Jason C. McLean and Dawn McSweeney welcome Special Guest Holly Rhiannon and discuss all things Halloween: the paranormal and the commercial, for the kids or for everyone, how to celebrate in Montreal and more! Plus we’re in costumes.

Follow Holly Rhiannon @stygianpen on most social platforms and on YouTube @Haunted Montreal | Montréal Hanté & @Holly Rhiannon (writer channel)

Follow Dawn McSweeney @mcmoxy on Twitter and Instagram

Follow Jason C. McLean @jasoncmclean on Twitter and Instagram

I should say right off the bat that when it comes to portrayals of The Rocky Horror Show, I have extremely high standards. I’ve been a devotee of Montreal’s Rocky Horror tradition since I was first allowed into screenings of the film adaptation, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, at sixteen.

I attended the Halloween Ball at the Imperial, the Medley, and The Rialto until disability and a few bad experiences since they permitted the sale of alcohol at the ball. I switched to the annual musical show at the MainLine Theatre.

I know every single callback, am quick to come up with original heckles, and even had the soundtrack to the original London stage musical on CD until time destroyed it.

That said, in the spirit of fairness, this review of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show will be split into two parts: the first will be for people who have never experienced it and want to know what to expect, the second will be for the massive cult of Rocky Horror fans with specific expectations.

For Rocky Virgins

If you love camp, don’t hate musicals, and are a fan of fluid portrayals of gender and sexuality, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show is for you. Dr. Frank n’ Furter, played Stephanie McKenna, is your sassy highly sexed mad scientist, who has been in the role for years and plays the part well. Aly Slominsky as Janet is the textbook prissy virgin all but begging to be initiated sexually by a skilled partner, and Cat Preston nails the sultry maid, Magenta. Craig Dalley as Eddie is every bit as sexy as a leather vest and jeans wearing biker can be, though when he plays Dr Scott, his German accent falters on occasion.

Do not expect anything remarkable or understandable about the plot, that’s the nature of the play: more style than substance, so allow yourself to shut your brain off and enjoy it. If you can’t, this might not be the show for you.

If you appreciate good music, then stick around, the band and musical direction, by Émilie Versailles and Katharine Paradis do an amazing job bringing Richard O’Brien’s timeless catchy tunes to life. If you love to heckle, you’ll love this show, as heckling is encouraged, but do not throw anything on stage or you will be ejected.

Though the actors’ mics were glitchy, and drunken rowdy audience members – most likely planning to go to the postponed Halloween Ball – often attempted to derail the performance, the cast took it all with grace.

If you want diversity in your shows, you will be happy to know that the cast includes people of all different sizes and genders, but those preferring visible diversity will be gravely disappointed, with this reviewer noting only one actress of colour among the entire cast, and they were not in a major role. Whether this will change in future runs remains to be seen.

If you’re a little curious and looking for the fun and escapism director Amy Blackmore promised, check out Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show at MainLine. It’s adult Halloween entertainment at its finest.

For Rocky Horror Devotees

This year’s show is a remount of MainLine’s Theatre’s last run in 2019 before COVID-19 health restrictions and that needs to be taken into account when watching it. They didn’t bother holding auditions this year, asking much of the previous cast to come back and sadly production quality suffered for it.

Zachary Sykes played Brad far too manly, giving us not the dorky sexually confused Brad we all expect, but your stereotypical cis man. His singing was fine, but his portrayal desperately needed hamming up.

Stephanie McKenna’s Frank n’ Furter was excellent as always, but I was hoping she would sex it up a little more than she has in the past, though the physicality she brings to the part is always breathtaking.

Megan Vera Starling’s Riff Raff is fine but the moment the actress breaks into song, she also breaks character, turning from the creepy Igor-inspired butler to sultry diva and it is completely inappropriate for the role.

Columbia, played by Genevieve Pertugia, tap danced well and had all the cuteness her part required, but she seemed to lose her voice on several occasions and might have been better rapping her lyrics instead of singing them.

This year’s Rocky, played by Vin Barbisan is, as Amy Blackmore promised, a completely different take on the character in terms of gender, which is good. However, Rocky is the one character in the show that has clear physical requirements, and Barbisan was clearly struggling through the three pushups they did on stage. Future casting choices should be able to do press-ups well and with confidence or be encouraged to train until they can.

Sarah Kulaga-Yoscovitz was excellent as the Usherette, as was Aly Slominsky’s Janet, Cat Preston’s Magenta, Kenny Streule’s narrator, and Craig Dalley’s Eddie, though his Dr. Scott could use a bit more silliness.

The real stars of the show for me were the band, the choreographer, the floor show dancers, and whoever was responsible for making Riff Raff’s weapon at the end. As an occasional prop designer, I marveled at the beauty of it, a far cry from the recycled plastic pitchfork Richard O’Brien’s Riff Raff wields in the movie.

This year’s The Rocky Horror Show at MainLine wasn’t a bad show, but die-hard fans will find it lacking. It satisfied my need for a Rocky Horror fix, but just barely.

The show is starved for new blood, better casting, and more ethnic diversity. Here’s hoping next year’s is better.

When it comes to Halloween for adults in Montreal, there is no tradition more sacred than Rocky Horror. For over twenty years, the city has featured two ways to get one’s Rocky Horror fix every October: The Halloween Ball at the Imperial, and Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show at the Mainline Theatre.

The Halloween Ball usually featured a costume contest, followed by an interactive screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show with actors pantomiming on stage at the same time. The Rocky Horror Show at the Mainline is quite a different beast, with actors acting, singing, and dancing the musical play that lead to the movie.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2019 and both events were cancelled, with the Mainline’s show going on hiatus for nearly three years. The organizers of the Halloween Ball tried to make up for public health measures with an online screening, but their charging full price admission kept people away.

Though public health restrictions have mostly been lifted, the Halloween Ball has been postponed until September 2023, so people will have to go to the show at the Mainline to get their Rocky Horror fix. Regarding demand, the ticket sales are proof enough, for the Mainline run sold out before its premier on October 20, 2022.

