It’s beginning to look a lot like … Fantastic Fest and all the wonderful movies that comes with it. The first wave of programing dropped for Fantastic Fest and it looks like it’s going to be another great year. Below is all the info for what is my favorite week of the year.
The fifteenth edition of Fantastic Fest blasts off with the widest selection of weird and wonderful films gathered from across the world to screen in Austin, TX, from September 19 – 26, 2019, featuring an opening night with the US Premiere of highly anticipated new Taika Waititi film JOJO RABBIT with the director in attendance plus the World Premieres of Netflix titles, including Jim Mickle’s brilliant new sci-fi thriller IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON, Vincenzo Natali’s adaptation of eponymous novella by Stephen King & Joe Hill IN THE TALL GRASS, Brad Anderson’s tense & unrelenting FRACTURED, Takashi Miike in person, and much, much more.
FIRST WAVE FILM LINEUP
4X4 Argentina, Spain, 2019North American Premiere, 93 minDirector – Mariano CohnA 4×4 car will be the battleground between a brash thief trapped inside and the mysterious man who will do anything to keep him imprisoned.
BLOODY BIRTHDAY: Presented by AGFA + Arrow FilmsUSA, 1981World Premiere of Restoration, 85 minDirector – Ed HuntThe classic Killer Kids slasher, newly restored by Arrow Films and presented by AGFA.
THE CLEANSING HOURUSA, 2019World Premiere, 95 minDirector – Damien LeVeckReverend Max and his best friend Drew have a hit web show where they make a pretty good living faking exorcisms for hundreds of thousands of fans until the evening a real demon takes over and terrorizes their crew.
COME TO DADDYNew Zealand, Canada, Ireland, 2019Texas Premiere, 94 minDirector – Ant TimpsonWhen 30-year-old Norval receives a letter from his estranged dad begging him to visit, he is set on a weird path of discovery, unusual encounters… and a lot of violence.
COSMIC CANDYGreece, 2019World Premiere, 95 minDirector – Rinio DragasakiAnna, an eccentric supermarket cashier with an obsessive taste for a trippy treat called Cosmic Candy, undergoes a quirky transformation when forced to care for a ten-year-old neighbor girl.
THE DEATH OF DICK LONGUSA, 2019Austin Premiere, 107 minDirector – Daniel ScheinertDick is dead but no one knows how, and Zeke and Earl are desperate enough to go to any lengths to stop anyone from finding out the reason… but a small town in Alabama is not the kind of place where secrets can stay buried for long. Soon all hell breaks loose, engulfing the two men in a reckoning they had never even considered.
DEERSKINFrance, 2019North American Premiere, 77 minDirector – Quentin DupieuxWhen Georges buys himself a deerskin jacket, he will find his life on a collision course with madness, crime, and the desire to be the only man wearing an overgarment.
DIE KINDER DER TOTENAustria, 2019North American Premiere, 90 minDirectors – Kelly Copper & Pavol LiškaIn this experimental adaptation of an epic Elfriede Jelinek novel, a group of Austrian tourists is killed in a traffic accident before reanimating as zombies and terrorizing a local pub.
DOGS DON’T WEAR PANTSFinland, Latvia, 2019US Premiere, 105 minDirector – Jukka-Pekka ValkeapääA heartbroken heart surgeon is introduced to the dark and extreme when his daughter gets her tongue pierced, sending him down a path of pain, dreams, life, love, death, and awakenings.
FIRST LOVEJapan, 2019US Premiere, 108 minDirector – Takashi MiikeWhen aspiring boxer Leo discovers that he may not have long to live, he goes all out to help drug-addicted call girl Monica, facing down gangsters, assassins, corrupt cops, and much more over the course of one long night.
FRACTUREDUSA, 2019World Premiere, 100 minDirector – Brad AndersonAn unfortunate accident at a truck stop means Ray has to rush his daughter to the nearest hospital for a broken arm, but when his family disappears, he soon finds himself in a frantic fight to discover what happened.
