Friday 7 July 2000

TIFF Midnight Madness

This image from the 2009 Midnight Madness brochure is used with kind permission from its designer, Liz MacInnis (TIFF). The still is from Hitoshi Matsumoto's Symbol (2009).

The festivals I've been covering thus far at Apocalypse Later are local Arizona ones that I've attended in person. I see as many films as I can live at these events, then catch up with as many more as I can afterwards. Sometimes these seem to be huge festivals, but we don't know the half of it.

I've never been to the Toronto International Film Festival, only one country north, which almost puts me in a minority. In 2012, it hosted an estimated 400,000 attendees, one in a hundred of whom were industry professionals. That year included a massive schedule of 372 films on 34 screens, as TIFF is hardly a minor event. Variety called it 'second only to Cannes in terms of high-profile pics, stars and market activity' and Time went one better and called it 'the most influential film festival, period'.

Because I've never been to TIFF, I've never got to experience their Midnight Madness track, which covers genre film. TIFF was founded in 1976, but the Midnight Madness track arrived in 1988, which means that it celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. This track is kept relatively small, especially compared to the larger festival as a whole. In most years, Midnight Madness includes only ten carefully selected features; only the earliest years exceeded that by including a few short films too.

What's most important about Midnight Madness is that the programming choices have been astoundingly well made, so that the complete list is as close as I've seen to a primer for anyone interested in where cult movies have gone over the past quarter of a century. Just look at the line-ups for 1990 or 1992, or anything from the early 2000s! The programmer from the outset until 1996 was Noah Cowan; in 1997, he co-programmed with Colin Geddes, who has continued on solo ever since.

Some were always obvious picks; who wouldn't want to pick up the new Dario Argento or Takashi Miike picture? Others were much more obscure gems that were plucked out of the ether almost before anyone else had heard of them. This is where the world found out about their existence, and in many instances, the rest is history. Not all these films are great, of course, but those that aren't are generally either important or influential.

I've seen many of these films; the list includes some of my all time favourites and some of them are already reviewed here at Apocalypse Later. However I haven't seen far too many of them for years, often not since their initial release and reading through this list makes me feel rather nostalgic. This also means that they're not rated below, as I only started rating pictures in 2004. More pertinently, there are also many films here that I haven't seen, either because I haven't got round to them yet or because, in a few instances, I haven't even heard of them.

Clearly this is a situation I should remedy, so that's exactly what I plan on doing: I'm setting myself the target of reviewing 52 more of these during 2014.

Here are all the films that have screened at Midnight Madness over its first 25 years. This list was mostly sourced from this page on the Ultra 8 Pictures website, a company founded by the current Midnight Madness programmer, Colin Geddes. Titles linking to my reviews, where they exist, and I've added the IMDb pages, where they exist, for reference.

I should add that there's also an official Midnight Madness blog.

Rating System
1 - Abysmal | 2 - Bad | 3 - Poor | 4 - OK | 5 - Good | 6 - Excellent | 7 - Classic

