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A Gun to the Head

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A Gun to the Head

Sponsored by: Telefilm Canada

Montreal Premiere

  • Canada 2009
  • 88 min
  • 35mm
  • English
Hosted by actor Paul Anthony and producer Oliver Linsley

Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival 2009
Official Selection, Whistler Film Festival 2009
Official Selection, Atlantic Film Festival 2009
Official Selection, Calgary Underground Film Festival 2010


Crime / ThrillerComedy

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“Witty, anarchic and well-acted all around” — Jim Slotek, TORONTO SUN

"A great example of what can be accomplished when a talented group of performers gets together: an entertaining comedy with a touch of contemplation" — Marina Antunes, QUIET EARTH


Director: Blaine Thurier
Screenplay: Blaine Thurier
Cast: Tygh Runyan, Paul Anthony, Marnie Robinson, Sarah Lind, Benjamin Ayres
Producers: Oliver Linsley, Katherine Hazen, Greg Milton
Print Source: Doghouse Films



Trevor is a reformed small-time thug and drug dealer, now settled down with a normal job, a wife and a mortgage. One evening he gets a call from his deadbeat cousin and ex-partner-in-crime Darren, whom he hasn’t seen for a long time, trying to coax him into meeting up. No can do, Trevor tells him, the wife is throwing a sushi dinner party for her boss and his wife, whom she’s trying to impress to land a promotion. But when supper starts getting boring, Trevor takes the excuse of going to buy more wine to go have quick beer with Darren, who ends up peer-pressuring him into helping out with a little dealing, for old times’ sake. One situation leads up to another, old habits die hard and Trevor’s petty crime tendencies are reawakened. By then, of course, things start getting very wrong and he finds himself neck-deep in trouble. Meanwhile, his wife is stuck at home with her dinner getting increasingly stranger as her sleazy boss tries his hardest to initiate a threesome.

This stoner comedy of errors, in which compulsive bad decisions drag the characters into a tailspin, zips by in a dizzying display of zaniness. Blaine Thurier wrote and directed the film but it shows that he left plenty of space for the actors to add their own, making A GUN TO THE HEAD a truly collaborative effort. We especially get great acting from Paul Anthony (SUCK) as Darren, Tygh Runyan (THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF LIZZLE DIZZLE, MOUNT PLEASANT) as Trevor and Hrothgar Mathews as Sam, the philosopher gangster who likes to combine hostage-taking with small talk. Thurier also worked on the soundtrack, being the keyboardist for the New Pornogra-phers. The film was produced by Doghouse Films, the crew also responsible for MACHOTAILDROP (playing at Fantasia this year as well). In both cases they show how a little ingenuity—and a lot of hard work and originality—trumps a tight budget.

—Stephanie Trepanier

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