Midnight Madness Blog

- 2008
- 2007















Almost every year since we screened FUDOH in 1997, TIFF has showcased one of that year's new works by Takeshi Miike. For this years choice, SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO, we had an extra treat in store for the audience from Miike. The last time Miike was able to come to Toronto was for the world premiere of ICHI THE KILLER, but a little incident that became known as 9/11 left Miike stranded in a west coast US airport. Since then, every time we have selected one of his films, his shooting schedule has gotten in the way of him making a...

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The day after the world premiere of THE DEVIL'S CHAIR, actor Andrew Howard was struck with a painful tooth ache and had to get the offending molar yanked. Dizzy on pain killers, the resulting bickering and banter between director Adam Mason and Howard at the repeat screening has to be one of the more outrageous Q&As in the history of Midnight Madness. At the end of Part 3 is an anecdote about how George Romero helped Adam get is US work visa. Warning! These three videos contain cussing and slagging! Part 2 Part

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Easily a film that was winking at the the audience and pulling them into the joke as it went along, the Q&A for THE DEVIL'S CHAIR was a riot with director Adam Mason and star Andrew Howard trading quips about the making of it back and forth. Be sure to check out the next posting for the Q&A at the repeat screening where Howard is doped up on painkillers after getting a tooth yanked after the night of the premiere!

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I first met director Wilson Yip in 1999 when he attended the Festival with his film BULLETS OVER SUMMER. Programmer Noah Cowan introduced us, knowing my love for Hong Kong films and almost immediately I was able to break the language barrier by complimenting Wilson on some of his previous films BIO-ZOMBIE, MONGKOK STORY and the fun horror anthology MIDNIGHT ZONE. After that we kept in touch and would meet in Hong Kong when I'd visit and hung out together at the Udine Far East Festival in Italy. In 2000 I was able to roam beyond my...

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After making sure that our director made it to the stage free of any infectious zombie bites, the Q&A afterwards was equally memorable as we chose to bring it down to the audience and did it in the pit in front of the stage, making it seem much more up close and personal.

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Now this was the editing job that I wasn't looking forward, but it turned out not to be as hard as I thought it would be. The red carpet for George A. Romero's DIARY OF THE DEAD will go down as one of the wildest in not only the history of Midnight Madness, but also the Festival. Who cares about Brad and Angelina down at Roy Thompson Hall! Over at the Ryerson was a horde of zombies stumbling about like moths to a flame, all in loving tribute of their master, George Romero!Big thanks to Thea Munster, who runs the...

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We were blown away at how Midnight Madness audiences turned out in full force and embraced the wackiness of Matsumoto's DAINIPPONJINMaybe I sold it well in the note that I wrote for the guide book or maybe the posting about the mysterious enigma that is Matsumoto-san that I did caught their attention, but either way, that was one BIG monstrous crowd that snaked along the sidewalk leading to The Ryerson. We had no star or director present, but the intro and prologue became a little personal hello from Toronto to Matsumoto!And since thus got posted on YouTube on just over...

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It seemed like an overdue introduction when Stuart Gordon walked on stage to meet the Toronto Midnight Madness audience when you consider the list of cult horror hits that he has been responsible for. Maybe he was there in spirit with Brian Yuzna introduced BRIDE OF THE RE-ANIMATOR when it was in Midnight Madness back in 1990. The stage got a little crowded as Stuart was joined by his actors, lead by Mena Suvari, a MM vet who walked the stage of The Uptown when SPUN unspooled in 2002....

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The dust has long since settled and the red carpets have been rolled up and stored for another year. TIFF 07 is done, but believe it or not, preparations for TIFF 08 are already underway! Today I just got confirmation that one of the first submissions for Midnight Madness 2008. Will it be selected for 2008? We'll just have to see... This year we managed to catch most of the introductions and Q&As for the films in Midnight Madness and I have had the lucky task of reviewing and editing...

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Still jonesing for shocks and jolts from the big screen? Well, head on down to the Bloor Cinema for this year's TORONTO AFTER DARK FILM FESTIVAL which runs from October 19-25.They have a great selection of international fantastic films and I heartily recommend WOLFHOUND for sword and sorcery kicks from Russia, THE REBEL for kung fu kicks to the head from Vietnam, and from the demented mind of Shinya Tsukamoto, director of TETSUO and TOKYO FIST comes NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE! If you dig Lloyd Kaufman and his Troma-tastic style of shlock,  be sure to take...

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Still surfing around and finding more and more indie bloggy coverage of MM (can you tell I am sick at home with nothing better to do than cyber-surf today...?) Here is Jim's review from Hamilton. What is the address of The Comic Connection, the comic book store which serves as the

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Oh what a glorious closing night we had with INSIDE! And big thanks to Sanjay for brining the beach ball! Lets see that happen at a Gala!Alexandre and Julien were two of the best guests to have stay til the bitter and bloody end! They certainly know how to play up to a Toronto aud by praising the quality of the street meat! Once again, big round of applause to Sheleigh for documenting the

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FRONTIERE(S) X 3!!!!!!
Here are the vids for the intro & Q&A of the world premiere screening of Xavier Gens FRONTIERE(S) and also the Q&A for the second non-midnight time slot screening. We love

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Everything that George said about how the new media featured in DIARY OF THE DEAD seems to be coming true...! Sheleigh Bober's footage finds its way onto THE DEAD REPORT! Also on the Report is coverage of The Zombie Prom! Go to Sheleigh's blog for more more

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Once again Sheleigh steps up and documents the world premiere of another MM hit - Xavier Gens'

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We will have the intro/Q&A up by the end of the week for FLASH POINT, but here is faithful v-blogger Sheleigh's footage of Wilson meeting his fans, one of the first times he has been in this situation!

