Midnight Madness TIFF

5 must-see Midnight Madness films at TIFF 2013

Midnight Madness is TIFF's programme for horror, genre and cult cinema, curated by Colin Geddes. In terms of full-audience experiences, you cannot beat the ambiance at the Ryerson every night at midnight. It's often worth checking these screenings out regardless of whether or not you have an interest in the film that's playing; many indeed do come just for the atmosphere more than anything else.

Unless you're one of the die-hard faithfuls (of which there are many), chances are you won't have the stamina necessary to stay up until 2AM every night, especially with so many great films to catch the next morning at 8:30 or 9AM. I've gone through the full slate of ten films, narrowing the section down to what are, to my mind, the five best bets from this year's Madness.

R100
TIFF. 2009. Midnight Madness. Symbol. Now that you're in the right frame of mind, know that this is by the same guy responsible for that, and that it sounds almost equally at batshit audacious as that film was. "A mild-mannered family man with a secret taste for S&M finds himself pursued by a gang of ruthless dominatrixes -- each with a very special talent." Regardless, guy has a lifetime free pass in my book.

All Cheerleaders Die
Makes the list because it's by Lucky McKee, who aside from having a great name, makes consistently interesting genre flicks like The Woman and, more importantly, May. This is actually co-directed by the I Know Who Killed Me guy (no comment), so mileage may vary, but this is about a bunch of cheerleaders dying, and it's hard to imagine them messing that up.

Why Don't You Play in Hell?
Sion Sono makes some of the most turgid and tasteless genre films in all of cinema. Never afraid to explicitly shame and mutilate his characters (especially the women), he'd be considered one of world's cinema premiere provocateurs if he weren't working the mode that he is (that is, in genre that are expected to be sadistic and cruel). Likely not much of a departure for him, Why Don't You Play in Hell is about "a renegade film crew known as 'The Fuck Bombers'!" and is loaded with yakuza gangsters, decapitated heads, and countless other exhileratingly vile images and characters.

The Green Inferno
Bring up the name Eli Roth in a crowded room, and you never know what kind of reaction you're gonna get. Please love to hate this guy, and they may have perfectly valid reasons, but that doesn't change the fact that Roth is a major force in contemporary genre filmmaking, so when he makes a new film (his first in six years), you pay attention to it. Plus, it's described as a "gruesome homage to the notorious Italian cannibal movies of the late seventies and early eighties," which...so there's that.

Rigor Mortis
Yes, that Juno Mak. Honestly, this is only listed for the perverse curiosity for what kind of movies this guy would make - it could be good! But hopes are exactly sky high. This is apparently a tribute to the cult classic Hong Kong horror-comedy series Mr. Vampire which took off in the mid-1980s.

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Lead still from The Green Inferno


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