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TIFF Beats Fantastic Fest to 'Death'

Drafthouse Films' 'The ABCs of Death' debuting in Toronto

By Richard Whittaker, 1:47PM, Tue. Jul. 31, 2012

TIFF Beats Fantastic Fest to 'Death'

Well, looks like I just lost a bet. If, like me, you had money on The ABCs of Death breaking its bloody cherry at Fantastic Fest, pay up. Today's big news is that Drafthouse Films new horror anthology has been selected for the Toronto International Film Festival's prestigious Midnight Madness line-up.

The film has Fantastic Fest in its bones: Most of the directors are FF alums, and a special sneak peak trailer debuted there in 2011. However, a TIFF appointment makes a lot of sense too, especially since Midnight Madness has snagged such hotly-touted titles as Rob Zombie's Lords of Salem and John Dies at the End (although, to be fair, FF audiences got a sneak peek at Don Coscarelli's new psycho-joy last year and the finished product screened at SXSW 2012.)

That's the second hot rumor squashed in days. There'd been a lot of talk about Paul Thomas Anderson's new "No, no, it's not Scientology" pic The Master making a showing at FF (after all, Anderson snuck There Will be Blood into Austin's gore-loving fest for its premiere in 2007.) However, that's been shuffled up to a Sept. 14 limited release and goes wide on Sept. 21 – the first full day of Fantastic Fest.

But then again, Dredd 3D opens wide Sept. 21 as well, and that's getting a red carpet gala at FF. Cue more speculation, I guess.

Plus, it's not like the FF faithful have anything to complain about. Who gets the world premiere of Tim Burton's Frankenweenie? Ah, that would be us. And who got a whole stack of US, regional and Texas premieres, plus a must-see swathe of repertory screenings (uh, The Shining, hello?) dropped on us yesterday? Again, us. So, we're doing pretty good.

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