Check Out the Poster for THE DAY

Next time you are on facebook make sure to check out the page for The Day. You'll find all sorts of promotional material (like the stylin' poster above). While you're there don't forget to like the official Midnight Madness Fan Page as well where you can win cool prizes like tickets to The Raid!

THE DAY screening times
Thurs., Sept. 15th, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Fri., Sept. 16th, 3:00PM, SCOTIABANK THEATRE 2
Sat., Sept. 17th, 9:45PM, SCOTIABANK THEATRE 11

THE RAID screening times
Thurs., Sept. 8th, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Sat., Sept. 10th, 12:15PM, AMC 2

Interview with Simon Barrett, screenwriter of You're Next

Simon Barrett is one of those screenwriters who seems like he's got "being a writer" figured out pretty well. His work is sharp, clever, funny and unexpected. He's found a director / producer team to collaborate with that's yielding incredible results so far. He's got a film in Midnight Madness, and it's his second year in a row showcasing his work at TIFF. Pretty awesome, right? Last year, Simon was at the festival with A Horrible Way To Die (directed by Adam Wingard, who he partnered with again for You're Next), which played in the Vanguard program. This time, they're in Midnight Madness, but it's not Simon's first time in that program either. In 2004, he penned Dead Birds, a scary movie that takes place in the Confederate-era, and which premiered here at the fest as well. I was lucky enough to get the chance to ask Simon a few questions about his latest project, You're Next, a very unique spin on the home invasion genre, which is premiering at Midnight Madness on Saturday, September 10th.

KG: The dialogue in films you've penned always seems incredibly natural, almost improvised. How much of that is you, and how much is actual improv? How do you feel about your work being changed in the finished product like that?

SB: I really don't understand writers like David Mamet or Aaron Sorkin who like their dialogue to be spoken verbatim. Maybe that's just because I'm not as talented as them, but it seems to me that the reason you cast a good actor is so that they can adjust the lines to fit their take on the character. That's the point of filmmaking, it's inherently collaborative, or at least that's the way Adam and I do it. I enjoy that aspect of production, working with the actors to adjust what's in the script in the moment. That said, the extent to which my dialogue is improvised just depends on the project, the actor, etc. For example, most of the dialogue in YOU'RE NEXT is pretty much as scripted, with some notable exceptions, but I recently wrote a segment of Adam and Joe's anthology film AUTOEROTIC in which the dialogue was entirely improvised and I just came up with the basic story and outline. I think both ways are fine. I try very hard to write clever dialogue that is natural and has a cultivated rhythm to it, but when I fail at that, I then count on having brilliant actors to fix it. And then I take all the credit.

KG: Perhaps related to the question above - you're credited as a producer or co-producer on almost every film you've written. Writer-Producer isn't the commonest of combinations, and I'm wondering why you choose it. Is it just a natural result of making films in a more DIY way with friends/collaborators? Does it allow you to retain more control over your screenplays? Do you want to direct as well?

SB: Ironically, I was just talking with Keith and Jess, the L.A.-based producers of YOU'RE NEXT, at dinner last night about how I don't want to produce any significant projects ever again and they can produce our next few films without any help from me! They were not at all sad to hear this, incidentally. I think I'm an okay producer, but I hate doing it, and I'm a better writer. Producing is a horrible job, it's a huge amount of incredibly stressful work if you do it correctly. Compared to writing or directing, it totally sucks. As you surmised, I originally got into producing my own work so that I could retain creative control and help make the important decisions on casting, locations, crew, and so on. And yeah, when you're making an ultra low budget film like A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE, which was shot in my hometown, you just kind of naturally end up doing everything yourself because there's not too many other people around to do it for you. Now that I've cultivated a relationship with producers I trust, I'm throwing in the towel. I'd much rather do solely creative work, and I think I'm decent at it. As for directing, maybe someday. I like directing and editing, and have shot a couple of shorts that I'm proud of, but I've got a great collaborative relationship going with Adam right now, and he's a filmmaking genius. Maybe when I finally drive him into a nervous breakdown and he ends up hospitalized for a few years, I'll be forced to shoot one of my feature scripts myself. Until then, and especially now that I'm done working as a producer on our films, I see my role on our next few productions as sitting around in front of a monitor on set, eating peanut butter cookies and criticizing all of Adam's creative decisions under my breath. I think I'm going to be great at this.

