TADFF ’11: Full Line Up

Without Toronto After Dark it is unlikely that there would be a RowThree.com for y’all to hang out, talk about a wide breadth of cinema goings on and enjoy a plethora of podcasting profundity. Row Three was formed when Andrew, Kurt and John hung out in the third row (literally) of The Bloor Cinema and took in films like Funky Forest, Aachi & Ssipak, Mulberry Street and Behind The Mask. In between screenings and over copious amounts of micro-brew, we talked about starting a website that favoured user discussion and community and a general vibe of ‘shooting-the-bull’ over the typical film-nerd comic book movie casting items and/or regurgitated pop-culture focused press releases. So it is always with interest and fondness that we hold this particular genre festival which is now going strong in its sixth year of operation. Incidentally, John, who, these days mainly operates behind the scenes on the site, because he started up a similar festival in Sasktown, Dark Bridges – which sees its sophomore year festival starting tomorrow!

Narcissistic nostalgia notwithstanding, Toronto After Dark has announced its full line-up today! The second round additions are pretty darn good, thus assuring that the temporary change of venue to Toronto Underground Cinema should see a showering abundance of genre trick ‘r treating this October. Locals will get a chance to see Ti West’s follow-up to House of the Devil: The Innkeepers on the big screen, as well as Lucky McKee’s controversial Jack Ketchum adaptation, The Woman. Also, weird comic book mayhem with VS (described to me by programmer Peter Kuplowski as the marvel-superhero deconstruction equivalent to the DC-universe breakdown, Watchmen.) Also, I’ve seen the little indie vampire tale Midnight Son, and it is a work of maturity and quality in a genre that sorely needs it. Further quality titles include slick mountain chase film, A Lonely Place to Die (Kurt’s Review) and indie Science fiction epic, Love (Kurt’s Review).

For the Full Line-Up, it’s all tucked under the seat.

Official Selections of it’s 2011 film line-up are as follows: Monster Brawl – “It’s the Ultimate Fight of the Living Dead”; Exit Humanity, a zombie saga set against the back-drop of the Civil War; DeadHeads – a zombie/buddy/road-trip/comedy/adventure/horror; Redline – an intense, trippy, Japanese ANIME set in the world of car racing; The Theatre Bizarre – an terrifying horror anthology from such genre legends as Tom Savini and Richard Stanley; Father’s Day – a new, sick and twisted story from Astron-6 and Troma, in the vein of Hobo with a Shotgun and other exploitation/grindhouse films;

Love – a time-travel sci-fi drama in the vein of The Fountain, Solaris and 2001: A Space Odyssey and , about the power of human connection and interaction, powered to the soundtrack of Angels & Airwaves; and finally, The Divide, a apocalyptic descent into despair, madness and human depravity as residents of a New York City apartment building take refuge in the basement after a nuclear attack, only to face something more horrific, each other.

Closing Gala Film, the scary supernatural tale and festival circuit hit, THE INNKEEPERS, from acclaimed horror filmmaker Ti West (HOUSE OF THE DEVIL)! Fans will be also be delighted to hear that Toronto After Dark has programmed the Sundance sensation THE WOMAN, an outrageous new horror film from Lucky McKee (MAY), about a suburban family that decides to ‘domesticate’ a woman found living in the wild!

The festival is also thrilled to announced two more WORLD Premieres, bringing the total at Toronto After Dark 2011 to a record three! First off, WAR OF THE DEAD, a thrilling new war movie with an undead twist, will delight both zombie and action movie fans with its masses of undead hordes terrifying a group of soldiers trying to complete a secret mission during World War II. While fans of dark and edgy superhero films like KICK-ASS will go nuts when they get to be the first in the world to catch sight of VS which sees a despicable super-villain (James Remar best known as DEXTER’s dad) forcing a group of young costumed crusaders into playing a series of impossible-to-win games where the penalty for losing is… death!

Vampire lovers should sink their fangs into MIDNIGHT SON, a dark and gritty look at a young man’s descent into the world of drinking blood, while dark sci-fi fans should check out THE CORRIDOR, an award-winning new film about a disturbing energy force discovered in a remote forest by a group of friends on their winter vacation, and the dark implications it has for them all!