I’ve been a Rocky Horror devotee since my mid-teens. For me, a social outcast, the events signified freedom from alienation where no matter how you presented yourself the cast and crowd were there to welcome you.

For the director of Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show at Mainline, Amy Blackmore, Rocky Horror represents home, nostalgia, and escapism:

“I think folks love that when you walk in and sit down you can forget everything else…I think that in our case we have fun with it, it’s campy, and above all, it’s the callbacks.”

For those who have never seen the show or attended the Halloween Ball aka “Rocky Virgins”, the callbacks are heckles in response to the actors. While throwing things is not permitted at the Mainline show, audiences are encouraged to use common callbacks you can find easily online, or invent your own. Blackmore encourages fans of the Halloween Ball and movie to see the live musical.

The Rocky Horror Show came first. They’re two different experiences but they’re familiar nonetheless….For anyone who’s never seen the live version, I highly recommend it because it can just augment your love and appreciation for Richard O’Brien’s work.”

Though public health restrictions have been largely lifted, COVID-19 is still very much part of life so I was curious as to how Amy Blackmore ensured the safety of cast and crew during the production. Blackmore welcomed the question, talking about the show’s regular hand washing and use of masks, only going without them during the week of the premier.

She spoke also of how health concerns affected the intimacy direction of the show, and how the floor show performers were reduced from the fifteen of past shows to seven, and their physical interaction with the audience was more limited. While audience members are encouraged to wear masks, the Mainline isn’t making it mandatory.

For regular attendees of The Rocky Horror Show at Mainline, myself included, I was dying to know what else had changed from past runs. Blackmore was coyly evasive.

“There’s definitely some fun new little secrets that’ll be revealed. What’s exciting is that we have decided to bring back most of the cast that we all love, Steph (Stephanie McKenna) as Frank, Megan Vera Starling who won the META Award for Outstanding Supporting Role in our production of 2018, and of course Kenny (Streule) as the narrator…We have a new Rocky this year, which I’m pretty thrilled about. It’s a different take! You’re gonna have to come and check it out! We can’t reveal all of our secrets!”

Though my love of Rocky Horror is unconditional, it saddened me to hear that the mostly white cast of past runs was coming back, especially given the ever present need for more diversity in all areas of life. Blackmore admits that because this year was a remount of the pre-pandemic show, they didn’t bother to hold auditions. She encourages people of all backgrounds to come out and audition for future runs.

Mainline presents Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show at Mainline Theatre from October 27 to October 31, 2022. Though the show is sold out, be sure to check out future runs!

Montreal is a city of ghosts. Usually when I tell people this, I’m bitterly referring to the fact that while I was living abroad for over a decade, most of my Montreal friends went and moved away  — or, even worse — grew up. After recently participating in the online version of the Haunted Montreal tour, I learned that Montreal is indeed a city of ghosts, but in the more literal sense.

Due to the latest round of COVID-19 red zone lockdown measures (Tabarnak!), the always-popular Haunted Montreal ghost tours have been, like much of our 2020 lives, relegated to purgatory of Zoom video-conferencing.

The tour started with Donovan King, founder of Haunted Montreal, standing in front of a green screen that at first cycled through campy Halloween backdrops.

As the presentation got rolling, King presented an introduction of Montreal’s early founding and colonial history, and why that has perhaps led to our humble island home being such a haunted place.

The bulk of the hour-long presentation involved King recounting four vignettes about Montreal’s haunted past, illustrated by historical images on the green screen behind him. The four tales were drawn from a mixture of the various in-person tours usually offered by Haunted Montreal: Haunted Downtown, Haunted Mountain, Haunted Griffintown, paranormal investigations of local haunted sites, and the always-popular Haunted Pub Crawl.

Being a history nerd, I appreciated learning about these macabre Montreal legends, most of which I had not heard before. These stories were in steady hands with Donovan King, who is a seasoned storyteller.

King’s background in both acting and history makes him the ideal vessel to disseminate these creepy snippets of Montreal lore. His delivery was part authoritative history professor and part P.T. Barnum, complete with makeshift sound effects and even a minor jump scare or two.

The tales included that of the ill-fated tale of Simon McTavish, and how his death led to sightings of cadavers tobogganing down the slopes of 1820’s Mount Royal. King went on to detail how much of Montreal’s shiny downtown was built on burial sites — both Native American and early European, as well as mass burial pits from Cholera outbreaks in the 1800s. A thumbnail sketch of Montreal’s cemeteries was also full of welcome factoids.

The climax of the presentation came with a recounting of the tragic story of Headless Mary Gallagher. The murdered prostitute is said to still haunt a certain intersection in Griffintown on the anniversary of her grisly death, every seven years.

The online Haunted Montreal Ghost tours will be running all winter long, with a special presentation being held on Halloween night at 7pm. Regularly updated stories about Montreal’s creepy past can also be found on the Haunted Montreal blog. I look forward to participating in tours led by some of the other talented Haunted Montreal presenters.

Oh…an odd thing happened just after the tour (Insert X-files theme whistle here). I closed my laptop and sat on a couch in the basement of a 100-year-old NDG house, listening to the radio and taking notes on the tour.

Suddenly, I heard static, and an old rock song from the 1960s replaced the newscast I had been listening to — the radio changed channels all on its own — which is something it has never done before. I experienced full-body goosebumps, turned off the radio, and ran upstairs like a terrified five-year-old.

So if you do take the tour…turn on your radio afterwards and see what happens. Warning: results may vary (insert Vincent Price’s Thriller laughter here)

Full disclosure: Jason C. McLean, Editor-in-Chief of Forget the Box, is a tour guide at Haunted Montreal. Matt Poll, this post’s author, is not.

The Haunted Montreal Virtual Ghost Tour is currently running in English and French. Visit hauntedmontreal.com for more

Featured Image: Haunted Montreal

More shows in Montreal this week! Check ’em out!