KG: You're a pretty prolific writer - you've written features, shorts, even a YA novel. What's next? A series of paperback crime thrillers? What's your favourite type of writing project to work on?

SB: I loved writing that young adult novel and would absolutely like to write more. Unfortunately, it takes a lot longer to write a novel than a screenplay, and I don't really know anything about getting books published, so I mostly just do it because I feel, I don't know, artistically compelled to or something. Less unfortunately, I have so many film projects I need to finish right now that I'm pretty much totally booked with screenwriting for the next year or so. I'm able to write very quickly, which is a gift that I'm proud of, but I don't have a lot of time for writing just for fun these days. I have several book ideas, including more YA fiction, that I hope to get to before I die, but I literally have six feature scripts I'm currently working on that I'd like to get done by 2012. Maybe in between those I can squeeze in a haiku or an angry postcard to an ex-girlfriend or something.

KG: If I can be permitted to generalize for a moment - I'm often disappointed with how lazily written women are in genre films. You're Next, on the other hand, has some awesome female characters in it. They're strong, funny, well used in the story, and not victimized in lame ways just because they're women. Tell me more about that. Did you set out to make a feminist horror movie or what?

SB: Man, I could write an essay about this. I'll try to be succinct, but the answer is yes and no. Keith made a funny point that we accidentally made a feminist horror film just because none of us secretly hate women, which is rare for a genre project. That about sums it up, I guess, but the genesis of YOU'RE NEXT really came from touring film festivals with A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE and seeing all the genre films we were competing with. It just made me want to do something different. After the Toronto premiere of A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE last year, I got in a friendly debate with a woman I'm close with over whether or not the movie had sexist elements. I don't want to give anything away about that film, but basically she felt that AHWTD's female protagonist could have been more proactive, and I was like, no, that's not taking your characters seriously as real people, which is what screenwriters do all the time when they're trying to be feminist but are really just stupid and untalented. I hate the way most Hollywood screenwriters try to write supposedly tough women, where they're just obnoxiously posturing from the first moment they're onscreen. It kind of got me thinking about how I might try to do something different. Adam and I like to challenge ourselves by taking genre ideas that we think most people approach incorrectly, and then trying to do something original within that paradigm. The goal was never to do anything political, I'm honestly not smart enough for that. I just wanted to be entertaining, and I'm sick of seeing women victimized or portrayed as physically inferior to men in films. I'm not offended by it or anything, it just bores me. Unless it's a film that I shot myself in my bed with a video camera. Then I'm into it. But that's different.

Midnight Madness at Trailers from Hell: Don Coscarelli

Previously on Midnight Madness at Trailers from Hell, we looked at MM alumni Stuart Gordon's contributions to Trailers From Hell, a site dedicated to the proposition that any movie can be great in 2 1/2 minutes. Now it's Don Coscarelli's turn.

Midnight Madness alumni Coscarelli is responsible for one of my most cherished memories:  seeing Bubba Ho-Tep on the legendary Uptown Theatre's big screen, with Coscarelli, Bruce Campbell and a Madness crowd in attendance in 2002.

At Trailers from Hell, Coscarelli comments on four trailers. The first is Elvis' finest movie, King Creole, directed by Micheal Curtiz (Casablanca) featuring Walter Matthau as a rotten to the core club owner.

Coscarelli also discusses Sydney Pollack's Three Days of the Condor starring Robert Redford, Ishiro Honda's Godzilla and the evil hand classic, The Beast With Five Fingers, starring Peter Lorre. You can see them all at the Trailers from Hell website.

AICN Hearts KILL LIST, DRIVE, and other TIFF selections at the Melbourne International Film Festival!

A contributor named 'Tyler Turden' over at Ain't It Cool News caught Midnight Madness selection Kill List as well as TIFF 2011 selection Drive down under at the Melbourne International Film Festival and had glowing reviews of both.

For the creepy, genre-bending Kill List:

I thought this film by Ben Wheatley was totally kick ass. A serious genre bender; this one plays leapfrog with your expectations. What starts out as exercise in British miserablism soon morphs into a tense hitman drama and then into something else entirely. I imagine this will become a serious cult hit...

