The eighteenth edition of the genre festival Fantastic Fest is set to be held at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin, Texas from September 21st – 28th (badges are available now at FantasticFest.com), and this time around the festival is going to feature 29 world premieres, 24 North American premieres, and 18 U.S. premieres! Among the films in the lineup, which you can look over below, are The Toxic Avenger remake and the Pet Sematary prequel Pet Sematary: Bloodlines. The first two episodes of the Mike Flanagan Netflix series The Fall of the House of Usher will also be screened at the festival.
Festival Director Lisa Dreyer had this to say: “The Fantastic Fest team is ready to take you on a journey you won’t ever forget. We’ve taken the best week of the year and supercharged it: more movies, more parties, more fun. If you want to see the best new movies from around the world first with the best audience, Fantastic Fest is the place to be.“
Director Macon Blair’s The Toxic Avenger remake will be making its world premiere as the opening night film at Fantastic Fest 2023. The film “features an all-star cast including Peter Dinklage who will pick up the infamous mop to become the toxic hero that no one knew they needed (or wanted) as well as Jacob Tremblay and Taylour Paige with Elijah Wood and Kevin Bacon.”
Fantastic Fest will also host the world premiere of the Dan Brown-directed thriller Your Lucky Day, which features Euphoria‘s Angus Cloud in one of his final performances. Director of Programming Annick Mahnert said, “The Fantastic Fest team was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Angus Cloud. His performance in Your Lucky Day immediately won over our team, and we want to pay tribute to his talents and life at the festival.“
Director Nahnatchka Khan’s time travel slasher comedy Totally Killer makes its world premiere as the closing night film. “Starring Kiernan Shipka as a time-traveling teen out to stop the infamous Sweet Sixteen Killer, Totally Killer is equal parts comedic charm and tense thrills. Shocking kills will keep the Fantastic Fest audience on their toes, and the outrageous 1980s setting will be a fitting lead-in to the closing night festivities.“
Tim League, the founder of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Fantastic Fest, provided the following statement: “We took 24 hours off after last year and dove straight into planning this year’s gonzo adventure; it’s going to be outrageous. First-timers to the festival, I suggest setting an annual reminder for the end of September for the rest of your life. Once you’ve tasted Fantastic Fest, you are family. We’ll see you at this year’s reunion.“
Here’s the Fantastic Fest 2023 lineup:
30 COINS (Season 2, Episodes 1 & 2)
Produced in Spain for HBO Europe, 2023. World Premiere, 110 min. Director – Álex de la Iglesia. Welcome to hell.
China, 2023. US Premiere, 108 min. Directors – Xu Haofeng & Xu Junfeng. Shen An wages war on the streets of Tianjin after losing control of his martial arts academy in a humiliating duel with his father’s apprentice.
France, 2023. North American Premiere, 99 min. Director – Just Philippot. In a world messed up by climate change, a girl and her divorced parents must cross a devastated France under strange clouds pouring acid rain.
THE ALL GOLDEN
Canada, 2023. World Premiere, 64 min. Director – Nate Wilson. In veteran Fantastic Fest filmmaker Nate Wilson’s kaleidoscopic and labyrinthine deconstructionist satire, a laid-up polyamorous bicycle courier discovers that her older, scholarly boyfriend has been keeping a sinister secret in his closet.
THE ALTMAN METHOD
Israel, 2022. North American Premiere, 101 min. Director – Nadav Aronowicz. A struggling actress questions her husband’s account of a brutal act of heroism that has won him national recognition and saved his failing business.
THE ANIMAL KINGDOM
France, 2023. North American Premiere, 130 min. Director – Thomas Cailley. Emile’s dad moves him to southern France, where his mom is held in a facility for patients afflicted with an illness that mutates them into animals.
France, Morocco, Qatar, 2023. Texas Premiere, 91 min. Director – Sofia Alaoui. Separated from her husband during a state of emergency, pregnant Itto is stranded in a village, where she starts to experience mysterious phenomena.
BABY ASSASSINS 2
Japan, 2023. US Premiere, 101 min. Director – Hugo Sakamoto. The Baby Assassins have been suspended from the Assassin Guild and it’s hard to find a new job when you’ve got a fanboy assassin duo out to kill you.
