Cannes. Sundance. Toronto. SXSW.

Screw them.*

The best film festival each and every year is the Alamo Drafthouse Theater’s very own Fantastic Fest that takes place in Austin every fall. They bring genre films from around the world to play under one roof for fans of movies best described as strange, violent, unique, crazy and often absolutely incredible. These are movies that will most likely never get a DVD release in the US let alone a theatrical run making this fest the only real opportunity to see them (bar an import disc down the road).

The first wave of titles have been announced with two more to come in the next several weeks, and the list offers the usual selection of the very unusual. Movies we’ve never heard of before will play alongside ones we know by heart. I for one am looking forward to seeing The Shining on the big screen for the first time as well as some of the new films below. Keep reading for the complete first wave!

*I kid! All film festivals are awesome, period.

COCKNEYS VS ZOMBIES (2011)
US Premiere
Director – Matthias Hoene, 87min
When a badly planned bank robbery and a zombie outbreak collide, hilarity ensues in this balls-out, irreverent British comedy.

DEAD SUSHI (2012)
US Premiere
Director – Noboru Iguchi, 91min
Japanese splatter action comedy is on the menu when director Noboru Iguchi & karate girl Rina Takeda join forces to take on flying killer sushi monsters in DEAD SUSHI!

DREDD 3D (2012)
Gala Premiere
Director: Pete Travis, USA, 98 minutes
The future America is an irradiated waste land. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called “Judges” who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner.  Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd (Karl Urban) is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge

THE ENTITY (1982)
Repertory Screening as part of the House of Psychotic Women series
Director – Sidney J. Furie, 125min
In this controversial film based on a true story, director Furie explores the domestically-abused-woman-as-masochist stereotype by veiling it as a supernatural horror film.

ERRORS OF THE HUMAN BODY (2012)
US Premiere
Director – Eron Sheean, 101min
Plagued by the memory of the infant son he could not save, geneticist Geoff Burton plunges into a web of intrigue, jealousy and lies in this icily precise thriller.

EVERYBODY IN OUR FAMILY (2011)
US Premiere
Director – Radu Jude, 107min
A simple domestic dispute becomes an explosive examination of stress in this powerful and unsettling Romanian drama.

I DECLARE WAR (2012)
Regional Premiere
Director – Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson, 91min
A group of exceptionally creative teens gets sucked into their own private Lord of the Flies scenario when an after-school game of “war” turns into a test of loyalty, strategy and friendship.

THE KING OF PIGS (2011)
Texas Premiere
Director – Yeun Sang-Ho, 97min
THE KING OF PIGS is an emotionally punishing animated indie film about a group of friends whose brutal childhoods continue to haunt them as adults.

LE MEMORIA DEL MUERTO (2012)
US Premiere
Director – Valentín Javier Diment, 89min
Alicia undertakes a bizarre cult ritual to restore her deceased husband to life – a ritual that will see her home and friends visited by the spirits of the dead.

THE MAFU CAGE (1978)
Repertory Screening as part of the House of Psychotic Women series
Director – Karen Arthur, 102min
One of the most compelling and uniquely dark films of the psychotic woman subgenre, Karen Arthur’s adaptation of Eric Westphal’s play You and Your Clouds stars Lee Grant as Ellen, an astronomer who lives with her feral sister Cissy (Carol Kane).

PARIS BY NIGHT (2011)
Texas Premiere
Director – Philippe Lefebvre, 100min
Phillipe Lefebvre’s PARIS BY NIGHT is a sleek French cop thriller that follows a pair of vice cops as they patrol the Parisian club scene over the course of a single evening.

ROOM 237 (2012)
Texas Premiere
Director – Rodney Ascher, 102min
Rodney Ascher’s ROOM 237 is a fascinating documentary that explores bizarre theories about the subtext and symbolism underlying Stanley Kubrick’s landmark film THE SHINING.

SECRET CEREMONY (1968)
Repertory Screening as part of the House of Psychotic Women series
Director – Joseph Losey, 105min
In Losey’s underrated SECRET CEREMONY, an aging but still glamourous Elizabeth Taylor stars as Leonora, a prostitute grieving over the death of her daughter in a drowning accident.

THE SHINING (1980)
Repertory Screening
Director – Stanley Kubrick, 142min
Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece features an unhinged performance by Jack Nicholson and a setting that drips with menace.  Its imagery and characters have permeated all areas of pop culture throughout the decades, yet the film retains all its power to disturb and terrify.

TOWER BLOCK (2012)
US Premiere
Directors – James Nunn and Ronnie Thompson, 87min
The last remaining tenants of a deteriorating, soon-to-be-demolished tower block must band together to survive when a killer with a high-powered sniper rifle starts picking them off through the windows of their flats.

UNIT 7 (Grupo 7) (2012)
Texas Premiere
Director – Alberto Rodriguez, 95min
Alberto Rodriguez’s UNIT 7 is gritty realistic thriller about a crew of narcotics officers in Seville, Spain who go rogue during a citywide crackdown in the years preceding Expo ’92.

WRONG (2011)
Regional Premiere
Director – Quentin Dupieux, 94min
Everyman Dolph Springer’s (Jack Plotnick) world is turned wrong when he awakens at 7:60 one morning to find his beloved dog missing in Quentin’s Dupieux’s latest absurdist opus and follow up to 2010’s killer tire film, RUBBER.

YOUNG GUN IN THE TIME (2012)
US Premiere
Director – Oh Young Doo, 95min
The director of INVASION OF ALIEN BIKINI returns with a quirky, low budget time travel romp filled with sex shops, robot hands and Hawaiian shirts.

Fantastic Fest 2012 runs from September 20th – 27th this year.


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