'Dredd 3D' Leads Fantastic Fest's First Wave of Films

'Dredd 3D' Leads Fantastic Fest's First Wave of Films

Jul 30, 2012

Fantastic Fest 2012 poster

If you’re a fan of genre cinema, be it foreign gems or domestic shockers, you need to get yourself to Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. It is without challenge the premiere genre film festival in America; a sort of Christmas in September (the 20th to the 27th, to be precise) for fans of the darker side of cinema. So far for 2012 they’ve played their programming cards pretty close to the chest, only revealing that the opening night film would be Tim Burton’s latest about kids reanimating the corpse of their beloved dog, Frankenweenie, but now they’ve unveiled the first wave of films and it is indeed a taste of the more eclectic side of FF.

While you’re perusing the below list, keep in mind that Fantastic Fest packs close to 80 feature films into its week-long festival, so this first wave is hardly a definitive list of everything playing this year. It is, however, a good indicator of where the fest’s demented mind is at. Where else can you find studio movies like the ultraviolent Dredd playing alongside a documentary about crazed theories about The Shining (Room 237) and a British thriller about the denizens of an apartment building being picked off by a lunatic sniper (Tower Block)? Nowhere. The answer is nowhere.



U.S. Premiere

Director - Matthias Hoene, 87 minutes

When a badly planned bank robbery and a zombie outbreak collide, hilarity ensues in this balls-out, irreverent British comedy.



U.S. Premiere

Director - Noboru Iguchi, 91 minutes

Japanese splatter action comedy is on the menu when director Noboru Iguchi and karate girl Rina Takeda join forces to take on flying killer sushi monsters in Dead Sushi!


DREDD 3D (2012)

Gala Premiere

Director: Pete Travis, USA, 98 minutes

The future America is an irradiated wasteland. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called “judges” who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner.  Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd (Karl Urban) is the ultimate judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge.



Repertory Screening as part of the House of Psychotic Women series

Director – Sidney J. Furie, 125 minutes

In this controversial film based on a true story, director Furie explores the domestically-abused-woman-as-masochist stereotype by veiling it as a supernatural horror film.



U.S. Premiere

Director – Eron Sheean, 101 minutes

Plagued by the memory of the infant son he could not save, geneticist Geoff Burton plunges into a web of intrigue, jealousy and lies in this icily precise thriller.



U.S. Premiere

Director – Radu Jude, 107 minutes

A simple domestic dispute becomes an explosive examination of stress in this powerful and unsettling Romanian drama.



Regional Premiere

Director – Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson, 91 minutes

A group of exceptionally creative teens gets sucked into their own private Lord of the Flies scenario when an after-school game of “war” turns into a test of loyalty, strategy and friendship.



Texas Premiere

Director – Yeun Sang-Ho, 97 minutes

The King of Pigs is an emotionally punishing animated indie film about a group of friends whose brutal childhoods continue to haunt them as adults.



U.S. Premiere

Director - Valentín Javier Diment, 89 minutes

Alicia undertakes a bizarre cult ritual to restore her deceased husband to life – a ritual that will see her home and friends visited by the spirits of the dead.



Repertory Screening as part of the House of Psychotic Women series

Director – Karen Arthur, 102 minutes

One of the most compelling and uniquely dark films of the psychotic woman subgenre, Karen Arthur’s adaptation of Eric Westphal’s play You and Your Clouds stars Lee Grant as Ellen, an astronomer who lives with her feral sister Cissy (Carol Kane).



Texas Premiere

Director - Philippe Lefebvre, 100 minutes

Phillipe Lefebvre's Paris By Night is a sleek French cop thriller that follows a pair of vice cops as they patrol the Parisian club scene over the course of a single evening.


ROOM 237 (2012)

Texas Premiere

Director - Rodney Ascher, 102 minutes

Rodney Ascher's Room 237 is a fascinating documentary that explores bizarre theories about the subtext and symbolism underlying Stanley Kubrick's landmark film The Shining.



Repertory Screening as part of the House of Psychotic Women series

Director – Joseph Losey, 105 minutes

In Losey’s underrated Secret Ceremony, an aging but still glamourous Elizabeth Taylor stars as Leonora, a prostitute grieving over the death of her daughter in a drowning accident.



Repertory Screening

Director – Stanley Kubrick, 142 minutes

Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece features an unhinged performance by Jack Nicholson and a setting that drips with menace.  Its imagery and characters have permeated all areas of pop culture throughout the decades, yet the film retains all its power to disturb and terrify.



U.S. Premiere

Directors - James Nunn and Ronnie Thompson, 87 minutes

The last remaining tenants of a deteriorating, soon-to-be-demolished tower block must band together to survive when a killer with a high-powered sniper rifle starts picking them off through the windows of their flats.


UNIT 7 (Grupo 7) (2012)

Texas Premiere

Director - Alberto Rodriguez, 95 minutes

Alberto Rodriguez's Unit 7 is gritty realistic thriller about a crew of narcotics officers in Seville, Spain who go rogue during a citywide crackdown in the years preceding Expo '92.


WRONG (2011)

Regional Premiere

Director - Quentin Dupieux, 94 minutes

Everyman Dolph Springer’s (Jack Plotnick) world is turned wrong when he awakens at 7:60 one morning to find his beloved dog missing in Quentin’s Dupieux’s latest absurdist opus and follow-up to 2010’s killer-tire film, Rubber.



U.S. Premiere

Director - Oh Young Doo, 95 minutes

The director of Invasion of the Alien Bikini returns with a quirky, low budget time-travel romp filled with sex shops, robot hands and Hawaiian shirts.

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