And for the star-studded, action-packed, road rash instructional video Drive:

This film is fucking sweet. It is a bizarre mash up of (in no order) 80’s Michael Mann visual sheen, Jean Claude Van Damme posturing, David Lynch weirdness and Paul Verhoeven violence! No shit!

There`s also reviews of TIFF 2010 selection 13 Assassins and much more. You've still got a few days to lock down your selections for this year's Festival, so make sure you don't miss these two insane thrillfests!

Kill List screening times:

Saturday September 17 11:59pm Ryerson

Sunday September 18 3:15pm Scotiabank Theatre 4

Drive screening times:

Saturday September 10 9:15pm Ryerson

Sunday September 11 9:00am TIFF Bell Lightbox 1


Three Things You Didn't Know About Bobcat Goldthwait

Anyone who grew up in the late 80’s – early 90’s probably remembers Bobcat Goldthwait as Zed from the Police Academy movies. But, did you know…

1. If you were at Midnight Madness 2010, he was probably nearby. Goldthwait was scouting Toronto locations last year and took in a few Midnight Madness screenings. He also caught Adam Wingard’s A Horrible Way to Die, which inspired him to make his Midnight Madness Entry God Bless America.

2. He knows how to entertain people late at night. Goldthwait is a highly successful television director whose credits include Chappelle’s Show and The Man Show. Plus, during his time directing Jimmy Kimmel Live ratings rose to over 2 million viewers a night.

3. He really knows how to fire up late night TV. In the 90s he had a penchant for going on late night tv and trashing the sets. The most memorable incident was when Goldthwait was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and he set a chair on fire! NBC has made sure the clip is impossible to find online but here’s a pic to prove it.

GOD BLESS AMERICA Screening Times:
Fri., Sept. 9th, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Sun., Sept. 1tth, 1:30PM, AMC 6
Fri., Sept. 16th, 6:30PM, AMC 7

YOU’RE NEXT Screening Times:
Sat., Sept. 10th, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Mon., Sept. 12th, 6:30PM, AMC 7
Fri., Sept. 16th, 4:00PM, TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX 2


Midnight Madness at Trailers from Hell: Stuart Gordon

Trailers from Hell was born of belief, a belief that there should be a website devoted to horror and exploitation film trailers and that these trailers should include the commentary of current filmmakers. It was born of the belief that, "Any movie can be great at 2 1/2 minutes!"

Trailers -- you know -- those fast-paced 2-to-4 minute theatrical promo shorts that have preceded the Feature Attraction since the dawn of sound? An exciting montage of all The Best Parts of a movie the exhibitors want you to NEED to see! Full of swirling letters screaming hyperbolic promises of THRILLS! ACTION! MYSTERY! ROMANCE! Packing all the highlights of a whole picture into its own mini-movie in just a few minutes!
TRAILERS FROM HELL is the brainchild of film director Joe Dante, new media entrepreneur Jonas Hudson, graphic artist Charlie Largent and producer Elizabeth Stanley. The series was born out of their mutual love of classic films of all types, but particularly horror and exploitation films.
TFH is the premier showcase for a breathtakingly eclectic assortment of trailers from classic era films both in their original form and punctuated with informative and amusing commentary by contemporary filmmakers.
This mandate is oh so compatible with Midnight Madness, though Midnight Madness is dedicated to the idea of 90 awesome minutes. Fortunately, Trailers from Hell has invited some Midnight Madness alumni to choose films and provide their commentary.

First up is director Stuart Gordon, whose movie Stuck premiered at Midnight Madness in 2007.

At Trailers from Hell, Gordon adds commentary to four film trailers:

William Castle's, Mr. Sardonicus

Nightmare Alley with Tyrone Power and Joan Blondell

The Thing With Two Heads co-starring Rosey Grier and Ray Milland. (And one of my sentimental favorites)

and the classic, True Grit, starring John Wayne and Kim Darby

Coming up on Friday, September 2, Gordon will be presenting the trailer for Cannibal Holocaust. From Trailers from Hell's newsletter:

One of the most brutal and controversial horror films of all time, Ruggero Deodato's fake snuff movie is heavily influenced by the makers of Mondo Cane. Banned in many countries due to inexcusable animal cruelty and all-too-realistic-looking gore scenes, it has been hailed as an anti-imperialist media expose and condemned as racist torture porn. Shot on location in the Amazon with a "found footage" format, it presages both The Blair Witch Project and that most terrifying of modern horrors, The Reality Show.

