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Fantastic Fest Announces Second Wave of Lineup, Rian Johnson’s ‘Knives Out’ to Close Festival

Bong Joon-ho's Palme d'Or winner "Parasite" will also play at the genre festival, along with a special emphasis on Mexican genre film and LGBTQ+ stories.

Knives Out

“Knives Out”

Claire Folger

Two months after announcing its first wave, the Alamo Drafthouse-created Fantastic Fest is continuing to flesh out its genre-filled lineup. Their latest slate of films is dominated by old and new horror from around the world, but two high-profile inclusions will catch movie lovers’ eyes. Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi” followup, the murder mystery “Knives Out,” is set to close the festival with the director in attendance. Palme d’Or winner “Parasite,” in the midst of a domestic Oscar campaign after storming the international box office, will also play Fantastic Fest.

From there, the programming places special emphasis on two categories: Mexican genre film and LGBTQ+ stories. For the former, there will be screenings of three-rarely seen Mexican horror classics, as well as lectures and a shorts program for young Mexican filmmakers.

The festival will also include screenings of some landmark LGBTQ+ horror films, including the new documentary “Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street.” Fantastic Fest programmer Brian Kelley said: “The two most unwavering pieces of my identity — my queerness and my love of horror — come together in some fascinating and unexpected ways over the course of film history. I can’t think of a better group of people to explore and celebrate some of the crazy, frequently daring and often challenging films that make up the universe of queer horror with than my Fantastic Fest family.”

These films join a lineup that already includes Taikka Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” and Takashi Miike’s “First Love.” All in all, it’s shaping up to be can’t-miss viewing for any lover of horror, science fiction, or fantasy. The complete second wave of the lineup can be found below, with synopses provided by the festival.

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“Aboue Leila”
Algeria, France, Qatar, 2019
North American Premiere, 139 min
Director – Amin Sidi-Boumédiène
In the midst of the Algerian Civil War, Lotfi ventures into the desert with his lifelong friend S., who hopes to find and kill the elusive, dangerous terrorist Abou Leila.

“The Antenna”
Turkey, 2019
US Premiere, 115 min
Director – Orçun Behram
Somewhere within an unnamed city in Turkey, the residents of an apartment block await the installation of their new antenna as ordered by the central government. No one can prepare them for the evil that will be unleashed.

“The Black Pit of Dr. M”
Mexico, 1959
Repertory Screening, 82 min
Director – Fernando Méndez
Two doctors make a pact on behalf of science: Whichever one dies first will return to share the secrets of the afterlife. This pact will not end well.

“Bliss”
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 80 min
Director – Joe Begos
While trying to complete her latest painting, a starving artist facing a lack of inspiration spirals out of control in a blaze of blood-soaked, drug-fueled glory.

“Blood Machine”
France, USA, 2019
North American Premiere, 50 min
Director – Seth Ickerman
The wild sequel to the Carpenter Brut music video, “Turbo Killer,” shoots you into a turbulent psychedelic adventure of galactic hunters tracking down the soul of a spaceship set to a killer synthwave soundtrack.

“Butt Boy”
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 100 min
Director – Tyler Cornack
Writer/director/comedian Tyler Cornack’s “Butt Boy” introduces us to Chip, a middle-aged man whose first prostate exam stirs feelings deep inside leading to an addiction that can only be shown to Fantastic Fest audiences.

“Climate of the Hunter”
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 90 min
Director – Mickey Reece
The “Soderbergh of the Sticks,” Mickey Reece, returns to Fantastic Fest with his 27th feature. Two beautiful sisters vie for the affections of a man who may or may not be a vampire.

“Color Out of Space”
USA, 2019
US Premiere, 111 min
Director – Richard Stanley
Unimaginable terrors befall the Gardner family after a meteorite lands on their front lawn in Richard Stanley’s entrancing, horrific adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story.

“Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks”
Australia, 2019
North American Premiere, 107 min
Director – Serge Ou
From the Shaw Brothers to “The Matrix,” this wild documentary tells the story of how kung fu films conquered the world from the 1960s to now.

“Knives Out”
USA, 2019
Special Presentation, 130 min
Director – Rian Johnson
In attendance – Director Rian Johnson
From acclaimed writer, director Rian Johnson comes “Knives Out,” a fresh and modern take on the classic “whodunnit” mystery genre.

the lodge

“The Lodge”

“The Lodge”
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 108 min
Directors – Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala
Five years after “Goodnight Mommy” stunned Fantastic Fest audiences, Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala are back with another disturbing psychological twister about a brother and sister spending Christmas with their shadowy soon-to-be stepmother.

“The Long Walk”
Laos, Spain, Singapore, 2019
US Premiere, 115 min
Director – Mattie Do
In attendance – Director Mattie Do
An old Laotian hermit discovers that the ghost of a road accident victim can transport him back in time fifty years to the moment of his mother’s painful death..

