What is Fantastic Fest? If you’re a film superfan, especially a fan of what’s commonly known as “genre films” (horror, sci-fi, action, anything that doesn’t fit neatly into the mainstream), then you probably already know. For everyone else, I’ll just quote from the Fantastic Fest website: “Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from all around the world. Fantastic Fest is held each year in various venues, but primarily at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on South Lamar in Austin, Texas.”
Ah yes, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Founded by Karrie and Tim League (who is famous for his zero tolerance policy on bad behavior in theaters) in 1997. It began as a second run theater but eventually became a first run theater specializing in distinctive and unusual programming. Although it now includes nine locations across the US, the Austin location is perhaps the best known, and it’s also Fantastic Fest central.
This year’s Fantastic Fest started on Thursday, September 20 and runs through next Thursday, September 27.
To list all the great movies that have premiered at Fantastic Fest over the years would take way too long (and you’ve got Google) but trust me, this year’s lineup is as amazing as ever. Many of these I have already talked about or reviewed on Popshifter: The American Scream, Antiviral, Cold Blooded, Frankenweenie, Here Comes The Devil, Holy Motors, Looper, Sinister, Tower Block, as well as a special screening of The Entity. There are also other movies that I’ve got my eye on like American Mary, Taped, The Conspiracy, and Vanishing Waves (click on the titles to watch the trailers).
Although lots of the films in the lineup have played other festivals they haven’t played in North America or the US, so it’s a wonderful opportunity for those who might not get to see these films otherwise. You can see the full list here, along with synopses and links to trailers.
Fantastic Fest also boasts lots of events. This year includes things like 100 Best Kills, Fantastic Feud, The American Scream’s Homemade Haunted House Hellbash, Arcade Tournaments and Awards, Nerd Rap Throw Down, Board Games, and much more.
We’ll have more info, news, and reviews from Fantastic Fest over the next few days. Follow us on Twitter for more immediate gratification.