Dread Central has a First Look at the LOVELY MOLLY One-Sheet

DreadCentral has a first look at the poster for Eduardo Sanchez' Lovely Molly, which has its world premiere at Midnight Madness, as well as details on how to win an autographed poster!

Below you'll find an exclusive look at the film's one-sheet, but wait ... that's so not all! If you're lucky enough to be at the festival, the Lovely Molly crew will have five (5) copies of the poster with them that will be signed by the cast, director, and producers! Bitchin', right? Still not done...

[....] With the exquisite and haunting Lovely Molly, Eduardo Sanchez takes the first-person video horror genre he pioneered with The Blair Witch Project and evolves it into a modern personal horror film with the raw, intimate character exploration that evokes memories of early Polanski films like Repulsion or the classic Rosemary's Baby.

Wed., Sept. 14th, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Thurs., Sept. 15th, 5:15PM, AMC 2
Sat., Sept. 17th, 4:00PM, SCOTIABANK THEATRE 4


Like Midnight Madness on the Facebook!

We've decided to get with the cool kids and start up an official Midnight Madness Facebook page. Help boost our spirits and "Like Us." We really want to be accepted...

Big Changes At TIFF 2011, and some tips!

As you've probably figured out by now, TIFF has, like your high school prom date, made the slow, steady move south (geographically, you pervs!) Older but still much-loved venues like the Cumberland and the Varsity have fallen by the wayside, making way for brand new screens at TIFF Bell Lightbox and the Princess of Wales theatres.

Two other things you may not have noticed while furiously compiling your schedule:

- Did you know that you can search/select films on the TIFF website by programmer? Well, dummy, you can! So, for example, if you want to see what the twisted mind of our intrepid programmer Colin Geddes has chosen for TIFF 2011, even for selections outside Midnight Madness (usually just as terrifying/gory/madcap as the ten late-night selections), just check out his Programmer page. As a side note, these folks are pretty snappy dressers, huh?

- An online tool called TIFFr, which can be invaluable for narrowing down your schedule. Just add films to your 'shortlist' and TIFFr will populate with all the screening times for that film. Pick the screenings that fit your schedule and Bob(cat?)'s your uncle. Once you have your schedule locked down, you can Tweet it, email it, import it into your iPhone or Google Calendar, and send the link around. Who needs such frills as 'short term memory' anyway? Here's my schedule.

We're only about nine days out from the most blood-soaked, drama-filled, chilling, exhausting, most wonderful week of the year! Hope you folks have your cinema hats* on!

*not real hats


Torontoist Excited About LIVID

Torontoist.com named its top 11 picks for TIFF 11. Devoted midnight maniacs will immediately recognize four of the names on the list:

Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo who showed us all how much damage a simple pair of scissors could do in À l'intérieur (Midnight Madness 2007).

Pen-ek Ratanaruang who presented 6ixtynin9 at Midnight Madness 2000.

And Johnnie To who brought us the GREATEST. ACTION. MOVIE. EVER: Fulltime Killer (Midnight Madness 2001). That is an indisputable title which I am allowed to confer because I'm a blogger. Don't believe me? Go watch it... Now... See, told you!

Here's some of what they had to say about their films at TIFF11:

Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo’s Livid ...promises some of the same claustrophobic indoors tension of Inside. And if it’s even half as tense and pants-shittingly gnarly, then all you sicko gorehounds out there are in for a treat.

Johnnie To’s Life Without Principle ...is a heist caper and mini–morality drama involving a bank teller, a small-time crook, and a cop. Sounds promising.

Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s Headshot ...is about a cop who gets double-crossed and shot in the head, then wakes up three months later to find that he sees the whole world upside down. ...sounds amazingly trippy and inventive...

Livid Screening Times
Sunday September 11 11:59:00 PM RYERSON
Tuesday September 13 5:00:00 PM AMC 7

Life Without Principle Screening Times
Monday September 12 9:00:00 PM VISA SCREENING ROOM (ELGIN)
Wednesday September 14 3:30:00 PM TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX 1
Saturday September 17 8:30:00 PM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 3

Screening Times
Sunday September 11 9:00:00 PM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 2
Monday September 12 5:30:00 PM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 2
Saturday September 17 3:00:00 PM TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX 1

Ramping Up to Midnight Madness at the Festival of Fear

Can't wait for the Madness to start? You can get a little taste this weekend at Rue Morgue's Festival of Fear.

