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Bitch Slap, Daybreakers and Jennifer’s Body Fill TiFF’s Midnight Madness

Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig will have the world preem for Daybreakers, Michael J. Bassett does the same with Solomon Kane and Jaume Balaguero’s [Rec] 2 will receive its North American preem here. On my must see radar in terms of coverage, I might add the Faster Pussycat homage – a Rick Jacobson’s campy side-dish called Bitch Slap.

Karyn Kusama’s Jennifer’s Body’s was an obvious pick for TIFF”s Midnight Madness section, but I was way off with my thinking that Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Géla Babluani’s 13, Vincenzo Natali’s Splice and Jonathan Auf Der Heide’s Van Diemen’s Land might make the cut. Instead, Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig will have the world preem for Daybreakers, Michael J. Bassett does the same with Solomon Kane and Jaume Balaguero’s [Rec] 2 will receive its North American preem here. On my must see radar in terms of coverage, I might add the Faster Pussycat homage – a Rick Jacobson’s campy side-dish called Bitch Slap. Here are the 11 titles announced today.:

A Town Called Panic
Stephane Aubier and Vincent Patar, Belgium/Luxembourg/France North American Premiere
An outlandish animation style captures the absurd wit and surreal adventures of plastic toys Cowboy, Indian and Horse. This preemed at Cannes.

 

Bitch Slap
Rick Jacobson, USA World Premiere
In this campy action comedy from the creators of Xena and Hercules, three hot-blooded women try to uncover some booty in the desert using feminine charms, fists and machine guns.

Daybreakers
Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig, Australia/USA World Premiere
Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill star in this sci-fi horror about a future populated by vampires where humans are the minority.

George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead
George A. Romero, Canada World Premiere
Master director George A. Romero returns to his world of the undead, this time pitting two feuding clans in the middle of the fallout of a zombie epidemic.

Jennifer’s Body
Karyn Kusama, USA World Premiere
Jennifer’s Body tells the story of small-town high-school student Jennifer (Megan Fox) who is possessed by a hungry demon and transitions from being “high school evil”—gorgeous (and doesn’t she know it), stuck up and ultra-attitudinal—to the real deal: evil/evil. The glittering beauty becomes a pale and sickly creature jonesing for a meaty snack, and guys who never stood a chance with the heartless babe take on new lustre in the light of her insatiable appetite. Meanwhile, Jennifer’s best friend, Needy (Amanda Seyfried), long relegated to living in Jennifer’s shadow, must step-up to protect the town’s young men, including her nerdy boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons). Written and executive produced by Oscar(R)-winner Diablo Cody (Juno).

The Loved Ones
Sean Byrne, Australia International Premiere
A troubled teen’s prom dreams are shattered by a series of painful events that take place under the mirrored disco ball, involving syringes, nails, power drills and a secret admirer in this wild mash-up of Pretty in Pink and Misery.

Ong Bak 2: The Beginning
Tony Jaa, Thailand Canadian Premiere
Martial-arts superstar Tony Jaa stars in and directs this epic tale of revenge set hundreds of years in the past. Featuring a huge cast and hordes of elephants, this prequel takes Jaa’s skills to the next level, showcasing him as a master of a wide range of martial-arts styles – while proving him to be a promising director as well. Magnolia Pictures will release the pic.

[REC] 2
Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza, Spain North American Premiere
In the follow-up to the acclaimed [REC], a SWAT team enters the old apartment to control an epidemic with terrifying results.

Solomon Kane
Michael J. Bassett, United Kingdom World Premiere
From Robert E. Howard, the legendary creator of Conan, comes this tale of a savage mercenary in sixteeth-century Century England who owes the devil his soul and seeks to redeem himself by fighting evil.

Symbol
Hitoshi Matsumoto, Japan International Premiere
Japanese comedy superstar Hitoshi Matsumoto (DAINIPPONJIN) stars in and directs this absurd and outlandish comedy about a man trying to escape a unique dilemma.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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