The 2019 Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, announced its first wave of titles late last month and a second wave of titles earlier today. The Festival is shaping up nicely with an exciting line-up of expectedly peculiar movies. MMC! is stoked for some of these films, so let’s take a look at a dozen bonkers trailers (and read some brief Fantastic Fest summaries) before this Tuesday runs out!
(MMC! doesn’t have any plans to be around Austin during September 19 to 26, but if anyone wants to throw some press credentials at our lowly corner of the blogosphere, MMC! wouldn’t stop you!)
Opening night of Fantastic Fest kicks off with the premiere of Taika Waititi’s JoJo Rabbit (2019). This anti-hate satire apparently made Disney execs less than comfortable during a screening last week and reports state that the studio is more than a bit nervous about this inherited Fox project. That alone make JoJo Rabbit sound worth its ticket price!
“Writer-director Taika Waititi (THOR: RAGNAROK, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE), brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, JOJO RABBIT, a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis as JoJo) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.”
No surprise that Bong Joon-ho’s Palme d’Or winner should catch the eye of MMC!, but this trailer, laden with farcical, orchestral music, rapid handclaps, and those BWOMPs, is two-minutes of solid tension. Is there anyone who doesn’t want to see Parasite (2019)!?!
“Bong Joon-ho’s seventh feature — about an unemployed Korean family conning their way out of their basement apartment — is a roller coaster ride of laughs, gasps, horror, tears, and perfection.”
Every respectable genre festival needs a Takashi Miike film on its schedule and Fantastic Fest has the iconic director’s latest, First Love (2019). Quirky characters, ornate set designs, and hard-bitten, tough guy violence look like the order of the day and we’re onboard.
“When aspiring boxer Leo discovers that he may not have long to live, he goes all out to help drug-addicted call girl Monica, facing down gangsters, assassins, corrupt cops, and much more over the course of one long night.”
MMC! was already excited for Andrew Patterson’s The Vast of Night (2019) after hearing Dan Martin stump for it on the Arrow Video podcast, but this trailer, made up of a roaming, low to the ground, single shot has sealed the deal. I have no idea what this is about having watched it, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy seeing the movie!
“A rural 1950s radio DJ and a telephone operator uncover a strange signal that could change everything in this stunning science fiction debut feature.”
Accidental deaths and dim cover-ups are standard material for genre festivals, but Daniel Sheinert’s The Death of Dick Long (2019) looks like a winner. Fantastic Fest describes it as equal parts outrageous buddy comedy and melancholy vision of fragile masculinity, even comparing it to Fargo.
“Dick is dead but no one knows how, and Zeke and Earl are desperate enough to go to any lengths to stop anyone from finding out the reason…but a small town in Alabama is not the kind of place where secrets can stay buried for long. Soon all hell breaks loose, engulfing the two men in a reckoning they had never even considered.”
MMC! loves its Metal Hurlant magazine pastiches and so Seth Ickerman’s Blood Machines (2019) looks very promising with its stellar mix of space, synth, and cyberpunk.
“The wild sequel to the Carpenter Brut music video, “Turbo Killer,” shoots you into a turbulent psychedelic adventure of galactic hunters tracking down the soul of a spaceship set to a killer synthwave soundtrack.”
MMC! favourite Quentin Dupieux follows up Keep An Eye Out! with Deerskin (2019), transporting his oddball sense of humour and leading man Jean Dujardin to the French countryside where boredom, loneliness, and a fringed quest to rid the world of other outer garments converge.
“When Georges buys himself a deerskin jacket, he will find his life on a collision course with madness, crime, and the desire to be the only man wearing an overgarment.”
Fatih Akin’s The Golden Glove (2019) looks like next level grotesquerie and Fantastic Fest openly acknowledges the film’s panned premiere at Berlin when cautioning audiences with weak stomachs interested in seeing this brutal and shocking movie. MMC! likes its barflies, so count us in.
“Based on true events that transpired in the grimy slums of 1970s Hamburg, loner-turned-murderer Fritz Honka stalks his local drinking spot, The Golden Glove, in search of his next victim.”
Tyler Cornack’s Butt Boy (2019) looks and sounds like the kind of preposterous movie that defines Fantastic Fest, but it’s the movie’s brilliantly and hilariously edited trailer (more of those BWOMPs!) that has MMC! riveted.
“Writer/director/comedian Tyler Cornack’s BUTT BOY introduces us to Chip, a middle-aged man whose first prostate exam stirs feelings deep inside leading to an addiction that can only be shown to Fantastic Fest audiences.”
Things get even weirder with Oklahoman Mickey Reece’s Climate of the Hunter (2019), a film described by Reece’s local newspaper as “a visual interpretation of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s 1985 debut album, Psychocandy.” Be sure to watch this all the way through as this trailer really sings in its final, wacky horror moments.
“The ‘Soderbergh of the Sticks,’ Mickey Reece, returns to Fantastic Fest with his 27th feature. Two beautiful sisters vie for the affections of a man who may or may not be a vampire.”
Things get extra-weird with Kelly Copper and Pavol Liška’s Die Kinder der Toten (2019), a bizarre dialogue-free film shot in a Super 8 style and based on an unadaptable book about a plague of undead tourists. Wow.
“In this experimental adaptation of an epic Elfriede Jelinek novel, a group of Austrian tourists is killed in a traffic accident before reanimating as zombies and terrorizing a local pub.”
Last but not least, Rian Johnson’s Knives Out (2019) is set to close the 2019 Fantastic Fest. I’m not sure from this trailer if Knives Out is just some goofy Clue take-off or not but that cast is IMPRESSIVE and is probably enough to get MMC! in front of this film.
“From acclaimed writer, director Rian Johnson comes KNIVES OUT, a fresh and modern take on the classic “whodunnit” mystery genre.”