TIFF Midnight Madness Films and Vanguard (Updated)

The Green Inferno by Midnight Madness staple Eli Roth
I’ll admit that it was past my bedtime when these films were announced at the stroke of midnight, but the night-owls who love to catch a red-eye screening are in for a treat with TIFF’s popular Midnight Madness programme. This year’s programme marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Midnight Madness and it looks to be a fun mix of dead cheerleaders, cannibalism, vampires, and world cinema.

The line-up was announced at TIFF Bell Lightbox last night following a free screening of the popular 2006 Midnight Madness film All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, which is finally making its way to audiences(ish) after seven years of distribution purgatory. This year’s round of Madness kicks off with All Cheerleaders Die, by Lucky McKee (director of May) and Chris Sivertson (Razzie-winning director of I Know Who Killed Me aka the notorious Lindsay Lohan bomb of 2007). Oscar prospects, these films are not, but the beach ball bumping crowd at Ryerson’s 11:59 pm screenings knows how to have a good time. (Lasy year's Midnight Madness crowned Seven Psychopaths the People's Choice for the programme.)

Also in the line-up is a new film from Midnight Madness regular Eli Roth and the Canadian co-pro Afflicted. Only nine of the ten Midnight Madness titles have been announced. Any thoughts about what the straggler might be?

UPDATE: TIFF offered a double dose of the sick and twisted today, as it also announced the films in the Vanguard programme, TIFF's avant-garde line-up, which is kind of like Midnight Madness for the art house crowd. (See below)


Opening Night Film:
All Cheerleaders Die
Lucky McKee, Chris Sivertson, USA, World Premiere
When tragedy rocks Blackfoot High, rebellious outsider Mäddy Killian shocks the student body by joining the cheerleading squad. This decision drives a rift between Mäddy and her ex-girlfriend Leena Miller — a loner who claims to practice the dark arts. After a confrontation with the football team, Mäddy and her new cheerleader friends are sent on a supernatural roller coaster ride which leaves a path of destruction none of them may be able to escape.

Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, Canada/USA, World Premiere
Best friends Derek and Clif set out on a trip of a lifetime. Their plan: travel to the ends of the earth, see the world, and live life to the fullest. But the trip soon takes a dark and bloody turn. Just days in, one of the men shows signs of a mysterious affliction which gradually takes over his entire body and being. Now, thousands of miles from home, in a foreign land, they must race to uncover the source of his illness before it consumes him completely. Footage of their travels meant to document pleasant memories may now become evidence of one of the most shocking discoveries ever captured on film…and may be their only postcard home.

Almost Human
Joe Begos, USA, World Premiere
Mark Fisher disappeared from his home in a brilliant flash of blue light almost two years ago. His friend Seth Hampton was the last to see him alive. Now a string of grisly, violent murders leads Seth to believe that Mark is back, and something evil is living inside of him.

The Green Inferno
Eli Roth, USA, World Premiere
How far would you go for a cause you believe in? In horror master Eli Roth’s terrifying new film, a group of college students take their humanitarian protest from New York to the Amazon jungle, only to get kidnapped by the native tribe they came to save: a tribe that still practices the ancient rite of cannibalism, and has a healthy appetite for intruders.

Mike Flanagan, USA, World Premiere
Oculus is a spine-chilling supernatural tale of two damaged siblings (Karen Gillan and Brenton Thwaites) who, as children, witnessed their parents' harrowing descent into madness and murder. At long last, brother and sister reunite as adults to expose and destroy the paranormal entity they believe is responsible: the Lasser Glass — a legendary mirror their family once owned.

Hitoshi Matsumoto, Japan World Premiere
An ordinary man with an ordinary life joins a mysterious club. The membership lasts for one year only and there is one rule: no cancellation under any circumstance. The man enters into an entirely new and exciting world which he has never before experienced.

Rigor Mortis
Juno Mak, Hong Kong North American Premiere
Juno Mak’s debut feature Rigor Mortis is an eerie and chilling, contemporary action- and special effects-laden homage to the classic Chinese vampire movies of the 1980s. Starring Chin Siu-Ho, Kara Hui, Anthony Chan, Lo Hoi Pang and Richard Ng.

The Station (Blutgletscher)
 Marvin Kren, Austria, World Premiere
At a climate research station in the Alps, the scientists are stunned as the nearby melting glacier is leaking a red liquid. It quickly turns to be very special juice — with unexpected genetic effects on the local wildlife.

Why Don't You Play in Hell? (Jigoku de Naze Warui)
Sion Sono, Japan North American Premiere
Two men, Muto and Ikegami, hate each other. Muto desperately wants to help his daughter Mitsuko star in a movie. Meanwhile, Ikegami falls in love with Mitsuko, knowing that she's the daughter of his foe. Hirata, a filmmaker, and Koji, a young movie-lover, get dragged into this complicated situation that heads into an unexpected direction.


Blue Ruin
Jeremy Saulnier, USA, North American Premiere
A classic American revenge story, Blue Ruin follows a mysterious outsider whose quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to  his childhood home to  carry out an act of vengeance.  Finding himself in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family, he proves to be an amateur assassin. Starring Macon Blair.

Alex van Warmerdam, The Netherlands/Belgium/Denmark, North American Premiere
Borgman is the central character in Alex van Warmerdam’s dark, malevolent fable. Is he a dream or a demon, a twisted allegory or an all-too-real embodiment of our fears? Borgman is a sinister arrival in the sealed-off streets of modern suburbia. His presence unleashes a crowing gallery of distortion around the careful façade constructed by an arrogant, comfortable couple, their three children and nanny. Starring Jan Bijoet, Jeroen Perceval and Hadewych Minis.

Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari
Alexey Fedorchenko, Russia, Canadian Premiere
Comprised of 23 vignettes illuminating the pagan
-influenced mores of western Russia’s Meadow Mari, the latest film from director Alexey Fedorchenko (Silent Souls) is a beguiling, painterly portrait of a culture driven by a ritualistic appreciation of female beauty and feminine sexuality.

The Fake
Yeon Sang-ho, Korea, World Premiere
A rural village is determined to be submerged and its residents are compensated for relocation. A swindler named Choi deceives the poor villagers with false religion to make them give up their compensations as church offerings. Min-chul, an infamous local good-for-nothing waster, discovers the truth, but he is unable to convince anyone; especially against Reverend Sung, who is revered by the people, but who in fact is someone Choi scouted to serve his purpose. When Min-chul’s own faithful daughter is forced into prostitution by these fakes, he sets out to get even.

Alexandre Aja, USA, World Premiere
Horns, a supernatural thriller driven by dark comedy, mystery and romance follows Ignatius Perrish as he awakens after a hard night of drinking to find he has grown a pair of horns. In addition to his devilish appearance, the horns cause people to fall into a trance and  voice their most unspeakable thoughts, an effective tool in Ig’s quest to discover the truth of his girlfriend's murder. Starring Juno  Temple and Daniel Radcliffe.

People In Places (Gente En Sitios)
Juan Cavestany, Spain, World Premiere
This kaleidoscopic film weaves together approximately 20 fragmented scenarios that offer a view of contemporary Spain, drawing conclusions about the persistence of the human condition, strangeness, and the chaos within relationships. Starring Raul Arevalo, Eduard Fernandez and Santiago Segura.

Zack Parker, USA, World Premiere
While walking home from her latest OB appointment, a very pregnant Esther Woodhouse is brutally attacked and disfigured by a hooded assailant. This horrible event seems to be a blessing in disguise when Esther finds consolation in a support group. Her life of sadness and solitude is opened up to friendship, understanding, and even acceptance. However, friendship and understanding can be very dangerous things when accepted by the wrong people.

The Sacrament
Ti West, USA, North American Premiere
From acclaimed writer/director Ti West (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers) and horror master Eli Roth (Hostel), The Sacrament follows two Vice media correspondents as they set out to document their friend's search to find his missing sister. They travel outside of the United States to an undisclosed location where they are welcomed into the world of "Eden Parish," a self-sustained rural utopia comprised of nearly 200 members. At the centre of this small, religious, socialist community is a  mysterious leader known only as "Father." As their friend reunites with his sister, it becomes apparent to the newcomers that this  paradise may not be as it seems. What started as just another documentary shoot soon becomes a race to escape with their lives. Starring: Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen, Kentucker Audley, Amy Seimetz and Gene Jones.

Brillante Mendoza, Philippines, World Premiere
With the rival station Philippine Broadcasting Channel (PBC) eating up the TV audiences' major share, Sarimanok Broadcasting  Network (SBN) needs a miracle to stay alive in the competition. In these mad and fearful times, SBN's news team finds that  documenting an actual spiritual possession would be their only hope.

Sex, Drugs & Taxation (Spies & Glistrup)
Christoffer Boe, Denmark, International Premiere
Sex, Drugs & Taxation is based on the true story about the spectacular friendship between two  of the most  notorious and provocative  men in 1960s Denmark: the eccentric lawyer-turned-politician, Mogens Glistrup, and the 'travel king', millionaire, womanizer and public provocateur, Simon Spies. Starring Pilou Asbæk, Nicolas Bro and Jesper Christensen.

Chung Mong-Hong, Taiwan, International Premiere
A-Chuan, a quiet 30-year-old man working as a chef  in a Japanese restaurant, collapses  suddenly  and is rushed to a hospital. His colleagues send him to his father , who resides in the mountains. While there, A-Chuan becomes immobile: he won’t speak, eat or even go to the toilet on his own. One day his father returns from work only to find A-Chuan sitting in the corner with his daughter lying dead  in a pool of blood. In an unfamiliar, eerily calm voice, A-Chuan says, “I saw this body was empty, so I moved in.”

The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, Belgium/France/Luxembourg, North American Premiere
A woman vanishes. Her husband inquires into the strange circumstances of her disappearance. Did she leave him? Is she dead? As he continues his search, he plunges into a world of nightmare and violence... Starring Klaus Tange, Jean- Michel Vovk, Sylvia Camarda, Sam Louwyck and Anna D’Annunzio.

Thou Gild’st the Even
Onur Ünlü, Turkey, North American Premiere
Man is created of anxiety.—Euripides
In asmall Anatolian town, life goes on: Cemal is an assistant referee in football matches; Yasemin works on a farm; and  Defne is a  street vendor who sells books. In this town with two suns and three full moons in the sky, Cemal — who  has the ability to  see through the walls—has no expectations out of life, and looks for a way out with Yasemin—who can move objects with her fingers. However, Defne, who can freeze time, will muddle things up, andYasemin's immoral boss' actions will contradict the invisible elementary school teacher's advice, who is trying to eliminate the worries of Cemal. Thou Gild'st the Even is a black  and white  film  about the ordinary  sorrows, worries and troubles of  townspeople with extraordinary abilities.

We Gotta Get Out of This Place
Simon Hawkins and Zeke Hawkins,USA World Premiere
With only three weeks left until his two best friends leave for college, Billy Joe robs his cotton farmer boss, Giff, in order to pay for one last blow-out weekend in Corpus Christi, Texas. Arriving home from the weekend, the teens find the consequences of Billy Joe’s actions brutal. Now Billy Joe, Bobby, and Sue will be taken on a ride that will test love, heartbreak, trust, and crossing that permanent line from adolescence into adulthood.