Sunday, October 27th: Selci

Calgarian electro-pop act, Selci, will be performing at Case del Popolo this Sunday, October 27th, following the new release of her debut EP, Effervescence, this past August.

Though her background is in opera, contemporary, and classical styles of music, Selci seamlessly transitions her practiced understanding of sound to pop through layers of ambient beats and jazz-inspired electronica. The coalescence of sounds and genres proves for a truly ethereal experience, so don’t miss your chance to catch the show! 

Selci plays Casa del Popolo, 4873 St. Laurent Blvd., Sunday, October 27, 2019 from 8pm to 11pm. Get your tickets through eventbrite!

Sunday, October 27th: JS Ondara

As part of the Montreal International Jazz Festival, folk musician J.S. Ondara, will be performing this Sunday, October 27th at L’astral. Originally born in Nairobi, Kenya (shout out to the +254!), J.S. Ondara discovered Bob Dylan at a young age and has been making his own music ever since.

Though he’s a newcomer to the American folk scene, Ondara demonstrates a deep understanding of what it feels like to have a complex sense of ‘home’. 

J.S. Ondara plays L’Astral, 305 rue Sainte Catherine Ouest, Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 8pm. Purchase tickets here.

Tuesday October 29th: King Princess

American singer/songwriter, born pop-star, and universal girlcrush, King Princess, is back in Montreal this week following the release of her debut album, Cheap Queen, (though she’s already no stranger to stardom). Her music is classically good, queerly cathartic, and also happen to be entirely perfect for singing your heart out.

Don’t miss your chance to have your heartstrings played on all night by the love of my life. You can catch her show at MTelus, this Tuesday. 

King Princess plays MTelus, 59 St Catherine Est, Tuesday, October 29, 2019. Show at 8pm, doors at 6:30pm. Get your tickets through evenko.

October 31st: Orjan Nilsen

There’s always a lot to do during Halloween, but if you’re to dance the night away to a sound born at the crux of spine-chilling and exhilarating don’t miss Norweigan producer and DJ Orjan Nilsen, who will be performing at Newspeak this Thursday, the 31st for a special Halloween show. Known for his lively performances and high energy sets, Orjan has amassed a dedicated fan base around the globe.

Orjan Nilsen plays Newspeak, 1403 Rue Sainte Elisabeth, Sunday, October 27, 2019. Show starts at 10pm. Get your tickets here.

Are you or your band playing a show in Montreal? Let us know at music@forgetthebox.net. We’ll do our best to include you in an upcoming Shows This Week, but, of course, no promises.

Halloween is upon us and in Montreal that means just one thing: fastening your garter belts and doing the Time Warp at the city’s Rocky Horror festivities!

As always there are two events in Montreal to partake in: the Halloween Ball at Cinema Imperial and the live musical play put on at the MainLine Theatre. The Imperial ball involves a costume contest and a screening of the film accompanied by actors miming the show on stage. Audience members are invited to yell out call lines, dance, and throw stuff during strategic points in the show.

With scores of drunken attendees and the risk of being hit with a toilet paper roll, the Halloween Ball is not for everyone. If you want something a little tamer but still very much in the spirit of Rocky Horror and Halloween, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show at the MainLine Theatre is a sure bet.

This is the original musical play the 1975 film is based on. The actors on stage are all actually singing and dancing and the MainLine’s production contains a few artistic changes that may throw off die-hard fans of the movie and former attendees of the Halloween Ball. Though you are not allowed to throw anything during the play, audience members are invited to do call lines and even heckle as many of the actors give as good as they get.

Elyann Quessy reprises her role as Janet from previous years and it’s a role she does well, maintaining the girlish squeak and feigning unease as she becomes more and more comfortable with her sexuality. Though her singing is pitchy at times, it fits the character perfectly.

Adrian MacDonald also reprises his role as Brad this year and he is a talented singer and performer. Though his portrayal of Brad is never hammy enough for my tastes, MacDonald does an excellent job of portraying the stereotypical cis straight male forced to face alternative forms of sexual and gender expression. In the current political climate here and abroad, perhaps this is the Brad we need.

Cassandra Bluethner is once again Columbia and her portrayal this year is a massive improvement. Unlike last year, she offers a lot more of the squeak and cuteness one would expect from the character. Instead of a teenager in the “I hate everyone” phase, we have a more authentic groupie, in love with Eddie but enamored with Frank N’ Furter and addicted to the drugs the latter offers (shown in the play as sprinklings of glitter).

Sarah Kulaga-Yoskovitz reprises her role of Magenta. This year, though, she doesn’t sing on Science Fiction Double Feature, leaving vocal duties on the opener to Lindsay Miller as the Usherette, complete with skimpy costume and a box slung around her neck. Though her part was a bit smaller, Kulaga-Yoskovitz provided one of the biggest laughs I had during the performance.

Kenny Streule resumes his role as the Narrator – the character fans of the film will know as the Criminologist. It’s a role Streule does well, keeping a straight face in even the harshest heckles.

The true star of the MainLine production is Stephanie McKenna, who reprises her role as Frank/Dr. Frank N’ Furter. Though she’s dropped the English accent of previous years, her snark and strut are on point and her physicality is a sight to behold.

She is the first actor I’ve seen in the role to slip seamlessly from lying down, to a headstand before jumping into a standing position. She is also the first Frank I’ve seen with the physical strength to simulate sex positions most people find difficult.

This year’s production features a few newcomers.

This year the role of Riff Raff was cast gender bent, with Meghan Vera Starling in the part. Her portrayal was good; she had the right amount of creepiness and the BDSM vibe they gave her character explains why Frank beats her during the play.

Unfortunately her singing suffered due to her excessive use of the vibrato in which, on a particular note the singing voice sounds like it is vibrating or pulsing. It’s a vocal style that doesn’t suit the character, making much of Starling’s singing sound more like an American Idol audition than part of a musical number in Rocky Horror.