“Lyle”
2014, USA
Repertory Screening, 65 min
Director – Stewart Thorndike
In attendance – Director Stewart Thorndike
After the loss of her child, a young woman begins to suspect that her neighbors might be part of a satanic cult and that she might be their next target.

“A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge”
USA, 1985
Repertory Screening, 87 min
Director – Jack Sholder
In attendance – Actors Mark Patton and Kim Myers
Jesse (Mark Patton) is the new kid on Elm Street and Freddy Krueger might not be the only monster in the closet in this much discussed but under-appreciated queer horror classic.

“Nobadi”
Austria, 2019
US Premiere, 90 min
Director – Karl Markovics
In a retirement allotment in Vienna, a crabby 91-year-old finds both himself and his humanity when he hires an Afghani refugee to help him in Karl Markovics’ remarkable and poignant third feature.

“Parasite”
South Korea, 2019
Texas Premiere, 131 min
Director – Bong Joon-ho
Bong Joon-ho’s seventh feature — about an unemployed Korean family conning their way out of their basement apartment — is a roller coaster ride of laughs, gasps, horror, tears, and perfection.

“Patrick”
Belgium, 2019
North American Premiere, 97 min
Director – Tim Mielants
Patrick is not having an easy time. First his domineering father passed away and now his favorite hammer is missing. Before the day is out, Patrick’s search will lead him to discover answers to the questions he didn’t even know existed.

“Phil Tippett – Mad Dreams and Monsters”
France, 2019
International Premiere, 80 min
Directors – Gilles Penso & Alexandre Poncet
After their documentary “Creature Designers – The Frankenstein Complex,” French journalist Alexandre Poncet and filmmaker Gilles Penso deliver an in-depth, sad, and beautiful documentary about the stop motion and VFX artist Phil Tippett, a man who changed the landscape of visual effects in film.

Parasite, Bong Joon-ho

“Parasite”

Neon

“The Platform”
Spain, 2019
US Premiere, 90 min
Director – Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
In attendance – Director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Somewhere in the future exists “The Platform,” a vertically tiered prison where the upper levels have access to exquisite food and the lower levels fight for survival. Level assignments are random, but how long can a prisoner’s luck hold? One man is about to find out.

“Prey”
1977, United Kingdom
Repertory Screening, 78 min
Director – Norman J. Warren
Jessica and Josephine find more than their relationship at stake when they’re chosen by a shape-shifting alien as his target for an observational study.

“Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street”
USA, 2019
US Premiere, 100 min
Directors – Roman Chimienti & Tyler Jensen
In attendance – Directors Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen
More than thirty years after its release and his departure from Hollywood, Mark Patton (star of “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge”), sets the record straight on the famously queer horror sequel in this fabulous, surprising, and eye-opening documentary.

“The Ship of Monsters”
Mexico, 1960
Repertory Screening, 81 min
Director – Rogelio A. González
Two Venusian women and their robot servant are on a mission to find suitable candidates to repopulate their planet. Soon their ship is filled with bizarre specimens from across the universe, leading to an adventure like no other!

“Synchronic”
USA, 2019
US Premiere, 96 min
Directors – Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead
In attendance – Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
Two paramedics find their world ripped apart when they start encountering deaths linked to the otherworldly effects of a new designer drug called Synchronic.

“Trampa Infernal”
Mexico, 1989
Repertory Screening, 77 min
Director – Pedro Galindo III
In Mexico’s most notorious unseen video-era masterblast, a crew of toxically masculine bear murderers runs afoul of a forest-dwelling war veteran wearing a mannequin mask and Freddy Krueger glove. Entertainment ensues!!

“The True Adventures of Wolfboy”
USA, 2019
North American Premiere, 88 min
Director – Martin Krejčí
Suffering from hypertrichosis — which covers him with animal-like fur — Paul knows he’s not like other kids. But a seemingly random package from his estranged mother will send him on a journey of self-discovery alongside extraordinary characters.

“The Vast of Night”
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 90 min
Director – Andrew Patterson
A rural 1950s radio DJ and a telephone operator uncover a strange signal that could change everything in this stunning science fiction debut feature.

“VFW”
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 92 min
Director – Joe Begos
In attendance – Director Joe Begos
In the near future, a new drug called Hype has turned America into a war zone. The addicted are more mutant than human, and they’ve set their sights on assaulting a VFW post in Joe Begos’ star-studded latest.

“VHYes”
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 71 min
Director – Jack Henry Robbins
In attendance – Director Jack Henry Robbins
This bizarre retro comedy, shot entirely on VHS and Beta, takes us back to when 12-year-old Ralph, over one formative week, mistakenly records home videos and his favorite late night shows over his parents’ wedding tape.

“Vivarium”
Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, 2019
US Premiere, 98 min
Director – Lorcan Finnegan
When young couple Gemma (Imogen Poots) and Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) drive out to a maze of temptingly affordable houses in the suburbs, they find themselves unable to leave.

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