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Wynonna Earp hosts a literal dinner party from Hell

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Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 9 p.m. E.T. on Space. Photo courtesy Bell Media
Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 9 p.m. E.T. on Space. Photo courtesy Bell Media

Spoilers follow for Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 8, “Waiting Forever for You.”

Last week, we were treated to some much-needed Wynhaught adventures while Mama said adios to the clan in hopes of finding her angelic baby daddy. We were also given the Earpiest of Earp gut punches with Wynonna’s official rescinding of Vamp Doc privileges. This week provides some rather appealing discoveries that only work to further your hunger for more from the Ghost River Triangle.

Wynonna Earp has never been one to shy away from reversing the gender stereotypical norms we all know and have become sick of. “Waiting Forever With You” starts out at Shorty’s, with Wynonna assisting Jeremy with his pool stick handling skills. This is, of course, a scenario traditionally used to showcase a male’s ability to teach a woman how to play – rather than, I don’t know, not getting all up in her in order to teach her how to get a ball in a hole. She effectively utilizes birthing language to get her pointers across (since she certainly has an intimate relationship with that pool table) all while wearing a “Lasagna Del Rey” T-shirt, because we obviously need more reasons to adore Wynonna Earp.

While discussing Jeremy’s love life, Wynonna continually busts out Vamp Doc innuendos that could fill up Charlie Fire Services’ apparent big ol’ hose he has in his possession. Wynonna reveals she has been ignoring his texts which, of course, causes Jeremy to immediately call Charlie over as he and his biceps wander into the bar. As they awkwardly yet adorably decide to make dinner plans, Bulshar continues his reign of despair by resurrecting his barbecued ex with a hair of gold, Constance Clootie.

Countessa attempts to soothe over Vamp Doc’s newfound vamp woes by bringing him a fresh human being to feast on. That notion does not go over well for the man who literally chops down his own Christmas tree. Doc decides he must go hunting in the woods, because he is Doc Holliday, which causes him to attack Park Ranger Christopher Robin as he’s discussing Party Of Five spoilers with Jeremy over the phone. Now, normally when a friend lunges toward your love interest in an attempt to gorge on their flesh, you could rightly construe that as a negative development. But mid-feed, Doc realizes there’s something wrong with Robin, whose blood tastes of molding Earth. We’ve all been there.

Jeremy interrupts the delightful dinner date between Wynonna and Charlie (which featured promises of chicken balls, eggs Benedict and a great wall of spaghetti and meatballs?!) to warn her about Vamp Doc’s attack on Robin. She enlists the help of Charlie (who is apparently okay with turning away a heaping helpful of dough at Purgatory’s finest restaurant) to hold Doc back at Shorty’s, as Wynonna discusses the effects of blood-sucking on moustache upkeep with Countessa. The two share a warm whiskey as Countessa recounts the history between her and Doc Holliday, claiming that he was, in fact, the one who (figuratively) turned her. We later learn she took on the mantle of blood-sucker because Constance cursed him with the gift of immortality.

If there’s one thing Wynonna Earp excels in, it’s in the treatment of its antagonistic figures. Regardless of how ridiculous a name Bobo del Rey is, his insistence of calling Waverly an angel was not necessarily because he was a super creep (though he certainly has his moments), it was because this name has ultimately shown to have some merit to it. Countessa isn’t the most honest being to step into Purgatory, but because of how compellingly these characters are written, we’re well aware that Doc is certainly not the town’s beacon of morality either. The viewer is effectively given the option of feeling torn between whether they 100 per cent root for their favourite character or not. 

On the flip side, Constance Clootie busts onto the scene at Shorty’s, where Doc/Charlie briefly team up to stall the salty witch on a mission to fetch something of grand importance for Bulshar. They ultimately take the charred-up mother of Norman Bates, intending to throw her down the well Doc and Bobo once called home. She manages to commandeer Doc’s beloved Charlene (because they parked it a full football field away) and hysterically flips off the two men as she drives off, leaving them alone and in the cold. She interrupts Countessa and Wynonna’s big tiny sword stand-off but refrains from harming them, because she’s still on the prowl for that special something. 

Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 8 – Waiting Forever for You. Photo courtesy Bell Media

Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 8 – Waiting Forever for You. Photo courtesy Bell Media

As the supernatural continues to reign supreme against those four, Wayhaught treats Jeremy and Robin to a BGD (Big Gay Dinner) and honestly, we would all be lucky to share a big gay anything with one of the finest fictional couples in television history. Jeremy is understandably shaken up by the whole Doc-is-a-forever-living-vampire-who-bit-my-boyfriend thing and he tries to convey his horror to Haught, who is in a constant state of bemusement with everything he says. Robin asks Waverly if she ever wonders how a potato feels when it’s in the ground, a question apparently not as frequently pondered as I initially thought. Waverly is so distraught at the prospect of a man simply licking a washed potato (shout-out to this now-iconic Wynonna Earp moment!) that she storms into the room where Jeremy and Haught find Bulshar’s ring delicately placed in a biscuit. This despite the fact that he stowed it away in BBD’s finest vault towards the beginning of the episode. Bulshar’s ring is clearly hot for Haught.

The crew find a shirtless Robin in the barn, pleading that they must keep fertilizing the soil because his green thumb takes precedence over anyone else’s sensitive nose. A disheveled Constance continues the theme of interrupting in this episode, as she makes her way into the Earp barn. Waverly pulls a Waverly and surprises us all by Falcon-punching Constance using the power of Bulshar’s ring (and somehow managing to not have her finger burned off). As it turns out, the “thing” Constance has been in search of was a tarot card Bulshar (previously known as Sheriff Clootie) so desperately needs. When she returns the card to him as he’s hanging out in the woods by himself, the most horrifying moment of Wynonna Earp comes in the form of Bulshar laughing joyously at the top of his lungs. What a monster.

Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 8 – Waiting Forever for You. Photo courtesy Bell Media

Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 8 – Waiting Forever for You. Photo courtesy Bell Media

Through a series of linked tarot card readings and utterances of the phrase “Bulshar’s Wang,” the crew deduces that he is on the lookout for the Garden of Eden, to which Robin ominously declares that he already found. Wynonna and Vamp Doc have a heart-to-heart in the barn where evidently the magic literally happens, because just a mere few hours ago, a resurrected “bitch kabob” was Wilhelm-screamed out of her mind. Just as Wynonna reveals Bulshar’s plan for paradise, the crazed demon suddenly appears and blows what I’m certain are evil dandelion remnants at the former couple. Ah, yet another glorious day in Purgatory!

“Waiting Forever With You” turns the Bulshar narrative up to 11. With just a few episodes remaining this season, episode eight provides a number of major callbacks to seasons past that all worked toward this Bulshar summoning. Whether it was with the resurrection of Constance Clootie, the importance of the “Lovers” tarot card that appeared at the end of episode three or the reminder of Juan Carlo stating GRT was a sanctuary, I have a sneaking suspicion the remaining four episodes are going to be a thrill ride I am more than prepared to buckle up for.

My 3 Favourite W’s of the Episode

I would now like to turn your attention to my 3 Favourite W’s for this episode of Wynonna Earp. These consist of favourite Wynonna Insult, Wayhaught Moment and Waverly Expression – the three pillars of any Wynonna Earp episode.

Wynonna Insult: “You’re not gonna talk me out of shooting you with your fortune-tellery adjective… ad-verbs… nouns…”

Wayhaught Moment: I will never not love an accidental proposal. If and when we finally witness the exquisite Wayhaught proposal, I truly hope Haught provides a princess cut for Waverly.

Waverly Expression: Five words, everyone: “Robin just licked a potato!”

Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 8 – Waiting Forever for You. Photo courtesy Bell Media

Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 8 – Waiting Forever for You. Photo courtesy Bell Media

What did you think of “Waiting Forever With You”? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow Ghezal Amiri on Twitter.

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There Are No Fakes is a shocking journey into the world of art fraud

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Directed by Jamie Kastner, There Are No Fakes is a shocking feature-length documentary that centres on the work of Norval Morrisseau. Photo courtesy Cave 7 Productions
Directed by Jamie Kastner, There Are No Fakes is a shocking feature-length documentary that centres on the work of Norval Morrisseau. Photo courtesy Cave 7 Productions

Some of the best documentaries of the past two decades involve hard left turns – films that begin in one direction but end in another due to events that unfolded during production. There Are No Fakes, directed by Jamie Kastner, joins that select company of documentary as its comedic opening slowly morphs into something much darker.

There Are No Fakes centers on the work of Norval Morrisseau, the Indigenous Canadian artist of the Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek First Nation, sometimes referred to as the “Picasso of the North”. Morrisseau, who died in 2007, sought to remove forgeries of his art from the marketplace, establishing the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society in 2005.

After Kevin Hearn (of Barenaked Ladies fame) buys one of Morrisseau’s paintings, he starts to doubt its authenticity and discovers a bizarre feud consolidated around Morrisseau. It’s this conflict, and the dark secrets hidden beneath it, that form the backdrop of There Are No Fakes.

