Fantastic Fest

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Got Kevin Smith questions? We've got some answers!

I've heard word that there have been some questions about the opening night film for Fantastic Fest on September 18, so I wanted to address some of those here, and create this post as a place where you can ask more questions as well.

ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO plays Thursday, September 18 at the Paramount Theater as part of a double feature with the WORLD AIR SEX CHAMPIONSHIPS. Tickets are available through, and there are two different ticket prices - we have 150 VIP tickets that will have access to premium seats in the theater and will include a wrist band that will get you into the official after party after the Air Sex winner is crowned.

VIP tickets are $42, and regular seating tickets are $21. Ticket buyers will have the ability to choose their seats when they purchase online, so you'll want to figure out how many people are in your group and buy tickets together, as it won't be general admission on the night of the show.

Fantastic Fest badgeholders don't need to purchase tickets at all, as we've got a section of seats reserved for you, and you WILL be able to sit in a general admission style. VIP badgeholders will be able to pick up their badges starting the day before the opening (Weds, Sept 17), and regular badgeholders will be able to pick up their badges on the afternoon of the 18th.

If you have a second-half or day badge only, however, you will not have badgeholder access to ZACK AND MIRI and will still need to buy tickets if you'd like to be at this show.

That should clear up most of the questions I've seen come through so far, but if you've got more leave them as a comment and I'll comment back at ya.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kevin Smith makes a porno with `Zack and Miri'

Zack and Miri Make a Porno will have it's US Premiere in Austin, Texas as the opening night film of the 2008 Fantastic Fest. Tickets go on sale on Saturday, August 30 on or the Paramount Theater box office.

Below is the AP News story with further info on the film:

By DAVID GERMAIN, AP Movie WriterTue Aug 26, 8:09 AM ET

Kevin Smith likes to watch porn online, not to get his jollies but to marvel at how extreme the art of exhibitionist sex can be.

"I'm a morning porn peruser, and not for the titillation factor. I just find it interesting," said Smith, whose latest comedy is "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," the tale of best friends shooting their own skin flick to dig themselves out of debt. "I'll go read Google news, I'll go read Guardian UK, go read our Web site, and then if I've got nothing else, I will just peruse the porn sites, because it's an ever-expanding world."

"Just when you see the most outlandish clip you could ever see, somebody introduces something new. I just check in periodically just to see how far porn has gone in my absence," Smith said after screening "Zack and Miri" for The Associated Press at his Los Angeles home last week.

Debuting Oct. 31, "Zack and Miri" stars Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as lifelong buddies who have shared an apartment for years but never considered each other as potential mates.

Writer-director Smith — whose films include "Clerks," "Dogma" and "Chasing Amy" — has taken two people who have yet to realize they're a couple and cast them into a sweet little romance — with a whole lot of sex and swearing.

Profanity is almost a given for Smith, whose characters barrage one another with four-letter words.

"It turns some people off but that's how mostly everybody I know speaks," Smith said. "It's kind of strange. Whenever somebody goes, `That offends me,' I'm like, wow, what kind of weird, opposite bizarro frame of mind do you live in? Cursing is just so second nature, you don't even think of it as cursing any more. It's just your lexicon."

At the outset of the new film, Rogen's Zack and Banks' Miri have known each other so long and so well that they're almost like siblings. The twenty-something slackers blissfully share a dumpy apartment on which they're far behind on the rent and utility bills. When the electricity is turned off in the middle of winter, they burn their unpaid bills in a garbage can for heat.

A chance encounter with a gay porn actor (Justin Long) gives Zack the notion that they could make their own sex flick to pay off their debts. When he and Miri add up how much money they could clear from one dirty movie, they wonder why everyone isn't busy making porn.

"Because other people have options and dignity," Zack concludes.

They recruit an amateur cast and crew to make their porno, among them "Clerks" co-star Jeff Anderson as "cinematographer" and Jason Mewes — Jay to Smith's Silent Bob, the pair of stoners in most of his movies — as a well-endowed "actor."

The cast also includes Craig Robinson as Zack's co-worker and producer, "Superman Returns" star Brandon Routh as Long's lover, and former adult-film star Traci Lords and current porn queen Katie Morgan.

The porn shoot becomes something of a loving, though lewd, re-creation of how Smith made his debut film, "Clerks," at the New Jersey convenience store at which he worked.

"Basically, it's a dressed-up version of making your first film. It just happens to be a porn film," Smith said.

Just like "Clerks," "Zack and Miri" initially was hit with an NC-17 tag by the ratings board of the Motion Picture Association of America. That rating prohibits anyone younger than 17 from seeing a movie.

Smith nipped and tucked the key objectionable segment, a comically over-the-top sex scene between Mewes and Morgan. But the ratings board held to the NC-17 designation, which Smith later got knocked down to an R rating after stating his case to the MPAA appeals board.

With the exception of one tender, tame sex scene, the porn action in "Zack and Miri" was meant to be outrageous, a commentary on the impossibly silly deeds in real skin flicks, Smith said.