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Big Time 1988 Chris Blum IMDb
Brain Damage 1988 Frank Henenlotter IMDb
Brand New Day 1988 Amos Gitai IMDb
The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years 1988 6 6 Penelope Spheeris IMDb
Forbidden to Forbid 1988 Lothar Lambert IMDb
Heavy Petting 1989 Obie Benz IMDb
Hellbound: Hellraiser II 1988 Tony Randel IMDb
Smoke 'em if You Got 'em 1988 Ray Boseley IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Carnival of Souls 1962 6 - Herk Harvey IMDb
Dr Caligari 1989 Stephen Sayadian IMDb
Funny 1989 Bran Ferren IMDb
Heavy Petting 1989 Obie Benz IMDb
Lenny Henry: Live and Unleashed 1989 Andy Harries IMDb
No Such Thing as Gravity 1989 Alyce Wittenstein IMDb
Opera 1987 Dario Argento IMDb
Over Easy 1989 Ignacio Valero IMDb
Shimmelsteen Michael Wolfe n/a
Space Avenger 1989 Richard W Haines IMDb
Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend 1989 4 - Hideki Takayama IMDb
Whoregasm 1988 Nick Zedd IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Bride of Re-Animator 1989 Brian Yuzna IMDb
The Church 1989 Michele Soavi IMDb
Def by Temptation 1990 James Bond III IMDb
Frankenhooker 1990 Frank Henelotter IMDb
Hardware 1990 Richard Stanley IMDb
Meet the Feebles 1989 Peter Jackson IMDb
My Degeneration 1990 Jon Moritsugu IMDb
Tetsuo: Iron Man 1989 Shinya Tsukamoto IMDb
Two Evil Eyes 1990 Dario Argento & George A Romero IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
The Arrival 1991 David Schmoeller IMDb
Blood and Concrete 1991 Jeffrey Reiner IMDb
The Borrower 1991 John McNaughton IMDb
Children of the Night 1991 Tony Randel IMDb
A Chinese Ghost Story III 1991 Ching Siu-Tung IMDb
Guilty as Charged 1991 Sam Irvin IMDb
Motorama 1991 Barry Shils IMDb
The Raid 1991 Tsui Hark & Ching Siu-Tung IMDb
The Sect 1991 Michele Soavi IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Back to the USSR 1992 Jari Halonen IMDb
Braindead 1992 7 5 Peter Jackson IMDb
Candyman 1992 6 6 Bernard Rose IMDb
Man Bites Dog 1992 6 6 Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, Benoit Poelvoorde IMDb
Romper Stomper 1992 Geoffrey Wright IMDb
Swordsman II 1992 Ching Tsui Tung IMDb
Tetsuo II: Body Hammer 1992 Shinya Tsukamoto IMDb
Tokyo Decadence 1992 Ryu Murakami IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Mutant Action 1993 Álex de la Iglesia IMDb
Dazed and Confused 1993 - 5 Richard Linklater IMDb
Frauds 1993 Stephen Elliott IMDb
Freaked 1993 Tom Stern & Alex Winter IMDb
Jack Be Nimble 1993 Garth Maxwell IMDb
The Last Border 1993 Mika Kaurismaki IMDb
The Making of '...And God Spoke' 1993 Arthur Borman IMDb
Trauma 1993 Dario Argento IMDb
The Wicked City 1993 Mak Tai Kit IMDb
Wicked City 1987 Yoshiaki Kawajiri IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Dellamorte Dellamore 1994 Michele Soavi IMDb
The Eagle Shooting Heroes 1993 Jeffrey Lau IMDb
Love and a .45 1994 C M Talkington IMDb
Naked Killer 1992 Clarence Fok Yiu-leung IMDb
Nightwatch 1994 Ole Bornedal IMDb
Schramm 1994 Jörg Buttgereit IMDb
SFW 1994 Jefery Levy IMDb
Tokarev 1994 Junji Sakamoto IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Crying Freeman 1995 6 6 Christophe Gans IMDb
The Day of the Beast 1995 Álex de la Iglesia IMDb
An Evil Town 1995 Richard Sears IMDb
Gamera: The Guardian of the Universe 1995 Shusuke Kaneko IMDb
Mute Witness 1994 Anthony Waller IMDb
