Midnight Madness Memories: CABIN FEVER

"Catch it! Fall 2003"

Check out a piece of Midnight Madness history. Midnight Madness Programmer Colin holds one of the surgical masks from the world premiere of Eli Roth's Cabin Fever in 2003. Cabin Fever was Roth's first film at Midnight Madness. Roth's Hostel played Midnight Madness in 2004 and Roth was back last year starring in (and producing) Nicolás López' Aftershock.  Roth is returning to Midnight Madness this year with Green Inferno.

And I'm sure that the test results will reveal that stain is nothing to worry about...

THE GREEN INFERNO screening times:
Sat., Sept. 7th, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Mon., Sept. 9th, 1:30 PM, SCOTIABANK 13

The Legend of MANDY LANE

It was Midnight Madness 2006. We'd had quite a ride already, between the infamous aborted Borat screening on Thursday and the North American premiere of Bong Joon-ho's creature feature The Host on Friday. Some of the audience had already been introduced to the Borat character via Da Ali G Show, and we'd all been hearing about The Host since its Cannes premiere the previous May. But Saturday night brought a total question mark. All the Boys Love Mandy Lane had no poster, no trailer and no familiar cast or crew. All we knew was that Midnight Madness programmer Colin Geddes had granted it the coveted opening weekend Saturday slot.

In the Festival note, a fired up Geddes wrote, "Taking a hammer to the polished image of Hollywood teen horror, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane rips apart all the glossy mallrat stereotypes. Welcome to the post-Columbine world of dead teenagers as envisioned in this impaled, slashed and twisted take on the genre." The only image the Festival book offered was a close-up of the title character:

What the capacity crowd at the Ryerson got that Saturday was a unique take on the teen slasher genre that I won't spoil in case you (like many) have not yet had an opportunity to see the film. What I will say is that the film received a robust Midnight Madness approval from the audience. The following morning brought news that the film had already locked North American distribution via sale to the Weinstein Company. The future looked bright for Mandy Lane. And then, well, nothing happened. Or really, all this happened:

The Wall Street Journal: "Why It Took 7 Years to See 'Mandy Lane'"

Now that Mandy Lane is finally coming out, the Wall Street Journal has detailed every twist and turn that kept the film without a North American release for the past seven years. It's required reading for all Midnight Madness fanatics.


RIGOR MORTIS Gets US Distribution Through WELL GO USA!

Some people will do anything for distribution.
It's always great to see one of the smaller films at Midnight Madness get distribution love, and one of the most exciting films in this year's lineup has done just that.  ShockTillYouDrop.com is reporting that Rigor Mortis, which features one of my favourite trailers of the year, has landed a US distribution deal through the great folks at Well Go USA Entertainment and will see a North American release in early 2014, though I'm sure you'll be biting every neck that gets between you and the Midnight Madness premiere on the 11th!
Well Go USA is one of the few female-run distribution companies, under the watchful eye of president Doris Pfardrescher, who has a fantastic taste for genre flicks.  The Texas-based distribution company has championed such films as Herman Yau's Ip Man: The Final Fight and  Johnnie To's Drug War, which is currently enjoying a run at TIFF Bell Lightbox. You can follow them on Twitter at @wellgousa or find them on Facebook here. To quote our editor Carol Borden, "sisters are distributin' for themselves!"

RIGOR MORTIS Screening Times:
Wednesday, Sept 11th, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Thursday, Sept 12th, 12:45 PM TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX 2
Friday, Sept 13th, 6:00 PM SCOTIABANK 9



Our American friends like to get specific with their film ratings. 2013 Midnight Madness world premiere The Green Inferno just received its R-rating from the Motion Picture Association of America and it comes with an impressive list of "reasons." See the official rating below for an indication of how far director Eli Roth went with the cannibal carnage in the film. It doesn't sound like it will be boring.

"The Green Inferno - Rated R for aberrant violence and torture, grisly disturbing images, brief graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use."

