Woohoo! Hello friendos, it’s that time of the year again. Fantastic Fest (‘Nerd Christmas’ to us film geeks) runs from September 22nd through the 29th this year, and I am very excited! This will be my third year covering the most fun, least pretentious film festival on this spinning marble of madness, and if it’s anything like the past two years, it’s going to be bonkers. If you love watching movies and having a crazy good time, you owe it to yourself to get down to the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin, TX and check out the festivities. Once you do, you won’t ever want to miss out — it’s that much fun.
Attending Fantastic Fest is like going to film camp. There’s a cool vibe with a fun crowd and each year you see old friends and make new ones. The programming is superb, attendees are entertained and educated with a diverse selection of movies from around the globe, and there are unique events like the Fantastic Debates where contestants participate in verbal combat over a chosen topic before physically duking it out in the ring. There are rap battles, food fights in the back alley, Christmas parties in September, and dozens and dozens of killer movies, old and new.
The first wave of films for the 2016 fest was announced today and there’s plenty to look forward to. Poster collectors hoping to catch a glimpse of themselves on the big screen will be happy to hear that 24 x 36: A Movie About Movie Posters will be screening. Stanley Kubrick freaks will be pumped for S is for Stanley, Alex Infascelli’s documentary about Emilio D’Alessandro, Kubrick’s personal assistant for more than thirty years. There’s a block of new and repertory features from India, a new film from Werner Herzog, Phantasm: Remastered and the world premier of Phantasm: Ravager with special guest Don Coscarelli, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children with Tim Burton in attendance. There’s plenty of other goods in the gravy too.
Check out the 2016 logo and the official release below:
Tim Burton (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) & Don Coscarelli (Phantasm: Ravager) among the honored guests in attendance
Austin, TX – Tuesday, August 2, 2016 – Fantastic Fest announces its first wave of programming for its 12th annual celebration of genre-twisting cinema. This year’s festival sees Tim Burton make a triumphant return for a most peculiar red carpet screening of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children; the World Premiere of Phantasm: Ravager; an Art House Theater Day special screening of Phantasm: Remastered with Don Coscarelli and cast in attendance; breakout star and Texas native Sasha Lane will be in attendance to host Andrea Arnold’s fever dream of youth in revolt, American Honey.
“We really wanted to challenge the edges of what ‘genre’ means this year,” said Tim League, Fantastic Fest Founder and Alamo Drafthouse CEO. “This world of cinema has evolved so dramatically since our first festival in 2005, and we want to be part of the change by exposing audiences to films, formats and filmmakers that they may never otherwise see. I’m proud of the diversity of experiences we’ll be bringing to Austin this September.”
This year’s Fantastic Fest has traveled all the way to South Asia for its annual theme as it embraces the “dishoom!” (the sound of a punch landing in 60’s Bollywood films) of Indian cinema and its superlative culinary delights. A dedicated Indian block of new and repertory features have been carefully crafted to showcase the wildly creative world of the second most populous country. Included in this program is the director’s cut of Psycho Raman, the hyper violent onslaught from India’s most notorious filmmaker, Anurag Kashyareap; the sweeping, 400-year epic of masala madness, Magadheera; and the ultra-stylish Bollywood gangster oddity, Khalnayak.
“It is a dream come true to bring the glorious excess and pageantry of Indian cinema to Fantastic Fest,” said Evrim Ersoy, Head of Programming. “We are celebrating not only Bollywood but also Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam cinema, highlighting the kaleidoscope of textures and content that is as wide and varied as the subcontinent itself. Guests will experience the cutting edge from these regions and discover rare classics. This is a proud and vibrant world of film that that will surprise, shock and astound at Fantastic Fest.”
This year’s Fantastic Fest also celebrates Don Coscarelli’s iconic Phantasm universe with the World Premiere of the series’ latest installment, Phantasm: Ravager. This will be accompanied by a special screening of Phantasm: Remastered, which will stream live to art house theaters all across the country that are celebrating Art House Theater Day on September 24th. Coscarelli will be joined in attendance with cast members and Ravager director David Hartman. Film collectibles specialists Mondo will also be participating with poster, apparel and soundtrack releases made exclusively for the screenings.
This year marks the first time that Fantastic Fest has entered the virtual reality space, and it’s doing so in a big way. Partnering with Los Angeles VR studio Dark Corner, Fantastic Fest will be World Premiering a terrifying VR experience from the team that wrecked senses with their 360-hospital-shocker Catatonic. Founded by commercial director extraordinaire Guy Shelmerdine, Dark Corner is the world’s first genre VR studio and they will be showcasing their very best. Mule is Shelmerdine’s eagerly awaited World Premiere is the follow-up to Catatonic. An emotional, fast-paced hell-ride that catapults the viewer through the final shocking moments of a man’s life (and beyond), Mule will also see the unveiling of a new, custom-designed installation tied to the film’s plot that Shelmerdine promises to be “bigger, more immersive, and more terrifying” than anything they’ve done before.
Dark Corner will also be showcasing Justin Denton’s two-part horror experience, Burlap. Existing as both a traditional 2D short film and an immersive VR experience, Burlap depicts a disturbed killer who zeroes in on an unfortunate babysitter to complete the creation of his secret “masterpiece.” Audiences can watch the short film, then step inside the story with Burlap: Reflections, where they will experience the killer’s sinister obsession firsthand. In addition, Dark Corner will be bringing Catatonic to terrorize Texan audiences for the first time.
“We’re incredibly excited to be an integral part of Fantastic Fest and share our experiences with their global audience,” said Dark Corner founder Guy Shelmerdine. “These films represent unforgettable journeys that are intended to push the boundaries of what 360º immersive storytelling can be. We cannot wait to unleash them.”
Internet video skull-rewinders Everything Is Terrible!bring their brain-melting, eye-shattering, jaw-dropping mayhem to Fantastic Fest for the first time with the World Premiere of their latest assemblage of found footage transdimensional travel. From cat massage to Satanic panic to tap-dancing computers, the EIT! experience is like nothing else in the universe, as they distill and compile the most hilarious/disturbing/unacceptable/impossible images from the past several decades and transform them into a 9000-ton bullet aimed right at the human race’s collective cortex.
Legendary exploitation filmmaker James Bryan (Lady Street Fighter; Don’t Go In the Woods) will be on hand to World Premiere his never-before-seen VHS-era horror masterpiece Jungle Trap. Shot in 1990, the film was shelved unedited and without a musical soundtrack, but has finally been cut and scored a quarter century later. A rampaging, top-notch camcorder adventure packed with ghosts, cannibal warriors, drunken pilots and bloodthirsty elderly bellboys, the world is only just now (sort of) ready for the decapitating delights of Jungle Trap.
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