While we’ve known now for some time that Fantastic Fest proper was canceled this year, thanks to the pandemic, what we didn’t know was what our friends at the Drafthouse had in store for us, since they hinted at an event that would help tide us over this year in its absence. Well, last week details and a schedule were finally released for this year’s virtual “Celebration of Fantastic Fest” running from September 24th thru October 1st and promises to be a week of online world premieres and curated events that are FREE to watch on the Alamo On Demand platform to anyone in the United States.
Along with some very on brand selections, including Brandon Cronenberg’s latest transgressive mind trip Possessor, fans can expect the usual Fantastic Fest Traditions in their online iterations such as the patented Fantastic Fest secret screening, Fantastic Feud, 100 Best Kills, Master Pancake and Leonard Maltin’s King of Movies. These online iterations of our favorite events will be paired with an “Immersive Showcase”, featuring hand-picked selections of the best virtual escape rooms from around the world.
My usual go to event every year is the AGFA screening, which this year features a restoration of the supercut of all three Amy Fisher TV movies titled Triple Fisher: The Lethal Lolitas of Long Island. To be honest I can’t wait! Check out a full rundown of events below, and hit up the official site HERE to get more details.
World Premiere of the 4K Restoration
A special re-discovery of an explosive, death-defying, bullet-riddled, grenade-launching, flame-broiled, anti-human megattack. Free to view during the live secret screening and available for Virtual Cinema rental on Alamo On Demand afterwards.
World Premiere, 82 min
Director: Amelia Moses
When indie singer Grey struggles to write her sophomore album, she teams up with a mysterious producer at his secluded cabin. Though their bond strengthens her music, it also starts to irreparably alter Grey’s body and mind.
The Boy Behind the Door
World Premiere, 88 min
Directors: David Charbonier & Justin Powell
After Bobby and his best friend Kevin are kidnapped and taken to a strange house in the middle of nowhere, Bobby manages to escape. But as he starts to make a break for it, he hears Kevin’s screams for help and realizes he can’t leave his friend behind.
World Premiere, 69 min
Director: Tyler Russell
George Hardy (TROLL 2) stars as an overly-ambitious and just-a-little-crazy doctor who accidentally unleashes a giant, man-eating cyst that terrorizes the office in this horrifically funny deluge of gooey special effects.
Daughters of Darkness
Belgium/France/West Germany, 1971
World Premiere of the 4K Restoration from Blue Underground, 87 min
Director: Harry Kümel
The classic lesbian vampire tale reignites the screen as the lives of a young newlywed couple take a dramatically sexy turn after their paths cross with Elizabeth Báthory in a deserted Belgian hotel.
Special Event: An interview with director Harry Kümel, moderated by Kat Ellinger.
US Premiere, 92 min
Director: Chad Faust
When Girl (Bella Thorne) sets out to a no-name small town to track down her deadbeat father, she finds herself wrapped up in a situation far more dangerous and twisted than she expected.
How To Deter A Robber
World Premiere, 81 min
Director: Maria Bissell
Two teens playing amateur detectives get more than they bargained for when they investigate the wrong cabin in this darkly comedic romp.
International Premiere, 124 min
Director: Martin Laroche
Léane Labrèche-Dor gives an unforgettable performance as a woman who struggles with survivor guilt following a civil war in Quebec.
The Old Man Movie
US Premiere, 87 min
Directors: Mikk Mägi & Oskar Lehemaa
Three children must aid their deranged grandfather in recovering his prized cow to prevent a rural cataclysm in this surreal and hysterically scatalogical stop-motion comedy.
UK, Canada 2020
Texas Premiere, 103 min
Director: Brandon Cronenberg
In Brandon Cronenberg’s latest gore soaked sci-fi thriller, identity theft takes on a new meaning as corporate assassins can virtually take over other people to carry out their kills.