"It's not titillating in the least. It's comedic," Smith said. "If you're turned on by this, then we didn't do our job very well."

New posters - MAD MAX and THE ROAD WARRIOR!

As part of Fantastic Fest, we're doing a series of Oz-sploitation screenings featuring the best of the down-under's offerings of madness and mayhem! And you can't have Austrailian Madness and Mayhem with out MAD MAX and the Road Warrior.

Tyler Stout and Billy Perkins are both hot regulars on our poster series, and they've brought us these amazingly Bad-ass prints promoting the outdoor RRS screenings of Mad Max and Mad Max 2 (aka- The Road Warrior)! Perkins' Mad Max is signed and numbered by the artist, and Stout's Road Warrior is individualy numbered!

Both are approximately 24x36 silk screened prints, printed by D and L Screen Printers out of Seattle!

Both are up for sale RIGHT NOW on!

Both posters also come in these variant editions-

Mad Max Apocalypse Edition-

And the Metallic Ink version of The Road Warrior (Already sold out, sadly)

And, while we're at it, don't forget to pick up this Eraserhead Print by local artist Mark Pedini!

These are all currently up for sale at!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Kevin Smith to Kick Off Fantastic Fest 2008

Date: Monday, August 26, 2008

Subject: Kevin Smith to kick off Fantastic Fest

Where: Austin, TX

Fantastic Fest, September 18-25, 2008

Tim League
(512) 912-0529

Fantastic Fest is proud to announce its 2008 Opening Night Gala Film, the U.S. Premiere of Kevin Smith's ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO, screening at the historic Paramount Theater in Austin, Texas on September 18th.

Director Kevin Smith will be live in person to introduce the screening and answer questions after the film.

Following the event, attendees are invited to stay and enjoy the official after-party festivities: the Air Sex World Championships on the grand stage of the Paramount Theater. Think "air guitar" with a bit more sizzle.

About the film:
Lifelong platonic friends Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) look to solve their respective cashflow problems by making an adult film together. As the cameras roll, however, the duo begin to sense that they may have more feelings for each other than they previously thought.

Tickets go on sale for the opening night film at noon CST, Saturday, August 30th and will be available online at, by phone at 1-866-4GET-TIX or at the Paramount Theater Box Office in Austin, Texas. Admission to this show is included for Fantastic Fest badge holders.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno opens in theaters everywhere on October 31.

Important Festival Dates:
Important dates have been announced for the 4thAnnual Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.

Thursday, September 4, 2008: Final content and schedule announced
Thursday, September 18, 2008: Festival begins
Saturday, September 20, 2008: 2009 Festival Badges go on sale

For more information about Fantastic Fest, please visit our official website,

About the Festival:
Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the United States featuring over 100 films from over 30 countries. The event highlights the best new sci-fi, horror, fantasy and genre films, as well as choice classic and obscure cult titles from all over the world. The festival director and head programmer is Tim League (Alamo Drafthouse Cinema), with additional programming by Harry Knowles (Ain't It Cool News), Todd Brown (, Blake Ethridge (Cinema is Dope), Zack Carlson (Alamo Drafthouse Cinema) and Lars Nilsen (Alamo Drafthouse Cinema). Fantastic Fest is a supporting member of the prestigious Melies European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation and a founding member of the North American Fantastic Festival Alliance. Fantastic Fest is sponsored in part by Gamecock Media, AMD, Fosters, Fox Home Entertainment and CITY OF EMBER.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I wear my devotion to Van Damme... on my Damn Van!

One of my favorite movies I saw this year was JCVD at the Cannes Film Festival. I wanted to program the film for Fantastic Fest so badly that the night of that screening, I made a drunken pledge to make right with the karma controllers by making a symbolic offering. Our mid-1990s Maroon shag carpeted conversion van will now be sporting a new, tougher tag. The Gods must have been satisfied, because our friends at Peace Arch granted our request to included JCVD as an official selection to Fantastic Fest. If I get the van air-brushed with a JCVD flying kick to the face, do you think that will be enough to bring the master himself to town for the screening? Only one way to find out.

Below is my review of the film from the Fantastic Fest program guide. Seriously folks, try to catch this one. It's a blast! Fantastic Fest runs from September 18-25 in Austin, Texas.

directed by Mabrouk El Mechri 2008

In JCVD, Jean-Claude Van Damme portrays a washed-up, aging action star. His career is a joke, he loses all of even the meager straight-to-video roles to his nemesis Stephen Segal and he's in a custody battle for his daughter who is too embarrassed of her father to consider living with him.

Returning to Brussels, he pops into a post office to send a money order to his divorce lawyer in Los Angeles only to find the facility held siege by robbers. The absurdity of the situation gradually escalates, and our action hero star must decide – cooperate or save the day in true hero fashion!