Midnight Madness usually has a table at the Festival of Fear. We're sorry to say we couldn't this year (for scheduling reasons), but as Colin Geddes says, “What a show they got going on!”

The Festival of Fear runs its spooky racket as part of the titanic Fan Expo, this weekend August 25-28 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

This year's Guest of Honor is Robert Englund, who everybody knows as Freddie Krueger, but who will always kind of be Willie from the tv miniseries, V, to me. John Waters, iconic horror host Elvira, Martin Landau, Doug Bradley, Tom Savini, John Astin, Victoria Price, Malcolm MacDowell, Katee Sackhof, Lance Henriksen, Danielle Harris, Sam Tramell, Eliza Dushku and many more will also be appearing for photo opportunities, signings and Q &A's throughout the weekend.

Oh Willie, you are so sweet and clumsy...

Friday, August 26:

A noon screening of last year's Midnight Madness pick, John Carpenter's The Ward. If you think noon's too light for a horror movie, just remember the Romans considered noon to be the eeriest hour (MTCC 709).

Canadian Horror Geeks and fans of Canadiana might want to check out the “Remembering Frightenstein” panel at 5pm (MTCC 715B)

Victoria Price, author and the daughter of the late Vincent Price, will be available at at Q & A at 7pm (MTCC 715B)

Go on “A Dream Date with Freddy” when the Toronto Underground Cinema (186 Spadina Ave) screens Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors, followed by a Q & A with Robert Englund. $20 in advance/ $25 at the door.

The 2011 Festival of Fear Shocktail Party featuring the Texas Hellbillies, Ghoultown, and DJ Peter Black at The Courthouse (57 Adelaide St. East). The shocktails start pouring at 10 p.m.

Ask Victoria Price about this baby picture at her Q & A!

Saturday, August 27:

Get your FX on at an FX workshop featuring Remy Couture at 12pm (MTCC 717)

If you're looking for a sweetie who's into horror and do well in job interview situations, you might want to check out the Horror Expo Speed Dating at 12pm. If you're openminded about genre, you can also try the All Genre Speed Dating at 6pm. (MTCC 803 for both).

At 4:30 there's the intriguingly-titled, “Lance vs. Lance, featuring Lance Henriksen.” (MTCC 713)

Remy Couture returns for the “Art/Crime” panel at 5pm. (MTCC 709)

But then there's also, “Satanic Sinema Screening featuring Salako Kalfou” at 5pm. (MTCC 711)

Will Lance vs. Lance be like this, but with another Lance Henriksen?

“This Filthy World: Filthier and Dirtier! An intimate evening with John Waters” at the Toronto Underground Cinema. Advance tickets are $30 at the Rue Morgue's Festival of Fear booth. Show starts at 7pm at the Toronto Underground Cinema (186 Spadina Ave.)

Back at the convention centre at 7pm there will be a “Monster Brawl featuring Art Hindle and others.” (MTCC 709)

Teletoon will be hosting a Retro Costume Contest at 8pm in MTCC Hall H.

Night Terrors: Horror Expo Party the Official Rue Morgue Festival of Fear Party starts at 10 pm. It features a midnight costume contest hosted by Tom Savini, the hypnotic sounds of Witch Rock pioneers Blood Ceremony. Plus Terror tunes from Rue Morgue Radio's Tomb Dragomir, Oz and LaMort at Revival Event Theatre (783 College St. West). $15 door/$10 advance.

Sunday, August 28:

There's a 12pm Horror Short Showcase, featuring Tim Sullivan and Adam Rifkin. (MTCC 711)

It's a war of the Midnight Madness Bloggers with a screening of Android Reenactment featuring Midnight Madness blogger Darryl Shaw and Steve Walsh. (MTCC 709) and “Creature Features” featuring Midnight Madness blogger Eric Veillette (MTCC 711) both set for 2pm

At 3pm, “The One and Only William Shatner” will be in MTCC Hall G.

And if you missed the previous day's Satanic Sinema Screening, never fear. The Devil has heard your prayers with “Satanic Sinema Screening II” at 4pm.

And who wins in the eternal struggle between the Devil and William Shatner?

