Austin, Texas’ own home-grown genre festival, Fantastic Fest, has announced their first wave of programming picks, including their Closing Night world premiere, the Kurt Russell-starring “Bone Tomahawk.” Not to be outshone by the week’s other big announcements (including TIFF and VFF), Fantastic Fest offers up a wide variety of new picks — including some FF regulars, like Sion Sono — and even a few crossover features, like the one-take “Victoria” (which will screen at TIFF).
This year’s festival also includes some very special events, including a retrospective of Turkish genre cinema and a programming series from director Nicolas Winding Refn, launched in celebration of his new book “Nicolas Winding Refn: The Act of Seeing,” which is centered on Refn’s own collection of vintage movie posters.
This first wave of programming picks also includes Mickey Keating’s “Darling,” a special screening of Karyn Kusama’s “The Invitation” and Christian Hallman’s “Sensoria.”
Below are the first additions to this year’s Fantastic Fest slate. The festival runs September 24 to October 1. All film synopses provided by Fantastic Fest.
United States, directed by S. Craig Zahler, World Premiere
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.
First Wave Lineup
United States, directed by Mickey Keating, World Premiere
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, directed by 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!
Germany, directed by Nikias Chryssos, North American Premiere
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, directed by Gualtiero Jacopetti and 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.
Germany, directed by Jörg Buttgereit, Michal Kosakowski & Andreas Marschall, U.S. Premiere
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, directed by Nicolas Charlet and Bruno Lavaine, North American Premiere
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.
United States, directed by Karyn Kusama, Special Screening
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, directed by Károly Ujj-Mészáros, Regional Premiere
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, directed by Sion Sono, U.S. Premiere
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.
Finland, directed by Teemu Nikk, North American Premiere
“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, directed by 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, directed by 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.
Korea, directed by Hong Won-Chan, U.S. Premiere
“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, directed by Cam Kaya, U.S. Premiere
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.
Phillipines-Germany, directed by Khavn de la Cruz, Regional Premiere
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.”
Sweden, directed by Christian Hallman, World Premiere
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.
Mexico, directed by Isaac Ezban, World Premiere
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.
South Korea, directed by Lee Sang-woo, North American Premiere
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, directed by Ross Sutherland, U.S. Premiere
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, directed by 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!
Germany, directed by Sebastian Schipper, Regional Premiere
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, directed by 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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