The Toronto International Film Festival is a showcase for Oscar hopefuls and refined art-house movies destined to win critical acclaim. But there's another side to the event -- one that comes out at the stroke of midnight.
To kick off the screening of Lionsgate's new 3-D futuristic action movie "Dredd," the film's star Karl Urban strode to the front of the Ryerson Theatre, held a microphone close to his mouth and in his character’s deep rumble intoned, “It’s judgment time,” followed by a profane epithet that cannot be mentioned for fear of offending more sensitive readers.
Clearly, the rules for the festival's Midnight Madness section -- which programs outre, blood-and-guts action and horror filmmaking for exuberant, enthusiastic fans -- are a little different.
It was nearly an hour past midnight when programmer Colin Geddes finally took the stage and pointed to "Dredd" director Pete Travis sitting in the audience and producer and screenwriter Alex Garland standing along a side aisle. Then he brought out Urban, noting he had appeared in two films in previous years of Midnight Madness. Next came actress Olivia Thirlby, who politely trilled, “Thank you for being here, thank you for waiting.”