2018 Events

    Each year, early and excited FF-goers attend our official/unofficial night-before mingling melee at Peter Pan Mini-Golf. Festivalizers from across the globe, from decade-long veterans to FFirst-timers, are invited to assemble, catch up, and formulate their attack plans for the next 8 days. And for those who don't have the inclination to sit still and chat, there's 18 holes of neon dinosaurs, wily pirates and good good times available here for your casual, paced savage destruction. 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).
    This year, Halloween comes early! Or eleven months late? Either way, we're decking out the festival (and The Highball) as a supreme extreme Halloween scream dream! All costumed creeps, creatures and cretins will collide as we turn up the night with a blazing live performance by NILBOG, the world's foremost horror theme rock band. There'll be themed games, contests, a white-knuckle candy buffet, and more chill-filled insanity than you can shake a witch at!! Surprise... we're all going to HELLLLL!! UPDATE: Our bludgeoning blood battle has been bamboozled and, unfortunately, belated. But believe us, it is not buried. BLOOD WILL FLOW BEFORE SEPTEMBER 28TH!!!
    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, kick back and laugh yourself into oblivion.
    Filmmaker fists! Journalist jabs!! Actor attackers!!! 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 al! Past Fantastic Debates have featured screen titans like Keanu Reeves, Elijah Wood, Michelle Rodriguez, Ti West and Udo Kier (plus a surprise visit from Dolph Lundgren!), as well as a host of critics, bloggers, bruisers and movie maniacs. Debaters to be announced shortly… and powerfully!
  • Ubisoft and SpectreVision present: Transference @ Fantastic Fest
    Imagine an escape room set in a deranged mind - Transference™ brings a first-person exploration game into a chilling new dimension. Join us for an exclusive screening with commentary from a panel featuring Elijah Wood, Lisa Whalen, Josh Waller and Daniel Noah of SpectreVision, and Benoit Richer of Ubisoft. The panel will be moderated by Evan Narcisse, journalist and author of the Rise of the Black Panther miniseries for Marvel Comics. Transference™ is a collaboration between SpectreVision and Ubisoft Montreal, bridging the gap between movies and video games. You will be plunged into the experiment of a troubled scientist, a corrupted digital simulation of his family formed using their collective brain data. See their world from three perspectives of a family as we attempt to unravel the mystery hiding in this mind-bending psychological thriller.
    The American Genre Film Archive — dedicated to keeping genre movies alive, and on the big screen — wants to meet you in person! Whether you're a theater booker, festival programmer, film critic or passionate moviegoer, join the AGFA squad in The Highball for snacks, lively chat and a short video presentation on AGFA's many daredevil acts of film preservation... including some unexpected announcements about big big film rescue developments in 2019!
    Switchblade Sisters is a podcast on the Maximum Fun network providing deep cuts on genre flicks from a female perspective. Every week, film critic April Wolfe sits down with a phenomenal female filmmaker to slice-and-dice a classic genre movie – a handpicked selection from the worlds of horror, exploitation, sci-fi and many others! Along the way, they cover craft, the state of the industry, how films get made, and more. Past guests include, Emily Gordon (The Big Sick), Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body, The Invitation), Heather Graham (Boogie Nights, Half Magic), Lynn Shelton (Hump Day, Outside In), Desiree Akhavan (The Miseducation of Cameron Post), Kate Berlant (Sorry to Bother You), and Tamra Davis (Billy Madison, Half Baked).
    BREAKING NEWS: We won World War II! So tonight we celebrate with a 1940s-appropriate performance by a big band barnburner, along with a high-kicking cadre of daredevil dancers. BUT!... mad science surfaces to seize the soiree with a sinister serum that shape-shifts this bubbly boogie into something so wicked, unsettling and monstrous that you'll wish your great grandparents had never shared that taxi. The details are a closely guarded government secret, but you'd better believe that this night is destined to kick off World War 3 through 8!
