Borat to Rock Midnight Madness!
Yesterday, the Toronto International Film Festival unveiled its line-up for Midnight Madness, its special programme for those more interested in choking on their popcorn in the wee hours of the morning than watching Danish art films at midday. Midnight Madness is for lovers of genre films, in particular those that involve things oozing out of other things in a stomach-turning (yet often hilarious) way.
Of note on this year’s slate are:
Sheitan, a French film about a group of boisterous, hyper-stimulated friends who, after being thrown out of a Paris nightclub on Christmas Eve, take off for a weekend of debauchery in the country. Starring French superstar Vincent Cassel as a devilish caretaker and directed by Kim Chapiron, a member of French film collective Kourtrajme, Sheitan promises to be bloody, dark and tastelessly transgressive.
Princess, an animated feature by Dutch director Anders Morgenthaler, follows the adventures of a missionary-turned-vigilante who sets out to avenge the death of his porn star sister. As he struggles to clear her name in the eyes of the world, our hero wages a bloody war on the porn industry.
Severance, a horror-comedy from English director Christopher Smith (the man behind the 2004 Midnight Madness hit Creep, chronicles an international arms company’s weekend bonding retreat. What begins like a darker episode of The Office ultimately turns out more like Deliverance, as Smith spins his comedic premise into a kill-or-be-killed blood fest.
The Host, South Korean director Bong-Joon-Ho’s creature feature about a slimy fiend that emerges from Seoul’s Han River and commences to take control of the city. Korean audiences have been eating it up (so too has the New York Times‘s Manohla Dargis, who loved it at Cannes).
Black Sheep, Jonathan King’s comical horror flick about killer sheep. When a genetic experiment goes awry, a bunch of New Zealand’s finest go haywire. With the Weta Workshop, the special effects team behind Lord of the Rings and King Kong, designing the sheep, this film is sure to make you cancel that charming trip to Kiwi land.
Best of all though—and I can hardly contain myself—is the announcement that this year’s Midnight Madness will feature everyone’s favourite anti-Semitic Kazakhstani, Sacha Baron-Cohen’s Borat Sagdiyev. Borat: Cultural Learning of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, directed by Larry Charles, brings the adventures of one of television’s most hilarious (and intelligent) comic creations to the big screen. If you haven’t yet seen Borat on Baron-Cohen’s otherwise tired Da Ali G Show, then get yourself edumacated. This little film promises to be gut-splitting.