All is (relatively) quiet now at The Alamo Drafthouse in northwest Austin, Texas, which has resumed its normal operations, with barely a sign that an 8-day celebration of genre films from around the world, hosting filmmakers, industry guests, members of the press, and hardcore movie fans, also from around the world, completed its ninth edition with no reported deaths and minimal casualties.
Our team published 25 reviews during the festival. Combined with previously-published reviews of another 30 or titles, that means we've covered all but a handful of the films that played during Fantastic Fest, which is a testament to the strength of the program -- and the hardiness of our dedicated, often sleep-deprived reviewers!
CHANTHALY Is A Haunting Portrait Of Modern-Day Laos by James Marsh
COHERENCE May Be A Bit Too Clever For Its Own Good by Peter Martin
COMMANDO - A ONE MAN ARMY Sings, Dances And Kicks You In The Face by James Marsh
DETEKTIV DOWNS Brings A New Dimension To Gumshoe Noir by Eric D. Snider
ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW Presents Disney World As Hell With Remarkable Power by Dave Canfield
GOLDBERG & EISENBERG Is Chilly, Funny Stalker Tension by Eric D. Snider
GRAND PIANO Executes Its Goofy Premise With Precision And Skill by Eric D. Snider
GREATFUL DEAD Explores The Humor And Horror Of Loneliness by James Marsh
KIDS POLICE Gets Big Laughs From Small Heroes by James Marsh
LFO Tunes In Dark Comedy And Control Issues by Peter Martin
LOVE ETERNAL, Capturing Sparks Of Life Flickering Beneath The Darkness by Peter Martin
MIRAGE MEN Offers Disclosure And Discomfort In Equal Measure by Dave Canfield
MISS ZOMBIE Scrubs The Patio To Her Own Rhythm by Peter Martin
MONSOON SHOOTOUT, Looking For Answers With Guns And Thunder by Peter Martin
NARCO CULTURA, A Collision Between Drugs, Music, and Murder by Peter Martin
NIGHTBREED: THE CABAL CUT by Dave Canfield
NINJA, SHADOW OF A TEAR Kicks Ass. Then Face. Then Ass Again. by Todd Brown
NORTHWEST Points Toward A Young Man's Criminal Future by Peter Martin
NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN Is Powerfully Haunting by Dave Canfield
O'APOSTOLO, A Beguiling Fantasy Bolstered By Stop-Motion Animation by Peter Martin
PROXY Dwells On The Dark Side Of Parenting by Kurt Halfyard
THE RESURRECTION OF A BASTARD, Amidst Bursts Of Violence And Dark Humor Commingle by Peter Martin
SEPTIC MAN Is Surprisingly Serious And Smart by Dave Canfield
SHE WOLF Walks Among Us by Peter Martin
WOLF Roars Out Of The Gate With Criminal Self-Assurance by Peter Martin
Antonio Tublen Drunkenly Reviews Antonio Tublen's LFO by Antonio Tublen
Mattie Do Drunkenly Reviews Mattie Do's CHANTHALY by Mattie Do
Navot Papushado Drunkenly Reviews Papushado And Keshales' BIG BAD WOLVES by Navot Papushado
Tamae Garateguy Drunkenly Reviews Tamae Garateguy's SHE WOLF by Tamae Garateguy
Click through the gallery as we answer some questions about the hits and misses of Fantastic Fest 2013.
What was your favorite film of the fest?
Eric D. Snider: Jodorowsky's Dune.
Todd Brown: This is an incredibly hard question for me to answer as the viewing process for me is spread out over about ten months as we put together the program and there are loads of things I love for a lot of different reasons. Kid's Police is the one that I personally chased the hardest and I really love it. Also love Resurrection of a Bastard and Wolf and Why Don't You Play In Hell.
Peter Martin: Wolf is a startling marriage of strong characters and great visual storytelling. Love Eternal hit me very hard. The Resurrection of a Bastard, LFO, Blue Ruin, Borgman, and Maruyama the Middle Schooler are the ones that kept jumping into my mind when other festgoers asked. For pure entertainment, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, Grand Piano, and Detective Downs were all great fun.
James Marsh: This year was a particularly strong one for Japanese Cinema, with Sono Sion's Why Don't You Play In Hell and Matsumoto Hitoshi's R100 both proving to be exceptional examples of gonzo comedy. I loved both of them and would be hard pushed to choose. I was also incredibly impressed by Alex van Warmerdam's deliriously unique Borgman and Katrin Gebbe's scandalously mis-titled Nothing But Can Happen. Keshales and Papushado's Big Bad Wolves, Matt Johnson's The Dirties, Jim Mickle's We Are What We Are and Brendan Muldowney's Love Eternal were also standouts for me. It was an incredibly strong programme this year, even if I do say so myself.
Dave Canfield: It was an extraordinary lineup this year. I saw thirty films onsite and five via links. I’m still watching via the online screener room. I simply cannot pick a favorite. Canfield’s top ten is as follows in no particular order
Nothing Bad Can Happen, Escape From Tomorrow, The Devils, Blue Ruin, A Field In England, Cheap Thrills, Why Don’t You Play in Hell, Narco Cultura, We Are What We Are, The Congress