Special Event: Join us before our official celebration for a special in-theater premiere September 23rd
The Queen of Black Magic
North American Premiere, 99 min
Director: Kimo Stamboel
Childhood friends Hanif, Jefri, and Anton take their families on a trip to the orphanage where they grew up to pay their final respects to the man who raised them. But they’ll soon discover that the secrets from their past refuse to stay buried.
World Premiere, 105 min
Director: Jill Gevargizian
Few things in life hold more promise than a new hairstyle. But the women who visit stylist Claire’s chair get more than they bargained for, bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase “extreme makeover” in Jill Gevargizian’s first feature film, based on her acclaimed 2016 short.
International Premiere, 88 min
Directors: Ludovic Boukherma & Zoran Boukherma
In a rural French town, twenty-something Teddy is scratched by an unknown beast and slowly undergoes frightening changes.
AGFA presents Triple Fisher: The Lethal Lolitas of Long Island
Austin Premiere of HD Restoration
Director: Dan Kapelovitz
Drew Barrymore, Alyssa Milano, and Noelle Parker are Amy Fisher in this meta-melodramatic mashup of three TV movies that would make Brian De Palma proud.
The Wolf of Snow Hollow
Texas Premiere, 84 min Director: Jim Cummings
A small mountain town full of quirky characters is thrown into chaos when dead bodies start piling up after every full moon in Jim Cummings’ supremely fun foray into horror.
Special Event: Join us after our official celebration for a special in-theater premiere, October 8th at Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane.
A celebration of some of the year’s most fantastic short film offerings, spanning a myriad of genres and sensibilities.
Blocks Dir. Bridget Moloney, USA
Forbidden to See Us Scream in Tehran Dir. Farbod Ardebili, Iran/USA, World Premiere
I Love Your Guts Dir. David Janove, USA, Texas Premiere
Jack and Jo Don’t Want Die Dir. Kantú Lentz, USA, Texas Premiere
Please Hold Dir. KD Davila, USA, World Premiere
Solution For Sadness Dir. Marc Martínez Jordán & Tuixén Benet Cosculluela, Spain, World Premiere
(You’ll Make It In) Florida Dir. Phil Chernyak, USA, Texas Premiere
A parade of short-form horror in all its permutations, from “Boo!” to “Eww!”
Abracitos Dir. Tony Morales, Spain, US Premiere
Blitzkrieg Dir. Alexander Lemus Gadea, Spain, World Premiere
Fish Whiskers Dir. Roney, Canada, World Premiere
Great Choice Dir. Robin Comisar, USA
Heat Dir. Thessa Meijer, The Netherlands, Texas Premiere
Milk Teeth Dir. Felipe Vargas, USA, Texas Premiere
Mime Dir. Ruwan Heggelman, The Netherlands, Austin Premiere
Mourn Dir. Joanna Tsanis, Canada, World Premiere
Otttie Dir. Paola Ossa, USA, Texas Premiere
Stuck Dir. David Mikalson, USA, World Premiere
The Three Men You Meet at Night Dir. Beck Kitsis, USA, Texas Premiere
SHORTS WITH LEGS
The experimental and the esoteric; shorts that upset conventions and defy expectations.
Düsseldorf Dir. Mike Lars White, USA, Texas Premiere
Emergency Action Plan Dir. Dylan Redford, USA, Texas Premiere
Hipolita Dir. Everardo Felipe, Mexico, World Premiere
How to Re-Caulk Your Tub Dir. Sean Pierce, USA, Austin Premiere
Lusty Crest Dir. Kati Skelton, USA
Mickey Reece’s Belle Île Dir. Mickey Reece, USA, World Premiere
They Salivate Dir. Arianne Boukerche, France, Austin Premiere
Unfinished Business Dir. Mary Dauterman, USA, Texas Premiere
DRAWN AND QUARTERED
After a 6-year hiatus, Fantastic Fest’s animation showcase returns!
