Fantastic Fest!

fantastic fest

You guys! I went to Fantastic Fest last weekend! True, I was only there for 2 days with a daytime badge, so I missed just about every single huge premiere. AND YET! I had an amazing time, saw incredible films, hung out and sang karaoke with celebrities, and I can’t wait to go back next year! Let this be a lesson to you, friends. You can totally do Fantastic Fest with no money and no time. It’s doable!

So I’m not going to get into the parties/celebrities aspect of it, even though that’s definitely a significant part of the festival, just because I know my bestie poshdeluxe will be doing  a far more thorough job of that very shortly. I’ll be sure to link to her FF post as soon as it’s up, and in the meantime, I’m going to stick to the movies!


Machete Maidens Unleashed (2010)

machete maidens unleashed

Director: Mark Hartley (in attendance)

Writer: Mark Hartley

An uproarious, shocking, fast-paced documentary about the exploitation movies filmed in the Philippines in the 60s and 70s by such directors as shock maestro Roger Corman, who was also in attendance with wife Julie, receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award. If you’re a fan of grindhouse, you abso MUST check out Machete Maidens. The film features hilarious and brutally honest interviews by Corman, Joe Dante, Pam Grier, John Landis, Eddie Romero and others. As director Hartley said during the intro, people usually watch documentaries because they’re hoping to learn something. If that’s your bag, skip Machete Maidens Unleashed. It’s filled with boobs, blood and general bad-assery. In other words: CHECK IT.

Dig the delightfully NSFW trailer:


Sharktopus (2010)


Director: Declan O’Brien (in attendance)

Writer: Mike Maclean

Ahh, Sharktopus. It has the awesomest title ever! Also it’s starring cheesemaster Eric Roberts! Sharktopus aired as a double feature with Machete Maidens Unleashed, as it’s one of the Cormans’ SyFy Network productions. Hacky, silly, lacking in boobs, rife with blood and somewhat hilarious, it’s worth a watch next time it airs on SyFy. Probably. I mean, c’mon. It’s about a SHARKTOPUS. How bad can it be? Judge for yourself with the trailer here:


Forbidden Planet (1956)

forbidden planet

Director: Fred M. Wilcox

Writer: Cyril Hume

Okay, so we stayed up until 6 in the morning, slept 4 hours and then rushed to the theater to sign up for whatever movies were still open. That’s how we ended up seeing the “Kid’s Club” viewing of Forbidden Planet, complete with a child’s robot-dance contest! And yes, that obviously equates with AWESOME. When io9 posted this list of 25 classic sci-fi movies everybody must watch, I was gutted that I hadn’t seen two titles on the list. My geek cred was in peril! While I still haven’t caught Primer, I can now certainly agree that Forbidden Planet is a must-watch. With a science fiction update to the Shakespearean classic The Tempest, the plot is solid, the visuals are incredible, the acting fine and the repartee surprisingly clever. I can’t believe the budget of this film! All of the tech stuff looks amazing good, Leslie Nielsen makes for a shockingly handsome hero and I hard-core covet Anne Francis’s entire space-age wardrobe as Alta Morbius. I’m so glad we slept in that day!

Please to enjoy, the trailer:


Bonus! We got a sneak peek of Megamind, because, you know, this whole thing was for kids. And it looks hella sweet! Like Dr. Horrible for chilluns.


Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (2010)

legend of the fist

Director: Wai-keung Lau

Writer: Gordon Chan

Donnie Yen, aka MY BOYFRIEND, does the unthinkable and reprises Bruce Lee’s role in a jazzy action thriller. This movie has excellent action sequences, lots of pretty ladies, a quest for vengeance, a swanky nightclub, a masked warrior, and BEST OF ALL, a fake mustache! No, sorry, my mistake, BEST OF ALL, Donnie Yen’s outrageously hot bod. Shirtless! That’s right! Sometimes he takes off his shirt to fight, and it’s not ridiculous: it’s amazing! The pacing/plotting of the film could use some work, it’s definitely got abrupt editing, but it’s still a blast.

Alas, the trailer does not boast any shirtlessness. But please note that I found the only movie poster to do so! YOU’RE WELCOME.


