I had the pleasure of attending FANTASTIC FEST 2010 (it was my first time), in Austin Texas and yup, it was pretty much all that I hoped it would be. Lets just say that there is an extra 8 pounds on my belly right now due to ten days of nachos, tacos and mucho beers. Attending films at the famous ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE THEATER was truly a cinephile's wet dream come through. Glorious screens, comfy seats with a counter in front of them and waiters/cute waitresses walking by, even during the screenings, to take your orders of beer and junkie food. Popcorn, nachos, chicken wings... shit I even had a Phillysteak sandwich while I was there. First time I eat one of them badboys during a movie. Yeah bitch!
The famous Alamo Drafthouse theatre. Now I know why...
Another cool thing about this fest was that before the movies they'd play these little FFEST clips they called bumpers, each more deliciously distasteful than the next with my fav being some dude pulling a bloody tampon out of his girl's snatch and then making out with her, face bloodied and all... FANTASTIC! Movie stars showed up onscreen as well to tell us in funny ways to not to talk during the movies, guys like Danny DeVito or the inimitable R. Lee Ermey saying it like it is with a touch of humor. I grooved to the retro stuff they'd have on the screen while we waited for the movies to start as well. Can't go wrong with an old 80's clip of Mr. T telling kids about values and shit. All that to say, the whole Fest was centered on niche, movie fanboy heavy and retro stuff and I for one couldn't get enough of it.
The main Festival bar (right next to the Alamo), the Highball!
The Festival also had a slew of activities going on (shooting range, Pub crawls etc.). I can imagine how much fun people that are not at the Fest to work had. Sadly I attended only one event; the Michelle Rodriguez vs Tim League boxing match; which was actually a pretty good mano et girlo bout, Michelle knows how to throw down that's for sure. The highlight though was watching Todd Brown (of Twitch.com fame) and THE DEAD writer/DOP Jonathan Ford go at it beforehand; that was a real fight, fueled by some conflict both gents had online. Todd's a tall mofo and at the end of it his long reach made him the victor. I did respect Jonathan's "never give up" attitude though.
Michelle Rodriguez debates Avatar with Fest founder Tim League.
Michelle Rodriguez whoops Tim League in the ring. To be honest, Tim held his own.
Now I was at the Fest for two reasons: To cover movies for the site and to act as a member of the Jury (along with effects maestro Greg Nicotero, Lawrence Rafel of Fearnet and producer Travis Stevens) for the HORROR CATEGORY section. You can check out all that I tapped movie wise below and see who won the FANTASTIC FEST AWARDS HERE. I was asked to announce the winners of our section in front of the crowd and before my speech I approached the gal in charge and said: "Can I cuss on stage?" She laughed at me and said; "Where do you think you are? Of course you can!" So I went up did my thing in usual sexual reference laced fashion, some loved it, some didn't. One gal told me I was a tad too harsh... I took that as a compliment.
Presenting the winners in the best Horror Features category.
Chugging a beer with the winners.
In between Jury duties, site duties, Taco overload and Highball duties, at the end of it all, I was burnt and horror overdosed... but ya know what? I wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you Fantastic Fest for having me there; you definitely have quite the unique Festival and yes I mean unique in a good way. I had a freaking blast!
FANTASTIC FEST REVIEWS
(click posters to access reviews)
REVIEWS STILL TO COME!
Rock on Fantastic Fest!