Monday, 27 July 2009

TIFF'09: Midnight Madness Program

It's time to take a look at the craziest program at TIFF: Midnight Madness. Last week I shared the announcement while I was over in Nova Scotia but now it's time to take a real look at what's coming to Toronto for the late night fanatics this year at TIFF.

First off, we have to take a moment to squeal over sequels. First is [REC] 2, sequel to the powerhouse Spanish horror film [REC] which is one of the scariest horror films in recent years. Next we have Ong Bak 2: The Beginning which promises a lot Muay Thai goodness just like the original Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior.

We have some excellent monsterlicious selections with year including vampires and zombies! Daybreakers is vampire film that takes a new spin on the idea of vampires facing self extinction and stars Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe. Although Daybreakers has an upcoming release set for early 2010 I sure as heck going to check it out this September at the festival. Moving along to more monsters with George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead for you've guessed: zombie goodness. Word is that it follows a character from George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead which was at the festival 2 years ago in 2007.

Can the ladies in the house say hell ya? Hell ya. The program kicks off Opening Night with Jennifer's Body, directed by Karyn Kusama (Girlfight) and written by Diablo Cody (Juno) and starring Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried in a high school trouncing blood and madness. We also have Bitch Slap with a Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill like caper feel that looks pulls a few cards from the heist film deck. I'm not super keen on the introduction to characters cleavage first, but at least it is up front about it!

Trekking round the planet we have Aussie creepiness of The Loved Ones which leads us into a prom of nightmares. Japanese Symbol / Shinboru looks so bizarre you need to make up new words to describe it, but what else would be expect from director Hitoshi Matsumoto who brought us the mammothly crazy DAINIPPONJIN. Soloman Kane stars James Purefoy in the titular role, and there isn't much infomation out yet about the film however with heavy hitters Pete Postlethwaite and Max von Sydow among the cast it sounds very well worth checking out.

No documentary in the set this year but we do have the stop-motion animated film A Town Called Panic / Panique au village based on the Belgian TV series from 2000-2003. Does anyone else keep hearing the song "Town Called Malice" when hear this title?

Great line up this year, I'm really looking forward to checking out the films especially the sequels, monster films and the bizarreness of Symbol which is certainly going to freak me out. It's shaping up to be yet another great year at TIFF!

Here are the details on each of the films with corresponding links to info on the TIFF site, IMDb, Trailers and Official Websites if available. Schedule is still to be announced other than Jennifer's Body opens the program on Thursday September 10, 2009.

[REC] 2
Dirs: Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza ([REC])
TIFF Page, Official Website & Trailer, IMDb Page

Bitch Slap
Dir: Rick Jacobson
Cast: Julia Voth, Erin Cummings, America Olvio, Minae Noji, Kevin Sorbo
TIFF Page, Official Website & Trailer, IMDb Page

Dir: Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig (Undead <2003>)
Cast: Ethan Hawk, Willem Dafoe, Isabel Lucas, Claudia Karvan, Sam Neill
TIFF Page, Trailer, IMDb Page

Jennifer's Body **Opening Night Selection**
Dir: Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, Æon Flux)
Cast: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons, Adam Brody, J.K. Simmons, Amy Sedaris, Kyle Gallner
No TIFF Page Yet, Official Website & Trailer, IMDb Page

The Loved Ones
Dir: Sean Byrne
Cast: Victoria Thaine, Jessica McNamee, Xavier Samuel, Richard Wilson, John Brumpton, Robin McLeavy
TIFF Page, IMDb Page

Ong Bak 2: The Beginning
Dir: Tony Jaa
Cast: Tony Jaa, Sorapong Chatree, Sarunya Wongkrachang, Nirut Sirichanya, Primorata Dejudom, Santisuk Promsiri
TIFF Page, Official Website, Trailer, IMDb Page

Soloman Kane
Dir: Michael J. Bassett (Wilderness, Deathwatch)
Cast: James Purefoy, Pete Postlethwaite, Max von Sydow
France/Czech Republic/UK
No TIFF Page Yet, IMDb Page

George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead
Writer/Dir: George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead <1968>, George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead)
Cast: Alan Van Sprang, Kenneth Welsh, Kathleen Munroe, Joris Jarsky
TIFF Page, IMDb Page

Symbol / Shinboru
Writer/Dir: Hitoshi Matsumoto (DAINIPPONJIN)
Cast: Hitoshi Matsumoto
TIFF Page, Teaser Trailer, IMDb Page

A Town Called Panic / Panique au village
Dirs: Stéphane Aubier & Vincent Patar
TIFF Page, Trailer, IMDb Page

Source: TIFF Midnight Madness, here and here

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 10 - 19, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Having been at the North American premieres of Ong-Bak and Chocolate, I'm looking forward to being there for Ong-Bak 2 ;)

Survival of the Dead will be one I try for tickets after the advance ticket draw, but will likely try to see it :)

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