Germany, 2023. World Premiere, 90 min. Director – Marc Schölermann. A businessman tied to a tree deep in the woods struggles to convince an outdoorsman to cut him free after the hunter sets up camp to watch him die.
BLONDE DEATH (Presented by Bleeding Skull)
USA, 1984. World Premiere of Restoration, 98 min. Director – James Dillinger aka James Robert Baker. Bleeding Skull presents a tale of death, drugs, and Disneyland in James Robert Baker’s essential chapter of queer cinema history.
USA, 1987. 90 min. Director – Jackie Kong. A brain in a jar orders his cannibal nephews to dismember call girls in their diner’s kitchen to patch together a perfect body for an ancient goddess.
THE BOOK OF SOLUTIONS
France, 2023. North American Premiere, 102 min. Director – Michel Gondry. Michel Gondry returns with a tongue-in-cheek satire about an idiosyncratic filmmaker who will do anything to execute his vision.
BUGGED! (Presented by AGFA and Troma)
USA, 1996. 82 min. Director – Ronald K. Armstrong. Following a freak lab accident, a woman hires the Dead and Buried Exterminators to rid her house of some overgrown crickets but they all soon realize the bugs are radioactive beasties with a lust for blood!
CALIGULA: THE ULTIMATE CUT
USA, Italy, 1980. North American Premiere, 173 min. Art historian Thomas Negovan offers a new cut of one of the most decadent movies ever made, using outtakes to reconcile the film to its original script.
CENTIPEDE HORROR (Presented by AGFA and Error 4444)
Hong Kong, 1982. 94 min. Director – Keith Li. After his sister dies under mysterious circumstances while on vacation, Wai Lun decides to take matters into his own hands. Soon enough, he discovers a family curse, battling wizards, and centipedes.
South Korea, 2023. US Premiere, 135 min. Director – Kim Jee-woon. Director Kim Jee-woon’s ravishing and raucous tale of a director trying to finish his magnum opus in the censorship-prone 1970s Korean film industry.
THE COFFEE TABLE
Spain, 2022. North American Premiere, 90 min. Director – Caye Casas. Sometimes a gaudy coffee table is just a coffee table, and sometimes it’s the catalyst for a nightmarish descent into ruination.
France, Luxembourg, Belgium, 2023. US Premiere, 105 min. Director – Bertrand Mandico. Fantastic Fest favorite Bertrand Mandico is back with his uniquely beautiful and bizarre time-traveling spin on the myth of Conan the Barbarian.
South Korea, 2023. Texas Premiere, 130 min. Director – Um Tae-hwa. A magnetic Lee Byung-hun and Park Seo-joon lead this dark, high-stakes disaster parable of Korea’s fevered obsession with real estate and class forms.
USA, 2023. Texas Premiere, 133 min. Director – Gareth Edwards. From director/co-writer Gareth Edwards (ROGUE ONE, GODZILLA) comes an epic sci-fi action thriller set amidst a future war between the human race and the forces of artificial intelligence.
USA, 2023. World Premiere, 103 min. Director – Chris Skotchdopole. An anxiety-inducing chamber piece that will make you fondly remember the worst high-pressure sales pitch you’ve ever delivered (or endured).
THE CULT OF AGFA TRAILER SHOW (Presented by AGFA)
USA, 2023. World Premiere of 35mm Restoration, 77 min. Director – Joseph A. Ziemba & Bret Berg. The world premiere 35mm screening of AGFA’s wildest mixtape yet.
THE DEEP DARK
France, 2023. International Premiere, 100 min. Director – Mathieu Turi. A group of coal miners unintentionally free a bloodthirsty creature after accompanying a professor down to a hidden crypt discovered deep in the mine.
USA, 2023. Texas Premiere, 88 min. Director – Eddie Alcazar. A mad scientist’s serum grants perfect bodies and immortality, but at a cost: rampant infertility leads to an undying society based only on pleasure.
