Reviews written by registered user
|11 reviews in total|
Welcome to the Paradise Falls' community report. Today's weather: clear
skies, calm waters. Another perfect day in Paradise Falls.
I have often wondered how each fan first found the show and how they felt about it. When it first came out I saw on add on Showcase back in 2001 and knew I had to watch it since it was shot in Whitevale and Muskoka. I watched with my ex-fiancé and by episode 3 we were fully hooked. We couldn't wait for the next 2 episodes to be shown every Tuesday night.
The writing was superb and the actors were all so perfect for their roles. It almost seemed as though Alex Galatis and Paula Smith found their actors first and created characters in their honour. I love the show for its many characters and how the script was interwoven between all of them equally throughout its entire run. The Sparrow Lake and Whitevale scenery was just icing on the cake.
I also created a face book page for fans to enjoy called "Fans of Paradise Falls TV Series" here https://www.facebook.com/groups/771420119684107/
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Where to start...Well, this film had a very profound effect on me as a
young teenager when I first saw it late at night around 1985. The
effect is still the same to this day. I was so overwhelmed by the feel
of this movie that I became obsessed with finding all the filming
locations after I saw it again in 1988. I am also astonished at how
under-rated this gem is.
I'm a big fan of classic 1970's Canadian cult films and this tops my list. Yes it even beats out other Canadian 1970's horrors gems like: Deranged, Black Christmas, Death Weekend and Rituals. There is just so much going on here: including the complex and eerie soundtrack which adds to the overall feel. This piece of music is an unknown masterpiece, that goes through minor and major chord sequences and changes key with each round. The camera used brings out that 1970's feel to its extreme. There is comedy interchanged within the dialogue and the horror, and the actor choices were spot on.
Eugene Levy (Clifford) and Andrea Martin (Gloria) of SCTV fame were cast well as the main characters. They start out driving in the snowy wilds of Ontario looking for a place to stay. The two come to Farnhamville (Beaverton) and are mystically controlled into staying there by the townsfolk. They end up staying at the old Oak Inn (Oak Ridges) and the hotel owner, May Jarvis, takes them back in time when she tells them a story of a legend involving three girls who methodically lure unsuspecting men to their century farm house (Aurora), in which each is systematically murdered and chopped up for feasting on. These feasts give the girls everlasting life. The scene involving one of the men being tied seductively to the bed by the girls is very effective (he is eaten alive after all). We soon learn who is really in control, however.
Enter Ronald Ulrich-- one must experience the work done by this consummate stage professional, who plays the Reverend Alex St. John. This was his second foray into the movie business (and sadly his last). This guy nails the character to a T. His look and his voice bring this character to life. He still terrifies me. Not only was he naturally mesmerizing, but also had a very comedic sense which he brought to the table (literally). His lines delivered to Clifford are priceless--humour done with a slight smirk. His power over the 3 girls is also intoxicating. They will do anything for him, including singing an eerie song in unison when he recites lines from Shakespeare. Had any other actor played this part it just would not have worked.
Eventually things become more and more confusing and horrific for the couple. Much has been said on the dream sequence and I personally don't buy it. Other films offer more confusing dream sequences (Nightmare on Elm Street for example) but no one seemed to ever complain about those. For me, the dream sequence adds to the overall mind game the Reverend is able to play. In fact, the Reverend has one more thing up his sleeve. He is going to make Gloria the 4th Cannibal Girl and he is going to get her to murder her own partner in the process. How does the Rev get her to do this and how does Gloria finish Clifford off? Watch the movie to find out. The girls will live forever on human flesh and its implied that the townsfolk of Farnhamville will too. Soon Gloria will be dining with her new family. The family table is covered in Clifford's flesh and organs- her initial moral judgment against such acts are overcome as she partakes at the feast.
Lastly, May Jarvis is seen back at her hotel where she welcomes a new couple with the same story she told Clifford and Gloria, confirming the assumption that the whole town is in on the Reverend's scheme.
Ps- I was quite upset at the cover art on the DVD. The Reverend and all three girls looked nothing like those pictured. The Reverend on the cover doesn't even suit the part.
Ivan Reitman would go on do another classic called Meatballs, the best and earliest of the camp genre. His most famed production was one I find unbearable, Ghostbusters.