THE GOLDEN GLOVEGermany, 2019North American Premiere, 110 minDirector – Fatih AkinBased on true events that transpired in the grimy slums of 1970s Hamburg, loner-turned-murderer Fritz Honka stalks his local drinking spot, The Golden Glove, in search of his next victim.
HAPPY FACECanada, 2018Texas Premiere, 97 minDirector – Alexandre FranchiIn Attendance – Director Alexandre Franchi and Actor E. R. RuizAn attractive teenager infiltrates a support group for those with facial differences in hopes of learning how to connect with his cancer-stricken mother in Alexandre Franchi’s (THE WILD HUNT) deeply personal, often hilarious, and powerfully inclusive sophomore feature.
IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOONUSA, Canada, 2019World Premiere, 115 minDirector – Jim MickleIn 1988, a Philadelphia police officer doggedly hunts a serial killer whose crimes seemingly follow no pattern, but he hasn’t considered how far the repercussions of his hunt may go.
IN THE TALL GRASSCanada, 2019World Premiere, 90 minDirector – Vincenzo NataliAdapted from the eponymous novella by Stephen King and Joe Hill, IN THE TALL GRASS follows siblings Cal and Becky who find themselves trapped within a vast field of tall grass when they venture in to answer the cries of a young boy.
JOJO RABBITUSA, 2019US Premiere, 108 minDirector – Taika WaititiIn Attendance – Director Taika WaititiWriter director Taika Waititi (THOR: RAGNAROK, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE), brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, JOJO RABBIT, a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis as JoJo) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.
KNIVES AND SKIN USA, 2019Texas Premiere, 109 minDirector – Jennifer ReederThe disappearance of popular teenager Carolyn Harper has a profound ripple effect across her small midwest town in Jennifer Reeder’s hypnotic musical mystery.
KOKO-DI KOKO-DASweden, Denmark, 2019Texas Premiere, 86 minDirector – Johannes NyholmWhen a disconnected couple take a camping trip in an attempt to mend their marriage after tragedy, they find themselves tormented by a peculiar band of misfits.
THE LAST TO SEE THEMGermany, 2019Texas Premiere, 79 minDirector – Sara SummaOne summer evening in rural Italy, the Durati family is murdered during a home robbery. THE LAST TO SEE THEM chronicles the previous — and final — day of their lives.
LIMBO: Presented by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!USA, 1999Texas Premiere of Restoration, 55 minDirector – Tina KrauseTina Krause’s unseen and unreal shot-on-video horror movie, newly preserved by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!
THE MCPHERSON TAPE: Presented by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!USA, 1989World Premiere of Restoration, 63 minDirector – Dean AlitoThe world’s first found footage horror movie, newly preserved by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!
MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIENUSA, 2019Texas Premiere, 93 minDirector – Alexandre O. PhilippeFollowing up his deconstruction of PSYCHO’s shower scene in 78/52, documentarian Alexandre O. Philippe is back with his analysis of ALIEN, its origins, and the impact of Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi shocker.
NAIL IN THE COFFIN: EL VAMPIRO CANADIENSECanada, 2019World Premiere, 88 minDirector – Michael PasztIn Attendance – Director Michael PasztAn intimate and heartfelt look at professional wrestler Vampiro’s past, and his new life navigating the management of a lucha libre federation in Mexico, while raising his teenage daughter in Canada.
NIGHT HAS COME Belgium, 2019World Premiere, 56 minDirector – Peter Van GoethemIn Attendance – Director Peter Van GoethemIn a dystopian society, the population is threatened by a virus eating its way through the brain, erasing memories. After developing a treatment to store and classify memories, the State requires citizens to comply.
THE PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION: Presented by AGFA + Severin FilmsCanada, 1985World Premiere 2K Restoration, 93 minDirector – Michael RubboThe Canadian children’s oddity takes youthful fantasy to strange new places in a brand new 2K restoration.