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Still catching up with everything on the MM coverage and soooo glad that Sheleigh beat me to the punch with her documentation of MM! Here is THE MOTHER OF TEARS opening - love the creepy journey on the TTC... and those slo-motion volunteers look

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Coralina Cataldi - Tassoni  sent me this google video link for Q&A from the repeat screening of THE MOTHER OF TEARS shot by Steve Grenier from Cinema Nocturna! Thanks Steve. Good to get a look at the bonus answers in the intimate setting of the Cumberland Cinema.

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Next to Asia Argento at the world premiere of THE MOTHER OF TEARS we had another lovely scream queen, Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni, a vet of Dario Argento kills having also met her demise in OPERA and was the lead beastie in the Argento produced DEMONS 2. It was a great pleasure for her to join us from NYC for this gorey-ous occasion. Check out her new website!Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni announces the anticipated re-launch of her official web site at www.coralina.net. The fresh, updated design...

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Check out this great series of pics that captures the glitz and the fan frenzy of the Fest outside of Midnight Madness over at Sam Javanrouh's daily dose of imagery. Click through to see Sam's great pics of the 10 days of the Fest as well as photos from his trip to

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more Midnight whispers
What they are saying about Midnight Madness now that the Fest has come to a close? Here is a quick overview. Find any other good reviews or blurbs on the web? Send them over to us at ultra8pictures@gmail.com. Over at Fangoria, Chris Alexander screams praises to the dark heavens in his overview of Midnight Madness: "...Outside of the snarling traffic and the glut of people standing around at industry parties waiting for something to happen or someone to show up, this year was one hell of a festival for the dark-movie-minded. Nowhere else was this more evident than in programmer Colin...

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So honoured to have a pic of the closing night experience over at Sam Javanrouh's "daily dose of imagery", a photo-blog that I often check. Midnight Madness 2007 has come to a close and I think you will all agree that it was a banner year! Argento! Romero! Gordon! Miike! Not to mention the new blood with selections including Gens, Mason, Yip, Matsumoto, Sori, Bustillo and Maury! We are keeping track of the titles that sold and right off the top, congrats to our filmmakers on the sale of GEORGE A. ROMERO'S...

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Yep, they came for Flashpoint, they beat each other up all over Toronto, and now they're streaming their adventures to the internet. Check out the LBP Toronto Invasion! ( In association with Toronto's own Eclipse Stunt Crew) Well guys? Are we gonna see you in the lines next year?           Above: DL Macdonald and Johnny Caine of the Eclipse Stunt Crew             Wilson Yip with Shawn Bernal and Emmanuel Manzanares @ the premiere of FLASH

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Another big round of hearty applause for Sheleigh Bober for another entry were she records the red carpet frenzy of actors Yusuke Iseya and Yoshino Kimura attending the screening of Takeshi Miike's SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO. I'll be editing and posting another viewpoint of the intro along with the EXCLUSIVE video introduction by Takeshi Miike himself, recorded just for the Midnight Madness audience in the upcoing days! Three cheers for

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Been madly trying to catch up on ALL the video we shot of the intros and Q&As for Midnight Madness. Finally you can see and hear Dario talk about his love of monkeys! Even the ones that bite his daughter! More vid to

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 If "Dead Again" didn't sell you on the dangers of scissors , "Inside" will surely close the deal: SNIP! This film discovers more uses for scissors than a Swiss army knife! (Well, er, that's if the Swiss army knife doesn't already include scissors) In fact, it's debatable if Edward Scissor-hands himself has gotten this much scissor mileage in a lifetime usage of his scissor-hands. Unfortunately, the scissors featured in this film have fallen into worst hands possible. Yes. Shear-evil... Evil, but creative, that is! *here be spoilers, alas this is not much fun if you haven't seen the movie* Here are just SOME uses: * * * Ugly stick Peep...

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Tear the roof off the suckah
Well, at least now we know that Colin would never lie to us. Inside delivered on all fronts, making us laugh, flinch, scream, cheer and generally be glad we don't have a uterus (ok, maybe that last one was just me). The crowd got into it early and often, amazing directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury from minute the first with the beachball antics.  I think a little piece of Julien's heart was broken when that sad, deflated beachball was thrown at his feet.  We spoiled a good thing just then,...

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New Baddie Sighted
This was originally posted by super audience blogger Darryl Shaw and it seemed to have sparked a mini-outrage in the comment section. Darryl has appologized, which I don't feel that he had to. If anyone saw DAINIPPONJIN they would get the spirit of this post. This is not an insult to tall people at all - the post doesn't mention the height of this "baddie" only the thickness of the head! Got a drawing and description of any other "baddies", please send them to "ultra8pictures@gmail.com"! - Colin ...

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Three Observations
about Sukiyaki Western Django: Since the dawn of time, humankind has been interested in 2 things, gunslingers and samurai, resulting in movies like Yojimbo, the Western-ish samurai movie, and Fistful of Dollars, the samurai-ish Western.  And maybe incidentally in a movie where Bruce Willis is a gangster because someone thought humankind is interested in Bruce Willis. They were wrong. Humankind is not interested in Bruce Willis.  Sukiyaki Western Django fulfills the promise of both samurai movies and Westerns.  It is everything I never knew I wanted:  an English-language Japanese Western mixing the Heike Monogatari, the tale of Yoshitsune, the War...

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I'm sorry to offend any tall people with my baddie sighting. I am not racist or sizist or anything like that-- just intended to be a light hearted joke. If you had seen the movie "Dainipponjin," it deals with gigantic 50 foot tall monsters-- so this was just a hyperbole. I should have made that clearer in my post, and sincerely didn't mean to hurt any feelings, any more than I was making fun of myself for being short. Sorry to offend. The littering thing was a reference to an earlier post, as I got busted for bringing in

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New Baddie Sighted
Attention, all Dai (great giant) Canada-jin! A new baddie has been sighted lurking around the film festival. Please help us to capture, defeat, or deport this new baddie: FAT-HEAD BADDIEThis baddie has a gi-normous head and likes to sit in front of short people at the film festival, obstructing the best possible view of the screen and blocks out key words in the subtitles! And for unknown reasons, Fat-Head Baddie likes to sit up even taller half-way through a movie. Also leaves empty Gatorade bottles on the theater floor. These are the characteristics of FAT-HEAD...

