As promised, the second wave of Fantastic Fest 2008 titles have been announced, and some of the juicier ones are on the list. Rest assured that the titles in the next announcement will have the star power that most folks are looking for, but what we've got here is pretty damn good.
I've seen NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD and it's quite enjoyable (next week's announcement of the Aussie retro titles will make a lot of folks happy, especially for those who want to see one particular "Forgotten Movie") and will most likely make Aussieploitation the next big thing in cult cinema; TREEVENGE, in the shorts program, is one of the most entertaining things I've seen all year and a beautiful gore epic; DEADGIRL is a pretty effective piece that stays with you and it's your typical horror film (which is a good thing), while I've heard great stuff about ACOLYTES, SANTOS, SEVENTH MOON and JCVD (everyone is raving about it and it seems like Jean Claude Van Damme's big comeback). But as far as I'm concerned the cream of the crop (no pun intended) is LA CREME, a wonderful French comedy that I saw at Fantasia that I just loved the hell out of. If you're attending Fantastic Fest this year, put that one on your "must see" list.
Anyways, here's the press release:
Date: Thursday, August 7, 2008
PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Subject: Second Wave of Fantastic Fest content announced
Where: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema South Lamar, Austin, TX
Fantastic Fest, September 18-25, 2008
We are proud to announce the second wave of our feature film programming for the 2008 edition of Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. For the past 9 months, we have been scouring the globe for the strangest, the most heart-pounding and the most challenging new genre films. With over 100 films representing over 30 countries, Fantastic Fest is the largest festival of its kind in the United States. We are proud to announce our second announcement of 15 confirmed feature films as well as our first announcement of official short film selections and details on special “fantastic-fest-themed” Alamo signature events.
ROUND 2: FANTASTIC FEATURES:
World Premiere / dir. Nicolás López / Chile / 2008 / 100 min.
Three years after his SXSW debut feature PROMEDIO ROJO, Chilean prodigy director Nicolás López returns with SANTOS, a wild, sweeping tale of comic book nerds versus superheroes in a battle for the future of mankind. Think Ultraman with a Latin American brain transplant. From the producers of SIN CITY and THE ORPHANAGE, visual effects by Troublemaker Studios. Director Nicolás López will be live in person to present the film and conduct a Q&A.
World Premiere / dir. Edward Sanchez / USA / 2008 / 90 min
While honeymooning in rural China during the “Hungry Ghost” Festival, newlyweds Melissa (Amy Smart) and Yul (Tim Chiou) find themselves stranded at night in the middle of a superstitious ritual that may be more real than folk legend. From the director of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. Director Edward Sanchez and Producers Gregg Hale, Matt Compton and Robin Cowie will be live in person to present the film and conduct a Q&A.
US Premiere / dir. Jon Hewitt / Australia / 2008 / 91 min.
Three teens blackmail a killer into taking down the violent bully who has been making their lives hell. An explosive first feature from Australian Jon Hewitt who will be in attendance to present the film.
US Premiere / dir. Prachya Pinkaew / Thailand / 2008 / 110 min.
The director of ONG BAK returns with his new protégé, who was in training for five years for this role. Ammara Siripong portrays an autistic girl who learns martial arts from watching Tony Jaa and Bruce Lee films so as to exact revenge on those who bankrupted her mother.
US Premiere / dir. Gadi Harel and Marcel Sarmiento / USA / 2008 / 99 min.
Exploring an abandoned sanatorium while ditching school, two high school burnouts discover a girl strapped to a gurney in a secluded chamber. Debut directors Gadi Harel and Marcel Sarmiento craft a new breed of teen angst drama set against a backdrop of humor black enough to make John Hughes retreat to a fetal state. Both directors will be in attendance to present the film.
FEAR(S) OF THE DARK
Austin Premiere / dir. Various / France / 2007 / 85 min.
An animated anthology of films by six of the world’s hottest graphic artists and cartoonists. All films are rendered in black and white, and all are based on their creators’ own nightmares and fears.
World Premiere / dir. John Gulager / USA / 2008 / 90 min.
John Gulager returns to the Alamo to premiere the second installment in his FEAST franchise. The original crowd-pleasing splatterfest FEAST world-premiered at Fantastic Fest in our first year.
US Premiere / dir. Mabrouk El Mechri / France / 2008 / 96 min.
Jean-Claude Van Damme portrays an aging action star whose career in Hollywood is all but washed up. Returning to his homeland in Brussels, he lands in the middle of a bank heist and may have to actually save the day.
LA CRÈME (THE CREME)
Regional Premiere / dir. Reynald Bertrand / France / 2007 / 83 min.
