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A Geek’s Month in Review: September 2015

Hacker RendersNearly seventy months . . . over five and a half years. That’s how long we’ve posted on

I’ve always taken a certain pride not a single month has gone by without at least one post by Gru or I. Most months were even better. With over a thousand done so far — about half a million words combined — the figures average about fifteen posts a month, or one for every other day in the life span of the site.

I suppose it’s natural to feel reflective . . . can you sense I’m winding down? I’d hate to vanish without explanation, in a puff of unposted reviews.

See, it’s not that exciting things aren’t happening; our most recent months were memorable. Super-crazy memorable, in fact.

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Portal to Hell!!! (2015)

PortaltoHell!!!2015“Butter it.”

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Sweet Shub-Niggurath and Zoth-Ommog, just how cool was this short film?

Dark rites summoning Lovecraftian Cthulhus in dank basements? Sinister demon-worshippers in their underpants? Thrashing synth metal? Rowdy Roddy Piper?

The movie had us at hell.

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World Famous Gopher Hole Museum (2015)

Two stuffed gophers sharing a romantic moment under the moonlight“Hello World! We are the Gophers of Torrington, Alberta, Canada!”

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I grew up in a little settlement about 45-minutes away from Peace River in northern Alberta. My childhood home, Judah, Alta., was once designated a hamlet until our grain elevator burned to the ground.

Later, when someone shot down the Judah sign, we became nothing more than a loosely-affiliated collection of farm houses, trailers, granaries, livestock and rusted propane tanks.

Hamlet or no, inside our plywood and aluminium sliding-covered walls there were complex inner lives and tragicomic stories playing out. You can’t ever accuse rural, backwater folks of being dull. (You really can’t, let me tell you).

That’s exactly what the documentary co-directors Chelsea McMullan and Douglas Nayler so deftly captured in their 20-minute documentary The World Famous Gopher Hole Museum, a film about a quirky, quaint museum located in Torrington, Alta.

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Being Canadian (2015)

Being Canadian (2015)

“This was interesting, if you find a crushing lack of clarity interesting.”

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Perhaps you’re curious about Canadians (though this documentary suggests you’re not, at all). You probably won’t find your answers here, whatever they may be.

Or perhaps you are a Canadian yourself, hoping for a kind of closure, a definition, an explanation, a raison d’etre, something — anything — existential. Likewise you probably won’t find such substance here.

What you will find is a somewhat personal journey, intercut with celebrity interviews, more valuable for their amusement than deep insight.

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Five “Bad” CanCon Favourites

They Live (1988)
Today we learned that Saskatoon native Roddy Piper has died. He was 61 years old.

About three decades ago, we grew up watching “Rowdy” Roddy wrestle. As far as we know, his final work was on the forthcoming Portal to Hell.

Through Portal we hoped to see him revisit the kind of world he brought to life in John Carpenter’s They Live. Easily one of the quirkiest and most brilliant B-movies of the Eighties, it was subtle and gross, subversive and exploitative, great and terrible at once.

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Kung Fu Elliot (2014)

kungfu_elliot_2015“Tell them I am like Jackie Chan …but from Canada.”

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May I burn in eternal hellfire if I ever make fun of any of the people in this documentary.

I sometimes wonder how I might come off if a documentary film crew followed me around all day. Under that kind of scrutiny, I don’t think anyone comes off well. Ever.

In my case, it would probably be one of the dullest documentaries ever made.

For all the things I might say about Elliot ‘White Lightning’ Scott, the star, pivot point, subject, eye of the hurricane featured in Kung Fu Elliot, he doesn’t make for a dull documentary.

Quite the contrary. This 2014 movie by New Brunswick-born filmmakers Matthew Bauckman and Jaret Belliveau starts off unassuming and then roundhouse kicks you right in the feels.

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Five Goth-Approved Pride Picks

Hacker Renders
“We sit in silence but we’re smiling

“Because for once we are not fighting”


I can’t discover everything myself.

Right now it’s Pride week, in Toronto, Canada, and all around the world. We’ve been celebrating it in our own way for years now. Grushenka likes the parades. Me, I’ll always be an audio/video geek; I make mixdiscs, playlists, and the occasionaltop five” for our site.

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