October now means two things in Toronto: the excitement of month-long Halloween festivities and the annual showcase of international horror, sci-fi and fantasy films – The Toronto After Dark Film Festival.
This is the festival’s second year, prompted by a successful and widely attended premiere last fall. This time around organizers are bringing fans more films and promising an “electrifying” experience. Over seven nights, the screen at Bloor Cinema will play 50 films, including 14 feature film premieres and 36 cutting-edge shorts. Having announced half of this year’s line-up, it sounds like an array of thrills, chills and laughter.
Among the films announced are five Toronto premieres and two Canadian premieres.
David Arquette is providing his star-studded directorial debut, The Tripper. The cast of possible victims includes Thomas Jane, Jaime King, Jason Mewes and Paul Reubens and the stalker is a Ronald Reagan mask-wearing killer.
Aachi & Ssipak is a Korean sci-fi animation that incorporates references to memorable genre films such as Indiana Jones and The Terminator. TAF will also play host to epic fantasy and most expensive Russian film ever made – The Wolfhound.
The Toronto Zombie Walk, which was also encompassed by last year’s event, will take place on the third day of the festival (October 21). In the spirit of the day’s theme, that night’s screenings are virus outbreak film Automaton Transfusion and Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, a zombie musical comedy from Troma Studios’ Lloyd Kaufman. All living dead will also receive a special discount to the night’s films.
In cooperation with HOT DOCS International Documentary Film Festival, TAF will be presenting Audience of One: a record of a priest’s failing attempts to produce a Christian version of Star Wars.
Finally, the opening night gala will be Mulberry Street: a low-budget, post-apocalyptic horror film set in New York, which played to wide-acclaim at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Adam Lopez, the festival director and founder, enthuses, “We had terrific attendance and feedback in our launch year, but I think the fans are going to go even more nuts after they see our second year’s selection of cinematic mayhem.” Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness programmer Colin Geddes is also an advisor for the event.
The Toronto After Dark Film Festival runs from October 19 to 25.