This year marks the 10th anniversary of what might just be the world’s best film festival. (I say “might” not because I doubt my own statement, but only because I have yet to attend Spain’s Sitges Film Festival…) And while Tim League and his Alamo Drafthouse friends most assuredly have plenty of surprises and celebrations in store for us this year for now we have to settle for a tease of what’s to come next month with this first wave announcement of movies and events playing the fest.
Two anthology sequels are making their expected appearances here as are a few films we’ve seen elsewhere including the wonderfully creepy Australian chiller The Babadook, the surprising documentary Kung Fu Elliot and the French gender bender Jacky in the Kingdom of Women. Kevin Smith’s Tusk is also playing, but the highlight there promises to be seeing how the antagonism between Smith and movie bloggers plays out with Smith in attendance. (My guess is both sides will be super chummy.) The true magic of Fantastic Fest though is in the obscure and previously unknown foreign titles that they share with us each year, and happily the majority of the titles below are ones I’ve never heard of before now.
Keep reading to see the first wave of titles that will be playing Fantastic Fest 2014.
ABCs OF DEATH 2
World Premiere, 125 min
Directors – Larry Fessenden, Marvin Kren, Todd Rohal, Jim Hosking, Julien Maury and, Alexandre Bustillo, Julian Gilbey, Soichi Umezawa, Lancelot Imasuen, Jerome Sable, Robert Boocheck, Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado, Bill Plympton, Rodney Ascher, Erik Matti, Juan Moreno, Steven Kostanski, Alejandro Brugués, E.L. Katz, Julian Barratt, Hajime Ohata, Vincenzo Natali, Chris Nash, Jen and Sylvia Soska, Dennison Ramalho, Robert Morgan, Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper
In 2013 the craziest anthology ever created was released to an unsuspecting public. It immediately divided audiences. Some claimed it was a much-needed adrenaline shot to the heart of genre film, while others claimed it was reprehensible and the death knell of cinema as we know it.
In 2014 it’s happening again. This time with an all-new line-up of international directors.
France/Belgium, 2014; US Premiere, 95 min; Director – Fabrice Du Welz
A lonely woman and a psychotic gigolo find love through murder in the latest film from the director of CALVAIRE and VINYAN.
Australia, 2014; Texas Premiere, 94 min; Director – Jennifer Kent
In this impressive horror debut, Amelia thought her biggest problems were her son’s violent behavioral problems and her own depression. That was before something came knocking at the door…
BRO’s BEFORE HO’s
Netherlands, 2013; US Premiere, 88 min; Directors – Steffen Haars & Flip van der Kuil
A unashamedly offensive bromance from the killer comedy team behind NEW KIDS TURBO and NEW KIDS NITRO.
CLOSER TO GOD
United States, 2014; Texas Premiere, 81 min; Director – Billy Senese
Dr. Victor Reed finds himself in the middle of an ethical, legal and religious storm after conducting the first successful human cloning in this fiercely intelligent indie thriller.
DANGER 5 – SERIES 2
Australia, 2014; World Premiere, 75 min; Director – Dario Russo
When Adolf Hitler surfaces posing as a 1980s high school student, there can be only one response! The crack team of Danger 5 are pressed back into service to eliminate the Nazi threat once and for all!
HIGH FIVE (RELOCOS Y REPASADOS)
URUGUAY – BRASIL, 2013; World Premiere, 98 min; Director – Manuel Facal
It’s a stoner comedy from Uruguay. What else do you need to know?
France, 2014; World Premiere, 89 min; Director – Romain Basset
A stunning exploration of a young woman’s nightmares.
THE INCIDENT (EL INCIDENTE)
Mexico, 2014; North American Premiere, 100 min; Director – Isaac Ezban
A cosmic event disrupts life on Earth in this sci-fi mind-bender.
JACKY IN THE KINGDOM OF WOMEN (JACKY AU ROYAUME DES FEMMES)
France, 2013; Texas Premiere, 87 min; Director – Riad Sattouf
Women hold the power while men cower in this scathing dystopian satire starring Charlotte Gainsbourg.
KUNG FU ELLIOT
Canada, 2014; Fantastic Fest Premiere, 88 min; Director- Jaret Belliveau & Matthew Bauckman
A hilarious and disturbing documentary about a man’s quest to become an international action star.
MALTIN’S GAME TOURNAMENT
Created by Fantastic Fest alum and film producer, and self-described Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide convert, Ant Timpson circa the early 90s, MALTIN’S is a movie lover’s version of game night favorite Balderdash. Someone starts as “Maltin” and chooses a title from Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, a film that no one knows. The other players then all write down a fake synopsis based on the title. Players attempt to trick each other into believing that their synopsis is the real one while trying to decipher the true Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide synopsis.
LOCAL GOD (DIOS LOCAL)
Uruguay, 2014; World Premiere, 88 min; Director – Gustavo Hernandez
While filming music videos in an abandoned gold mine, a rock group is tormented by an evil spirit in this new film from the director of LA CASA MUDA.
THE MAN IN THE ORANGE JACKET
Latvia/Estonia, 2014; US Premiere, 71 min; Director – Aik Karapetian
A laid-off harbor worker wages a private war on the rich in this surrealistic Latvian horror film.
THE MELTDOWN WITH JONAH & KUMAIL
The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail hails all the way from the back of a comic book store in Los Angeles, where not only has it been crowned one of the best standup shows in LA by LA Weekly, LA Times, and Hollywood Reporter, but it’s now a TV show! Comedy Central filmed eight documentary-style episodes of The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail for a brand new type of standup show that airs Wednesday nights starting July 2014. Come see why this is the only existing live standup show to get its own TV show as hosts Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani charm your pants off and welcome some very special guests!
Greece, 2014; US Premiere, 74 min; Director – Yiannis Veslemes
A vampire dances his way through ’80s era Athens in this fantastic film from the production team behind DOGTOOTH.
STILL LIFE (NATURALEZA MUERTA)
Argentina, 2014; North American Premiere, 97 min; Director – Gabriel Grieco
Meat is murder in this brutal Argentinian slasher with an animal rights edge.
Belgium, 2014; North American Premiere, 94 min; Director – Nikolas List
Young David awakens battered and disoriented on the edge of town, knowing only one thing: He wants to get away. But no matter what he tries, he’s always led back to the same dark, disturbing place. Welcome to Tombville.
Sweden, 2014; North American Premiere, 95 min; Director – Tarik Saleh
Tommy is coming home, or at least that’s what his wife Estelle desperately needs people to believe when she returns after a year in exile. And if he doesn’t get what’s his, there’s going to be hell to pay.
United Stats, 2013; US Premiere, 102 min; Director – Kevin Smith
From the singular mind of writer/director and podcaster Kevin Smith, and conceived from one of Smith’s own Smodcast’s, TUSK is a story unlike anything that has ever been committed to screen before. A tale that is equal parts hilarious and horrifying, TUSK will stay with you long after the credits roll. Starring: Justin Long, Michael Parks, Genesis Rodriguez, and Haley Joel Osment
US, 2014; US Premiere, 98 min; Directors – Marcel Sarmiento, Gregg Bishop, Nacho Vigalondo, Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead
Fantastic Fest alumni Nacho Vigalondo & Marcel Sarmiento join several other genre filmmaking greats in this 3rd installment of the twisted found footage horror anthology franchise.
Australia, 2014; World Premiere, 92 min; Director – Kiah Roache-Turner
The undead rise again in this raucous feature debut from Australia’s Roache-Turner Brothers, who deliver one of the most balls-out, gonzo and just plain fun entries into the zombie canon in years.
Look for more film & event programming announcements for Fantastic Fest in the weeks ahead.
Fantastic Fest runs September 18th-25th, 2014.