Kastner (The Secret Disco Revolution, Free Trade Is Killing My Mother), who was friends with Hearn in high school, learned through conversation about Hearn’s ongoing lawsuit surrounding the Morrisseau paintings. It became clear to Kastner that such a story would be perfect for his next project.

“It was almost unbelievable. There was so much crazy stuff in this story, I couldn’t quite believe it,” Kastner said. “I told him if I was going to proceed with it, though we were friends he would have no editorial control. As a journalist, I would be talking to both sides, and he agreed.

“I went off on my own doing my own kind of digging and research. Lo and behold, everything he told me and then some turned out to be the case.”

Norval Morrisseau of the Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek First Nation was sometimes referred to as the "Picasso of the North". Photo courtesy Cave 7 Productions

Norval Morrisseau of the Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek First Nation was sometimes referred to as the “Picasso of the North”. Photo courtesy Cave 7 Productions

As the story unfolded and as Kastner continued to meet a succession of larger-than-life characters, he found himself shocked at what he uncovered. Bringing footage back to his editor provoked a similar reaction.

“He’d say, ‘Holy f***!’ Then I’d do another one, and he’s quite an even-keeled guy, and he’d say ‘holy f***,’” Kastner said. “So it was a series of ‘holy f***’ moments. I tried to recreate that experience for the audience.”

Documentaries can often unfold much as expected, with a known story dictating the outcome of the production. But given the fluid situation surrounding the events of There Are No Fakes, Kastner followed the story as it led him, knowing he had been handed an incredible gift.

“It’s definitely a privilege and a responsibility (to tell this story). You’re dealing with the legacy of one of our most important artists,” he said. “You wind up dealing with very serious issues of abuse of different kinds, so I felt a real responsibility.

“You have to handle it very carefully as a documentary filmmaker. It really is so unique and unusual and special and horrific and inspiring and a whole range of things that you don’t usually get in one film.”

There Are No Fakes made its world premiere at Hot Docs 2019, receiving highly positive reviews. Kastner said the film provided fascinating insight into the legacy of Morrisseau, touching on multiple problems still at play in Canada.

“It’s a very dramatic story. People can’t believe that they’re real people. They seem like characters out of some HBO series or something,” Kastner said. “I think it’s a very entertaining, edge of your seat, jaw-dropping type of story that happens to be a documentary.”

There Are No Fakes will screen at multiple locations throughout Canada in July 2019. For more information, click here.

Next to read on The Mutt: Tantoo Cardinal propels Falls Around Her in first leading role

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Isabelle brings psychological terror to an idyllic neighbourhood

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Starring Adam Brody, Amanda Crew, Zoë Belkin and others, Isabelle returns to Canada for a theatrical run starting June 28. Photo courtesy GAT PR.
Starring Adam Brody, Amanda Crew, Zoë Belkin and others, Isabelle returns to Canada for a theatrical run starting June 28. Photo courtesy GAT PR.

In a quaint New England neighbourhood, a charming young couple (Adam Brody and Amanda Crew) find the perfect home to move into. But what they find in that home complicates their dream to start a family, as darkness and paranoia emerges in director Rob Heydon’s Isabelle.

Following in the footsteps of other psychological horrors such as Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, Isabelle comes from a screenplay written by Donald Martin (Milton’s Secret). Having grown up watching genre films like The Omen and The Shining, Heydon approached the project looking to put his own stamp on psychological terror.

“Reading the script, I just got into it cold. Then once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down,” Heydon said. “I thought a lot about what other references it could be like and how I could help bring something to the story and the storytelling.”

Much like other films in the genre, Heydon’s intention for Isabelle was to emphasize the psychology of the terror as a priority. That meant slowly building up the characters and introducing new elements throughout the runtime of the film.

“In a sense, it’s trying to tell a story in three arcs and build the audience’s expectations up to the third act,” Heydon said. “We used the combination of cinematography and editing and music to bring the audience into the mind of the main character and have the audience experience what our main characters are going through.”

Isabelle made its world premiere in South Korea in October 2018, and has since played at 33 film festivals around the world. Photo courtesy GAT PR

Isabelle made its world premiere in South Korea in October 2018, and has since played at 33 film festivals around the world. Photo courtesy GAT PR

The strength of the cast – which includes Brody, Crew and Zoë Belkin as Isabelle – was essential given the nature of the material. Brody was the first to sign on, but other cast members took longer to materialize.

“Amanda Crew wasn’t available at the same time. So it took almost two years to put together the cast,” Heydon said. “But when their calendars lined up, we also got some amazing talent to surround them. Belkin, Sheila McCarthy, who played Isabelle’s mom… we were really lucky.”