Under the Christmas tree, unemployed loser François Margin mysteriously finds a jar of face cream that once applied, temporarily turns him into the most famous celebrity in France.
NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD
US Premiere / dir. Mark Hartley / Australia / 2008 / 102 min.
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 Ozploitation, Australian exploitation cinema.
RULE OF THREE
US Premiere / dir. Eric Shapiro / USA / 2007 / 85 min.
Set in one night in a seedy hotel, cult Novelist Eric Shapiro’s debut feature intertwines two stories of sexual encounters gone horribly awry.
North American Premiere / dir. Jennifer Lynch / USA / 2008 / 98 min.
Jennifer Lynch (BOXING HELENA) helms a crime thriller with overtones of RASHOMON. None of the eyewitness accounts in a roadside serial killer massacre seem to match up. The FBI is called in to cut through the confusion before the killer can strike again.
Regional Premiere / dir. Joon-ho Bong, Leos Carax, Michel Gondry / 2008 / 90 min.
An anthology of three 30-minute short films, all reflections on Tokyo by three non-Japanese directors. Michel Gondry’s INTERIOR DESIGN, Bong Joon-Ho’s SHAKING TOKYO and Leos Carax’s MERDE.
Regional Premiere / dir. Zack Passero / USA / 2008 / 95 min.
Four buxom ladies head out to the country for some good old-fashioned naked lesbian Wiccan frolicking. The locals who bust in on their retreat quickly regret their imposition when the witching hour arrives.
World Premiere / dir. Aaron Marshall, Justin Johnson, Erik Mauck / USA / 2008 / 91 min.
A documentary covering the two years that it took 12-year-old Austinite Emily Hagins to write and direct the feature-length zombie movie PATHOGEN.
SIGNATURE ALAMO EVENTS
When we’re not producing Fantastic Fest, the Alamo programming team works year-round on a variety of screenings and events at the flagship downtown Alamo Ritz Theater. Recently remodeled in 2007, the historic Ritz Theater is home to all of the Alamo Signature shows. For the first time at Fantastic Fest, your badge grants you access to a sampling of this patented Austin-exclusive programming: Weird Wednesday, Terror Thursday, Sing-Alongs, Quote-Alongs and Master Pancake Theater.
EVIL DEAD 2 QUOTE-ALONG
Part of the Alamo Drafthouse’s patented signature show series, Quote-Alongs heighten the experience of watching your favorite films with props, subtitling of iconic lines of dialogue, pyrotechnics and confetti, always confetti.
MASTER PANCAKE: FRIDAY THE 13TH
Bad movies, live comedy! John Erler and his Master Pancake cohorts have been performing their live comedy stylings over top of Hollywood classics and stinkers alike at the Alamo Drafthouse for nearly 8 years.
MICHAEL JACKSON: THRILL THE WORLD
In preparation for our world-record breaking attempt at the largest synchronized Michael Jackson Thriller dance, the Alamo hosts monthly MJ sing-alongs and dance lessons.
TERROR THURSDAY AND WEIRD WEDNESDAY
Since the fall of 2001, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has been hosting these free weekly series of 35mm screenings of exploitation classics, curated by our own exploitation gurus Lars Nilsen and Zack Carlson: from cheerleaders gone bad to blaxploitation to killer mutant animals to ‘80s slashers to women in prison. Many of these films are so obscure that little is known or has been written about them. Some of them are bad, most of them are enjoyable, and a rare few are mind-blowingly amazing. During Fantastic Fest, both Weird Wednesday and Terror Thursday will be showcasing features from the NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD Ozploitation canon. If you would like to attend any of these screenings with your Fantastic Fest badge, pick up tickets at the Fantastic Fest ticket counter and you will have prime reserve seats held for you at the show.
THE 2008 FANTASTIC SHORTS
Below are the summary descriptions of the Fantastic Shorts currently selected for Fantastic Fest 2008. The final shorts lineup and schedule will be announced in the weeks to come.
A schizophrenically entertaining 90 minute compilation of the best of the best in worldwide genre animated shorts.
SHORT FUSE SHORTS PROGRAM
A veritable cinematic crackpipe, SHORT FUSE compiles the most intense and depraved of the entire Fantastic Fest competition shorts.
L'ACCOUCHEMENT DE WENDY
Dir. Lewis Eizykman / France / 2008 / 3 min.
Even NeverNeverland has its ups and downs, as a slightly older Peter Pan and Wendy learn on the eve of their child's birth...
AUBURN HILLS BREAKDOWN
Dir. Geoff Redknap / Canada / 2008 / 13 min.