Check out Roth's past MPAA scorecards. His violence started as "strong," then went to "brutal," then "sadistic," and finally to The Green Inferno's particularly evocative "aberrant." That's called "growing as a filmmaker."

"Cabin Fever - Rated R for strong violence and gore, sexuality, language and brief drug use."

"Hostel - Rated R for brutal scenes of torture and violence, strong sexual content, language and drug use."

"Hostel Part II - Rated R for sadistic scenes of torture and bloody violence, terror, nudity, sexual content, language and some drug content."

THE GREEN INFERNO screening times:
Sat., Sept. 7th, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Mon., Sept. 9th, 1:30 PM, SCOTIABANK 13

HORNS & WHY DON'T YOU PLAY IN HELL: Between Vanguard & Midnight Madness

 Director Alexandre Aja's Haute Tension pulverized the audience at its North American premiere at Midnight Madness 2003. Since then, Aja has directed several more horror films including The Hills Have Eyes (2006) and Piranha 3D (2010). This year, he returns to the Toronto International Film Festival with the world premiere of his new film Horns--not to Midnight Madness, but to its cousin programme, Vanguard. What does this mean? Well, it means that Horns is still a hard-edged, genre-tinged film, but it's not so much of a meat grinder that some of the general citizenry can't appreciate it alongside Midnight Madness fans. In short, it's a film that the Festival doesn't have to wait until the witching hour to unleash.

On the other hand, director Sion Sono is apparently getting crazier the more films he makes. His film Cold Fish was in Vanguard 2010. Likely the bloodiest film in the Festival that year, it blurred the line between Vanguard and Midnight. It had the viscera to satisfy the Midnight crowd, but its 144 minute runtime made for a pace better suited to viewings not, well, in the middle of the night. Sono is back this year with the North American premiere of Why Don't You Play in Hell? and this time he's full on Midnight Madness. We can take this to mean that the director's work has reached the point at which it's no longer safe to exhibit in a non-Midnight situation where it could harm a casual filmgoer.

HORNS screening times:
Fri., Sept. 6th, 6:00PM, BLOOR HOT DOCS
Sun., Sept. 8th, 1:00PM, SCOTIABANK 4

WHY DON'T YOU PLAY IN HELL? screening times:
Fri., Sept. 13th, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Sat., Sept. 14th, 3:45PM, SCOTIABANK 1


Everything you want to know about... OCULUS

ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE isn't the only remake in this year's lineup. There is also OCULUS, which is based on an award winning short film Director Mike Flanagan made back in 2006. Here is a trailer for the original short:

The full short is available for purchase here.

If you want to know everything about OCULUS then you need to come to the Ryerson at midnight on Sunday, September 8th. But if you want a little taste of what Mike Flanagan has in store for you then you might want to check out:
OCULUS Screening Times:
Sunday, Sept 8th, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Tuesday, Sept 10th, 4:15 PM SCOTIABANK 14
Sunday, Sept 15th, 6:00 PM SCOTIABANK 11

Hitoshi Matsumoto Returns to Midnight Madness with R100

Hitoshi Matsumoto, the director of BIG MAN JAPAN and SYMBOL returns to Midnight this year with his latest cinematic oddity, R100.

R100 tells the story of a mild-mannered family man with a secret taste for S&M finds himself pursued by a gang of ruthless dominatrixes — each with a very special talent.

Check out the trailer:

R100 Screening Times:
Thursday, Sept 12th, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Friday, Sept 13th, 11:30 AM SCOTIABANK 9
Saturday, Sept 14th, 9:00 PM SCOTIABANK 10



Want to know how wild this year's Midnight Madness lineup is going to be? Watch the full trailers below for North American premiere Why Don't You Play in Hell? and world premiere Witching & Bitching. Then try to decide which one looks more insane. Neither trailer is subtitled, but the wackness translates loud and clear.

