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2016 Events

    Each year, electrically excited FF-goers attend our official/unofficial night-before showdown throwdown at Peter Pan Mini-Golf. Festivalizers from across the globe, from decade-long veterans to FFirst-timers, are invited to BYOB and pick their favorite ball as they set out for 18 holes of neon dinosaurs, wily pirates and good good times. Peter Pan Mini-Golf is located just a few blocks from our home base at Alamo South Lamar, and it actually has a giant pink rabbit (you're not just drunk).
  • OPENING NIGHT PARTY Presented by Nerdist and Baahubali
    Fantastic Fest unleashes the beasts of the east as our opening night party celebrates India. To blow the doors off our Indian cinema sidebar, we’ll be packing Alamo South Lamar with South Asia’s sights, sounds, sustenance and swigs. Joining us for the insanity will be an array of dancers, musicians, fire-breathers and ancient all-powerful gods. See Fantastic Fest transformed into a kaleidoscopic tapestry of Indi-insanity!!!
    Comedian Doug Benson (SUPER HIGH ME; LAST COMIC STANDING; CHRONIC-CON) invites surprise filmmaker and comedian guests to sit down, talk movies and play movie trivia games… while drunk, stoned or both! The game is 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!
    The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail hails all the way from the back of a comic book store in Los Angeles, where it’s been crowned one of the best standup shows in the city by LA Weekly, LA Times, and Hollywood Reporter, and even given its own TV series. Come see why this is the only existing live stand-up event to blast its way into the FF dimension as hosts Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani charm your pants off and welcome some very special guests!
  • FANTASTIC DEBATES Presented by Lucha Underground
    From verbal violence to pugilistic pummeling, we have the rage you crave at the Fantastic Debates, where the burning questions facing the fan community are resolved once and for all, first with words, and then with furious FISTS!! Past Fantastic Debates have featured screen titans like Keanu Reeves, Elijah Wood, Michelle Rodriguez, Ti West and Joe Swanberg, as well as a host of critics, bloggers, bruisers and movie maniacs. Debaters to be announced shortly… and brutally!
    ONCE WAS NOT ENOUGH!! Back with a driving drum corps battery, Taiko drummers, an arsenal of electronics including synthesizers, theremin, vocoders, and many other special devices, itchy-O will completely engulf and immerse The HighBall from every angle in a pounding electric bog of music, ephemera and spectacle.<p></p>Masked and hive-minded, itchy-O wage war on predictable mediocrity with blind-siding-style performances featuring a Chinese lion, a troupe of sensuously unnerving provocateurs, fog, strobes, sequins, sweat and FURY.
    Fantastic Fest embarks on its newest and wildest adventure yet with our inaugural event of pure culinary craziness. After a week of delicious food and drink at the Alamo, what sounds better than witnessing a handful of contestants down increasingly bizarre rounds of food and “food” until only one steel-stomached human is left standing?! While we promise that everything ingested is technically edible, you’ll be seeing people eat things that were never intended to touch human lips… all in the quest to take home a very grand prize. Gird your loins and line your girdle for the most inhuman ingestion mayhem on earth, as we PUKE AND EXPLODE!!! (NOTE: All participants will receive an Arby’s gift certificate.)
  • MALTIN AT THE MOVIES with Tim Burton
    After being honored at Fantastic Fest 2015, lovable cinematic historian/critic Leonard Maltin makes his triumphant return to FF to do what he does best: Truly love film. He’ll be back on stage again, this time to interview our generation’s most iconic whimsy factory, Tim Burton. Maltin will discuss his history, interests and future, and provide an impossibly enjoyable outlay of his unparalleled work. There's also a Maltin at the Movies with Bruce Campbell on Sept. 26th at 5pm at The Highball. This event will be recorded for the Maltin on Movies podcast which is released on the Nerdist network, featuring Leonard and Jessie Maltin.
    Demented revelry and potential humiliation combine in the night of your life during one of our most sacred patented traditions here at the festival. This year, we’re adding a little surprise… to keep things, uh, interesting and get some new blood (flowing) on stage. Filmmakers, journalists and all other FF-ers shed their dignity in a vein-bulging effort to satiate the bloodthirsty Karaoke Gods. Tonight... WE RAAAAGE!!
  • MALTIN AT THE MOVIES with Bruce Campbell
    After being honored at Fantastic Fest 2015, lovable cinematic historian/critic Leonard Maltin makes his triumphant return to FF to do what he does best: Truly love film. He’ll be back on stage again, this time to interview the world’s most beloved action/comedy/horror star Bruce Campbell. Maltin will discuss his history, interests and future, and provide an impossibly enjoyable outlay of his unparalleled work. There's also a Maltin at the Movies with Tim Burton on Sept. 25th at 8pm at The Highball. This event will be recorded for the Maltin on Movies podcast which is released on the Nerdist network, featuring Leonard and Jessie Maltin.
