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First wave of Fantastic Fest 2011 titles announced

First wave of Fantastic Fest 2011 titles announced (photo)

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It’s almost that time of year, that happy, happy time of year when the world turns its eyes to Austin, Texas and the craziest genre movies ever at the Alamo Drafthouse‘s Fantastic Fest.

This morning we got the first wave of twenty films from this year’s lineup and it look to be a bumper crop of cinematic insanity. There’s a couple of favorites from the festival circuit — including “Beyond the Black Rainbow” from Tribeca and “A Lonely Place to Die” from ActionFest — and a couple intriguing premieres, including the evocatively titled “Invasion of the Alien Bikini” (made on a budget of $5,000) and a Dutch comedy called “New Kids Turbo” about “gutter comedy, mullets, and mustaches.” Repertory titles include the tenth anniversary screening of Ryuhei Kitamura’s “Versus,” the theatrical premiere of the new 3K digital restoration of Lucio Fulci’s “Zombie,” and a Real D presentation of the rarely seen 80s 3D extravaganza “Comin’ At Ya!”

Here’s the full Fantastic Fest roster so far. Can’t wait to see what else is coming and I hope I get to watch them all at Fantastic Fest 2011, which runs September 22 through the 29 in Austin, Texas.

“Comin’ At Ya! 3D” 30th Anniversary (2011)- Real D Presents
World Premiere
Star Tony Anthony and Producer Tom Stern live in person
Director: Ferdinando Baldi, USA, 118 minutes
The film that kicked off the ’80s 3D Boom returns in a state of the art digital re-imaged restoration. Equal parts western and rollercoaster, “Comin’ At Ya!” pulls out every stop to entertain you.  If the modern wave of 3D were as fun as “Comin’ At Ya! 3D,” the motion picture industry would have nothing to worry about.  The only Spaghetti Western shot in 3D is now completely restored with the latest in 3D technology and stars Tony Anthony as H.H. Hart, an avenging hero out to retrieve his kidnapped bride, played by Victoria Abril. Gene Quintana plays the slave trader who is holding her hostage in this extremely memorable cult favorite.

“Beyond the Black Rainbow” (2011)
Regional Premiere
Director: Panos Cosmatos, USA, 110 minutes
A trance inducing, psychedelic head trip from visionary director Panos Cosmatos, “Beyond the Black Rainbow” is a sci-fi dystopia sent with love from the Reagan years. Imagine “Stalker” meets “Logan’s Run.”

“Body Temperature” (2011)
North American Premiere
Director: Takaomi Ogata, Japan, 72 minutes
Takaomi Ogata’s “Body Temperature” chronicle’s a young man’s love affair with a life-sized sex doll. Think “Lars and the Real Girl” but with all the creepiness that story was strangely missing.

“Borderline” (2011)
North American Premiere
Director: Alexnadre Coffre, France, 89 minutes
When David finds a bag in the park, he sees its nefarious contents as the perfect escape from his dead-end life; hopefully without losing it entirely at the hands of the bag’s former owner.

“Boys on the Run” (2010)
Texas Premiere
Director: Daisuke Miura, Japan, 114 minutes
Based on a manga (surprise), “Boys on the Run”‘s central courtship starts with a bestiality DVD and ends with a “Taxi Driver”-style showdown. Guaranteed to warm the heart of the serial masturbator inside all of us.

“Bullhead” (2011)
US Premiere
Director Michael R. Roskam live in person
Director: Michael R Roskam, Belguim, 129 minutes
Testicular trauma, the underground beef hormone black market, steroid addiction and a vast swath of suppressed emotions swirl together to form one of the most powerful narratives we have seen in recent memory.

“El Infierno” (2010) – Cine Las Americas presents
Texas Premiere
Director: Luis Estrada, Mexico, 145 minutes
Luis Estrada’s “El Infierno (Hell)” finds pitch-black dark humor in a peasants rise to power amid the drug-war-torn streets of the Mexican border.

“House by the Cemetery” (1981) – Blue Underground Presents
Theatrical Premiere of the 2K digitally restored version
Director: Lucio Fulci, Italy, 87 minutes
Lucio Fulci’s classic Italian gore rollercoaster, now presented in a digital restoration from Blue Underground.

