Amazing Del Toro Fright Nights Poster!

Check out the exclusive poster by the Rue Morgue graphics guys for the Del Toro Fright Nights series at Lightbox. The jaw-dropping 12×36 poster, screen-printed with metallic inks (!), will be available for purchase in the Official TIFF Bell Lightbox Store throughout the Fright Night event. Details on the film series below:

• In Conversation With... Guillermo del Toro - Thursday October 27, 2011 - 7:00 PM
• L'arcano incantatore - Introduced by Guillermo Del Toro - Thursday October 27, 2011-  9:30 PM
Black Sabbath - Friday October 28, 2011 - 6:30 PM
The Innocents - Saturday October 29, 2011- 8:00 PM
Cronos - Sunday October 30, 2011- 7:15 PM The Devil's Backbone - Sunday October 30, 2011 - 9:45 PM

Halloween Chills at Lightbox!

Do you have the shakes and shivers as you go through the withdrawal symptoms from the big screen shocks and chills that you get from Midnight Madness? Well, it looks like there are lots of Halloween themed movie hijinks going on in Toronto to help you get by!

In addition to the ongoing Toronto After Dark Film Fest (see The Divide by Midnight Madness alumni Xavier Gens who brought us Frontiers and also the award-winning Canadian horror/sci-fi mind twister, The Corridor) and Chris Alexander's Film School Confidential at The Revue, there are some special cinematic tricks and treats unspooling at TIFF Bell Lightbox including campy 3-D, axe-weidling maniacs, medieval beasts, gothic ghosts and an appearance by the Mexican Maestro of the Macabre, Guillermo Del Toro!

The Mask in 3-D - Wednesday October 26, 2011 - 8:30 PM
• In Conversation With... Guillermo del Toro - Thursday October 27, 2011 - 7:00 PM
• L'arcano incantatore - Introduced by Guillermo Del Toro - Thursday October 27, 2011-  9:30 PM
Black Sabbath - Friday October 28, 2011 - 6:30 PM
The Innocents - Saturday October 29, 2011- 8:00 PM
Jabberwocky - Saturday October 29, 2011 - 11:00 PM
Cronos - Sunday October 30, 2011- 7:15 PM
The Devil's Backbone - Sunday October 30, 2011 - 9:45 PM
My Bloody Valentine - Director George Mihalka in attendance - Monday October 31, 2011 - 6:30 PM

Read on for details!

Wednesday October 26, 2011 - 8:30 PM
The Mask in 3-D
Canada / 1961 / 81 minutes / 14A
Dir: Julian Roffman
Cast: Paul Stevens, Claudette Nevins, Bill Walker

In honour of UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, TIFF's Film Reference Library presents a rare print of Julian Roffman's shot-in-Toronto cult classic about a scientist driven to insanity and murder by an ancient tribal mask. Featuring bizarre, psychedelic dream sequences shot in 3-D, this deliriously campy Canadian horror film has not been screened by TIFF in more than twenty years. Sylvia Frank, Director of the Film Reference Library, will provide an introduction to the film and discuss its importance to Canadian film history and the challenges of preserving our national film heritage. [GET TICKETS]

Thursday October 27, 2011 - 7:00 PM
In Conversation With... Guillermo del Toro
After his memorable on-stage introduction to Toby Dammit and Suspiria during our Fellini double-bills programme this summer, the internationally celebrated fantasy filmmaker drops by again to kick off five nights of special Halloween programming at TIFF Bell Lightbox, presented in partnership with Rue Morgue Magazine.

On Thursday, October 27, del Toro and TIFF Bell Lightbox Artistic Director Noah Cowan share the stage for a lively conversation about the director's films past and future. Later that night, you can catch GDT again as he introduces the screening of the 1996 Italian chiller L'arcano incantatore (The Arcane Enchanter), which he recently named as one of his top twenty favourite horror films. [GET TICKETS]

Thursday October 27, 2011-  9:30 PM
L'arcano incantatore - Introduced by Guillermo Del Toro
Italy / 1996 / Italian with English Subtitles / 96 minutes
Dir. Pupi Avati
Cast: Carlo Cecchi, Stefano Dionisi, Arnaldo Ninchi