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We were taught a great many lessons by Mastumoto last night in Dainipponjin, and I plan to outline just a few of them.  For anyone who missed out, you're just a plain chump.  I'm tired of being nice.  We've warned everyone how awesome these last few screenings are going to be, and by now you should just know to show up.  Don't give me that, that's no excuse. Dainipponjin taught us that the male nipple does have magical and...

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So, just to keep everyone rolling in fresh material, our good friend Bob was nice enough to send us some stills from the Flash Point screening the other night. Wilson Yip was blown away by the response, and we were just plain blown away by Wilson Yip.  Also we have a great shot of the true star of the night... Colin's laptop!  His mac has been the underappreciated star of this year's fest, and were it not for that computer, we'd never know that we're all on a first name basis...

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Well-Blooded
Watching Flash Point last night, I realized something.  Despite the texting, the driving at night in the neon city, all the dislocated joints and broken ribs and justifiable reasons for using fisticuffs instead of guns, it’s so bloody brothers.  It reminded me of the films of Chang Cheh and Shaw Bros.’ period pieces.  Shaw Bros. movies are filled with crippling and vengeance and bloody suffering.  And girls just sort of dropped in a hovel or an abandoned temple or back with ma or by the side of the road.  In Flash Point,  Donnie Yen and Louis...

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... some actual press.  My apologies to those who don't get tone, but my Sukiyaki Western Django round-up was entirely fictional.  Hard to believe that publications like "Japanese Western Quarterly", "Feathers of Fancy" and "Bow and Arrow! Magazine" don't exist, I know... but that's just the sad world we live in. First off, the program itself continues to get nice over-arching summations in the mainstream press which, after 20 years, is a nice bit of recognition.  Time and Reuters both gave us nice little write-ups, which are presently getting copied and...

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Parental Guidance warning: Volatile Contents! Outside the Ryerson, in the line up for Wilson Yip's new Kungfu-fusion MMA action movie, "FLASH POINT" I came across some hardcore kungfu dudes (I think they were hailing from Chicago) and we made an action movie of our own.   As actors, they were very difficult to work with (Fine! It's me that's difficult to work with. I refuse to step on set unless someone sprays an entire bottle of Old Spice into the air.) -- And seeing as how we only had a 17 million dollar budget (in monopoly money), it was difficult to meet all...

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OK, maybe not ever, but Flash Point really delivered in the beat-down category.  Seriously, that last half-hour was totally rad.  First off, here's the video from last night, courtesy of my own personal Jesus, Sanjay Rajput.  The Intro is above, the Q&A below. Second, From the sounds of your reactions Donnie Yen is, in fact, the new black.  And, from the sounds of what Wilson Yip said about working with him he a) totally knows it and b) really loves that his job is to beat the holy hell out of everyone. It's pretty refreshing that given...

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MEGA SPOILERS (sorry suckas: ha, so you see now, you should have gone to the movie. Yessss, I segregate you outcasts!) * * * No seriously, go away, if you didn't watch this. That's not cool man. * *Stop it. * *OK. I fine, I will try not to to give too much away, but still, you've been warned. Well if you're gonna hang out you can't complain when you do see the movie, alright? *Alright? *Okay. *So as you may know, it's a good three quarters into the film, when it let's you know it's watching you watching it. Then CRACKOW the disses start coming. I stiffened in my chair. It's...

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So, here's a quick rundown on The Devil's Chair screening last night. 10 Things we've learned from The Devil's Chair: 10. It's funny to make fun of the Lord of the Rings:  not so much because it's cool, but because it makes you think of people that really think the movies are. 9. Anyone named Rachel probably didn't get much sleep last night. 8. Q&A, presence is necessary... standing, optional. 7. In horror movies, the blonde is always infinitely more trustworthy than the sluttier brunette. 6. Garbage bags, even those containing the mangled souls of the damned,...

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Devil's Chair video
This is probably the first time I've had to slap a Parental Guidance warning on a Q&A, but The Devil's Chair director Adam Mason and star Andrew Howard used some fairly colourful language at times.  If you don't like the C-word, consider yourselves warned. This also goes down as my favourite Q&A thus far due to Howard's reaction.  Seeing his own performance for the first time unnerved him so much that he did most of the session crouched onstage, his knees to weak to support himself for too long a period. Again, a big thanks to Sanjay Rajput for getting us the...

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Take My Picture
Well, our good friend Suzie Maynard (whom you may remember recently narrowly escaped the clutches of many zombies after they accosted her at a Yonge St. bus stop) has provided us with some stellar shots from the duration of the Madness program. I especially appreciate this because in my struggle to man two cameras at once, I often end up screwing up the photos, for the sake of video documentation.  I know, inept isn't the word we're looking for, but it's frighteningly close to accuracy, no? Anyway, again a reminder...

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...This video surely would have won. Sheleigh Bober got wicked creative with us and not only made sure the song "George Romero" by the Sprites was heard at this year's Midnight Madness, but took it a step further and actually made it the soundtrack to a short film about their own trip to the Diary of the Dead screening. We'll find a way to reward you for your hard work, somehow. For now, here's an imaginary gold star.  Way to

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Perhaps you've heard about Quentin Tarantino. He's an actor who's finally been getting more exposure recently-- although he's been at it for years! For years he has trained hard with the best of them. But success as an actor did not come easy. His first role was an Elvis Impersonator on Golden Girls; although it's disputable as one resume of his claimed he was in the original 1978 Dawn of the Dead. Perhaps you remember him from the opening monologue of "Reservoir Dogs", originally it had been speculated that Tarantino would play...

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Catch That Rave!
Rarely these days can people come to a wide consensus on anything.  Especially when it comes to critical thought, there are too many factors in play for discerning minds to completely agree on anything.  This is particularly true in film. Too many elements go into filmmaking for every critic to agree on a film's merits and only three films in cinematic history have so captured hearts and minds alike:  Citizen Kane, Breathless and now... Sukiyaki Western Django! The reviews have been pouring in all day and they are nothing...