Isabelle shot in Hamilton, Ont., with old Victorian homes posing as New England. Beyond the locale, Heydon said the cost savings attained shooting in Hamilton were significant.

“In Toronto, to rent a house for a day might be 10 or 15 thousand per day. In Hamilton, we were lucky to get three houses right next to each other for 20 days for $20,000,” he said. “You just can’t find that anywhere in Toronto.”

Having initially premiered in South Korea as part of the Busan Film Festival (along with fellow Canadian horror Lifechanger), Isabelle will now open to a larger release in Canada. Heydon said genre aficionados should find much to enjoy in Isabelle.

“I’d say read what the film’s about and check out the trailer – I think the trailer says it all. And if you’re interested, come check it out,” he said.

Isabelle begins its theatrical run in Toronto June 28 at the Carlton Cinema. For more information, click here.

Next up on The Mutt: Horror materializes in unconventional ways in Things Fall Apart

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Horror materializes in unconventional ways in Things Fall Apart

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Things Fall Apart, the first feature from director/writer Hussein Juma, plays June 2 at the Globe Cinema in Calgary. Photo courtesy Hussein Juma
Things Fall Apart, the first feature from director/writer Hussein Juma, plays June 2 at the Globe Cinema in Calgary. Photo courtesy Hussein Juma

Those familiar with Hussein Juma, director and writer of Things Fall Apart, know that it’s somewhat fruitless to attempt to fully summarize his work. That’s largely by design – Juma himself says he enjoys injecting ambiguity into his projects.

But more than that, what’s exciting about Juma as a director is his ability to create a sense of atmospheric dread based heavily on context and character and not cliché. So horror fans on the hunt for films that are likely to surprise should take note of what Juma says about his first feature, Things Fall Apart.

“If you like arthouse cinema, things that are going to challenge you and even scare you a little too, I think this film would be for you,” Juma says. “If you’re interested in new ways to tell stories, in indie cinema and the way it can reframe things and put them in different contexts, I think there’s a lot to think about with this film.”

That unique approach to story was evident throughout Juma’s 12-episode web series Horse Mask, a surreal horror that centres around a missing daughter, a forest and many mysterious masks. Though Things Fall Apart is Juma’s first feature, he says working on Horse Mask helped prepare him, given the fact that the runtime of that web series evens out to be around the length of a feature.

Set during a dinner party, Things Fall Apart lets audiences act as a sort of fly on the wall as tensions and emotions emerge.

“Things progressively get more tense between the characters. I think there’s a good balance — there are those moments where you’re going to feel uncomfortable, there are moments where you’re going to be scared, there are moments where you’re going to feel like, ‘What the hell is going on right now?’” Juma says.

Furthering his desire to tell a story in a fresh way, Juma says he employed improvised dialogue throughout Things Fall Apart, making up 80 per cent of the dialogue. Though actors were provided with full scripts, dialogue was written in beats that guided where conversations would go.

“When we finally selected our actors, we extensively rehearsed it multiple times. That was a really cool process,” Juma says. “I had a bare-bones, skeleton idea of where I wanted each conversation to go, but these actors got so into it and took it to interesting places. (Many times) I was like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s great. We have to keep that.’”

Through using improvised dialogue, Juma says he was able to capture the essence of a dinner party, complete with moments of levity, tension and awkwardness. Photo courtesy Hussein Juma

Through using improvised dialogue, Juma says he was able to capture the essence of a dinner party, complete with moments of levity, tension and awkwardness. Photo courtesy Hussein Juma

The cast, which includes Chengis Javeri (one of the leads in Horse Mask), Bobbi Goddard, Gina Lorene and more, was already familiar to Juma, giving him confidence that they would be able to pull off the improvised dialogue. Juma says surrounding himself with smart, funny people led to a number of happy accidents that made their way into the finished product.

Other times, Juma says he would play off what he knew about the actors themselves.

“If I could see even a sliver of tension between them in the real world or a sliver of something in a look that I see, I can kind of harness that in the film,” he says. “I think that worked really well in terms of when I wanted to play someone against another person. Because I worked with them before, I knew things I could whisper in their ear before a take to throw them off.”

Ultimately, Juma says he wanted to make a film that he would want to see himself. Based on his track record, it’s likely that horror fans looking for a surprising, experimental feature with strong character work will find it in Things Fall Apart.

Things Fall Apart plays June 2 at 2 p.m. at the Globe Cinema in Calgary. For more information, click here.

Next up on The Mutt: The story behind Uwe Boll, the so-called “worst filmmaker” ever

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