    Ever wanted to chat with Leornard Maltin? Well here's your chance! Leonard will take a break from inteviewing a-listers and be in the HighBall selling and signing copies of his new book, HOOKED ON HOLLYWOOD! Inside Hooked on Hollywood, get the scoop on: • What was it like to work for Cecil B. DeMille and Jack L. Warner? • How did Errol Flynn stash liquor on location in the mountains of New Mexico? • Where was the spot called “Panic Peak” and why were Westerns made there?” • Who were Hollywood’s good guys and gals, and who were the cads? • How did being a catcher on a baseball team land one man an MGM front-office job? Leonard Maltin finds the answers to these questions and hundreds more in Hooked on Hollywood: Discoveries from a Lifetime of Film Fandom. Leonard is America’s best-known film historian, film reviewer, and author of books that have sold more than 7 million copies. In Hooked on Hollywood, Leonard opens up his personal archive to take readers on a fascinating journey through film history. Included are some of his early interviews with film greats conducted by a teenaged Leonard Maltin in the late 1960s, and later, more in-depth interviews conducted with filmmakers and stars of Hollywood’s Golden Era—interviews that have never been published in book form. Also included in Hooked on Hollywood are featurettes—articles written by Leonard for his Movie Crazy newsletter about great films like Casablanca and the people who made them. What emerges is a fascinating, often hilarious journey through the soundstages and remote locations of Hollywood to see how the movies we now call “classic” were really made.
    “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”           -Harlan Ellison Perennial film critic Leonard Maltin is the ultimate movie fan and his reviews are legendary. But...are they *right*? In the spirit of kindness and with the communal understanding that film is subjective and opinions come in all colors of the rainbow, You're Wrong, Leonard Maltin gives audience members a rare opportunity to challenge the movie master himself on his categorical cinematic conclusions. To be sure, this will not be a confrontation, but rather a conversation between battling beliefs...and possibly the only chance you will ever get in your entire life to convince Leonard Maltin that his movie methodology is mortally mistaken, and, in fact, WRONG.
    The ocean has Jaws. The sky has the birds. The dirt has... well, GRABOIDS! Join Scripts Gone Wild, in all our Fantastic Fest glory, as we celebrate the brilliantly wonderful 1990 horror/adventure classic, TREMORS. It's got everything you want in a film: Kevin Bacon oozing his unique brand of charm, Fred Ward showing us new and exciting ways to use profanity, and Reba McEntire blasting a 90-gauge elephant gun. SCRIPTS GONE WILD is a roving script-reading series where we take a group of unsuspecting celebs, filmmakers and influencers, put a movie script and a drink in their hands... and see what happens! It's a pure-hearted celebration of the films we adore, lovingly obliterated in a chaotic meltdown of entertainment! Join us for a riotous good time where classics are massacred, scripts are rarely finished, and audiences are left pondering the most important mysteries of the universe.
    Karaoke has been the beating, bleating heart of the festival's nightlife since the earliest days, and 14 years in, demented revelry and potential humiliation still represent one of our most sacred patented tradition. New and old, tall and short, all FF-ers are invited to shed their dignity in a communal vein-bulging effort to satiate the bloodthirsty Karaoke Gods. Tonight we LIVE FOREVER!!
    Legendary film critic Leonard Maltin and his daughter Jessie are the ultimate movie fans. They love talking about movies, especially with people who share their enthusiasm—from living legends like Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, and Quincy Jones to such contemporary artists as Amy Adams, Viggo Mortensen, Laura Dern, and Bryan Cranston. You’ll meet all kinds of interesting people and hear their recommendations of unsung movies you ought to know.
