Nicolas Cage in Mandy
Photo: RJLE Entertainment

Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit, Todd Phillips’ Joker, and Rian Johnson’s Knives Out are reason enough to be excited about this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, but the announcement of the festival’s Midnight Madness participants should draw even the snooziest film buffs from their comfy beds. Leading the pack is the world premiere of Color Out Of Space, the first non-documentary feature from Hardware director Richard Stanley—the subject of the great Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey Of Richard Stanley’s The Island Of Dr. Moreau—in more than 20 years. Better yet? It’s an H.P. Lovecraft adaptation starring Nicolas Cage. Below find a partial list of some of the projects we’re looking forward to catching.

Color Out Of Space

Joely Richardson and Tommy fuckin’ Chong star alongside Cage in Stanley’s adaptation, which is described as “a cosmic nightmare about Nathan Gardner (Cage) and his family, whose recent retreat to rural life is quickly disrupted by a meteorite that crashes in their front yard.” An extraterrestrial parasite then turns the farm into a “hallucinatory prison,” and we couldn’t possibly be more excited.

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Blood Quantum

Canadian filmmaker Jeff Barnaby, whose feature Rhymes for Young Ghouls premiered at the 2013 festival, returns to TIFF with Blood Quantum, a zombie flick about an isolated Mi’gmaq community that finds themselves immune to the plague. “Do they offer refuge to the denizens outside their reserve or not?” asks a press release. Good question.

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First Love

The latest from prolific Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike (Audition, Ichi The Killer) follows “a doomed boxer and a haunted drug addict” who stumble their way into a feud between warring gangs. What makes the boxer doomed? What makes the drug addict haunted? We have questions!

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The Twentieth Century

Matthew Rankin, whose short films have been lighting up Canadian cinema for the last several years, makes his feature debut with The Twentieth Century, a “bizarro biopic of William Lyon Mackenzie King.” King, who served as Prime Minister of Canada throughout the Second World War, was apparently an “awkward” man with a weird Hitler obsession. Rankin’s film is said to reimagine his early life “as a series of abject humiliations, both professional and sexual.” Okay, then.

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And that’s just the beginning. See the complete list of films over at TIFF’s website.