Sure, it's a fact that psychopaths love to torture and destroy innocent people. But what happens when your average suburban family gets their hands on a pack of sadistic cannibals?
Dir. Yann Jouette / UK, France / 2008 / 12 min.
A self-loathing cat food canner looks for happiness in all the wrong places, especially when he learns that a "female" companion can be ordered by mail. Beautifully animated in a style that proves to be less cute n' cuddly than first glance would have you believe.
BLOOD WILL TELL
Dir. Andrew McPhillips / Canada / 2007 / 4 min.
A uniquely animated nightmare that follows the beat of your pulse and unweaves the secret link between man and insect. Music by Sigur Ros.
Dir. Rory Kindersley / USA / 2007 / 9 min.
This Hansel and Gretel-esque fairytale may seem comfortably familiar at first, but as it unfolds, something unexpected takes over....
Dir. Kirk Woller / USA / 2008 / 6 min.
Sometimes there's just no way to remain safe...even in our secure homes. Quite possibly the most unexpected surprise in the fest!
Dir. Davy Sihali / France / 2008 / 26 min.
It's safe to say that technology and intimacy are at war. This movie is a genuinely creepy exploration of the casualties.
Dir. Stephan Wicki & Tod Steven / Switzerland, USA / 2007 / 6 min.
A man combs a semi-sentient metropolis to create his own personal symphonic Frankenstein! Live action animation combines with an arguably musical score to create a short that's guaranteed to be unlike anything you've ever seen.
Dir. Fernando Fidel Urdapilleta Jimenez / Mexico / 2007 / 20 min.
A young girl learns that when your mind and emotions have been pushed beyond their limits, you can count on your body in unexpected ways.
Dir. Hermann Karlsson / Scotland, Iceland / 2006 / 1 min.
A loving eulogy to man's best friend. This animated comedy features a canine skeleton and some goofy yet sincerely tearful memories.
Dir. Paul Campion / New Zealand / 2007 / 5 min.
A scientist with unusual taste in women learns that it's probably best to date outside the workplace. A funny and shocking short that whacks you across the skull before you know what happened.
Dir. Matt O'Mahoney / USA, Canada / 2007 / 19 min / 19 min.
A nebbish bachelor loses his penis in an incident involving an epileptic hooker and experiences newfound sexual urges with his freshly transplanted member.
FACTS IN THE CASE OF MR HOLLOW, THE
Dir. Rodrigo Gudino / Canada / 2008 / 6 min.
A simple photograph becomes increasingly sinister upon closer scrutiny, until nearly every evil that lives in mankind's heart is unleashed upon the viewer. From the fiends at Rue Morgue!
FANTAISIE IN BUBBLEWRAP
Dir. Arthur Metcalf / USA / 2007 / 4 min.
You think it's hard being a human? Try living your life as a roll of bubble wrap! This semi-animated short follows the lives of several little poppable pals as they fall in love, question their existence and -- of course -- get fatally pinched by human fingers.
Dir. Osbert Parker / UK / 2006 / 4 min.
A senses-shaking tribute to the criminal acts of yesteryear, as traditional film noir elements are transformed through animation and bizarro artistry into a wholly original gripping thrillride.
Dir. Naoko Masuda and Max Margulies / USA / 2007 / 2 min.
The filmmaking team behind last year's FF hit THE BIRD, THE MOUSE AND THE SAUSAGE are back with a new stop-motion food tale that reveals the nature of pescatorial reproduction.
Dir. PES / USA / 2006 / 4 min.
We don't need no fancy arcade...we got an arcade RIGHT HERE! Mysterious innovative stop-motion wizard(s) PES bring the universal excitement of video games into the real world in bold, unnatural ways.
Dir. Boris Schaarschmidt / USA / 2007 / 15 min.
An elderly groundskeeper clashes with a football team who just don't show enough sensitivity to the wonders of their playing field.
Dir. Alberto Viavattene / Italy / 2008 / 2 min.
An adult film director coaches his new star on the subtleties of succeeding in the porn industry.
Dir. Ben Peters / Canada / 2007 / 4 min.
A Ferrari-fixated mad scientist devises the perfect heist. With a mastery of advanced super-technology, what could possibly go wrong?
Dir. Karl Tebbe / Germany / 2007 / 5 min.
Here at FF, we've always recognized karaoke as a true art. But filmmaker Karl Tebbe succeeds in turning up the karaoke insanity to visually deafening levels in this megashock of musical indulgence.
Dir. Benni Diez and Marinko Spahic / Germany / 2007 / 20 min.
