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2014 Events

  • Opening Night: Fantastic Fest’s 10-Year Birthday Armageddon
    Kicking off our tenth anniversary is no small feat. But rather than cower from the embarrassment of our ancientness, we've decided to delare our decadent decennium with a blowout fitting for even the most debaucherous 10-year old. We'll kick-off the cacophony with costumed crooners, swing bats at human pinatas, and -why not- throw in a breakdance competition for good measure, and we'll do it all clad in cardboard hats, balloons, noisemakers, and ridiculous mounds of confetti. And to top it all off, the psychopathic shindig culminates in a food fight that will shake the foundations of the earth. Believe it. Gird your loins and get prepared for the ultimate experience in non-stop recreation. Born to party, party 'til death.
  • Fantastic Fest presents: Doug Loves Movies
    Comedian Doug Benson (Super High Me, Last Comic Standing) invites his friends to sit down and play a reimagined version of the Leonard Maltin Game, which has been described as Name That Tune with movies instead of songs. The game consists of Benson reading the cast of an unknown movie in reverse order (star of the movie comes last) from Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide to his guests, who attempt to guess the movie! Come enjoy a HighBall cocktail, relax and be entertained! 
  • Chaos Reigns Karaoke Party
    Demented revelry and potential humiliation combine in the night of your life during one of our favorite traditions here at the festival. Filmmakers, journalists and all other FF-ers shed their dignity in a vein-bulging effort to satiate the bloodthirsty Karaoke Gods. Tonight... WE RAAAAGE!!
  • Fantastic Debates
    Fantastic Fest’s long-running showcase of verbal/physical combat is being amped up by a call to battle from Matt Mason, Chief Content Officer for BitTorrent, Inc. Mason is placing an open call to ALL fighters (including YOU!) to tackle the debate of whether BitTorrent.com is a valuable tool for creative artists or a playground for theft. Check out Matt Mason’s pre-fight challenge, as he sets forth the topic "RESOLVED: Bittorrent is the savior of independent film; not the enemy." If you've got a chip on your shoulder and want to take a stand, record a response video (up to 2:00 in length) and email us a link to it to debates@fantasticfest.com. The winner will be notified a week before the event that they will be taking to the Fantastic Debates ring to settle this once and for all, with their brains n' lips n' mighty fists. The debates will be back at their home gym at Randy Palmer's South Austin Gym, located at 5700 Manchaca Rd Suite 365 Austin, TX 78745. This is a ticketed event for badgeholders, and for the first time ever, we're offeing up seats to the public at $25 a piece. Reserve yours by calling (512)-445-2348.
  • Nerd Rap Throwdown
    NEEEERRRRRDDDDDSSS! Mount up! From the early nerdcore albums of MC Frontalot to the Epic Rap Battles of History and the entire careers of the Lonely Island and Childish Gambino, rapping nerds have become major players in pop culture. Now it’s your turn to show us what you’ve got, in the fourth annual Fantastic Fest Nerd Rap Throwdown! What is Nerd Rap? Simply put, it’s any hip hop beat paired with an emcee (or multiple microphone fiends) rapping about geek culture. Weird Al’s “All About the Pentiums” and “White & Nerdy” are amazing nerd rap parodies, and this Motherfuckin’ Tom Cruise rap by Andrew Todd at our event in 2013 is pretty badass, too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-o8uJ-q7Yw In the first round of competition, each Nerd Rapper will perform a prepared rap using any beat of their choosing for up to 2 minutes of performance time. Each performer will be rated on a scale of 1 to 10 by our panel of celebrity judges, and the top three performers will go on to compete in the final round – the Freestyle Challenge. We’ll have our own beats prepared along with new geeky topics, and each rapper will have to make up a new flow about a new subject on the spot. Audience applause will determine the ultimate winner, who will be crowned Nerd Rap Champion of the Year and showered with fame and prizes from our Fantastic Fest sponsors. Now in our fourth year, and celebrating our debut Nerd Rap show at the new Highball, for the first time ever we’re also opening up the competition and the audience to the general public and Fantastic Fest badgeholders alike! Think you’ve got what it takes to become a Geek God of the Mic? Competing is totally free, and all you need to do is sign up using the WuFoo form below giving us your name and contact info along with a link to the beats you would like to use and the