Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.
And here… we… go! The first wave of programming for Fantastic Fest 2015 is here, meaning we should gear up for another blood-filled and exciting week of film. The festival kicks off on September 24th and lasts until October 1st.
While you wait for that thrilling week to come, let the news of the first part of the lineup tide you over. Spoiler alert! Kurt Russell will be there with his latest film, BONE TOMAHAWK, which will close the festival. Check out the rest of the first wave below!
Kurt Russell stars in this character driven and at times horrific Western about a group of men (including Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox and Richard Jenkins) who set out to rescue a local woman and a young deputy who’ve been kidnapped by a tribe of cannibalistic troglodytes.
United States, 2015
World Premiere, 78 min
Director – Mickey Keating
A young woman slowly goes crazy after taking a job as the caretaker for an ancient New York home in the new film from writer/director Mickey Keating.
THE DEATHLESS DEVIL
Repertory Screening, 84 min
Director – Yilmaz Atadeniz
The mysterious Dr. Satan’s nefarious plans threaten the future of everyone on the planet, and the only men who can stop him are the brilliant Copperhead and his assistant Sherlock Holmes!
North American Premiere, 85 min
Director – Nikias Chryssos
A student rents a room from a family in their converted army bunker, and ends up the tutor to the child and a virtual slave to the parents.
FAREWELL UNCLE TOM
Repertory Screening, 123 min
Directors – Gualtiero Jacopetti, Franco Prosperi
The first movie based on historical facts about the rise and revolt of slavery in America is one of the most brilliant, misunderstood and reviled of all time.
US Premiere, 111 min
Directors – Jörg Buttgereit, Michal Kosakowski & Andreas Marschall
German directors Buttgereit, Kosakowski and Marschall unleash this brutal assault on the senses, a surreal three-part horror anthology touching on love and hate and everything in between.
IN SEARCH OF ULTRA SEX
North American Premiere, 60 min
Directors – Nicolas Charlet and Bruno Lavaine
A pandemic infects people everywhere with infinite lust, and the only ones who can save us are a group of astronauts in space, desperately looking for a solution.
United States, 2015
Special Screening, 97 min
Director – Karyn Kusama
A haunted man attends a dinner party at the house he once called home, and becomes gripped with paranoia that his ex-wife and her new husband are harboring an insidious agenda.
LIZA THE FOX FAIRY
Regional Premiere, 98 min
Director – Károly Ujj-Mészáros
Somewhere in 1970s Budapest, nurse Liza dreams of romance. But as all her suitors die in violent and extreme ways, she begins to fear the worst: maybe she is really a fox fairy, doomed to remain alone forever!
LOVE AND PEACE
US Premiere, 117 min
Director – Sion Sono
Fantastic Fest staple Shion Sono returns once again with a deeply personal (and expectedly odd) film about a lonely businessman with dreams of punk rock stardom and his best friend, a turtle.
North American Premiere, 97 min
Director – Teemu Nikk
LOVEMILLA is a delightful peek at life and love in Finland, filled with all the usual zombies, black holes, giant pandas and superheros you’d expect from the land that gave us Renny Harlin.
THE MAN WHO SAVES THE WORLD
Repertory Screening, 91 min
Director – Çetin İnanç
There has never been and will never be another film like THE MAN WHO SAVES THE WORLD, and your only chance to discover why is at this special Fantastic Fest screening!
MY BODY HUNGERS
United States, 1967
Repertory Screening, 80 min
Director – Joseph W. Sarno
A roadhouse hostess goes undercover to investigate the murder of her sister in a little-seen sexploiter from grindhouse rebel and master of erotica Joe Sarno.
US Premiere, 111 min
Director – HONG Won-Chan
OFFICE is the story of Kim, the salaryman who one day brutally murders his entire family with a hammer, and Lee, the put-upon intern at his workplace. It’s dark-as-night corporate satire hiding behind a slasher veneer with scares so well timed, you’ll jump out of your seat non-stop.
REMAKE, REMIX, RIP-OFF
US Premiere, 96 min
Director – Cam Kaya
Welcome to Turkey. It’s home to Yesilcam, the Turkish Hollywood where, in the late ‘70s, dreams were built on nothing more than a dime. Both a loving tribute to the burgeoning cinema of this young country and a trip into history, REMAKE, REMIX, RIP-OFF brings you the most outlandish story you’ve never heard, about filmmaking so dangerous that you need a safety harness just for watching.
Regional Premiere, 73 min
Director – Khavn de la Cruz
Filipino iconoclast Khavn De La Cruz teams with famed cinematographer Christopher Doyle and Japanese mega star Tadanobu Asano to create a self-described “punk noir opera.”
World Premiere, 82 min
Director – Christian Hallman
Caroline Menard is a woman in her thirties who has lost everything. As she moves into a new apartment searching for a new start, she’s unaware that something ancient is waiting for her.
World Premiere, 89 min
Director – Isaac Ezban
On a dark and stormy night, eight strangers are stuck in a small bus station waiting for a bus to Mexico City. When strange things start happening, they find themselves trapped in a struggle for sanity and survival.
South Korea, 2015
North American Premiere, 104 min
Director – Lee Sang-woo
Four friends navigate sex, love and life in a heart-breaking new film from Korean director Lee Sang-woo.
STAND BY FOR TAPE BACK-UP
United Kingdom, 2015
US Premiere, 65 min
Director – Ross Sutherland
Hypnotically scanning the contents of a VHS tape, this experimental essay-film eulogizes the former custodian of the analog artifact, transforming its recordings of GHOSTBUSTERS and FRESH PRINCE (among others) through rap-infused anecdotal narration, and inscribing both profound and hilarious associations to the tracking-lined images. STAND BY FOR TAPE BACK-UP will be presented as both a traditional screening as well as a live performance by creator Ross Sutherland.
TARKAN VS THE VIKINGS
Repertory Screening, 86 min
Director – Mehmet Aslan
Based on one of the most popular comic strips in Turkey. this rip-roaring adventure sees Tarkan and his trusty wolf companion Kurt take on the despicable Viking invaders after they leave him for dead!
Regional Premiere, 138 min
Director – Sebastian Schipper
Sebastian Schipper’s fourth directorial work is a single-shot tour-de-force that follows a Spanish barista through a dance club, the streets of Berlin, a coffee shop, a bank robbery and her destiny.
THE X-RATED SUPERMARKET
United States, 1972
Repertory Screening, 62 min
Director – Paul Roberts
Want to save money on your weekly sex toy budget? Look no further than the supermarket shelves in some salacious tips and reactions from suburban horny housewives.
DAYTIME ONLY Badges, FAN Badges, and 2ND HALF Badges for Fantastic Fest 2015 are available for purchase here.
Members of the film industry who purchase either a FAN or SUPERFAN badge can apply for a free INDUSTRY upgrade and Fantastic Market access by filling out the form here. Only approved industry will be considered for access to FANTASTIC MARKET. All Industry requests must submitted by no later than August 15th, 2015.