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Hard Core Solo No-Mo'
September 3, 2008 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Bruce McDonald, respected Canadian indie director, announced his plans last week to make not one, not two, but three sequels to his low-budget 1996 cult favorite Hard Core Logo, essentially turning it into a franchise. Hard core fans will no doubt hope that the films are either great enough to live up to the original, or that it's all a publicity stunt timed for the TIFF premiere of his new film Pontypool, a horror flick about zombies who spread infection through conversation.

Apologies/heads up to those who have never seen HCL: several of the links have ending spoilers. This is pretty difficult to avoid as real life rock star Hugh Dillon's character Joe Dick pulls off one of the great surprise finales in cinematic history (for me, anyways; this ending still stands alongside Easy Rider for my two most unexpected and emotional twists).
posted by mannequito (26 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
For more Bruce McDonald awesomeness, check out Highway 61, a film that features a devil that travels around the country collecting souls and funding his travels by cleaning up at small town church bingo games. Jello Biafra plays a Border Patrol agent.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:28 PM on September 3, 2008


How the hell did I miss a film called Hard Core Lego...?

on preview: nevermind... *sigh*
posted by twine42 at 1:36 PM on September 3, 2008


I saw HCL maybe nine years ago and can't remember jack about it. However, I saw Highway 61 at about the same time and I remember a whole hell of a lot about it. It's an awesome, awesome film. Jello's only in it for a few minutes though.
posted by the dief at 1:41 PM on September 3, 2008


I would actually agree that Highway 61 is a better film all the way through, but HCL has two particular scenes that will stay with me til I die : the ending and the acid-trip-on-the-farm sequence
posted by mannequito at 1:48 PM on September 3, 2008


I remember Highway 61. I enjoyed it very much.

Bingo Angry Woman: He must be cheating that's how.
Mr. Skin (A.K.A. Satan): Lady, you can't cheat at bingo. If you could, I would, but you can't. I won because I was lucky - lucky to wind up in a town full of losers!
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:48 PM on September 3, 2008


*dumps macrame planter into trash can*
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:51 PM on September 3, 2008


Earl Pastko was great as Mr. Skin in Highway 61, but I'll always think of him as "OUR FRIENDLY BARTENDER!!!" in the immortal classic Battlefield Earth.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:59 PM on September 3, 2008


A couple of relevant books:

Hard Core Logo by Michael Turner, which started it all.

Hard Core Roadshow by the movie's screenwriter, Noel Baker, a making of ...
posted by philip-random at 2:03 PM on September 3, 2008


Naomi Klein disapproves.
posted by bicyclefish at 2:31 PM on September 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


There’s also the graphic-novel version.

I dunno… this is verging on rock-snob completionism.
posted by joeclark at 2:31 PM on September 3, 2008


Hard Core Logo - published Sep.1st 1996
No Logo - published Dec 5th 2000

Michael Turner disapproves.


Also, my bad for messing up the tagging. Suppose worse things could happen on my first post.
posted by mannequito at 2:38 PM on September 3, 2008


Yeah, Highway 61 definitely better than HCL. The film's got a whimsical feel to it, and Don McKellar is great!

The one movie of McDonald's I would like to see again is illegal. It's called "Claire's hat". It's a recut of the flop thriller movie "Picture Claire" and it's hilarious. It depicts the roller-coaster/disaster of making the movie with a funny/desperate voice-over by McDonald. There's a feud between the lead actor and the producer for example. The lead actor refuses to speak his lines and the producer ends up paying the actor with a giant bag of pennies. The reason why the film's not legal is that McDonald has no rights to the material. The recut is shown privately, I happen to see it at a film school seminar night he gave two years ago. If there was one movie that should be torrented for wider distribution...
posted by storybored at 2:59 PM on September 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Good timing. I just got my DVD copy of Roadkill in the mail yesterday. Can't wait to see Pontypool.

Son of a bitch to the core!
posted by hamfisted at 3:27 PM on September 3, 2008


repeat 60 [pd fd 90 rt 25 lt 50 pu bk 90 print[oh, ohhh... ohhhhh!]]
posted by Wolfdog at 4:48 PM on September 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm excited. I just lent out my copy of this dvd to a friend today. Last year for my "Canadian Film Literature Adaptation" course, we read the original source book of poetry by Michael Turner upon which the film is based.

I cannot wait.

Just one more shot to end the night. Salut!
posted by Fizz at 4:58 PM on September 3, 2008


his new film Pontypool, a horror flick about zombies who spread infection through conversation.

I would have thought it was a documentary on modern popular culture.

But I'm snobby that way.
posted by weston at 5:09 PM on September 3, 2008


I love the hell out of Hard Core Logo. Many friends and relatives have been forced to watch it (and most of them still spoke to me afterwards). Callum Keith Rennie is so...magnetic in this movie.

However, the idea of a movie about Joe and Billy's daughters sounds a little like Bruce McDonald has been reading HCL fan fiction.
posted by bayliss at 5:38 PM on September 3, 2008


Yeah, Highway 61 definitely better than HCL. The film's got a whimsical feel to it, and Don McKellar is great!

