Fantastic Fest Preview

In just over two weeks I’ll be attending Fantastic Fest at the Alamo Drafthouse.  I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I found out how many cool movies I missed last year.  Now, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go a year without attending this week-long festival of horror, crime, sci-fi, and the generally weird.

As a form of preparation (and a round of blog fodder), I thought I’d run through which movies I’m really looking forward to.  Surely, this will make for nearly a week with no updates.


Oh, well.  Bite me.

Cargo 200 (2007, Russia, director: Aleksei Balabanov)
Acclaimed Russian director Balabanov’s tale interweaves stories of cowardice, corruption and horror set against the backdrop of the birth of perestroika in the Soviet Union.

Doctor Infierno (2008, Spain, director: Paco Limon)
A demented gynecologist discovers a cure for all the world’s illnesses and uses it as leverage to become sole dictator of the earth. Jam-packed with monsters, kung fu, battling robots and deviant sexual practices, DR. INFIERNO doesn’t let budget get in the way of executing a mountain of crazy ideas. Director Paco Limon live in person!

Donkey Punch (2008, United Kingdom, director: Oliver Blackburn)
Seven sexy young Brits are hanging out on a “borrowed” yacht for a day of drugs, debauchery, and ultimately donkey punching. It’s the last activity that causes everything to unravel.

Ex Drummer (2007, Belgium, director: Koen Mortier)
Three low-life handicapped losers recruit an arrogant and abusive author to play drums in their punk band. Layered with brutality, surrealism and bloody violence, EX DRUMMER is like no music film you’ve ever seen.

How to Get Rid of the Others (2007, Denmark, director: Anders Rønnow Klarlund)
When it is discovered that the least productive 5% of Danish society consumes 60% of government spending, the conservative politicians decide to quietly eradicate the problem.

I Think We’re Alone Now (2007, USA, director: Sean Donnelly)
This fascinating and severely disturbing documentary takes you deep into the worlds and obsessions of Kelly McCormick and Jeffery Deane Turner, who have been separately stalking 80s pop icon Tiffany for nearly 20 years.

Let the Right One In (2008, Sweden, director: Tomas Alfredson)
An awkward, introverted boy (Oskar) befriends a new neighbor girl (Eli) who helps him to confront the bullies at school. Eli, however, has a dark secret, and there are bodies piling up at the local morgue.

South of Heaven (2007, USA, director: J.L. Vara)
Two brothers on the wrong side of everyone must face an endless array of torture, terrors and indignities in this darkly comic and visually striking noir. Director J.L. Vara live in person!

The Tingler (1959, USA, director: William Castle)
William Castle’s masterpiece, an electrifying celebration of tactile horror that culminates in a shocking climax which audience members may never recover from. For this special presentation, the theater at the Alamo will be wired to recreate Castle’s greatest gimmick: “Percepto!”

Tokyo Gore Police (2008, Japan, director: Yoshihiro Nishimura)
The privatized Tokyo police force led by Audition‘s Eihi Shiina is authorized to execute judgment on the spot. They are threatened, however, by a breed of “engineers,” genetically modified super-villains who grow mutant weapons from their injuries and amputations.

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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

The Burrowers
US Premiere / Dir. J.T. Petty / USA / 2008 / 97 min
Director J.T. Petty live in person!
A cross-country manhunt searches for an abducted woman and a marauding Indian tribe, but the real villains don’t ride horses… they burrow from beneath the ground.

The Chaser
North American Premiere / Dir. Hong-jin Na / South Korea / 2008 / 123 min
A serial killer is preying on call-girls from various escort agencies. In the midst of police indifference and incompetence, Jung-Ho (Yun-Seok Kim), an ex-cop-turned-pimp must dust off his old flatfoot skills to find the killer and save the life of one of his girls who has gone missing.

Special Advance Screening / Dir. Kyle Newman / USA / 2008 / 90 min
Director Kyle Newman, producer Matt Perniciaro, screenwriter Ernie Cline and star Jaime King live in person!
Desperate to see STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE, five high school friends break into Skywalker Ranch to steal an early cut of the film.

US Premiere / Dir. Antti-Jussi Annila / Finland / 2007 / 93 min
While mapping the new border between Russia and Finland after the war, the joint task force stumbles upon a mysterious sauna in a remote swamp, a sauna that allegedly has the power to wash away all sins.

The Wild Man of the Navidad
Regional Premiere / Dir. Duane Graves and Justin Meeks / USA / 2008 / 86 min
Directors Duane Graves and Justin Meeks live in person!
Purportedly based on actual events, THE WILDMAN OF THE NAVIDAD tells the story of a small Texas community along the banks of the Navidad river who were terrorized for years by a mysterious creature.

The Wreck
World Premiere / Dir James Koya Jones / USA / 2008 / 79 min
Director James Koya Jones live in person!
A very pregnant woman and her husband are trapped in the woods in a demolished sedan and her water has just broken. They are in a really bad situation, and it gets a LOT worse.