Always thrilling and a little bit dangerous, Tribeca’s Midnight section this year features five genre films and one special event for adventurous late night audiences. Creative and unique villains from vengeful anthropomorphic bananas to evil mutant wasps and crazy ass babysitters terrorize the heroes of Bodyslam: Revenge of the Banana!, Stung, and Emelie. Conversely, it’s antiheroes who take the spotlight in corrupt cop drama Hyena and envelope-pushing kidnapping story Scherzo Diabolico. The program is capped off with a one-night only live performance from cinephile comedy group Rifftrax, who will skewer the reigning king of Midnight Movies: Tommy Wiseau’s The Room.
Stay up late with these scary, funny, surprising tales in Midnight at Tribeca.
Bodyslam: The Revenge of the Banana!, directed and written by Ryan Harvie and John Paul Horstmann. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Ronald McFondle, Eddie Van Glam, and other social outcasts made up the Seattle Semi-Pro (SSP) Wrestlers, an off-kilter family of cabaret fighters that spoofed the pros. When a newcomer Paul, The Banana, fell on the wrong end of the joke, he ran to the government to disband the SSP. Bodyslam: The Revenge of the Banana! captures the wrestlers’ fight to keep the theatrics alive.
Emelie, directed by Michael Thelin, written by Richard Raymond Harry Herbeck. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. After their regular babysitter Maggie can’t make it, the Thompson family turns to her friend Anna to supervise their children while the parents go out to celebrate their anniversary. At first Anna seems like a dream come true to the kids, allowing them to eat extra cookies and play with things that are usually off-limits, but as her behavior becomes increasingly odd, the kids soon find out that her intentions are dark and twisted, and she is not who she seems to be.
Hyena, directed and written by Gerard Johnson. (UK) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. Michael Logan (Peter Ferdinando) may be a corrupt, coke-addled cop, but he’s a bad lieutenant with a conscience. After years of dodging the same laws he was assigned to uphold, Michael suddenly finds himself trying to change while safeguarding a young Albanian woman from the sex trade. Equal parts grit and neon, Hyena blurs the line between cop and criminal and exposes the illicit underworld inhabited by London’s most ruthless policemen. A Tribeca Film release.
Scherzo Diabolico, directed and written by Adrián García Bogliano. (Mexico, USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Armed with a fine-tuned chokehold and penchant for piano sonatas, a wearied accountant breaks his mild-mannered routine when he kidnaps a young woman. What starts as a carefully calculated plan soon crescendos into his worst nightmare. A delightfully twisted black comedy, Scherzo Diaboloco is the latest opus from director Adrián García Bogliano. In Spanish with subtitles
Stung, directed by Benni Diez, written by Adam Aresty. (Germany, USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. For catering staffers Paul and Julia, Mrs. Perch’s fancy garden party at her remote country villa is nothing out of the ordinary. A mishap with toxic plant fertilizer leads to the most unwelcome of dinner guests: giant killer wasps. Director Benni Diez takes audiences on a thrilling, gory rollercoaster ride from campy to creepy, in this delightful and dreadful creature-feature.
SPOTLIGHT – Co-Sponsored by Brookfield Place and The Lincoln Motor Company
Backtrack, directed and written by Michael Petroni. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. In this spine-tingling supernatural thriller, troubled psychotherapist Peter Bowers (Adrien Brody) is suffering from nightmares and eerie visions. When he uncovers a horrifying secret that all of his patients share, he is put on a course that takes him back to the small hometown he fled years ago. There he confronts his demons and unravels a mystery 20 years in the making.
Maggie, directed by Henry Hobson, written by John Scott 3. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. There’s a deadly zombie epidemic threatening humanity, but Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a small-town farmer and family man, refuses to accept defeat even when his daughter, Maggie (Abigail Breslin), becomes infected. As Maggie’s condition worsens and the authorities seek to eradicate those with the virus, Wade is pushed to the limits in an effort to protect her. Joely Richardson co-stars in this post-apocalyptic thriller. Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions release.
Mojave, directed by and written by William Monahan. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. William Monahan’s second feature, starring Oscar Isaac and Garrett Hedlund, is a delirious trip from the fringes of the desert to the center of the film industry. Armed with little more than a knife and two handles of vodka, an on-edge Hollywood director sets out to the Mojave Desert, where he finds a drifter brandishing a rifle and claiming to be the Devil.
Thought Crimes, directed by Erin Lee Carr. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Convicted yet then acquitted of conspiring to kidnap, rape, kill, and eat several women, NYPD officer Gilberto Valle quickly rose to infamy as New York’s own “Cannibal Cop”. With exclusive access to Valle, Erin Lee Carr’s unflinching documentary asks a fundamental question that challenges our beliefs about the criminal justice system, and even the very nature of right and wrong: Can you be guilty of a crime you only thought about committing? An HBO Documentary Film.
Starting March 18, the Film Guide and screening schedule will be live on www.tribecafilm.com and detail all feature films announced to date; additional programs will be added upon announcement.