Ghost Dogs Dir. Joe Cappa, USA, US Premiere
Homo ErecTattoos Dir. Tae-woo KIM, South Korea, US Premiere
Jimi Dir. Joren Cull, Canada, World Premiere
A Night in Camp Heebie Jeebie Dir. Dylan Chase, USA, Texas Premiere
Pilar Dir. Yngwie Boley, J.J. Epping & Diana van Houten, The Netherlands/Belgium, US Premiere
Routine: The Prohibition Dir. Sam Orti, Spain, US Premiere
The Shawl Dir. Sara Kiener, USA
Star Crossed Dir. Jon Frier, USA, Texas Premiere
Thin Blue Variety Show Dir. Gretta Wilson, USA, Texas Premiere
Tomorrow I Will Be Dirt: Scenes From the Afterlife of Lothar Schramm Dir. Robert Morgan, UK, North American Premiere
PARTIES AND EVENTS
“Fantastic Fest’s special events, parties and amiable mayhem are among the things that set it apart from any other festival,” says Zack Carlson, Creative Producer. “Any celebration of FF absolutely needs to include those traditions, and though the cold fist of 2020 may prohibit us from having a food fight or demolition derby, we’re still here to bring the good-natured chaos.”
Master Pancake: Invasion of the Bee Girls
Director: Denis Sanders
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Master Pancake, John Erler, Owen Egerton and friends are revising one of the very first films they ever roasted back in the year 2000.
100 Best Kills: Decapattack!
FF’s life-defying clip show returns from the grave with a dazzling onslaughter of the 100 finest decapitations in the nation!
Fantastic Fest Triviadome
The Drafthouse’s beloved movie trivia night returns just for Fantastic Fest! Start coming up with your clever team name now and study up! Featuring a round in honor of Fantastic Fest tradition Nerd Rap, written and performed by superstars of years past.
Filmmakers, journalists and various other movie megamasters collide in this no-holds-barred deathride of useless cinematic information and on-screen in(s)anity, all masterminded by Triviadome’s teeny-tiny host Maxim Pozderac.
King of Movies: The Leonard Maltin Game Challenge
Beat the Hollywood screenwriters and win glory and an exclusive Mondo Prize Pack! Enter to play against a trio of Fantastic Fest Favorite writers in Mondo’s brand new game KING OF MOVIES.
For 51 years, Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide served as the film geek’s Holy Bible, an annually updated softcover brick of a reference book, packed with thoughtful, witty, and occasionally weird capsule reviews of thousands of films. Those synopses are at the heart of King of Movies: The Leonard Maltin Game, a tabletop casual party game of creative invention and hilarious deception.
In King of Movies, it doesn’t matter if you’ve seen every film ever made or if you’ve never seen a movie in your life. The fun is in the fibbing. One player reads a movie title and the other players invent a short synopsis in Leonard Maltin’s unique style, with the goal being to trick the other players into thinking theirs is the real Maltin review. If you choose the real Maltin or you fool another player, you score.
Harkening back to the Satanic Panic Escape Room, VR debuts and Mondo Games First Looks of years past, this year features hand-picked selections of the best virtual escape rooms from around the world, curated by Cara Mandel (Story Experience Producer, Meow Wolf and Co-founder/CEO, Interwoven Immersive, Inc.) and Rachel Walker (Head of Programming & Creative, Drafthouse LA).
“As someone who was on track to completing 120 physical escape rooms, I was initially skeptical of how this beloved artform could be adapted to virtual play.” Says Mandel, “but I can now confidently say that these remote escape rooms are emerging as an exciting new artform unto itself. It has opened up this world to players internationally and is proving that innovative creators will thrive in any format. I’m so excited to be able to shine a spotlight on just a handful of the many wonderful online experiences available right now.”
Adds Walker, “The five selected experiences represent how escapes have adapted to the virtual space, in many cases providing an experience that simply could not be replicated in a physical room alone. It’s a thrill to be able to highlight them and support an industry going so outside of the box with narrative storytelling.”
All rooms will be keeping Fantastic Fest only scoreboards, with top times announced each day.