subject of your rap. Another change this year from the first three years – performers may choose any background beats that they like. We still recommend the amazing talents of Fatboy Roberts, a movie-obsessed fan like the rest of us, and his incredibly transcendent, funkified remix of his favorite movie, TV show and video game themes, and you can find great beats at his website, Geek: Remixed (http://geekremixed.com/). But if you have another source you want to use this year that will be 100% legit, too. We’ll have a limited number of spaces for competitors, and we’ll be filling up performance slots on a first come, first served basis, so pick out your beats and sign up today! Admission to the event is free. And stick around after the competition for an evening of rap karaoke where everyone is invited to perform their favorite hip hop jams on the Highball stage. Sign up here: https://drafthouse.wufoo.com/forms/2014-fantastic-fest-nerd-rap-throwdown/
  • Starcade: BARFCADE
    Watch as two contestants go head-to-head, answering game trivia and playing this year's best Gamemaking Frenzy games. With IFC's Food Party host Thu Tran overseeing the madness, expect a queasy nexus of videogames, food and overindulgence- all in a showdown we have christened: BARFCADE. Play Barfcade games along with the contestants at our Itch.io Barfcade page!
  • THE MALTIN CHRONICLES: A Conversation with Leonard Maltin
    The saying goes that "everyone's a critic," but there have been very few professional film critics who've made as much of a global impact as Leonard Maltin. His wit, cheerful demeanor and boundless love of movies have made him the most enduring, iconic figure in today's film journalism landscape. Hosts Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly will join Maltin on the Highball stage for an hour-long look at his life, career, opinions and inspirations, which will feature anecdotes, movie clips, and no doubt some powerful discussion of The Little Rascals.
  • Fantastic Fest Awards
    Not for the faint of heart! When you win an award at Fantastic Fest you better be ready for a shotgun-blast of appreciation to the face. Strap on your drinking horns and join us for a night of full-tilt ceremonial tomfoolery. ** This is a TICKETED EVENT. Admission is not guaranteed regardless of badge type. **
  • Fantastic Awards
    Not for the faint of heart! When you win an award at Fantastic Fest, you'd better be ready for a shotgun-blast of appreciation to the face. The beer flows as furiously as the accolades at this highbrow/lowbrow showcase of pure artistic merit and steel-lined liverpower. Strap on your drinking horns and join us for a night of full-tilt ceremonial tomfoolery as we HAIL THE HEROES OF FF 2014!!
  • Fantastic Feud
    This annual display of geek warfare, brainchild of online critic Scott Weinberg, pits the globe's greatest horror scholars against one another in a galactic display of mental agility, verbal hostility and full-tilt brutality. Bear witness to the most brain-flexingly rampaging display of trivia prowess in the universe. There will be blood on the walls tonight.
  • Maltin’s Game Tournament
    PLAYERS WRITE LIKE FILM CRITIC LEONARD MALTIN AND FOOL THEIR FRIENDS INTO BELIEVING THEIR FAKE MOVIES ARE REAL! For its 10th anniversary, Fantastic Fest is also going all out with celebratory events and special programming, including two tent pole showstoppers. Legendary film critic and historian Leonard Maltin joins proceedings as head of the comedy jury and to play “MALTIN’S,” a game tournament of movie trivia twenty years in the making. “My brother and I were obsessed with Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide at an early age,” said MALTIN’S creator and festival alum Ant Timpson. "His reviews shaped our own language and view of film. How could we be even closer to our God? How could we become Leonard Maltin? MALTIN’S was the answer."  Created by Fantastic Fest alum and film producer, and self-described Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide convert, Ant Timpson circa the early 90s, MALTIN’S is a movie lover’s version of game night favorite Balderdash.  Someone starts as “Maltin” and chooses a title from Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, a film that no one knows. The other players then all write down a fake synopsis based on the title.  Players attempt to trick each other into believing that their synopsis is the real one while trying to decipher the true Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide synopsis.   SIGN UP TO PLAY MALTIN'S HERE* *Space is limited and will be approved on a first come-first served basis.   