The Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness programme brings thrills, chills and all sorts of kills to Festival audiences once again. Get your passports stamped and experience an international cinematic rollercoaster which includes: a Yakuza street gang hip-hop musical epic; spine-chilling Spanish zombies with insatiable appetites; a Finnish boy hunter rescuing the President of the United States from terrorists; and Flemish cub scouts trapped in the woods with sinister companions.
Along with the triumphant return of last year’s People’s Choice Award-winner Sion Sono (Cold Fish), Midnight Madness will also welcome back renowned alumni Adam Wingard (A Horrible Way to Die, You’re Next), Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!) and Jaume Balagueró (the [REC]] films). The Festival is also set to proudly celebrate indie legend Kevin Smith’s homecoming after 20 years.
[REC] 4: Apocalypse; Jaume Balagueró, Spain World Premiere
“Angela Vidal wakes up in a high-security quarantine facility, sole survivor and witness to the horrific events inside the building. But does she remember what happened to her? Is she carrying a virus? Distrust spreads through the isolated facility while new, even more deadly forms of evil spread even faster.”
Big Game; Jalmari Heleander, Finland/United Kingdom/Germany World Premiere
“The fate of the most powerful man in the world lies in the hands of a 13-year-old boy. Plunged into a deadly game of cat and mouse, Oskari and the president must team up to survive the most extraordinary night of their lives.”
Cub; Jonas Govaerts, Belgium World Premiere
“Young, imaginative 12-year-old Sam heads off to camp with his Cub Scouts pack. In the woods, he stumbles upon a strange tree house and a masked, feral child. When his leaders ignore his warnings about the mysterious boy, Sam starts to feel increasingly isolated from the pack, and convinced a terrible fate awaits them all.”
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films; Mark Hartley, Australia International Premiere
“Director Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood, Machete Maidens Unleashed!) continues his delightful documentary disinterment of down-market movie detritus with this chronicle of the rise and fall of 1980s action-exploitation juggernaut Cannon Films, whose contributions to the cinematic canon include American Ninja, The Delta Force, Death Wish II and Masters of the Universe.”
The Guest; Adam Wingard, USA Canadian Premiere
“The follow-up to Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s wildly popular You’re Next, The Guest tells the story of a mysterious and devastatingly charming visitor, David (Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey) who arrives on the doorstep of a bereaved family claiming to be the best friend of their dead son, a young soldier who died in action. The Petersons welcome David into their home and into their lives, but when people start mysteriously dying in town, their teenage daughter Anna (Maika Monroe of It Follows) starts wondering if David is responsible.”
It Follows; David Robert Mitchell, USA North American Premiere
“For 19-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe), the fall should be about school, boys and weekends at the lake. Yet after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter she suddenly finds herself plagued by nightmarish visions; she can’t shake the sensation that someone, or something, is following her. As the threat closes in, Jay and her friends must somehow escape the horrors that are only a few steps behind. With a riveting central performance from Monroe and a strikingly ominous electronic score by Disasterpeace, It Follows is an artful psychosexual thriller from David Robert Mitchell (whose The Myth of the American Sleepover premiered at Critics’ Week in 2010). The film also stars Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, and Lili Sepe.”
Tokyo Tribe; Sion Sono, Japan International Premiere
“Set in an alternate Tokyo of the near future, director Sion Sono continues his run of sensational films with the explosive street gang tale Tokyo Tribe. Tokyo Tribe is the first live-action adaptation of the best-selling manga series Tokyo Tribe 2, by Santa Inoue, which has sold two million copies and has been published in Asia and the west to great popularity.”
Tusk (pictured above); Kevin Smith, USA World Premiere
“Wallace (Justin Long) is a podcaster on a mission who thinks he has found the story of a lifetime in Howard Howe (Michael Parks), an adventurer with amazing stories and a curious penchant for walruses. When Mr. Howe’s true desires unfold, things take a dark turn and Wallace faces a terrifying transformation at the hands of his captor. As his friends Alison and Teddy (Genesis Rodriguez and Haley Joel Osment) search the backwoods of Canada to rescue him, they discover a nightmare from which there is no escape. Conceived from one of indie legend Kevin Smith’s own Smodcast’s, Tusk is an unprecedented tale that is equal parts hilarious and horrifying.”
What We Do in the Shadows (pictured below); Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, New Zealand/USA Canadian Premiere
“Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), Viago (Taika Waititi), and Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) are three flatmates who are just trying to get by and overcome life’s obstacles—like being immortal vampires who must feast on human blood. Hundreds of years old, the vampires are finding that beyond sunlight catastrophes, hitting the main artery, and not being able to get a sense of their wardrobe without a reflection, modern society has them struggling with the mundane like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.”
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 $180, or $115 for students and seniors. Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day at tiff.net/festival, by phone from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET daily at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433, or visit the Gupta Box Office in person from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET daily at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, until August 20 while quantities last.
The 39th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 4 to 14, 2014.