Why Don't You Play in Hell?:

Witching & Bitching:

WHY DON'T YOU PLAY IN HELL? screening times:
Fri., Sept. 13th, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Sat., Sept. 14th, 3:45PM, SCOTIABANK 1

WITCHING & BITCHING screening times:
Sat., Sept. 14th, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Sun., Sept. 15th, 12:00PM, SCOTIABANK 14

Colin Geddes Talks Midnight Madness 2013!

Midnight Madness MC Colin Geddes has been making the press rounds the last few weeks pumping up this year’s stellar line-up.  I've pulled some choice bits from his interviews with Fangoria, MSN Movies, and Society Vernacular. Click on the links below for the full stories.

At Fangoria, Colin talked about some of the titles in this years lineup:
Fangoria: Which film is that big unknown for you this year?
CG: …watch out for ALMOST HUMAN by Joe Begos… It’s a film with that vibe of some of the best 80s intense horror thrillers, which has that action element to it. It’s really fresh and fun. A guy gets abducted by aliens—or we assume aliens since he goes into a blue light. Ten years later his friend who has been accused of the murder finds out that he has come back, however he is not the same and now he likes to use shotguns, chainsaws and axes on people.

Fangoria: What about the film most likely to get under your skin?
CG: OCULUS has got the INSIDIOUS factor... You don’t really know what’s going on and it’s going to definitely permeate nightmares.

Fangoria: What will be the craziest, loudest screening at Midnight Madness this year?
CG: That might be WHY DON’T YOU PLAY IN HELL? … It may not sound like a horror film but this has more blood than most of the other films at the festival. …I think we’re going to have a special team of cleaners just to sweep the jaws off the floor. It’s going to start hitting those “WTF” synapses in the brain, which people are going to love.

Over at MSN Movies Colin talked about "...programming, why 'found footage' should get lost, the roar of the crowd, and more ...":
MSN: The question on everyone’s mind: How many films did you start with?
CG: It was ... 180.  One of the things I've done this year was actually keeping a diary of what films I watched every day, so I've got a little note on my phone through which I can scroll through and ... "I watched three films that day, five films that day, when I was in Cannes," and know how many I was watching then.

MSN: What, for you, is the best possible kind of midnight film?
CG: … I like being able to take a director who is unknown, even if maybe he's done a couple films… I love being able to give these films a platform and helping see them get to the next level and engage with an audience.  Maybe engage with an audience outside their own country.

Finally, he talked to Society Vernacular about a wide range of topics covering 25 years of Midnight Madness:

SV: When did you first move to Toronto and how soon after did you discover TIFF and Midnight Madness?
CG: ...1988...the first films I saw at the film festival were Hellraiser II and Brain Damage.
SV: How do you handle the responsibility of delivering programmes every year, knowing you have hundreds of fans eagerly awaiting fresh recommendations?
CG: I feel duty bound to be loyal to the audience. I’ve always picked films that I feel the audience are going to enjoy. Maybe they might not expect or anticipate it but I’m aware that there is a ticket price… that gets worse every year because of inflation. I don’t want to waste the audience’s time. I want to give them something new and fresh. I don’t want to do something that’s kind of a rehash of old ideas. I’m not a fan of the whole ‘it’s so bad it’s good’ train of thought. I like surprising them and entertaining them. I’m always paying attention to the audience and what’s going to be a good night out for them.

ALMOST HUMAN Screening Times:
Tuesday, Sept 10th, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Wednesday, Sept 11th, 7:15 PM SCOTIABANK 3
Friday, Sept 13th, 2:30 PM SCOTIABANK 9

OCULUS Screening Times:
Sunday, Sept 8th, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Tuesday, Sept 10th, 4:15 PM SCOTIABANK 14
Sunday, Sept 15th, 6:00 PM SCOTIABANK 11

Friday, Sept 13th, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Saturday, Sept 14th, 3:45 PM SCOTIABANK 1


Everything you want to know about... THE GREEN INFERNO!