A botched drug deal spirals out of control in a subterranean night club filled with unnameable evils. The action is furious and so are the villains, so be prepared for some whirlwind brutality!
Dir. Luis Berdejo & Borja Cobeaga & Jorge Dorado / Spain / 2007 / 22 min
A trio of surreal takes on the Spaghetti Western genre by three of Spain’s hottest young gun directors.
Dir. Blu / Argentina / 2008 / 8 min.
Street art taken to the illogical, beautiful maximum as an urban landscape is transformed into a moving palette of impossible creatures. Is this the most ambitious animation project of the century? Yes.
Dir. Leslie Ali / UK / 2007 / 6 min.
A strange family finds an even stranger singing cube that leads to an epic battle...kinda. In the tradition of FF feature FUNKY FOREST, this film uses brazen flat-out weirdness to mangle your brain into unstoppable confused laughter.
Dir. Jack Truman / USA / 2008 / 5 min.
A sophisticated older woman pontificates on the myriad pleasures of outdoor plumbing and the human digestive system.
Dir. Daniel Trezise / USA / 2007 / 12 min.
In a socially disconnected future, two people feel a spark, but they'll need to break modern laws to act on their rediscovered humanity.
Dir. Daniel Bruce / Netherlands / 2007 / 10 min.
A terrified young woman grips her steering wheel as she's pursued at high speed on a winding mountain road. A truly intense action mystery that'll burst at least three veins in your forehead.
Dir. Juan Manuel Betancourt / Colombia / 2007 / 13 min.
Some people complain about their life unraveling, but it's rarely as pronounced as in this whimsical, bizarre short from a young Colombian visualist already on par with mighty artists like Michel Gondry.
SENOR PUPPE, EL
Dir. Carlos Crespo / Spain / 2006 / 15 min.
A lonesome, elderly ventriloquist is plagued by his ugly reality and his lil' wooden friend in this unexpectedly comic view of people at the very last rung of society's ladder.
Dir. Julien Zenier / France, Spain / 2008 / 11 min.
When you can't strike out against the world, that only leaves one option. This self-punishing short may very well have the audience running for air.
SOME OF AN EQUATION
Dir. Burke Roberts / USA / 2007 / 8 min.
A jarring exploration of how everything you know can go horribly, irreversibly wrong in a matter of seconds.
Dir. Bobbie Peers / Norway / 2007 / 10 min.
A detached young man finds comfort in his old childhood superhero suit. But the real world isn't nearly as accepting of the powers it holds.
SQUIRREL NEXT DOOR, THE
Dir. Carla Coma / Canada / 2007 / 2 min.
True love sees no barriers...including species. Taxidermy animation that will make you want to run out, kill things and use them to create great art.
Dir. John Crye / USA / 2008 / 10 min.
Cheap thrills come with a very high price as a fresh-faced young partygoer learns that there's more than one side to recreational fun.
TIFFANY PROBLEM, THE
Dir. Adam Green / USA / 2008 / 10 min.
What's more natural than a 32-year-old man (HATCHET's Joel David Moore) wanting to go out trick-or-treating with his friends? When the ol' ball and chain turns him down, things reach a serious boiling point.
Dir. Jason Eisener / Canada / 2008 / 15 min
HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN creators Jason Eisener and Rob Cotterill imagine a yuletide season where the Christmas trees finally even the score for decades of living under the axe of mankind.
VINCENT, LE MAGNIFIQUE
Dir. Pascal Forney / Switzerland / 2008 / 22 min.
The tragically hilarious tale of a would-be magician that just can't seem to perfect his saw-the-lady-in-half illusion. In Vincent's world, success, dignity and willing female stage assistants are hard to come by.
Dir. Anna Solana & Marc Riva / Spain / 2007 / 9 min
Violeta makes a new friend and takes him back home to meet the folks. Too bad the depths of depravity of this family is unparalleled in the history of animation.
Dir. Timothy Cawley / USA / 2007 / 15 min.
A group of people who live in terror of the world reach out to one another when their greatest fears are realized. A quietly romantic look at the apocalypse.
YOU BETTER WATCH OUT
Dir. Steve Callen / Australia / 2007 / 22 min.
A drunken department store Santa is kidnapped and tortured by two severely delusional hoods in this comedy that takes the magic of the holiday season and kicks its ass off.
IMPORTANT FESTIVAL DATES:
Important dates have been announced for the 4thAnnual Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.
Thursday, August 14, 2008: Retrospective titles Announced
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
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 Ain’t It Cool News, Twitchfilm, Gamecock, 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 and the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema South Lamar.