Fantastic Fest 2019 First Wave Films Include ‘Jojo Rabbit’, ‘In the Tall Grass’

     July 30, 2019

Can you believe it’s about that time again? Fantastic Fest returns to Austin, Texas for its fifteenth edition on September 9-16, 2019 and the first wave has arrived! As usual the genre fest is packed with exciting titles, including Taika Waititi‘s Jojo Rabbit, Brad Anderson‘s Fracture, Jim Mickle‘s In the Shadow of the Moon and Vincenzo Natali‘s Stephen King adaptation, In the Tall Grass.

Other standouts include some recent festival hits, including the Alien doc Memory: Origins of AlienKoko-Di Koko-Da, Swallow and Ant Timpson‘s Come to Daddywhich I just caught and Fantasia Fest and rather enjoyed. Oh, and none other than Takashi Miike will be stopping by the fest in person. It’s one of the best genre events of the year, so if you’re looking for badges or more information, head over to the official Fantastic Fest website.

Check out the full first wave lineup below:

4X4 

Argentina, Spain, 2019 

North American Premiere, 93 min 

Director – Mariano Cohn 

A 4×4 car will be the battleground between a brash thief trapped inside and the mysterious man who will do anything to keep him imprisoned. 

 

BLOODY BIRTHDAY: Presented by AGFA + Arrow Films USA, 1981 

World Premiere of Restoration, 85 min 

Director – Ed Hunt 

The classic Killer Kids slasher, newly restored by Arrow Films and presented by AGFA. 

 

THE CLEANSING HOUR 

USA, 2019 

World Premiere, 95 min 

Director – Damien LeVeck 

Reverend Max and his best friend Drew have a hit web show where they make a pretty good living faking exorcisms for hundreds of thousands of fans until the evening a real demon takes over and terrorizes their crew. 

 

come-to-daddy-elijah-wood

Image via Saban Films

COME TO DADDY 

New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, 2019 

Texas Premiere, 94 min 

Director – Ant Timpson 

When 30-year-old Norval receives a letter from his estranged dad begging him to visit, he is set on a weird path of discovery, unusual encounters… and a lot of violence. 

 

COSMIC CANDY 

Greece, 2019 

World Premiere, 95 min 

Director – Rinio Dragasaki 

Anna, an eccentric supermarket cashier with an obsessive taste for a trippy treat called Cosmic Candy, undergoes a quirky transformation when forced to care for a ten-year-old neighbor girl. 

 

THE DEATH OF DICK LONG 

USA, 2019 

Austin Premiere, 107 min 

Director – Daniel Scheinert 

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. 

 

DEERSKIN 

France, 2019 

North American Premiere, 77 min 

Director – Quentin Dupieux 

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. 

 

DIE KINDER DER TOTEN 

Austria, 2019 

North American Premiere, 90 min 

Directors – Kelly Copper & Pavol Liška 

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.
 

DOGS DON’T WEAR PANTS 

Finland, Latvia, 2019 

US Premiere, 105 min 

Director – Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää 

A heartbroken heart surgeon is introduced to the dark and extreme when his daughter gets her tongue pierced, sending him down a path of pain, dreams, life, love, death, and awakenings. 

 

first-love-takashi-miike

Image via Fantastic Fest

FIRST LOVE 

Japan, 2019 

US Premiere, 108 min 

Director – Takashi Miike 

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. 

 

FRACTURED 

USA, 2019 

World Premiere, 100 min 

Director – Brad Anderson 

An unfortunate accident at a truck stop means Ray has to rush his daughter to the nearest hospital for a broken arm, but when his family disappears, he soon finds himself in a frantic fight to discover what happened. 

 

THE GOLDEN GLOVE 

Germany, 2019 

North American Premiere, 110 min 

Director – Fatih Akin 

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. 