Okay, the post title is a little misleading, but I need to drive traffic to the blog so I'm not below a little stealth marketing. If you really want to know everything about THE GREEN INFERNO then you need to come to the Ryerson at midnight on Saturday, September 7th. But if you want a little taste of what Midnight Madness favorite Eli Roth has in store for you then you might want to check out:
THE GREEN INFERNO Screening Times:
Sat., Sept 7th, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Mon., Sept 9th, 1:30 PM SCOTIABANK 13

WHY DON'T YOU PLAY IN HELL? Poster and Teaser

"This had to be in. There are so many WTF moments. The audience isn't going to believe it." --Colin Geddes, Midnight Madness programmer

The North American premiere of Why Don't You Play in Hell? will mark the first ever appearance of iconoclastic director Sion Sono (Suicide Club, Love Exposure, Cold Fish) in Midnight Madness. The teaser trailer below promises vintage Sono: jaw-dropping and blood-soaked. Festival page located here.

WHY DON'T YOU PLAY IN HELL? screening times:
Fri., Sept. 13th, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Sat., Sept. 14th, 3:45PM, SCOTIABANK 1


The Awesomely Retro Poster and Trailer for ALMOST HUMAN!

Debut feature director Joe Begos' Almost Human has my absolute favourite movie poster of the year.  It has a neat 80's horror look to it, combining several 80's poster features like the hand-drawn aesthetic and muted blues of the Friday the 13th poster, a font that looks almost sci-fi inspired like Evil Dead, and the 'person/object in front of a spotlight' look of Friday the 13th Part 6 and The Thing (and, okay, most of the posters from this period). Behold!

The trailer, too, has a similar 80's throwback feel to it:

It's hard to know for sure what exactly is at play here, other than the fact that it's probably aliens, but there is definitely a lot of creepy to spare in this Midnight Madness selection! If you're into alien abduction, indie horror, and are still hanging desperately onto the hope that Duran Duran are going to tour again, put Almost Human at the top of your Midnight Madness list!

Almost Human screening times:
Tuesday September 10, 11:59 PM, RYERSON
Wednesday September 11, 7:15 PM, SCOTIABANK 3
Friday September 13, 2:30 PM, SCOTIABANK 9

THE STATION Poster and Trailer

Marvin Kren's isolation-horror creature feature The Station is the first Austrian film to ever play Midnight Madness. Check out the poster and trailer below and see the world premiere Friday, September 6th, 11:59PM at the Ryerson. Festival page located here.

THE STATION screening times:
Fri., Sept. 6th, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Sun., Sept. 8th, 2:15PM, SCOTIABANK 14
Fri., Sept. 13th, 9:15PM, SCOTIABANK 9


WITCHING & BITCHING Poster and Teaser

Midnight Madness alumnus Alex de la Iglesia (Accion Mutante in 1993 and The Day of the Beast in 1995) is returning to close out this year's lineup with the world premiere of Witching & Bitching. Check out the poster art and raucous teaser trailer below. Festival page located here.

WITCHING & BITCHING screening times:
Sat., Sept. 14th, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Sun., Sept. 15th, 12:00PM, SCOTIABANK 14

Behold the Amazing Poster for ALMOST HUMAN

To all other films bringing poster art to the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, good luck competing with this beauty. Midnight Madness world premiere Almost Human's poster art was created by Tom Hodge, a.k.a. The Dude Designs. See more work by The Dude Designs below and check out his website here.

Hobo with a Shotgun poster art:

The Innkeepers poster art:

They Live Scream Factory DVD/Blu-ray cover art:

ALMOST HUMAN screening times:
Tue., Sept. 10th, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Wed., Sept. 11th, 7:15PM, SCOTIABANK 3
Fri., Sept. 13th, 2:30PM, SCOTIABANK 9

A Beautiful And Utterly Horrifying Trailer For RIGOR MORTIS!

What if the Wachowskis and Guillermo Del Toro decided to make a Hong Kong vampire movie? What would that trailer even look like? Former pop star (yep, that's right) Juno Mak might have the answer with this gorgeous, gory, mindblowing trailer for Midnight Madness 2013 selection Rigor Mortis.

