No horror film is truly mainstream, David Cronenberg has said, and it is for this reason that even the lowliest of them may be worth consideration. In this tenth anniversary revised and updated edition of They Came From Within, Caelum Vatnsdal adjusts the focus in Canadian horror films, and unwinds the history of this neglected genre to learn “why we fear what we fear and how it came to be that way.” From the early Canadian infiltration of Hollywood in the thirties, to the flowering of Canuck horror films in the sixties and seventies, to the surreal products of the “tax-shelter” eighties and beyond, Vatnsdal shows how the Canadian horror film industry has, unwittingly or not, created a complex social, economic, and political portrait of a nation. Engagingly written, extensively researched, and lavishly illustrated with rare stills and poster art, They Came From Within is an invaluable addition of Canadian film criticism.

Subject Performing Arts, Film & Video, History and Criticism
Published November 2014
Price $24.95 CDN
Pages 296 pp (Paper)
Dimensions 7″ × 9″ × 1″
ISBN-10 1894037537
ISBN-13 9781894037532

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About the Author

Caelum was born and bred in that legendary hotbed of sub-polar culture, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Movies were an obsession from an early age, with titles like The Pug-Dog Crisis, Revenge of the Birds (a prize-winner) and Crawdads, the result.

He went to the University of Manitoba, followed by an apprenticeship of sorts on Guy Maddin’s film Careful. Caelum learned about the nuts and bolts of filmmaking by working as a camera assistant in Winnipeg and Toronto, while making his own films: shorts like Mr. Banana and Kundalini Unbound, and a feature entitled Black as Hell, Strong as Death, Sweet as Love.

Caelum formed Mighty Kraken Films to make the feature, and has gone on to make award-winning music videos for The Weakerthans and other Canadian bands. Acting, cinematography, script-writing and book-writing (Kino Delirium: The Films of Guy Maddin; They Came From Within: The History of Canadian Horror Films) are some of his other pursuits. He is currently working on more music videos, documentary pieces for the CBC, and another feature screenplay.

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