8 Reasons Why We're SO Psyched for Fantastic Fest 2016
Fantastic Fest, Alamo Drafthouse's Annual Cinematic Circus of the wild, wonderful and peculiar, announced the First Wave of programming for the festival week, September 22-29, with an Indian Extravaganza, a Phantasmic Explosion, a Terrifying Virtual Reality, and Iconic Guests. Here's why we're setting our alarms for the biggest, oddest, wildest film fest in Austin *Cue boom of dishoom!*
No. 1 - A Crazy-Great Lineup
There are a LOT of movies in this First Wave (see full list at the bottom of the article), but some of the ones we're especially excited for include Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (starring Eva Green, dir. Tim Burton), the 1979 horror classic Phantasm (dir. Don Coscarelli), completely remastered in 4k (!) and followed by the world premiere of Phantasm: Ravager - and, really, there are so many great, gruesome, absurd, weird and wonderful options this year, especially from Hispanic filmmakers and Indian filmmakers, so we're probably just going to end up seeing them all. Take all our money.
No. 2 - An Awesome New Theme
Fantastic Fest brings the "dishoom!" (the sound of a punch landing in 60s Bollywood films) of Indian cinema to the festival this year, along with a fabulous South Asian theme. Look forward to the sure-to-be-blood-drenched Psycho Ramen (dir. Anurag Kashyareap) about a brutal, drug-addicted cop who faces off with a psychotic criminal in the slums of Mumbai; Magadeera (dir. S.S. Rajamouli), which explores what happens when a thrill-seeking dirt bike racer discovers he is a reincarnated warrior king; and the sleek gangster flick, Khalnayak (dir. Subhash Ghai). Evrim Ersoy, Head of Programming, loves the idea of bringing the "glorious excess and pageantry" of Indian films to the roster this year: "This is a proud and vibrant world of film that that will surprise, shock and astound at Fantastic Fest." Yeah, with that lineup, we're betting it will.
No. 3 - VR that Will Make Your Need New Pants
So VR is that thing you kind of are interested in, but also feels like a marketing gimmick. Well, now, VR studios are taking a leaf from the pages of indie game studios to bring us all some seriously disturbing new experiences. Dark Corner, the Los Angeles VR team behind 360 hospital thriller, Catatonic (from which some of you are still recovering) partners with the Fest for the first time ever to premiere their follow-up, Mule. From the early descriptions ("An emotional, fast-paced hell-ride that catapults the viewer through the final shocking moments of a man's life") we're excited, terrified, and probably planning to skip lunch beforehand.
No. 4 - Iconic Guests
Red Carpet Screenings with Casts and Directors in Attendance are the stylish, shiny object that draws so many fans to film festivals, and this year does not disappoint. Expect to see Tim Burton at a special screening for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Don Coscarelli at the World Premiere of Phantasm: Ravager, with its director, David Hartman, and cast (and special, limited-edition collectibles, apparel and soundtracks by Mondo!); and Texas native Sasha Lane, the star and host of the screening of American Honey. You know, just to name a few.
No. 5 - A VHS-era Throwback with All the Horror Kitsch You've Ever Dreamed Of
Jungle Trap. From the official description (see end of article): "Exploitation demigod James Bryan's massively entertaining, decapitation-fueled shot-on-video horror masterpiece about a jungle hotel haunted by kill-crazy ghosts in loin cloths, shot in 1990 and unreleased until THIS VERY MOMENT."
That's it. That's all you need to know.
No. 6 - Yes, You CAN Be There!
If you're not a lucky badge holder, there are a couple of ways to still experience the wonder and delight of this oddball festival. One, Get Individual Tickets! Check the Fantastic Fest site (and Twitter and Facebook) each day of the festival for open seats at screenings. If a screening hasn't been filled up by badge holders, you can go to the box office on South Lamar to score a ticket. Two, Volunteer! According to the FF site, it's a Volunteer Experience with all the Boring Parts Cut Out. Just attend one of the hosted info parties (Sat, Aug 20 or Mon, Aug 22) and fill out an online reg form.
