Midnight Madness: Catnip for thrill seekers
Despite the presence of vampire ballerinas, lunatics in animal masks and a psychotic gangster, Midnight Madness programmer Colin Geddes is promising a â€œkinder, gentlerâ€ film series this year. But it will be just as freakily out there as fans â€” including Geddes â€” expect from TIFFâ€™s â€œgateway drugâ€ movie lineup.
â€œI like films which are both fun and art at the same time and Midnight Madness is almost a gateway drug into the film festival,â€ says Geddes. â€œIf you are a little intimidated by art-house cinema, anyone can kick back with a horror movie and a thriller.â€
Geddes speaks from experience. He was in the audience for the first year of Midnight Madness at what was then the Festival of Festivals in 1988. He was a George Brown student who had an eye on a graphic design career and canâ€™t recall if the movie was Dario Argentoâ€™s Opera or Tony Randelâ€™s Hellbound: Hellraiser II. But he was hooked.
Ten years later, Geddes started programming Midnight Madness. Itâ€™s one of the most popular slates at the festival, with fans happily lining up outside the Ryerson Theatre well in advance of the 12 a.m. screening start. The red carpet is often as much of a show as what unspools inside.
Last year, stoner bros Terry (David Lawrence) and Dean (Paul Spence) of Fubar II made mayhem outside the Ryerson. And in 2006, Sacha Baron Cohen famously showed up for the premiere of Borat in a cart pulled by peasant women.