Colin Geddes' Farewell to Midnight Madness
In this very special farewell salute to iconic Midnight Madness impresario Colin Geddes, we present a free screening of the Sonny Chiba–led '70s Japanese horror rarity Wolf Guy — hand-picked by Geddes himself — and hear from the Master of Midnight about his favourite Festival moments from the past 20 years.
During my 20 years as the programmer of Midnight Madness, I was always on the hunt for fresh, wild cinema — stuff that was bold, brash, confrontational, shocking, surreal, and in your face. The boundaries of good taste were always in question. But then, personally, I seldom want my cinema to be "safe."
In my year-round quests for suitable Midnight fare, I'd attend festivals and film markets, and correspond with directors, producers, sales agents, distributors, and national film agencies about upcoming works. Yet the best experience was to go into a screening with no advance buzz or expectations or even knowledge of what the film was about. Every once in awhile, I'd be blindsided by some delightful lunacy. Hitoshi Matsumoto's Dai-Nipponjin (a.k.a. Big Man Japan) and Prachya Pinkaew's Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior were prime examples of those sorts of discoveries.
And Wolf Guy is, in many ways, a precursor to their kind of maniac moviemaking. A rare, sought-after artifact of Japanese cinematic weirdness, this 1975 film was never released outside of Japan until just this year. All you need to know is that a lycanthropic Sonny Chiba kicks ass in an ultra-'70s, 100% bizarre mixture of horror, action, and sci-fi. Join me in one of the first international crowds to experience this gem of unclassifiable, phantasmagoric funk on the big screen.
Warning: Wolf Guy contains gratuitous Chiba scowls, killer karate chops, swaggering yakuza, tilted camera angles, avant-garde cabaret performances, pinstriped suits and purple neckties, psychedelic surgery, kinky perversions, telekinetic self-healing, 1970s jazz-funk, arterial blood spray, and, of course, lycanthropy.
location_on Scotiabank 4