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Sukiyaki opening!
Hey everyone, here's pretty much everything you missed from last night's opening of Sukiyaki Western Django.  Y'know, aside from an epic, bitchin' Japanese western (laughs at those who missed out). The Intro footage has the Q&A as well, because for some wacky reason Colin decided to do it beforehand last night. We'll get the footage of Takashi Miike's awesome video intro up as soon as possible.  Yar, I be a pirate... but a pirate with permission. Thank you to our friends for not only coming up from Detroit to partake in the madness but for also providing us with this footage. ...

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Well, everyone, your raucous applause and dedication to the cause of human-zombie integration has been recognized. Not only is the Midnight Madness audience officially nominated for the annual Colin Geddes Prize for the Promotion of Living-Undead Harmony, but it now seems that your reaction has helped George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead get sold. The Hollywood Reporter tells us that Romero sold the rights to Diary yesterday for somewhere between $2-2.5 Million to the Weinsteins (a fact we will NOT hold against him). Our congratulations go out to George...

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Foot Sore
Sisters, Brothers, Fellow Creatures in the Church of Exhaustion and Cult Cinema, let us rock the appropriate footwear. Even if we drive or hop cabs, let us consider that there’s still a lot of line time.  Me, I wear tough ass motorcycle boots.  Not tough ass as in shitkicking, but tough ass as in I can stand for a long time on concrete without feeling a damn thing.  Tonight I will pray for the strength to resist the devil that whispers in my ear, “Wear your cowboy boots to Sukiyaki Western Django—it’s not that long a walk...” And while I’m thinking about it,...

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Sector Secured
BAM! The hammer of justice comes down! You break the rules baby, and they'll burn you for it. So I was adhering to my own health-imposed survival kit last night. I had a 200 ml bottle of Gatorade in one hand, and my film ticket for Stuart Gordon's "STUCK" in the other. I'm walking into the doorway to the theater, and I turn to the ticket girl. Eye contact. I nodded, offered my ticket, and then well, it just happened so fast, let's see... "You can't bring that in here." "Huh?" I take a look around, and she's talking to me. "Me?" "You're going to have to leave...

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Diary of a Photo Montage
You guys are really outdoing yourselves. Thanks for all the photos, videos and presents you guys are sending us.  We're doing our best to get as much of it up as possible.  The above clever montage from the Diary of the Dead premiere comes to us courtesy of Sarah Gopaul. We'll keep posting these things as we get them, so shoot our proverbial zombie heads off with your camera shotguns as much as you possibly can. Pictures below are courtesy of Mark McAlpine, Jesse Hill and Salar Madadi repectively.                   ...

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Give Us All The Chair!
Well, it's time to sing our daily hymn of praise to the good people at Bloody Disgusting for providing us with yet more exclusive footage and goodies.  They're really making it difficult for everyone in town to NOT want to see The Devil's Chair when they keep throwing treasures like the Mason blog and this 5-minute clip our way. This from the exclusive Bloody Disgusting Review: "Mason and Boyes have truly proven they are forces to reckon with as THE DEVIL’S CHAIR is more a work of art than an actual...

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First off, much thanks to Sanjay Rajput for the video,  This does set a record for time on getting this video in.  The intro is in the first clip, the three following this post maked up the entire Q&A.  We thank you for opting to help us over the possibility of actually getting to bed before 4 a.m. "What's wrong with you?"  No, not you Sanjay.  That one line seemed to be wedging itself in everyone's mind last night like Stephen Rea's face through our collective dashboards as we sat in awe of our...

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Think you've got what it takes to survive the midnight run? Well you probably do, but I don't. After falling down and cracking my head open at last year's screening of "Trapped Ashes" from what the doctors called a spell of "dehydration" I am on a strict regiment. On my part, I had been working 14 hour days and then going to the movies, and then repeating this cycle on 3 hours sleep. Also on my part, my girlfriend says I'm a wimp. Here's what you might need to bring along to the lines....

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Do Androids Dream of Electronica?
 “Androids can’t behave irrationally.  It just doesn’t make any sense.”  Yet somehow, they did, and it was sooooo sweet.   The Madness got ratcheted up a notch last night with our screening of Sori’s Anime odyssey, Vexille.   This may have been the most tame of our programme in terms of gore, guts and creep factor- but it is the early odds-on favourite for the loudest film we’re going to show.  Colin said during the intro that this was a film he saw at...

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We Love You Too, Suzie.
For the past couple days, we've been asking for your photos and videos from your own Midnight Madness experiences. We've received some good stuff, but so far only one that's made us stand up and say 'This needs to be seen by as many people as possible'. This comes courtesy of our friend Sue Maynard.  She informs us that both zombies were nothing but courteous, escorting her not only to the bus stop, but onto the bus and walking her the whole way home.  Tragically, upon arrival at her residence, they burst...

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  Don't listen to the media skewing. The slanted views you've undoubtedly come across have been designed to mislead and placate you. Numb you into being a happy hive-member. Don't be fooled!   I *was* there, last night, at the Diary of the Dead Screening-- and I have seen the truth!                 I'm just not all that sure what I've seen. It can't be real, I keep telling myself, even now, locked up in my basement stronghold. No it couldn't be. And the worst part of all of this, is I'm...

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Zombie Pride!
Everybody have a good time at Diary of the Dead last night?  There’s so much to write about it, but my brain is so dead a zombie wouldn’t even want a taste.  I’m staggering around with a bit of a cold and a smidge of food poisoning and another late night.  Dizzy, a little nauseous but still hungering, I wonder if this is how zombies feel all the time.  Although, right now,  I hunger for waffles.  That might be transitional. Anyway, seems like every year I cool my ass on the concrete right behind a couple who...

