One week out from the U.S. premiere of David Gordon Green’s Halloween on opening night, Austin’s genre film festival Fantastic Fest, new and (hopefully) improved with a new code of conduct and a new, female-dominated board, has announced its final wave of programming.
Some of the higher-profile titles in this final wave include Drew Goddard’s The Cabin In The Woods follow-up Bad Times At The El Royale, a film stacked with big names like Jon Hamm, Chris Hemsworth, Dakota Johnson, and Jeff Bridges; The Invitation and Jennifer’s Body director Karyn Kusama’s Destroyer, starring Nicole Kidman as a former undercover cop haunted by a case from her past; Jonah Hill’s directorial debut Mid90s; the North American premiere of Terry Gilliam’s long-awaited, and possibly cursed, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote; Between Worlds, a movie that sees Nicolas Cage trapped in a love triangle with his new girlfriend and his ex-wife’s ghost; and Lords Of Chaos, a dramatization of the absolutely insane shit that went down in the Norwegian black metal scene in the early ‘90s directed by Jonas Åkerlund, a former black metal drummer himself.
Also appearing at the festival will be Tenacious D, live and in the flesh, premiering the six-part animated series Tenacious D In Post-Apocalypto, drawn by Jack Black. You can see the full lineup for this year’s Fantastic Fest third wave programming, with descriptions provided by the festival, below.
AFTER THE SCREAMING STOPS
United Kingdom, 2018
World Premiere, 97 min
Directors - Joe Pearlman & David Soutar
In Attendance - Directors Joe Pearlman and David Soutar
Matt and Luke Goss were part of Bros, one of the biggest bands of the 1980s. With a number one album and sold out concerts at stadiums across the world, the rise of the band was meteoric... sharply followed by their downfall. Now, the two brothers reunite for the gig of a lifetime, facing fractured relationships, a new musical landscape, and the changes that time brings. Can they rekindle the magic and make Bros come alive once again?
ALL THE GODS IN THE SKY
World Premiere, 98 min
Director - Quarxx
In Attendance - Director Quarxx
Simon lives in an old house in the countryside with his severely disabled sister. He takes care of her day after day, hoping that “they” will come to ease their pain. The date of “their” arrival approaches.
BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE
Texas Premiere, Run time not final
Director – Drew Goddard
Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe’s El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption… before everything goes to hell. Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson and Cynthia Erivo lead an all-star cast in BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE.
World Premiere, 90 min
Director - Maria Pulera
Nicolas Cage plays Joe, a lonely trucker whose new girlfriend’s daughter is possessed with the spirit of Joe’s recently deceased wife, creating a love triangle no synopsis can do justice to.
THE BLOOD OF WOLVES
Regional Premiere, 126 min
Director - Kazuya Shiraishi
In the neon-soaked streets of 1988 Hiroshima , experienced detective Ogami Shogo is forced to partner with greenhorn Hioka Shuichi to investigate a routine disappearance case. Soon they’re in the midst of a full-blown yakuza war that threatens to destroy all that the two men hold dear.
France, Belgium, 2018
North American Premiere, 82 min
Director - Julien Leclercq
Representing the moody, grimy, realistic return of JCVD to more dramatic roles, THE BOUNCER wows with a taut, contained approach to crime and violence, and one father’s fight to save his daughter.
US Premiere, 111 min
Director - David Oelhoffen
A gangster film with heart, CLOSE ENEMIES refers to Driss and Manuel, childhood friends now on either side of the law, who discover the sacrifices both are willing to make in the name of family in this Paris-set contemporary thriller.
North American Premiere, 113 min
Director - Abdelhamid Bouchnak
Come for Tunisia’s first horror film, following three students’ filmed investigation of weird rumors in a remote village, and stay for the sickening madness, macabre witchcraft, ghastly beheadings, and gory cannibalism.
Regional Premiere, 110 min
Director - Graham Reznick
A young woman is pulled into a murder investigation revolving around a curious vinyl record which has driven those who possess it mad, and killed anyone who dared to listen to it.
Texas Premiere, 123 min
Director - Karyn Kusama
In Attendance - Director Karyn Kusama and Screenwriter/Producer Phil Hay
Nicole Kidman gives the performance of a lifetime as LAPD detective Erin Bell, a human weapon of escalating vengeance, in the brilliantly grounded new drama-action-thriller from Karyn Kusama.
United Kingdom, USA, The Netherlands, 1980
Repertory Screening, 111 min
Director - Mike Hodges
He’s here to save every one of us! Heroic earthling Flash Gordon protects the world from the nefarious Ming the Merciless in this lavish, majestically camp adaptation of Alex Raymond’s legendary sci-fi comic strip.
Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, 2018
World Premiere, 49 min
Director - Lee Sang Woo
Lee Sang-Woo turns his camera on an unusual child and his mother in a visually striking and scary episode of HBO FOLKLORE.
Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, 2018
World Premiere, 49 min
Director - Ho Yuhang
Ho Yuang explores a strange and frightening relationship between a politician with a problem and a shaman who promises the solution in an episode of HBO FOLKLORE that’s deeply rooted in Malaysian legends.
I USED TO BE NORMAL: A BOYBAND FANGIRL STORY
US Premiere, 96 min
Director - Jessica Leski
In Attendance - Producer Rita Walsh
The lives of four women from across the globe are radically changed by their deep love of boy bands in this fascinating, joyful exploration of intense fandom.