Screamers 1995 Christian Duguay IMDb
Synthetic Pleasures 1995 Iara Lee IMDb
To Kill a Dead Man 1994 Alexander Hemming IMDb
Tokyo Fist 1995 Shinya Tsukamoto IMDb
Trailer Camp 1995 Jenni Olson IMDb
Wizard of Darkness 1995 Shimako Sato IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
All of Them Witches 1996 Daniel Gruener IMDb
Curdled 1996 Reb Braddock IMDb
Gamera 2: Assault of Legion 1996 Shusuke Kaneko IMDb
Killer Tongue 1996 Alberto Sciamma IMDb
Organ 1996 Kei Fujiwara IMDb
Ratchet 1996 John Johnson IMDb
RoadMovie 1996 Peter Care IMDb
Screwed 1996 Alexander Crawford IMDb
The Stendhal Syndrome 1996 Dario Argento IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
A Chinese Ghost Story: The Tsui Hark Animation 1997 Tsui Hark IMDb
Fudoh: The New Generation 1996 Takashi Miike IMDb
I Married a Strange Person! 1997 Bill Plympton IMDb
Love God 1997 Frank Grow IMDb
Office Killer 1997 5 5 Cindy Sherman IMDb
Orgazmo 1997 6 6 Trey Parker IMDb
Sick: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist 1997 Kirby Dick IMDb
The Ugly 1997 Scott Reynolds IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
The Acid House 1998 Paul McGuigan IMDb
The Bystander from Hell 1998 Mathew Harrison IMDb
Cascadeur: The Amber Chamber 1998 Hardy Martins IMDb
Hang the DJ 1998 Marco & Mauro La Villa IMDb
Heaven 1998 Scott Reynolds IMDb
I Woke Up Early the Day I Died 1998 Aris Iliopulos IMDb
The Mighty Peking Man 1977 2 2 Meng Hua Ho IMDb
Night Time 1998 Peter Fratzscher IMDb
Perdita Durango 1997 Álex de la Iglesia IMDb
Six-String Samurai 1998 5 6 Lance Mungia IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Born to Lose: The Last Rock and Roll Movie 1999 Lech Kowalski IMDb
Fever 1999 Alex Winter IMDb
Freeway 2: Confessions of a Trickbaby 1999 Matthew Bright IMDb
Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris 1999 Shusuke Kaneko IMDb
George Lucas in Love 1999 Joe Nussbaum IMDb
The Item 1999 Dan Clark IMDb
Komodo 1999 Michael Lantieri IMDb
Possessed 1999 Anders Rønnow Klarlund IMDb
Wadd: The Life & Times of John C Holmes 1999 Cass Paley IMDb
The Wisdom of Crocodiles 1998 Po Chih Leung IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
6ixtynin9 1999 6 6 Pen-ek Ratanaruang IMDb
The American Nightmare 2000 Adam Simon IMDb
City of Lost Souls 2000 5 4 Takashi Miike IMDb
The Foul King 2000 Kim Jee-Woon IMDb
The Irrefutable Truth About Demons 2000 Glenn Standring IMDb
The Mission 1999 Johnnie To Kei-fung IMDb
Quartered at Dawn 1999 Norbert Keil IMDb
Tell Me Something 1999 Chang Youn-hyun IMDb
Time and Tide 2000 Tsui Hark IMDb
Wild Zero 1999 Tetsuro Takeuchi IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
The American Astronaut 2001 Cory McAbee IMDb
Antinome 2000 Grégory Morin IMDb
Bang Rajan: The Village of the Warriors 2000 Thanit Jitnukul IMDb
Brotherhood of the Wolf 2001 Christophe Gans IMDb
The Bunker 2001 Rob Green IMDb
Dogtown and Z-Boys 2001 Stacy Peralta IMDb
Electric Dragon 80.000 V 2001 5 5 Sogo Ishii IMDb
Full Time Killer 2001 7 7 Johnnie To Kei-fung & Wai Ka-fai IMDb
Ichi the Killer 2001 6 5 Takashi Miike IMDb
Versus 2000 5 5 Ryuhei Kitamura IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Alive 2002 Ryuhei Kitamura IMDb
Bubba Ho-Tep 2002 6 6 Don Coscarelli IMDb
Cabin Fever 2002 5 4 Eli Roth IMDb
The Eye 2002 7 7 Oxide & Danny Pang IMDb
