Hard Core Logo is as beloved a movie as this country has ever produced. Bruce McDonald’s 1996 punk rock road trip movie illustrates the better-to-burn-out-than-to-fade-away ethos in memorable style. It played at Cannes, made Hugh Dillon a film star and gave Canadian punk band Billy Talent their name.
So why did McDonald take almost fifteen years to make Hard Core Logo 2?
“It’s a hard question to answer because there isn’t a lot of logic to it,” he says. “It was more, ‘Wow, we had fun making the first one. Let’s go back for the fun of it.’ Then it was actually just getting around to doing the work. That’s the long time aspect of it, getting the energy to actually do the work.”
Fate also played a role.
“Timing is a sort of series of triggers where the world seems to offer up elements,” he says. “When I met Care (Failure, Die Mannequin lead singer and star of HCL2), I thought she seems to be a female version of Hard Core Logo. Meeting her added this curveball to the world. If we go back there what are we going to do? And suddenly she helped answer that question.”
The new film doesn’t pick up where the last one so notoriously left off—number one’s closing moments are as shocking as they memorable–but instead riffs off the spirit of the original, literally. Care Failure is a punk rock singer who may be possessed by the spirit of Joe Dick, the character Dillon played in the original.
“If you had to genre-ize it,” McDonald says, “it would be a personal-doc-rockumenatry-ghost-story. When you are dealing with ghosts and spirits suddenly you’re kind of opening a door to bigger questions—spooky questions, mortality questions.”
Hard Core Logo 2 has a much different feel than the original, but McDonald hopes fans will follow along.
“There are echoes of the past but it was not a direct aim at the past,” he says. “I was wifeless and childless and now there’s a big change. I think a lot of people who were fans of the first movie are different now as well. Your current state of being is reflected in the things you are interested in and the stories you are telling.”
In the end McDonald hopes the movie provides “good laughs, awesome music and that little reminder that life is beautiful.”