Mar 13, 2024

The Final Hex: Hexploitation Film Fest Farewell Tour - Dates and Events Announced!


After 15 years of thrills, chills, and kills, Hamilton, Ontario's Hexploitation Film Festival is being retired. To send off Hamilton's longest-running festival and screening program dedicated to horror and genre films, we invite you to The Final Hex: Hexploitation Farewell Tour with dates across the month of April. The Final Hex is the distillation of what we do best: curating entertaining B-Movie oddities, showcasing bold new independent horror and genre films from local filmmakers, hosting interactive prize giveaways, and bringing bona fide horror classics to the big screen.

To celebrate the Hamilton community, The Final Hex is rolling out in partnership with other film screening series and across multiple venues and including Farside Hamilton, The Staircase Studio Theatre, The Way of the Sword Film Talk Series at The Westdale, Crypt Cinema at Doors Pub, and the historic Playhouse Cinema.

We are offering both free, pay-what-you-can, and ticketed film events. Our final schedule of cinematic monsters, maniacs, and murder and venue / ticket information is below:

Wed. April 3, 2024 | 9:00pm
USA| 1987| 105 min |
@ Farside Hamilton
288 James Street North (at Barton)
Hamilton, Ontario 
*Interactive Prize Giveaway!*

The Hexploitation Film Festival brings back it interactive B-Movie Bingo game to The Farside Hamilton! Witness He-Man and Skeletor battle for the universe while filling out custom-made Bingo cards featuring dialogue or events that happen in the film. Create a straight line and win a prize! One Bingo-card per attendee. 


Sat. April 6, 2024 | 9:00pm
  • HXFF Presents:
CAN| 2022| 100 min | NR
@ The Staircase Studio Theatre
27 Dundurn St. N
Hamilton, Ontario

A rowdy pro-wrestler filling in for his girlfriend on a babysitting job gets more than he bargained for when a cult of masked intruders descends on the home. "Here For Blood may possibly be the best horror comedy wrestling movie done yet. It’s a heart-pounding roundhouse punch of a good time." - Film Threat


Thu. April 11, 2024 | 7:00pm
  • Hexploitation Film Festival &
The Way of the Sword Presents:
JPN/AUS| 2017| 90 min | NR
@ The Westdale
1014 King St. W
Hamilton, Ontario

A fascinating and funny documentary-style look at the obscure and hilariously insane Japanese TV show "Top Knot Detective" that became a cult hit in Australia in the 90s, bringing to light for the first time the shocking "true" crime behind-the-scenes drama. A love letter to lost media and cult TV and film oddities.

Wed. April 17, 2024 | 8:30pm
  • Crypt Cinema &
HXFF Present:
CAN| 1982| 95 min | NR
@ Doors Pub
56 Hess St. S
Hamilton, Ontario

*Interactive Prize Giveaway!*
Play along with your phone!

A deranged killer is murdering people over the phone with deadly sound waves while a local professor rushes around Toronto trying to stop him. When the killer calls on-screen, randomly chosen audience members will receive a call to their own cellphones and a chance to win prizes! If you die, you get a runner-up prize! If you survive, you walk away with the grand prize!
Fri. April 19 & Sat. April 20, 2024


Long heralded as one of the greatest, most influential horror films of all time, this ferocious cinematic shocker has been one of the most requested theatrical revival titles from fright fans the world over for the last 30+ years. Unlike other cinematic favorites, George A. Romero’s DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978) is still not available on any streaming platform, nor on cable, and has been out-of-print on DVD and BluRay in the U.S. for over a decade, so the hunger to watch it just keeps growing among its ravenous fans. Furthermore, the cult following for the film has grown exponentially since its release and is so large now it is estimated that over 80% of DAWN OF THE DEAD’s fans have never experienced this legendary epic in a theatre. That all changes starting this year!


Sun. April 21, 2024 | 8:00pm - 11:30pm
  • HXFF Presents:
@ Doors: Taco Joint & Metal Bar
56 Hess St. S
Hamilton, Ontario

First Jason Live at Doors Pub! Movie screening with Live commentary by the Ari Lehman -- the first Jason Voorhees himself. Followed by live sets by First Jason and musical guests Blood Opera & 30 immolated ; 16 returned 


Feb 26, 2024

THE FINAL HEX: 2024 Hexploitation Film Festival Farewell Tour


Hello friends,

After 15 years of thrills, chills, and kills, The Hexploitation Film Festival is coming to an end…but not without one last scream. THE FINAL HEX Farwell Tour will bring the Hexploitation's unique program of monsters, maniacs, and murder to a series of venues throughout Hamilton all culminating in not-to-be-missed screenings in April 2024. Participating venues and events to be announced soon!

