Greetings from Possum Holler

Greetings from Possum Holler, fellow midnight mavens! I’m April Snellings, and I have the unique and considerable honor of being the first recipient of the Kari’s Scaries bursary. One week from today, I will make my way from Knoxville, Tennessee to Toronto, where I will eat my weight in poutine* and indulge in the non-stop debauchery known as TIFF Midnight Madness.

If you’re unfamiliar with Kari’s Scaries, please allow me to explain. Kari Ramjattan was a TIFF volunteer and staffer whose passion for genre movies–horror flicks in particular–knew no bounds. Kari passed away in 2010, so her family, friends and colleagues created Kari’s Scaries in her honor. The idea is to remember Kari by giving a horror journalist the opportunity to travel to Toronto, attend the Midnight Madness screenings, meet with Festival delegates, enjoy special events hosted by Midnight Madness programmer Colin Geddes, and have one hell of a time at North America’s coolest film festival. (Incidentally, the lovely art you see at the top of this post was provided by Kari’s son, Kelvin Ramjattan Jr. I really hope I get to meet him soon.)

J.T. Petty's Hellbenders
Though this is my fourth trip to Toronto (I’m a contributing writer and online editor for Rue Morgue Magazine), it will be my first time at TIFF. I can’t imagine a better year to go–I’m crazy excited for several of the films on this year’s roster, including J.T. Petty’s Hellbenders, Don Coscarelli’s John Dies at the End and Drafthouse Films’ The ABCs of Death. I’m jazzed about The Bay, psyched for Come Out and Play and pumped about No One Lives (in these parts, I’m known as That Chick Who Liked Midnight Meat Train). In other words, I’m looking forward to everything.

Making the journey with me will be my close friend and Knoxville Horror Film Fest Director William Mahaffey. We’ll head out at ridiculous o’clock on the morning of September 6 to make sure we roll into Toronto in time to see people get shot in the face in slow-mo (and 3-D!) in Dredd. If you’ve never driven from Tennessee to Toronto, I ask you: Where’s your sense of adventure? And by “sense of adventure” I mean, of course, your complete disregard for your own sanity.

If you’re interested, keep an eye on this space; I’ll be blogging about our trip and about the movies I’m so excited to see. I never had the pleasure of meeting Kari, but I hope her family–both the one she was born into and the one she picked up along the way–knows how much this trip means to me. I intend to make the most of it, and to honor Kari by doing exactly what she’d do: watch movies until my eyeballs shrivel up, and enjoy every last bit of Midnight Madness that Colin and the gang can sling my way.

Cheers, Kari, and thank you.

* If you’re unfamiliar with poutine, it is a pile of French fries roughly the size of your head that has been slathered with gravy and buried beneath a mound of fresh cheese curds. It’s amazing. Fries, gravy and cheesecan you think of a reason we don’t have this in Tennessee? Me neither. 

HELLBENDERS screening times:
Sun., Sept. 9, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Tues., Sept. 11, 7PM, CINEPLEX YONGE & DUNDAS 7
Sat., Sept. 15, 9:15PM, SCOTIABANK 2

JOHN DIES AT THE END screening times:
Sat., Sept. 15, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Sun., Sept. 16, 5PM, CINEPLEX YONGE & DUNDAS 2

THE ABCS OF DEATH screening times:
Fri., Sept. 14, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Sat., Sept. 15, 3:15PM, SCOTIABANK 9
Sun., Sept. 16, 9PM, SCOTIABANK 9

THE BAY screening times:
Wed., Sept. 12, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Thurs., Sept. 13, 2:45PM, CINEPLEX YONGE & DUNDAS 6

COME OUT AND PLAY screening times:
Thurs., Sept. 13, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Fri., Sept. 14, 3:15PM, CINEPLEX YONGE & DUNDAS 10
Sat., Sept. 15, 6:45PM, SCOTIABANK 11

NO ONE LIVES screening times:
Sat., Sept. 8, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Mon., Sept. 10, 9:45PM, CINEPLEX YONGE & DUNDAS 7
Fri., Sept. 14, 4:45PM, CINEPLEX YONGE & DUNDAS 6

DREDD screening times:
Thurs., Sept. 6, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Sat., Sept. 8, 12:30PM, CINEPLEX YONGE & DUNDAS 7


  1. William is a good dude, and it's great to hear he's coming with you. And MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN's the best -- don't listen to anyone who says differently.

  2. See you at the Ryerson, April! (Sadly, no poutine allowed in there.)

  3. 4 Southerners in Toronto at once! Midnight Madness is in for trouble.

  4. thanks for sharing.