While in previous years the roles of Eddie and Dr. Scott were played by one actor (Kenny Stein for the past two editions), this year they were split. Eddie was played by Mathieu Samson and Dr. Scott by Nicolas Mancuso. Both were good in their respective roles, but nothing outstanding.

David Hudon is also new to MainLine’s production, taking the role of the beautiful creature Rocky, and he was perfect for it. Of all the past Rockys, he is the first one to come close to the physical type the part calls for and Hudon actually does a few push-ups and takes a few poses. Though Rocky has few lines in the play, Hudon manages to portray the character’s just-been-born naiveté with empty smiles and body language.

One of the stars of the production that deserves mention is the band, led by Katharine Paradis on saxophone. The music was always on point and helped further the play’s jokes along through their strategic use of sound effects.

There were a few changes that threw me off. Though all the songs were included, some scenes were changed that put some of said songs out of context. For example (spoiler alert) in the dinner scene, Rocky comforts Janet, causing Frank to get jealous, thus triggering the song Wise Up Janet Weiss. This version does not feature Janet’s interaction with Rocky, giving no context to Frank’s sudden rage against her.

Despite the difficulties, the MainLine show is worth checking out. It’s sexy, it’s catchy, it’s fun, and you’ll laugh yourself silly, if not from the play itself, then from the audience’s brutal heckling.

Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show runs October 25, 26, 27, 30 and 31 (all shows 8pm) at MainLine Theatre, 3997 St-Laurent. Tickets available at MainLineTheatre.ca

How did I get here? This is not my beautiful house, this is not my beautiful wife.

On getting so wasted that you have to ask a friend to re-cap your night:

Starting the night looking like a well polished scary neon clown and ending it looking like a juggalette that gave too many blow jobs and has a five o clock shadow. She sat on the porch grinning in the darkness on Halloween night.

“It was a night. Stuff happened. Let’s sleep on the couch and watch scary movies.” Two minutes later she is ass up on her bed with her adorable lace panties (on top of her leggings) exposed. Bloody hands and an unlocked bike.

Goodnight sweet clown, we will talk in the morning. I love that human more than words can explain, as I say in shows, I masturbate over her while she sleeps. Jk.

So, um. What is up with running in your ex on Halloween at basement punk shows?

This holiday seems to bring out everyone you have ever fucked or wanted to fuck and place them in the same crusty basement as you. My bestie once threw a punch at her ex in a mosh pit, “You better be drunk.” She did it because he was an asshole and she was drunk. Runs into the same ex wearing his “appropriate” undersized Misfits tee and acid wash mom jeans.

I remember one Halloween running into someone I excommunicated from my life, he immediately put his arm around me (and wasn’t wearing a costume mind you, fucking pathetic). I quickly lifted it off. I was very proud of myself in that moment. I came a long way to physically lift him off me.

My friend saw it go down and was going to come save me, but I did it myself before she had the chance. It is important to stay true to your convictions.

I am trying to write this while listening to my roomie watch a horror movie, she figured she would get it in the day after. I have such a visual mind that what I am imagining is probably worse than what is actually on the screen. Or not, shit is brutal these days. Horror flicks are all about that gore. I have a hard time with anything past Evil Dead, the first 15 Scream movies, Chucky, Freddie, Jason, and all the classics. Modern horror just grosses me out.

It’s either raining or the Babadook is outside. I was stoned watching scary movies all night and my other rookie’s boyfriend came over, I heard him on the porch and around back, but he didn’t knock, he was texting her and she was asleep.

I picked up a giant stick and was going to beat his ass with it until he said who he was. Real gore on beggars night. Glad that didn’t happen. Don’t scare couch stoners. We are delicate creatures.

I will always be a fan of Tim Curry as It. I based my routine on It for the She Lives Whorer 2 Show. The next day I was Trump and sat on a toilet I had to carry down three flights of stairs with my lady. We were covered in poo water for art.

Trump is more frightening than Pennywise the dancing clown because THAT SHIT IS REAL. News is the scariest fucking truth!

You know what else is real? The Midnight Meat Train, Bradley Cooper’s first starring role and he is a vegan climbing on carcasses running from an evil butcher. I couldn’t stomach it and had to write this blog.

I will watch some stand up or a lighthearted rom com with her after as a reward. Not knowing anything about the movie I decided that the meat train was a drunk forgotten night gone wrong, or maybe a gay gang bang porno, possibly a special steak hoagie, or a GO VEGAN PSA! Yeah thats it.

Spoiler alert…

Weird, it was about lizard people the whole time.

In this podcast, panelists Ellana Blacher, Cem Ertekin and Vincent Simboli discuss for one last time the Presidential Elections happening in the US, the spoken word scene in Montréal, the Dakota Access Pipeline and more in our News Roundup segment. Plus the Community Calendar and Predictions!

Host: Jason C. McLean

Producer: Hannah Besseau
Production Assistant: Enzo Sabbagha


Ellana Blacher aka Joy Low-Key: Spoken Word Artist and FTB Contributor

Vincent Simboli: FTB Contributor

Cem Ertekin: FTB Managing Editor


*US Election Report by Hannah Besseau



Microphone image: Ernest Duffoo / Flickr Creative Commons

Halloween is this coming Monday and we can expect a hearty mix of cute kids in costumes going door to door for candy and drunken idiots who think a cheap dollar store mask excuses obnoxious behavior. Despite the occasional incidents of idiocy, Halloween is by no means dangerous. The holiday the night before is an entirely different matter.

Devil’s Night, also known as Mat Night here in Quebec, is a night for pranks and mischief. It is celebrated throughout Canada and US and is believed to date back to Ireland in the 1880s. Though originally a night for fairies and goblins, it has evolved into a night for pranksters. Some believe the custom of handing out candy on Halloween developed in an attempt to appease jokers with sweets in order to spare their property.

In Quebec, Mat Night used to be celebrated by taking people’s doormats and switching them, ringing doorbells and running off, and by leaving a flaming bag of dog feces on someone’s doorstep. For those unfamiliar with this particular prank, the prankster fills a paper bag with dog poo, puts it on someone’s doorstep, lights it on fire, rings the doorbell, and runs away. When the occupant opens the door and sees the fire, they will presumably stamp it out, thus ruining their shoes.