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An older union leader takes the heat as times are changing in his 1960s company. The modern union wants to change the leadership without realizing how far their leader has brought them since the 1930s. The relationship between the union members and the union leaders' son become problematic in the process. As thing heat up near the end (a big union meeting) both sides share their views with the old union leader speaking his mind and generally winning the heated debate. Only problem is that his son (now grown) won't forgive his father for always putting the union above his role as parent. At the very end when the father sees his son on a motor bike and flags him down for a ride, the son unexpectedly sppeds off down the Toronto streets around city hall.
A while back I saw an early 1970s Montreal film called "Gina" that I really enjoyed. This same channel showed other late 1960s and early 1970s French Canadian films which I decided to tape. I must say I loved them all: "Loving and Laughing" and "Love in a Four Letter World" being the best of the bunch. The others included "Valerie", "The Awakening" and "Two Women in Gold". "Love in a Four Letter World" is about a family (husband,wife and daughter) who have become disillusioned with one another. The father has an affair and his daughter catches him in the act. She has already hooked up with the neighbouring free-love hippies who live next door. When her mother realizes her love has gone out the door she too travels next door for some lovin. This movie leans more on the serious side and can not be considered a comedy. "Loving and Laughing" is about an upper-class, young man named Reggie (played by one-time actor Gordon Fisher) who is enlisted to help a family friend's daughter in Vermont learn French over the summer. The only problem is that Reggie's car dies on the way south and he is then taken on by a travelling group of hippies escaping the law. Reggie is the straight-laced type who at first interacts rather uneasily with his hippie counterparts. But soon he learns to bond with his new friends and actually becomes a leader in their commune. The former leader of the commune is played by the great Andre Lawrence (of "Love in a Four Letter World" fame). His name is Luciean Leplame- a wanted drug infringement criminal. Both he and Reggie hatch a plan to cover up their tracks. Soon Lucien is headed for Vermont instead of Reggie to teach French lessons. The fun is only just beginning for both young men. There is lots of nudity in this film and some subtle slapstick as well. I would consider this movie a comedy for sure. The only real drawback with this film and the others (especially "Love in a Four Letter World") would have to be what appears to be voice-overs. In reality, the voices are the actual actors voices (in English) but the tracking is a bit off. AS well, the actors voices don't seem to be presented in a proper acting tone. They seem to be very loud and over-the-top. I wonder if this was done for a reason? Anyway, for me, the scripts in all of them are wonderful and the lines have a deeper meaning than the actual acting. Just listen to the words that are spoken to Susan Haven in "Love in a Four Letter World" to her dad when she catches him cheating on his wife, or the words spoken at the end of this movie when a local spiritual preacher on the streets of Montreal is talking to some locals. Great stuff!!
A while back I saw an early 1970s Montreal film called "Gina" that I really enjoyed. This same channel showed other late 1960s and early 1970s French Canadian films which I decided to tape. I must say I loved them all: "Loving and Laughing" being the best of the bunch. The others included "Valerie", "The Awakening", "Two Women in Gold" and "Love in a Four Letter World". "Loving and Laughing" is about an upper-class, young name named Reggie (played by one-time actor Gordon Fisher) who is enlisted to help a family friend's daughter in Vermont learn French over the summer. The only problem is that Reggie's car dies on the way south and he is then taken on by a travelling group of hippies escaping the law. Reggie is the straight-laced type who at first interacts rather uneasily with his hippie counterparts. But soon he learns to bond with his new friends and actually becomes a leader in their commune. The former leader of the commune is played by the great Andre Lawrence (of "Love in Four Letter World" fame). His name is Luciean Leplame- a wanted drug infringement criminal. Both he and Reggie hatch a plan to cover up their tracks. Soon Lucien is headed for Vermont instead of Reggie to teach French lessons. The fun is only just beginning for both young men. There is lots of nudity in this film and some subtle slapstick as well. I would consider this movie a comedy for sure. They only real drawback with this film and the others would have to be what appears to be voice-overs. In reality, the voices are the actual actors voices (in English) but the tracking is a bit off. As well, the actors voices don't seem to be presented in a proper acting tone. They seem to be very loud and over-the-top. I wonder if this was done for a reason? Anyway, for me, the scripts in all of them are wonderful and the lines have a deeper meaning than than the actual acting. Louise Blondin (of "Adventures in Rainbow Country") appears as one of the young, commune babes, but she is uncredited. This may have been her only film as I don't believe she was heard from again.