I joined Fright Night Theatre, as it was called when it debuted in 2009, as part of the group Horror in the Hammer. Horror in the Hammer was a collective of horror fans and creatives in Hamilton, ON, Canada, who were organizing and creating horror-related art and events such as the annual Hamilton Zombie Walk and Charity Food Drive as well as Fright Night Theatre a monthly screening series at The Staircase Theatre (27 Dundurn St. N). The first screening was a double-feature of Stuart Gordon's H.P. Lovecraft adaptations (From Beyond and Dagon) on June 24, 2009. The joy I experienced in our ability to bring people together and curate a selection of films to delight, amuse, and horrify had me hooked! I stayed on with Fright Night Theatre, eventually becoming the head of programming in December 2012. I expanded Fright Night Theatre into the Fright Night Theatre Film Festival in 2014 and then we became the Hexploitation Film Festival in 2017. In these 15 years, I've done so much and have had the privilege to meet and work with so many amazing, talented individuals and provide a springboard for the careers of Canadian and international artists.

All things, however, must come to an end. We will be closing the coffin lid on the Hexploitation Film Festival this April. Details about participating venues, films, tickets, and more are coming very soon. 

To all our fans and supporters, thank you for being a part of this adventure with us. We hope you'll join us for the Final Hex; you're not going to want to miss this!

All the bloody best,

Aaron Allen

Director: Hexploitation Film Festival

May 31, 2023

CONTEST: Win a Pair of Tickets to DESTROY ALL MONSTERS @ The Westdale (Fri. Jun 02 / 9pm)


Win a pair of tickets to see DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (1968) on Friday, June 02, 2023 / 9pm at The Westdale Theatre (1014 KING ST W HAMILTON, ON L8S 1L4)

DESTROY ALL MONSTERS is screening as part of The Way of the Sword’s KAIJU SUMMER film talk series  


Email with DESTROY ALL MONSTERS in the subject line and include the following information:

1) Your full name.

2) Name one of the monsters that appears in DESTROY ALL MONSTERS 

A winner will be chosen and notified at 9:00am on Friday, June 02. Tickets can be claimed at the box office. 

Contest closes at 8:59AM (ET), Friday, June 02, 2023

May 15, 2023

KAIJU SUMMER @ The Westdale (May 19, June 02, July 21, August 18)

The Hexploitation Film Festival is collaborating with The Way of the Sword film talk series at The Westdale (1014 KING ST W, HAMILTON, ON) to host a summer-long celebration of giant Japanese monster movies and tokusatsu! Presented in their original Japanese language with English subtitles

From Godzilla to Gamera and other titantic beasts between, terrifying kaiju are stomping through Hamilton all summer long, only at the historic Westdale theatre. 

May 19: GODZILLA (1954)

Friday, May 19, 2023 | 8:00pm

The classic kaiju film that started it all! Japan is thrown into a panic after several ships explode and are sunk. At first, the authorities think its either underwater mines or underwater volcanic activity. A later expedition to the island led by paleontologist Professor Kyôhei Yamane, his daughter Emiko, and young navy frogman Hideto Ogata soon discover something more devastating than imagined in the form of a 164-foot-tall monster whom the natives call Gojira. Now, the monster begins a rampage that threatens to destroy not only Japan but the rest of the world as well. Can the monster be destroyed before it is too late, and what role will the mysterious Dr. Serizawa play in the battle? Directed by Ishirō Honda.


Friday, June 02, 2023 | 9:00pm

It's the classic monster mash! In the year 1999, all the Earth’s giant monsters (Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, Angilas and Minya, among others) are incarcerated on a small island near Japan. The Kilaaks, a race of aliens from a small planet somewhere in the asteroid belt, release the beasts and send them to trample the cities of our world. An Earth spaceship must penetrate the aliens’ moonbase and take control of the monster army before a final confrontation with the space dragon King Ghidorah. Directed by Ishirō Honda.

July 21: WRATH OF DAIMAJIN (1966)

Friday, July 21, 2023 | 9:30pm

The DAIMAJIN Trilogy saw Daiei’s Kyoto studios bringing its own iconic giant movie monster to life in a series that transplants the Golem legend to late-16th century Japan. In WRATH OF DAIMAJIN, the final film in the series, four boys make a perilous trip to ask an ancient mountain demon god (embodied by giant stone statue) to save their families, who have been enslaved by a tyrannical lord. Remarkably overlooked in the West, this thrilling tale of feudal oppression and divine retribution combines lavish period detail with jaw-dropping special effects. Directed by Kazuo Mori.

