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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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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.