In a word, this role choice for Jean Claude Van Damme is BOLD. He’s faced ninjas, wild animals, space aliens and multiple arenas of death, but in JCVD he’s confronted with the naked truth of his own career: z-grade roles, worldwide ridicule, drug addiction, bad haircuts and some truly inspired wacko TV interviews, many of which are replayed in the film. The wickedly crisp script realistically captures the comedy inherent in the day-to-day life of a superstar: autograph and picture hounds, mocking haters and delusional überfans. Through it all Jean Claude Van Damme delivers with a sly wit and assured demeanor that for much of the film, I forgot I was watching a work of fiction, but was lost in what surely had to be a Jean Claude Van Damme reality show.

He understands the humor associated with his career, acknowledges it, pokes more than gentle fun at himself and even waxes philosophic on his past and his future. What emerges is a sophisticated, intelligent and wildly comedic performance. This is the stuff of true career renaissance. Forget about Pam Greer’s potential resurgence after Jackie Brown. After this performance, Jean Claude Van Damme deserves a shot at the best roles in Hollywood!

I watched JCVD at this year’s Cannes Market and the excitement in the crowd was palpable. Market screenings are for the industry worker-bees, you can’t gauge an audience because they are either asleep from exhaustion or texting on multiple blackberries trying to seal the next deal. Not so with JCVD. The crowd laughed and cheered and actually stood to applaud at the end. And when the man himself popped up from a seat in the back of the theater, clearly proud of the chops he had just shown on screen, the audience went absolutely nuts.

Van Damme? God Damn! This movie is AWESOME! Support this film, write about this film, and most importantly watch this film when it comes out in theaters. If for no other reason, I personally want to see more comedic drama out of, who woulda thunk it, one of the most underrated thespians working in cinema today!

Monday, August 18, 2008

100 BEST KILLS interactive party show at FF! Now YOU can kill too!!

We are proud to announce the unveiling of a revolutionary new interactive celebration of blood n’ guts for the 2008 edition of Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. Though this year’s program is already rich with features, shorts, debates, games, parties and indescribable events, we’re upping the ante with this unique program that allows the FF audience to join our erstwhile programming staff in an onslaught of heart-pumping horrormania!!

100 BEST KILLS – FF EDITION (click here for the page at the FF site!)
Sunday, Sept 21, Midnight at Alamo South Lamar

The excitement inherent in the best horror and action movies can be boiled down to three main ingredients: VIOLENCE, VIOLENCE and VIOLENCE!!! From the golden age of goremaster Herschell Gordon Lewis to the innovative new fluid-spurting technologies of the modern effects masters, cold-blooded murder has become a legitimately appealing visual art that deserves it's very own fancy Louvre...and THIS IS IT! Yep, at this year's Fantastic Fest, we'll be celebrating the absolute finest in on-screen annihilation with an interactive celebration of on-screen intestine-ripping, head-bursting and unrepentant baby-mashing! Your faithful FF programmers will of course get the festivities underway started with some of their all-time favorite examples of cinematic savagery, but for the first time ever, we'll be opening things up so YOU can share your most beloved homicide as well. It's easy...just bring along anything good, goopy n' gory that can play on a laptop or all-region DVD player, marked with the start time of your chosen clip and you'll be able to nauseate the masses with your ultimate beloved gutblast!

Note: This show is intended for the most severe and iron-stomached bloodhounds around, and we accept absolutely no responsibility for lost lunches. Wimps and weekend horrormeisters, leave the hall...if you can't stand the meat, stay out of the kitchen!!

If YOU wanna participate by including a clip, send in your # 1 all-time mega-cide fave film title, kill description and the point in the film where said atrocity goes down to (that's me!)

All right! See all you deathbeasts in the murderpit!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pink and Oz: Two Fantastic Fest Repertory Series Announced!


Where: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema South Lamar, Austin, TX

Fantastic Fest, September 18-25, 2008

Tim League
(512) 912-0529

While much of the attention of Fantastic Fest centers around the new discoveries and premiere feature films, each year we always present a new repertory retrospective. This year we are featuring two classic series: NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD: Ozsploitation Classics and BEHIND THE PINK CURTAIN: Japanese Pinku Films.

NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD: Ozsploitation Classics
This year, Fantastic Fest is dedicated to making everyone we know into giant, committed fans of Ozploitation cinema. That is - the peculiar brand of exploitation films that bubbled to the surface in Australia in the '70s and '80s. Certainly the best known are the MAD MAX films but those didn't emerge in a vacuum. The industry was already pumping out films as rude, tough and resourceful as the primal Aussie himself, kicked out of the British Isles for being ungovernable, forced to carve out a livelihood in the most hostile terrain on earth. While Australia has its share of classic arthouse-worthy fare in the manner of PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK and BREAKER MORANT, it was the cheap action, horror and titty films that really made the Fosters go down easy. (Lars)

Friday, September 12, 8:30 PM, Republic Square Park Downtown, Free Admission!

Dir. George Miller, 1979, 35mm, 93 min, R
Mel Gibson plays a rogue officer bent on revenge in the most influential apocalyptic masterpiece in film history. Reckless, violent, morally corrupt and totally insane.