August 18: GAMERA 3: REVENGE OF IRIS (1999)

Friday, August 18, 2023 | 8:00pm

The 1990s GAMERA series (a reboot of Daei's 1960s kaiju series about a giant flying, fire-breathing turtle) is hailed by sci-fi fans as some of the best modern kaiju entertainment ever created in Japan. In the third film in the trilogy -- GAMERA: REVENGE OF IRIS --  Japan is again under attack by giant flying Gyaos. Meanwhile, a young girl – whose parents died during a previous monster conflict – discovers a new creature called Iris. After merging with the girl and fueled by her trauma and hate for Gamera, who she blames for the deaths of her parents, Iris seeks revenge on Gamera, who seems to be losing his patience with humankind. Praised for its practical special effects and apocalyptic tone, GAMERA: REVENGE OF IRIS represents the pinnacle of classic tokusatsu filmmaking. Directed by Shusuke Kaneko [Gamera the Guardian of the Universe (1995) and Gamera 2: Attack of Legion (1996)] with special effects by Shinji Higuchi who would go on to co-direct Shin Godzilla (2016) and direct Shin Ultraman (2022).

Sep 21, 2021

HXFF Presents HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES (2003) & COSTUME CONTEST @ The Staircase


The Hexploitation Film Festival is excited to usher in the Halloween season with a screening of Rob Zombie's trashterpiece HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES at The Staircase Theatre! 

HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES (2003)


SHOW TIMES: Saturday, October 23 @ 10:00pm (Main Theatre)
Theatre Doors Open, Vaccination Validation, and Theatre Pre-Show begins @ 9:30pm

*Due to capacity limits, only 33 tickets will be sold*

Get Tickets


In Rob Zombie's infamous breakout feature, four young people investigating the legend of Dr. Satan are captured and tortured by the colorfully psychotic Firefly family. Recognized as a cult classic and horror genre game-changer, House of 1000 Corpses is a Hellbilly Halloween murder-ride inspired by 70's horror and exploitation thrills, chills, and kills.


* Come dressed as your favorite HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES or other Rob Zombie film character (i.e. The Devil's Rejects, Rob Zombie's HalloweenLords of Salem31, 3 From Hell) for a chance to win prizes! Winners will be chosen based on creativity, originality, style, and theme!

* All HXFF shirts and posters will be on deep discount for one night only.
  • Classic Red & White tees - only $5.00 (cash only)
  • Toxic Green tees - only $10.00 (cash only)
  • Limited Edition festival posters - only $5.00 (cash only)

IMPORTANT COVID-19 Safety Update:

Beginning Sept. 22, 2021, ALL cinemas in Ontario will require patrons to provide proof of full vaccination.

At the Hexploitation Film Festival box office, please have ready the following:
  • Physical proof of vaccination or a clear photo of the proof of vaccination
  • Photo ID along with proof of full vaccination
* Attendees who do not present proof of full vaccination will not be allowed into the theatre and there will be no refunds.

Jul 23, 2021

STAIRCASE x HXFF present SUMMERWEEN! Aug 1st - 2nd, 2021

Celebrate Summerween at The Staircase!
August 01 - August 02, 2021

Hexploitation returns to the Staircase for the first time since the pandemic!

The People Under the Staircase and the Hexploitation Film Festival are collaborating this August long weekend to present two nights of Halloween-themed events with a socially-distant Summer twist at  27 Dundurn St. North in Hamilton, ON.

In addition to nightly costume contests, watermelon jack o' lantern carving, a live performance by The Monsters of Schlock, and some special "spooky season" additions to The People Under the Staircase's full-service menu of vegan pub fare and drinks, Hexploitation will be bringing the thrills, chills, and kills with three special Summerween horror events:

Sunday, August 1, 2021

7:00pm - 8:00pm: Summer Survival Horror Movie Trivia
Admission: Free Registration in Advance (limited seating available)

Summer Survival Horror Movie Trivia is an informal, fun, and interactive competition where teams (2 to 5 people) compete to see who has the greatest knowledge of summer-themed horror movies. The team with the most points will take home a prize! During and in between rounds, take full advantage of The Staircase's full-service restaurant specializing in vegan pub food, drinks, and cocktails.

Register your team for free in advance, by claiming a free ticket, but spots will be limited to maintain social distancing between tables.

9:00pm: Hexploitation Presents CRUEL JAWS (B-Movie Bingo Edition)

Only 33 tickets will be sold!
*Theatre fully sanitized after each screening*

Hamilton's longest-running horror, cult, and exploitation genre film festival returns to the Staircase Theatre with an interactive screening of the wild, hilarious, and notorious 1995 killer shark movie CRUEL JAWS (or, as it was known in some countries: JAWS 5). Experience the ultimate example of killer sharksploitation in a film best described as THE ROOM meets DEEP BLUE SEA. Borrowing characters, plot, and footage from other killer shark films, CRUEL JAWS is a film so-bad-it's-good that it might be genius.

Every attendee will receive a limited edition B-MOVIE BINGO card. Instead of numbers, cards will include events or lines of dialogue from the film. Cross them off as they occur on screen and form a complete line. If you can complete a full line on your card, you will win a prize! 1/11 attendees are guaranteed a winning card.

Monday, August 2, 2021

4:00pm: Hexploitation Presents THE MUTILATOR (B-Movie Bingo Edition)


Only 33 tickets will be sold!
*Theatre fully sanitized after each screening*

Hamilton's longest-running horror, cult, and exploitation genre film festival returns to the Staircase Theatre with an interactive screening of beachfront 80s vacation slasher THE MUTILATOR (aka. FALL BREAK).

A group of college coeds travel to an island property on vacation find themselves stalked, hacked, and slashed in a beach-side bloodbath. Oozing with brutal gore from FX wizard Mark Shostrom (VIDEODROME, EVIL DEAD II), beach-goth vibes, and haunted synths, THE MUTILATOR is an undiscovered treasure from the golden age slasher boom. It should also be noted that the movie contains a killer dad-rock theme song called “Fall Break" you'll be singing all August!

Every attendee will receive a limited edition B-MOVIE BINGO card. Instead of numbers, cards will include events / lines of dialogue from the film. Cross them off as they occur on screen and form a complete line. If you can complete a full line on your card, you will win a prize! 1/11 attendees are guaranteed a winning card.

May 21, 2021

Hexploitation Cancels 2021 Film Festival

A special update from Hexploitation Film Festival Director / Lead Programmer Aaron Allen

Hello fellow fright fans, horror hounds, and cult film connoisseurs. 

I hope that you and your loved ones have been able to weather this COVID-19 storm so far, but if you or your families have suffered hardship this past year and half, you have my sympathies. This is not the 2020 or 2021 any of us were hoping for. With so much strife and sadness going on in the world, I have had occasion to hear explicitly from many of you how much you miss the Hexploitation Film Festival (HXFF) and wish for a return to normalcy. With that in mind, it is with immeasurable regret that I must announce that there will be no HXFF for 2021 either online or in person.

Since our last HXFF in February 2020, we have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation carefully and rolling with the punches that fate has delivered. Whether it was the unexpected closure of our long-time venue or the entirely foreseeable crushing third wave of COVID variants that were encouraged to sweep through Ontario (thanks for nothing, Dougie!), we have been trying to work out a plan to return our festival and screening events to a venue or screen near you. With the news that the People Under the Staircase were going to resurrect our long-time venue, and in seeing that the ramp up in vaccine rollout was on the horizon in Ontario, we had hope that we could return for Fall 2021. We were fully prepared to bring the festival back in 2021 as an online event and were positioned to open submissions this Spring/Summer. Unfortunately, events in my life that are beyond my control have led me to the hard decision to cancel HXFF for 2021.

Like many of you, horror films are my passion but not my profession. I work a regular day job, Monday to Friday, that's about as far away from cinematic thrills, chills, and kills that you can get. Although I have been the lead festival programmer and director of HXFF since 2012, “Festival Director and Lead Programmer” is not my fulltime job. Everything I do to organize and pull off the film festival each year with the help of a great team of programmers is done on my own free time. Like myself, the entire dedicated HXFF team is made up of programmers and volunteers who make ends meet in fields outside the world of film distribution and entertainment. While it is true that those with passion find a way to make time for what they love, it’s equally true that there's not always enough time to give that which you love the attention it deserves. 

This is the position I find myself in as we approach the Summer. Certain developments in my field have resulted in my day job becoming unexpectedly and increasingly demanding. It is leaving me very little time or energy to devote to the intensive preparations that the HXFF requires, and I do not foresee it letting up until next year. I faced a choice of burning the candle at both ends, but no matter which way I looked at it, the HXFF was bound to eventually suffer in either quality or presentation. I love the HXFF, I love our fans, and I love the films we screen too much to do a half-assed job. After speaking with my fellow programmers, I have decided that the best course of action is to cancel HXFF for 2021 in its entirety.

That is not to say that you won’t see some activity from us this Summer or early Fall. Ontario just announced a new three-phase opening plan that leaves the possibility of some outdoor screenings or events. If something of a smaller scale presents itself, we may resurface. But as for our three-day competitive film festival...well, that event is a slippery, slobbering beast to wrangle at the best of times. You cannot handle a monster like that without giving it your full attention. Therefore, for 2021 we will do the next best thing. We will shackle the beast of HXFF and force it into hibernation. But if the types of movies we love to screen have taught us anything, such beasts never slumber for long. Hexploitation will return. And it will return very, very hungry.

We hope you will be there with us to feed it.

Feed it with your screams.

All the bloody best,

- Aaron Allen
Festival Director / Lead Programmer
Hexploitation Film Festival