MC5: A True Testimonial 2002 David C Thomas IMDb
My Little Eye 2002 Marc Evans IMDb
Spun 2002 - 5 Jonas Åkerlund IMDb
Volcano High 2001 Kim Tae-kyun IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Cypher 2002 Vincenzo Natali IMDb
End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones 2003 Jim Fields & Michael Gramaglia IMDb
Gozu 2003 Takashi Miike IMDb
Haute Tension 2003 Alexandre Aja IMDb
Ju-On: The Grudge 2002 Takashi Shimizu IMDb
Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior 2003 5 6 Prachia Pinkaew IMDb
Save the Green Planet! 2003 7 7 Jang Jun-hwan IMDb
Undead 2003 Michael & Peter Sperig IMDb
Underworld 2003 6 6 Len Wiseman IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Calvaire 2004 6 6 Fabrice du Welz IMDb
Creep 2004 Christopher Smith IMDb
Dead Birds 2004 Alex Turner IMDb
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence 2004 Mamoru Oshii IMDb
Kontroll 2003 6 5 Nimród Antal IMDb
The Machinist 2004 Brad Anderson IMDb
Rahtree: Flower of the Night 2003 Yuthlert Sippapak IMDb
The Raspberry Reich 2004 Bruce LaBruce IMDb
Saw 2004 6 6 James Wan IMDb
Zebraman 2004 5 5 Takashi Miike IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Bangkok Loco 2004 Pornchai Hongrattanaporn IMDb
The District 2004 Áron Gauder IMDb
District B13 2004 6 6 Pierre Morel IMDb
Evil Aliens 2005 Jake West IMDb
The Great Yokai War 2005 5 5 Takashi Miike IMDb
Hostel 2005 Eli Roth IMDb
Isolation 2005 Billy O'Brien IMDb
Kill Zone 2005 Wilson Yip IMDb
Metal: A Headbanger's Journey 2005 Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen & Jessica Joy Wise IMDb
Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic 2005 Liam Lynch IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
The Abandoned 2006 Nacho Cerdà IMDb
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane 2006 Jonathan Levine IMDb
Black Sheep 2006 4 4 Jonathan King IMDb
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan 2006 Larry Charles IMDb
The Host 2006 6 6 Bong Joon-ho IMDb
Princess 2006 Anders Morgenthaler IMDb
S&MAN 2006 J T Petty IMDb
Severance 2006 Christopher Smith IMDb
Sheitan 2006 5 4 Kim Chapiron IMDb
Trapped Ashes 2006 4 5 Monte Hellman, Ken Russell, John Gaeta, Sean Cunningham & Joe Dante IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Big Man Japan 2007 Hitoshi Matsumoto IMDb
The Devil's Chair 2007 Adam Mason IMDb
Diary of the Dead 2007 George A Romero IMDb
Flash Point 2007 Wilson Yip IMDb
Frontier(s) 2007 Xavier Gens IMDb
Inside 2007 Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo IMDb
The Mother of Tears 2007 Dario Argento IMDb
Stuck 2007 Stuart Gordon IMDb
Sukiyaki Western Django 2007 6 6 Takeshi Miike IMDb
Vexille 2007 Fumihiko Sori IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Acolytes 2008 Jon Hewitt IMDb
The Burrowers 2008 J T Petty IMDb
Chocolate 2008 5 5 Prachya Pinkaew IMDb
Deadgirl 2008 Marcel Sarmiento & Gadi Harel IMDb
Detroit Metal City 2008 Toshio Lee IMDb
Eden Log 2007 Franck Vestiel IMDb
JCVD 2008 6 6 Mabrouk El Mechri IMDb
Martyrs 2008 Pascal Laugier IMDb
Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! 2008 Mark Hartley IMDb
Sexy Killer: You'll Die for Her 2008 5 5 Miguel Martí IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
[Rec]² 2009 Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza IMDb
Bitch Slap 2009 5 5 Rick Jacobson IMDb
