July 31st, 2008

Wanted: Men for Slasher Cycle Video Shoot


MEN to participate in a video by Headlands Center for the Arts artist in residence Jillian Mcdonald. All men will be masked, therefore your identity may be kept anonymous if requested. Participants can be artists in residence, Headlands staff and interns, or visitors to the Center.


Slasher Cycle stars anti-heroes Michael Myers from Hallowe’en, Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Jason Voorhees of Friday the 13th. The slasher is a sub-genre of horror film wherein a psychopathic, often masked, usually male killer stalks and murders many victims using weapons such as kitchen knives or chainsaws. These 4 films in particular had wildly popular runs from the 1970s and 80s through to the present, effectively transforming characters once viewed as frightening monsters into anti-heroes cheered on by audiences. In Slasher Cycle the four famous slashers stalk each other through the rooms of a house. There are no victims, no one is ever caught or killed. The characters are filmed separately, with a steadicam and from various angles.


I’m looking for men to play the slashers complete with facial masks and costumes. Makeup and shooting will take approximately 2 hours. No acting experience or knowledge of horror films necessary!
Contact: jmcdonald [at] jillianmcdonald [dot] net with any questions.


July 30th, 2008

House on the Hill, Slashers, and Tattoos

house headlands

New work in progress:
This house, circa 1907 and originally a general’s, is the set for one of my new videos. I’m working out the details so I can shoot it in the coming weeks. Stay tuned: it stars Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, Leatherface, and Jason Voorhees, as themselves. I’m looking for men to play the Slashers (sans any actual slashing), so if you’re in the area let me know.

While researching those slasher stars today I came across this strange phenomenon – tattoos of their visages on the bodies of many, all or mostly men from what I can tell:

Leatherface Tattoos
Freddy Tattoos
Jason Tattoos
Michael Tattoos

Why am I eternally surprised by the devotion of fans?

July 30th, 2008

Location is Everything

fog headlands

If I thought Newfoundland was foggy, I should have held my breath until arriving at The Marin Headlands in California. For five weeks I’ll be at The Headlands Center for the Arts, and the landscape already has my jaw dropping. The rock is softer, more crumbly than on the east coast. The Headlands is at a former military camp nestled in National Park hills dotted with crumbling bunkers and sparsely covered in fragrant flora. In less than two days I’ve seen several deer, most of which were within twenty-five feet of me, a bobcat, wild turkeys, small unidentified red birds, and today a grey-blue rotting seal which washed up on the beach when I wasn’t looking – sneaky that Death character. Poison oak is everywhere, which is the only drawback. That and the ghosts. I’ve seen plenty of the former but none of the latter, so far.

ocean headlands

The ocean is close and cold, when you can see it through the wall of fog.

field headlands

I’m probably the only artist in residence who is wishing and hoping, though not yet praying lest the others lynch me, that the fog won’t lift.

July 24th, 2008

Nature Overload

Newfoundland is stunning: sheep lined up on the narrowest footpath with a view of the ocean and co-mingling with the seagulls; urchins wiggling their green spines and baring their teeth; minke whales diving in schools of black caplin; imported moose like brown tankers waiting at the sides of roads; bald eagles overhead, puffins too fat to fly; mussels and micro-starfish as tiny as my baby finger nail – all within walking distance of our home base. Kayaking and hiking along the frigid Atlantic were highlights for these Brooklynites.





Newfoundlanders refer both affectionately and disparagingly to their island as “The Rock”. A tremendous force carved these rocks, jutting from the bay:


July 22nd, 2008

Haunted Maritimes

Beckley and I just returned from visiting my family on the East Coast of Newfoundland. We had a restful and fun vacation, but the landscapes are stark, harsh, and magical. Horror-film worthy to say the least.

Don’t go in the Water!

The Howling

The Mist

The House that Sank into the Hill

Careful where you swim, my sweet

The House of Horrors

House on the Hill

The Fog

The Danger

I Know What You Did Last Summer

The Cellar

The Rocks

Incident at the Old Pig Farm *

*Special Thanks to Cara Kansala and Pam Dorey of Cara’s Joy who happily told me about the abandoned Pig Farm and showed me their zombie cats paintings.

I’m already half-planning the next trip: the icebergs and grey skies of Winter may be muses calling my name.

July 21st, 2008



What’s a better gift for a girl who loves horror than these gems, given to me by my favourite sister-in-law, Melanie McDonald, a lawyer in Calgary with a sense of humour. The axe blades bang against my neck, nu NU nu nu…

Jewellery by [Syn]

July 11th, 2008

Zombies in Condoland in the news!

zombies in condoland

Zombies in Condoland is mentioned in The Globe and Mail, as a highlight of the upcoming Nuit Blanche Toronto! How’s that for pressure?

More press in The National Post.

And CBC.

July 10th, 2008

Zombies in Condoland

zombies in condoland

The website for my upcoming performance in Toronto is officially launched here! You can participate!

June 29th, 2008

Blood Everywhere

blood everywhere

According to The Onion, blood poured from every direction in Iowa this April!

June 29th, 2008

What’s in a Mask?


With The Strangers, which I have not seen, still on the top summer horror charts, I can’t help but wonder what it is about masks, mannekins, and dolls that make for such terrifying figures? Scary dolls like Chucky are impossibly hokey but there is a long history of masked horrors from The Phantom of the Opera to Friday the 13th (now a veritable franchise), and even Hannibal. The mask hides not only identity but also the true nature and often gruesome reality of these characters.

As Oscar Wilde said, “Give a man a mask and he will tell you the truth”. (Or murder you, or rob a bank).

The Strangers‘ trailers suggest a very long ride to a climactic undisclosed ending with an armed three against an innocent two. It smells like another torture horror film in the vein of Saw, Hostel, and The Chain Saw Massacre remake.

Stacie Ponder, whose Final Girl blog is rich with horror reviews and resources, wonders what’s with these masks in her article on AMCTV.