For diehard genre film fans, there isn’t a better place to be each year than Austin, Texas, for Fantastic Fest. The annual event, which was founded by Tim League from Austin’s famous Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News, is the largest genre film festival in the United States and has become an important place for movie studios to show off their upcoming films.
Since the festival was founded in 2005, Fantastic Fest has hosted the world premieres of a number of major films, including There Will Be Blood, Apocalypto, and Zombieland. This year, Fantastic Fest promises another impressive round of world premieres, as well as a wide selection of original short films, documentaries, and special features.
Some of the movies getting special gala screenings at Fantastic Fest this year include the Ryan Reynolds thriller Buried, the moody vampire film Let Me In, and the prison drama Stone, starring Robert De Niro and Edward Norton. Other notable films being shown at Fantastic Fest include the bizarre film Rubber, about a killer tire with psychokinetic powers, and 30 Days of Night: Dark Days, the sequel to David Slade’s vampire thriller 30 Days of Night.
To get into the spirit of Fantastic Fest (which begins tomorrow), we wanted to share some cool original art from the festival. These one-of-a-kind movie posters, including two pieces from world-famous artist Olly Moss, reflect the wide range of screenings offered by Fantastic Fest. Check out all seven posters below. Click on each image for a high-res version.
Red White & Blue (art by Sawdust). IFC Midnight, the new genre label of IFC Films has partnered with Fantastic Fest for the first time to bring four of its festival films to audiences nationwide via the movies-on-demand platform. Red White & Blue, Heartless, Primal and High Lane will premiere at the festival and be available on-demand simultaneously. In Red White & Blue, Erica is a tough, troubled nymphomaniac with a wound across her soul. For Erica, sleeping with multiple men forms the core of her life, until she meets mysterious Iraq vet, Nate. Despite his air of danger, Nate’s the only guy who doesn’t immediately want to sleep with her, and the two form a hesitant bond. But in a shocking twist, one of Erica’s earlier sexual encounters with wannabe-rock star Franki will have unexpected – and devastating – consequences on both of their lives.
Nevermore (art by Alan Hynes). Jeffrey Combs (Reanimator, The Frighteners) will be performing his one man show Nevermore…An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe. The play uses a compilation of historical accounts, actual monologues, articles, letters and Poe’s own words to construct the definitive portrait of America’s most famous macabre poet. The play ran for months in Los Angeles and received unanimously glowing reviews. Jeffrey Combs and director Stuart Gordon will also attend special repertory screenings of their cult-horror classics Reanimator & From Beyond during the festival.
Roger Corman (art by Zach Hobbs). Fantastic Fest will honor director/producer Roger Corman & producer Julie Corman with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Roger Corman received an Honorary 2010 Oscar for his contributions to filmmaking, and is the legendary director and producer of numerous cult classics, among them It Conquered the World, Death Race 2000 and The Little Shop of Horrors. The double-feature screening includes a Corman-produced film, Sharktopus, about a hybrid shark/octopus that goes in a killing rampage and Machete Maidens Unleashed! a documentary from the director of Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation, featuring the even wilder world of Philippine-made exploitation movies. The documentary features interviews with Roger Corman.
Let Me In (art by Olly Moss). Let Me In is the opening night film at Fantastic Fest on Thursday, September 23. Director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) said, “We are truly honored that Fantastic Fest has chosen to open their festival with the U.S. premier of Let Me In. It is incredibly exciting to be able to present the film to an audience who I know are just as passionate about John Ajvide Linqvist’s story as I am.”
Rubber (art by Olly Moss). Fantastic Fest scours the globe for the very best (and strangest) in genre cinema. Rubber tops the list of both categories with its tale of Robert, a very disgruntled psychokinetic automobile tire who explodes the heads of birds, beasts and humans alike on a high-desert killing spree like no other.
X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (art by Rob Jones). Fantastic Fest will also pay tribute to Roger Corman at the festival with a repertory screening of a film he directed called X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes. Alamo Drafthouse CEO and Fantastic Fest co-founder Tim League credits Roger and Julie Corman as the single greatest inspiration in the development of the renowned theater.
If you get a chance to go to Fantastic Fest this year, we hope you have lots of fun seeing these and other terrific genre films. While you’re there, don’t miss out on the annual “Fantastic Debates,” where Fantastic Fest founder Tim League has a formal debate with a special guest and then has a one round boxing match with them to make things a bit more interesting.
This year, League is squaring off against female action star Michelle Rodriguez over the topic “Avatar should have won the Academy Award for Best Feature Film.” Considering Michelle Rodriguez is a trained boxer, I’m betting she’ll have the advantage in this bout.
For more information on Fantastic Fest, or to check out the festival’s entire programming schedule, visit the official Fantastic Fest website.
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