Daybreakers 2009 Michael & Peter Spierig IMDb
Jennifer's Body 2009 Karyn Kusama IMDb
The Loved Ones 2009 Sean Byrne IMDb
Ong Bak 2 2008 5 6 Tony Jaa & Panna Rittikrai IMDb
Solomon Kane 2009 5 5 Michael J Bassett IMDb
Survival of the Dead 2009 George A Romero IMDb
Symbol 2009 Hitoshi Matsumoto IMDb
A Town Called Panic 2009 Stéphane Auber & Vincent Patar IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Bunraku 2010 5 5 Guy Moshe IMDb
The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman 2010 IMDb
Fire of Conscience 2010 Dante Lam IMDb
Fubar II 2010 Michael Dowse IMDb
Insidious 2010 James Wan IMDb
Red Nights 2009 Julien Carbon & Laurent Courtiaud IMDb
Stake Land 2010 5 6 Jim Mickle IMDb
Super 2010 6 6 James Gunn IMDb
Vanishing on 7th Street 2010 Brad Anderson IMDb
The Ward 2010 5 5 John Carpenter IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
The Day 2011 Douglas Aarnioski IMDb
God Bless America 2011 Bobcat Goldthwait IMDb
The Incident 2011 Alexandre Courtes IMDb
Kill List 2011 Ben Wheatley IMDb
Livid 2011 Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo IMDb
Lovely Molly 2011 Eduardo Sanchez IMDb
The Raid: Redemption 2011 6 6 Gareth Evans IMDb
Sleepless Night 2011 Frederic Jardin IMDb
Smuggler 2011 Katsuhito Ishii IMDb
You're Next 2011 Adam Wingard IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
The ABCs of Death 2012 Ben Wheatley et al IMDb
Aftershock 2012 Nicolás López IMDb
The Bay 2012 Barry Levinson IMDb
Come Out and Play 2012 IMDb
Dredd 2012 5 6 Pete Travis IMDb
Hellbenders 2012 J T Petty IMDb
John Dies at the End 2012 5 5 Don Coscarelli IMDb
The Lords of Salem 2012 Rob Zombie IMDb
No One Lives 2012 Ryuhei Kitamura IMDb
Seven Psychopaths 2012 Martin McDonagh IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Afflicted 2013 Derek Lee & Cliff Prowse IMDb
All Cheerleaders Die 2013 3 3 Lucky McKee & Chris Sivertson IMDb
Almost Human 2013 Joe Begos IMDb
The Green Inferno 2013 Eli Roth IMDb
Oculus 2013 6 6 Mike Flanagan IMDb
R100 2013 Hitoshi Matsumoto IMDb
Rigor Mortis 2013 Juno Mak IMDb
The Station 2013 Marvin Kren IMDb
Why Don't You Play in Hell? 2013 Sion Soto IMDb
Witching and Bitching 2013 4 5 Álex de la Iglesia IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
[REC] 4 Apocalypse 2014 Jaume Balagueró IMDb
Big Game 2014 Jalmari Helander IMDb
Cub 2014 Jonas Govaerts IMDb
The Editor 2014 5 5 Adam Brooks & Matthew Kennedy IMDb
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films 2014 Mark Hartley IMDb
It Follows 2014 David Robert Mitchell IMDb
The Guest 2014 Adam Wingard IMDb
Tokyo Tribe 2014 Sion Sono IMDb
Tusk 2014 5 5 Kevin Smith IMDb
What We Do in the Shadows 2014 Taika Waititi & Jemaine Clement IMDb

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Baskin 2015 Can Evrenol IMDb
The Chickening 2015 Davy Force & Nick DenBoer IMDb
The Devil's Candy 2015 Sean Byrne IMDb
The Final Girls 2015 Todd Strauss-Schulson IMDb
The Girl in the Photographs 2015 Nick Simon IMDb
Green Room 2015 Jeremy Saulnier IMDb
Hardcore 2015 Ilya Naishuller IMDb
The Mind's Eye 2015 Joe Begos IMDb
Southbound 2015 Radio Silence, Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner & Patrick Horvath IMDb
SPL 2: A Time for Consequences 2015 Pou-Soi Cheang IMDb
Yakuza Apocalypse 2015 Takashi Miike IMDb

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