I disagree. Highway is fun and weird but kind of a mess thematically and dramatically. Hardcore Logo on the other hand is one sharp, nasty piece of genius film making that absolutely captures the hard heart of Vancouver based hard core punk (particularly of the early-mid 1980s). Special kudos to editor, Reg Harkema and the director of photography, Danny Nowak.

The one movie of McDonald's I would like to see again is illegal. It's called "Claire's hat". It's a recut of the flop thriller movie "Picture Claire" and it's hilarious. It depicts the roller-coaster/disaster of making the movie with a funny/desperate voice-over by McDonald. There's a feud between the lead actor and the producer for example. The lead actor refuses to speak his lines and the producer ends up paying the actor with a giant bag of pennies. The reason why the film's not legal is that McDonald has no rights to the material. The recut is shown privately, I happen to see it at a film school seminar night he gave two years ago. If there was one movie that should be torrented for wider distribution...

Couldn't agree more with you here. Highly recommended to anyone who takes pleasure in seeing the so-called Spectacle turned inside out. But where is it? The copy I saw was a DVD burn about five years ago ... which I had to promise on my grandchildren's souls to return without copying and/or burning.
posted by philip-random at 6:18 PM on September 3, 2008


I love both Highway 61 and Hard Core Logo (and even Roadkill, though mainly a dry run for Hwy 61, has its moments, especially the Don McKellar character on why he's training to be a serial killer: "There's not a lot of opportunities up here for social mobility. I mean you can either become a hockey player or take up a life of crime, and I have weak ankles, so there you go . . .").

But to my mind, Hard Core Logo's a far better movie - the closest McDonald's come thus far to a masterpiece. Tighter script, better acted, better shot - one of the all-time great rock & roll movies. (Of course, Hwy 61 has the devil showing off his mad double-fisted dauber skills at a church bingo, but still . . .)

Also if you know western Canada, watch for the bit where they're crossing the Rockies in their tour van and the drummer's wasted and he's got his head stuck out the sunroof, and he's staring up at these sort of swirling lights. Those are the interior lamps in the curving tunnels just before Rogers Pass - inspired use of available light, I bet they shot it single-take, doc-style, because no way did Bruce McDonald have the budget to close down the Trans-Canada.
posted by gompa at 7:26 PM on September 3, 2008


But to my mind, Hard Core Logo's a far better movie - the closest McDonald's come thus far to a masterpiece.

Obviously you haven't been watching enough Degrassi: The Next Generation.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:57 PM on September 3, 2008


We just rewatched Dance Me Outside. It's much more straightforward, but a really fine film. The DVD of HCL sits unwrapped on the shelf, but I've been thinking it's time to break it out. I'm still stunned from seeing it when it first came out. Turned me onto a lot of music that I ended up realizing I liked.

Two soundtrack albums are worth checking out, the regular soundtrack, and the tribute album.

Someday I might get to hear the original performances Michael Turner did on the radio. Anyone?
posted by stevil at 10:55 PM on September 3, 2008


Hardcore Logo on the other hand is one sharp, nasty piece of genius film making that absolutely captures the hard heart of Vancouver based hard core punk (particularly of the early-mid 1980s).

I lived that scene, at that time. I wasn't as impressed with the movie as I thought I'd been when I saw it last year after hearing about it for so long. It was nice to see some old familiar faces though -- fuckin' Art Bergmann stole my goddamn jacket one time back in the day because he was too pissed to realize it wasn't his.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:47 PM on September 3, 2008


I liked HCL a lot - I would watch Callum Keith Rennie read the phonebook, but Hugh Dillon was great and the ending had me totally blindsided. I understand the book has a different ending.

However, the idea of a movie about Joe and Billy's daughters sounds a little like Bruce McDonald has been reading HCL fan fiction.

I thought the fan fiction mostly revolved around Joe and Billy doing things which weren't going to lead to children...
posted by penguinliz at 9:05 AM on September 4, 2008


Couldn't agree more with you here. Highly recommended to anyone who takes pleasure in seeing the so-called Spectacle turned inside out. But where is it? The copy I saw was a DVD burn about five years ago ... which I had to promise on my grandchildren's souls to return without copying and/or burning.

What's a few souls when it comes to seeing a great film? :)

I should post on AskMe to see if anyone has any leads?
posted by storybored at 10:25 AM on September 4, 2008


I thought the fan fiction mostly revolved around Joe and Billy doing things which weren't going to lead to children...

Reading HCL fanfiction was surreally strange for me; reading HCL in itself was odd enough, as I knew and/or recognized the characters it was based on (not difficult; the Vancouver punk scene was not a large one). The movie, featuring DOA performing, was even more so. But the fanfiction? Several steps removed into something else entirely....
posted by jokeefe at 10:46 AM on September 4, 2008


Hooray! I get to highly recommend the surreal, hilarious, and-now-out-on-DVD TV series Twitch City, which involved not only McDonald and McKellar but also some Kidsinthehall, and music by the inimitable Bob Wiseman.
posted by hell toupee at 3:11 PM on September 5, 2008


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