Friday, September 19, 8:30 PM, Republic Square Park Downtown, Free Admission!
Dir. George Miller, 1981, 35mm, 94 min, R
The sequel to MAD MAX puts the pedal to the metal, then both pedal and metal alike explode in a death-shower of indescribable awesomeness.

(Note: at both of these free outdoor screenings, in addition to the fun onscreen, Chef John Bullington will be serving up classic Australian meat pies, shrimp on the barby and there will be plenty of giant-sized ice-cold Aussie beer to wash 'em down. Also, come prepared, we’re having a Vegemite sandwich eating contest before the film.)

Wednesday, September 17, Midnight, Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz
Dir. Arch Nicholson, 1987, 35mm, 91 min, NR
The ultimate reptilesploitation movie from down under. As usual in animal attack films, the most dangerous creature ultimately is man. But the 40 foot long crocodile is a real close second. It's up to super cool ranger John Jarratt (WOLF CREEK) to track down the big croc, which is coincidentally venerated as sacred by the Aborigine populace, before a pack of scurvy poachers do. Seriously cool edge-of-your-seat excitement from beginning to end.

Thursday, September 18, Midnight, Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz
Dir. Russell Mulcahy, 1984, 35mm, 95 min, R
An enormous, thundering wild boar lays waste to the Australian outback in this bizarre and unexpectedly effective man VS. beast showdown.

MAN FROM HONG KONG with Brian Trenchard-Smith Live in person!
Wednesday, September 24, Midnight, Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz
Dir. Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1975, 35mm, 111 min, R
Possibly the most berserk catalogue of action and violence ever placed on film. An all-out orgy of throat-ripping fights, explosions, car chases, crossbows, mustaches, hang-gliders and everything else good in life. Starring former James Bond seatwarmer George Lazenby and Shaw Brothers superstar Jimmy Wang Yu. Stunts by the madman from dingo-land Grant Page (of STUNT ROCK fame), who appears desperate to end it all in a progressively greater and greater aggregation of death-defiance.

TURKEY SHOOT a.k.a. ESCAPE 2000 with director Brian Trenchard-Smith in person!
Thursday, September 25, Midnight, Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz
Dir. Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1982, 35mm, 80 min, R
In a post-apocalyptic world gone wild, a handful of prison camp inmates must run for their life while being hunted for sport!

And of course, the inspiration for the series:

Sunday, September 21, 5:00PM, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Thursday, September 25, 7:30PM, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Dir. Mark Hartley, 2008, 35mm, 100 min, R
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.

The NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD retrospective is sponsored in part By Fosters, Magnet Releasing, Simply Australian and the Austin Parks Foundation.

Check out trailers and loads of other goodies for heaps of Ozploitation classics at the Australian NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD website.

Almost everyone has the same tingling response to the bright, shiny world of Japanese pop entertainment. It tickles the roof of the mouth like ginger-ale. But for hardcore addicts, that's just the gateway stage. The terminal phase is the Japanese pink film. More than just sexploitation movies, they're like the entire culture's autoerotic asphyxiation reveries. Filled with crushing weirdness and experiments on the extreme edge of filmmaking, the pink films provide much greater insight into the nation's character than the mannered civilities of mainstream films, largely due to the fact that young film-makers are given the freedom to go as far out on the chain as they want to, provided they expose the requisite number of naked bodies onscreen. And they must strike a pretty resonant chord since they're still going strong, as evidenced by some of our favorite Fantastic Fest titles of the past few years like UNCLES PARADISE and THE GLAMOROUS LIFE OF SACHIKO HANAI. (Lars)

Monday, September 22, 10PM, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Dir. Kan Mukai, 1969, New 35mm Print, 80 min, NR (Adults Only!)
A girl avenges her mother's death and family's disgrace by becoming a high class call girl who blackmails her nemesis with a secretly shot film of their encounter. A highly stylized wash of color, wild camera angles and sheer '60s style.

Tuesday, September 23, 10PM, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Dir. Masao Adachi, 1971, New 35mm Print, 72 min, NR (Adults Only!)
A young woman, already a jaded sexual veteran, embarks on an odyssey of self-discovery to find out the true reasons for her dissatisfaction and total desensitization. This parable is told in a jagged avant-garde style that must have baffled the target audience of businessmen seeking cheap thrills on their lunch hours.

Wednesday, September 24, 10PM, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Dir. Daisuke Goto, 2003, Digibeta, 65 min, NR (Adults Only!)
In the Japanese countryside, a young widow, Noriko, lives with her senile father-in-law, Shu, on a farm. He believes his favorite cow is still alive. Noriko pretends to be the cow and lets him milk her every day - a satisfying arrangement for both. Shu's daughter Mitsuko discovers this strange relationship and tries to end it. A very strange and kinky modern pink film from genre superstar Daisuke Goto.

