police suspect Jerry Zipkin (future softcore titan Zalman King), who is forced to go on the run to prove his innocence. As more people around the country lose their hair and their minds, Jerry discovers that the mayhem is tied to their decade-ago dropping of an experimental batch of LSD called “Blue Sunshine”, and that its dealer was Ed Flemming (Mark Goddard), who is now running for Congress. But proving the connections may cost Jerry his own life…
20th Anniversary Screening Marina de Van’s IN MY SKIN came at the height of the new wave of confrontational French horror that came to be called the “New French Extremity”, and like Claire Denis’ bloody TROUBLE EVERY DAY from the previous year, involves a female cannibal—of sorts.
World Premiere of Synapse Films's New 4K restoration, followed by a special first-look presentation of RETURN TO THE SPAWNING GROUND, a new 22-minute featurette by Michael Gingold and Glen Baisley!
It’s a typical day in the life of an extended New Jersey family—until first Dad and then Mom venture down into the basement and are devoured by a creature with three eyeless heads and about a million sharp teeth. Spawned from a meteor that crashed nearby the previous night, the monster births dozens of slug-like offspring, one of which is discovered by visiting friends of science student Pete (Tom DeFranco). But as they try to determine its origin, more of the slithering flesheaters begin to crawl upstairs and claim further victims, and young monster fan Charles (Charles George Hildebrandt) may be the only person who can save the day.
Dr. Lamb (1992) - Danny Lee
New 2K Restoration by Unearthed Films
Summer 1982: A series of brutal murders have rocked Hong Kong. The bodies of four innocent young women have been found dismembered and police have no leads, until nude photos of one of the victims show up in a photo processing plant. The photos are claimed by cab driver Lam Gor-Yu (an unforgettable Simon Yam) who shuts down once Inspector Lee (Danny Lee, who co-directed with Billy Tang) and his team pick him up for questioning. As his family is interrogated, the picture starts to become clear. More photos of other victims are found, weird stories of Lam's perversities surface, and eventually, very unexpected physical evidence emerges. Lam soon confesses and the true story of what really happened becomes even more disturbing, shocking and horrifying. And the most worst part of the story? It's all true.
World Premiere of Severin Films’ New 2K Restoration!
In the most criminally underseen giallo mindf*ck of the ’70s, Florinda Bolkan—the Brazilian-born actress whose seminal films include INVESTIGATION OF A CITIZEN ABOVE SUSPICION, A LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN, A BRIEF VACATION and FLAVIA THE HERETIC—stars as a freelance translator haunted by disturbing images from an old sci-fi movie. But when she wakes one morning missing all memory of her past three days, a series of odd clues—a torn postcard from an unfamiliar hotel, a blood-stained dress in her closet—will lead her to a place where recognition, identity, and the truth are never what they seem.
World Premiere of Severin Films’ New 2K Restoration!
Polish actor/director Grzegorz Warchol (THREE COLORS: WHITE) helms this 1986 production that combines splashes of black comedy with jolts of old-school horror for a slyly contemporary take on the female bloodsucker mythos. Katarzyna Walter stars as a happily single young vampire who works in her aunt’s curio shop when not feeding on various suitors, stalkers, and sleazebags. But when she falls for a handsome psychiatrist and checks into his luxury sanitarium to cure her condition, she’ll discover that love may be the ghastliest curse of all.
The second film by frequent Fellini collaborator Brunello Rondi, IL DEMONIO is a stunning story of obsessive love, set in a rural Southern Italian village where Christianity has integrated many of the old superstitious beliefs. Daliah Lavi, best known to genre fans for her role as the tortured protagonist in Mario Bava’s THE WHIP AND THE BODY, plays the film’s central character Purif, who is distraught when her lover (Frank Wolff) is betrothed to another. When she summons the old ways to curse him, her erratic behaviour is interpreted as demonic possession, and the villagers turn against her with physical and sexual violence.
When misogynistic serial killer Colt Hawker (Michael Ironside) sees feminist journalist Deborah Ballin (Lee Grant) on a talk show, he becomes determined to add her to his body count. His first attack lands Deborah in a hospital, where she becomes convinced—quite rightly—that he is continuing to stalk her, and a sympathetic nurse (Linda Purl) also becomes a target of his mania. Literalizing the anti-feminism subtexts many critics saw in the early-’80s slasher boom, VISITING HOURS cast Ironside, hot off his attention-grabbing turn in SCANNERS, as the ultimate he-man woman-hater, and his vivid turn helped the film become one of the period’s highest-grossing stalker sagas to not have a day in its title.