By Heather Christie

Everything these days adds to the globe’s mad quotient. The city strikers are pretty mad, I (and many others) are also pretty f*ing mad at the strikers. “Mad Dog” of “Mad Dog and Billie” is flying solo while babymamma Billie takes a mat leave. Not to mention the fact that Bernie Madoff has been sentenced to 150 years in prison…the nature of the former financial pharoah’s last name ensuring that the letters M, A, and D frequently grace the headlines of most news outlets.

Yup, there’s a lot of mad going on. And with the TIFF Midnight Madness line-up recently announced, things are getting even madder!

Midnight Madness is one of the wildest programmes run by the Toronto International Film Fest every year. It aims to showcase the visceral, vicious, and venomous in the world of thrillers, chillers and other genres that don’t usually get to bask in the limelight of such large festivals.

This year’s line-up boasts some thoroughly hyped films. The return of Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza marks the sequel to 2007’s [REC]—the harrowing horror flick that set screaming shock waves roaring through the world of Euro-horror. [REC]2 promises nothing less than loyalty to its original while turning up the terror.

Another flick of note on this year’s programme is Australian director Sean Byrne’s feature debut The Loved Ones. Picture Carrie but sexier, darker, and full of variations on the good ol’–though hackneyed–teenage prom run terribly amok. Besides, we’re told that the soundtrack rocks hard.

Annnnnd, continuing with the current plasmatic popularity of all things vampire, MM’s running an Australian flick featuring Ethan Hawke as vampire-researcher looking for a blood replacement to save humankind from extinction by the ABO-thirsty fanged overlords. No, Edward won’t be sulking adolescently in the corners, if you’re thinking this will be a cute foray into unrequited teenaged passion. This is a real, live, adult vampire story, goddammit.

There are many more films showing at this year’s installment of Midnight Madness; everything from campy be-boobied crime fighting chicks to medieval Thai ass-whoopings to a plastic-tastic world of slapstick and bricks, lots and lots of bricks. For more info on scheduling, venues, and tickets click here .

If you can’t make it to the festival when it roars through the city in mid-September, we’ve got you covered. Be sure to check in with She Does the City for the scoop on all things TIFF.