Japan, 1988. North American Premiere, 94 min. Director – Banmei Takahashi. A lonely housewife is held hostage in her own apartment by an increasingly deranged door-to-door salesman in this forgotten home invasion masterpiece.
USA, 2023. Texas Premiere, 97 min. Director – William Oldroyd. Set during a bitter 1964 Massachusetts winter, young secretary Eileen becomes enchanted by the glamorous new counselor at the prison where she works. Their budding friendship takes a twisted turn when Rebecca reveals a dark secret — throwing Eileen onto a sinister path.
ENTER THE CLONES OF BRUCE
USA, 2023. Texas Premiere, 94 min. Director – David Gregory. In the wake of Bruce Lee’s sudden death, film studios rushed to capitalize on the irreplaceable icon, and a new subgenre was born — Bruceploitation.
THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (Episodes 1 & 2)
USA, 2023. World Premiere, 120 min. Director – Mike Flanagan. Roderick Usher, CEO of a corrupt pharmaceutical company, must face his past when brutal and mysterious incidents start affecting his family.
USA, 2023. North American Premiere, 80 min. Directors – Richard Karpala & Gabriel Bienczycki. Three brothers set out on the first night of Harvest to check out the desiccated remains of the witch that their friend has buried in the desert.
THE FANTASTIC GOLEM AFFAIRS
Spain, 2023. US Premiere, 97 min. Directors – Burnin’ Percebes. After his best friend falls to his death and shatters into pottery shards, Juan uncovers a secret world of living golems in this offbeat comedy.
FOUND FOOTAGE FESTIVAL VOL. 10
USA, 2023. Texas Premiere, 85 min. Directors – Joe Pickett & Nick Prueher. Joe Pickett (THE ONION) and Nick Prueher (LATE SHOW) take you on a guided tour through their latest and greatest VHS finds.
FOUR’S A CROWD
Spain, 2022. Texas Premiere, 100 min. Director – Álex de la Iglesia. Two unexpected passengers complicate an Uber driver’s plan to declare his feelings for one of his regular customers during a 300 km drive to Madrid.
A GUIDE TO BECOMING AN ELM TREE
Ireland, 2023. North American Premiere, 75 min. Directors – Skye & Adam Mann. Padraig (James O Healy) is pulled into a dark world of Irish Mythology and magic as he struggles to deal with his past actions.
I’LL CRUSH Y’ALL
Spain, 2023. World Premiere, 92 min. Director – Kike Narcea. A retired boxing champion and his dog must defend his family’s country farm from wave after wave of gangsters in this bloody, bare-knuckle brawler.
IN MY MOTHER’S SKIN
Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, 2023. Texas Premiere, 97 min. Director – Kenneth Dagatan. A Filipino girl living under Japanese occupation learns the tragic consequences of making deals when a fairy’s gifts extract pounds of flesh.
THE INVISIBLE FIGHT
Estonia, Latvia, Greece, Finland, 2023. North American Premiere, 115 min. Director – Rainer Sarnet. After martial artists take out his Soviet post on the China border, a mechanic seeks kung fu mastery at a monastery in this wuxia-inspired comedy.
UK, 2023. World Premiere, 97 min. Director – Jamie Childs. Former motocross champion Jack Dawson embarks on a dark odyssey through his decaying Rust Belt town after being double-crossed by the local kingpin.
THE JAR (CHARON)
USA, 1984. World Premiere of Restoration, 85 min. Director – Bruce Tuscano. After hitting an old man with his car, Paul is left with a jar holding a demonic creature that opens a portal to strange worlds and psychotic visions.
India, 2023. US Premiere, 144 min. Director – Anurag Kashyap. Kennedy works as a contract killer for a corrupt police commissioner with the hope of exacting vengeance on the man who murdered his son.
KILL DOLLY KILL
USA, 2023. World Premiere, 79 min. Director – Heidi Moore. Dolly Deadly is out to win Serial Killer of the Year, and she’ll violate all sense of good taste to snatch the crown and look fabulous while doing it.
South Korea, 2023. Texas Premiere, 107 min. Director – Lee Won-suk. A toxic masculinity-bashing karaoke musical phantasmagoria from the magical mind of LEE Won-suk, KILLING ROMANCE will stick in your head for months.
