FANTASTIC FEST 2013 APPROACHES!

 

FANTASTIC FEST 2013
Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from all around the world. In years past the festival has been home to world premieres of FRANKENWEENIE, RED DAWN, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 & 4, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, APOCALYPTO, ZOMBIELAND and RED while the guest roster has included such talent as Tim Burton, Andy and Lana Wachowski, Mel Gibson, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Ryan Reynolds, Karl Urban, Josh Hartnett, The RZA, Dolph Lundgren, Paul Rudd, Bill Pullman, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kevin Smith, Jon Favreau, George Romero, Darren Aronofsky and Mike Judge. Fantastic Fest also features world, national and regional premieres of new, up-and-coming genre films. Fantastic Fest has seen the acquisition of many titles, including BULLHEAD, KILL LIST, MONSTERS, KLOWN, THE FP, PENUMBRA, HERE COMES THE DEVIL, NO REST FOR THE WICKED, VANISHING WAVES, COMBAT GIRLS and I DECLARE WAR. Fantastic Fest is held each year at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas. Alamo Drafthouse has been named the best theater in the country by Entertainment Weekly, Wired and TIME. Variety included Fantastic Fest in a list of “10 Film Festivals We Love,” and was also named one of the “25 coolest film festivals” by Moviemaker Magazine.

In a little over a month, the 9th Fantastic Fest will begin here in Austin, TX. I attended last year and had one of the most Fantastic (pun intended) weeks, seeing some incredible films, meeting some great people and witnessing some darn epic shit. If you are an Austinite and/or a film geek, this is an event you need to check out. I’m always surprised how many locals do not know that something so great happens right on their doorstep. I’ve already published an introduction to Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline, the home to the festival for this year while the South Lamar location undergoes redevelopment. Most of the Cinapse team are based here in Austin and we currently expect to have 6+ of the crew attending the festival. As such we are aiming to provide a huge amount of coverage both during and after the festival. We’re REALLY looking forward to it, hope you join us for the ride!

Two waves of film announcements have so far been made, correlated into one list [from the official press releases] below.

AFFLICTED (Canada, 2013)
US Premiere
Director – Clif Prowse, 85 mins
Derek and Clif, best friends documenting their journey across the world, are in for an unexpected adventure when one of them comes down with a sinister sickness.

ALMOST HUMAN (USA, 2013)
US Premiere
Director – Joe Begos, 80 mins
A man who disappeared under mysterious circumstances returns to wreak havoc upon a small town.

BIG BAD WOLVES (Israel, 2013)
Texas Premiere
Director- Navot Papushado & Aharon Keshales, 110 mins
The directing team behind the 2010 cult smash RABIES return to Fantastic Fest with one of the best genre films of 2013.

BLUE RUIN (USA, 2013)
US Premiere
Director – Jeremy Sauliner, 90 mins
A homeless man aims to avenge his dead parents when their killer is released from prison, triggering a chain of events that will only end in more blood.

BORGMAN (The Netherlands, 2013)
US Premiere
Director – Alex van Warmerdam, 113 mins
Something wicked this way comes in the form of the ordinary, the polite and the normal as a drifter and his followers invade the home of a bourgeois family.

CHEAP THRILLS (United States, 2013)
Special Encore Presentation
Director – E.L. Katz, 85 mins
A recently fired father facing eviction is paid to take on an escalating series of insane challenges from a rich couple with a twisted sense of humor. World Premiered at SXSW 2013.

COHERENCE (USA, 2013)
World Premiere
Director – James Ward Byrkit, 127 mins
On the night a comet is passing near Earth, a dinner party takes an odd turn. When the power goes out, eight friends discover that the only house on the street left with power also holds many secrets.

CONGRESS, THE (Israel, Germany, 2013)
North American Premiere
Director – Ari Folman, 122 mins
Robin Wright (playing herself) receives the last offer she’ll ever get from a Hollywood studio in Ari Folman’s adaptation of Stanislaw Lem’s classic scifi novel, and his follow-up to WALTZ WITH BASHIR.