ABOUT THE GAME ITEMS REQUIRED • One old copy of Loenard Maltin's Movie Guide • A stack of A6 paper • Pens • A score-sheet • Fake glasses & beard /moustache • A Stopwatch • 4 – 8 players HOW TO PLAY MALTINS ™ Players sit around a table, preferably a large round one. One player becomes Maltin for the first round. Play goes counterclockwise. Maltin chooses an obscure film (1) from the guide. Maltin tells the players the title of the film only. The players then all write down the title on a piece of A6 paper. (2) Maltin writes down the title and the real synopsis of the film. He just writes the synopsis, not the stars, running time, rating or year. The players then write (3) down a fake synopsis for the film that they think other players might guess as the real one. Players have 2 minutes to create a fake synopsis. All players must write their name on the bottom of their fake synopsis. After the 2 minutes is up Maltin gathers all the fakes along with the real one he wrote and shuffles them together. Maltin acquaints himself (4) with each synopsis written by the players. After they are shuffled he numbers each synopsis including his own. (5) Maltin then reads out the synopses in order of the numbers. The players listen to them (6) all being read out. Maltin reads through them a second and final time. Players must then tell the scorekeeper (7) which one they think is the real one by giving him its number. After all the players have made their choices to the scorekeeper. Maltin reads out each synopsis in numerical order and at the end of each he reveals which player wrote it. Players score in varying ways based on the results. SCORING Choosing the real synopsis = 2pts Getting your fake synopsis chosen = 1pt per player No player chooses the real one = 2pts to the Maltin A game of Maltins consists of everyone playing as Maltin once. The highest score wins and is crowned King Maltin. MISCELLANEOUS 1. It is best to choose something you are certain no one has ever heard of. And its great to select ones that have some amazing piece of trivia in the synopsis. 2. If a player knows the title he should not let others know because he has a chance of getting extra points. 3. Players just write a synopsis. They do not put a rating, running time or anything else. They may use actor’s names but only surnames. 4. Bad handwriting means that Maltin may mispronounce or mess up reading someone’s fake synopsis. This is instantly alerts players that its not the real one because Maltin would not misread his own handwriting. So Maltin must read all synopses thoroughly before starting and then quietly asking players for clarification if required. 5. Maltin’s real synopsis could be #1 in the list or it could be in the middle or at the end. It is up to Maltin to decide where he puts it. 6. Players can make notes to remember which number stood for which synopsis.  
  • The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail
    The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail hails all the way from the back of a comic book store in Los Angeles, where not only has it been crowned one of the best standup show in LA by LA Weekly, LA Times, and Hollywood Reporter, but it's now a TV show! Comedy Central filmed eight documentary-style episodes of The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail for a brand new type of standup show that airs Wednesday nights starting July 2014. Come see why this is the only existing live standup show to get its own TV show as hosts Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani charm your pants off and welcome some very special guests!
  • Geeks Who Drink
    Highball and 400 Rabbits favorites Geeks Who Drink are back for their fifth Fantastic Fest pub quiz! This special ninety-minute trivia event at The Highball feature questions that range from sci-fi movies to geeky pop culture to classic video games and everything in between
  • Karaoke Apocalypse
    A decade of daredevilry can only be celebrated in the most thunderous way possible, so in the very best FF tradition, Austin's live karaoke rock rampagers Karaoke Apocalypse will be bringing YOU onstage to perform the finest metal (and punk) anthems. Whether you want to rock like a hurricane, scream the number of the beast or ride the lightning, the doors of hell are swinging wide to let you live the rock chaos.
  • CLOSING NIGHT: 26 WAYS TO PARTY!
    Obviously, a decade of insanity requires the grandest of finales. So we’re tearing the pages out of THE ABCs OF DEATH 2 to annihilate the universe with 26 WAYS TO PARTY! We’re running down the alphabet from A to Z, cracking open a neon canister of radioactive wildness and unleashing the most massively mongoloidal meltdown of madcap mayhem in FF history. Gird your loins for the ultimate experience in non-stop amusement/ abusement. LIVE TO PARTY, PARTY TO DIE.