Other common Devil’s Night pranks include egging people, toilet-papering houses, dumping rotten produce on front porches, smashing pumpkins, covering cars in shaving cream, and tipping garbage cans. In the US, the nature of the prank depends on the location.

In rural areas, pranksters tip outhouses and open the gates of livestock pens. In Detroit, Devil’s Night is a night for arson and was undoubtedly the inspiration for the setting of the 1994 film The Crow. Arson is so prevalent on this night in Detroit that in 2008, the mayor recruited thirty thousand volunteers to try and prevent the mayhem.

Mischief in Canada comes with a price. Laws against mischievous behavior make what might seem like a harmless prank an indictable offense with serious penalties.

The crime of mischief is a property offense, meaning it’s a crime that affects people’s stuff, not their person. In order to be guilty of the crime of mischief, an offender has to have willfully destroyed or damaged property, rendered the property “dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective”, obstructed, interrupted, interfered with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of the property, or interfered with a person’s lawful use, enjoyment, or operation of it.

Mischief laws also apply to computer-related offenses. That means that if you’re the type to stay in on Devil’s Night and prefer to pull your pranks from behind your computer screen, you might still be criminally liable.

The law specifically prohibits the willful destruction or alteration of computer data rendering data meaningless, useless, or ineffective, obstructing, interfering, or interrupting the lawful use of the data, and interfering with a person’s lawful use of said data or denying that person access to information that they are legally entitled to.

The penalty for mischief varies according to the degree of danger involved. If the prank endangered someone’s life, the prankster is liable for life in prison. If the prank damaged property worth five thousand dollars or more, the prankster is looking at a prison stay of up to ten years unless the prosecution agrees to a summary conviction, which has a lesser penalty. Where the value of the damaged property is less than five thousand dollars, the maximum penalty is two years imprisonment unless you get a summary conviction.

If you play a prank at a location that has meaning for society, the penalties for mischief change.

Religious properties such as churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, cemeteries associated with them, and objects on their grounds are protected by specific anti-mischief laws. If the prank was motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate based on religion, race, colour, or ethnic origin, the offender is looking at a maximum prison sentence of ten years, regardless of the value of the property. Just as in other mischief offenses, it is possible to get a summary conviction, but unlike regular mischief offenses, a summary conviction for this kind of prank comes with a maximum sentence of eighteen months.

The penalties for acts of vandalism on War Memorials vary. If the prosecution opts to charge the prankster with an indictable offense, the offender is looking at a maximum of ten years in jail. If it’s a summary conviction, the penalty is a maximum of eighteen months. Unlike other mischief offenses, this one comes with a minimum punishment: a fine of a thousand dollars for a first offense, at least fourteen days in jail for a second offense. Every subsequent offense will get a prankster thirty days in the slammer.

As with everything, there are good, harmless pranks, and there are bad ones. The good ones are funny for all involved, prankster and victim, and require a maximum cleanup of a hose, some water, and maybe a trash can. The bad ones leave permanent damage to both public and private property and to our collective consciousness by making people frustrated, angry, and feeling unwelcome and unappreciated.

This Devil’s Night, in the wake of heated cultural and political debates, economic strife, and disputes between young and old, it is time to remember what the holiday is really all about: a bit of harmless fun to keep people on their toes.

* Featured image via YouTube screengrab

What does sex really smell like?

My roommate was accosted at a mini mart just trying to live her life and get some breakfast sandwiches. “I bet you have a man at home. He probably smells like sex too.” Or a soccer mom not whispering but whispering to herself “she smells like sex .”

What the fuck?! I definitely know that we smell different due to hormones and what time of the month it is. A post sex pussy is more pungent than an undersexed kitten, but still sweet, not intruding, not something that should be whispered about under baited breath.

It is sexy, it should be worn proud, it is natural, beautiful, and anyone who mentions it is only jealous that they weren’t the one who caused it. She deserves pleasure, she wears it well.

I often smell like weed and masturbation. Is that the same as sex? A fishy musk with a skunk undertone. I smell like dirty socks and last night’s fishnets. I smell like high heel shoes that have been danced in. I smell like swamp ass and good times. Do I smell like Teen Spirit? Or whatever that means.

I love a person with a rich odor. I feel like that’s the secret dirty hippie living inside of me. A person who has worked hard all day. Fixing the car, pounding on drums, or whatever makes people sweat. I love the smell of sex and candy yeah. More like sex and whiskey with a side of bacon though, that’s what I really like.

I hate too much cologne or perfume on a person. Its terrible when bro-douches bathe in AXE before leaving their scummy little bat caves. Or like cheap old man cologne, or dollar store knock offs of Calvin Klein, yuck.

Women go overboard too sometimes. I know my mom enjoys spraying her perfume in the close quarters of the car. It’s not delicious to get that shit in your eyes and orifices. Why would you want to hide your natural smell?

I do like essential oils, though. In small doses they go great with body chemistry and enhance your own smells. Warning: It is possible to overdose on patchouli and it should not take the place of bathing. But there is something to be said for au naturel.

Back in the days of Marie Antoinette, bitches never took showers or baths, even royalty. They just put on powders and perfumes and giant wigs and lush garments to cover up their body odor. I often feel like that’s what I do when I’m on stage. I forget to wash that thong that matches my pasties or the last pair of thigh highs I have that doesn’t have a run.

12187863_10102734061231328_7002025251388096328_nIts awful, and another reason why the fantasy of a performer is always better than the reality. In the fantasy I am perfection, in reality I am crusty and rank. I no longer shave my armpits, legs, or lady parts but it’s so blonde naturally that it doesn’t matter. I belong barefoot and outside, covered in earth and summer sweat. I do enjoy being a sparkling diamond as well, but it definitely is hard work.

