TIFF 2014: Festival reveals more films, including Kevin Smith's 'Tusk'

Justin Long stars in Kevin Smith's

Justin Long stars in Kevin Smith's "Tusk."

Jim Slotek, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:27 PM ET

Having once announced his retirement from filmmaking, Kevin Smith is unveiling a rebirth as a horror filmmaker at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Smith’s set-in-Canada film Tusk – about a mad scientist who dreams of turning humans into walruses – was announced Tuesday as a featured attraction at TIFF’s dark-edged Midnight Madness series. The festival also announced lineups for its cutting-edge foreign-film series Vanguard and auteur series Masters as well as TIFF Docs.

During the release of his self-distributed feature Red State in 2011, the Clerks filmmaker repeatedly mused aloud about retirement. Since then, he took on Tusk (with Justin Long and Haley Joel Osment) and is committed to Clerks 3.

Last year in an interview with QMI Agency, he said his third Clerks film would be "the best movie I ever make."

The Midnight Madness lineup also includes Big Game, a Finish German co-production in which Air Force One is shot down by terrorists, and the U.S. President (Samuel L. Jackson) must make his escape through wintry mountains with the help of a teen (Jim Broadbent, Ray Stevenson and Felicity Huffman co-star). There’s also the New Zealand vampire spoof What We Do In The Shadows, co-directed by and starring Taika Waititi (Eagle vs. Shark) and Jermaine Clement (Flight Of The Conchords, and the “Yakuza-street-gang hip-hop musical epic” Tokyo Tribe by Sion Sono (Why Don’t You Play In Hell?).

Masters highlights include the latest cryptic work by Jean-Luc Godard, the 3D Goodbye to Language, as well as Michael Winterbottom’s The Face of an Angel, inspired by the Amanda Knox murder case and starring Kate Beckinsale. The Vanguard list features the British underworld/human-slave trade drama Hyena by Gerard Johnson (Tony: London Serial Killer), the Austrian psychodrama Goodnight Mommy by Veronika Franz and the “Misery-style” Spanish thriller Shrew’s Next by Alex de la Iglesia (The Last Circus).

The controversial pranksters the “Yes Men” – who’ve punked the business world with fake websites and by masquerading as executives – are TIFF-bound with The Yes Men Are Revolting, their follow-up to the Yes Men Fix The World. Among other TIFF Docs on the schedule: Tales Of The Grim Sleeper, a post-mortem on a botched multiple-murder case by Nick Broomfield (Kurt & Courtney), Merchants Of Doubt by Robert Kenner (Food Inc.) about scientists on corporate payrolls, and Gabe Polsky’s acclaimed Red Army, an intimate look at the rise and fall of Soviet hockey in the ‘80s.

For more info, head over to TIFF.net.

Twitter: @jimslotek

jim.slotek@sunmedia.ca

 


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