Wednesday, September 24, 11PM, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Dir. Shuji Kataoka, 1986, Digibeta, 59 min, NR (Adults Only!)
An exercise in manga-style outrageousness that is guaranteed to offend everybody. The black clad S&M Roper is a kind of bondage super hero who has a supernatural genius for tying women up in configurations that leave them helplessly aroused. When the all girl gang, The Bombers, kidnap a man for their personal sex

Author and Pink Film expert Jasper Sharp will be in attendance at all screenings to introduce the films and will be signing copies of his book BEHIND THE PINK CURTAIN.

Important dates have been announced for the 4thAnnual Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.

Thursday, August 21, 2008: Guests and juries announced
Thursday, September 4, 2008: Final content and schedule announced
Thursday, September 18, 2008: Festival begins
Saturday, September 20, 2008: 2009 Festival Badges go on sale

For more information about Fantastic Fest, please visit our official website.
Photo stills and press information about the festival is here.

Fantastic Fest is an eight-day festival of the best new sci-fi, horror, fantasy and genre films, as well as choice classic and obscure cult titles from all over the world. The festival director and head programmer is Tim League (Alamo Drafthouse Cinema), with additional programming by Harry Knowles (Ain't It Cool News), Blake Ethridge (Cinema is Dope), Todd Brown (, Zack Carlson (Alamo Drafthouse Cinema) and Lars Nilsen (Alamo Drafthouse Cinema). Fantastic Fest is a supporting member of the prestigious Melies European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation and a founding member of the North American Fantastic Festival Alliance. Fantastic Fest is sponsored in part by Gamecock, Ain’t It Cool News, Twitchfilm, DVD Empire, Best Buy, VIZ Pictures, Embassy Suites, Dark Sky Films, The Texas Film Commission, Room Service Vintage, Rue Morgue Magazine, Fangoria Magazine, The Austin Chronicle, The Onion, Anchor Bay Entertainment,, Big Top Candy Shop, Smitty's Market, Media Blasters, Long Center for the Performing Arts.

"Mass Twitter" winners announced!

Congrats to our winners in the Fantastic Fest "Mass Twitter." The following Twitter aliases helped spread the word about Fantastic Fest by promoting the festival to their Twitter network.


We'll send all of the winners a tweet closer to festival time letting you know the ins and outs of the VIP after-party, to which you are all cordially invited.

Check back to this blog tomorrow for information about the repertory titles playing during Fantastic Fest. For those who want to find out about news and offers first, follow us on Twitter, and we'll send out a tweet!

We'll see you all soon at Fantastic Fest!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

2nd Wave of Fantastic Fest Content Announced

Date: Thursday, August 7, 2008

Subject: Second Wave of Fantastic Fest content announced

Where: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema South Lamar, Austin, TX

Fantastic Fest, September 18-25, 2008

Tim League
(512) 912-0529

We are proud to announce the second wave of our feature film programming for the 2008 edition of Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. For the past 9 months, we have been scouring the globe for the strangest, the most heart-pounding and the most challenging new genre films. With over 100 films representing over 30 countries, Fantastic Fest is the largest festival of its kind in the United States. We are proud to announce our second announcement of 15 confirmed feature films as well as our first announcement of official short film selections and details on special “fantastic-fest-themed” Alamo signature events.


World Premiere / dir. Nicolás López / Chile / 2008 / 100 min.
Three years after his SXSW debut feature PROMEDIO ROJO, Chilean prodigy director Nicolás López returns with SANTOS, a wild, sweeping tale of comic book nerds versus superheroes in a battle for the future of mankind. Think Ultraman with a Latin American brain transplant. From the producers of SIN CITY and THE ORPHANAGE, visual effects by Troublemaker Studios. Director Nicolás López will be live in person to present the film and conduct a Q&A.

World Premiere / dir. Edward Sanchez / USA / 2008 / 90 min
While honeymooning in rural China during the “Hungry Ghost” Festival, newlyweds Melissa (Amy Smart) and Yul (Tim Chiou) find themselves stranded at night in the middle of a superstitious ritual that may be more real than folk legend. From the director of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. Director Edward Sanchez and Producers Gregg Hale, Matt Compton and Robin Cowie will be live in person to present the film and conduct a Q&A.

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. Prachya Pinkaew / Thailand / 2008 / 110 min.
The director of ONG BAK returns with his new protégé, who was in training for five years for this role. Ammara Siripong portrays an autistic girl who learns martial arts from watching Tony Jaa and Bruce Lee films so as to exact revenge on those who bankrupted her mother.

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.

World Premiere / dir. John Gulager / USA / 2008 / 90 min.
John Gulager returns to the Alamo to premiere the second installment in his FEAST franchise. The original crowd-pleasing splatterfest FEAST world-premiered at Fantastic Fest in our first year.

US Premiere / dir. Mabrouk El Mechri / France / 2008 / 96 min.
Jean-Claude Van Damme portrays an aging action star whose career in Hollywood is all but washed up. Returning to his homeland in Brussels, he lands in the middle of a bank heist and may have to actually save the day.