World Premiere, 102 min
Director - Danishka Esterhazy
In Attendance - Writer/Director Danishka Esterhazy and Producers Judy Holm and Michael McNamara
The teenage girls of Vestalis Academy are meticulously trained in the art of being “clean girls,” practicing the virtues of perfect femininity. But what exactly are they being trained for? Vivien intends to find out.
LIFE AFTER FLASH
United Kingdom, 2018
Texas Premiere, 94 min
Director - Lisa Downs
In Attendance - Director Lisa Downs and Actor Sam J. Jones
Celebrating the iconic FLASH GORDON and focusing on the fascinating, unusual, and untold story of actor Sam J. Jones, the man behind the sparkly suit, LIFE AFTER FLASH is a celebration, an exploration, and a joyful scream all at once!
LORDS OF CHAOS
Texas Premiere, 112 min
Director - Jonas Åkerlund
Based on the biography of the same name, LORDS OF CHAOS is the tale of an Oslo teenager who launches Norwegian black metal, setting off a chain of events that have made his band, Mayhem, infamous for decades.
THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE
Spain, France, Belgium, Portugal, 2018
North American Premiere, 132 min
Director - Terry Gilliam
Once-ambitious advertising man Toby finds himself revisiting a student film he made long before his world became monochrome. Re-teaming with the Spanish cobbler he cast in the film who genuinely believes he’s Don Quixote, Toby embarks on a soul-searching journey of magical proportions.
US Premiere, 84 minutes
Director - Jonah Hill
In Attendance - Writer/Director Jonah Hill
Written and directed by Jonah Hill, Mid90s follows Stevie, a thirteen-year-old in 90s-era LA who spends his summer navigating between his troubled home life and a group of new friends that he meets at a Motor Avenue skate shop.
MODEST HEROES: PONOC SHORT FILMS THEATRE, VOL. 1
North American Premiere, 53 min
Directors - Hiromasa Yonebayashi & Yoshiyuki Momose & Akihiko Yamashita
Delve into the world of Studio Ponoc and discover a trio of brilliant creations: lost crab siblings, a bizarre allergy to eggs, and an invisible man having an unusual day.
Texas Premiere, 105 min
Director - John Andreas Anderson
This sequel to THE WAVE follows the same family, off to Oslo where the earth will shake again. The experts warned that it would! Expect death, drama, and awesome SFX. ‘Nuff said.
US Premiere, 116 min
Director - Zhang Yimou
Zhang Yimou returns to the screen with an explosive tale of intrigue and action set within the warring Three Kingdoms. A wild and ambitious ruler, his loyal but cunning commander, and a double he’s set up as insurance play games of deceit as war rages through their kingdom.
SLUT IN A GOOD WAY
Texas Premiere, 89 min
Director - Sophie Lorain
Charlotte and her best friends Mégane and Aube must navigate their first times, first jobs, and first loves in this hilarious and touching Quebecois sex comedy.
STRIKE, DEAR MISTRESS, AND CURE HIS HEART
World Premiere, 71 min
Director - Mickey Reece
Inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s AUTUMN SONATA and conjured by a remarkably prolific obscure auteur who’s been averaging two feature films a year since 2008, this offbeat and oft-chilling indie discovery depicts the uncanny psychological duress endured by the newlywed proprietors of an ancient hotel following the arrival of an estranged matriarch.
UNDER THE SILVER LAKE
US Premiere, 139 min
Director - David Robert Mitchell
From the dazzling imagination that brought you It Follows comes a delirious neo-noir fever dream about one man’s search for the truth behind the mysterious crimes, murders, and disappearances in his East L.A. neighborhood.
Poland, The Netherlands, Germany, 2018
International Premiere, 88 min
Director - Adrian Panek
In a makeshift orphanage forgotten by most, a group of children who just survived the Holocaust find themselves preyed upon by a pack of wolf dogs. Their fight for freedom has only just begun.
France, Turkey, United Kingdom, 1984
North American Premiere of 2K Restoration, 98 min
Director - Jean-Marie Pallardy
A small team of diamond smugglers stumbles upon the location of the supernatural white fire diamond, but competing criminals pose deadly challenges in this forgotten and truly bizarre gem from 1985.
US Premiere, 89 min
Director - Emma Tammi
In Attendance - Director Emma Tammi
In Emma Tammi’s narrative debut THE WIND, the forces of nature in the isolated prairies of the American Wild West are playing tricks on Lizzy. Her paranoia only grows with the arrival of a mysterious young woman.
THE WORLD IS YOURS
Regional Premiere, 100 min
Director - Romain Gavras
Nothing goes as planned when a Parisian mid-level dealer must complete one last delivery to escape the drug life and open a Mr. Freeze franchise in Romain Gavras’ (OUR DAY WILL COME) instant heist-comedy classic.
YOU MIGHT BE THE KILLER
World Premiere, 92 min
Director - Brett Simmons
In Attendance - Director Brett Simmons
Counselors are being killed off at summer camp, and Sam (Fran Kranz) is stuck in the middle of it. Instead of contacting the cops, he calls his friend and slasher-film expert (Alyson Hannigan) to discuss his options.