USA, UK, France, 2023. Texas Premiere, 86 min. Directors – David Redmon & Ashley Sabin. An aspiring filmmaker with fond memories of browsing the shelves of a defunct NY video store attempts to rescue its singular collection of VHS tapes.
THE LAST STOP IN YUMA COUNTY
USA, 2023. World Premiere, 90 min. Director – Francis Galluppi. A traveling salesman and a waitress face down two murderous bank robbers while waiting for gas at the last pump before a hundred miles of desert.
THE LAST VIDEO STORE
Canada, 2023. World Premiere, 83 min. Directors – Cody Kennedy & Tim Rutherford. Blaster Video’s only employee teams up with his best customer’s daughter to fight off an onslaught of B-movie baddies made real by a VHS necronomicon.
LETTERS TO THE POSTMAN
UK, England, 2022. US Premiere, 61 min. Director – Felix Dembinski. A naive postman finds himself corresponding with a mysterious woman in Felix Dembinski’s auspicious and bewitching folk fable.
MANCUNIAN MAN: THE LEGENDARY LIFE OF CLIFF TWEMLOW
UK, 2023. North American Premiere, 124 min. Director – Jake West. A hilarious, action-packed documentary chronicling the fascinating life of indie filmmaker Cliff Twemlow and the industry he built in Manchester, UK.
Japan, 2023. Texas Premiere, 99 min. Director – Kazuyoshi Kumakiri. The premise is a simple one: After a night of hard drinking on the night before his wedding, a man falls into an open manhole. How will he escape?
MESSIAH OF EVIL (Presented by AGFA and Radiance Films)
USA, 1974. World Premiere of 35mm Restoration, 90 min. Directors – Gloria Katz & Willard Huyck. AGFA and Radiance Films present a brand new, restored 35mm print of Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz’ artful nightmare.
Poland, 2023. World Premiere, 75 min. Director – Paweł Borowski. An old lady stumbles upon a lost couple while picking mushrooms. They beg for help getting out of the forest, but she senses that something is off.
THE NEST (Presented by AGFA and Shout! Factory)
USA, 1988. 89 min. Director – Terence H. Winkless. Roaches have never tasted flesh… Until now.
USA, 1997. Texas Premiere of 4K Restoration, 83 min. Director – Gregg Araki. A bunch of LA teens realize they’re witnessing the apocalypse as they seek out a wild party in this 4K restoration of Gregg Araki’s cult classic.
Japan, 2023. North American Premiere, 85 min. Director – Yûdai Yamaguchi. An aging stuntman caught in a brutal feud between yakuza gangs finally shoots the pure action thriller he’s been obsessing over his entire career.
UK, 2023. North American Premiere, 87 min. Director – Andrew Cumming. A group fights for survival against an unknown adversary in this stone age thriller.
THE OTHER LAURENS
Belgium, France, 2023. North American Premiere, 117 min. Director – Claude Schmitz. When his niece shows up at his door looking for help, shaggy-dog P.I. Gabriel Laurens is unwittingly drawn into his twin’s shady criminal underworld.
THE PEOPLE’S JOKER
USA, 2022. Texas Premiere, 92 min. Director – Vera Drew. The Joker finds new purpose in Gotham City after transitioning and opening an illegal comedy club in Vera Drew’s handcrafted superhero genre parody.
PET SEMATARY: BLOODLINES
USA, Canada, 2023. World Premiere, 87 min. Director – Lindsey Anderson Beer. In 1969, a young Jud Crandall and his childhood friends band together to confront an ancient evil that has gripped their hometown. PET SEMATARY: BLOODLINES is a terrifying prequel based on chapters from Stephen King’s novel “Pet Sematary.”
South Korea, 2023. North American Premiere, 101 min. Director – Tae-gon Kim. A car pileup on a foggy bridge pits survivors against a pack of vicious dogs in this satirical horror pitched between THE HOST and TRAIN TO BUSAN.