“Invasion of Alien Bikini” (2011)
Texas Premiere
Director: Oh Young-Doo, Korea, 75 minutes
The no-budget bikini-clad alien invasion martial arts romp “Invasion of the Alien Bikini” was so fun, it took the $25,000 jury prize at this year’s Yubari Fantastic Fest, a sum more than five times the budget of the film.

“Kill Me Please” (2010)
US Premiere
Director Olias Barco live in person
Director: Olias Barco, Belgium, 96 minutes
From the producers of “Man Bites Dog,” “Kill Me Please” details the day-to-day exploits of one of the world’s foremost assisted suicide clinics. Dark comedy and pathos are as well mixed as Dr. Krueger’s lethal cocktails.

“A Lonely Place to Die” (2011)
Regional Premiere
Director: Julian Gilbey, UK, 98 minutes
This back-to-basics, no-BS modern take on the survival genre features a violent Russian girl in a cage, gun-toting maniacs, and a cat-and-mouse chase across lawless, rural Scotland.

“Milocrorze, A Love Story” (2011)
Regional Premiere
Director: Yoshimasa Ishibasha, Japan, 90 minutes
This bizarro musical/variety/samurai/love story from Japan is cinematic LSD from Yoshimasa Ishibashi, the mad genius behind the Fuccon Family, and Takayuki Yamada, who plays all three male leads.

“New Kids Turbo” (2011)
US Premiere
Directors: Steffen Haars and Flip van der Kuil, The Netherlands, 87 minutes
Gutter comedy escalates to ludicrous extremes in the Dutch smash hit that will leave you gasping for air. The mullets are magnificent, as are the moustaches.

“Revenge: A Love Story” (2011)
US Premiere
Director: Ching Po Wong, Hong Kong, 91 minutes
Ching-Po Wong’s “Revenge: A Love Story” follows a severely wronged man in his quest to avenge a terrible crime. This is a new ultra-violent Hong Kong action, one deeply influenced by the best of Korean revenge films.

“Snowtown” (2010)
US Premiere
Director: Justin Kurzel, Australia, 120 minutes
Justin Kurzel, part of the Australian Film Collective Blue Tongue Films whose members include Spencer Susser (“Hesher”) and Nash Edgerton (“The Square”), knocks out a stellar debut feature with “Snowtown,” a dark hypnotic tale of a lower-class youngster who has the misfortune of finding a father figure in John Bunting, Australia’s most notorious serial killer.

“The Stoker” (2010)
North American Premiere
Director: Alexei Balabanov, Russia, 87 minutes
Genius storyteller and two-time Fantastic Fest veteran, Alexsei Balabanov (“Cargo 200,” “Morphia”) delivers his unique blend of bloody crime drama by way of the darkest recesses of the Russian human condition.

“Underwater Love” (2011)
Texas Premiere
Director: Shinji Imaoka, Japan, 87 minutes
The simple life of a fish factory worker gets turned upside-down when she falls in love with a legendary Japanese creature in this kinky, musical romp of a pink film lensed by the legendary Christopher Doyle and directed by Fantastic Fest veteran Shinji Imaoka (“Uncle’s Paradise”).

“Versus” (2001)
US Premiere
Star Tak Sakaguchi and writer Yudai Yamaguchi live in person
Director: Ryuhei Kitamura, Japan, 119 minutes
The 10th anniversary screening of the yakuza vs. zombies action classic that cracked open Japan’s indie film business like a can of cheap beer.

“Yakuza Weapon” (2011)
Regional Premiere
Star/co-director Tak Sakaguchi and co-director Yudai Yamaguchi live in person
Directors: Tak Sakaguchi and Yudai Yamaguchi, Japan, 106 minutes
Ten years after starring in “Versus,” former street fighter-turned actor/director Tak Sakaguchi is back with this mondo trasho flick about a yakuza with a machine gun arm and a rocket launcher leg.

“Zombie” (1979)- Blue Underground Presents
Theatrical Premiere of the 2K digitally restored version
Director: Lucio Fulci, Italy, 92 minutes
Lucio Fulci’s extreme masterpiece of post-Romero corpse mania is back in a gorgeous 2K digital restoration.

What do you want to see at Fantastic Fest 2011? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter!

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.