On Beggars Night, I dressed up like Courtney Love in the 90’s, the other bartender was Kurt Cobain, I even had a lil Francis Bean doll. I had a broken cigarette in my mouth all night and kept swearing and saying that baby Francis Bean did all my coke and that’s why she was with me at the bar. I was definitely method acting all night. I ate a special mushroom chocolate and really went deep. I even fell down the stairs after threatening to smash a pumpkin.

I woke up slightly more Courtney than before, makeup more smeared and life more a mess. God damn did I smell. I smelled like spilled beer and other people’s cigarettes. I worked all night and then partied on like Wayne. I wonder what perfume Courtney Love wears? I bet its Chanel No. 5 mixed with unicorn tears, whiskey vomit and cigarette ash.

The other day I had the unfortunate occurrence of being the stinkiest person in the thrift store. It was a chilly day, so I decided to pick a scarf up off of the floor. The drive to the store I kept thinking, damn, what crawled into my car and died? Then I got there and it followed me. It was only after I left that I realized one of my cats had pissed on said scarf.

I was living my crazy cat lady fantasy. Awesome. I was the stinky kid at school. I’m often the stinky kid in the room now; because I smell like I tackled a rabid skunk, but that’s different. Hehe.

Smell is so important, pheromones are the basis of attraction. Certain smells evoke chemical responses in our bodies. Wear perfumes wisely and clean your bits and pieces, never be ashamed of smelling like sex, and listen to all your senses (especially smell) when choosing a mate.

Halloween is here once again, it is hands down my favorite holiday. Actually no, fuck that, Halloween is everyday! I wear my freak flag proud 365 days a year.

For most “normal” people, Halloween is the one day of the year that it is socially acceptable to dress up like a weirdo and live their freak fantasy. Sadly commercialism and an oversexed media has turned it into a money making skank fest.

There are literally slutty versions of every costume (even in the kids section): slutty nurse, slutty referee, slutty cop, slutty witch, slutty vampire, slutty pirate, slutty prom queen, and the list goes on. These costumes seem to be invented with pedophiles in mind. Men and young boys seem to have it a little easier and can just put a mask on it , become their favorite action hero or movie killer, or slip on a dress and be a bearded lady.

Stop the trend. The only way you can break out of this is by making your own costumes for your children. Halloween costumes you buy are very expensive and poorly made anyways.

More gore and less whore. Being a bloody zombie is an easy and fun way to celebrate this holiday season. Instead of being a slutty version of something be a bloody zombie version instead!

It was funny, the other day I went to a costume party with my friend Erik and he doused himself in blood and called it a day for his costume. The cab driver asked us like ten times if it was real. A person covered in real blood is every person’s worst nightmare, so I get it when people freak out over a gory costume. Its all about shock value.

The original Theatre du Grand-Guignol in Paris
The original Theatre du Grand-Guignol in Paris

Haunted houses are insane, filled with passionate actors willing and ready to scare the shit out of anyone who walks through the doors. I am a pussy when it comes to stuff like that.

I remember being a pretty young girl and going into a Haunted Catacomb and when the actor wielding a chainsaw came after me I kicked him in the shin and ran. It was fight then flight, I felt like I was going to die. Now it’s a little different, as an adult I realize that I am probably not going to actually die. It’s all entertainment.

People have always had a certain blood lust when it comes to being entertained. Grand Guignol is a form of theatre that is graphic, amoral, and horrific in nature. The most famous theatre of this kind and a huge target for censorship was the house of horror known as Le Theatre du Grand-Guinol, The Theatre of the Grand Puppett, in Paris France open from 1897-1962.

Everyone from royalty and celebrities in formal apparel to the common man would enjoy blood soaked plays about prostitutes, criminals, insanity, and grotesque mame and murder. People came to the shows to feel something, they wanted to be entertained and disturbed by the natural looking horror shows. The same crowd attends modern day slasher films and gorelesque recitals.

Most audience members became belligerent and boisterous. Others could not hang, often the special effects were so realistic that audience members would vomit or pass out during the performances.

I am part of a Gorelesque troupe called The Zombettes, we give a whole new meaning to Blood Lust. Once after a show I picked up a guy and left bloody handprints on his wall.

Gorelesque is exactly what it sounds like: Burlesque covered in blood. Dark, occult, horror, zombie, and gore added to the classic striptease based performance art. We have done everything from act out the ear cutting Stuck in the Middle With You scene from Resevoir Dogs to the opening scene from Scream or a reenactment of Friday the 13th. 

Once we did a show dubbed “too soon?” where my friend The Creeping Beauty dressed up like Amy Winehouse (literally two days after she passed) and I dressed up like Anna Nicole Smith to welcome her to the afterlife while the song Rehab played. Maybe that was utterly tasteless, but it certainly was memorable.

zombie amy winehouse anna nicole smith

Classic horror/slasher movies are a huge inspiration to my art. Dramatic music and imagination are important in horror flicks. It’s what you don’t see that can scare you the most. Same with burlesque, it’s what you don’t see that invokes the most titilation.

Everybody has nightmares and everybody watches the news. We all know that the world we live in can be a scary and evil place. Sometimes people go crazy and slaughter the innocent , war is happening while you read this, limbs being blown off, random acts of torture and violence are rampant, people are being raped, and there are unspeakable horrors happening in every city. Horror movies are just the artistic representations of these very real atrocities.

It’s the time of year that I re-watch all of the Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, Hellraiser and other various horror movies on repeat. The scariest of these flicks are the ones that are plausible. A real person can lose their mind and torture me.

It seems that there is a formula for these flicks that involves large breasted women or beautiful young virgin babysitters running around in white t-shirts covered in blood and being victimized by a male psychopathic sadistic monster.

Why are there rarely any sexy men in leading roles of horror movies? When a man dies in a horror flick it is quick. Scream Queens sell tickets. Misogyny rules in this genre. These women must fight to survive.

