Photo: Downrange

The 2017 Toronto International Film Festival recently announced its lineup of films in competition this year, and we were duly impressed by the vast number of movies choosing to premiere there that have “Oscar contender” written all over them. But whither the disreputable films? What about the violent gross-out movies, or the Ozsploitation flicks, or the other genre-embracing cinematic offerings from the less prestige-driven world of celluloid? Happily, the siren call of those types of movies has now been answered: TIFF has released the names of those films playing in this year’s Midnight Madness category, and it reads like a playbill of wonderfully outrageous genre fun. Below find a partial list of some of the projects we’re most looking forward to catching, along with trailers (rare thus far) where available.


A group of young people get stranded on the road when a tire blows out, but soon discover it was no accident: The wheel was shot out, and the sniper is ready to start picking folks off one by one. From Ryuhei Kitamura, director of Midnight Meat Train and Versus, this looks like a gleefully dark good time.


Brawl In Cell Block 99

S. Craig Zahler, director of the excellent Bone Tomahawk, follows it up with a tale of a boxer-turned-drug runner who finds himself caught in a prison battleground. Starring Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, and Don Johnson.


Mom And Dad

A black-as-night horror-comedy where worldwide hysteria grips parents for 24 hours, turning them violently against their children. That already sounds great, but putting Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair in the parental roles is inspired casting.


Let The Corpses Tan

The latest arthouse experiment from Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani (Amer, The Strange Color Of Your Body’s Tears), this one finds the famously abstract filmmakers telling a story about a gang of thieves who steal a truck of gold and end up in a lengthy firefight with cops in the ruins of an old Mediterranean town.


Great Choice

Too weird sounding to not give it a shout-out, this is only a short, but come on—it’s about a woman who gets trapped in a Red Lobster commercial.


Vampire Clay

Here’s a description for you: “Japanese director and master makeup artist Soichi Umezawa gives life to a plasticine demon that subsequently devours the denizens of a rural art school.” That’s just good storytelling.


And that’s barely half the movies screening. The complete list of films can be found on the TIFF Midnight Madness page.