Fantastic Fest 2021 announces first wave of films

And Dozens More Highly Anticipated Mind-Benders

Mechanophilia, possessed nuns, possessed children, hallucinations, ghostly hauntings, time travel, exorcism, cerebral expansion, heavy metal, friendship, yakuza, canine trauma, multiple serial killers, coprophagia, cannibalism, tender embraces, vampires, copious bodily fluids, superheroes, warm laughs, disco-dancing firemen and more, more, more! Yes, this can only mean one thing: Fantastic Fest is back. After 18 months of isolation and uncertainty, this year’s “Post-Apocalyptic” edition of Fantastic Fest is here to remind us of the joy of cinema, community, and weird and wonderful movies. The first wave of films is headlined by the truly extraordinary 2021 Palme D’Or winner TITANE from PARASITE distributor NEON.

It might not have seemed possible to top her staggering debut RAW (Fantastic Fest 2016), but Julia Ducournau has somehow done just that. A poignant study on loneliness, isolation and gender identity wrapped in a constantly surprising world of body horror, muscle cars, violence, and disco-dancing firemen.

Fantastic Fest is so proud to share this singular vision. Fantastic Fest 2021’s opening night party will be dedicated to the instantly iconic visuals of TITANE. Muscle cars will be on hand, and metallic-themed or “French firefighter” costumes are highly encouraged. TITANE opens in US cinemas on October 1.

Mondo Records is also celebrating its 10 year anniversary at Fantastic Fest this year and will be on-hand with a very special TITANE soundtrack giveaway ahead of the official Mondo vinyl release later this year. Additionally, on opening night there will also be a Mondo Records pop-up featuring rarities from the vault. Additional studio premieres include A24’s LAMB, winner of the Un Certain Regard Prize of Originality at Cannes (opening in theaters on October 8); BINGO HELL, part of the Amazon Studios and Blumhouse Television “Welcome to the Blumhouse” series; and Netflix’s THE TRIP, starring Noomi Rapace in a delightfully twisted Norwegian mind-bender.

The first wave of Fantastic Fest films features 39 titles, showcasing world, US and regional premieres, and two classic film sidebars. “We’re thrilled at how the program is coming together,” says Fantastic Fest Director of Programming Annick Mahnert. “For this Post-Apocalyptic edition, we’ve scoured the four corners of the globe to find weird, silly, terrifying, entertaining and fantastic movies directed by established and emerging filmmakers.

Opening this year’s fest with a Palme d’Or winner from a Fantastic Fest alum is a real treat. As always, we also try to find unforgettable repertoire titles, and we couldn’t be happier about hosting the US Premiere of the new restoration of Andrzej Zulawski’s POSSESSION. This first wave is but the tip of the iceberg and we cannot wait to unveil the rest of the program to y’all!”

Sidebar Programming
The first sidebar will launch Lars Nilsen and Kier-La Janisse’s epic tome WARPED AND FADED: Weird Wednesday and the Birth of the American Genre Film Archive. To celebrate the book, Nilsen and Janisse will present 35mm screenings of some of their all-time favorite exploitation classics, including SNAKES and THE VISITOR.

The second classic film sidebar comes courtesy of authors Grady Hendrix and Chris Poggiali, who will be in attendance to debut their new book THESE FISTS BREAK BRICKS: How Kung Fu Movies Swept America and Changed The World. Hendrix and Poggiali will premiere two of their favorite kung fu classics – Kino Lorber’s and the 3-D Film Archive’s brand new 3D DCP of DYNASTY 3D as well as the rarely seen Jackie Chan-choreographed DANCE OF DEATH. They’ll also host a brand new event called “BingoDome” with the crown jewel of Bruceploitation films, 1977’s THE DRAGON LIVES AGAIN. As Bruce Lee inexplicably fights against Popeye, Clint Eastwood, James Bond, the Godfather and undead zombies in purgatory, participants mark matching squares on their bingo cards to win fabulous prizes, including signed copies of the new book!

Also supporting the release, 36 Cinema is presenting MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE with live commentary by RZA, who provided the intro to THESE FISTS BREAK BRICKS. This event will be live-streamed for global audiences online to enjoy. 36 Cinema brings together film screening with live in-depth commentary with directors, actors, critics and fans. RZA will be joined by film programmer and historian Dan Halsted to dive deep into one of the greatest kung fu movies of all time. The Press Room will also be live-printing MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE posters after the event.

AFTER BLUE (DIRTY PARADISE)France, 2021US Premiere, 130 minDirector – Bertrand MandicoOn a mysterious new planet populated entirely by women, teenager Roxy and her mother undergo a fantastical journey in pursuit of a murderous criminal.

AGNESUSA, 2021Texas Premiere, 93 minDirector – Mickey ReeceFantastic Fest favorite Mickey Reece is back with his most ambitious production yet, the story of a headstrong young nun accused of possession and her best friend who’s left to grapple with the aftermath.

ALONE WITH YOUUSA, 2021World Premiere, 83 minDirectors – Emily Bennett & Justin BrooksAs a young woman painstakingly prepares a romantic homecoming for her girlfriend, their apartment begins to feel more like a tomb when voices, shadows, and hallucinations reveal a truth she has been unwilling to face.

BARBARIANSUnited Kingdom, 2021World Premiere, 90 minDirector – Charles DorfmanAn alpha male social media influencer and his beta brother meet for an explosive dinner with their significant others – one where secrets are revealed, lives are ruined, and chaos reigns (fox included).