Brazil, 2022. North American Premiere, 101 min. Director – Daniel Bandeire. A gang of disenfranchised farmhands traps a traumatized woman in her armored car in Daniel Bandeira’s Brazilian take on the home invasion.
Mexico, 2023. North American Premiere, 93 min. Director – Jorge Michel Grau. The only child in a rundown gated community mourns his mother’s death as suspicious events lead him to suspect that his father may be a werewolf.
Czech Republic, 2023. North American Premiere, 108 min. Director – Robert Hloz. A detective investigates a double homicide in a near-future world where technology allows those who die violently to be rebooted from a data backup.
RIDDLE OF FIRE
USA, 2023. US Premiere, 113 min. Director – Weston Razooli. Three children go on an epic quest to uncover the password for their TV, finding themselves in their own video game-like adventure in the real world.
Japan, 2023. US Premiere, 86 min. Director – Junta Yamaguchi. Kikaku Theater Group, the team behind our 2021 Audience Award winner BEYOND THE INFINITE TWO MINUTES, returns with more two-minute time loop hijinks.
THE SACRIFICE GAME
USA/CANADA, 2023. US Premiere, 100 min. Director – Jenn Wexler. Disillusioned demon worshipers end a string of grisly murders by interrupting a boarding school’s quiet Christmas in this ‘70s-era Satanic Panic romp.
France, 2023. International Premiere, 115 min. Director – Jean-Bernard Marlin. A former gang member begins to believe that his daughter will be their slum’s new messiah after a rival curses the neighborhood with his dying breath.
UK, 2023. North American Premiere, 96 min. Directors – Jane Giles & Ali Catterall. The story behind London’s legendary Scala Cinema, which screened the most outrageous movies before it was sued and shuttered for showing A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
South Korea, 2023. US Premiere, 95 min. Director – Jason Yu. Somnambulism takes on a frightful new meaning in this clever, claustrophobic Korean chiller from former Bong Joon-ho assistant director Jason Yu.
USA, 2023. World Premiere, 95 min. Director – Amanda Kramer. Amanda Kramer’s documentary collage looks back at the subgenre of films concerned with cyberspace, hackers, and the first days of the internet.
USA, 2023. World Premiere, 105 min. Director – Quinn Monahan. A new documentary tells the warts-and-all story behind America’s first horror theme park, Spooky World.
SRI ASIH: THE WARRIOR
Indonesia, 2022. North American Premiere, 133 min. Director – Upi Avianto. An aspiring boxer discovers she’s a reincarnation of the goddess Asih in this Indonesian superhero movie focused on punching terrible men in the face.
UK, 2023. World Premiere, 93 min. Director – Robert Morgan. A stop-motion animator puts up with her overbearing, sick mother in Robert Morgan’s haunting debut.
USA, 2023. World Premiere, 96 min. Director – JT Mollner. One day in the life of a serial killer.
France, 1970. US Premiere of 2K Restoration, 95 min. Director – Paul Vecchiali. A killer and a detective cross paths as they hunt for an answer to their respective feelings of loneliness in the world premiere of the restoration of this 1970 Giallo.
India, 2023. World Premiere, 89 min. Director – Stephen Alexander. A young woman reluctantly returns home for her estranged sister’s wedding only to discover that her family is hiding a possessed boy in their home.
USA, 2023. Texas Premiere, 100 min. Director – Joe Lynch. A casual, intimate encounter with a patient leads a psychologist into the cosmic, kinky world of Lovecraftian horror headlined by Barbara Crampton and Heather Graham.
THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE BARN
Norway, 2023. World Premiere, 96 min. Director – Magnus Martens. After inheriting an old cabin in Norway, an American family moves there with the intention of turning the adjoining barn into a bed and breakfast. They end up disturbing a barn elf who will go to deadly lengths to drive the family away.
Malaysia, Taiwan, France, Germany, Netherlands, Indonesia, 2023. US Premiere, 95 min. Director – Amanda Nell Eu. A dreamy horror fairy tale about a teenage girl who notices strange, transformative changes in her body soon after getting her first period.