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Diary of The Diary of the Dead
What do you get when you add screaming fan-boys, 50 live zombies and acute social commentary?   Naturally, you get a George A. Romero premiere.  He unleashed The Diary of the Dead onto the world last night and returned to the form that first put his name in horror history.  The film is a sharp, biting criticism on the information age and how much technology has come to govern our lives.   One of the key lines in the film, just as everything’s falling to pieces...

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Here it is, for those of you that missed out!  Exclusive footage from the Mother of Tears premiere.  We've got some kind words from Dario Argento, followed by Colin's intro and then Dario and Asia Argento introduce the film before the entire crowd sings Dario 'happy birthday'. Apologies for some shaking with the camera... it was my first day.  More video to come, I promise! For those of you that missed out, there is still another screening of Mother of Tears on Friday, Sept. 14 - 11:15 p.m. at Varsity Theatre

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I'll show you mine...
If you show me yours.  Pictures and videos, that is. This is just a slice of what goes on every night at the Madness.  I'd love to see what all of you have captured on your phones, cameras, etc. If any of you out in the Midnight Wilderness have pictures or videos from any of our midnight screenings feel free to send them to us at ultra8pictures@gmail.com and we'll try to get some of the best of them up here soon. We look forward to your

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The Final Frontiere(s)
Before everyone gets too wrapped up in Romero Mania tonight, some words on Midnight Madness Round Two last night with Xavier Gens' Frontiere(s). Gens himself was there to introduce the film and answer questions afterwards and it's fresh to see a filmmaker so happy with what he's done and eager to get people seeing his film.  Last night was the first time an audience saw the film and the reaction was incredible. I got a chance to talk with Gens beforehand as the audience was streaming in and he was borderline giddy to get things underway.  Introducing the film he was appreciative and...

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Horror as a Political Platform
MORE COMMENTARY AND EXCLUSIVE VIDEO ON LAST NIGHT'S SCREENING FROM DARRYL SHAW! What really disturbs and inspires modern horror directors? Surely they've been desensitized by the over saturation of violence in our culture, correct? Well, they should be! Anyhow, once you get used to the massive amounts of dyed Karo syrup and foam latex body parts, the only way to keep yourself motivated to sustain bone chilling horror is to take a quick look around and soak in what's really really wrong with the world... Besides the fact that you're lavishly exploiting situations of human torment (Hey! You're here aren't you?...

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Read it in the Papers
Well, it seems like everyone loves us today.  Both the National Post and the Toronto Star ran nice, long, features on the history and development of Midnight Madness after 20 years with TIFF. Both articles entertain for different reasons, so be sure to give both a look.  The Post works like more of a history of the program and comes from lots of perspectives, giving tonnes of perspectives on all the elements that make our midnights mad.  Everything from joint smoking and fireworks outside...

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The good folks at Bloody Disgusting have really outdone themselves this time! They're running a package of publicity and reviews surrounding our upcoming screening of Devil's Chair on Wednesday night. They've got a bunch of material from director Adam Mason, including an ongoing blog and a Podcast with co-writer Simon Boyes. Do give it a look, as it's always great to hear about the films directly from their makers and this one looks like it'll slay (sorry, really sorry 'bout that pun). In addition to the bonus materials, they...

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Well, the Fest frenzy is upon us! Last Tuesday, with the event only days/hours/minutes away, the TIFF staff had our regular rallying meeting at the ROM cinema. Lots of folks missing from this pic as we had our staff in the front lines giving aid to ticket buyers, at the cinemas making sure the picture and sound are top notch, at print revision splicing the films together and busy assisting the booking of flights and hotels for the  international film folk who visit TO. I am really proud of working with such...

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Exclusive Romero doc trailer
Does anyone else feel like it's Christmas Eve?  Tonight the first screening of George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead will go down at the Ryerson theatre- and, in honour of this, we have quite the scoop indeed. The above trailer (if you've not already basked in the glow of its awesomeness, I recommend you do so) is for Dead On: The Life and Cinema of George A. Romero, a new doc on the Diary of the Dead filmmaker. This is officially the WORLD PREMIERE of the film's trailer, so get a good luck and...

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I am hoping that DAINIPPONJIN takes the audience by surprise just as when I saw it in Cannes where the film was playing in the Director's Fortnight section of the Festival. One of the programmers, Jeremy Segay, told me it was perfect Midnight Madness fare, but you wouldn't guess it from the description in their programme book: Dai Sato leads a dull, routine life, thus continuing a family tradition. He must keep the peace. But most people belittle his responsibilities. This is a film about human relations: Dai Sato's relations, with his agent,...

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Cue Theme Music
Well, it's about time Midnight Madness got its very own theme song.  Thankfully, fate aligned this year that we found something that completely works with our program and that we can use unofficially, so as to not have to pay for it. Our tune comes from a band called The Sprites, aptly titled "George Romero".  The song praises the Diary of the Dead director (left, opposite, talking to Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright) for the educational value of his back catalogue...

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As Promised...
The videos may still ahve to wait a bit, I'm sorry to say.  However, here are some excellent shots from the Mother of Tears party, held before last nights' premiere. First off is the man of the evening, Mother of Tears director Dario Argento.           Argento greets Diary of the Dead director and Dawn of the Dead co-conspirator, George A. Romero with a great big hug.               L to...

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Exciting News From Jake West
Great news, guys!  Jake West (Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes, Evil Aliens, Razor Blade Smile) gave us a sneak peek at his next film that may just end up in Midnight Madness ’08.  Check out these crazy early images… sure looks awesome.   From the man himself:   “I'm just in the very early stages of Pre-Production on Doghouse,  doing concept art. The film is being financed by Carnaby International in the U.K!   It should be finished for  Cannes...

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I promise that this post will have exclusive pics and video later on, but for now here's a quick wrap on all that went down around our premiere of Dario Argento's Mother of Tears. The night kicked off with a launch party for the film where basically everyone you'd ever want to meet showed up.  Naturally, Dario and Asia Argento stole the night away, but that only scratches the surface.  Also on hand to revel in the rapturous gore that was Mother of Tears were Diary of the Dead director George A. Romero and a...