Rigor Mortis screening times:
Wednesday September 11, 11:59 PM, RYERSON
Thursday September 12, 12:45 PM, TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX 2 Friday September 13, 6:00 PM, SCOTIABANK 9 


Get Your Midnight Madness Fix Early with Phanstasm II at Lightbox!

Can't wait till September 5th to get your Midnight Madness Mojo working? Or are you worried that your Q&A skills might need so polishing up? Then why don't you come out to the Rue Morgue/TIFF co-presentation of Phantasm II on Saturday, August 24 at 9:30 p.m. at TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St. West.) Colin Geddes will be there to present the film and host a Q&A with Midnight Madness Alum Don Coscarelli. Tickets are $15 and can be scored here.

YOU'RE NEXT Filmmakers Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett: "We are the horror audience."

Midnight Madness Alumni Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett talk about their film You're Next with The Los Angeles Times.

You're Next had a rollicking world premiere in 2011 as part of the Midnight Madness section of the Toronto International Film Festival that had the audience on its feet cheering during the screening.That first showing has become part of the film's lore, a signal of its effect on audiences. It opens Aug. 23 around the U.S.

"We came to realize that the best way to deconstruct horror nowadays is actually just to make a really great horror movie," Wingard, 30, said recently in East Hollywood, not far from where he and Barrett live on the same block. "You don't have to sell the reference thing or be that clever. Recognizing all the horror tropes and playing off audience expectations is kind of the new deconstruction."
Though the film is full of spiky scares and elaborate bloody kills, it is also driven by a sharp wit[.]

"We went into the recesses of our minds and said, 'What got us into filmmaking?'" noted Wingard. "And we realized it's fun, action-y horror stuff geared toward having a good time."
Read more here.



One of programmer Colin Geddes' most puzzling hints this past Midnight Madness Lineup Announcement Eve teased a remake of a 2001 film:

Lots of incorrect guesses followed. Even after the lineup was announced the following morning, some wondered, "Where's the remake?" Well, that remake is All Cheerleaders Die, which directors Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson first made in 2001 as a low budget shot-on-video feature. It's hard as hell to get a copy of that version now and persistent Internet searching yields precious few screen captures:

McKee and Sivertson are bringing their spiffy new version of All Cheerleaders Die to the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival for its world premiere as the opening night film of Midnight Madness.

ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE screening times:
Thu., Sept. 5th, 11:59PM, RYERSON
Fri., Sept. 6th, 3:00PM, BLOOR HOT DOCS
Sun., Sept. 15th, 9:30PM, SCOTIABANK 11


The Toronto International Film Festival® celebrates 25 years of Midnight Madness with a murderers’ row of wild cinematic thrills. Programmed by Colin Geddes, the international lineup aims right for the jugular with everything from an extraterrestrial gore-thriller and sinister sex-comedy, to an Asian exotic horror film and a visually-stunning reinvention of the Italian cannibal genre. 

"Since its 1988 launch, the Midnight Madness programme emerged as a touchstone of cinematic shock, satiating the adventurous palate of bloodthirsty cinephiles from all over the world," said Geddes, International Programmer for the Festival. "When the witching hour strikes and the human brain starts slipping into dream mode, the Ryerson Theatre will once again serve up a feast of phantasmagorical characters and jaw-dropping scenes, playing host to bizarre biological monstrosities, ruthless dominatrix gangs, paranormal mirrors, and the hijinks of supernatural cheerleaders."

The programme presents films from Midnight Madness alumni Hitoshi Matsumoto, Eli Roth and Sion Sono, as well as the debut feature of Hong Kong pop singer Juno Mak.

The 38th Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 to 15, 2013. 