Regional Premiere / dir. Reynald Bertrand / France / 2007 / 83 min.
Under the Christmas tree, unemployed loser François Margin mysteriously finds a jar of face cream that once applied, temporarily turns him into the most famous celebrity in France.

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.

US Premiere / dir. Eric Shapiro / USA / 2007 / 85 min.
Set in one night in a seedy hotel, cult Novelist Eric Shapiro’s debut feature intertwines two stories of sexual encounters gone horribly awry.

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.

Regional Premiere / dir. Joon-ho Bong, Leos Carax, Michel Gondry / 2008 / 90 min.
An anthology of three 30-minute short films, all reflections on Tokyo by three non-Japanese directors. Michel Gondry’s INTERIOR DESIGN, Bong Joon-Ho’s SHAKING TOKYO and Leos Carax’s MERDE.

Regional Premiere / dir. Zack Passero / USA / 2008 / 95 min.
Four buxom ladies head out to the country for some good old-fashioned naked lesbian Wiccan frolicking. The locals who bust in on their retreat quickly regret their imposition when the witching hour arrives.

World Premiere / dir. Aaron Marshall, Justin Johnson, Erik Mauck / USA / 2008 / 91 min.
A documentary covering the two years that it took 12-year-old Austinite Emily Hagins to write and direct the feature-length zombie movie PATHOGEN.

When we’re not producing Fantastic Fest, the Alamo programming team works year-round on a variety of screenings and events at the flagship downtown Alamo Ritz Theater. Recently remodeled in 2007, the historic Ritz Theater is home to all of the Alamo Signature shows. For the first time at Fantastic Fest, your badge grants you access to a sampling of this patented Austin-exclusive programming: Weird Wednesday, Terror Thursday, Sing-Alongs, Quote-Alongs and Master Pancake Theater.

Part of the Alamo Drafthouse’s patented signature show series, Quote-Alongs heighten the experience of watching your favorite films with props, subtitling of iconic lines of dialogue, pyrotechnics and confetti, always confetti.

Bad movies, live comedy! John Erler and his Master Pancake cohorts have been performing their live comedy stylings over top of Hollywood classics and stinkers alike at the Alamo Drafthouse for nearly 8 years.

In preparation for our world-record breaking attempt at the largest synchronized Michael Jackson Thriller dance, the Alamo hosts monthly MJ sing-alongs and dance lessons.

Since the fall of 2001, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has been hosting these free weekly series of 35mm screenings of exploitation classics, curated by our own exploitation gurus Lars Nilsen and Zack Carlson: from cheerleaders gone bad to blaxploitation to killer mutant animals to ‘80s slashers to women in prison. Many of these films are so obscure that little is known or has been written about them. Some of them are bad, most of them are enjoyable, and a rare few are mind-blowingly amazing. During Fantastic Fest, both Weird Wednesday and Terror Thursday will be showcasing features from the NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD Ozploitation canon. If you would like to attend any of these screenings with your Fantastic Fest badge, pick up tickets at the Fantastic Fest ticket counter and you will have prime reserve seats held for you at the show.

Below are the summary descriptions of the Fantastic Shorts currently selected for Fantastic Fest 2008. The final shorts lineup and schedule will be announced in the weeks to come.

A schizophrenically entertaining 90 minute compilation of the best of the best in worldwide genre animated shorts.

A veritable cinematic crackpipe, SHORT FUSE compiles the most intense and depraved of the entire Fantastic Fest competition shorts.

Dir. Lewis Eizykman / France / 2008 / 3 min.
Even NeverNeverland has its ups and downs, as a slightly older Peter Pan and Wendy learn on the eve of their child's birth...

Dir. Geoff Redknap / Canada / 2008 / 13 min.
Sure, it's a fact that psychopaths love to torture and destroy innocent people. But what happens when your average suburban family gets their hands on a pack of sadistic cannibals?

Dir. Yann Jouette / UK, France / 2008 / 12 min.
A self-loathing cat food canner looks for happiness in all the wrong places, especially when he learns that a "female" companion can be ordered by mail. Beautifully animated in a style that proves to be less cute n' cuddly than first glance would have you believe.

Dir. Andrew McPhillips / Canada / 2007 / 4 min.
A uniquely animated nightmare that follows the beat of your pulse and unweaves the secret link between man and insect. Music by Sigur Ros.

Dir. Rory Kindersley / USA / 2007 / 9 min.
This Hansel and Gretel-esque fairytale may seem comfortably familiar at first, but as it unfolds, something unexpected takes over....

Dir. Kirk Woller / USA / 2008 / 6 min.
Sometimes there's just no way to remain safe...even in our secure homes. Quite possibly the most unexpected surprise in the fest!

Dir. Davy Sihali / France / 2008 / 26 min.
It's safe to say that technology and intimacy are at war. This movie is a genuinely creepy exploration of the casualties.