My favourite Tweet of #TIFF11 so far


A Kindler, Gentler Midnight Madness???

What does a kindler, gentler Midnight Madness look like? I suspect it has something to do with the fact that the killers in You're Next wear cute little kitty cat masks. But for the real answer check out this interview with TIFF Programmer Colin Geddes at The Toronto Star.

In the article Colin gave some insight into some of this years titles: The Raid: ...features silat, a style of martial arts that is probably unfamiliar to audiences here. Plus, audiences will get a first look at 28-year-old Iko Uwais in action.
God Bless America: ...a satire about a possibly terminally ill man who decides this town needs some cleaning up with the help of a teen sidekick. “It’s Bonnie and Clyde for the 21st century,” says Geddes.

Livid: ...“Like Black Swan, only bleaker,” says Geddes with pleasure.
You’re Next: ...it’s a home-invasion mixed with the “awful, biting family pettiness that goes on at any (family) reunion.”

You’re Next Screening Times
Saturday September 10 11:59:00 PM RYERSON
Monday September 12 6:30:00 PM AMC 7
Friday September 16 4:00:00 PM TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX 2

The Raid Screening times:
Thursday September 8 11:59:00 PM RYERSON
Saturday September 10 12:15:00 PM AMC 2

God Bless America Screening Times
Friday September 9 11:59:00 PM RYERSON
Sunday September 11 1:30:00 PM AMC 6
Friday September 16 6:30:00 PM AMC 7

Livid Screening Times
Sunday September 11 11:59:00 PM RYERSON
Tuesday September 13 5:00:00 PM AMC 7

The Cryptic Tweets of Midnight Madness' Colin Geddes

At The Toronto Star, Peter Howell has written a piece deciphering the mysterious tweets of Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Co-Director, Cameron Bailey. But Bailey isn't TIFF's only man of mystery. Followers of Midnight Madness programmer Colin Geddes' tweets know that there were plenty of teasing hints this summer leading up to his late night “leak” of stills from eight of his ten selections.

Is Colin Geddes a ghost kitty as this photo suggests? Experts disagree.

While Howell compares Bailey to a chess player or a knife-fighter, Colin surely brings a gun to a chess game, knife fight or Twitter tease... and knows something nasty a human being can do with a piece of chicken, if his tweets are anything to go by.

So prepare yourself, Midnight Madniks, for the Twittertastic teases of Colin Geddes and, if you're not following Midnight Madness, follow @mmadnesstiff on Twitter now!

@mmadnesstiff on 30 July:

I was incredibly impressed when I saw this actress in her last film and she does a tremendous turn in this one. I'll reveal all soon...

@mmadnesstiff on 30 July:

Just noticed in the credits of this Midnight Madness selection that they thank the band Explosions in the Sky. Interesting... #TIFF11

@mmadnesstiff on 29 July:

I have a bunch of #TIFF11 films I've picked that [Toronto] Mayor [Rob] Ford should see that are about "cuts". And deep cuts at that... #tocouncil

@mmadnesstiff on 25 July:

I just emailed a very funny man to tell him his film has been invited to Midnight Madness #TIFF11

@mmadnesstiff on 22 July:

Watching a film by and starring a director who likes to get beaten and bloody in his films regularly.

@mmadnesstiff on 15 July:

Just saw CDN film full of profanity, punches to the head + blood by a dir who was in MM. Wont be in Midnight, but might find home elsewhere

@mmadnesstiff on 8 July:

Off to a secret location to see a TIFF11 contender! Don't think there will be popcorn at this place....

@mmadnesstiff on 30 June

Just arrived in NYC to see a screening of a Midnight Madness contender! Got high hopes for this one! #TIFF11

@mmadnesstiff on 28 June

And I can't tell you the name of the film! Some people must be new to this game I play every summer!

@mmadnesstiff on 28 June

Writing a #TIFF11 note for an exceptionally brutal film (not in MM) + listening to OST for Martyrs by Seppuku Paradigm for inspiration.

@mmadnesstiff on 23 June

What just those two major actors did with that piece of chicken is the movie I just saw is certainly going to make people talk in Sept...

Chicken?! My god!