 

HAPPY FACE 

Canada, 2018 

Texas Premiere, 97 min 

Director – Alexandre Franchi 

In Attendance – Director Alexandre Franchi and Actor E. R. Ruiz 

An attractive teenager infiltrates a support group for those with facial differences in hopes of learning how to connect with his cancer-stricken mother in Alexandre Franchi’s (THE WILD HUNT) deeply personal, often hilarious, and powerfully inclusive sophomore feature. 

 

IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON 

USA, Canada, 2019 

World Premiere, 115 min 

Director – Jim Mickle 

In 1988, a Philadelphia police officer doggedly hunts a serial killer whose crimes seemingly follow no pattern, but he hasn’t considered how far the repercussions of his hunt may go. 

 

in-the-tall-grass

Image via Fantastic Fest

IN THE TALL GRASS 

Canada, 2019 

World Premiere, 90 min 

Director – Vincenzo Natali 

Adapted from the eponymous novella by Stephen King and Joe Hill, IN THE TALL GRASS follows siblings Cal and Becky who find themselves trapped within a vast field of tall grass when they venture in to answer the cries of a young boy. 

 

JOJO RABBIT 

USA, 2019 

US Premiere, 108 min 

Director – Taika Waititi 

In Attendance – Director Taika Waititi 

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.
 

KNIVES AND SKIN 

USA, 2019 

Texas Premiere, 109 min 

Director – Jennifer Reeder 

The disappearance of popular teenager Carolyn Harper has a profound ripple effect across her small midwest town in Jennifer Reeder’s hypnotic musical mystery. 

 

KOKO-DI KOKO-DA 

Sweden, Denmark, 2019 

Texas Premiere, 86 min 

Director – Johannes Nyholm 

When a disconnected couple take a camping trip in an attempt to mend their marriage after tragedy, they find themselves tormented by a peculiar band of misfits. 

 

THE LAST TO SEE THEM 

Germany, 2019 

Texas Premiere, 79 min 

Director – Sara Summa 

One summer evening in rural Italy, the Durati family is murdered during a home robbery. THE LAST TO SEE THEM chronicles the previous — and final — day of their lives.
 

LIMBO: Presented by AGFA + Bleeding Skull! 

USA, 1999 

Texas Premiere of Restoration, 55 min 

Director – Tina Krause 

Tina Krause’s unseen and unreal shot-on-video horror movie, newly preserved by AGFA + Bleeding Skull! 

 

THE MCPHERSON TAPE: Presented by AGFA + Bleeding Skull! 

USA, 1989 

World Premiere of Restoration, 63 min 

Director – Dean Alito 

The world’s first found footage horror movie, newly preserved by AGFA + Bleeding Skull! 

 

memory-origins-of-alien

Image via Fantastic Fest

MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN 

USA, 2019 

Texas Premiere, 93 min 

Director – Alexandre O. Philippe 

Following up his deconstruction of PSYCHO’s shower scene in 78/52, documentarian Alexandre O. Philippe is back with his analysis of ALIEN, its origins, and the impact of Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi shocker. 

 

NAIL IN THE COFFIN: EL VAMPIRO CANADIENSE Canada, 2019 

World Premiere, 88 min 

Director – Michael Paszt 

In Attendance – Director Michael Paszt 

An intimate and heartfelt look at professional wrestler Vampiro’s past, and his new life navigating the management of a lucha libre federation in Mexico, while raising his teenage daughter in Canada. 

 

NIGHT HAS COME 

Belgium, 2019 

World Premiere, 56 min 

Director – Peter Van Goethem 

In Attendance – Director Peter Van Goethem 

In a dystopian society, the population is threatened by a virus eating its way through the brain, erasing memories. After developing a treatment to store and classify memories, the State requires citizens to comply. 

 

THE PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION: Presented by AGFA + Severin Films Canada, 1985 

World Premiere 2K Restoration, 93 min 

Director – Michael Rubbo 

The Canadian children’s oddity takes youthful fantasy to strange new places in a brand new 2K restoration. 

 

THE POOL 

Thailand, 2018 

Texas Premiere, 90 min 

Director – Ping Lumprapleng 

When a dog trainer and his pet finish their commercial gig, it’s time to head home and enjoy a lazy afternoon floating in the pool… until he wakes up to the pool being drained and no way out.
 

