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Fantastic Fest Adds Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian,’ Ben Wheatley’s ‘High-Rise,’ ‘The Lobster,’ ‘The Witch’ & More

Fantastic Fest Adds Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian,’ Ben Wheatley's ‘High-Rise,’ ‘The Lobster,’ ‘The Witch' & More

The first wave of programming announced for this year’s Fantastic Fest didn’t exactly blow the minds of film freaks. A world premiere of “Bone Tomahawk” and Sion Sono’s latest are nothing to turn one’s nose up at, but the festival punditry crowd, perennially hot for big premieres or major titles, were left a little cold. That should change with Fantastic Fest’s second wave of titles announced today, including some heavy hitters including Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” (likely the film’s first major screening after Toronto International Film Festival), and a host of Cannes picks like Yorgos Lanthimos’ wacky sci-fi romance “The Lobster” with Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and Léa SeydouxJeremy Saulnier’s punk rock thriller “Green Room” starring Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart and Alia ShawkatBen Wheatley‘s “High-Rise” starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller and many more.

READ MORE: Cannes Review: Yorgos Lanthimo’s Outstanding ‘The Lobster’ Starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly

Fantastic Fest always has an interesting mix of genre titles, horror flicks, action titles, foreign cinema and other mondo/outré flicks and the 2015 lineup promises more of this unique blend. The festival will also include the lauded mystical horror “The Witch”; Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larrain’s critically acclaimed drama “The Club”; Danish film “Men And Chicken” starring Mads Mikkelsen; and the Civil war survival film “The Keeping Room,” starring Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld and newcomer Muna Otaru. Full line-up so far below.

APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD

France, Belgium, Canada, 2015

US Premiere, 90 min

Director – Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci

In an alternate history where Napoleon’s heirs rule France, scientists and scholars have gone missing for years, leaving behind a world deprived of their technological innovations. In this land powered by coal and steam, young April searches for her missing scientist parents.

ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM

Japan, 2015

US Premiere, 110 min

Director – Eiichiro Hasumi

The most heart-warming, touching coming-of-age tale of 2015 just also happens to be the story of how one classroom of kids gets trained as assassins so they can kill their teacher before he destroys Earth.

BASKIN

Turkey, 2015

US Premiere, 97 min

Director – Can Evrenol

It’s a quiet night on the beat for a mobile unit of Turkish police until they’re called out to support a squad encountering trouble in a remote building.

BELLADONNA OF SADNESS

Japan, 1973

Regional Premiere, 86 min

Director – Eiichi Yamamoto

A young and in love Jeanne is attacked by the local lord and makes a pact with the Devil himself in one of the most important rediscoveries of this year. Never before released in the US, this seminal psychedelic masterpiece has been painstakingly restored in 4k digital.

THE BRAND NEW TESTAMENT

France/Belgium/Luxembourg, 2015

North American Premiere, 110 min

Director – Jaco Van Dormael

When Ea gets fed up with her overbearing father (who happens to be God), she decides to follow in her older brother’s footsteps by leaving the house, gathering her own apostles, and writing her own testament.

THE CLUB

Chile, 2015

US Premiere, 98 min

Director – Pablo Larraín

In a secluded Chilean village, four men lead a quiet life, trying to redeem themselves of their past sins. Their existence is threatened by the arrival of a man whose own secret may reveal all which the four have worked to forget.

COZ OV MONI 2

Ghana/Romania, 2015

North American Premiere, 63 min

Directors – King Henry Blackson & FOKN Bois

Beaten, robbed and left for dead, Wanlov and M3NSA are back and looking for revenge. But first, singing. And lunch. Prepare yourself for “the world’s second first pidgin musical”!

DEMON

Poland/Israel, 2015

US Premiere, 94 min

Director – Marcin Wrona

A day after discovering human remains in the backyard of their new home, a man begins experiencing strange things which come to a head on his wedding night.

DIRTY ROMANCE

South Korea, 2015

World Premiere, 94 min

Director – Lee Sang-woo

In Lee Sang-woo’s follow up to last year’s I AM TRASH, Chul-joong is too busy forcing his friend to sexually please his developmentally disabled sister to notice someone may want to actually love her for who she is.

EVOLUTION

France, 2015

US Premiere, 81 min

Director – Lucile Hadzihalilovic

Lucile Hadzihalilovic returns to directing with a surreal tale of a young boy on a remote island who develops a mysterious illness and is subjected to sinister medical treatments.

FEBRUARY

United States/Canada, 2015

US Premiere, 93 min

Director – Osgood Perkins

The lives of two high school students will be linked together when they’re forced to stay at their boarding school over the winter break and an evil presence starts to stalk them.