"Along with Paul Verhoeven's magnificent Flesh + Blood, L'arcano incantatore holds a unique place in my heart. Both are films that manage to minutely portray the era they take place in and the mindset of the characters that populate the tale. The shortcomings, longings, superstitions and desires of said characters may seem at times mundane, even repellent, but they allow the fantastic or the spiritual to become even more transcendental. Magic is more powerful in a prosaic context. . . . it is the director's eye for detail and pacing that makes us susceptible to the tenuous wonders at hand. Time runs slow for the characters[,] and the landscape surrounding them is vast, void and insurmountable. The film smells of sulfur and frankincense, of sin and redemption . . . rarely does a film evoke [a] true literary substance that reminds me of Sade, Seignolle or a conte cruel of Villiers de L'Isle-Adam."—Guillermo del Toro

Never released in America, Pupi Avati's gothic masterwork takes place in eighteenth-century Italy, where a seminary student flees to a remote castle after being accused of bewitching a young girl. Upon his arrival, he discovers he has been hired to serve a defrocked priest who is rumoured to dabble in the black arts, and his first assignment is to dispose of the body of the previous assistant. Fascination turns to obsession and terror as the student is drawn into a dangerous quest for forbidden knowledge. [GET TICKETS]

Friday October 28, 2011 - 6:30 PM
Black Sabbath
Italy / 1963 / Italian with English subtitles / 92 minutes
Dir. Mario Bava
Cast: Michèle Mercier, Lidia Alfonsi, Boris Karloff

Horror maestro Mario Bava's trilogy of terrifying tales (known as "The Three Faces of Fear" in its original Italian version) is "hosted" by the legendary Boris Karloff, who links the three episodes and stars in the best of them. In "The Telephone," a high-priced Parisian prostitute is terrorized by a series of threatening phone calls; in "The Drop of Water," a nurse steals a ring from the corpse of an elderly medium, and is soon assailed by the ominous sounds of dripping water and a buzzing fly. The Karloff segment, "The Wurdulak" (based on a story by Alexei Tolstoy) is one of Bava's finest achievements, a chilling tale set in nineteenth-century Russia about a rural family plunged into horror upon the sudden return of its missing patriarch (Karloff), who might have been transformed into a wurdulak, a vampire-like creature who feeds on the blood of the living. "The dexterity Bava exhibits across these quite distinct narratives is somewhat astounding, from the lurid colors and serpentine camera pans of his giallo-ish opener, to the palpable suspense and gothic beauty of his triumphant Karloff-headlined second story, to the EC Comics-style spookiness of his concluding entry, which features a corpse whose undead smile is unforgettable" (Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness). [GET TICKETS]

Saturday October 29, 2011- 8:00 PM
The Innocents
UK / 1961 / 100 minutes
Dir. Jack Clayton
Cast: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins

Hired by a wealthy bachelor to act as governess for his niece and nephew, Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) joins the children at a secluded country estate, where she soon starts hearing strange voices and seeing mysterious figures. Describing these uncanny visions to the other servants, Miss Giddens is informed that they seem to resemble the children's former governess and their uncle's valet, who had both died a year previously—and whom, the servants hint, had been carrying on a sordid sexual affair. When the children begin behaving oddly, the young governess suspects that the lovers have taken possession of their bodies and determines to drive the spirits out—or do the demons actually dwell within her? Based on Henry James' novella The Turn of the Screw (and co-scripted by Truman Capote), Jack Clayton's masterful ghost story has been roundly acclaimed as one of the greatest psychological horror films of all time. "The most sophisticated scare show since Diabolique" (Time Magazine); "Clayton demonstrates an encyclopaedic understanding of the nature of supernaturally-charged fear . . . The Innocents is one of the most cinematically literate of all British horror films, and still packs a powerful punch four decades on" (Michael Brooke, BFI Screenonline). [GET TICKETS]

Saturday October 29, 2011 - 11:00 PM
UK / 1977 / 105 minutes / PG
Dir. Terry Gilliam
Cast: Michael Palin, Deborah Fallender, Max Wall, John Le Mesurier

Terry Gilliam's first solo directorial effort after sharing credit on Monty Python and the Holy Grail returned him to that film's picturesque vision of medieval mud, blood, gloom and fog. In the reign of good King Bruno the Questionable, bright-eyed proto-capitalist Dennis Cooper (Michael Palin) journeys from his home village to the capital city, which is being terrorized by a fearsome beast. Much ribaldry, fornication and defecation ensues, along with a cameo by Python alum Terry Jones as an unlucky poacher and some gleefully disgusting dismemberments that rival the fate of Holy Grail's stubborn Black Knight. "The most marvelously demented British comedy to come along since Monty Python and the Holy Grail . . . It's a monster film with heart, a movie romance with bite, a costume picture without zippers, and a comedy with more blood and gore than Sam Peckinpah would dare use to dramatize the decline and fall of the entire West" (Vincent Canby, The New York Times). [GET TICKETS]

