Fantastic Fest

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fantastic Fest titles return to the Alamo!

November begins the flood of Fantastic Fest official selection titles to hit the Alamo Drafthouse screens. I'm a big fan of all four of these films, and honestly, let's face it, all four are going to need help to make it. Lately there has been a vast drop off in niche films even getting to market, let alone finding an audience.

If you enjoyed any of these films, please tell your friends and spread the word. Two of my favorite movie experiences of the year so far were spent with a vulnerable aging Belgian action star and a pair of odd Swedish children. If you live in Austin, of course, send your friends to the Alamo. If you live in other towns, check your local listings and support them where you can. These films should be opening in major markets across the country around the same time.

Coming to Alamo South Lamar

Coming to the Ritz
11/21 JCVD

By the way, Todd Brown from Twitch and I head out tomorrow to the American Film Market for our first Fantastic Fest scouting mission. Our mission: bring back the goods for 2009.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

2007 Fantastic Fest Alumnus End of the Line Now Available on DVD

Maurice Devereaux's apocalyptic horror film End of the Line played at Fantastic Fest in 2007, where it scored a Special Jury Prize for Innovative Vision. After a lengthy wait, the film has been released on Region 1 DVD by Anchor Bay Canada and Critical Mass Entertainment. Since this is a Canadian release, it is unlikely that U.S. fans will find it in a brick-and-mortars store. However, the 21st century makes that a weak excuse for not getting a copy because its available from Amazon Canada ( Region 1 coding applies to both the U.S. and Canada so there is no need to fret about compatibility.

Those who need to refresh their memory about the nature of End of the Line can read a review of the DVD at Twitch ( Also, be sure to check out the TV spot on YouTube ( It may make you think twice before opening the door to your home this Halloween (or any other time).

FREE Screening of FUTURAMA: BENDER'S GAME this Monday at the Ritz!

Like most of you, I loved FUTURAMA during its all-too-brief run on the Fox Network and cherished those DVD box sets and 11pm Adult Swim airings. And like most of you, I was pleased to hear that the show was coming back as a series of direct-to-DVD movies featuring the original cast and most of the original writers, including Matt Groening. But now, I am thrilled to tell you that the Alamo Ritz will be screening the new FUTURAMA movie, BENDER'S GAME, this Monday, October 27, at 7pm... for free! This is a one-time only screening, and you'll get to see it one full week before it comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray on November 4. That's 8 days of bragging rights!

Park your hover-car and saddle up your unicorn for the most fantastical FUTURAMA feature film yet: BENDER'S GAME. With fuel prices skyrocketing, the Planet Express crew sets off on a dangerous mission to infiltrate the world's only dark-matter mine, source of all spaceship fuel. But deep beneath the surface, they discover a far stranger place...a medieval land of dragons and sorcery and intoxicated knights who look suspiciously like Bender.

Joining the cast are guest stars George Takei (the iconic Captain Sulu from the original STAR TREK series) and comic impressionist Rich Little.

This show is free, but you can book tickets now by clicking on the Alamo site here.

This screening is courtesy of our friends at Fox Home Entertainment, proud sponsors of Fantastic Fest!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Air Sex World Championships Coverage posted on Vimby

Check it out folks, VIMBY has posted up their edited recap of the Air Sex World Championships which were held as part of Fantastic Fest on September 18, 2008.

Look for more info about the 2009 Air Sex World Championships coming soon!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rian Johnson loves Fantastic Fest!

The first of this year's AICN Secret Screenings turned out to be THE BROTHERS BLOOM, writer/director Rian Johnson's eagerly anticipated follow-up to his 2006 modern day noir, BRICK, and a damn fine film, too. We were very excited to screen THE BROTHERS BLOOM and even more happy to have Rian persoanly bring his film to this year's Fantastic Fest. The audience reaction to THE BROTHERS BLOOM was very enthusiastic, and it turns out Rian was equally pleased with Fantastic Fest, as he writes on his blog:

"Did a screening there last night at the Alamo Drafthouse, it was freakin awesome. Great crowd, everyone had a good time. The whole festival isn’t built to sell movies or to line them up on a wall for Critics to rate and whine about, it’s built for film fans to have a really great time at. Fancy that…"

Thanks for those kind words, Rian. We look forward to showing THE BROTHERS BLOOM again when it opens nationwide this January!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The BEST Halloween Party of 2008!

Nike Sportswear and Fantastic Fest present:
A celebration of THE SHINING at the Timberline lodge, October 31, 2008

In 1980, Stanley Kubrick came to the Timberline Lodge to film one of the all-time great horror classics, THE SHINING. In the film, Jack Nicholson slowly loses his grasp on reality and loses himself in a hallucination of a 1920s era ball. Twenty-Eight years later, Nike Sportswear and Fantastic Fest have joined forces to recreate the very same ball at the very same lodge.