GREEN ROOM

United States, 2015

US Premiere, 94 min

Director – Jeremy Saulnier

Green Room is a brilliantly crafted and wickedly fun horror-thriller starring Patrick Stewart as a diabolical club owner who squares off against an unsuspecting but resilient young punk band.

GRIDLOCKED

Canada, 2015

World Premiere, 110 min

Director – Allan Ungar

A tactical assault officer is saddled with a hard partying star out to rehabilitate his image -and avoid jail time -in this throwback to the odd couple buddy action flicks of the early ’90s.

HARD TO GET

South Africa, 2014

Regional Premiere, 94 min

Director – Zee Ntuli

Supremely confident ladies man TK may have bitten off more than he can chew when he sets his sights on Skiets, a township beauty with an edge who sets the pair off on a non-stop rollercoaster ride through the local underworld.

HIGH-RISE

United Kingdom, 2016

US Premiere, 118 min

Director – Ben Wheatley

Laing, a young doctor, joins a community in a luxury building in Thatcher’s England, who exile themselves from society and gradually divide into violent tribes.

THE KEEPING ROOM

United States, 2015

Texas Premiere, 95 min

Director – Daniel Barber

In the waning days of the Civil War, three southern women (Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld and newcomer Muna Otaru) defend themselves from two Yankees in Daniel Barber’s second film.

KLOVN FOREVER

Denmark, 2015

International Premiere, 90 min

Director – Mikkel Nørgaard

Five years have passed since the first KLOWN, and with their friendship at risk of fracturing forever, Frank must follow Casper to America… with typically disastrous results.

L’AFFAIRE SK1

France, 2014

Texas Premiere, 120 min

Director – Frédéric Tellier

Frederic Tellier’s tight police procedural recreates the events around the decade-long search and trial of “The Beast of the Bastille,”France’s first serial killer, who was tracked down using DNA evidence.

LA GRANJA

Puerto Rico, 2015

World Premiere, 100 min

Director – Angel Manuel Soto

The lives of a midwife, a young boxer, a mute kid and a young couple collide unexpectedly in a story about the desperate pursuit of happiness on the streets of Puerto Rico.

LAZER TEAM

United States, 2015

World Premiere, 93 min

Director – Matt Hullum

When Earth is threatened by an advanced alien race, our only hope lies in four morons, the self-proclaimed “Lazer Team.”

THE LOBSTER

Ireland, Greece, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, 2015

US Premiere, 119 min

Director – Yorgos Lanthimos

Somewhere in the near future, single people face a choice: Join a program to find a mate in forty-five days or be transformed into an animal.

LUDO

India, 2015

US Premiere, 92 min

Directors – Q & Nikon

Time and space collide when a possessed game grabs hold of two friends eager for a sinful night of sex and drugs in Indian auteur Q’s first foray into horror.

MAN VS SNAKE

United States/Canada/Italy/Japan, 2015

World Premiere, 93 min

Directors – Andrew Seklir and Tim Kinzy

1984. One shiny quarter. 44.5 hours of continuous play. The race to be the first gamer in history to score one BILLION points. Until recently, Timothy McVey (not the terrorist) thought he had -for all these years -held the world record on Nibbler. Note: a Nibbler cabinet will be available in the lobby for the duration of Fantastic Fest for attendees to attempt to break the current world record.

THE MARTIAN

United States, 2015

Special Screening, 120 min

Director – Ridley Scott

Get ready to be blown away by Fox’s latest action-packed 3D adventure, THE MARTIAN starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Kristen Wiig with a special screening of the upcoming film directed by Ridley Scott. THE MARTIAN is the story of what happens during a manned mission to Mars, when Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian”home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission.

MEN AND CHICKEN

Denmark, 2015

US Premiere, 100 min

Director – Anders Thomas Jensen

Mads Mikkelsen as only his longtime absurdist Danish collaborator Anders Thomas Jensen could conceive, a chronic masturbator with a hair-trigger temper, desperately searches for his true identity.

THE MIND’S EYE

United States, 2015

US Premiere, 87 min

Director – Joe Begos

On the heels of his Fantastic Fest debut ALMOST HUMAN, Joe Begos returns with a classic battle of good versus evil. A drifter with suppressed psychic powers must learn to unleash them to save the woman he loves.

THE MISSING GIRL

United States, 2015

US Premiere, 89 min

Director – A.D.Calvo

Mort, a lonely and disillusioned owner of a comic book shop, has fallen for his new employee Ellen, a smart, aspiring graphic novelist. A dark past and a missing girl, however, will complicate their story more than anyone can imagine.