Those looking for more light-hearted fare should check out the Canadian Premiere of MANBORG, an hysterically lofi but fun homage to cult sci-fi action films of the 80s like ROBOCOP and the THE TERMINATOR. Meanwhile festival circuit hit crowd-pleaser SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE adds healthy doses of black comedy to its serial killer horror, and features a wonderful, eclectic cast that includes cult film icons Karen Black and ROCKY HORROR’s Barry Bostwick!

Finally, for pure adrenaline-rush seekers, Toronto After Dark has booked the supernatural horror film ABSENTIA, possibly the most chilling new horror film of the year, and the award-winning new mountain climbing dark thriller, A LONELY PLACE TO DIE, which has drawn favourable comparisons to another thrilling and chilling film from Britain, that wowed fans a few years ago, THE DESCENT!

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Jandy Hardesty

You must must must see both The Innkeepers and Redline. Those are the only two of the lineup I’ve seen, and they’re both pretty awesome.

David Brook

Has anyone seen The Theatre Bizarre yet? I’m off to a festival soon (Celluloid Screams) that’s showing it with Richard Stanley giving a Q&A, but haven’t heard much about the film.

Can’t wait for The Innkeepers

I’m getting sent a Redline screener, looking forward to it. Expect a review in a month or so.

Bob Turnbull

The Innkeepers is definitely the highlight for me, but very keen to see Lonely Place To Die and The Woman. I’m hoping for good things from Absentia and The Theatre Bizarre (I love the old Amicus anthologies), but not expecting much from either Monster Brawl of Father’s Day (Astron-6 can be fun, but I have no confidence in Troma – their “Mother’s Day” was flat out terrible and a misery to watch and Poultrygeist from a few years ago wasn’t exactly my speed either). Overall though, I’m starting to get excited for the lineup – there will be hits and misses and much silliness afoot.

I think John and I singlehandedly kept the pub open last year (after the films). Looking for some additional help this year! B-)

David Brook

Cool, cheers. Sounds interesting enough. It’s difficult for these ‘compendium’ movies to be anything more than that I guess. Still, I can’t wait for the Stanley Q&A.


The ones I am really excited about are: Love, A Lonely Place to Die, The Divide, Redline,and The Inkeepers

Also hoping for good thing from: Some Guy Who Kills People, Absentia, VS, and The Woman.

The rest I will be going into with moderate expectations.


TROMA has little to do creatively with Father’s Day, apart from financial support and an obligatory Lloyd cameo. I’d say its the best Troma film since Toxic Avenger, but I realize that that isn’t saying much.

Let me also plug Astron 6’s Manborg, which just played to a really enthusiastic reaction in Austin – its a pitch-perfect homage to straight-to-video and FMV gaming schlock from the late 80s and early 90s, and packed with surreal wit and pulls of action setpieces that belong in films 100x the budget.


I plan on closing the pub again this year at least a few times. I don’t always love (or even) like every movie that gets screened but I always have a total blast at each and every screening. I’ve seen a few of the movies already through Dark Bridges and a few I haven’t. The ones I’m totally looking forward to are REDLINE, THE INN KEEPERS, ABSENTIA, MIDNIGHT SON, A LONELY PLACE TO DIE and VS and LOVE.

I was not a fan of MONSTER BRAWL at all. SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE is a cute fun little film that people will enjoy. I don’t really feel that THE WOMAN is as extreme as that loony guy makes it out to be.

I’m not the biggest fan of TROMA style films but I do prefer them over the Sushi Typhoon stuff usually and I am totally curious to see how the Astron 6 stuff compares.

Overall I can’t wait but now I run back to my fest stuff which starts tonight!

Bob Turnbull

And now I’m excited for Manborg…Thanks Peter – I do enjoy the Astron-6 crew’s work that I’ve seen.

I’m looking forward to The Woman simply because it’s Lucky McKee.

Good luck with the fest John! I loved Trollhunter, so that should be a fine way to kick things off tonight…


Hey Bob, don’t get too excited about Manborg, it’s no Father’s Day. And I promise you Father’s Day will blow you away. It IS the best Troma film since Toxic Avenger. You will be spared the usual TROMA dick/fart/puke/shit jokes.

Bob Turnbull

You will be spared the usual TROMA dick/fart/puke/shit jokes.

Thank you. Thank you very very much.

I’m still going to look forward to Manborg if that’s OK… 8)