Fantastic Fest 2009 kicks off tomorrow in Austin, TX, serving up 138 feature and short films between then and October 2. Now in its fifth year, Fantastic Fest focuses on genre and cult films with an emphasis on horror, fantasy, and sci-fi.
The festival gets an unofficial start tonight with a late night, pre-festival screening of “Eugenie: Story of Her Journey Into Perversion,” Jess Franco’s psychedelic, 1970 sex film about “a teenage girl who enters the cruel and corrupting orbit of her father’s mistress and her slightly insane half-brother when she visits their secluded island retreat for a weekend.” Franco is being honored by the festival with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The official opening night film, “Gentlemen Broncos,” is the latest from “Napoleon Dynamite” director Jared Hess. The film focuses on a misfit teenager with a passion for writing, whose short story gets ripped off by his hero, a legendary fantasy novelist, and subsequently adapted into a disastrous movie by his small town’s homespun filmmaker. Among the other films screening at this year’s festival are George A. Romero’s latest zombie flick, “Survival of the Dead,” Paul Weitz’s “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant,” which stars John C. Reilly and is based on the series of books by Darren Shan, Ti West’s ’80s horror-homage, “House of the Devil,” Ruben Fleischer’s horror-comedy “Zombieland,” Yoshihiro Nakamura’s “Fish Story,” Patrick Alessandrin’s sequel to “District B13,” “District 13: Ultimatum,” Yoshihiro Nishimura’s “Vampire GIrl Vs. Frankenstein Girl,” Nicholas Winding Refn’s “Bronson,” and Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist.”
Other highlights of this year’s festival include a special screening of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s 1977 cult classic “Hausu,” secret screenings of yet-to-be announced films, and a vampire themed closing night party.
To view the complete lineup, visit Fantastic Fest’s official website.