REFLECTIONS OF EVIL: Presented by AGFA 

USA, 2002 

World Premiere of Restoration, 137 min 

Director – Damon Packard 

The new ground zero for gonzo horror surrealism in the 21st century, newly preserved by AGFA. 

 

ROCK, PAPER, AND SCISSORS 

Argentina, 2019 

North American Premiere, 83 min Directors – Macarena García Lenzi & Martín Blousson 

When Magdalena returns to Argentina to confront her half-siblings about her share of the inheritance, the stage is set for a family reunion both bloody and brilliant. 

 

SHE MOB: Presented by AGFA + Something Weird USA, 1968 

World Premiere 2K Restoration, 82 min 

Director – Harry Wuest 

A gang of lesbian prison escapees kidnaps a gigolo in a 2K preservation of this sexploitation classic. 

 

SOMETHING ELSE 

USA, 2019 

Texas Premiere, 83 min 

Directors – Jeremy Gardner & Christian Stella 

In Attendance – Directors Jeremy Gardner & Christian Stella 

When Hank’s longtime girlfriend Abby leaves him, he spirals into a cycle of drinking and depression. But it’s the monster that shows up every night that’s really driving him crazy.
 

SON OF THE WHITE MARE 

Hungary, 1981 

US Premiere 4K Restoration, 81 min 

Director – Marcell Jankovics 

A psychedelic animated cult classic is back on the big screen in this brand-new restoration. Three brothers join forces to restore order in their kingdom, encountering bizarre and mind-bending challenges along the way. 

 

swallow

Image via Fantastic Fest

SWALLOW 

USA, 2019 

Texas Premiere, 94 min 

Directors – Carlo Mirabella-Davis 

Beautiful newlywed Hunter has a perfect home, perfect life, and perfect husband. When the pressure to maintain that perfection builds after the announcement of her pregnancy, she develops an unusual craving: swallowing random household objects. 

 

TAMMY AND THE T-REX: Presented by AGFA + Vinegar Syndrome 

USA, 1994 

World Premiere of Restoration, 91 min 

Directors – Stewart Raffill 

Fully restored and ready to tear your head off. Literally. 

 

THE WAVE 

United States, 2019 

World Premiere, 87 min 

Director – Gille Klabin 

Frank (Justin Long), a bored corporate lawyer, decides to shake it up with a wild night out. In the process, he takes a mysterious drug that launches him into a mind-bending time travel adventure.
 

THE WHISTLERS 

Romania, 2019 

US Premiere, 97 min 

Director – Corneliu Porumboiu 

Corneliu Porumboiu mixes Romanian New Wave with Hollywood noir beats as he follows a corrupt 

detective who helps a wealthy criminal escape from jail by learning the ancient, secret language of silbo whistling. 

 

WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE! 

Russia, 2019 

Texas Premiere, 100 min 

Director – Kirill Sokolov 

In Attendance – Director Kirill Sokolov 

After agreeing to kill his girlfriend’s father, Matvei gets in way over his head when he arrives at her parents’ apartment to learn her dad’s a cop. 

 

WRINKLES THE CLOWN 

USA, 2019 

World Premiere, 78 min 

Director – Michael Beach Nichols 

In Attendance – Director Michael Beach Nichols 

Pennywise isn’t real. But Wrinkles is. This documentary explores the story of the infamous freaky clown from Naples, Florida who makes a living being hired by parents to terrorize their naughty children. 

 

YOU DON’T NOMI 

USA, 2019 

Texas Premiere, 94 min 

Director – Jeffrey McHale 

In Attendance – Director Jeffrey McHale 

Using cleverly edited clips of Paul Verhoeven’s genre-spanning filmography, Jeffrey McHale’s video essay explores the decidedly un-titillating and delightfully inexplicable SHOWGIRLS and its continued, ever-expanding legacy.
 

Latest News

Close