It reminds me a lot of porn to be honest with you. Young women cowering and screaming just as they do from being pounded by the twenty throbbing mega cocks being rammed down their throats in hardcore porn movies. Yes, I am a feminist who watches both horror movies and gang bang porn. Im more terrified by watching the Republican debate.

Given that we’re currently arse-deep in the holiday shopping season, I’ll just go ahead and assume that you’re reading this on your phone while waiting in a ten-hour line in a barely climate-controlled department store, in that special kind of headspace that comes after an extended Christmas shopping outing. That frayed, panicked desperation, that fatigue, not just of the body, but of the soul itself. I’ve been there. And listen, don’t pay any attention to the visions. It’s just your brain shutting down, and they just get worse if you feed into them.

And if you’re shopping for a movie buff, God friggin help you. Movie nerds are especially hard to shop for, thanks mostly to that nagging suspicion that any Blu-Ray or DVD you pick up for them is already in their collections, and you really have no way of knowing until it’s too late. Well as usual, I’m here to help. For this week’s FFR, I’ve put together a few suggestions for what to pick up for your favorite film nerd.

Eraserhead: The Criterion Collection Blu-Ray

The Criterion Collection is a line of high-end DVD and Blu-Ray editions of the kinds of films that movie geeks love, paradoxically sold at prices that a lot of movie geeks can’t afford. Art house, foreign films, classics, pretty much anything outside the mainstream is a viable candidate for a Criterion release, and this year David Lynch’s classic Eraserhead was ushered into the Criterion ranks with a snappy Blu-Ray.

You get an apparently awesome looking 4K remaster of Lynch’s famously WTF opus, as well as new restorations of six of Lynch’s short films. Criterion releases have a tendency to go up in price, so its current Amazon price tag of $29.99 is probably the cheapest you’re ever going to get this sucker at.

Cabinet of CuriositiesGuillermo del Toro: Cabinet of Curiosities

If your movie nerd friend is a fan of fantasy movies, odds are he or she is also a fan of Guillermo del Toro, the Spanish auteur behind Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy and more recently Pacific Rim. Cabinet of Curiosities is both an analysis of Del Toro’s work and a rare look inside his legendary sketchbooks and notebooks, which he keeps for every film he makes.

The book is filled with Del Toro’s musings on filmmaking, gorgeous hand drawn concept art, and even a photo tour of his LA house, which contains everything from a wax dummy of H. P. Lovecraft to his insane collection of movie props and memorabilia. When it was first released, Cabinet of Curiosities ran for around seventy bucks, but these days you can generally find it for half that, making it the ideal time to pick it up.

Halloween: The Complete Collection

But say your movie friend is more into the kind of flicks that involve lots of stabbing, mayhem and white-painted William Shatner masks. Well, after giving them a long talking to about maybe having less unreasonably specific tastes, you can give them this year’s complete box set of all 10 films in the series.

In addition to HD restorations of every film, you also get extremely rare deleted scenes as well as multiple cuts of various films, including the long-awaited “producer’s cut” of Halloween 6. By all accounts, the new cut doesn’t save the film from being one of the low points of the series, but is apparently still worth a look.

Hitchcock: The Ultimate Filmmaker Collection

So, let’s say you have a lot of extra money to blow on Christmas presents. Like, 200 bucks plus; and you want to ensure your money goes towards something that may still involve a brutal stabbing or two – but a classy brutal stabbing. Well look no further than the latest Alfred Hitchcock box set, containing 16 of Hitchcock’s better known classics, each one coming in their own case styled after a film canister, and all in an exceptionally pretty display case that probably accounts for a fair chunk of the asking price.

You get a LOT of extras with this set, posters and booklets, script pages and storyboards, to say nothing of new transfers of some of Hitchcock’s best films, but really this set is “shelf candy” in the purest sense. It just looks gorgeous on a shelf, bringing class and swag to any movie collection, even if it’s shelved between Hitch and the 2007 remake of Hitchhiker.

Belafonte print

Family Tree Design ‘Belafonte’ Print

But let’s say your movie nerd friend doesn’t like any stabbing in his movie, classy or otherwise, and prefers beautifully crafted, offbeat dramedies steeped in quirk and nostalgia. Odds are he or she already owns every movie Wes Anderson’s ever made, but you may want to add this gorgeous art print of the Belafonte, Bill Murray’s ship from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou to their lives.

Showing a cutaway of Zissou’s ship modeled on the cutaway set used for the film, this is about as classy as film artwork can get, striking and colorful and loaded with almost as much hand crafted detail and charm as a frame from one of Anderson’s films. The same company also offers an equally gorgeous rendering of the Grand Budapest Hotel from the film of the same name, and offers a discount when the two are bought together.

Theodore Rex

But let’s say you’re especially strapped for cash, and the movie nerd friend that you’re shopping for is either a fan of the more craptacular side of modern cinema or something of an insufferable prick. Either way, we got you covered. For less than than five dollars, you can gift your movie nerd friend with the timeless classic Theodore Rex, the story of a talking, human sized t-rex detective partnering with Whoopie Goldberg to fight crime in a futuristic metropolis.

It is exactly as bad as it sounds, and will leave the giftee with the bemused smile or a gentle hint to shut their damn pie-hole about Fellini for five seconds.

How was your Halloween? Did you go out? Did you wear a costume? Was it a good one? Was it the best costume in Montreal?

Well, we had a Halloween Costume Contest to answer that last question and the results are in:

1st Prize: The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Rosline Grand Montage Paquet via Instagram (@blaplagla). It’s the featured image of this post. She wins a pair of tickets to the RIDM Documentary Film Festival, a Forget the Box t-shirt and candy!

2nd Prize: The Shining Twins by Elianne Pauze and Nadia Nescapa via Facebook. They win a Forget the Box t-shirt and candy!

shining twins

3rd Prize: Tupac Shakur by Mohamed Hamad via Twitter (@mohamedhamad). He wins candy!


Winners can contact forgetthebox@forgetthebox.net to pick up their prizes.

Here are some of the best entries we received (click the first image to start the sideshow).

