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SXSW Midnighters 2017 line-up announced!

02.08.2017by: Mike Sprague

MIDNIGHTERS: Scary, funny, sexy, controversial – provocative after-dark features for night owls and the terminally curious.

You know, not to self-promote too much, but I actually submitted my own feature film to the SXSW film festival this year. I didn't get in. Weak. Such is life. But ya gotta try, right? Yes. The answer is yes. Swing for the fences, I say.

Other than, possibly, Sundance, TIFF, and Cannes, the biggest festival out there is the SXSW fest in Austin Texas. Especially the Midnighters. Making the Midnighters selection is the mecca for genre features. The midnighters selection wasn't started until 2009, but since that time, the section has made a massive dent in genre cinema. Many new classics have come from the Midnighters selection, including, but not limited to: 

Carnage Park, Hush, Under the Shadow, Don't Breathe, The Corpse of Anna Fritz, Deathgasm, The Invitation, The Nightmare, Turbo Kid, We Are Still Here, Honeymoon, Late Phases, Oculus, Starry Eyes, The Guest, Cheap Thrills, The Lords of Salem, V/H/S/2, You're Next, Sinister, The Aggression Scale, The Tall Man, V/H/S, Attack The Block, Hobo With a Shotgun , Insidious, The Loved Ones, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Grace, Lake Mungo, etc.

That's a pretty impressive list, eh? Again, the correct answer is yes. That's a hell of a list. And so you can see why I keep such a close on the yearly selections of this category, more than likely we will find our new favorites among the selections.

So, without further ado, here is the list of SXSW Midnighters for the 2017 festival. Mark the names and keep an eye out for the flicks. They are sure to be (for the majority) impressive genre efforts.

68 KILL
Director: Trent Haaga, Screenwriters: Trent Haaga based on the novel by Bryan Smith
Chip's problem is that he can't say no to beautiful women. This weakness gets him into a world of trouble when he agrees to help his girlfriend steal $68,000. Cast: Matthew Gray Gubler, Annalynne McCord, Alisha Boe, Sheila Vand, Sam Eidson, Lucy Faust, Eric Podner, Peter James, Hallie Grace Bradley, James Moses Black (World Premiere)

BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON: 10TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING 
Director: Scott Glosserman, Screenwriters: David Stieve, Scott Glosserman
At SXSW in 2006 AICN's Quint wrote: "…it just had its world premiere at the Alamo a few hours ago. I hope to see this one get picked up, but I guarantee this one will make it." 10 years after its 2007 theatrical, the 35mm print returns to the fest! Cast: Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals, Robert Englund, Scott Wilson, Zelda Rubinstein, Kate Lang Johnson, Britain Spellings, Bridgett Newton, Ben Pace

GAME OF DEATH (Canada, France)
Directors: Laurence "Baz" Morais, Sebastien Landry, Screenwriters: Laurence "Baz" Morais, Sebastien Landry, Edouard Bond and adapted by Philip Kalin-Hajdu
In the middle of small-town nowhere, seven friends are forced to kill or be killed when they play the Game of Death. When faced with their own mortality, will they turn on each other to survive? Cast: Sam Earle, Victoria Diamond, Emelia Hellman, Catherine Saindon, Nick Serino, Erniel Baez D., Thomas Vallieres, Jane Hackett (World Premiere)

THE HONOR FARM
Director/Screenwriter: Karen Skloss
After prom night falls apart, Lucy finds herself at very different kind of party… On a psychedelic trip that could be a dangerous trap. Cast: Olivia Applegate, Louis Hunter, Dora Madison, Liam Aiken, Katie Folger, Michael Eric Reid, Mackenzie Astin, Michelle Forbes, Josephine McAdam, Christina Parrish (World Premiere)

LAKE BODOM (UK)
Director: Taneli Mustonen, Screenwriters: Taneli Mustonen, Aleksi Hyvärinen
Reconstructing a legendary campsite murder turns fatal when the girls decide to rewrite history. As night falls, turns out not all of them are there to play. Cast: Nelly Hirst-Gee, Mimosa William, Mikael Gabriel, Santeri Mäntylä

MAYHEM
Director: Joe Lynch, Screenwriter: Matias Caruso
After being framed for corporate espionage on the same day that a mysterious virus is unleashed on his company, attorney Derek Cho is forced to savagely fight tooth and nail for not only his job but his life. Cast: Steven Yeun, Samara Weaving, Dallas Mark Roberts, Caroline Chikezie, Mark Stewart Frost, Kerry Fox, Lucy Chappell, Steven Brand (World Premiere)

MEATBALL MACHINE KODOKU (Japan)
Director: Yoshihiro Nishimura, Screenwriters: Yoshihiro Nishimura, Sakichi Sato
A long-awaited sequel to the internationally acclaimed full-throttle splatter sci-fi action horror Meatball Machine directed by Yoshihiko Nishimura, an acclaimed makeup artist and special effects designer (“Godzilla Resurgence”). Cast: Yoji Tanaka, Yurisa, Takumi Saito (World Premiere)

PIG: THE FINAL SCREENINGS
Director: Adam Mason
A savage satire of gender politics in America, Adam Mason is guaranteed to shock and offend with Pig. Created with actor and long time collaborator Andrew Howard, Pig is a virtuoso piece of pure cinema. Cast: Andrew Howard, Guy Burnet, Lorry Stone, Juliet Quintin-Archard, Molly Black (World Premiere)

TRAGEDY GIRLS (Canada, USA)
Director: Tyler MacIntyre, Screenwriters: Chris Lee Hill, Tyler MacIntyre, based on an original screenplay by Justin Olson
A twist on the slasher genre following two budding teenage sociopaths who use their online show about real-life tragedies to send their small midwestern town into a frenzy, cementing their legacy as modern horror legends. Cast: Brianna Hildebrand, Alexandra Shipp, Craig Robinson, Josh Hutcherson, Kevin Durand, Jack Quaid, Timothy V. Murphy, Nicky Whelan, Austin Abrams, Kerry Rhodes (World Premiere)

TWO PIGEONS (UK)
Director: Dominic Bridges, Screenwriter: Rae Brunton
A wide-boy estate agent unknowingly shares his home with a malicious tenant, one with a totally surprising agenda. Two Pigeons is a dark urban morality tale with an underlying streak of jet black comedy. Cast: Mim Shaikh, Javier Botet, Mandeep Dhillon, Kola Bokinni, Michael McKella (World Premiere)

Past Midnighter LAKE MUNGO is my top pick for Midnighter Recommends if you're looking for one.

Extra Tidbit: Which flick are you looking forward to the most?
Source: SXSW

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