As I mentioned before, NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD, the new documentary about the Australian exploitation scene of the 70s and 80s, is playing Fantastic Fest and is a hell of a lot of fun, and now to add to the mix are six Aussie retrospective titles that will make you shit your pants with excitement - including Brian Trenchard-Smith's fantastic THE MAN FROM HONG KONG! I love this picture quite a bit, so the fact that others can finally see it (in a new 35mm print!) puts a big ol' smile on my face. To love THE MAN FROM HONG KONG is to love cinema, and no, I'm not on crack.
I don't know any of the Japanese Pink films, but I have no doubt they will be seriously deranged and likewise fun. Here's the latest press release:
While much of the attention of Fantastic Fest centers around the new discoveries and premiere feature films, each year we always present a new repertory retrospective. This year we are featuring two classic series: NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD: Ozsploitation Classics and BEHIND THE PINK CURTAIN: Japanese Pinku Films.
NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD: Ozsploitation Classics
In 2008, Fantastic Fest is dedicated to making everyone we know into giant, committed fans of Ozploitation cinema. That is - the peculiar brand of exploitation films that bubbled to the surface in Australia in the '70s and '80s. Certainly the best known are the MAD MAX films but those didn't emerge in a vacuum. The industry was already pumping out films as rude, tough and resourceful as the primal Aussie himself, kicked out of the British Isles for being ungovernable, forced to carve out a livelihood in the most hostile terrain on earth. While Australia has its share of classic arthouse-worthy fare in the manner of PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK and BREAKER MORANT, it was the cheap action, horror and titty films that really made the Fosters go down easy.
Friday, September 12, 8:30 PM, Republic Square Park Downtown, Free Admission!
Dir. George Miller, 1979, 35mm, 93 min, R
Mel Gibson plays a rogue officer bent on revenge in the most influential apocalyptic masterpiece in film history. Reckless, violent, morally corrupt and totally insane.
Friday, September 19, 8:30 PM, Republic Square Park Downtown, Free Admission!
Dir. George Miller, 1981, 35mm, 94 min, R
The sequel to MAD MAX puts the pedal to the metal, then both pedal and metal alike explode in a death-shower of indescribable awesomeness.
(Note: at both of these free outdoor screenings, in addition to the fun onscreen, Chef John Bullington will be serving up classic Australian meat pies, shrimp on the barby and there will be plenty of ice-cold Fosters oil cans to wash it down. Also, come prepared, we’re having a Vegemite sandwich eating contest before the film.)
Wednesday, September 17, Midnight, Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz
Dir. Arch Nicholson, 1987, 35mm, 91 min, NR
The ultimate reptilesploitation movie from down under. As usual in animal attack films, the most dangerous creature ultimately is man. But the 40 foot long crocodile is a real close second. It's up to super cool ranger John Jarratt (WOLF CREEK) to track down the big croc, which is coincidentally venerated as sacred by the Aborigine populace, before a pack of scurvy poachers do. Seriously cool edge-of-your-seat excitement from beginning to end.
Thursday, September 18, Midnight, Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz
Dir. Russell Mulcahy, 1984, 35mm, 95 min, R
An enormous, thundering wild boar lays waste to the Australian outback in this bizarre and unexpectedly effective man VS. beast showdown.
MAN FROM HONG KONG with Brian Trenchard-Smith Live in person!
Wednesday, September 24, Midnight, Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz
Dir. Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1975, 35mm, 111 min, R
Possibly the most berserk catalogue of action and violence ever placed on film. An all-out orgy of throat-ripping fights, explosions, car chases, crossbows, mustaches, hang-gliders and everything else good in life. Starring former James Bond seatwarmer George Lazenby and Shaw Brothers superstar Jimmy Wang Yu. Stunts by the madman from dingo-land Grant Page (of STUNT ROCK fame), who appears desperate to end it all in a progressively greater and greater aggregation of death-defiance.
TURKEY SHOOT a.k.a. ESCAPE 2000 with Brian Trenchard-Smith in person!
Thursday, September 25, Midnight, Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz
Dir. Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1982, 35mm, 80 min, R
In a post-apocalyptic world gone wild, a handful of prison camp inmates must run for their life while being hunted for sport!
And of course, the inspiration for the series:
NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD
Sunday, September 21, 5:00PM, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Thursday, September 25, 7:30PM, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Dir. Mark Hartley, 2008, 35mm, 100 min, R
Probably the biggest concentration of explosions, nudity and blood at Fantastic Fest this year. A documentary that traces the secret and not-so-secret history of Ozsploitation.
The NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD Retrospective is sponsored by Magnet Releasing, producers of the NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD documentary, which will hit select theaters later this year. The series is also sponsored in part by Fosters, Simplyaustralian.com and the Austin Parks Foundation.
BEHIND THE PINK CURTAIN: Japanese Pinku Films
Almost everyone has the same tingling response to the bright, shiny world of Japanese pop entertainment. It tickles the roof of the mouth like ginger-ale. But for hardcore addicts, that's just the gateway stage. The terminal phase is the Japanese pink film. More than just sexploitation movies, they're like the entire culture's autoerotic asphyxiation reveries. Filled with crushing weirdness and experiments on the extreme edge of filmmaking, the pink films provide much greater insight into the nation's character than the mannered civilities of mainstream films, largely due to the fact that young film-makers are given the freedom to go as far out on the chain as they want to, provided they expose the requisite number of naked bodies onscreen. And they must strike a pretty resonant chord since they're still going strong, as evidenced by some of our favorite Fantastic Fest titles of the past few years like UNCLES PARADISE and THE GLAMOROUS LIFE OF SACHIKO HANAI. Noted Pinku film expert Jasper Sharp will be live in person and will be signing copies of his new comprehensive book on the subject of Pinku films entitled BEHIND THE PINK CURTAIN.
BLUE FILM WOMAN
Monday, September 22, 10PM, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Dir. Kan Mukai, 1969, New 35mm Print, 80 min, NR (Adults Only!)
A girl avenges her mother's death and family's disgrace by becoming a high class call girl who blackmails her nemesis with a secretly shot film of their encounter. A highly stylized wash of color, wild camera angles and sheer '60s style.
Tuesday, September 23, 10PM, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Dir. Masao Adachi, 1971, New 35mm Print, 72 min, NR (Adults Only!)
A young woman, already a jaded sexual veteran, embarks on an odyssey of self-discovery to find out the true reasons for her dissatisfaction and total desensitization. This parable is told in a jagged avant-garde style that must have baffled the target audience of businessmen seeking cheap thrills on their lunch hours.
A LONELY COW WEEPS AT DAWN
Wednesday, September 24, 10PM, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Dir. Daisuke Goto, 2003, Digibeta, 65 min, NR (Adults Only!)
In the Japanese countryside, a young widow, Noriko, lives with her senile father-in-law, Shu, on a farm. He believes his favorite cow is still alive. Noriko pretends to be the cow and lets him milk her every day - a satisfying arrangement for both. Shu's daughter Mitsuko discovers this strange relationship and tries to end it. A very strange and kinky modern pink film from genre superstar Daisuke Goto.
Wednesday, September 24, 11PM, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Dir. Shuji Kataoka, 1986, Digibeta, 59 min, NR (Adults Only!)
An exercise in manga-style outrageousness that is guaranteed to offend everybody. The black clad S&M Roper is a kind of bondage super hero who has a supernatural genius for tying women up in configurations that leave them helplessly aroused. When the all girl gang, The Bombers, kidnap a man for their personal sex toy S&M Hunter accepts a mission to infiltrate The Bombers' hideout and show them the ropes.
IMPORTANT FESTIVAL DATES:
Important dates have been announced for the 4th Annual Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.
Thursday, August 21, 2008: Guests and juries announced
Thursday, September 4, 2008: Final content and schedule announced
Thursday, September 18, 2008: Festival begins
Saturday, September 20, 2008: 2009 Festival Badges go on sale
For more information about Fantastic Fest, please visit our official website: www.fantasticfest.com
Photo stills and press information about the festival is at: www.fantasticfest.com/Page.aspx?Name=Press
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL:
Fantastic Fest is an eight-day festival of the best new sci-fi, horror, fantasy and genre films, as well as choice classic and obscure cult titles from all over the world. The festival director and head programmer is Tim League (Alamo Drafthouse Cinema), with additional programming by Harry Knowles (Ain't It Cool News), Blake Ethridge (Cinema is Dope), Todd Brown (Twitchfilm.net), Zack Carlson (Alamo Drafthouse Cinema) and Lars Nilsen (Alamo Drafthouse Cinema). Fantastic Fest is a supporting member of the prestigious Melies European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation and a founding member of the North American Fantastic Festival Alliance. Fantastic Fest is sponsored in part by Gamecock, Ain’t It Cool News, Twitchfilm, DVD Empire, Best Buy, VIZ Pictures, Embassy Suites, Dark Sky Films, The Texas Film Commission, Room Service Vintage, Rue Morgue Magazine, Fangoria Magazine, The Austin Chronicle, The Onion, Anchor Bay Entertainment, HungrymanTV.com, Big Top Candy Shop, Smitty's Market, Media Blasters, Long Center for the Performing Arts.