Fantastic Fest 2016’s First Wave Of Programming Is Hooray For Bollywood!


Fantastic Fest 2016 posters

Just days after opening up applications for press accreditation, the folks in charge of hand-picking the diverse programming as part of the largest genre film festival in North America have dropped some major news as it pertains to what attending press and genre fans can expect this September.

We begin with some heavy hitters, and I know you’ll have heard of at least one of them. Does the name Tim Burton ring a bell? He makes his return to the festival, having previously unveiled his animated black-and-white gem Frankenweenie a few years back. This year he’ll have a peculiar red carpet screening of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

The phantasmagorical will be in full effect as the festival will have the world premiere of Phantasm: Ravager and a retrospective (and remastered) screening of the original Phantasm with filmmaker Don Coscarelli and members of the cast in attendance.

Attendees will get to experience virtual reality with the introduction of Dark Corner VR, a viewing experience like no other. Each year the programmers like to do a repertory series and for the 12th annual Fantastic Fest the series celebrate Indian cinema, past and present. Included will be the director’s cut of Psycho Raman, the hyper violent onslaught from India’s most notorious filmmaker, Anurag Kashyareap; the sweeping, 400-year epic of masala madness, Magadheera; and the ultra-stylish Bollywood gangster oddity, Khalnayak.

Regarding the ‘genre’ label, Fantastic Fest founder and Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League said the following in an official statement:

“We really wanted to challenge the edges of what ‘genre’ means this year…. This world of cinema has evolved so dramatically since our first festival in 2005, and we want to be part of the change by exposing audiences to films, formats and filmmakers that they may never otherwise see. I’m proud of the diversity of experiences we’ll be bringing to Austin this September.”

A Fantastic Fest first, virtual reality will be big attraction. According to the official press release, Fantastic Fest will be World Premiering a terrifying VR experience from the team that wrecked senses with their 360-hospital-shocker Catatonic. Founded by commercial director extraordinaire Guy Shelmerdine, Dark Corner is the world’s first genre VR studio and they will be showcasing their very best. Mule is Shelmerdine’s eagerly awaited World Premiere is the follow-up to Catatonic. An emotional, fast-paced hell-ride that catapults the viewer through the final shocking moments of a man’s life (and beyond), Mule will also see the unveiling of a new, custom-designed installation tied to the film’s plot that Shelmerdine promises to be “bigger, more immersive, and more terrifying” than anything they’ve done before.

Dark Corner will also be showcasing Justin Denton’s two-part horror experience, Burlap. Existing as both a traditional 2D short film and an immersive VR experience, Burlap depicts a disturbed killer who zeroes in on an unfortunate babysitter to complete the creation of his secret “masterpiece.” Audiences can watch the short film, then step inside the story with Burlap: Reflections, where they will experience the killer’s sinister obsession firsthand. In addition, Dark Corner will be bringing Catatonic to terrorize Texan audiences for the first time.

If that wasn’t enough, we’ll be getting the World Premiere of the latest assemblage of found footage from the Internet video “skull-rewinders” Everything Is Terrible!

Here’s a complete listing of the first wave of programming.

Canada, 2016
World Premiere, 83 min
Director – Kevin Burke

Through interviews with art personalities from the past four decades, 24 x 36 examines the birth, death and resurrection of illustrated movie poster art.

Ireland, 2016
World Premiere, 99 min
Director – Liam Gavin

Sophia is a determined young woman who hires a weird occultist to perform a ritual which will risk not only their lives and souls, but also the very essence of their being.

Switzerland, France, 2016
US Premiere, 91 min
Director – Tobias Nölle

Aloys Adorn is a lonely private investigator who, after the death of his father, finds himself sucked into a mysterious “telephone walking” game with a mysterious woman who might be his only hope.

United States, 2016
Texas Premiere, 158 min
Director – Andrea Arnold

Andrea Arnold’s first US feature follows 18-year-old Star as she leaves her home in Oklahoma and goes in search of adventure, adulthood and America.

New Zealand, 2015
US Premiere, 89 min
Director – David Stubbs

The true story of the Wainuiomata exorcism provides the basis for David Stubbs’ striking debut feature, a documentary exploring the tragic death of Janet Moses in a traditional Maori exorcism ceremony.

France, 2016
US Premiere, 81 min
Director – Julien Leclercq

It’s bad men face versus worse men as thieves face off against dealers in this super slick French heist thriller from the director of Chrysalis and The Assault.

Laos, France, Estonia, 2016
World Premiere, 100 min
Director – Mattie Do

After moving to the city, a poor woman realizes her recently blinded cousin can not only commune with the dead, but they can provide a path to much-needed wealth.

Australia, 2016
North American Premiere, 87 min
Director – Abraham Forsythe

In the aftermath of massive race riots, two carloads of dim-witted alpha males set off to defend their respective territory with outrageous results in this sharp edged Australian satire.

Thailand, 2016
World Premiere, 92 min
Director – Bhin Banloerit

A Thai village of little people is attacked by evil, butt-munching, fart-tracking Krause spirits – floating heads with attached intestines – in this slapstick horror-comedy.