    Each year, FF is electrified to showcase the works of genre visionaries and trailblazers from across the globe. A few of these groundbreaking features and shorts will be spotlighted tonight, as we raise a glass of champagne and/or a fist of solidarity in celebration of cinema, storytelling and the art of having fun. Unlike previous years, the ceremony itself will be brief, acknowledging all competition films and announcing jury decisions, followed by an opportunity to meet and mingle with the filmmakers themselves. Note: Due to a few films that can only be screened during second half of the festival, the Fanasic Fest Audience Award will be announce on the final day of the fest.
    Our long-running vulgar display of geek knowledge pits the globe's greatest genre goons/scholars against each other in a galactic onslaught of mental agility, verbal hostility and full-tilt brutality. Filmmakers, journalists and various other movie megamasters collide in this no-holds-barred deathride of useless cinematic information and on-screen in(s)anity, all masterminded by Movie Moxie's tiny host Maxim Pozderac.
    Now in our fourth year, the Fantastic Fest youth panel brings together guest filmmakers and programmers with over 100 high school film students and teachers from across Central Texas. The event is held at our Mueller location to protect the youngsters from the typical FF chaos. This time, students will be enjoying festival title THE BOAT, and will talk with the director and lead actor afterward.
  • MISKATONIC INSTITUTE: Ghouls to the Front - Rethinking Women’s Horror Filmmaking
    With instructor Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, presented by Kier-la Janisse! The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is proud to present this special one-off class with film writer and scholar Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (Rape Revenge Films: A Critical Study) at Austin’s Fantastic Fest. While researching and writing her upcoming book 1000 Women in Horror, Australian film critic and author Heller-Nicholas was struck by the scope of women’s horror filmmaking. That scope lead to some important – and sometimes difficult – questions: are horror films made by women necessarily "feminist"? What do we mean when we talk about "feminism" anyway? What can we learn from art history? Do women make different kinds of horror films than men and represent violence in different ways? And who has told us which women horror filmmakers matter – and, through their omission from popular memory, which ones don’t? Looking at a range of examples from around the world from 1898 to 2018, Heller-Nicholas examines ways we can collectively rethink the history of horror more broadly to be more inclusive, more representative, and more fun.
    BUY! SELL!! KILL!!! DIE!!!! Yep, you read that right: against all odds, VHS is alive and well in 2018, the most enduring format for home cinema entertainment and a science-free time machine to the glorious days of our collective past! PLUS!... almost half the movies released on VHS have never made it to DVD, Blu-ray OR streaming! So we're kicking off a major rager of VHS-slinging mayhem! Videomaniaxx will be attending from all over the US! There'll be live VHS mixing on stage by The Voyager Institute! And thousands upon THOUSANDS of fully functional escapism rectangles to dazzle our puny branez! Presented by Video Vortex, End Of An Ear Records and VHStival!
  • Outdoor BORDER Screening with Feast
    Fantastic Fest will present a singular, open-air screening experience of BORDER in an intimate outdoor venue, paired with exclusive cocktails and accompanied by a lavish multi-course meal crafted and prepared by Executive Chef Brad Sorenson. Seating for this event is extremely limited, and we're opening up 20 free seats to our FF badgeholders. Seating for this event is now closed. Here are the winners (PLEASE CHECK YOUR EMAIL AND COMFIRM YOUR ATTENDANCE!!) Alan Ferguson Michael Savage Jonathan Brown Jennifer Majors Adrian Torres Corey Marquart Jason Slover Jensen yancey Austin Culp Leonard Erlandson Maha al-saati Leslie Rose Max Wang Andrew Van Osselear Sergio alcocer Matthew Lensch Star Donavan Brian Knowles Vincent Tan Justin Lincoln ***WEATHER ALERT*** DUE TO POSSIBLE RAIN, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN MOVED TO THE ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE MUELLER LOCATION. Click HERE for the BORDER film page.  
  • NERD RAP 2018!