No. 7 - We're Hoping for Another PSA Like This One...
Admit it - you're tempted to start yammering, just to see if Tim League will punch you, too. #hewontyouwillbesacrificedtothedragonthatlivesbelowallalamodrafthousetheaters
No. 8 - The Full Drafthouse Experience, but at One of the Coolest Film Festivals on the Planet
It's not every city that can claim an incredible, important, and frigging awesome film festival, the way Austin can. Sure, Cannes and Toronto have their things, too - but nowhere is film more celebrated and enjoyed without the pretense or need to impress (BBQ, blood, mayhem and margaritas!) than right here at home. Food and drink delivered to your seat, specialty screenings and first-class seats - that's the Drafthouse experience we know and love. Savor the twisted delights of the 12th Annual Fantastic Fest - we'll see you on the (blood) red carpet, y'all.
Full List of First Wave Lineup:
24X36: A MOVIE ABOUT MOVIE POSTERS
World Premiere, 83 min
Director - Kevin Burke
Through interviews with art personalities from the past four decades, 24 x 36 examines the birth, death and resurrection of illustrated movie poster art.
A DARK SONG
World Premiere, 99 min
Director - Liam Gavin
Sophia is a determined young woman who hires a weird occultist to perform a ritual which will risk not only their lives and souls, but also the very essence of their being.
Switzerland, France, 2016
US Premiere, 91 min
Director - Tobias Nölle
Aloys Adorn is a lonely private investigator who, after the death of his father, finds himself sucked into a mysterious "telephone walking" game with a mysterious woman who might be his only hope.
United States, 2016
Texas Premiere, 158 min
Director - Andrea Arnold
Andrea Arnold's first US feature follows 18-year-old Star as she leaves her home in Oklahoma and goes in search of adventure, adulthood and America.
BELIEF: THE POSSESSION OF JANET MOSES
New Zealand, 2015
US Premiere, 89 min
Director - David Stubbs
The true story of the Wainuiomata exorcism provides the basis for David Stubbs' striking debut feature, a documentary exploring the tragic death of Janet Moses in a traditional Maori exorcism ceremony.
US Premiere, 81 min
Director - Julien Leclercq
It's bad men versus worse men as thieves face off against dealers in this super slick French heist thriller from the director of Chrysalis and The Assault.
Laos, France, Estonia, 2016
World Premiere, 100 min
Director - Mattie Do
After moving to the city, a poor woman realizes her recently blinded cousin can not only commune with the dead, but they can provide a path to much-needed wealth.
North American Premiere, 87 min
Director - Abraham Forsythe
In the aftermath of massive race riots, two carloads of dim-witted alpha males set off to defend their respective territory with outrageous results in this sharp edged Australian satire.
THE DWARVES MUST BE CRAZY
World Premiere, 92 min
Director - Bhin Banloerit
A Thai village of little people is attacked by evil, butt-munching, fart-tracking Krause spirits - floating heads with attached intestines - in this slapstick horror-comedy.
North American Premiere, 103 min
Director - Sébastien Marnier
After burning out in Paris, Constance returns to her home town only to find herself in lethal competition with a younger girl for her old job.
United States, 2016
Texas Premiere, 53 min
Director - Dean Fleischer-Camp
A family's home movies document a desperate crime, and the subsequent bid to escape the consequences in this impressionistic meta-fiction born from the manipulation of hundreds of hours of innocuous uploads to YouTube. An extraordinary feat of editing, a provocative parable of the pursuit of happiness and a disturbing demonstration of the mutability of the stories we share in the Internet age.
THE GREASY STRANGLER
United States, 2016
Special Screening, 93 min
Director - Jim Hosking
Ronnie fears his first love affair is turning his father into a bloodthirsty monster who's covered in grease and has an 18-inch penis that looks like a dead chicken.
