TIFF ’10: Midnight Madness Line-up Announced!

Without a shadow of a doubt, my favorite festival of the year is the Toronto International Film Festival. With hundreds of movies premiering, they also have a section dedicated to genre films, and programmer Colin Geddes never fails to deliver the goods. With past titles including Inside, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, High Tension and many more, one could only wonder how he could possible top years prior. This year he’ll be hosting the world premieres of James (Saw) Wan’s Insidious, John Carpenter’s The Ward, Jim Mickle’s Stake Land, and Brad Anderson’s Vanishing on 7th Street!! Details inside.
A superhero, a samurai, gun runners, vampire hunters and hosers stalk the night during the Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness programme. Programmed by Colin Geddes, this year’s line-up features premieres that deliver the thrills and chills that the devoted audience has come to expect and love from Midnight Madness.

From the streets of Hong Kong to a post-apocalyptic vampire plagued United States, from a town run by Kung Fu killers to the oil fields of Alberta, this year’s Midnight Madness selection will take audiences into worlds that are sure to shock and thrill,” said Colin Geddes, TIFF programmer.

The Midnight Madness selection includes films from John Carpenter, James Wan, James Gunn, Brad Anderson and Dante Lam and feature on-screen performances by Demi Moore, Ellen Page, Josh Hartnett, Liv Tyler, Hayden Christensen, Kevin Bacon, Thandie Newton, John Leguizamo, Rainn Wilson, Woody Harrelson and Rose Byrne.

MIDNIGHT MADNESS

Insidious; James Wan, USA

James Wan Insidious

World Premiere
When proud parents take possession of an old house, an accident results in one of their sons falling into a coma. The tragedy doesn’t stop there when they are beset by vengeful spirits from another realm in this new chiller by the director and writer of Saw and by the producers of Paranormal Activity. The film stars Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey and Patrick Wilson.

Stake Land; Jim Mickle, USA

Stake Land

World Premiere
In the aftermath of a vampire epidemic, a teen is taken in by a grizzled vampire hunter on a road trip through a post-apocalyptic America, battling both the bloodsuckers and a fundamentalist militia that interprets the plague as the Lord’s work.

Vanishing on 7th Street; Brad Anderson, USA

Vanishing on 7th Street

World Premiere
When a massive power blackout causes the population to inexplicably vanish, a small handful of survivors (Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, John Leguizamo) band together inside a desolate tavern, struggling to survive as the darkness hones in on them. From director Brad Anderson (The Machinist, Transsiberian) comes an apocalyptic thriller with a terrifying vision of our world’s end and a story that wrestles with the nature of existence itself.

The Ward; John Carpenter, USA

World Premiere
Acclaimed director John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing) makes his long awaited return to the screen with a thriller about a young woman (Amber Heard) in a 1960s mental institution who becomes terrorized by a malevolent unseen forces.

Super: James Gunn, USA

World Premiere
After his wife (Liv Tyler) leaves him for a drug dealer (Kevin Bacon), a frustrated husband (Rainn Wilson) decides he will win her back as Crimson Bolt, a costumed vigilante armed with a monkey wrench. His actions bring him an admirer, an overeager comic store clerk (Ellen Page) who wants to be his sidekick.

Fubar II; Michael Dowse, Canada

World Premiere
In the sequel to the 2002 cult comedy, Fubar, headbanger hosers and lifelong friends Dean (Paul Spence) and Terry (Dave Lawrence) realize they’re weary of constantly trying to “give’r” while barely scraping by and hit the road to find wealth, happiness and more beer in the oil fields of Alberta.

Bunraku; Guy Moshe, USA

World Premiere
In a world with no guns, a mysterious drifter (Josh Hartnett), a young samurai and a bartender (Woody Harrelson) plot revenge against a ruthless leader (Ron Perlman) and his army of thugs, headed by nine diverse and deadly assassins. This visually stunning film is filled with uniquely choreographed action sequences of a new style that melds east with west and old school with new. The film also stars Demi Moore.

Red Nights; Julien Carbon, Laurent Courtiaud, Hong Kong/France

World Premiere
This shocking debut by director duo Carbon and Courtiaud is a seductive cat-and-mouse thriller set in Hong Kong, about a woman’s obsessive desire to own a rare object that hides a deadly and perverse secret.

The Butcher, The Chef and the Swordsman; Wu Ershan, Hong Kong, China/USA

North American Premiere
A tale of revenge, honour and greed follows a group of misfits that gets involved with a kitchen cleaver made from the top five swords of the martial arts world in this wild and brash action comedy.

Fire of Conscience; Dante Lam, Hong Kong, China

North American Premiere
Dante Lam proves himself to be a talent to look out for in this slam bang action film where robbers and gunrunners battle with cops on the busy urban streets of Hong Kong. Starring Leon Lai, Fire of Conscience is easily one of loudest action films from Hong Kong in recent memory, with an orchestra of exploding grenades and machine gun rounds.

The previously announced Canadian short film “The Legend of Beaver Dam” (Jerome Sable) will premiere prior to Fubar II.

The Midnight Madness Package is $157, and available to students and seniors for $100 (prices exclude taxes and fees). Other ticket packages for the Festival are also available for purchase by cash, debit or Visa+. Purchase online at tiff.net/thefestival, by phone at 416-968-FILM or 1-877-968-FILM (Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.,) or in person at the TIFF Box Office at 2 Carlton Street, West Mezzanine (Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. The 35th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 9 to 19, 2010.

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Source: TIFF '10