THE PASSING

United Kingdom, 2015

World Premiere, 87 min

Director – Gareth Bryn

After their car is driven off the road and crashed into a river, a young couple on the run is taken in by a simple man living with his secrets in his isolated home.

RABID DOGS

France, 2015

US Premiere,99 min

Director – Eric Hannezo

Four violent criminals escaping a robbery take a man, an ailing child and a young woman on a nightmarish road trip in this remake of Mario Bava’s near-lost Euro-crime nasty.

THE RIVER

Canada/Laos, 2015

US Premiere, 88 min

Director – Jamie Dagg

John, a volunteer doctor, finds himself on the run in a strange country when he tries to stop the rape of a drunk girl at the hands of an Australian man.

TOO LATE

United States, 2015

Regional Premiere, 107 min

Director – Dennis Hauck

A troubled private eye trawls through the belly of Los Angeles looking for a missing young woman, slowly revealing a careful web of intrigue, lies and connections.

WHAT WE BECOME

Denmark, 2015

World Premiere, 85 min

Director – Bo Mikkelsen

An idyllic suburban summer is shattered with the outbreak of an unexplained disease. With residents forced into quarantine with no explanation, the situation quickly spirals out of control.

THE WITCH

Canada/United States, 2015

Texas Premiere, 90 min

Director – Robert Eggers

Sixty years before the Salem witch trials, a Puritan moves his family away from civilization to a homestead which shares its borders with inescapable evil.

YAKUZA APOCALYPSE

Japan, 2015

Texas Premiere, 115 min

Director – Takashi Miike

After a yakuza vampire boss is struck down, his most loyal disciple takes it upon himself to avenge his mentor’s death and eliminate the assassins and their giant plush frog leader in Miike’s classic yakuza tale turned inside out.

ZINZANA

United Arab Emirates, Jordan, 2015

World Premiere, 91 min

Director – Majid Al Ansari

Talal wakes up in a cell with no memory of the night before with no I.D. and no escape. Nothing can prepare him, however, for the arrival of a brilliant psychopath and the games he wants to play.

Fantastic Fest’s first wave of programming:

BONE TOMAHAWK

United States, 2015

World Premiere, 133 min

Director – S. Craig Zahler

Kurt Russell stars in this character driven and at times horrific Western about a group of men (including Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox and Richard Jenkins) who set out to rescue a local woman and a young deputy who’ve been kidnapped by a tribe of cannibalistic troglodytes.

DARLING

United States, 2015

World Premiere, 78 min

Director – Mickey Keating

A young woman slowly goes crazy after taking a job as the caretaker for an ancient New York home in the new film from writer/director Mickey Keating.

THE DEATHLESS DEVIL

Turkey, 1972

Repertory Screening, 84 min

Director – Yilmaz Atadeniz

The mysterious Dr. Satan’s nefarious plans threaten the future of everyone on the planet, and the only men who can stop him are the brilliant Copperhead and his assistant Sherlock Holmes!

DER BUNKER

Germany, 2015

North American Premiere, 85 min

Director – Nikias Chryssos

A student rents a room from a family in their converted army bunker, and ends up the tutor to the child and a virtual slave to the parents.

FAREWELL UNCLE TOM

Italy, 1971

Repertory Screening, 123 min

Directors – Gualtiero Jacopetti, Franco Prosperi

The first movie based on historical facts about the rise and revolt of slavery in America is one of the most brilliant, misunderstood and reviled of all time.

GERMAN ANGST

Germany, 2015

US Premiere, 111 min

Directors – Jörg Buttgereit, Michal Kosakowski & Andreas Marschall

German directors Buttgereit, Kosakowski and Marschall unleash this brutal assault on the senses, a surreal three-part horror anthology touching on love and hate and everything in between.

IN SEARCH OF ULTRA SEX

France, 2015

North American Premiere, 60 min

Directors – Nicolas Charlet and Bruno Lavaine

A pandemic infects people everywhere with infinite lust, and the only ones who can save us are a group of astronauts in space, desperately looking for a solution.’

THE INVITATION

United States, 2015

Special Screening, 97 min

Director – Karyn Kusama

A haunted man attends a dinner party at the house he once called home, and becomes gripped with paranoia that his ex-wife and her new husband are harboring an insidious agenda.

LIZA THE FOX FAIRY

Hungary, 2015

Regional Premiere, 98 min

Director – Károly Ujj-Mészáros

Somewhere in 1970s Budapest, nurse Liza dreams of romance. But as all her suitors die in violent and extreme ways, she begins to fear the worst: maybe she is really a fox fairy, doomed to remain alone forever!