Dir. Stephan Wicki & Tod Steven / Switzerland, USA / 2007 / 6 min.
A man combs a semi-sentient metropolis to create his own personal symphonic Frankenstein! Live action animation combines with an arguably musical score to create a short that's guaranteed to be unlike anything you've ever seen.

Dir. Fernando Fidel Urdapilleta Jimenez / Mexico / 2007 / 20 min.
A young girl learns that when your mind and emotions have been pushed beyond their limits, you can count on your body in unexpected ways.

Dir. Hermann Karlsson / Scotland, Iceland / 2006 / 1 min.
A loving eulogy to man's best friend. This animated comedy features a canine skeleton and some goofy yet sincerely tearful memories.

Dir. Paul Campion / New Zealand / 2007 / 5 min.
A scientist with unusual taste in women learns that it's probably best to date outside the workplace. A funny and shocking short that whacks you across the skull before you know what happened.

Dir. Matt O'Mahoney / USA, Canada / 2007 / 19 min / 19 min.
A nebbish bachelor loses his penis in an incident involving an epileptic hooker and experiences newfound sexual urges with his freshly transplanted member.

Dir. Rodrigo Gudino / Canada / 2008 / 6 min.
A simple photograph becomes increasingly sinister upon closer scrutiny, until nearly every evil that lives in mankind's heart is unleashed upon the viewer. From the fiends at Rue Morgue!

Dir. Arthur Metcalf / USA / 2007 / 4 min.
You think it's hard being a human? Try living your life as a roll of bubble wrap! This semi-animated short follows the lives of several little poppable pals as they fall in love, question their existence and -- of course -- get fatally pinched by human fingers.

Dir. Osbert Parker / UK / 2006 / 4 min.
A senses-shaking tribute to the criminal acts of yesteryear, as traditional film noir elements are transformed through animation and bizarro artistry into a wholly original gripping thrillride.

Dir. Naoko Masuda and Max Margulies / USA / 2007 / 2 min.
The filmmaking team behind last year's FF hit THE BIRD, THE MOUSE AND THE SAUSAGE are back with a new stop-motion food tale that reveals the nature of pescatorial reproduction.

Dir. PES / USA / 2006 / 4 min.
We don't need no fancy arcade...we got an arcade RIGHT HERE! Mysterious innovative stop-motion wizard(s) PES bring the universal excitement of video games into the real world in bold, unnatural ways.

Dir. Boris Schaarschmidt / USA / 2007 / 15 min.
An elderly groundskeeper clashes with a football team who just don't show enough sensitivity to the wonders of their playing field.

Dir. Alberto Viavattene / Italy / 2008 / 2 min.
An adult film director coaches his new star on the subtleties of succeeding in the porn industry.

Dir. Ben Peters / Canada / 2007 / 4 min.
A Ferrari-fixated mad scientist devises the perfect heist. With a mastery of advanced super-technology, what could possibly go wrong?

Dir. Karl Tebbe / Germany / 2007 / 5 min.
Here at FF, we've always recognized karaoke as a true art. But filmmaker Karl Tebbe succeeds in turning up the karaoke insanity to visually deafening levels in this megashock of musical indulgence.

Dir. Benni Diez and Marinko Spahic / Germany / 2007 / 20 min.
A botched drug deal spirals out of control in a subterranean night club filled with unnameable evils. The action is furious and so are the villains, so be prepared for some whirlwind brutality!

Dir. Luis Berdejo & Borja Cobeaga & Jorge Dorado / Spain / 2007 / 22 min
A trio of surreal takes on the Spaghetti Western genre by three of Spain’s hottest young gun directors.

Dir. Blu / Argentina / 2008 / 8 min.
Street art taken to the illogical, beautiful maximum as an urban landscape is transformed into a moving palette of impossible creatures. Is this the most ambitious animation project of the century? Yes.

Dir. Leslie Ali / UK / 2007 / 6 min.
A strange family finds an even stranger singing cube that leads to an epic battle...kinda. In the tradition of FF feature FUNKY FOREST, this film uses brazen flat-out weirdness to mangle your brain into unstoppable confused laughter.

Dir. Jack Truman / USA / 2008 / 5 min.
A sophisticated older woman pontificates on the myriad pleasures of outdoor plumbing and the human digestive system.

Dir. Daniel Trezise / USA / 2007 / 12 min.
In a socially disconnected future, two people feel a spark, but they'll need to break modern laws to act on their rediscovered humanity.

Dir. Daniel Bruce / Netherlands / 2007 / 10 min.
A terrified young woman grips her steering wheel as she's pursued at high speed on a winding mountain road. A truly intense action mystery that'll burst at least three veins in your forehead.

Dir. Juan Manuel Betancourt / Colombia / 2007 / 13 min.
Some people complain about their life unraveling, but it's rarely as pronounced as in this whimsical, bizarre short from a young Colombian visualist already on par with mighty artists like Michel Gondry.

Dir. Carlos Crespo / Spain / 2006 / 15 min.
A lonesome, elderly ventriloquist is plagued by his ugly reality and his lil' wooden friend in this unexpectedly comic view of people at the very last rung of society's ladder.