France, 2016
North American Premiere, 103 min
Director – Sébastien Marnier

After burning out in Paris, Constance returns to her home town only to find herself in lethal competition with a younger girl for her old job.

United States, 2016
Texas Premiere, 53 min
Director – Dean Fleischer-Camp

A family’s home movies document a desperate crime, and the subsequent bid to escape the consequences in this impressionistic meta-fiction born from the manipulation of hundreds of hours of innocuous uploads to YouTube. An extraordinary feat of editing, a provocative parable of the pursuit of happiness and a disturbing demonstration of the mutability of the stories we share in the Internet age.

United States, 2016
Special Screening, 93 min
Director – Jim Hosking

Brayden fears his first love affair is turning his father into a bloodthirsty monster who’s covered in grease and has an 18-inch penis that looks like a dead chicken.

JUNGLE TRAP : Presented By Bleeding Skull
United States, 1990/2016
World Premiere, 80 min
Director – James Bryan

Exploitation demigod James Bryan’s massively entertaining, decapitation-fueled shot-on-video horror masterpiece about a jungle hotel haunted by kill-crazy ghosts in loin cloths, shot in 1990 and unreleased until THIS VERY MOMENT.

India, 1993
Repertory Screening, 190 min
Director – Subhash Ghai

Ballu is an unrepentant gangster who has dedicated his life to the celebration of villainy. He is a bad, bad man and not ashamed one bit. However, with the help of his mother and a sympathetic cop, Ballu will rise above his circumstances to gain satisfying redemption.

India, 2009
Repertory Screening, 157 min
Director – S.S. Rajamouli

Harsha, a dirt bike racer, lives for thrills. One day he crosses paths with Indu, a girl with whom he feels strangely connected. Through this bond, Harsha discovers his hidden identity: a reincarnated warrior king.

United States, 2016
Special Screening, 123 min
Director – Tim Burton

From visionary director Tim Burton, and based upon the best-selling novel, comes an unforgettable motion picture experience. When Jake discovers clues to a mystery that spans alternate realities and times, he uncovers a secret refuge known as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As he learns about the residents and their unusual abilities, Jake realizes that safety is an illusion, and danger lurks in the form of powerful, hidden enemies. Jake must figure out who is real, who can be trusted, and who he really is.

Germany, 2016
Texas Premiere, 95 min
Directors – Florian Heinzen-Ziob and Georg Heinzen

In the heart of Mumbai, behind the screen of one of the last Hindi Film cinemas, lives Sheik Rahman, the city’s last painter of film posters. This is his story.

United States, 1979
Special Screening, 88 min
Director – Don Coscarelli

One of the most influential and important horror films of all time, Don Coscarelli’s Phantasm returns to Alamo Drafthouse’s screens in a gorgeous 4k remaster.

United States, 2016
World Premiere, 87 min
Director – David Hartman

The fifth and final film in the classic Phantasm film series, Phantasm Ravager follows our intrepid everyman hero Reggie on his quest across dark dimensions as he struggles to confront and vanquish the sinister Tall Man.

The Netherlands, 2015
International Premiere, 85 min
Directors- Erwin van de Eshof & Martijn Smits

Festival favorite Huub Smit (New Kids Nitro; New Kids Turbo; Bros Before Hos) stars as a Dutch cop raised on far too many American action films in this outrageous action comedy.

India, 2016
US Premiere, 127 min
Director – Anurag Kashyap

Raghavan is a cop: brutal, violent, and drug-addicted. Ramanna is a criminal: psychotic, unpredictable, and vicious. It’s only a matter of time before they meet and when they do, Mumbai’s slums will be colored deep crimson.

Mexico, 2016
U.S. Premiere, 93 min
Director – Werner Herzog

Herzog’s most wildly unpredictable film, Salt and Fire is a meticulously slow burning, quasi-ecological thriller punctuated by moments of the lyrically poetic and the inexplicably, outrageously absurd.

Italy, 2016
North American Premiere, 82 min
Director – Alex Infascelli

Alex Infascelli’s documentary about Emilio D’Alessandro, Stanley Kubrick’s personal assistant for more than thirty years, which provides never-before-seen insight into the private auteur.

Canada, 2016
World Premiere, 90 min

Trapped in a hospital with a handful of people, a small town sheriff finds himself caught up in the demented plot of a death-obsessed madman.

Mexico, 2016
Texas Premiere, 80 min
Director – Emiliano Rocha Minter

Somewhere within a ruined city, a man makes an offer to a pair of siblings who wander into his abandoned building: food and shelter in exchange for building a strange room…

Russia, France, Germany, 2016
US Premiere, 87 min
Director – Ivan I. Tverdovsky

Natasha is a lonely, middle-aged woman who still lives with her mother and feels insecure about her tedious life… until she grows a tail.

Travis Leamons is one of the Inside Pulse Originals and currently holds the position of Managing Editor at Inside Pulse Movies. He's told that the position is his until he's dead or if "The Boss" can find somebody better. I expect the best and I give the best. Here's the beer. Here's the entertainment. Now have fun. That's an order!