Two ticket options are available for this special night:

VIP Overnight Package:
Dinner at the Lodge
3 Cocktails per person
Live music and shows throughout the evening
Limited Edition silk-screened Event Poster
A one-night stay at the historic Timberline Lodge
In-room screening of the film
VIP gift package
Continental breakfast the morning after the party

This VIP Overnight Package is designed for couples who want to stay the night. Ticket price is $100 per person ($200 per room). Note: the regular Timberline room rate is $220/night for just the room. As there are only 50 rooms available for overnight stay, we are offering a “the Gold Room ticket,” a discounted admission to the party for guests not staying the night.

The Gold Room Ticket:
Dinner at the Lodge
3 Cocktails per person
Live music and shows throughout the evening
Limited Edition Silkscreened Event Poster
Round trip bus service to and from the party

Only 200 Gold Room tickets are available for $25 per person.

Formal attire is mandatory, 20's era formal attire is preferred. We will have special gifts for the best period attire of the night.

5:00 PM Boarding begins for Gold Room Ticket-holders in Portland (location TBA)
5:30 PM Gold Room Ticket-holder buses depart
7:00 PM Dinner begins at Timberline Lodge
9:00 PM Music, cocktails and entertainment begin
11:50 PM Return bus boarding begins for Gold Room Ticket holders

At the stroke of midnight, all VIP Overnight guests are required to return to their rooms and turn on their TVs for a very special screening of THE SHINING. All VIP guests will be watching THE SHINING simultaneously, but in the privacy of their own rooms.

Note: VIP guests will need to provide their own transportation to the lodge. VIP Overnight guest check-in begins at 6:00 PM on October 31 and check-out is at 11:00 AM on November 1.

Tickets for this event go on sale on Friday, October 10 at 2:00 PM PST at, where you can find additional details and updates about the event. As tickets are extremely limited, we anticipate this show to sell out quickly.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fantastic Fest 2007 Fave DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME to Play Theaters Across the U.S.!

Fantastic Fest 2008 may have just ended, but let's take a moment out to remember one of the highlights of Fantastic Fest 2007, Shusuke Kaneko's triumphant DEATH NOTE saga.

Based on a popular manga (and anime), the two DEATH NOTE films represented one of the best examples of genre filmmaking to come out of Japan this decade, taking a smart, compelling (and very suspenseful) narrative and spreading it out between two very good films that represent Kaneko's best work since the GAMERA films of the late 90s. Both of these films were acquired in the U.S. by Fantasic Fest 2008 sponsor Viz Pictures (they also distributed such Fantastic Fest classics as FUNKY FOREST - THE FIRST CONTACT and MAIKO HAAAAN!!!), who have teamed up with Fathom Events to bring the two DEATH NOTE films to theaters for special two night only screenings in theaters all across the the U.S. next Tuesday and Wednesday. The first DEATH NOTE ran theatrically last spring and is now available on DVD, giving everyone a perfect chance to catch up to the story before DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME screens. The two make for an intruiging series, and we're glad to see them get a big U.S. launch. Check them out!

Here's the official press release:

Death Note II: The Last Name
10/15/2008 - 10/16/2008

By popular demand, NCM Fathom and Viz Pictures bring Live Action DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME to select movie theatres nationwide for two nights only - Wednesday, October 15th and Thursday, October 16th at 7:30 PM (local)! DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME (English dubbed) is the sequel to, and an immediate continuation of, DEATH NOTE, brought to U.S. movie theatres earlier this year by VIZ Pictures and Fathom. This exclusive event will feature an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the creation of DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME, an in-depth interview with Director Shusuke Kaneko and a unique look at the talent behind the characters.

Please note: This event is not officially rated but should be treated as equivalent to an "R" rating.

Written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata, DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME begins as Light Yagami joins the investigation team in pursuit of the serial killer known as "Kira.” While L still strongly suspects that Light is "Kira,” Light Yagami continues to seek out the real name of L so he can kill him with his Death Note. Making things even more unpredictable are the 'Eyes of Death', given to the second Kira, enabling the owner to know the true identity and lifespan of any person. Adding further confusion for the authorities, a new rash of murders attributed to the Death Note occurs all over the world and is attributed to "the Second Kira.” Light Yagami learns the identity of the other Kira and wants to join forces to get rid of L. Will L be able to catch "Kira" before he gets killed? Who will be the last name written in the Death Note book?

Don’t miss your chance to see DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME larger-than-life on the big screen!

Click here for the complete list of theaters and click here to order tickets.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Fantastic fest Wrap Up: Cave Party

Check out the Fantastic Fest 2008 Closing Party. After watching CITY OF EMBER, 7 buses took revelers to a cave just outside Austin where star Bill Murray and other festival dignitaries met them for an evening of food, drinks and dancing.