Nobody here in Ontario recalls the show except for me. I used to watch it for about 2 months every lunch time when I was 10 yrs old and going to school. After dad fed me lunch I would run downstairs to watch it, Then after the 2 months were over I never saw the show again which made me quite sad at the time. From what I can recall the show involved a group of about 6 or more youths at a summer camp. One was a fat kid who got a cold. I recall he came back to camp with the cold and the kids thought it strange that he got a cold in the summer. His mother told him that these were the worst kind. Basically, it taught youths how to treat other people there own age. The fat kid got picked on a lot but the kids always learned about proper behaviour. I wish i knew where i could get copies of the show.
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Spoiler I really enjoy these early 1970s Montreal (French Canadien) films. This film shows what happens when one naughty housewife gets a real fun idea into her head and then convinces her neighbour to do the same. Both lonely wives start calling up the Bell repair man and the milk man, etc to come over for more than just a delivery or repair. Soon one older man is smitten with one of them and succumbs to her whiley ways only to end up dead- though with a smile on his face of course. The ladies are charged with murder and scandal erupts. Soon the judge at the court delivers a not guilty verdict because of the fact that it became obvious the man died happily. Now the girls are called "Women in gold" and movie producers like Norman Jewison are called in to do a film on their story; as well the girls get to go to New York to act out their lives on Broadway. Plain old fun!!I also recommend 4 other early 1970s Montreal films: Love in a Four Letter Word, Loving and Laughing, Valerie,and Gina.
If u liked 'Spirit Bay' check out this Canadian show 'The Rez'. It's more mature than Spirit Bay and is enjoyable Canadian aboriginal TV programming. The show is centered around the goings-on of young Canadian natives on a reservation. Much of the time the characters are hanging out at a small marina/restaurant ran by a white woman, who's daughter she gave up for adoption and who comes for an interesting visit. The show introduced some fairly famous up-and-coming Canadian actors- the most famous being Adam Beach, who incidentally played Frank Fencepost in Dance Me Outside. The role of Frankie was played by Darrell Dennis in 'The Rez'. A lot of guest appearances and minor roles were actors who 1st appeared on 'Spirit Bay' back in the mid 1980s.
This show written by Steve Smith starred his real-life family and contains lots of dry Canadian humor. His two boys Max and Dave play his two young boys aged about 9 yrs old and is really about the interplay between father and sons. His wife Morag Smith is also his wife on the show. As far as I recall, the show was produced at CHCH Tv in Hamilton. A very good show for young kids with a spice of adult humor sprinkled over top. I would love to know where the show's tapes are sitting??
Filmed by the CTV in 1972 this TV series begins where the film of the
same name ends. The stories revolve around the antics of a 250 pound St
Bernard, who always gets into mischief in the Swiss Alpine town in
which he lives. His owner, Jim Hunter (Marshal Thompson), runs a local
air plane charter.
Jim's best friend, played by Jack Mulanney, is his mechanic, who is not very suave with the ladies. He ends up getting into as much trouble as George does.
Frau Gerber is Jim's elderly, German housekeeper, who owns a thick accent and a motorbike, which she rides around town like a maniac on. Aunt Helga (Trudy Young) lives down the road and helps out at Jim's office. Helga is the guardian of her 7 yr old nephew, Freddie (Volker Stewart).
The plot lines are simple but lots of fun to watch again (I finally got them on DVD). The scenery is breathtaking. Most of the stories hinge around George and the young boy, Freddie. Often George follows him to school and waits for him until school is finished.
One episode features a stunning Zsa Zsa Gabor. In this episode her little dog and George fall in love. Many mishaps occur and George ends up in Zsa Zsa's bathtub.
This is a Canadian classic with many zany laughs! There were 26 episodes produced- all of which were released on a 2 DVD set in Germany through Pidax Serien Klassiker.
The theme song is very appropriate and catchy.
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