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BLLLAARG!
It's no more than five minutes into the midnight screening of Dario Argento's new flick "The Third Mother"... The opening credits have barely wrapped up-- and sitting next to me, is my self-professed midnight madness "Line buddy" Brandon. Now, I've known Brandon for a few years. Got talking to him through volunteering for Rue Morgue, and last year we watched a couple Midnight Madness flicks together. Anyhow, tonight I discovered something worse than horror. And that's the fusion of Horror with reality, in what became a very interactive evening-- if only for me. Okay, I get it, this is hard to follow, but before...

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"Welcome to Midnight Madness. Stable of the brave. Slaughter-house of the faint-hearted." That was how Noah Cowan ended his full-page introduction to the Midnight Madness section in the 1990 Festival of Festivals programme book. It was also MY introduction to this wickedly delicious style of cinema, and I have been an avid fan ever since. It was the Bloor Cinema that hosted MM in 1990, and even though the Uptown was the eventual, and true home of this programme, I can't imagine seeing any of that year's line-up anywhere BUT the Bloor. It just made sense to have Toronto's favourite repertory theatre screen such...

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Check this out, friends!  In our ongoing recovery of archived Midnight Mandess footage, we pulled an epic, FOUR-PART interview with the man of the evening himself, Dario Argento! Each segment clocks in at about 10 minutes or so, but we promise that it's nothing but pure gold.  What better way to get primed for tonight's Mother of Tears screening when the clock strikes

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Seeing Sammo
So for a lot of people the most exciting fight in SPL / Sha Po Long is this one between Donnie Yen and Wu Jing. But for me it’s the 2 fights between Sammo Hung and Donnie Yen.The tease and the heartbreaker. It's the first time they've ever fought together. 55 and so fast, Sammo can move.  At the SPL screening, a fan asked Sammo if he actually kicked the knife Donnie Yen throws at him out of the air.  “Yes, of course, ” he said. “One take.” Later he demonstrated a move,...

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Hey there friends, we just received an awesome set of pictures and a friendly greeting from Xavier Gens, French director of Frontiere(s): "It's a very great pleasure for me to be in Toronto for the beginning of Midnight Madness this year. And when I look the selection of the movies it's a great honour to be here and to present you my first feature film Frontiere(s)   The only self imposed rule I have is to crank it up...

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That's right, all of it!  OK, maybe just USA Today, but that'll do for the time being.  The daily posted a quality feature on the Midnight Madness trifecta of horror masters; George A. Romero, Dario Argento and Stuart Gordon. Susan Wloszczyna wrote-up Romero for today's online edition, talking about him taking leadership in getting the zombie movie back to the top of its game.  She credits Romero for modernizing the genre giving us a "post-9/11 and Hurricane Katrina image of widespread chaos for the YouTube/MySpace generation". Wloszczyna, who called Romero's Diary of the Dead one of her top TIFF picks earlier...

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What's That Sound?
I'm going to save everyone the trouble of asking questions after Wednesday night's screening of The Devil's Chair. The score, you will soon realize, is absolutely killer.  Not only that, but it's done by none other than local cellist Zoe Keating and if there's one thing she can teach us, it's that cello is the new punk. Zoe uses pedals and loops to form a one woman string quartet, and her score for The Devil's Chair is nothing short of incredible.  It's ambient.  It's chilling.  It's just going to blow you all away! A Guelph native, Zoe has toured extensively with her former group Rasputina,...

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More flashbacks! And the days posts do skew to being an Argento love-fest, but good-god-damn - the world PREMIERE of THE MOTHER OF TEARS is tomorrow night!!! In 1990 Midnight Madness programmer Noah Cowan was able to host, for possibily for the first North American festival appearance, Dario Argento who was presenting two films, Michele Soavi's THE CHURCH and his team-up with George Romero, TWO EVIL EYES. I love the Italian title for that one, Due occhi diabolici! Thanks to Erik Sulev for documenting the event! Like our previous 1990 flashback, check out the fans and the line-up around the block at...

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The LA Times has a nice feature up on Argento's Mother of Tears in their special section, The Envelope: The Awards Insider. The article looks at Argento's work habits, his return to films about witches and his relationship with daughter Asia Argento. While the article makes no mention of possible kudos, the fact that it's mentioned in The Envelope site itself bodes well for Argento's hopes for recognition with this film. Who knows?  After Borat's success last year, maybe Midnight Madness will become the new launch pad for the major awards season.  Hey......

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The buzz is building for Midnight Madness ’07, which is now just one thrilling day away!  There’s been lots of name-dropping and anticipation going around in the press and online.  Here’s a tasty little sample platter of what people have been saying.   Christopher Bales has been raving about the line-up in The Toronto Star and on his blog Crunchy Squirrel goes to Toronto.  He listed Diary of the Dead AND Dainipponjin among his three top picks for this year.  He also gave us all a...

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...Because it's gonna be so hard to top this year. Really, where can you go from here? Where would you want to? I'm hoping I'm going to see a film this year that will inspire my next script. Each year, I get this  injection of psycho-trauma, and thank God it's just from what I see up on the screen. So in the mean-spirit of things, let's get some heads rolling... This is a shout-out to all the gorehounds. The often unappreciated, deviant psycho-paths in training in the viewing audience. I mean, can we stop...

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It is sooooo easy to get single tickets for not only the Midnight Madness films, but also any other films at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. Don't believe the hype that films are sold out or that you "need to know someone who knows someone to get a ticket!" While some of the bigger titles might be hard to get, there are still lots of other films still up for grabs. At last count we still have tickets available for ALL the Midnight Madness films. This  info might change for the big shows like the Romero or Argento, but...

