Fantastic Fest

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Little Slice of Fanboy Heaven...

Ain't it Cool News and Fantastic Fest present
Director Patrick Read Johnson and special guests live in person for a sneak preview screening of
at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Downtown on June 6, 7:00 PM

"To everybody else, movies are something to do when you're tired of living real life. To you, real life is something to do when you're tired of watching movies."

That quote is from 5-25-77, an autobiographical , coming-of-age story from writer/director Patrick Read Johnson, all about his final, life-changing, 24 hours as the only science-fiction-obsessed teen filmmaker in his rural home town of Wadsworth, Illinois, on the day STAR WARS opened... May 25th, 1977. Will seeing one movie really change Patrick's entire destiny? All he knows for sure is that the Death Star could take out the Enterprise with one shot.

Produced by the legendary Gary Kurtz (whom you might know from producing a modest sci-fi film in the 1970s called "Star Wars" that you might have seen) and directed by Patrick Read Johnson (Spaced Invaders, Angus), starring John Francis Daley (Sam Weir from FREAKS & GEEKS!), and with years worth of Internet buzz, 5-25-77 is practically guaranteed to please the inner geek in anyone.

The film premiered on 5-25-2007 at the official Star Wars Celebration IV Convention to rave reviews. Since Austin's Ain't It Cool News constitutes one of the fanboy epicenters of the universe, we are next in line for this long-awaited treat.

Join us at the original Alamo Drafthouse Cinema downtown for a special sneak preview screening of 5-25-77 with director Patrick Rad Johnson and special guests live in person on June 6 at 7:00. This screening is free. Reservations are available now first to Fantastic Fest badge holders and Heroes of the Alamo members by pre-purchasing a $10 food/drink voucher at the Alamo downtown website. The remainder of seats will be open to the general public online at 5:00 PM on Friday, June 1.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Eli Roth returns to the Alamo with HOSTEL: PART II

Ain't It Cool News and Fantastic Fest present
Eli Roth live in person
with a sneak preview screening of

For many years, we have been friends with the new crown prince of modern horror, Eli Roth. Harry, Eli, Kier-la and I all met at the Sitges Film Festival in 2001 after an early screening of Cabin Fever. We bonded over cool T-shirts, 80s horror and all things that movie nerds hold near and dear.

Eli has been back to the theater many times over the years: the insane asylum horror all-nighter, QT Fest, multiple Butt-Numb-A-Thons and most importantly, his hosting gig at the Mary Kate and Ashley 18th Birthday Celebration. In short, we go way back. We consider him a very dear friend of the original Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

When word of the closing of the theater came down, Eli jumped at the chance to say farewell one more time to our beloved cinema playhouse. He is taking a break from his very busy promotion schedule to present a special advance sneak-peek screening of his new film, HOSTEL: PART II, to his downtown Alamo Drafthouse extended family.

Reservations for the event become available on Monday, May 28 at noon exclusively to Fantastic Fest badge holders and Heroes of the Alamo members. The screening is free, but you can reserve a seat by pre-purchasing a food and drink voucher. Remaining tickets will be made available to the general public on May 30 at noon. (Tim)

Special thanks to Lionsgate for making this event possible.

HOSTEL: PART II opens in theaters (including the Alamo Drafthouse) on Friday, June 8

(Note: This show is 18 and up, no children are allowed to this screening)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Robosaurus Live : July 2 with Transformers

Ain't It Cool News and Fantastic Fest present
The Ultimate Transformers Experience
Sponsored in part by AT&T

(Austin, Texas) The fanboy event of the summer if not the entire new millenium is almost upon us! Forget Spiderman, Pirates and The Simpsons, this summer will come to a fever-pitch climax on July 4 weekend when the Autobots and the Decepticons wage the most epic battle in cinema history.

At the Alamo, however, we can't just let you walk into the movie cold. In the parking lot, we will be warming you up (literally and figuratively) in an intimate arena where you will catch a live performance by America's original one-and-only real life Transformer, ROBOSAURUS, a fire-breathing, 60 ft. metal-clad car-eating machine. After the show, we will head straight from the arena and into the seats of the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar where Michael Bay's powerhouse cinematic interpretation of the Transformers will play on every screen in the house.

Tickets for this event go on sale to 2007 Fantastic Fest badge holders on Friday, June 15 at 1:00 PM. The remainder of tickets go on sale on Monday June 17 at 1:00 PM. Prices are $25 for regular admission (includes a seat in the Robosaurus Arena and admission to the July 2 10:00 PM Transformers show). We also have a limited number of VIP tickets available for $75 (includes a front-row seat in the Robosaurus arena, a limited-edition, hand-silk-screened Ulitmate Transformers Experience poster, a reserved seat in the biggest theater of Alamo South Lamar to the July 2 10:00 PM Transformers show, and free popcorn and sodas during the film). Tickets are available at

The Ultimate Transformers Experience is sponsored in part by AT&T. Before tickets go on sale to even Fantastic Fest badge holders, customers will have the opportunity to receive up to two free tickets when they “transform” their communications and entertainment services (voice, data, or video) to upgrade their existing services or switch from cable to AT&T. To qualify, orders must be placed in person at an AT&T sponsored event in Austin or at an Austin area AT&T store (formerly Cingular Wireless). Visit your local AT&T store to place orders beginning Monday, May 28.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fantastic Fest 2007 Website launched!

The 2007 Fantastic Fest website has been officially launched with our first content announcement of 9 features and 6 shorts. Once a month for the next three months, we will be announcing a handful of new titles and shorts with the final film roster posted in mid-August which will include over 60 films and 30 shorts. Keep checking back to the Fantastic Fest website for news as it develops. We'll be posting regularly to the Fantastic Fest blog with news, programming and developments. Also, this week, we'll be making a major announcement about an incredible show available for a limited time only to Fantastic Fest badge holders!

My personal two favorites in this batch are both animated films: Aachi and Ssipak, a completely unhinged futuristic Korean animation set in a world fueled by feces and the warring factions vying to control output. The other film I am very excited to announce is Princess, a wildly controversial Danish animation about child pornography and subsequent wicked vengeance. The image of a five-year old victim wielding a crowbar to the nuts of a sex offender is just the type of thing Fantastic Fest attendees need to have seared into their collective retinas. This is just the very beginning of what I promise to be a "fantastic" year.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

First big Fantastic Fest Announcement of 2007

The news annoucements are about to start coming fast and furious. Fantastic Fest will be relaunching it's website on May 15. Look for a new look and feel, plus the first of 4 content announcements. We've already booked about 12 features and and handfull of shorts, all of which will be posted to the website on the 15th.

We have also added Todd Brown, creator of the legendary to the programming team. His site is an unparalleled bounty for those hunting for strange and wonderful films from around the globe.

We have already sold out of our VIP Badges for Fantastic Fest 2007 and expect to sell out of the regular badges well before the festival begins. Stay tuned here for special announcements exclusively for Fantastic Fest badge holders.

On Tuesday, we'll be heading out to the French Riviera where we plan to do what most beach visitors do: cloister ourselves for 14 hours a day in small dark rooms watching strange Asian movies. The Cannes Film Festival Market is the largest, most robust source of new cult film product, so expect a load of great new Fantastic Film from this scouting mission. We'll be sifting through over 4000 films, 900 from Japan and South Korea alone. I'll have a full report upon my return. In the meantime, check back here on May 15 for our first content announcement. Lots of in-your-face film headed straight for your face.