As chaotic as the Scotiabank theatre is to logistically shuffle patrons, critics and industry veterans into multiple films in 14 theatres over 10 days, it is not a traditional venue to premiere a Midnight Madness film. Last night however was an exception, as TIFF paid tribute to Colin Geddes, programmer of Midnight Madness for the past 20 years, with the first Canadian screening of Kazuhiko Yamaguchi 1975 horror/action/sci-fi flick Wolf Guy.

Before the screening started, TIFF’s artistic director Cameron Bailey, overdressed in a tuxedo pre-Borg/McEnroe Opening Night Gala red carpet, introduced Colin and praised him for “putting TIFF on the map when it came to [screening] the most exciting genre cinema the world is producing.” Greeted by a standing ovation, Geddes addressed the crowd (not wearing his traditional red pants he dons every Midnight Madness), by calling the audience a “beautiful monster” that he had to feed every year, playfully rebuking them by complaining about “all the crap” he had to watch, and inevitably saved them from every year in order to program Midnight Madness.

Geddes then introduced his programming successor Peter Kuplowsky, who felt unprepared to take the reins from him unless it was made official by having a swearing in ceremony, by pulling out a copy of the Necronomicon (“the real deal, and not an Anchor Bay DVD” he claimed.) Having Bailey hold the book, obliging to do so on one knee, Geddes had Kuplowsky repeat pre-written vows that promised to bring “the weirdest, wildest, and wickedest films [that will] blow brains, melt minds, and snap synapses.”

Having one final surprise up his sleeve, Kuplowsky prepared a video for Geddes that featured filmmakers, actors, and cinematic icons from the likes of Donnie Yen (SPL, Ip Man), Simon Barrett (The Guest, Blair Witch), and Takashi Miike (Ichi The Killer, Yakuza Apocalypse), all who thanked Geddes for his years of service with TIFF and Midnight Madness.

Even though Geddes will no longer be the face of TIFF’s nightly witching hour, he leaves Midnight Madness in capable hands with Kuplowsky, and his curated picks that features a lineup that includes the Eminem produced film Bodied, James Franco’s dramatization of the making of The Room entitled The Disaster Artist, and Mom and Dad starring Nicolas Cage.

Video courtesy of: Robert Mitchell

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