USA, 2023. World Premiere, 106 min. Director – Nahnatchka Khan. When the infamous “Sweet Sixteen Killer” returns 35 years after his first murder spree to claim another victim, 17-year-old Jamie (Kiernan Shipka) accidentally travels back in time to 1987, determined to stop the killer before he can start.
THE TOXIC AVENGER
USA, 2023. World Premiere, 102 min. Director – Macon Blair. A horrible toxic accident transforms downtrodden janitor Winston Gooze into a new evolution of hero: THE TOXIC AVENGER!
Philippines, 2023. North American Premiere, 113 min. Director – Richard V. Somes. Procuring a job as a night watchman as a re-entry back into civilian life, ex-soldier Miguel finds himself caught in a gun battle between a drug cartel and a corrupt police unit.
Sweden, 2022. North American Premiere, 115 min. Director – Victor Danell. A rebellious teenager seeks out the help of a disgraced meteorologist’s ufology society to locate her father years after he vanished into thin air.
Croatia, Serbia, 2022. US Premiere, 104 min. Directors – David Kapac & Andrija Mardešić. A family prepares for their uncle’s Christmas visit, but the festivities are dampened by the fact that he’ll return in a few days to celebrate again.
USA, 2023. World Premiere, 110 min. Directors – David Bruckner, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Natasha Kermani, Mike Nelson, & Scott Derrickson. The iconic found footage series returns with an array of explosive, bloody scares set in a decade obsessed with serial killers and the Satanic Panic.
France, 2023. North American Premiere, 100 min. Director – Sébastien Vaniček. A critter collector’s purchase of a venomous spider turns his entire apartment building into a death trap after it escapes from its shoebox enclosure.
VISITORS (COMPLETE EDITION)
Japan, 2023. World Premiere, 61 min. Director – Kenichi Ugana. A rock ‘n’ roll band drop in unannounced on a friend and find themselves plummeting into a wackadoo reverie of monsters and mayhem.
Spain, 2023. North American Premiere, 99 min. Director – F. Javier Gutiérrez. The gamekeeper of a wealthy man’s rural hunting grounds accepts a bribe from the local hunting guide, which spirals downward into dire consequences.
France, 2023. World Premiere, 90 min. Directors – RKSS. Gen Z activists are violently picked off by a deranged night watchman after sneaking into an environmentally destructive big-box furniture store.
WE ARE ZOMBIES
France, Canada, 2023. International Premiere, 80 min. Directors – RKSS. Canadian filmmaker collective RKSS returns with a hilarious, violent take on a post-apocalyptic world where zombies are misunderstood, unalive citizens.
WHAT YOU WISH FOR
USA, 2023. US Premiere, 101 min. Director – Nicholas Tomnay. A down-and-out sous-chef gets more than he bargained for when he steps into the life of an old culinary school pal, a private chef for the über-rich.
WHEN EVIL LURKS
Argentina, Uruguay, 2023. US Premiere, 99 min. Director – Demián Rugna. Two brothers uncover a deadly secret festering in their village and are soon in a race to contain a demon threatening to extinguish their community.
USA, 2023. US Premiere, 92 min. Directors – John Adams, Zelda Adams, & Toby Poser. After a fatal trespassing incident, Eve steals a terrifying artifact from a fellow carnival performer in the hope of bringing her parents back.
YOU’LL NEVER FIND ME
Australia, 2023. Texas Premiere, 96 min. Directors – Josiah Allen & Indianna Bell. A strange woman desperate for shelter from a harrowing storm picks the wrong trailer to seek refuge… or did she choose exactly right?
YOU’RE NOT ME
Spain, 2023. World Premiere, 98 min. Directors – Marisa Crespo & Moisés Romera. Aitana shows up at her estranged parents’ home for a surprise Christmas visit and discovers they’ve replaced her with a strange live-in caretaker.
YOUR LUCKY DAY
USA, 2023. World Premiere, 89 min. Director – Dan Brown. After a dispute over a winning lottery ticket turns into a deadly hostage situation, the witnesses must decide exactly how far they’ll go—and how much blood they’re willing to spill—for a cut of the $156 million.
What do you think of the Fantastic Fest 2023 lineup? Will you be attending the festival this year? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/fantastic-fest-2023/