Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 07.29.08
Stanstead, Quebec


Wanna see something really scary?

STANSTEAD, QC | Are you as excited as I am? A slasher flick shooting right here in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. And it's called Bikini Girls on Ice. With a title like that, who wouldn't be excited? I mean, who doesn't like ice?

This is the probably the biggest movie shoot around these parts since that Angelina Jolie thriller whose title I forget but was something like Things Aren't As They Seem! or The Nice Guy is Actually Psycho! or Ethan Hawke Messed Around with A Bimbo and Blew It with Uma During Filming.

A movie shoot is always good for the local economy, in this case for our burgeoning bikini and ice industries. In addition, occasionally, these productions hire local people. After all, someone has to hose the fake blood off the bikini girls. The pay's terrible but the benefits are terrific.

All that being said, it's disappointing once again that the Townships will likely act as a stand-in for some small-town Americana backwater. I ask you, why can't we produce our own low-budget, titillatingly titled, straight-to-video slasher flick that's actually set in the Townships?

Lucky for you, I've put some thought into this, and while I haven't outlined a complete plot, I have come up with certain elements that might lead to the makings of a good, trashy, Townships horror movie. Or should we call it "Townshivers...!"

First of all, the setting should be a small town where everything seems relatively normal but under the surface lurks an unspeakable evil. I'm thinking Lennoxville.

Then, you could do something about body-snatchers or demonic possession, which starts out with people noticing the neighbours acting strangely:

"Gee, Bob's been acting strangely."

"What do you mean?"

"Yesterday I drove past him on Main Street and he didn't wave hello."

"Maybe he didn't see you."

"I drove by twice, man! Don't you get it? That's not Bob!"

"I'll get the pitchforks."

Or how about this one:

An English-community support group submits a federal grant application for a program that will "bring skills to the Anglophone community of the Eastern Townships." But due to an unfortunate typographical error, the grant application ends up reading, "bring kills to the Anglophone community." The federal government grants the application and so, of course, the support group has no choice but to fill the position...

I see the title Subvention to Killl and a tag line like, "The aging population won't be aging much longer..."

Hey, no one said horror was tasteful!

Besides questionable taste, a good horror flick needs a compelling villain, in this case one that strikes fear in the heart of any good Townshipper. I've got it: a municipal inspector. A deranged municipal inspector. (But wait, isn't that redundant?)

In the movie, the Inspector (tag line: "You're gonna need a permit... to survive!") first sedates his victims by reading public notices about setbacks and rights-of-ways for out-buildings in contiguous non-residential semi-commercial zones. Then he buries them in septic tanks which by law must be emptied triennially and measured annually for grey water/foam ratio. During his killing sprees, though, the Inspector is always careful not to exceed acceptable norms for noise, especially in North Hatley.

At the movie climax, the villain must die a horribly excruciating death, for example by public consultation.

We could go with any number of "nature-gone-wild" themes. Deer driving cars and running into people. Lake algae called Cyranobacteria that causes bathers' nose to grow ridiculously long. A deranged environmentalist who eliminates smug wakeboarders in gruesome but strangely satisfying ways.

I'm sure we could easily do something scary with cloggers.

Speaking of torture, vile gruesomeness seems to be the trend in horror movies these days. Audiences seem to feed on being grossed out. What about a film about following a slow-moving manure spreader down the 143?

The possibilities are endless: murder at the fair ("Gastoni Dissections"); aliens at the border - real aliens; Asbestos!

But the scariest film of all would without a doubt be Speedo Dudes in Magog.