Congratulations to everyone who entered!

Halloween Contest 2014Halloween Contest 2014

Halloween is a holiday that Montrealers celebrate in droves each year. FTB thinks that Montrealers have some of the best and most imaginative costumes out there. This is your chance to prove us right!

If you think your costume this year is a good one, find out if it’s a great one! Just take a picture of yourself wearing it, at a party, at home, on the metro, wherever, then share that image on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook using the hashtag #haloweenmtl and tag @forgetthebox

You have until Sunday, November 2nd at midnight. We’ll be sharing the top 20 costumes in a post on November 4th.

As if being named the best costume in a town known for great costumes isn’t enough, we’ve got prizes:

Best Costume: A pair of tickets to any show at RIDM International Documentary Festival in November (except opening and closing night), an official Forget The Box T-Shirt and a bunch of candy!

2nd Best Costume: An official Forget The Box T-Shirt and a decent amount of candy!

3rd Best Costume: Candy! (at least a couple of handfuls)

Now, the fine print:

1. Contest is open to anyone from anywhere but photos must be shared on social media from the Greater Montreal Area.

2. Contest is open to FTB contributors and staff, however prizes are not. If a member of FTB places first, second or third, their prize will fall to the person who placed below them on the list.

3. Group costumes are eligible, however there will be only one prize awarded per pic.

4. We will pick the best costumes based on merit. Re-shares on social media, though not officially counted, do give us a better idea of what the public thinks, so please encourage your friends to share.

5. We will not consider culturally insensitive or outright racist costumes. If you’re not sure what this means, ask someone.

6. Since this is Montreal, we probably should note that “candy” is not a euphemism for anything. We’re giving out actual Halloween candy, the kind the kids get.

So there you have it. Pretty simple if you ask me. Now get planning on those costumes, you just may have the best one in Montreal!

Halloween is a special time of the year for horror movie fans. 364 days out of the year, our near encyclopedic knowledge of the kinds of movies where power tools are regularly applied to the bodies of screaming co-eds isn’t exactly the kind of thing you can bring up at trendy parties. But for one, beautiful day out of every year, if you have a reputation for knowing horror flicks, that knowledge becomes a commodity for all your normal friends looking for something gross and fun to watch on Halloween night.

So as in years past, this FFR is devoted to a few of fun picks I’ve recently stumbled across that would make solid viewing for your Halloween activities this year.

Neon ManiacsNeon Maniacs
“When the world is ruled by violence and the soul of mankind fades, the children’s path shall be darkened by the shadows of the Neon Maniacs.”

Right now, you’re probably wondering what the hell that means, and while I’ve seen the movie, I’m honestly as in the dark as you are. But that brief, puzzling opening monologue is the closest thing to rhyme or reason we’re given in the events of Neon Maniacs, a 1986 monster flick that sees, among other things, a monstrous samurai, a caveman, a cop, and a Native American warrior emerge from the Golden Gate bridge to wreak havoc and mayhem. Are they ghosts? Zombies? The product of some kind of gypsy curse? God only knows, but the film is fun enough that any lingering questions you may have get quickly cast aside.

Neon Maniacs feels like it was probably intended to start off a future cult horror franchise, something in the vein of Puppet Master. Sadly, it never happened and all we got was this one, weird, goofy as all hell but somehow endearing flick, a fun little monster romp that feels like it was probably someone’s passion project. Somewhere out there, there’s an alternate reality where Neon Maniacs became this cult horror classic with a dozen or so sequels, high-end merchandise and an impossibly detailed wiki. We don’t live in that universe, and if you ask me that’s a shame.


But if you’re in for a more traditional, slightly less batty monster flick, Pumpkinhead may be what you’re looking for. Genre mainstay Lance Henricksen plays a good ol’ boy whose son is killed in an accident involving some rowdy teens, and does the only thing a grieving father would do in this situation: go to an old spooky woods-witch who uses his blood to summon Pumpkinhead, a snarling vengeance demon who proceeds to hunt down and kill the aforementioned teens.

What I love about Pumpkinhead is how defiantly oldschool it is. The story has this intentionally folkloric bent to it, like this could almost have been a Jersey Devil movie or something. There’s no hint of modern cynicism or post-modern hipness to elements like the scary witch, who naturally lives in a smokey forest, has a big ol’ crooked nose and lets out one of the all time great “Witch Cackles” near the end of the flick. It isn’t trying to be hip or edgy, it just wants to be a dyed-in-the-wool monster flick with lots of gory kills and a big cool monster at the center.

And speaking of which, Pumpkinhead himself is a glorious pre-CGI animatronic affair created by Stan Winston (who also sat in the Director’s chair for this one), the now departed effects guru who worked on everything from the Terminator flicks, Aliens, and even the first Iron Man. The creature may not be the most elaborate or iconic in Winston’s repertoire, but looks damn good on screen even today.


Intruder Night Crew

But if you’re in the mood for something in a bare bones but effective slasher flick, no monsters or witches, just a crazy dude, a bunch of victims and a pretty decent gore effects department, maybe I can interest you in Intruder.

The set-up is simple, after the announcement that a local grocery store will soon be closing down, the owners and staff have to pull an all-nighter marking everything down. Of course, prices aren’t the only thing getting slashed (sorry, I had to) when a mysterious killer shows up and starts picking the staffers off one by one.

Even though you can enjoy sincerely, thanks mostly to some solid gore effects by Greg Nicotero, Intruder is a hell of a lot of fun to just riff on with your friends, which is exactly how I first enjoyed it. It has all these weird aesthetic choices, like POV shots from inanimate objects that led me and my friends to the running gag that half the items in the store were actually “were-things” that turned into phones and boxes of facial tissue by the light of the moon. Neon Maniacs has the same riff-worthy qualities, but Intruder comes a bit closer to balancing between being a big goofy romp and actually serviceable slasher fare.

Walk-on appearances by Ted and Sam Raimi and Bruce “Don’t Call me Ash” Campbell don’t exactly hurt either.