Friday, October 03, 2008

So what were the 100 Best Kills, Anyway?

Right off the bat, I'll tell you: We didn't even get close to 100 kills. But with two straight hours of violent mayhem that was punctuated only by the nostalgically caustic wit of Mr. Zack Carlson, I'd say this was definitely one of the most entertaining events of the whole damn festival. Plus, c'mon, 100 onscreen kills would take about five hours to appreciate -- and really, the Somewhere Between 35 and 40 Best Kills Party just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Listed below are all the clips that played at the first annual "100" Best Kills Geekfest, contributed by Zack Carlson, Lars Nilsen, and a small handful of loyal Alamo lunatics. If you have any suggestions, leave 'em in the comments section below. I'm sure Zack will want a nice gory list for FF 2009.

  1. Maniac (1980) -- Savini shotgun blast.
  2. Psycho 2 (1983) -- Mother shovel head.
  3. Goodbye Uncle Tom (1971) -- Something really disgusting.
  4. Powder (1995) -- Electric powder sprint.
  5. Irreversible (2002) -- Fire extinguisher rhinoplsty.
  6. Dark Age (1987) -- Whining child snack.
  7. Class of 1984 (1982) -- Buzz saw encore.
  8. Million Dollar Baby (2004) -- Post-euthansia pause.
  9. The Crow (1994) -- Bullets Over Brandon.
  10. The Omen (1976) -- David Warner de-capped.
  11. Invasion U.S.A. (1985) -- Coke-snortin' skewer.
  12. The Bridge (2006) -- Golden Gate gallop.
  13. Chopping Mall (1986) -- Preppy chick puree.
  14. Flesh for Frankenstein (1973) -- Juicy Morrisey gore.
  15. Devil Times Five (1974) -- Piranha bath time.
  16. Mr. Scarface (1976) -- Shooting the crooner.
  17. High Crime (1973) -- Hot little kiddie.
  18. From Beyond (1986) -- Girl vs. Gristle.
  19. Slugs (1988) -- Face-shred salad.
  20. Alligator (1980) -- Pool kid snack.
  21. Q (1982) -- Window washer snatch.
  22. Patrick Still Lives (1980) -- Fireplace poker snatch.
  23. Trigger Happy (1996) -- Reynolds / Silva laugh-off.
  24. House (1977) -- Piano monster psych-a-deelio.
  25. Hit and Run (?) -- Need help here.
  26. The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962) -- Longest. Demise. Ever.
  27. The Prowler (1981) --Umm, I forget.
  28. Darker Than Amber (1970) --Totally blanking on this one.
  29. Top Secret! (1984) -- The shattered Nazi.
  30. Don't Go In the House (1980) -- One hot chick.
  31. Total Recall (1990) -- Farwell to arms.
  32. Leprechaun 3 (1995) -- Lips, boobs, and buttocks. (Oh my.)
  33. An American Werewolf in London (1981) -- Picadilly Mayhem!
  34. The Quick and the Dead (1995) -- Hackman goes NUTS!
  35. Gremlins (1984) -- Old lady rocket-chair.
  36. To Be 20 -- ??? Was that the title? Damn you Lars and your hyper-obscure proclivities!
  37. Night Warning (1983) -- Pretty sure this was the INSANE clip involving a car, a road, a lot of lumber, some gore, and a crazy explosion. Someone told me Code Red was releasing it on DVD soon.

Did I miss any? Sorry, it was dark in there. But please do consider this the FIRST request for 2009 kills. I mean, jeez, how did we not get "machete-wheelchair-face" from Friday the 13th Part 2 or "machete-floor-sliiiiice" from Friday 4 OR the ridiculously extended demise of John Malkovich in Con Air? C'mon, people! Plus Joe Lynch says if we don't include the opening mega-slice from Wrong Turn 2 next year, he's going to come to Austin and pee on Tim's red van. But if we use Joe's clip, we have to include Adam Green's reverse-head-crush from Hatchet. Those guys are really competitive.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Let the Right One In US Trailer now online!

Ok, so it's got a few spoilers, but apart from that, this is a damn fine trailer for one of my favorite films, not just of the year but of the decade. Let the Right One In played Fantastic Fest this year to absolute RAVE reviews and unanimously won the horror jury award. It's soooo much more than a horror movie though. It's a beautiful sweet love story, a coming of age drama, it has flashes of wry humor and the punctuations of violence are spot-on. If you saw it at the festival, tell your friends across the country that it opens New York and La on October 24 and will spread across the country (including the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin) after that.

Please support this film folks, we need to see more films playing at this level on American screens. Check the Alamo Drafthouse November/December for details on the Austin release.