How to book: At 12:00pm CST on Sept 11th, anyone who purchased a 2020 Fantastic Fest Badge prior to cancellation of our badged event will be sent an email with instructions on how to book the rooms at a discounted rate and have 72 hours to book. After 72 hours, instructions will be posted on FantasticFest.com and on Fantastic Fest socials. After another 48 hours, the Fantastic Fest holds on those slots will be opened up to the general public. Tickets will be booked directly through the rooms’ individual ticketing sites, so 100% of the ticket price will be going straight to the creators.
EVIL DEAD 2 REMOTE ESCAPE ROOM
Created by Hourglass Escapes (Washington)
Synopsis: You get a strange email from your paranormal investigation group “Gnostic Research of the Occult, Omens, Vampires, and Yetis” aka G.R.O.O.V.Y. Seems your leader decided to break into the old Knowby cabin and can’t escape…You and your team must guide him via his ghost gear technology through this misadventure so he can escape and find a way return the evil dead to their realm and escape before the cabin is sucked into the time-space vortex forever.
THE TRUTH ABOUT EDITH
Created by Mad Genius Escape Rooms (Oregon)
Synopsis: You may recognize Edith Humphreys, your sweet neighbor with 24 cats. You may have even helped her out, snooped around her apartment. But there’s something about Edith that doesn’t quite add up… she looks way younger than she is, she says she was born in 1902 but that she’s 97 years young… and she lives at a business called Mad Genius Escapes?! What is going on here…The Truth About Edith is an hour-long, cooperative, timed adventure sprinkled with interactive theater and a good dose of humor! This game is an eccentric mix of a video game, an escape room, and a great who-done-it story.
Created by: Emergency Exits (Manchester, UK)
Synopsis: Exorcist Online will take you deep into the history of Crowley manor which was last owned by the infamous Aleister Crowley. You will join your tour guide via remote feed and control them on this haunted adventure. The real excitement is the history of Crowley’s mysteries and puzzles. This house has been famous throughout history as there have been many disappearances over the years. It is said that Aleister Crowley is still trying to trick and trap his victims from beyond the Grave. Enjoy the tour but DO NOT out-stay your welcome.
Created by Legendary Quest (Ukraine)
Synopsis: Avatar is a traveler of worlds, whose vocation is to maintain a balance of good and evil on earth. Having traveled into a parallel realm, Avatar needs help from the support team (you!) to complete the mission and survive! This fascinating interactive live- action race against the clock is stylized as a video game, complete with cut scenes and a HUD, reminiscent of titles like Duke Nukem, Half Life and Tomb Raider. Players use voice commands to navigate the hero across a 2000 square foot warehouse, and complete tasks that appear along the way. Non-linear gameplay allows for over 100 different variations of adventure.
PURSUIT OF THE ARTIST ASSASSIN
Created by: Omescape (California)
Synopsis: In Pursuit of the Assassin Artist, you will be teaming up with a secret agent to discover the secrets of the world-famous modern artist. A live-action room created just for the virtual space, Pursuit employs a unique function of your character being able to die and come back to life with all the knowledge acquired previously. This allows for unpredictable gameplay, keeping both your team and the live actors on their toes. Filled with innovative puzzles and easter eggs that win you achievements, this brand new room is a shining example of how to create a truly immersive experience for a virtual audience.
THE BEST OF FANTASTIC FEST SIX PACK ON ALAMO ON DEMAND
We have curated a collection of over 120 (and growing) of our favorite Fantastic Fest films on Alamo on Demand. The programming team has curated six of our favorite films from this collection and for the duration of September, we are offering this “Best of Fantastic Fest Six Pack” for 25% off purchase or rental. Check out the six pack and the complete collection here.
This year’s Celebration of Fantastic Fest is open to anyone within the United States, no badge necessary. The majority of films and events are FREE to access, though some have limited capacity and will require an RSVP in advance. Instructions for accessing these films and events will be provided closer to the event.