Sunday October 30, 2011- 7:15 PM
Mexico / 1993 / Spanish with English subtitles / 94 minutes
Dir. Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Federico Luppi, Ron Perlman, Claudio Brook

When kindly, aged antique dealer Jesús (Federico Luppi) acquires a four-century-old statue, he discovers a clockwork-like mechanical device hidden in the base that affixes itself to his chest and injects him with a strange serum. He soon finds that the serum is curing his ailments and returning him to his youth-and also giving him an insatiable appetite for blood. Meanwhile, a rich, ruthless businessman, obsessively seeking the device in order to ward off his imminent death, sends his thuggish nephew (Ron Perlman) to recover it from Jesús, but the newly rejuvenated, now far less mild-mannered antiquarian is not willing to give up his gift/curse without a fight. Del Toro's stylish debut instantly established his international reputation when it played at Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival and marked him as one of the most visionary of contemporary horror directors. "For proof that the vampire film is resoundingly undead, consider [this] stylish and sophisticated Mexican variation on some age-old themes. . . . [Cronos'] reflective, even stately style elevates it from the ranks of ordinary stake-through-the-heart vampire dramaturgy, turning it into something much more exotic" (Janet Maslin, The New York Times). [GET TICKETS]

Sunday October 30, 2011 - 9:45 PM
The Devil's Backbone
Spain/Mexico / 2001 / Spanish with English subtitles / 107 minutes
Dir. Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Marisa Paredes, Eduardo Noriega, Federico Luppi

When his father goes off to fight in the Spanish Civil War, young Carlos is sent to an orphanage plagued with ominous signs: an unexploded bomb lies lodged in the courtyard, the home's thuggish and tyrannical groundskeeper is engaged in a search for a cache of gold rumoured to be hidden on the property, and the phantasmal, pale-faced visage of a young boy keeps appearing, whispering portents of approaching doom. Cherished by del Toro as his most personal project and celebrated by both horror fans and mainstream reviewers, The Devil's Backbone brilliantly bridges the gap between genre cinema and the art house and paved the way for del Toro's even more successful Pan's Labyrinth. "A discomfiting mix of gothic thriller, boy's adventure story, and political allegory . . . an expert, sunlit chiller audaciously predicated on an unquiet historical memory" (J. Hoberman, The Village Voice); "[del Toro] finds real substance in shadows and whispers, in the terrors that reside at the back of the mind" (Peter Howell, The Toronto Star). [GET TICKETS]

Monday October 31, 2011 - 6:30 PM
Canada / 1981 / 90 minutes
Dir. George Mihalka
Cast: Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck

Twenty years after a horrific Valentine's Day mining accident, the town of Valentine Bluffs is still haunted by the legend of insane miner Harry Warden, who threatened bloody retribution if the town ever celebrated the holiday again. When a group of young mineworkers and their girlfriends defy the curse and have a late-night party at the mine, a mysterious figure in gas mask and helmet starts wreaking some inventively gory havoc with a pickaxe. This gleefully disgusting slasher flick (from which the legendary, eponymous shoegaze band acquired their name) has attained cult status among horror fans and wears its Canadian credentials with pride, from the scenic Nova Scotia locations to the presence of Can-con queen Cynthia Dale to prominent cameos by Moosehead Beer. (And make sure to stick around for the closing credits, which are accompanied by the most unspecific theme song in cinema history.)

Director George Mihalka will be in attendance to discuss the film's heavy censoring at the time of release, and will then present the deleted scenes in all their gory glory. [GET TICKETS]

This event screens as part of Canadian Open Vault.


An unlikely Midnight Madness fan!

While there were rumours of sightings of financial guru and star of CBC's Dragons' Den at some of the screenings at the Ryerson, the truth has come out in The Grid's interview with Kevin O'Leary:
I noticed on your Twitter account that you took part in TIFF festivities in Toronto. I thought highly successful people didn’t have time for stuff like movies.
I’m a fan of the Midnight Madness program—gore, vampires… it’s crazy stuff and I love it. I’ve been a patron of TIFF for a long time.
Any other surprise fans of Midnight Madness out there?

edit- MM Blogger Sanjay just sent me this slice of Twitter proof: