THE CHICKENING: First Look Poster & Stills

It is rare that a short film plays at Midnight Madness so there is a lot of fascination to see Nick DenBoer aka SmearBalls and Davy Force's The Chickening. Above is the poster that was created for the TIFF premiere. Below is a couple of stills. Even with these glimpses the mystery still abounds. What is The Chickening?

Thu, Sept 10th, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Fri, Sept 11th, 8:45 AM SCOTIABANK
Sat, Sept 12, 2:15 PM BLOOR HOT DOCS


Navigating TIFF Part 5: Getting To, From, and Around The Ryerson Theater

Ticket Holders Line in Yellow. Rush Line in Pink.

The Ryerson theater hosts every first screening of the Midnight Madness Films. It's a 1250 seat venue and here are some details you need to know:

When should I get in line? Diehards  start lining up between 9:30 and 10:00 PM but for decent seats shoot for 10:30 PM. By 11:15 pm the line is usually halfway down Church St. 

What's up with the crazy line?!!? Long lines are part of TIFF. The ticket holders line starts in front of the Ryerson and runs east along Gerrard Street to Church Street. It then turns south along Church to Gould where it turns west along Gould and typically stops. 

Most nights, the line can be .5 km. Once the line starts to move, everyone gets in the venue within 10-15 minutes. The closer you are to Gould street, the more likely you are to sit in the balcony.

The Rush line runs west along Gerrard to Victoria then turns south on Victoria. Rush lines will be covered in an upcoming post.

Is there parking available? Street parking on Church and Gerrard is free after 9pm. Street parking is also available a few blocks east on Jarvis. There are lots south and north of the Ryerson on Church but they're expensive and best used as a last resort unless you're parking there all day and grabbing your car after the Midnight screening.

What's the closest TTC Station? The closest TTC Subway stop is College Station 1 block north of the Ryerson on Yonge and College. The last train leaves around 2:00 AM so don't count on the subway to get you home. Plenty of cabs are available and late buses are also running.

Where are the best seats? In most TIFF venues the best view and sound are always close to the reserved section. The Ryerson has a few rows in the middle of the house roped off. If you want legroom: sit in the sections in the back at stage right or left. The first row of the balcony also has a great view and has the best legroom in the house. 

Tweeting #MidnightMadness #TIFF15

 "Twitter actually feels like the street. You can bump into anybody on Twitter." -- William Gibson 

For all of you folks on twitter I've compiled a handy roundup of the various directors and cast that have films in the 2015 Midnight Madness program. -- @RobertAMitchell


Co-Director: Nick DenBoer @Smearballz
Cast: Kenny Hotz @kennyhotz


Director: Jeremy Saulnier @saulnier_jeremy
Cast: Sir Patrick Stewart @SirPatStew
Imogen Poots @imogenpoots
Alia Shawkat @ShawkatAlia
Mark Webber @likemark


Director: Can Evrenol @canevrenol #FiveCopsGoToHell


Director: IIya Naishuller @Naishuller
Cast: Sharlto Copley @sharlto


Cast: Ethan Embry @EmbryEthan
Shiri Appleby @ShiriAppleby
Producer: Keith Calder @keithcalder


Director Nick Simon @Simon367
Cast: Kal Penn @kalpenn
Claudia Lee @ClaudiaLeeLive
Kenny Wormald @KennyWormald
Luke Baines @LukeBaines


Director Joe Begos @joebegos
Cast: Graham Skipper @GrahamSkipper
Josh Ethier @josh_ethier
Lauren Ashley Carter @LAC_voyager
Jeremy Gardner @TheBATTERYmovie


Directors: Roxanne Benjamin @roxanne73
David Bruckner @bruckmachina
Radio Silence @HiRadioSilence
Patrick Horvath @PatrickHorvath
Producer: Brad Miska @bradmiska
Cast: Susan Burke @ThatSusanBurke
Davey Johnson @DrDavey
Maria Olsen @mariaolsen66


Cast: Tony Jaa @tonyjaaofficial


Cast: Yayan Ruhian @YayanRuhian


Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson @strussschulson
Screenwriters M.A. Fortin @SeniorTeenager
Joshua John Miller @JoshJohnMiller
Cast: Taissa Farmiga @t_farmiga
Malin Akerman @MalinAkerman
Alexander Ludwig @alexanderludwig
Chloe Bridges @chloebridges
Angela Trimbur @angelatrimbur

And be sure to follow @mmadnesstiff and Programmer Colin Geddes @colingeddes

Thu, Sept 10th, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Fri, Sept 11th, 8:45 AM SCOTIABANK
Sat, Sept 12, 2:15 PM BLOOR HOT DOCS

BASKIN screens:
Fri, Sept 11, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Sun, Sept 13, 4:00 PM SCOTIABANK
Thu, Sept 17, 6:00 PM SCOTIABANK

HARDCORE screens:
Sat, Sept 12, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Mon, Sept 14, 4:15 PM SCOTIABANK
Fri, Sept 18, 1:00 PM SCOTIABANK

Sun, Sept 13, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Tue, Sept 15, 6:45 PM SCOTIABANK
Sat, Sept 19, 1:15 PM SCOTIABANK

Mon, Sept 14, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Wed, Sept 16, 5:00 PM SCOTIABANK
Fri, Sept 18, 9:15 PM SCOTIABANK

THE MIND'S EYE screens:
Tue, Sept 15, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Thu, Sept 17, 3:30 PM BLOOR HOT DOCS
Sat, Sept 19, 7:00 PM SCOTIABANK

Wed, Sept 16, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Fri, Sept 18, 6:00 PM SCOTIABANK
Sun, Sept 20, 3:30 PM SCOTIABANK

Thu, Sept 17, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Fri, Sept 18, 3:30 PM BLOOR HOT DOCS
Sun, Sept 20, 6:30 PM SCOTIABANK

Fri, Sept 18, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Sat, Sept 19, 3:00 PM SCOTIABANK

Sat, Sept 19, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Sun, Sept 20, 5:00 PM SCOTIABANK

Navigating TIFF Part 4: Biking to Venues using Bike Share Toronto

We've covered walking and cabbing in other posts so today we're tackling bike sharing using Bike Share Toronto. The concept is simple, walk up to a bike share kiosk, rent a bike, ride it to another location, and dock it.

The downside of Bike Share Toronto is that it requires a credit card. That isn't big deal for locals, just be aware that there may be foreign currency transaction fees for those of you who aren't from Canada.You also have to be comfortable riding a bike in a big city where you'll be dodging cabs, pedestrians, bikes, etc. The Bike Share Toronto website has all sorts of details on how to use the system and here are some maps indicating the stations nearest the TIFF Venues.

Before you rent a bike you should check the website to make sure the dock at your location isn't full. iPhone and Android apps for bike availability are also available.

We'll start with the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema located at: 506 Bloor Street West

Isabel Bader Theater: 93 Charles Street West

Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario: 317 Dundas Street West

The Princess of Wales Theater: 300 King Street West, TIFF Bell Lightbox: 350 King Street West, & Roy Thompson Hall: 60 Simcoe Street

Ryerson Theater: 43 Gerrard Street East

Scotiabank Theater: 259 Richmond Street West (Use "The Ballroom" for theater location reference on map below)

Elgin & Winter Garden Theater: 189 Yonge Street

Navigating TIFF Part 3: Pearson Airport to Bell Lightbox for $3 via TTC

Previous posts have covered walking, driving, and biking around the TIFF village. Today we'll cover how to get there from the airport without spending an arm and a leg.

There are tons of ways to get from Toronto's Pearson Airport to the heart of TIFF but the cheapest is via the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). It takes about 90 minutes and only costs $3 Canadian. Here's a handy guide that will get you from the airport to within steps of Bell Lightbox.

1) After you leave your gate at Pearson go to terminal 3 and follow these signs:

2) Once you get outside go stand by the TTC pole:

3) Wait for the 192 Airport Rocket (For schedule click here). Before you board make sure you have $3 (Canadian) in exact change. The bus drivers will not make change. If you don't have exact change you can get TTC tokens from some of the shops in Terminal 3.

4) The bus will make 1 stop before it reaches your stop, Kipling station, which is the end of the Southbound line before the bus returns to the airport. Go inside the station and get on the train. This station is at the end of the Bloor-Danforth line so no matter what train you get on you will be heading in the right direction. The Bloor-Danforth line is the green line in the map below.

5) After 14 stops you will arrive at the Spadina station. Don't worry about counting stops, just listen to the conductor as they announce each stop as the train pulls into the station. There are also maps posted in the train so you can figure out your location pretty quicky. At the Spadina station you are going to get off the Bloor-Danforth train and follow the signs at the station to the Yonge-University-Spadina line heading towards Finch. Do not go to the platform that says Yonge-University-Spadina heading towards Downsview as those trains are going in the opposite direction of Lighbox. Yonge-University-Spadina is the yellow line above.

6) If the first stop you come to is St. George you are on the right train. If you arrive at Dupont, you went the wrong way. Don't worry, just get off the train an wait for the next train going in the other direction (trains come every 10-15 minutes). From St. George it is 6 stops before you arrive at your final destination of St. Andrew which is a short walk to the Festival Box Office.


BASKIN Final Poster Art Revealed

Last week we showed you the poster art for the original short film version of Baskin. Today we bring you the gorgeous final poster art for the feature version of Baskin premiering at TIFF Midnight Madness 2015. Behold:

BASKIN screening times:
Friday, Sept 11th, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Sunday, Sept 13th, 4:00 PM SCOTIABANK 13
Thursday, Sept 17th, 6:00 PM SCOTIABANK 4

WES CRAVEN, 1939 - 2015

We here at the Midnight Madness blog are saddened to learn of the passing of Wes Craven. Our deepest condolences go out to Mr. Craven’s family, friends and fans.

Wes Craven was a filmmaker of enormous talent who has left an indelible mark on cinema. A Nightmare on Elm Street and the character of Freddy Krueger are creations of immense imagination and originality. His numerous films will be discovered by new viewers with wonder and joy for many generations.

“I believe the cinema is one of our principal forms of art. It is an incredibly powerful way to tell uplifting stories that can move people to cry with joy and inspire them to reach for the stars.” – Wes Craven 


Navigating TIFF Part 2: Driving Distances and Minimum Cab Fares between TIFF Venues

Though my preferred method of travel around the TIFF village is on foot, sometimes you just have to breakdown and take a cab.

The TIFF venues are always near busy intersections so getting a cab when a screening lets out isn't that hard. Just find a cab, stick out your hand, and off you go. The fares in this spreadsheet are based on www.taxifarefinder.com which I've used in the past and have found to be fairly accurate. I'm posting the medium traffic fare. The fares listed below that are in the $4 - 8 range are accurate +/- ~$1. The fares in the$11 - 15 range are accurate +/- ~$3 to $5.


THE CHICKENING is One of Indiewire's Hidden Gems!

Over at Indiewire, Eric Kohn recommends "7 Hidden Gems from the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival." And guess what's roosting right in the middle of them? Davy Force and Nick DenBoer's The Chickening!

"Little is known about this five-minute short film scheduled to precede Jeremy Saulnier's Nazi punk thriller Green Room, but the synopsis hints at a crazy surprise: "It's hard for a boy not to get excited when his dad gets a new job as Senior Chief Night Manager at Charbay's Chicken World and Restaurant Resort, the world's largest fast-food entertainment complex in North America. But things quickly get very, very clucked." Elsewhere, the festival program refers to director Davy Force and Nick DenBoer's "lucky fast-food horror flick." So it's a scary movie about chickens? Rumor has it that The Chickening is something far stranger..."
Thu, Sept 10th, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Fri, Sept 11th, 8:45 AM SCOTIABANK
Sat, Sept 12, 2:15 PM BLOOR HOT DOCS


First Look at Joe Begos's Mysterious Thriller, THE MIND'S EYE!

As is the case with a number of the Midnight Madness selections this year, there isn't much information out there about The Mind's Eye. Joe Begos's followup to 2013 Midnight Madness selection, Almost Human is something of an enigma, but your intrepid blogger did some digging (okay I looked at Joe Begos's Twitter) and found some screenshots that reveal...well, not much about the plot of The Mind's Eye per se, but certainly something that rivals the over-the-top batshittery that was Almost Human's trademark.

The first shot is Graham Skipper, the lead from Almost Human, playing "Zack Connors". Using forensic photo analysis, we've determined that he should probably use a napkin:

This is Lauren Ashley Carter (Jugface, Pod, Premium Rush) playing an awfully crabby-looking Rachel Meadows:

Here's John Speredakos (House of the Devil, The Innkeepers) as "the nefarious Dr. Michael Slovak". Now, call me crazy, but I think if I see Dr. Mike in the operating room during my next kidney transplant, I'm probably going to take a raincheck:

And finally, the immortal Larry Fessenden (!!!) playing the spooky Mike Connors, as only Larry Fessenden (!!!!) can:

Like most people, I left 2013's Midnight Madness premiere of Almost Human wanting more from Joe Begos, and it looks like we're about to get it.  Whatever The Mind's Eye has in store, it sure doesn't look pretty, which suits the Midnight Madness audience just fine.

The Mind’s Eye screens:
Tue, Sept 15, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Wed, Sept 16, 12:00 PM SCOTIABANK
Thu, Sept 17, 12:15 PM SCOTIABANK
Thu, Sept 17, 3:30 PM BLOOR HOT DOCS
Sat, Sept 19, 7:00 PM SCOTIABANK

A Very Sparse First Look At THE DEVIL'S CANDY!

Details about Sean Byrne's new haunted house feature are pretty hard to come by, but let's just say it's one of the most anticipated movies of the Festival for me. Byrne's last Midnight Madness entry, 2009's The Loved Ones, was the winner of the Midnight Madness People's Choice Award that year and is one of my all-time favourite horrors. I can't wait to see what he does with Devil's Candy.

This is literally the only image we have for Devil's Candy, and it's certainly intriguing:

Smart money says to keep Byrne's creepy candy on your Midnight Madness shortlist!

The Devil’s Candy screens:
Sun, Sept 13, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Mon, Sept 14, 10:45 AM SCOTIABANK
Tue, Sept 15, 6:45 PM SCOTIABANK
Wed, Sept 16, 9:45 AM SCOTIABANK
Sat, Sept 19, 1:15 PM SCOTIABANK

The Thrilling Posters and 'First Look' Teaser for HARDCORE!

Making the first POV action movie is kind of a big deal, but director Ilya Naishuller wasn't satisfied with that challenge. He opted to fund this ambitious film with an Indiegogo campaign, exceeding it's $250,000 goal in only a month. Here's the first look at the film, as well as some eye-popping poster art for Hardcore.

I'm dizzy just looking at them! With it's unique perspective and flamethrower attitude, Hardcore is set to be one of the most unique experiences Midnight Madness has ever seen.

Hardcore screens:
Sat, Sept 12, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Sun, Sept 13, 2:30 PM SCOTIABANK
Mon, Sept 14, 4:15 PM SCOTIABANK
Wed, Sept 16, 9:45 PM SCOTIABANK
Fri, Sept 18, 1:00 PM SCOTIABANK

Take a Ride With SOUTHBOUND!

