What a week! Fantastic Fest 2012 did not disappoint!

Time travel.  Murderous children.  Swedish zaniness.  Sprawling epics.  Bloody deaths.  Communicable diseases.  Conspiracies.  Drugs.  Kidnapping.  Absurdist adventures.  Check.  Check.  And check.

All this is standard fare at Fantastic Fest and this year it was no different.  I chose to watch 26 films this time around from many countries and 75% of them were awesome! It was a week full of meeting geeks like me and sharing our thoughts about film and all things geeky.  That is what makes FF so cool–everyone there is like minded and you find yourself making friends easily.

Now for the movies…most of these will not have mainstream releases but you may want to keep an eye out for release on Netflix or in small indie houses.  I graded each movie and added a link to a trailer and/or description on the Fantastic Fest website.

The ABCs of Death  C

Aftershock   C

Antiviral   B

Besties   A

Come Out and Play   C

The Conspiracy   A

Dom–A Russian Family   A

Flicker   A++

Frankenweenie  A++

Fuck Up   A+

Graceland   A+

Here Comes The Devil   B

Holy Motors   A++

I Declare War  B

The King of Pigs   B

Lee’s Adventure   A

Looper    A+++  (review coming soon)

Memory of the Dead   D

No Rest for the Wicked   A

Outrage Beyond    B

Room 237   A

Secret Screening…  Cloud Atlas  A+++   (will preview soon)

Tai Chi Zero    B

Tower Block   A+

Vanishing Waves   B+

Wrong   B

Well, that was 2012!  I am already getting excited about next year–can’t wait to see what they program for 2013!  And by then Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar will have been demolished (kind of bittersweet) and then rebuilt into a new complex…yeah…it’s going to be extra awesome!






Fantastic Fest 2012!! Woohoo!

I am about to start a week of pure AWESOMENESS!  Last year was the first time I experienced Fantastic Fest and now I can not imagine missing out…ever.  Why?  Well, this is a film geek’s dream.  More accurately, a sci-fi-action-gory-strange film geek’s dream. The tagline for the event is ” A film festival with all the boring parts cut out.”  And boy, do they live up to that promise.

From the shaky face picture for our badges (mine is lovely!)–strange foreign films–cool activities–awesome parties to the hilarious icon chart (so you can know what to expect in each film), FF is NOT your ordinary film festival.  It is way too much fun!

Last year I just did one post and listed all my favorites (I will be attempting 29 movies this year–whew!) and ones to look out for.  I am probably doing the same this year, since it is too difficult to try and post each day.  It’s tiring watching movies all day and eating delicious food at the Alamo Drafthouse.  😉

I will try to post on fb (Nereida Mercado)–so if you want to friend me there you may see some updates and pictures.

Until then!

Here is the link to my tentative schedule:


Film identification icons:


Fantastic Fest 2011–It was truly FANTASTIC!!


Wow! What a week!  As a Fantastic Fest  first time badge holder, I kept hearing that this is many of the veteran festival attendees “favorite week of the year!”  And now I understand why.  Fantastic Fest is a genre film festival that is a film geek’s dream–I should know because I am said geek.  It showcases independent films from all over the world–(70+)–that focus on the strange, sci-fi, action and horror forms of entertainment.  One of their taglines is ” A film festival with the boring parts cut out.”  And that is the truth. 

First of all, it is held at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on South Lamar in Austin, TX–which happens to be my favorite theater house.  You get to eat delicious food and drink while watching movies–can it get any better?  Yeah–add 8 days of awesome movies! 

Another thing I loved was the casual atmosphere that promoted conversations and allowed you to mingle with everyone from film guests to the fans.  And the coolest part is that we were all similar–why else would we be there?  Starting debates and discussions was easy and fun.  I actually made a few friends and look forward to keeping in touch. 

Besides movies, the special events were super fun and a nice break from being in a darken theater.  We enjoyed the Opening Party–Karaoke Apocalypse–Prom Night–and the Closing Night Superhero Carnival.  We missed some events  to watch movies–and did not regret that decision since watching movies was our main directive.  But next year, (yeah–gotta do this again!) we might check out the Debates, which include some boxing matches–crazy fun, so I heard.

I watched 26 films and a block of animated shorts.  Interestingly enough, I liked most–loved a handful–thought a few could have been better–and disliked only 3.  That is pretty cool and stands as a testament of how good the festival programmers are in finding quality films. 

I am not going to review each film–that would take a while 🙂 — instead I will list them and rate them with stars–5 stars being the best, of course.  I will try to find trailers and/or links so you can check it out for yourself and keep an eye out if they get US distribution and/or American remakes, which some of them have. 

Overall, I did have one of the best weeks and may have to join the chorus…It has become one of my favorite weeks of the year!  Now, I get to look forward to Fantastic Fest 2012!!

 An American Werewolf in London  (US)  ***** –Nice to see this classic on the big screen!

Aardvark (US)  **

Blind (Korea)  ****

Borderline (France)  ****

A Boy and His Samurai (Japan)  *****  — # 1– Absolutely wonderful!

The Corridor (Canada)  *** 

The Day (US)  **** 

The Devil’s Business (UK)  ***

Extraterrestrial (Spain) ****

Haunters (Korea) ****

Headhunters (Norway)  ***** — # 3

The Innkeepers (US)  *****   — # 5

Juan of the Dead (Cuba)  **** — # 10

Last Screening (France) ***

Let the Bullets Fly (Hong Kong)  ***

A Lonely Place to Die (UK)  *****  — # 4

Melancholia (Denmark)  **  (Sorry Von Trier fans–did not like this…)

Penumbra (Argentina)  ****

Retreat (UK) ***

Sleep Tight (Spain)  *****  — # 7

Sleepless Night (France)  ***** — # 6   (optioned for a US remake)

Snowtown (Australia)  ***

The Squad (Colombia)  **** — # 9

Take Shelter (US)  *****  — # 8

You’re Next (US)  *****  — # 2  (picked up by Lionsgate–will be released in  2012–which is awesome!) 

Animated Shorts (Various Countries)  ***** Favorites… Lazarov (France) –Bedtime for Timmy (US)–The Last Norwegian Troll (Norway)–Create (US)