BEYOND THE INFINITE 2 MINUTESJapan, 2021North American Premiere, 70 minDirector – Junta YamaguchiKato is a cafe owner in Kyoto who suddenly finds his bedroom computer screen linked to the one in his cafe, showing him exactly what’s going on downstairs – two minutes in the future. Things get really absurd when his friends find out and devise a way to go … BEYOND THE INFINITE 2 MINUTES.

THE BETA TESTUSA, 2021Texas Premiere, 93 minDirectors – Jim Cummings & PJ McCabeJim Cummings is back as co-director and star in this pitch black film biz satire. Cummings revels in the full spectrum of bad behavior, leaving you laughing and gasping in equal measure.

BINGO HELLUSA, 2021World Premiere, 85 minDirector – Gigi Saul GuerreroThe big, steel-toed boot of gentrification won’t stop one determined locally-grown advocate as a new building owner offers Bingo as a portal to financial prosperity – but the price is something far more sinister and much less liberating.

CANNON ARM AND THE ARCADE QUESTDenmark, 2021US Premiere, 97 minDirector – Mads HedegaardKim Cannon Arm sets out to shatter records by playing Gyruss for 100 hours straight on a single coin and he can’t do it on his own in this funny and philosophical documentary about the importance of friends and community.

DANCE OF DEATHTaiwan, Hong Kong, 1976Repertory Screening, 90 minDirector – Chi-Hwa ChenAt the nexus point where Jackie Chan’s star began to rise and Angela Mao’s (ENTER THE DRAGON) was waning, they collaborated on this wild, rarely seen gem. Channeling Chan’s own acrobatic style, Mao avenges the defeat of her teachers using a powerful “dancing girl” kung fu style inspired by the gyrations of brothel attendants.

DEAD & BEAUTIFULThe Netherlands, Taiwan, 2021North American Premiere, 98 minDirector – David VerbeekFive wealthy, fashionable friends wake up from a wild night in Taipei to find they’ve become vampires in David Verbeek’s aesthetically gorgeous thriller.

DYNASTYTaiwan, Hong Kong, 1977Repertory Screening, 92 minDirector – Chang Mei-chungNow! DYNASTY! On the surface it looks like just another indie kung fu flick from Taiwan, but within minutes this crazy train has picked up a full head of steam and is on its way to a Never Never Land of wild weapons, mass mutilation, and major mayhem … all in 3-D!!!

THE EXORCISM OF GODUSA, Mexico, Venezuela, 2021World Premiere, 98 minDirector – Alejandro HidalgoWhen children in a small Mexican town start dying of demonic possession, the inhabitants seek the help of Father Peter Williams, a priest haunted by a past exorcism gone sinfully wrong. What follows is an epic battle between good and evil.

USA, 2021US Premiere, 82 minDirectors – Toby Poser, Zelda Adams & John AdamsFantastic Fest favorite filmmaking family Toby Poser, John Adams, and Zelda Adams return with their newest creative endeavor HELLBENDER, a witchy, heavy metal coming-of-age thriller.

IKÉ BOYSUSA, 2021World Premiere, 88 minDirector – Eric McEverTwo self-proclaimed geeks and a live-in Japanese foreign exchange student procure a long-lost anime classic that inadvertently turns them into superheroes … just in time for a Y2K-era Kaiju face-off!

KING CARBrazil, 2021US Premiere, 97 minDirector – Renata PinheiroA young man’s ability to surreally “be one” with cars sparks a revolution that could save transport in his community. When his invention inadvertently accelerates the underlying problems, our hero’s quest must grow bigger than his own personal ambitions.

KNOCKINGSweden, 2021Texas Premiere, 78 minDirector – Frida KempffMolly seems to be the only one who hears strange knocking day and night in her apartment. But she won’t be deterred by unbelievers until she’s discovered the cause of the noises tormenting her.

LAMBIceland, Sweden, Poland, 2021US Premiere, 107 minDirector – Valdimar JóhannssonOn a remote farm in Iceland, a couple that experienced recent loss is caring for their flock of sheep. One day, one of their sheep gives birth to a very peculiar lamb that will change their lives forever.

LAST OF THE WOLVESJapan, 2021Texas Premiere, 139 minDirector – Kazuya ShiraishiA hard-won truce between rival yakuza gangs threatens to erupt into bloody violence when a psychopathic hoodlum is released from prison and vows to avenge the death of his boss.

LET THE WRONG ONE INIreland, 2021World Premiere, 97 minDirector – Conor McMahonSibling rivalry takes on a whole new meaning when one brother is turned into a vampire and has to rely on his younger brother to protect him. Will brotherly love win out or is someone getting staked?

LIMBOHong Kong, 2021Texas Premiere, 118 minDirector – Soi CheangA burnt-out cop and a by-the-book young detective team up to catch a vicious serial killer lurking in the garbage-filled alleys of Hong Kong in Soi Cheang’s grimy monochrome masterpiece.

MAD GODUSA, 2021US Premiere, 83 minDirector – Phil TippettAn adventurer descends into a pit reaching the bowels of the Earth, searching for a spot on a crumbling map. On his journey in an apocalyptic world, he meets and fights monsters and creatures out of your worst nightmares in this passion project from stop-motion legend Phil Tippett.

THE MARCO EFFECTDenmark, 2021North American Premiere, 125 minDirector – Martin ZandlivetWhen Marco, a Romani kid without papers, is caught at the Danish border with the passport of a man who went missing, Detective Carl Mørck from Department Q unknowingly opens Pandora’s Box on what was supposedly a simple case.

And much, much more.

Written By: AJ Friar

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