Reel Toronto: Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy
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Reel Toronto: Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy

Toronto's extensive work on the silver screen reveals that, while we have the chameleonic ability to look like anywhere from New York City to Moscow, the disguise doesn't always hold up to scrutiny. Reel Toronto revels in digging up and displaying the films that attempt to mask, hide, or—in rare cases—proudly display our city.

Ah, the noble failure. We see a lot of those. Brain Candy is generally recognized, even by the Kids in the Hall faithful, as somewhat less than perfect. In fairness, it was produced during a period when the guys basically hated each other’s guts and Dave Foley only did it because he had to.

And yet it’s far from entirely unfunny. How could a movie with Cancer Boy not be funny? More relevantly for us, it’s set in one of those generic American or Canadian cities and happens to have been filmed here.

The opening credits, for example, take place over a little flight through downtown.

We fly along streets like Richmond (at Bay, here)…

…past that great, departed landmark, the Bay-Adelaide Stump…

…past the also-departed Sam the Record Man and Edison Hotel…

…and Zanzibar.

Then we get a lovely shot of the skyline, which mostly looks like Toronto’s…

…and includes buildings like the RBC tower.

One of the film’s more amusing storylines is Scott Thompson’s closeted suburban dad.

He goes for nighttime trysts in this park bathroom, in Taylor Creek Park, under the Woodbine Bridge.

He also has a wartime dream sequence that we can clearly see…

…was shot in the Distillery District.

He finally comes to terms with his homosexuality during a huge musical number out on his street. We confess, we’re not entirely sure what street this is, but they definitely shot in Mississauga and it’s too long ago for their film office to have records… That’s our guess.

We also see Kevin McDonald’s main character stumble through Berczy Park

…and there’s a visit to the ice rink at Mississauga City Hall.

Brain Candy is not a good movie, but it’s far from a total loss. In addition to stuff mentioned above, you’ve got Mark McKinney’s better-than–Dr. Evil Lorne Michaels impression…

…and hugely random cameos by the likes of Brendan Fraser.


CORRECTION: October 13, 1:25 PM This post originally stated that the skating rink scene was shot at Harbourfront, when in fact the rink used was the one at Mississauga City Hall. We regret the error.

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