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One of the highlights at the FanExpo/Festival of Fear was the Q&A session hosted by Stuart "Feedback" Andrews with Dario Argento and Gerorge Romero. Managed to catch a few questions from the audience to the maestro about witches and remakes... More youtube goodness to

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Big thanks to all those who came by the booth we had a the FanExpo/Festival of Fear to say hello and ask about this years line-up for MM. Here is a quick glimpse of what it was like. Rockin' the youtube today on the blog!And please feel free to comment on the blog entries. Lets get some dialogue going! Thanks for

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I've been holding on to this scoop for a few weeks, waiting til the right time to deliver it... Back in 1990 when Midnight Madness was at the Bloor, the sponsor of the series that year was Sinister Cinema and they had a plan to shoot a documentary on MM. A camera was thrust into the hands of audience member Erik Sulev and he hit the line-up, gabbing with other audience members and even pinning down a few directors for interviews. Well, the doc never materialized, but those VHS tapes with the footage have been discovered and thanks to the speedy...

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Undead at the Uptown
I’m not sure I remember what my first Midnight Madness movie was. It’s all a swirl of late nights, early mornings and coagulating pizza followed by more late nights, early mornings and unwise eating on Yonge St. I do remember it was at Toronto’s lost wonder, The Uptown, a huge old renovated movie palace at Yonge and Bloor where even I at 5’2” always had an unobstructed view. Cinema 1’s huge screen ruined home theater for me. So at Midnight Madness, I focused on films I wouldn’t likely have a chance...

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the Cannes diaries
This year, in anticipation of our blogs, fellow programmer Thom Powers and I tried capture some of our experience in Cannes on video, hoping to edit them and post them on the blogs when we returned. As it was my first time shooting with video, I found it hard to remember when to pull out the camera to capture the many "Cannes moments". It was trial and errror with the biggest error being the humiliating experience of, after Eli Roth sneaked SXSW programmer Matt Dentler, Meiles Festival chairman Christian Hallman and myself into the VIP section for the...

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Here is the Japanese theatrical trailer for Takeshi Miike's SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO that gets its North American premiere on September 11th at Midnight Madness. Incidentally, 9/11 is the same date in 2001 that ICHI THE KILLER had its world premiere in MM - leaving an already shell shocked audience feeling sucker punched! To answer a much asked question, yes the film will have English subtitles! And here is a longer promo for the film: BONUS! The trailer for the original spaghetti western by Sergio Corbucci,

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These just in from a vigilante Midnight Madness fan from Japan - a photo spread on SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO in the Japanese magazine CUT. I remember going to Japan in 2001 and finding an issue with amazing shots of ICHI THE KILLER and an on set diary by Miike. In that issue was a great spread on Kiyoshi Kurosawa's PULSE. Wish I could read this great mag! Also in this issue is the sexy Japanese poster for DEATH PROOF! On newstands across the ocean...

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Hot off his own fest, the hugely popular Fantasia in Montreal, Mitch Davis gives us his thoughts and picks from the Midnight Madness line-up! Hot damn, is it ever going to be a hot September in Toronto this year. Like many festival programmers, I’m one of those crazy obsessive types who prides himself on seeing everything out there in the genres that spark my wick. I scout at other fests, chase after screeners from every corner of the galaxy and watch cavalcades of stuff that people send to me. Because Fantasia takes place...

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adam mason in toronto
Devilish Duo: Actor Nick Sheppard and director Adam MasonHey people i've been asked to write some stuff about the devils chair... so here goes... i'm thrilled the film is playing in toronto.. it was always a dream of mine.. and the line-up this year is pretty staggering for me.. I grew up with argento and gordon and romero.. Reanimator, Opera and Day of the Dead were three of the films responsible for me getting into this crazy world in the first place. So to be in the company of legends is pretty daunting.. If anyones got...

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Enjoying the low blow
So I saw Stuart Gordon's "Edmond " -- derived from the David Mamet Play - for the first time last night. It wasn't an intentional preparation for MM but an incidental one. So I would like to start spinning the hype machine's wheels about "Stuck", which, stop me if I'm wrong-- but isn't that based on a true story? Yeah seriously, some woman ran over a guy and left him in her garage to die. Not sure how Gordon's version wraps up, but am pretty excited to see how it's going to turn out....

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BUBBA'S BOYS: Director Don Coscarelli, Colin Geddes & Bruce CampbellSad news on the wire over the past week. Sounds like BUBBA NOSFERATU will not see the light of day... For the gossipy details, head over to Twitch for the details. But to get you through these dark times, we have gotten in an email from the director of BUBBA HO-TEP (and of course, PHANTASM), Don Coscarelli, with a memory of the night that he screened his film along with cult actor Bruce Campbell:Midnight Madness 2002 was a terrific launching pad for my...

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As I mentionned in my previous posts, I spent the last weekend sharing the news of the Midnight Madness line-up at Rue Morgue's Festival of Fear and mangaged to get this clip from the Q&A reunion of Dario Argento and George Romero! Are you excited

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SHEITAN MEN: Jeremy, Colin Geddes, Kim Chapiron, and Mads!Have been swamped with prep for MM following the fantastic Fest of Fear where I was shaking hands and kissing babies all weekend. Okay, maybe I was kissing hands and shaking babies, but we got to get tickets into the hands of some excited MM fans! Been getting in some more memories of MM from our alumni and this one comes from France with a recollection by SHEITAN director Kim Chapiron who even edited together a clip reel, highlighting his trip! And ladies, watch...

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  Are you a horror/sci-fi/comic fan and you are in Toronto for August 24-26? Be sure to head down to the annual Rue Morgue Festival of Fear, part of FanExpo 07 (at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre) and visit the booth that we will have to pimp all the Midnight Madness titles for this year! Pick up this years brochure, hot off the presses! Check out trailers and pics from this years slate of flicks! Learn how to get tickets from our friendly box office representative! Chat with Midnight Madness programmer Colin Geddes...

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Hot off the Presses!
So pleased to present this years brochure to pimp the line-up of Midnight Madness 2007! A big thanks to Haneen, Josey and Tony and his creative team for coming up with the image and design. These will be hitting the streets over the next few days so keep your eyes peeled. We will be handing them out at the Fest of Fear this weekend. FOF! Whats that you ask? Well check out the next posting!   

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ick! Bloody-Disgusting.com picks!
Having fun contacting fans about what films they are hyped about in this years Midnight Madness line-up and I think we will soon have a clear image of what the most anticipated faves will be. Chiming on this round is Brad Miska, the Editor in Chief of Bloody-Disgusting.com, your one stop on the web for breaking news on horrific flickers on the big screen and the small screen. Top three films: 3: THE MOTHER OF TEARS: A have a dream... to see Dario Argento return to his finest! Early footage indicates that "The...

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BOO! the picks from Fright Fest!!!
The Prince Charles Cinema - home to FrightFest!Favourite picks for this year's Midnight Madness are coming in from around the globe! This choice is from a dear personal friend and a strong supporter of the series - Paul McEvoy, who along with Greg Day, Ian Rattray and UK horror journalist Alan Jones, is one of the brains behind FrightFest in London which runs August 23 - 27. In the area - you must go! This year's line-up includes BLACK SHEEP, a sneak peak at DOOMSDAY by the director of THE DESCENT, HATCHET,...

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Dave Alexander, the Managing Editor of Rue Morgue has dropped by his choices for what we got rockin' at the Ryerson this year. He has a great taste for off beat horror flicks as he curates Rue Morgue's CineMarabre nights at The Bloor and they have just announced their screening for September - NIGHT OF THE CREEPS! A perfect film for the post-Fest blues nas one with the BEST tagline ever! Read the details below. And check out his postings on The Abattoir, The Official Rue Morgue blog.For any horror geek, a...

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So I have been a long time fan of Hong Kong action films and one of the names that often gets slipped when talking about  heavy hitters like Jackie Chan and Jet Li is Donnie Yen, the star and action director of FLASH POINT directed by Wilson Yip. Sure there are other dudes who look good with the fists on camera like Sammo Hung (a true heavy hitter!), Yuen Biao, Billy Chow and others, but over the past few years, Donnie Yen has been working back and forth as both star and...

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One of the most prolific film critics and movie bloggers in the known universe, Scott Weinberg is a proud scrawler for websites such as Cinematical, eFilmCritic, Rotten Tomatoes, and FEARnet. He's presently serving his third term on the Governing Committee of the Online Film Critics Society, is a frequent helper to (and enthusiastic supporter of) SXSW and Austin Fantastic Fest. Being as how he lives to see any movie that can be described using the words "horror" and "flick," I thought it was only fitting to ask for his top picks for...

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Todd Brown, the founder and editor of the fabulous film resource twitchfilm.net and a programmer for Fantasia, Toronto After Dark and The Austin Fantastic Fest, has sent us his top three picks from this year's Midnight Madness line-up. Both Todd and I were in Cannes where we got to view many of the contenders for our respective fests, so Todd is weighing in on the ones that he "hasn't" seen (I have linked to the reviews of the ones he has seen).I really should preface this by saying that Colin’s asked me to...

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Over at the Canadian Film Programmes Blog, my fellow TIFF programmer Jesse Wente has posted an interview with director Ernie Barbarash about his film THEY WAIT, selected in the Canada First programme. There seems to be some back and forth about whether or not THEY WAIT is a bonafide "horror film", but I can attest to some jumps from the ghosts that inhabit the story when I got a chance to watch it. Plus, being a keen fan of classic Hong Kong kung fu films, I was delighted to see actress Cheng Pei-pei in the film's cast. Popular from...

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a sneak peek at VEXILLE
Fumihiko Sori's VEXILLE seems to be getting the attention of many, even those outside the realm of anime fandom. I have to admit I am not an avid follower of anime series and manga, preferring to see works intentionally made for the big screen like GHOST IN THE SHELL, PAPRIKA, etc. That said, when working at Toronto's Suspect video which was one of the first places in the city that stocked anime, I did manage to get a handle on the popular and influential series like PERFECT BLUE, RANMA and NEON GENESIS...

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Over the course of the days leading up to Midnight Madness 2007, I've asked some of the directors who have had films debut in the series to send us their reflections and memories of being in TIFF. First up we have Jonathan Levine, director of ALL THE BOYS OF MANDY LANE, a sleeper hit of 2006, although I don't remember the leggy supermodels and drugs the night we went to Ted's Collison before the Fest started... "The night my movie ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE screened at Midnight Madness...

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At last! I am free to openly blab about all TEN films in the this year's Midnight Madness line-up! Fresh off the wire comes this release, grouped in with the eight titles announced in Vanguard ---- the last two films for Midnight Madness. Drum roll please! MIDNIGHT MADNESS 2007: the last two contenders! Friday September 06 THE MOTHER OF TEARS Dario Argento, Italy/USA Italian horror fans rejoice! The maestro of cinematic murder, Dario Argento, is back with the long-awaited conclusion of his The Three Mothers trilogy (SUSPIRIA and INFERNO were the first two films) with THE MOTHER OF TEARS. Archaeology student Sarah Mandy (Asia...

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It's official! Here are the first eight of this year's ten titles for Midnight Madness! Expect to get more blog action with exclusive info about these frantic flicks! And check out the new package we have which gets you tickets to all the midnight shows at a discounted rate! Midnight Madness Package: Includes one ticket to each of the ten Midnight Madness screenings, at 12:00 AM. Regular $156.51. Student/Senior $100.00. Passes and Packages can be bought online, by phone or in person at our year round box office at Manulife Centre, 55 Bloor Street West (main floor, north entrance) http://www.tiff07.ca...

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Get ready for the Madness!
Get ready to pop some caffeine pills and call in sick for the next ten days of work because the Midnight Madness, the popular and iconoclastic film series at the Toronto International Film Festival, is around the corner! This year marks twentieth anniversary of Midnight Madness. No big cakes or candles for us though, we prefer to rip it up on a more auspicious date, maybe our 21st, just to keep folks on their toes… However, we still plan to celebrate by planting a few speed bumps on...

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