One of the best things about Midnight Madness, and TIFF in general, is that you often get to see a cut of a film, or a film itself, that is off everyone’s radar.  That’s the case with Southbound, the new film from the creators of V/H/S.  I don’t have a trailer, a poster, or much of anything besides a couple of screenshots to convince you that this is going to be one wild ride, but I like to think that you and I have something of a rapport, Midnight Madness fan, and I wouldn’t lie to you would I?

A creepy hallway! This is one of the only images we have from Southbound.  
Anyway, we do have a few scant details about Southbound which should convince you to come on this gnarly road trip with us.  We know that, like V/H/S, this is an anthology piece and all the segments of the film take place on a dusty stretch of highway. We also know that here’s an intriguing slate of directors on board. Here’s the rundown:

The lovely leading lady from Bruckner's Amateur Night
David Bruckner - Though he wrote and directed the chilling "Amateur Night" for the first V/H/S anthology, a lot more people have learned Bruckner’s name since he’s been tapped to direct a new installment of Friday The 13th.  There’s also the feature-length version of "Amateur Night" called Siren which should see release next year. If there are horror director’s rookie cards, I’d hold onto my mint-condition Bruckners.

Roxanne Benjamin is a producer on the creepy cult movie, Faults
Roxanne Benjamin - Benjamin is making her directorial debut here, but has been a producer on V/H/S, Midnight Madness 2015 feature Devil’s Candy, and on Faults, one of my favourite films from last year. Her entry into this anthology is a complete unknown, but if you’re watching an anthology horror, or a Midnight Madness movie in general, and aren’t expecting to be surprised, you’re doing it wrong, friends.

One of Patrick Horvath's surreal illustrations. No followup questions, please
Patrick Horvath - If 2012’s harrowing Entrance didn’t convince you that Patrick Horvath is the real deal, his sequel to The Pact from last year should have. Also under Horvath’s belt is one of the only films, horror or otherwise, whose title alone has made me spray beer out of my nose. Horvath is also a hilarious, awesome illustrator who often tweets out his creations.

Radio Silence's bizarre pregnancy horror
Radio Silence - The directors of the "10-31-08" segment in V/H/S as well as last year’s haunting pregnancy horror Devil’s Due are back with...Well, we don’t really know what they’re back with. Like I said, details are scant, but you’re not going to want to miss whatever they’ve come up with this time around.
Not gonna lie, I don't see this road trip ending well.
With the talent at the helm of Southbound, there’s all the makings of a solid anthology that, like this post, will keep the Midnight Madness crowd guessing at every turn!

Southbound screens: Wed, Sept 16, 11:59 PM RYERSON Thu, Sept 17, 9:30 AM SCOTIABANK Fri, Sept 18, 12:45 PM SCOTIABANK Fri, Sept 18, 6:00 PM SCOTIABANK Sun, Sept 20, 3:30 PM SCOTIABANK

A Simple Poster and an Amazing Trailer For THE FINAL GIRLS!

There aren't many films in all of TIFF that have the kind of buzz around Todd Strauss-Schulson's The Final Girls, which will close out the Midnight Madness lineup this year. Here's the very fresh, three-day-old trailer for The Final Girls:

And a very basic, but very effective poster:

Be sure to join us for the biggest party at TIFF on the last night of Midnight Madness and The Final Girls!

The Final Girls screens:
Fri, Sept 11, 6:45 PM SCOTIABANK
Sat, Sept 19, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Sun, Sept 20, 5:00 PM SCOTIABANK

BASKIN First Look: One Hell of a Poster

At TIFF 2015, five cops -- and the audience at Midnight Madness -- are going to Hell.

The beauty below isn't actually the poster for the feature version of Baskin world premiering at Midnight Madness 2015. It's the poster for director Can Evrenol's first version of the Baskin concept, a short film that raised hell on the festival circuit in 2013. Until the final poster art for the feature version arrives, this will serve to warn you of the grisly trip that is Baskin:

Friday, Sept 11th, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Sunday, Sept 13th, 4:00 PM SCOTIABANK 13
Thursday, Sept 17th, 6:00 PM SCOTIABANK 4