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Tales from the Gimli Hospital

Canada 1988
produced by
Greg Klymkiw, Stephen Snyder for Extra Large Productions
directed by Guy Maddin
starring Kyle McCulloch, Michael Gottli, Angela Heck, Margaret Anne MacLeod, Heather Neale, David Neale, Don Hewak, Ron Eyolfson, Chris Johnson, Donna Szoke, Tiffany Taylor, Linda Schinkel, Jeff Solylo, Randy Kray, George Toles, Carmen Snidal, Brent Neale, Greg Klymkiw, Ian Handford, Caroline Bonner, Michelle Hannesson, Roberta Hannesson
written by Guy Maddin, art direction by Jeff Solylo

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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As a grave disease (& luckily, the movie never bothers to tell us which disease) is roaming the countryside, lonely fisherman Einar (Kyle McCulloch) - infected of course - ends up in weird Gimli hospital, where patients are dying by the dozen. Einar soon finds his loneliness unbearing in the hospital's surroundings, while his bed-neighbour, Gunnar (Michael Gottli), seems to have no problems in finding contact with the nurses who listen to his stories for hours & even show him sexual favours. When Einar tries to imitate Gunnar & takes up that man's hobby, fish-carving, for some reason Gunnar wants to borrow his carving shears, to be reminded of his own sad story by a bglance at them, which he now tells Einar: He tells of Snjölfridur (Angela Heck), the girl that meant everything to him, who taught him to carve fish, who would nurse him when he fell ill, even marry him & be infected by him. In their wedding night, she died, leaving Gunnar with grieve. Einar now tells Gunnar, he got the shears from an Indian burial-pile where he took, to his shame, the token given to the dead girl. Enchanted by her beauty, though, he took much more than only the tokens. Gunnar now ends his story, concluding that Einar had molested his Snjölfridur. Enraged but now blinded, Gunnar stalks a fleeing but delirious Einar through the countyside, until a final battle between them has no winner ... Next, Einar wakes upt in the hospital again, with all the other patients either dead or gone, & he is cured & free to go, too. Outside his shack, he one day sees Gunnar who has obviously found a new love. He, Einar though is still the lonely fisherman he always was.


Any synopsis could never do justice to any of Guy Maddin's films - & neither could a description of the outrageous things happening on-screen. His films are usually incredibly cheesy (& intentionally so) melodramas set in a bizarre, surreal, absurd, nightmarish world all of its own, filmed in a cinematic language developed by Maddin himself that looks as if the evolution of filmmaking took a somewhat different turn around the late 20's, developed into another direction. This filmmaking style makes all of Maddin's films easy to recognize & stand out of any crowd of movies - & this, Maddin's first feature, started the madness ! 


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD