Holy shit. It's almost time for Fantastic Fest. That has sure come around fast. The kick-off is now a week away - which means I'm out of a job in a couple of days.
Yeah, let me clarify that. To be able to go to Fantastic Fest this year, something I have been hoping to do for years and that was determined to do this year, I had to quit my job. Basically the choice came down to: stay at my job, where I have been for the last 5 years and have been trying to leave since I got here as it really isn’t what I want my career to be, or take the plunge; just up and hand in my notice and do something I’ve always wanted to do, even if it means I fall flat on my face.
The full line-up of films for Fantastic Fest have been announced - there's a frankly staggering amount of films on offer for the week. There's some old stuff, some new stuff. Some of the films, such as Melancholia, KNUCKLE and Snowtown I've already managed to catch at the New Zealand International Film Festival which frees me up to see other films when they're on.
I’m currently wrapping up my films from the NZIFF (yes, still), mainly for my own sake at this point. Come the Fantastic Fest though, what I will be offering here will be somewhat different. Yes, I’ll be trying to bring you reviews of the films I see, as I see them but I’ll also be giving you my experiences of the Fest; the insanity, the drunkenness, the head exploding.
Now here is but a selection, a taste, a peek around the velvet curtain at some of the outrageous, awesome and all around crazy films I'm excited to see at this year's Fest:
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON
"Keep to the roads." A simple warning, but one that is not heeded by two Americans backpacking across the Yorkshire Moors. Now, they must learn to follow a new warning, "Beware the moon."
A BOY AND HIS SAMURAI
From the director of festival faves Fish Story and Golden Slumber, the ultimate time travelling, father-son, samurai pastry chef, food movie ever made.
Follow the stories of five different fans as they prepare for and then consume or are consumed by the largest gathering of nerds in the universe: Comicon
COMIN' AT YA! 3D
The lethally unbelievable visual assault that kicked off the '80s 3D Boom returns in a state of the art digital restoration. Equal parts western and rollercoaster, COMIN' AT YA pulls out every stop to entertain you. If the modern wave of 3D were as fun as COMIN' AT YA, the motion picture industry would have nothing to worry about.
A man wakes in a strange apartment after a long night of drinking. When his unfamiliar bedmate tries to usher him out, they both discover that spaceships are hovering over Madrid.
INVASION OF ALIEN BIKINI
An ultra-stylized, super-cheap action/comedy/sci-fi/bikini flick will be the best under $5000 film you’ll see all year.
Super sexy serial killer Kevin Sorbo (in 3D!) gets a nasty surprise when his latest potential victim puts up an unexpected fight.
KARATE ROBO ZABORGAR
Happy 70’s crimefighters: a boy and his motorcycle-transforming, karate-fighting robot… only the kid’s grown up now and is pushing 50.
A LONELY PLACE TO DIE
This back-to-basics, bullshit-free modern take on the survival genre features a violent Russian child in a cage, gun-toting maniacs, and a cat-and-mouse chase across lawless, rural Scotland.
THE LOVED ONES
Girl likes boy. Girl asks boy to the prom but boy says no. Girl kidnaps boy and tortures him worse than one can possibly imagine. THE LOVED ONES is PRETTY IN PINK meets MISERY, but worse; much, much worse.
Part man, part robot, all killing machine! Only the awesome power of the MANBORG can drive the demon hordes back to hell!
The residents of a small village in the Swiss Alps start to distrust their local police officer after he decides to shelter a mysterious young woman who arrived directly after the death of a priest.
Ten years after starring in VERSUS, former street fighter-turned actor/director Tak Sakaguchi is back with this mondo trasho flick about a yakuza with a machine gun arm and a rocket launcher leg.
Lucio Fulci's extreme masterpiece of post-Romero corpse mania is back in a gorgeous digital restoration.
And friends, that’s just the films. There’s more that goes on at Fantastic Fest that I’ve only ever heard bits and pieces about. There are the Fantastic Arcade events with independent video-games, developers and panel discussions. There’s an annual debate/boxing match, with Fantastic Fest founder Tim League taking on the undefeated bare-knuckle champion from KNUCKLE, James Quinn McDonagh himself! There's the karaoke (mmm... will I ever be that drunk?) and the Fantastic Fest closing night party. This year's theme? Superheroes.