With so many films and events going on this week during the 2008 Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX, I figured I’d give my take on what I’d be doing daily (and therefore what I think you should be doing), were I in town for the festival.
Taking place at what is easily the best theater franchise in the world, the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX, Fantastic Fest continues to grow and establish itself as a genre festival worth your time and respect. For years it was Canada’s Fantasia Festival or nothing as far as genre festival heavyweights, but now that early Summer fest is rivaled by Tim League’s Fall entry. But enough of the praise, let’s take a look at the schedule.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2008
Technically, Thursday night is the opening night of the festival, but events really kick-off at midnight on Wednesday with a screening of the 1987 Australian genre classic “Dark Age.” Part of the “Not Quite Hollywood” retrospective on Australian genre film, “Dark Age” has everything you could want in a genre flick: killer crocodile, outlaw reptile hunters and the screening is sponsored by Fosters (not sure EXACTLY what that means, but since the theater is a drafthouse…)
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2008
If you’re into short films, the festival kicks off at 3:45pm and 4pm with two shorts programs, the Animated Program and the Heart-Stopping Shorts Program, respectively. Little tidbits, in case you’re not ready for the main event of the evening, which is the opening night film…
7pm, “Zack and Miri Make a Porno”
You know what, I’m an unapologetic fan of Kevin Smith’s films, and if I were in Austin, I’d be at this screening. As it stands, I’m going to miss out, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Go see the film and let me know how it is, because I’m really curious.
10pm, “Evil Dead 2” Quote-Along
This seems like it could be an absolute blast, though I think, of the “Evil Dead” franchise, “Army of Darkness” is the most quotable. I mean, “Evil Dead 2” is fun, but I don’t remember too much of the dialogue. So instead you might want to go to…
10pm, Air Sex World Championships
Think Air Guitar, put instead of simulating playing an instrument, folks are simulating having sex. And competing with other people to boot, all to the excitement and adoration of the crowd. This is the first championship of its kind so attend and make history!
11:55pm, “Art of the Devil 3”
This flick is playing opposite the much-anticipated “Fanboys,” but since I caught a screening of that a while ago (much to my displeasure), I suggest, if you’re going to see something late Thursday, that you give this tale of Thai black magic a go instead.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2008
Depending on how late you were out the night before, you may not be ready for the first screening of the day. But in case you are…
1:30pm, “Just Another Love Story”
When a forensics photographer is mistaken for the boyfriend of an amnesiac he recently got into a traffic accident with, things get a bit screwy. It’s kind of like the plot of “Overboard,” only instead of comic hijinks, things take a more intense route. The first of two films by Ole Bornedal to play during the day.
4:30pm, “Rule of Three”
Any film that bills itself as detailing “sexual encounters gone horribly awry” has my interest. Mainly because I’m wondering if they’re just showing my home movies or not.
6:25pm, “The Good The Bad and The Weird”
Things start to get dicey here, as the evening is loaded with events and, well, unless you clone yourself you’re going to miss out something. Such as this instance, where seeing this film pretty much guarantees that you’ll miss out on “Eagle Eye.” Then again, that’ll be in theaters, so you should be enjoying this loose Korean remake of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” instead. Be warned, however, this flick is over 2 hours long, so if you were hoping to make the “Road Warrior” outdoor screening at 8pm, well… you’d be out of luck. Still, since I love new experiences with new films over new experiences with old films, I’d be at this screening.
Since when did Jean Claude Van Damme become the Bruce Campbell of action stars? This film shows that Jean Claude has enough humility to turn the lemon that is his career into a lemonade entertaining for all. At least, in theory…
11:55pm, “Feast 2”
John Gulager returns to the Fantastic Fest where he premiered “Feast” to premiere the sequel, so this is a late-night can’t miss event. Unless you hated “Feast.”
Mark’s theoretical Fantastic Fest screening schedule continues in Part Two of If I Was There: Fantastic Fest 2008 Preview>>>