Outrage (2010)


Director: Takeshi Kitano

Writer: Takeshi Kitano

Kitano’s labyrinthine yakuza thriller takes “hard-core” to the sublime. This shit is MASCULINE, yo. The story of warring yakuza clans with ever-changing leadership doesn’t mess around with any romance, although there’s a surprising level of comedy—albeit comedy of the bleak, gruesome variety. Outrage is a hell of a lot of fun to watch, and as incredible as Kitano’s direction is in the film, it may be surpassed by his acting as hapless underling Otomo. If you’re into crime thrillers, Japanese gangster flicks or just incredibly well-made cinema, Outrage is a must.

The trailer gets me all excited to see it again!


Ip Man 2 (2010)

ip man 2

Director: Wilson Yip

Writer: Edmond Wong

Finally! We come to my FAVORITE movie of the festival, of the year, of my life, of the universe! (I am a fan of the hyperbole, you may have noticed.) IP! MAN! TWOOOOOOOOO, you guys! HOLY CRAP. Telling the story of Ip Man, the wing chun master who trained Bruce Lee and thereby popularized martial arts across the world, Ip Man 2 starts off before The Little Dragon entered the picture, when western boxing was becoming popular and acting like a haughty little upstart. No worries, though—Master Ip shows the foreign devils how it’s done! Oh, did I mention who plays Ip Man? MY BOYFRIEND DONNIE YEN. Generally shirted here, more’s the pity, but good god alive, can that man move. Featuring fight choreography by legendary genius Sammo Hung, who also acts in the film, Ip Man 2 features the most breathless, flawless, awe-inspiring martial arts I have EVER seen. It’s utterly breathtaking, and I mean that literally. I had such a physical reaction to this film, and I don’t just mean my ladyboner for Donnie Yen! I found myself constantly holding my breath, clutching my shirt, perching on the end of my seat, kicking my legs around, punching my fist in the air, cheering wildly or bursting into tears during the movie, and I wasn’t alone! The entire audience had the most intensely personal response to this beautiful film. Ip Man 2 doesn’t just feature transcendent fight choreography: the story, performances, production values and score are all stunning. And the surprise scene at the end was absolutely enchanting! I’d never even seen the original, although you can bet I hauled ass to Mondo Tees, the store in the theater, to purchase the last blu-ray copy of the original the *moment* the Q&A was over, and I’ve already ordered Ip Man 2 from the internets. Come to my house! I’m going to make EVERYONE watch these movies!

That’s right, a Q&A and everything! Bad guy, western boxer and foreign devil Darren Shahlavi was in attendance, and he told incredible stories of working with Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung. Shahlavi is actually an enraptured lover of Chinese martial arts, Bruce Lee and Sammo Hung, and making Ip Man 2 was his dream come true. He told a story of working out at the gym while watching the first Ip Man on his portable DVD player when he got the call from his agent being asked to make the sequel! He was a great storyteller and managed to make me forget that I HATE HIM SO MUCH in the movie. ACTING!

Okay, so I’ve talked enough about Ip Man 2, except for how I’ll probably never stop talking about it. I’m planning on doing a double-feature review of it and the first movie once my DVD arrives. I’m so excited! Here’s the trailer! WHEEEE!

So those are the movies we saw! Obviously there were a hundred other films I would have loved to see, including but not limited to The Dead, Agnosia, 13 Assassins, Julia’s Eyes, Red White and Blue and—god help me, I know I’ve been railing against this movie for a year now but the reviews are so good!—Let Me In. But I was only there for 48 hours, I totalled about 8 hours of sleep, I had the time of my life and I’m already DYING for next year. Go to Fantastic Fest, kids! DO IT.

2 Responses to “Fantastic Fest!”

  1. FANTASTIC FEST SLAYS MY PANTS!!!! i was SO GLAD to enjoy the chaos of the festival with you and matt, and i already can’t wait to DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN. my body, on the other hand, probably needs a year to recover.

    i also need to get my hands on the ip man 2 screener cos SHIZZ LOOKS AMAZ.

  2. I already found it on Amazon because I COULDN’T WAIT, so you can borrow mine!

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