@mmadnesstiff on 17 June

Asked a major film I love to dance with me at Midnight. Still waiting by the phone for an answer #playinghardtoget #TIFF11

@mmadnesstiff on 13 June

Good morning! I'm back at it watching bad horror films, so you don't have to! #TIFF2011submissions

@mmadnesstiff on 12 June

After a [dismal] day of watching poor submissions, I might have found a winner. Half way thru, but I think the French have saved the day.

@mmadnesstiff on 12 June

For the past 15 mins, this submission has had 4 characters talking about their emotions. Clearly a contender for Midnight Madness.

And while this doesn't have anything to do with Midnight Madness--at least I hope it doesn't--I can't help being curious:

@mmadnesstiff on 16 May

The closing tagline of the Austin Fantastic Fest/Fantasia Karaoke Party in #Cannes: There Will Be Piss.


UFC Champion, Anderson Silva--Inspired by ONG-BAK

UFC Middlewieght Champion, Anderson Silva is considered by most to be the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist in the world. This weekend at UFC 134 in Rio, he defends his UFC title against Yushin Okami. Silva is best known for his unorthodox but still incredibly accurate and powerful striking, with highlight reel knockouts of former champions, Vitor Belfort, Rich Franklin, and Forrest Griffin, to name a few.

Before Silva competed in the UFC, he fought in a smaller organization called Cage Rage. One of his opponents during that period, Tony Frykland, had the misfortune of fighting him shortly after he saw Midnight Madness 2003 selection, Ong-Bak for the first time. The UFC champion tells the story of how Tony Jaa inspired him for that fight:

Not long before my Cage Rage fight with Tony Frykland, I saw the movie Ong Bak (sic). Tony Jaa, the martial arts hero in the movie is a master at Muay Boran, an art I have always been interested in. There was one move in particular he did that blew me away. Instead of attacking with a side elbow or an over-the-top elbow, both of which are common in Muay Thai, Jaa stepped toward one of the villains and threw a lead reverse back elbow. I was so enamored with the move I went to my trainers and told them that I was going to use the strike in my next fight to knock out my opponent. Immediately they shut the idea down. 'That won’t work,' they said. 'Just forget about that elbow.' I wasn’t convinced but every time I tried to practice the move during training, the could come run over and tell me to focus on techniques that would actually work.

I still wasn’t convinced, so one night I went home and asked my wife to stand on the couch and hold out her hand. I executed a lead reverse back elbow into her palm, and she told me what I already knew — it was a very painful strike. To get in the practice I needed, I had her stand on the couch every evening after my official training — this time holding a pillow — and I would do one hundred reverse back elbows. By the time the Frykland fight came around, I felt very confident. Unfortunately, backstage I couldn’t sneak off with my wife to warm up on a pillow, so I had one of my training partners hold out a mitt so I could squeeze in a few more lead reverse back elbows. Again my trainers told me to forget that move. I figured I had no other choice but to prove them wrong, so two minutes into my fight with Frykland, I stepped toward him, threw a lead reverse back elbow at his chin, and knocked him out.

And if you don't know Ong-Bak...


It's official! MIDNIGHT MADNESS 2011!


The Midnight Madness programme walks on the cinematic wild side at the Toronto International Film Festival® with a riveting roundup of supernatural slayers, crossbow killers, corpse smugglers and a re-imagined Bonnie and Clyde for the 21st century. Programmed by Colin Geddes, the international lineup features nine world premieres and is one of the most highly-anticipated announcements on the radar of genre geeks around the world.

“Ravenous cinephiles will devour the roster of chillers, action thrillers and pitch-black comedies that fill this year’s slate,” said Colin Geddes, TIFF Programmer. “Martial arts assassins, cops and robbers, escaped lunatics and vampire ballerinas will take over Ryerson Theatre every night at midnight, and deliver the shocking and rocking experience that our loyal audience flocks to take part in, helping make these screenings so memorable.”

The Midnight Madness selection includes films from Bobcat Goldthwait, The Blair Witch Project director Eduardo Sanchez, Japanese cult director Katsuhito Ishii, and marks the return of a director-duo discovered in the program in 2007, Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo.

Midnight Madness Opening Night
The Raid
Gareth Evans, Indonesia
World Premiere
Deep in the heart of Jakarta’s slums lies an impenetrable safe house for the world’s most dangerous killers and gangsters. Until now, the run-down apartment block has been considered untouchable to even the bravest of police. Cloaked under the cover of pre-dawn darkness and silence, an elite swat team is tasked with raiding the safe house in order to take down the notorious drug lord that runs it. But when a chance encounter with a spotter blows their cover and news of their assault reaches the drug lord, the building’s lights are cut and all the exits blocked. Stranded on the sixth floor with no way out, the unit must fight their way through the city’s worst to survive their mission. Starring Indonesian martial arts sensation Iko Uwais.

