As more and more TIFF press releases roll out, we are very keen around these parts on the edgy and genre heavy programmes of Vanguard
and Midnight Madness. Of course, the latter programme features the perfect time slot and a very energetic crowd which must be appeased by programmer Colin Geddes every year! Everything just went live on Twitter
and the TIFF website
, for our thirsty eyes to devour and my initial reaction is that the program has a significant American focus this year. No Asian Martial Arts flicks or Miike films; no rock documentaries; gone are the Euro-horror entries as well, signaling that the French New Wave (of horror) is taking a break. And this year's films are loaded with celebrities: Colin Farell, Christopher Walken, Paul Giamatti, Lena Heady, Sam Rockwell, Karl Urban, Eli Roth, Harry Dean Stanton, Woodey Harrelson, Tom Waits, Clancy Brown and Udo Kier. That is not to say in the slightest that the content of these films will be any more wild, gruesome and world class than they always are, but it might make for a very busy red carpet this year!
Also, points to anyone who can make a coherent sentence using all the evocative titles on display this year. Ladies and Gents, Here are your late night players:
Aftershock, CHILE, Nicolás López - In the middle of a night of wild partying, a hapless American tourist (Hostel director Eli Roth) and his friends are suddenly plunged into a living hell when a powerful earthquake rips through the coastal town of Valparaiso, Chile.
ABCs of Death, USA, Anthology - It was a cinematic challenge like no other: twenty-six directors from around the world -- all connected to fantastic or horror cinema -- each shot a short film about death based on a word starting with a selected letter from the alphabet, showcasing death in all its vicious wonder and brutal beauty. Directors include the warped minds behind Hobo With a Shotgun, You're Next, Tokyo Gore Police and A Serbian Film, to name just a few.
The Bay, USA, Barry Levinson - Acclaimed writer-director Barry Levinson gorily switches gears for this mock-doc eco-apocalypse thriller about a seaside town that becomes a breeding ground for a terrifying nest of parasites.
John Dies at the End, USA, Don Coscarelli - Ancient evils, trans-dimensional bugs, meat monsters and Clancy Brown are just a few of the freakish denizens of this phantasmagorical mindbender from the director of Phantasm and Bubba Ho-Tep.
Come Out And Play, MEXICO, Manikov - A young couple expecting their first child must escape from an island overrun by legions of killer children, in this atmospheric thriller that turns a sandy, sun-bleached Mexican paradise blood red. This is the long awaited loose remake of Spanish horror classic, Who Can Kill a Child?
No One Lives, USA, Ryuhei Kitamura - The director of Versus and The Midnight Meat Train returns with this exuberantly gory thriller about a clan of backwoods road bandits whose latest victims are far less helpless than they seem.
Seven Psychopaths, UK/USA, Martin McDonagh - An alcoholic screenwriter (Colin Farrell) struggling to write a serial-killer script gets more real-life inspiration than he can handle when a dognapping scheme gone awry brings a galaxy of crazies to his doorstep. A top-notch cult-movie cast -- including Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Tom Waits, Harry Dean Stanton-anchors this wacky, blood-spattered commentary on the psycho-killer thriller from the writer-director of In Bruges.
Dredd, USA, Pete Travis - In a grim, dystopian future, ultimate lawman Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) takes on a vicious drug empress (Lena Headey), in this dark, visceral new screen version of the legendary British comic-book icon.
Hellbenders, USA, J.T. Petty - The Hellbound Saints of Brooklyn Parish are a team of foul-mouthed, lewd and lecherous Catholic priests who you'll need on your side if you want to survive an exorcism, in this outrageous horror comedy by JT Petty (The Burrowers, S&Man).
Lords of Salem, USA, Rob Zombie - Rock star-turned-horror maven Rob Zombie conjures up a nerve-wracking chiller about a Salem hard-rock radio DJ (Sherri Moon Zombie) whose playing of a sinister heavy metal song awakens a coven of witches from the 17th century.
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