JUNGLE TRAP : Presented By Bleeding Skull
United States, 1990/2016
World Premiere, 80 min
Director - James Bryan
Exploitation demigod James Bryan's massively entertaining, decapitation-fueled shot-on-video horror masterpiece about a jungle hotel haunted by kill-crazy ghosts in loin cloths, shot in 1990 and unreleased until THIS VERY MOMENT.
Repertory Screening, 190 min
Director - Subhash Ghai
Ballu is an unrepentant gangster who has dedicated his life to the celebration of villainy. He is a bad, bad man and not ashamed one bit. However, with the help of his mother and a sympathetic cop, Ballu will rise above his circumstances to gain satisfying redemption.
Repertory Screening, 157 min
Director - S.S. Rajamouli
Harsha, a dirt bike racer, lives for thrills. One day he crosses paths with Indu, a girl with whom he feels strangely connected. Through this bond, Harsha discovers his hidden identity: a reincarnated warrior king.
MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
United States, 2016
Special Screening,123 min
Director - Tim Burton
From visionary director Tim Burton, and based upon the best-selling novel, comes an unforgettable motion picture experience. When Jake discovers clues to a mystery that spans alternate realities and times, he uncovers a secret refuge known as Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As he learns about the residents and their unusual abilities, Jake realizes that safety is an illusion, and danger lurks in the form of powerful, hidden enemies. Jake must figure out who is real, who can be trusted, and who he really is.
Texas Premiere, 95 min
Directors - Florian Heinzen-Ziob and Georg Heinzen
In the heart of Mumbai, behind the screen of one of the last Hindi Film cinemas, lives Sheik Rahman, the city's last painter of film posters. This is his story.
PHANTASM: REMASTERED (1979)
United States, 1979
Special Screening, 88 min
Director - Don Coscarelli
One of the most influential and important horror films of all time, Don Coscarelli's Phantasm returns to Alamo Drafthouse's screens in a gorgeous 4k remaster.
United States, 2016
World Premiere, 87
Director - David Hartman
The fifth and final film in the classic Phantasm film series, Phantasm Ravager follows our intrepid everyman hero Reggie on his quest across dark dimensions as he struggles to confront and vanquish the sinister Tall Man.
The Netherlands, 2015
International Premiere, 85 min
Directors- Erwin van de Eshof & Martijn Smits
Festival favorite Huub Smit (New Kids Nitro; New Kids Turbo; Bros Before Hos) stars as a Dutch cop raised on far too many American action films in this outrageous action comedy.
US Premiere, 127 min
Director - Anurag Kashyap
Raghavan is a cop: brutal, violent, and drug-addicted. Ramanna is a criminal: psychotic, unpredictable, and vicious. It's only a matter of time before they meet and when they do, Mumbai's slums will be colored deep crimson.
SALT AND FIRE
North American Premiere, 93 min
Director - Werner Herzog
Herzog's most wildly unpredictable film, Salt and Fire is a meticulously slow burning, quasi-ecological thriller punctuated by moments of the lyrically poetic and the inexplicably, outrageously absurd.
S IS FOR STANLEY
North American Premiere, 82 min
Director - Alex Infascelli
Alex Infascelli's documentary about Emilio D'Alessandro, Stanley Kubrick's personal assistant for more than thirty years, which provides never-before-seen insight into the private auteur.
World Premiere, 90 min
Directors - STEVEN KOSTANSKI & JEREMY GILLESPIE
Trapped in a hospital with a handful of people, a small town sheriff finds himself caught up in the demented plot of a death-obsessed madman.
WE ARE THE FLESH
Texas Premiere, 80 min
Director - Emiliano Rocha Minter
Somewhere within a ruined city, a man makes an offer to a pair of siblings who wander into his abandoned building: food and shelter in exchange for building a strange room...
Russia, France, Germany, 2016
US Premiere, 87 min
Director - Ivan I. Tverdovsky
Natasha is a lonely, middle-aged woman who still lives with her mother and feels insecure about her tedious life... until she grows a tail.