 

COMMANDO – A ONE MAN ARMY (India, 2013)
US Premiere
Director- Dilip Ghosh, 120min
Singing! Dancing! Extreme violence and goofy one-liners from Bollywood’s answer to Tony Jaa and Marko Zaror! If Cannon Films were to relocate to India, COMMANDO would be the result!

EEGA (India, 2012)
Austin Premiere
Director – SriSaila Sri Rajamouli, 107 mins
A murdered man reincarnates as a fly to wreak vengeance on the villain who took his life and his lover. EEGA is an inventive, insane take on a revenge story unlike anything you’ve seen before.

FIELD IN ENGLAND, A (England, 2013)
North American Premiere
Director – Ben Wheatley, 90 mins
During the British Civil War, when magic was science, an alchemist forces a group of deserters to help him locate buried treasure, and sends them all straight into the mouth of madness.

GOLDBERG AND EISENBERG (Israel, 2013)
World Premiere
Director – Oren Carmi, 91 mins
A psychopath develops a dangerous obsession with a schlubby computer programmer.

GRAND PIANO (Spain, 2013)
World Premiere
Director – Eugenio Mira, 90 mins
A renowned concert pianist (Elijah Wood) returns to the stage for one final performance, only to become the target of a sadistic cat-and-mouse game with a faceless sniper (John Cusack).

HALLEY (Mexico/The Netherlands, 2013)
Texas Premiere
Director – Sebastian Hofmann, 83 mins
Though Beto’s life may technically be over, he allows himself to experience it one last time before his body completely falls apart in this unique and contemplative horror film.

HENTAI KAMEN: FORBIDDEN SUPER HERO (Japan, 2013)
Texas Premiere
Director – Yuichi FUKUDA, 105 mins
A new hero has arisen in Japan: One with fishnet stockings, a mankini, and a pair of women’s panties over his face. When conventional justice fails, make way for the Hentai Kamen.

 

KID’S POLICE (Japan, 2013)
North American Premiere
Director – Yuichi FUKUDA, 100 mins
When evil criminal organization Red Venus strikes, there’s only one team of highly specialized cops who can help. Unfortunately, they’ve been dosed with anti-aging gas that has turned them all into children.

LFO (Sweden/Denmark, 2013)
World Premiere
Director – Antonio Tublen, 94 mins
A solitary man discovers audio frequencies that open the human mind wide to hypnotic suggestion and, ultimately, his total control in this slyly deadpan dark comedy from Sweden.

MAN OF TAI CHI (United States, 2013)
US Premiere
Director – Keanu Reeves, 105 mins
Keanu Reeves stars in and directs this epic tale about a young martial artist who must compete in an underground fight club to protect his way of life. As the fights intensify so does his will to survive.

MARUYAMA THE MIDDLE SCHOOLER (Japan, 2013)
North American Premiere
Director – Kankuro Kudo, 119 mins
A middle school student prone to wild daydreams devotes his waking hours to stretching and flexibility exercises with the ultimate goal of one day being able to lick his own penis.

MIRAGE MEN (United Kingdom, 2013)
North American Premiere
Director – John Lundberg, 85 mins
A mind-scrambling documentary that posits that popular myths about the existence of UFOs originated from a disinformation campaign by the U.S. government.

NARCO CULTURA (United States, 2013)
Texas Premiere
Director – Shaul Schwarz, 103 mins
NARCO CULTURA is a graphically disturbing documentary that examines the parallels between the Mexican drug war and the increasingly popular musical style of narcocorridos (drug ballads).

 

NIGHTBREED – THE CABAL CUT (United Kingdom, 2012)
Texas Premiere
Directors – Russell Cherrington, 144 mins
NIGHTBREED: THE CABAL CUT is a new director’s cut of Clive Barker’s horror classic that places the film in an entirely different light.

NORTHWEST (Denmark, 2013)
Regional Premiere
Director – Michael Noer, 91 mins
A teen hoodlum in Copenhagen becomes entangled in the criminal underworld

NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN (Germany, 2013)
North American Premiere
Director – Katrin Gebbe, 110 mins
Tore, a member of the counter-culture Christian movement Jesus Freaks, is befriended and taken in by a family who play an increasingly cruel, violent game and push his capacity to love to its limits.

