Monday, 23 August 2010

TIFF 2010: Full Midnight Madness Program Announced!

I'm a little late to the Midnight Madness party this year, but with the film titles announced just last week and the festival only a few weeks ahead of us, there is still a lot of time to get excited about the 10 films that play at the latest time slot, to the loudest crowds at the Toronto International Film Festival.

I'm thrilled to see the multitude of paranormal, thrilling and just down right creepy looking films are included in this years festival. First off, it's so exciting to see that new work from Jim Mickle & Nick Damici who brought us Mulberry Street have teamed up again as writer/director and writer/actor in the post-apocalyptic Stake Land that is set after a vampire epidemic. Bring it on! More tragic world views with Brad Anderson's Vanishing on 7th Street which looks totally creepy from the trailer, and the film stars Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton and John Leguizamo is a survivalist themed thriller set in a world where very suddenly very few people kicking around. Legendary director John Carpenter returns with a new film The Ward, set in 1960's in a mental institution with "unseen forces" - that's got to be scary! More scares to terrorize in Insidious, starring Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson as parents who move into an old house with uninvited guests in the form of vengeful spirits, or perhaps they are the uninvited guests! We also have the Hong Kong set urban thriller Red Nights starring Carrie Ng as a seductress and killer. Wow.

For the action fans the program has some very interesting choices this year and my interest was piqued when the first line of the Bunraku description read as "In a world with no guns", that's enough to get me interested! But add young samurai, assassins and a bartender (?!) it just gets better and better. Oh, and better still as it starts Josh Hartnett, Woody Harrelson, Ron Perlman and Demi Moore. On the other end of the gun spectrum, there is no 'no gun' clause in Fire of Conscience which from the trailer over at the official website is explosive and fierce, and looks like it might set a freaking record for explosions.

A film that sounds like it defies broad categorizations is The Butcher, The Chef and the Swordsman / Dao Jian Xiao a kitchen-centric action comedy starring Masanobu Ando (SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO, Nightmare Detective / Akumu Tantei). You had me at "the struggle to own a deadly kitchen cleaver". More films in the program that have unique comedic flair are SUPER featuring Rainn Wilson as a costumed vigilante and Fubar II that is sure to be filled with hoser goodness.

So, that's the good news. The sad news it looks like this will be my last post regarding the Toronto International Film Festival this year. I applied for but did not receive press accreditation, here's hoping that 2011 will be the year that I get a yes. I hope everyone has a great time at the festival, I know I'll certainly miss it this year.

2010 Midnight Madness program at the Toronto International Film Festival:

It had me at "In a world with no guns"
Dir: Guy Moshe
Cast: Josh Hartnett, Woody Harrelson, Ron Perlman, Demi Moore
TIFF Page, Film Facebook Page, IMDB Page

The Butcher, The Chef and the Swordsman / Dao Jian Xiao
Dir: Wuershan
Cast: Masanobu Ando, Kitty Zhang, You Benchang, Liu Xiaoye, Ashton Xu
Hong Kong, China/USA
World Premiere
TIFF Page, No IMDb Page

Fire of Conscience / Huo Long
It had me at "an orchestra of exploding grenades and machine gun rounds"
Dir: Dante Lam
Cast: Leon Lai, Richie Jen, Wan Baoqiang, Vivian Hsu
Hong Kong/China
North American Premiere
TIFF Page, Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDB Page

It had me at "vengeful spirits from another realm"
Dir: James Wan
Cast: Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Patrick Wilson
World Premiere
TIFF Page, IMDB Page

Red Nights / Les Nuits Rouges du Bourreau de Jade
It had me at "seductive cat-and-mouse thriller set in Hong Kong"
Dir: Julien Carbon & Laurent Courtiaud
Cast: Frédérique Bel, Carrie Ng, Carole Brana, Stephen Wong
Hong Kong/ China/France
World Premiere
TIFF Page, IMDB Page

Stake Land
It had me at "In the aftermath of a vampire epidemic"
Dir: Jim Mickle (Mulberry Street)
Cast: Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Danielle Harris, Kelly McGillis, Michael Cerveris
World Premiere
TIFF Page, Official Film Site, IMDB Page

It had me at "costumed vigilante armed with a monkey wrench"
Dir: James Gunn
Cast: Rainn Wilson, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, Ellen Page
World Premiere
TIFF Page, IMDB Page

Vanishing on 7th Street
It had me at "blackout causes the population to inexplicably vanish"
Dir: Brad Anderson (The Machinest, Transsiberian)
Cast: Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, John Leguizamo
World Premiere
TIFF Page, Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDB Page

The Ward, John Carpenter's
It had me at "John Carpenter"
Dir: John Carpenter (The Thing, They Live, Big Trouble in Little China, Halloween)
Cast: Amber Heard, Mamie Gummer, Danielle Panabaker, Jared Harris, Lyndsy Fonseca
World Premiere
TIFF Page, Official Film Site, IMDB Page

Plus Previously announced:

Fubar II **Midnight Madness Opening Night**
It had me at "hosers"
Dir: Michael Dowse
Cast: Dave Lawrence, Paul J. Spence, Andy Sparacino, Terra Hazelton, Tracy Lawrence
World Premiere
TIFF Page, Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDB Page

Source: When The Sun Goes Down, The Stars Come Out Festival’s Midnight Madness Line-Up Packed With Big Names, Big Action And Big Thrills

The Toronto International Film Festival 2010 runs from September 9 - 19, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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