THE POOL Thailand, 2018Texas Premiere, 90 minDirector – Ping LumpraplengWhen a dog trainer and his pet finish their commercial gig, it’s time to head home and enjoy a lazy afternoon floating in the pool… until he wakes up to the pool being drained and no way out.
REFLECTIONS OF EVIL: Presented by AGFAUSA, 2002World Premiere of Restoration, 137 minDirector – Damon PackardThe new ground zero for gonzo horror surrealism in the 21st century, newly preserved by AGFA.
ROCK, PAPER, AND SCISSORSArgentina, 2019North American Premiere, 83 minDirectors – Macarena García Lenzi & Martín BloussonWhen Magdalena returns to Argentina to confront her half-siblings about her share of the inheritance, the stage is set for a family reunion both bloody and brilliant.
SHE MOB: Presented by AGFA + Something WeirdUSA, 1968World Premiere 2K Restoration, 82 minDirector – Harry WuestA gang of lesbian prison escapees kidnaps a gigolo in a 2K preservation of this sexploitation classic.
SOMETHING ELSEUSA, 2019Texas Premiere, 83 minDirectors – Jeremy Gardner & Christian StellaIn Attendance – Directors Jeremy Gardner & Christian StellaWhen Hank’s longtime girlfriend Abby leaves him, he spirals into a cycle of drinking and depression. But it’s the monster that shows up every night that’s really driving him crazy.
SON OF THE WHITE MAREHungary, 1981US Premiere 4K Restoration, 81 minDirector – Marcell JankovicsA psychedelic animated cult classic is back on the big screen in this brand-new restoration. Three brothers join forces to restore order in their kingdom, encountering bizarre and mind-bending challenges along the way.
SWALLOWUSA, 2019Texas Premiere, 94 minDirectors – Carlo Mirabella-DavisBeautiful newlywed Hunter has a perfect home, perfect life, and perfect husband. When the pressure to maintain that perfection builds after the announcement of her pregnancy, she develops an unusual craving: swallowing random household objects.
TAMMY AND THE T-REX: Presented by AGFA + Vinegar SyndromeUSA, 1994World Premiere of Restoration, 91 minDirectors – Stewart RaffillFully restored and ready to tear your head off. Literally.
THE WAVEUnited States, 2019World Premiere, 87 minDirector – Gille KlabinFrank (Justin Long), a bored corporate lawyer, decides to shake it up with a wild night out. In the process, he takes a mysterious drug that launches him into a mind-bending time travel adventure.
THE WHISTLERSRomania, 2019US Premiere, 97 minDirector – Corneliu PorumboiuCorneliu Porumboiu mixes Romanian New Wave with Hollywood noir beats as he follows a corrupt detective who helps a wealthy criminal escape from jail by learning the ancient, secret language of silbo whistling.
WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE! Russia, 2019Texas Premiere, 100 minDirector – Kirill SokolovIn Attendance – Director Kirill SokolovAfter agreeing to kill his girlfriend’s father, Matvei gets in way over his head when he arrives at her parents’ apartment to learn her dad’s a cop.
WRINKLES THE CLOWN USA, 2019World Premiere, 78 minDirector – Michael Beach NicholsIn Attendance – Director Michael Beach NicholsPennywise isn’t real. But Wrinkles is. This documentary explores the story of the infamous freaky clown from Naples, Florida who makes a living being hired by parents to terrorize their naughty children.
YOU DON’T NOMI USA, 2019Texas Premiere, 94 minDirector – Jeffrey McHaleIn Attendance – Director Jeffrey McHaleUsing cleverly edited clips of Paul Verhoeven’s genre-spanning filmography, Jeffrey McHale’s video essay explores the decidedly un-titillating and delightfully inexplicable SHOWGIRLS and its continued, ever-expanding legacy.