O’APOSTOLO (Spain, 2013)
Texas Premiere
Director – Fernando Cortizo, 87 mins
Gothic legends are brought to life by gorgeous stop-motion animation in this adult fantasy film from Spain.

ON THE JOB (Philippines, 2013)
US Premiere
Director – Erik Matti, 200 min
Corruption abounds in this stylish, Cannes-selected, ripped-from-the-headlines story of prisoners released on a day pass to work as killers. The cops must bring them in, never knowing how far the corruption spreads and who they can trust.

OUR HEROES DIED TONIGHT (France, 2013)
North American Premiere
Director – David Perrault, 94 mins
Freshly returned home from a stint in the French Foreign Legion, Victor finds work as a reluctantly villainous masked wrestler in this marvelously crafted ode to film noir from first-time director David Perrault.

 

PATRICK (Australia, 2013)
North American Premiere
Director – Mark Hartley, 95 mins
Nurse Kathy Jaquard didn’t expect a lot of trouble on the coma ward but she gets more than she can handle when she meets the telekinetic Patrick in Mark Hartley’s remake of the Ozsploitation classic.

PROXY (USA, 2013)
US Premiere
Director – Zack Parker, 120 mins
American director Zack Parker delivers an unexpected, nasty little thriller about a woman whose life spins out of control following an attack on her unborn child.

RESURRECTION OF A BASTARD, THE (The Netherlands, 2013)
Regional Premiere
Director – Guido van Driel, 89 mins
Adapted from his own graphic novel by first time writer-director Guido van Driel, RESURRECTION OF A BASTARD tells the darkly funny, Coen-esque tale of a career thug caught in an existential crisis.

SEPTIC MAN (Canada, 2013)
World Premiere
Director – Jesse Thomas Cook, 83 mins
An erstwhile plumber undergoes a hideous transformation when trapped inside a septic tank and tormented by the bizarre residents of his town’s sewage treatment plant.

SHE WOLF (Argentina, 2013)
North American Premiere
Director – Tamae Garateguy, 92 mins
A sexual predator roams the streets and trains of Buenos Aires, a beautiful woman who uses sex to lure in her victims. A potent, punk rock spin on Euro-sleaze influences in this raw, erotic thriller.

TALES FROM THE ORGAN TRADE (Canada, 2013)
Austin Premiere
Director – Ric Bienstock, 82 mins
David Cronenberg narrates this fascinating documentary about the secret world of international organ trafficking.

 

VIC + FLO SAW A BEAR (Canada, 2013)
US Premiere
Director – Denis Côté, 95 mins
An ex-con named Vic and her lover Flo retreat to a sugar shack in a small Quebec town to start anew. Their attempt to live a normal life slowly and disastrously unravels.

WHY DON’T YOU PLAY IN HELL (Japan, 2013)
US Premiere
Director – Sion Sono, 126 mins
Things get insanely bloody when an inspiring film troupe known as The Fuck Bombers collide with a yakuza boss who wants to make a movie with his daughter, in Fantastic Fest veteran Sion Sono’s (LOVE EXPOSURE; SUICIDE CLUB) latest.

WITCHING AND BITCHING (Spain, 2013)
US Premiere
Director – Alex de la Iglesia, 120 mins
Hit Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia (THE LAST CIRCUS) returns to Fantastic Fest with a hilarious and gory tale of thieves who find themselves in over their heads when faced with a coven of bloodthirsty witches.

 

A healthy smattering of awesome and ‘what the fuck’, right? Just the way I like my Fantastic Fests! Currently The Congress, Hentai Kamen and Kids Police stand out in my mind, more to still be announced but the 2013 Fantastic Fest is shaping up to be a doozy. Let us know what you’re looking forward to or if there’s anything you’d like to see covered by Cinapse in the comments section.

the author

Originally harkening from the British Isles, Jon was exiled to Texas back in 2007 to help conceal his identity as a love child of the Queen. Jon has both embraced and been embraced by the wonderful city of Austin, a place which has only further enhanced his interest in film. By day he is a researcher at UT Austin but he also has an involvement with (and deep appreciation for) the local brewing industry. In summary, his passions are Cinema, craft beer and also writing about himself in the third person. Follow me on Twitter: @Texas_Jon