LOVE AND PEACE

Japan, 2015
US Premiere, 117 min

Director – Sion Sono

Fantastic Fest staple Shion Sono returns once again with a deeply personal (and expectedly odd) film about a lonely businessman with dreams of punk rock stardom and his best friend, a turtle.

LOVEMILLA

Finland, 2015

NorthAmerican Premiere, 97 min

Director – Teemu Nikk

LOVEMILLA is a delightful peek at life and love in Finland, filled with all the usual zombies, black holes, giant pandas and superheros you’d expect from the land that gave us Renny Harlin.

THE MAN WHO SAVES THE WORLD

Turkey, 1982

Repertory Screening, 91 min

Director – Çetin İnanç

There has never been and will never be another film like THE MAN WHO SAVES THE WORLD, and your only chance to discover why is at this special Fantastic Fest screening!

MY BODY HUNGERS

United States, 1967

Repertory Screening, 80 min

Director – Joseph W. Sarno

A roadhouse hostess goes undercover to investigate the murder of her sister in a little-seen sexploiter from grindhouse rebel and master of erotica Joe Sarno.

OFFICE

Korea, 2015

US Premiere, 111 min

Director – HONG Won-Chan

OFFICE is the story of Kim, the salaryman who one day brutally murders his entire family with a hammer, and Lee, the put-upon intern at his workplace. It’s dark-as-night corporate satire hiding behind a slasher veneer with scares so well timed, you’ll jump out of your seat non-stop.

REMAKE, REMIX, RIP-OFF

Turkey/Germany, 2014

US Premiere, 96 min

Director – Cam Kaya

Welcome to Turkey. It’s home to Yesilcam, the Turkish Hollywood where, in the late ‘70s, dreams were built on nothing more than a dime. Both a loving tribute to the burgeoning cinema of this young country and a trip into history, REMAKE, REMIX, RIP-OFF brings you the most outlandish story you’ve never heard, about filmmaking so dangerous that you need a safety harness just for watching.

RUINED HEART

Phillipines-Germany, 2015

Regional Premiere, 73 min

Director – Khavn de la Cruz

Filipino iconoclast Khavn De La Cruz teams with famed cinematographer Christopher Doyle and Japanese mega star Tadanobu Asano to create a self-described “punk noir opera.”

SENSORIA

Sweden, 2015

World Premiere, 82 min

Director – Christian Hallman

Caroline Menard is a woman in her thirties who has lost everything. As she moves into a new apartment searching for a new start, she’s unaware that something ancient is waiting for her.

THE SIMILARS

Mexico, 2015

World Premiere, 89 min

Director – Isaac Ezban

On a dark and stormy night, eight strangers are stuck in a small bus station waiting for a bus to Mexico City. When strange things start happening, they find themselves trapped in a struggle for sanity and survival.

SPEED

South Korea, 2015

North American Premiere, 104 min

Director – Lee Sang-woo

Four friends navigate sex, love and life in a heart-breaking new film from Korean director Lee Sang-woo.

STAND BY FOR TAPE BACK-UP

United Kingdom, 2015

US Premiere, 65 min

Director – Ross Sutherland

Hypnotically scanning the contents of a VHS tape, this experimental essay-film eulogizes the former custodian of the analog artifact, transforming its recordings of GHOSTBUSTERS and FRESH PRINCE (among others) through rap-infused anecdotal narration, and inscribing both profound and hilarious associations to the tracking-lined images. STAND BY FOR TAPE BACK-UP will be presented as both a traditional screening as well as a live performance by creator Ross Sutherland.

TARKAN VS THE VIKINGS

Turkey, 1971

Repertory Screening, 86 min

Director – Mehmet Aslan

Based on one of the most popular comic strips in Turkey. this rip-roaring adventure sees Tarkan and his trusty wolf companion Kurt take on the despicable Viking invaders after they leave him for dead!

VICTORIA

Germany, 2015

Regional Premiere, 138 min

Director – Sebastian Schipper

Sebastian Schipper’s fourth directorial work is a single-shot tour-de-force that follows a Spanish barista through a dance club, the streets of Berlin, a coffee shop, a bank robbery and her destiny.

THE X-RATED SUPERMARKET

United States, 1972

Repertory Screening, 62 min

Director – Paul Roberts

Want to save money on your weekly sex toy budget? Look no further than the supermarket shelves in some salacious tips and reactions from suburban horny housewives.

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