Dir. Julien Zenier / France, Spain / 2008 / 11 min.
When you can't strike out against the world, that only leaves one option. This self-punishing short may very well have the audience running for air.

Dir. Burke Roberts / USA / 2007 / 8 min.
A jarring exploration of how everything you know can go horribly, irreversibly wrong in a matter of seconds.

Dir. Bobbie Peers / Norway / 2007 / 10 min.
A detached young man finds comfort in his old childhood superhero suit. But the real world isn't nearly as accepting of the powers it holds.

Dir. Carla Coma / Canada / 2007 / 2 min.
True love sees no barriers...including species. Taxidermy animation that will make you want to run out, kill things and use them to create great art.

Dir. John Crye / USA / 2008 / 10 min.
Cheap thrills come with a very high price as a fresh-faced young partygoer learns that there's more than one side to recreational fun.

Dir. Adam Green / USA / 2008 / 10 min.
What's more natural than a 32-year-old man (HATCHET's Joel David Moore) wanting to go out trick-or-treating with his friends? When the ol' ball and chain turns him down, things reach a serious boiling point.

Dir. Jason Eisener / Canada / 2008 / 15 min
HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN creators Jason Eisener and Rob Cotterill imagine a yuletide season where the Christmas trees finally even the score for decades of living under the axe of mankind.

Dir. Pascal Forney / Switzerland / 2008 / 22 min.
The tragically hilarious tale of a would-be magician that just can't seem to perfect his saw-the-lady-in-half illusion. In Vincent's world, success, dignity and willing female stage assistants are hard to come by.

Dir. Anna Solana & Marc Riva / Spain / 2007 / 9 min
Violeta makes a new friend and takes him back home to meet the folks. Too bad the depths of depravity of this family is unparalleled in the history of animation.

Dir. Timothy Cawley / USA / 2007 / 15 min.
A group of people who live in terror of the world reach out to one another when their greatest fears are realized. A quietly romantic look at the apocalypse.

Dir. Steve Callen / Australia / 2007 / 22 min.
A drunken department store Santa is kidnapped and tortured by two severely delusional hoods in this comedy that takes the magic of the holiday season and kicks its ass off.

Important dates have been announced for the 4thAnnual Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.

Thursday, August 14, 2008: Retrospective titles Announced
Thursday, August 21, 2008: Guests and juries announced
Thursday, September 4, 2008: Final content and schedule announced
Thursday, September 18, 2008: Festival begins
Saturday, September 20, 2008: 2009 Festival Badges go on sale

For more information about Fantastic Fest, please visit our official website:

Fantastic Fest is an eight-day festival of the best new sci-fi, horror, fantasy and genre films, as well as choice classic and obscure cult titles from all over the world. The festival director and head programmer is Tim League (Alamo Drafthouse Cinema), with additional programming by Harry Knowles (Ain't It Cool News), Blake Ethridge (Cinema is Dope), Todd Brown (, Zack Carlson (Alamo Drafthouse Cinema) and Lars Nilsen (Alamo Drafthouse Cinema). Fantastic Fest is a supporting member of the prestigious Melies European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation and a founding member of the North American Fantastic Festival Alliance. Fantastic Fest is sponsored in part by Ain’t It Cool News, Twitchfilm, Gamecock, DVD Empire, Best Buy, VIZ Pictures, Embassy Suites, Dark Sky Films, The Texas Film Commission, Room Service Vintage, Rue Morgue Magazine, Fangoria Magazine, The Austin Chronicle, The Onion and the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema South Lamar.

Monday, August 04, 2008

TROPIC THUNDER patrons get hit in The Sh*t!!

Last Friday night, the war came home.

With the greatly appreciated participation of Ain't It Cool News, Fantastic Fest and Paramount Pictures, we were lucky enough to bring an advance screening of balls-to-the-wall combat comedy TROPIC THUNDER to the Alamo South Lamar. And speaking of balls and walls, the event was kicked off with some severe Austin paintball warfare, as 30 lucky (??) showgoers were selected to run the most brutal gauntlet outside o' Danang: THE SHIT.

PHOTOS (by local cameramaniac Mary Sledd) are HERE!!!!!

Yep, local warriors Devious Sports joined your ever-lovin' Alamo/Fantastic Fest sadists in rigging up Austin's most outrageous combat simulation chamber, and none were left unscathed. Even Alamo/FF founder Tim League made the run, taking a few in the chest in the name of America. AICN founder Harry Knowles opted to be on the other end of the trigger, but don't worry. We've got plans for him...

Thanks to everyone who came out, especially those who made it through The Shit. Each participant was rewarded with some major bruising and a can of official Booty Sweat Energy Drink. Feel free to email us photos of your injuries. And to the rest of you out there: don't let anyone tell you getting shot by a paintball doesn't hurt. Because it DOES.

Your pal,
The Original Alamo