    All Poindexters and geekbeat freakz, report to the dance floor!! From the early nerdcore albums of MC Frontalot to the Epic Rap Battles of History and the entire careers of the Lonely Island guys and Childish Gambino, rapping nerds have become undeniable icons of pop culture. Now it’s your turn to show us what you’ve got, in the eighth 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 movies, gaming, comics or any other faction of nerd culture. Got what it takes to become a Geek God of the Mic? First Prize: A FAN badge to Fantastic Fest 2019 Second Prize: $50 in Alamo swag! Third Prize: Shame SIGN UP HERE!
    The triumphant return of Fantastic Fest's most idiotic tradition: 100 Best Kills! This year's theme is man vs. machine. Spoiler: MACHINES WIN! I mean, they're made of metal and they don't care when you cut them! Nevertheless, humans continually insist on proving their soft-shelled inferiority, and we've got the clips to prove it! We're revving up a rampaging roster of cars, trucks, boats, airplanes, helicopters, rockets, tractors and major construction vehicles, all with an unquenchable thirst for total annihilation! NOTE: All clips in this show are from narrative films. No actual tragedy. We may be stupid, but we're not stupid!
  • PUKE AND EXPLODE! - The Fantastic Fest gross-out contest
    The human body is a shameful, disgusting hellscape. And it requires FUEL! So each year we invite a few of FF’s most iron-intestined warriors on the Highball stage to participate in a pulse-pounding competitive 8-course daredevil ride through the average citizen’s culinary nightmare zones. Each of these edible impossibilities will be designed and executed by Alamo chef Brad Sorensen, who guarantees that they are all medically safe for consumption, and no one has died yet… so sign up and take your guts on a rampaging exploration of the darkest dietary domains!! First Prize: A FAN badge for Fantastic Fest 2019 Second Prize: A LARGE bottle of Pepto Bismol (unopened!) FILL FULL YOUR DESTINY!  
    Ever watch the Fantastic Feud and think to yourself, "I can do that!" Now's your chance to prove it! Bring your team of no more than 6 film trivia brainiacs to The Highball to face six rounds of motion picture questions from host Movie Maxie and co-host Nicky Moxie. Then, members of the top-scoring teams will be brought onstage to participate in the Audio/Videodrome round! Fun will be had, egos will be inflated and/or crushed, newly-learned obscure facts will be quickly forgotten, and there will be prizes throughout for those who prove their Movie Moxie™
    New to Fantastic Fest by popular demand and created by two veterans of Austin's electronic music scene for over 8 years, Demographics Entertainment has hosted events at a number of Austin's most recognizable downtown venues. Their flagship show "I♡KPOP!" (read as "I heart kpop", it refers to Korean pop music) dedicates the entire night to mixing the music videos that come from halfway around the world. In the five years since it started, the monthly event has established a large community that has been praised for their positive vibe, and in 2018 The Austin Chronicle called it "one of the most diverse gatherings one can experience in Austin." All the boogie you can take, all the booties gonna shake.
    Once again, America's least straightedge comedian joins a hand-picked squadron of beloved wise-asses to respectfully butcher the movies that we love most. As Earth Girls Are Easy plays in full, Benson and company enhance/verbally abuse it, turning this perennial classic into a knee-slappin' slaughterhouse of no-rules hilarity.  
    Congratulations! You've possibly survived eight days of wild good-timey mayhem, so let's cap it off with a night of WILD GOOD-TIMEY MAYHEM. We'll be invading a top secret spot (to be announced just prior to the party) with an onslaught of potent party power, largely inspired by this year's closing night film, Bad Times At The El Royale. That translates to a heapin' helpin' of live '60s soul music, foods, drinks, DJs, tattoos, and some maybe-legal Vegas-style gaming, plus the requisite more MORE MORE. FF 2018 officially refuses to let you off the hook until you've taken this final leap into full-scale recreation, so strap on your adventure helmet and ATTACK THE NIGHT!! IMPORTANT: THIS EVENT IS FOR BADGEHOLDERS ONLY: NO BADGE, NO ENTRY, NO EXCEPTIONS.