Midnight Madness Opening Night Film
All Cheerleaders Die 

Lucky McKee, Chris Sivertson, USA, World Premiere
When tragedy rocks Blackfoot High, rebellious outsider Mäddy Killian shocks the student body by joining the cheerleading squad. This decision drives a rift between Mäddy and her ex-girlfriend Leena Miller — a loner who claims to practice the dark arts. After a confrontation with the football team, Mäddy and her new cheerleader friends are sent on a supernatural roller coaster ride which leaves a path of destruction none of them may be able to escape. 

Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, Canada/USA, World Premiere
Best friends Derek and Clif set out on a trip of a lifetime. Their plan: travel to the ends of the earth, see the world, and live life to the fullest. But the trip soon takes a dark and bloody turn. Just days in, one of the men shows signs of a mysterious affliction which gradually takes over his entire body and being. Now, thousands of miles from home, in a foreign land, they must race to uncover the source of his illness before it consumes him completely. Footage of their travels meant to document pleasant memories may now become evidence of one of the most shocking discoveries ever captured on film…and may be their only postcard home.

Joe Begos, USA, World Premiere
Mark Fisher disappeared from his home in a brilliant flash of blue light almost two years ago. His friend Seth Hampton was the last to see him alive. Now a string of grisly, violent murders leads Seth to believe that Mark is back, and something evil is living inside of him. 

Eli Roth, USA, World Premiere 
How far would you go for a cause you believe in? In horror master Eli Roth’s terrifying new film, a group of college students take their humanitarian protest from New York to the Amazon jungle, only to get kidnapped by the native tribe they came to save: a tribe that still practices the ancient rite of cannibalism, and has a healthy appetite for intruders.

Mike Flanagan, USA, World Premiere
Oculus is a spine-chilling supernatural tale of two damaged siblings (Karen Gillan and Brenton Thwaites) who, as children, witnessed their parents' harrowing descent into madness and murder. At long last, brother and sister reunite as adults to expose and destroy the paranormal entity they believe is responsible: the Lasser Glass — a legendary mirror their family once owned. 

Hitoshi Matsumoto, Japan, World Premiere
An ordinary man with an ordinary life joins a mysterious club. The membership lasts for one year only and there is one rule: no cancellation under any circumstance. The man enters into an entirely new and exciting world which he has never before experienced. 

Juno Mak, Hong Kong, North American Premiere
Juno Mak’s debut feature Rigor Mortis is an eerie and chilling, contemporary action- and special effects-laden homage to the classic Chinese vampire movies of the 1980s. Starring Chin Siu-Ho, Kara Wai, Anthony Chan, Lo Hoi Pang and Richard Ng. 

The Station (Blutgletscher

Marvin Kren, Austria, World Premiere
At a climate research station in the Alps, the scientists are stunned as the nearby melting glacier is leaking a red liquid. It quickly turns to be very special juice — with unexpected genetic effects on the local wildlife.


Sion Sono, Japan, North American Premiere
Two men, Muto and Ikegami, hate each other. Muto desperately wants to help his daughter Mitsuko star in a movie. Meanwhile, Ikegami falls in love with Mitsuko, knowing that she's the daughter of his foe. Hirata, a filmmaker, and Koji, a young movie-lover, get dragged into this complicated situation that heads into an unexpected direction. 

Alex de la Iglesia, Spain/France, World Premiere 
Desperate dad José and his friends run from a coven of witches hell-bent on their souls and on the 25,000 wedding rings the guys stole from a Cash-for-Gold shop in a desperate attempt to escape their lives of wife troubles. Witching & Bitching marks the seventh film by cult-favourite Spanish genre specialist Alex de la Iglesia (The Last Circus) to be screened at TIFF.

Tickets to screenings for this programme will be available for individual purchase as well as through the
Midnight Madness Pack, which includes all 10 screenings for $176, or $113 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, or visit the box office in person from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, until August 19.

About TIFF
TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net.

The Toronto International Film Festival is generously supported by Lead Sponsor Bell, Major Sponsors RBC, L'Oréal Paris, Visa and Audi, and Major Supporters the Government of Ontario, Telefilm Canada and the City of Toronto.

The Midnight Madness programme is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Cineplex Entertainment and Space.