Douglas Aarniokoski, USA
World Premiere

In a post-apocalyptic future, an open war against humanity rages. Five survivors wander along rural back-roads, lost, starving and on the run. With dwindling food stocks and ammunition, an attempt at seeking shelter turns into a battleground where they must fight or die. Starring Ashley Bell, Dominic Monaghan and Shannyn Sossamon.

God Bless America
Bobcat Goldthwait, USA
World Premiere

Loveless, jobless and possibly terminally ill, Frank has had enough of the downward spiral of America. With nothing left to lose, Frank takes his gun and decides to off the stupidest, cruellest and most repellent members of society with an unusual accomplice: 16-year-old Roxy, who shares his sense of rage and disenfranchisement. From stand-up comedian and director Bobcat Goldthwait comes a scathing and hilarious attack on all that is sacred in the United States of America.

The Incident
Alexandre Courtès, France
World Premiere

George, Max and Ricky are in a rock band and waiting for their big breakthrough. Between small gigs and rehearsals they work in the kitchen of a high-security asylum for good pay at minimum risk – they have no physical contact with the inmates. One night just before dinnertime, a big storm shuts down the security system, the doors open and the lunatics break loose. Help is on its way and should soon arrive... they just have to survive until it does.

Kill List
Ben Wheatley, United Kingdom
Canadian Premiere

Eight months after a disastrous job in Kiev left him physically and mentally scarred, ex-soldier-turned-contract-killer Jay is pressured by his partner Gal into taking a new assignment. As they track their prey, they descend into a disturbing world that is darker and more depraved than anything they experienced on the battlefield.

Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, France
World Premiere

The directors of 2007’s Midnight Madness hit A L’Interieur (Inside) return with a twisted gothic nightmare. A young woman and her friends break into a decrepit mansion looking for treasure, only to unlock a dark secret of unspeakable horror ready to dish out bloody punishment for their greed.

Lovely Molly
Eduardo Sanchez, USA
World Premiere

When newlywed Molly Reynolds returns to her long-abandoned family home, frightful reminders of a nightmarish childhood begin seeping into her new life. She soon begins an inexorable descent into evil that blurs the lines between psychosis and possession. From the director of The Blair Witch Project.

Sleepless Night
Frederic Jardin, France/Belgium/Luxembourg
World Premiere

When Vincent, a double-dealing cop, steals a big bag of cocaine from some drug dealers they counter by kidnapping and threatening to kill his son if the bag isn’t returned – fast. The swap is to go down at their headquarters in a big nightclub on the outskirts of Paris, but Vincent gets caught in a spiral of deception and betrayal and must fight his way through packed dance floors and dark corridors of the labyrinth-like club.

Katsuhito Ishii, Japan
World Premiere

After his dreams of becoming an actor go nowhere, 25-year-old Kinuta does nothing but gamble every day. Broke, framed and now neck-deep in debt, he is recruited as a smuggler – an underground mover of everything from dead bodies to illegal goods – but one cargo triggers the rage of a psychotic gangster hell-bent on revenge. By acclaimed cult director Katsuhito Ishii of Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl and Funky Forest fame.

You’re Next
Adam Wingard, USA
World Premiere

From the director-writer team that brought Festival audiences A Horrible Way To Die in 2010 comes a new experiment in tension. A family comes under a terrifying and sadistic attack during a reunion getaway. Barricaded in their secluded country home, they have to fight off a barrage of axes, crossbows and machetes from both inside and outside the house. Unfortunately for the killers, one of the victims proves to have a talent for fighting back.

Tickets to screenings for this programme will be available for individual purchase as well as through the Midnight Madness Package, which includes all 10 screenings for $156, or $100 for students and seniors. Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day at tiff.net/festival, by phone Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET at 416-599-TIFF or 1-888-599-8433,
and in person at the TIFF Bell Lightbox Box Office at 350 King St. West from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET. Methods of payment include cash, debit or Visa†. The 36th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8 to 18, 2011.