    NEEEERRRRRDDDDDSSS! Bring that beat back!! 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 sixth annual Fantastic Fest Nerd Rap Throwdown! And you can't have a rap war without an epic soundtrack, so DJ NO KID$ will be back wranglin' wax, poppin' the propers on the platters for the party poindexters. What is Nerd Rap? Simply put, it’s any hip hop beat paired with an emcee (or multiple microphone fiends) rapping about geek culture. Now in our sixth year, the Nerd Rap showdown will be back at the new Highball again, and we’re keeping the competition and the audience open 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 form here 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. SIGN UP HERE!!!!!
    Our annual vulgar display of geek knowledge warfare, brainchild of online critic Scott Weinberg, pits the globe's greatest horror scholars against each other in a galactic onslaught of mental agility, verbal hostility and full-tilt brutality. Filmmakers, journalists, FF programmers, and movie megaminds collide in this no-holds-barred deathride of useless cinematic information. Bear witness to the most rampaging display of trivia prowess in the universe as our warring teams of fearless warriors crack open the deepest recesses of their brains and detonate their nuclear nerdbombs. There will be beer on the floor and bodily fluid on the walls.
    The Alamo’s reigning alcoholmeister Bill Norris combines his love for creative beverages and the Star Wars universe in this searing display of interplanetary talent. Come sample the galaxy’s finest liquors in impossibly delicious combinations, guaranteed to send you to the Dark Side.
    Internet video skull-rewinders Everything Is Terrible! bring their brain-melting, eye-shattering, jaw-dropping mayhem to Fantastic Fest for the first time with their latest assemblage of found footage nuclear mind-wreckery. Meet the pioneering archaeologists of the 20th century VHS ruins. They’ve torn the lid off clumsy yetis and 9-year-old Hitler impersonators, and even created a remake of Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain… assembled entirely from hundreds of scenes from different dog movies. Their live shows are a megamaniacal blecch-ride through the least traveled dimensions of sheer, undistilled entertainment.<p></p>From cat massage to Satanic panic to tapdancing computers, the EIT! experience is like nothing else in the universe, as they distill and compile the most hilarious/disturbing/unacceptable/impossible images from the past several decades and transform them into a 9000-ton bullet aimed right at the human race’s collective cortex.
  • 100 Best Kills: 100 Worst Births.
    We live in a world of warring nations, conflicting religions and opposing ideals. But no matter who we are or where we’re from, we all agree that there is NOTHING MORE DISGUSTING THAN PREGNANCY AND/OR CHILDBIRTH. So in the grand tradition of festival favorite 100 BEST KILLS, FF 2016 presents a dazzling array of the most nauseating, disturbing, inhuman and downright vomitous births in cinematic history, compiled and hosted by Zack Carlson and Laird Jimenez. From scifi cesareans to martial arts miscarriages to horror hysterectomies, gird your loins for a relentless blast of laughter, mirth and afterbirth, as we permanently sterilize you with 80 minutes of no-holes-barred babyrage.
    There are no less than 350 pub quizzes held in the Austin area on a given week, but THIS is the best of the best. Hosted by noted Z-list celebrities John Smith and James Pound since 2010, the Geeks quiz at The Highball is 2-ish hours of bloodsport quiz action, absurd side games and drink drink drink. This years winner will recieve a $50 Alamo giftcard!
    Rampaging comic Doug Benson and a handful of beloved wise-asses respectfully take aim at one of the most rightfully championed kid-friendly horror films in history, THE MONSTER SQUAD. As the movie plays in full, Benson & company enhance/annihilate it from the crowd, making Dracula’s various child-killing fantasies into a knee-slapping riot. AND!... they’ll be joined for the screening by the actual leader of the Monster Squad, Andre “Stephen King Rules” Gower! Come find out what a bunch of grown men have to say about Wolfman’s nards!!
    Though all filmmakers at Fantastic Fest are winners... some are even winner-er!! Tonight, we gather to raise a foamy stein to those specially selected by our juries and audiences. 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 some full-tilt ceremonial tomfoolery as we HAIL THE HEROES OF FF 2016!! (This is not a stand-alone event. It will be part of the intro for Closing Night Film and will be simulcasted to all interlocked houses. A ticket to closing night film will be required in order to attend.)  
  • CLOSING NIGHT PARTY Presented by Chiller
    Seconds after we close out the fest with Nacho Vigalondo’s creature feature COLOSSAL, we’ll be bussing e everyone to an undisclosed party paradise to destroy all humans with some massively monumental monster mayhem. This promises to be the most memorable FF closing night yet, with a hydra-like multi-faceted party that will have you self-destructing with gargantuan levels of good, good times. It’s a thermonuclear recreational wreckwave of indescribable, unbelievable scope. Come dressed as your favorite creature! Or don’t! It’s your damn life!