Fantastic Fest 2009 Adds Romero, Miike, Daybreakers, Zombieland!


The second round of entries into the Fantastic Fest 2009 line-up have been released this morning. For out-of-towners, Fantastic Fest is Austin’s premiere film festival and the largest genre film festival in the United States. Once a year, Alamo Drafthouse master of ceremonies Tim League brings the best horror, action, foreign and otherwise related gems to Austin for a week of fried food, good spirits and great movies at the world’s greatest movie theater. And according to the line-up I just read through – attached below – this year should be no exception. League and crew will be bringing George Romero back to Austin for the U.S. Premiere of Survival of the Dead. As well, they will also host Ruben Fleischer’s Zombieland and the latest film from Takashi Miike, the animeted Yatterman.

I would urge you to check out the line-up below. But even more importantly, you should head over to and buy any ticket they have left. You shant be disappointed in a late-September trip to Austin. For more titles playing this year’s fest, check out the Fantastic Fest Line-Up Part I.

Daybreakers (dir. Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig, 2009) The year is 2019. A mysterious plague has swept over the earth, transforming the majority of the world’s population into vampires. Humans are now an endangered, second-class species – forced into hiding as they are hunted and farmed for vampire consumption to the brink of extinction. It’s all up to Edward Dalton, a vampire researcher who refuses to feed on human blood, to perfect a blood substitute that might sustain vampires and spare the few remaining humans. But time and hope are running out – until Ed meets Audrey, a human survivor who leads him to a startling medical breakthrough. Armed with knowledge that both humans and vampires will kill for, Ed must battle his own kind in a deadly struggle that will decide the fate of the human race. Daybreakers opens nationwide on January 8, 2010. Special thanks to Lionsgate for arranging this event.

Doghouse (dir. Jake West, 2009, UK) North American Premiere Kicked out of the house and recently served with divorce papers, Vince (Stephen Graham, THIS IS ENGLAND) is at a low point in his life. In an effort to rally their best mate’s spirits, his crew rents a charter bus for a country retreat of heavy drinking and womanizing. The only problem is that the women in their idyllic country hideaway have been infested with the zombie plague, eaten every man in town and are now hungry for seconds.

Duress North American Premiere (dir. Jordan Barker, 2009, US) A cold-blooded killer has singled out a mild-mannered, recently widowed man and is forcing him, under threat of harm to his young daughter, to participate in his gruesome activities. The indecisive father sinks deeper and more helplessly into the clutches of the ruthless killer – a man most definitely on a mission.

Macabre World Premiere (dir. The Mo Brothers, 2009, Indonesia) After just embarking on a roadtrip, six friends stop to pick up a girl who has just been robbed and return her to her home at the end of an isolated forest. Their act of kindness ends up being repaid by a night of unspeakable horror and butchery.

Smash Cut U.S. Premiere (dir. Lee Demarbre, 2009, Canada) When his latest film is panned for its sub-par effects work, veteran grindhouse filmmaker Able Whitman (David Hess, LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK) is struck with inspiration: the most realistic gore effects will come from actual dismemberment and corpses!

Survival of the Dead U.S. Premiere (dir. George A. Romero, 2009, US/Canada) George Romero returns to the Alamo Drafthouse cinema for the U.S. premiere of his latest zombie opus. The action centers on two warring clans of Plum Island; one wants to kill every zombie on the island, the other tries to protect their undead family members until a cure for “zombieism” is found.

Van Diemen’s Land U.S. Premiere (dir. Jonathan Auf Der Heide, 2009, Australia) When their guard is killed en route to prison in 19th-century Tasmania, eight prisoners escape through the dense rain forest. Their poorly-conceived escape plans crumble, food runs out and the gang of prisoners engages in power struggles, psychological games and cannibalism in order to survive. Based on the true-life story of Australian prisoner Alexander Pearce.

Yesterday Regional Premiere (Rob Grant, 2009, Canada) When a strange flulike virus starts killing people and turning them into flesh-eating zombies, an unlikely group of guys band together, grab an SUV and head for the woods to wait out the epidemic. Shot in 16mm on a micro-budget of $25,000, YESTERDAY transcends its resources, filling every scene with great practical effects, car crashes, ballistics and, most importantly, cracklingly sharp dramatic and comedic performances by every single principal cast member.

Zombieland (dir. Ruben Fleischer, 2009, US) Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) is a big wuss – but when you’re afraid of being eaten by zombies, fear can keep you alive. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) is an AK-totin’, zombie-slayin’ badass whose single determination is to get the last Twinkie on earth.

Crazy Racer Regional Premiere (dir. Hao Ning, 2009, China) Singing and dancing Chinese Supermen, bumbling police investigators, even more bumbling apprentice criminals, double and triple-cross assassination attempts, muay thai gymnastics, triad gangster shootouts, explosions and car chases all collide to form a deliriously intoxicating celluloid cocktail.

Down Terrace World Premiere (dir. Ben Wheatley, 2009, UK) Down Terrace is a darkly comedic drama from Britain that follows the daily travails of a dysfunctional family of crooks trying to keep their business from falling apart.

First Squad World Premiere (dir. Yoshiharu Ashino, 2009, Japan) The battle along the Russian-German front of WWII has ground to a halt. Desperate to regain momentum the Nazi forces have turned to their occult division to raise the spirits of their dead ancestors to fight on their behalf. Russia’s only hope lies in the psychic abilities of a teenage girl.

Hard Revenge, Milly: Bloody Battle Regional Premiere (dir. Takanori Tsujimoto, 2009, Japan) In a near-future post-apocalyptic bombed-out shell of Japan, lawless gangs roam the outskirts of the city, raping and pillaging with impunity. Milly, left for dead by a particularly vicious gang, literally picks up the (her) pieces, bonds them with some truly inventive bio-weaponry and takes bloody revenge, one lowlife at a time.

The Human Centipede North American Premiere (dir. Tom Six, 2009, Netherlands/UK) Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser), a leering, sepulchral surgeon from Germany whose specialty is separating Siamese twins, evolves his craft by sewing together living beings together at the “mucous-cutaneous zone” (guess) in order to create Siamese triplets with a single digestive system.

Mandrill World Premiere (dir. Ernesto Diaz Espinoza, 2009, Chile) The dynamic duo of Chile, Marko Zaror and Ernesto Diaz Espinoza, are returning to Austin with the World Premiere of their new action thriller MANDRILL. Marko Zaror plays MANDRILL, a young hitman who will not relent until he has exacted bloody revenge on the man who killed his mother many years ago.

Merantau North American Premiere (dir. Gareth Evans, 2009, Indonesia) Indonesia’s first martial arts film in roughly fifteen years and quite possibly the first to ever feature a serious treatment of local martial art silat.

Metropia U.S. Premiere (dir. Tarik Saleh, 2009, Sweden) What if the global oil shortage were to force civilization underground? What if the subway system were expanded to connect all the major cities of Europe? What if the voices in your head were real and the Powers That Be using transmitters hidden in shampoo to monitor your every word and action? It’s only paranoia if it’s not true …

Sweet Karma US Premiere (dir. Andrew Thomas Hunt, 2009, Canada) When her sister disappears without a trace – the apparent victim in a Russian prostitution ring in Toronto – a shy, beautiful, mute woman sets off on a bloody, intercontinental trail of revenge.

Terribly Happy (dir. Henrik Ruben Genz, 2009, Denmark) Based on a true story, TERRIBLY HAPPY follows a young Copenhagen cop who is exiled to a provincial Jutland town after suffering a nervous collapse. The town and its “code” soon prove to be much more complex and challenging – not to mention much more deadly – than the big city beat.

Yatterman Regional Premiere (dir. Takashi Miike, 2009, Japan) A reimagining of the long-running Anime TV show, Miike’s YATTERMAN is a massive dayglo blast that hits your brain like a bullet train and kickstarts your pleasure centers.

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