1960s exploitation films have been a campy little treasure of underground cinema — and now young Toronto-based filmmakers are bringing them back in all their gore and glory. PM Pictures is Director Carlo Schefter, Producer Joe MacKinnon, Eugene Scott-Barnard, and Ross Kerr-Wilson, and a team of young, eccentric visionaries of the grindhouse comeback.
Hippypocalypse opens the Midnight Grind series, an anthology of six dark grindhouse films that retrace the steps of genre films, at the same time parodizing them for the sake of contemporary political and social satire, but also being an homage to the retro aesthetic of the genre’s heyday.
The first instalment, Hippypocalypse, finalized at the end of June 2016, is 45-minute-long trip (physical, metaphorical, and hallucinatory). Outrageous and incredibly entertaining, hippysploitation-horror with shout outs to drugs, infamous cult leaders and group massacres, weirdo stereotypes of hippy subculture, all deployed in a jerky, grainy, and quite explicitly caricatural manner. Carlo Schefter tells HNMag: “Our intention was to create a throwback film that satirizes the hippysploitation films that came out of California in the late 60’s acid craze.”
Hippypocalypse builds up from flower-power prancing in open fields to a bloody, insane ending. On the meanings between the lines, Schefter continues that: “The more we studied and immersed ourselves in the hippy subculture, past and present, we found a very cultish element to it all — nonsensical beliefs, drug abuse, sexual misconduct, isolation from society and law, and other such weirdness — all in the guise of spirituality. It became clear to us that peace and love were quickly replaced by something a bit more sinister — protozoan power structures and mental illness and demagogic gurus. So we made the movie into a bit of a horror film with all this in mind.”
While Hippypocalypse is currently being presented to potential distributors (and seducing many with its bombastic look and story) and on its way to different festivals, PM Pictures is currently in pre-production for the second chapter of Midnight Grind: Love Hurts, a “Supernatural Cop Action” promises to be as wild, grimy, and strangely ecstatic as the beatnik bloodbath. Check out their website www.pmpictures.ca to see their previous work — and keep an eye out for one of these bad boys on the big screen: an unconventional product of the Canadian indie scene definitely not to miss.