BUGSY MALONE, DEATH WISH III and more!
While advance and secret screenings are always exciting, repertory cinema is really the heart and soul of what we're about at Fantastic Fest and the Alamo Drafthouse. With that in mind, we've been dying to announce the rep lineup for FFX! For our tenth anniversary we're bringing some truly crucial films to your eye parts and brainstuff, so while everyone will be clamoring to get into the big titles you can see at any theater in a month or two, don't neglect these treasures that can only be found at Fantastic Fest!
KID POWER! BOOK LAUNCH and screening of BUGSY MALONE
Fantastic Fest is proud to host the US Premiere launch of Spectacular Optical’s first anthology book, KID POWER! — all about cool, tuff and inspiring kids in cult film and television! Co-edited by Kier-La Janisse and Canuxploitation’s Paul Corupe and featuring writing by a diverse array of genre film criticism’s most unique voices (including Fantastic Fest’s own Zack Carlson), Kid Power! covers the gamut from THE PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION to THE ABC AFTERSCHOOL SPECIAL and the dark side of Disney. And tons more! The launch will be accompanied by a rare 35mm screening of BUGSY MALONE (1976) and selected short films... plus a real PIE FIGHT!
United Kingdom, 1976
Director – Alan Parker, 93 min
Ready to get splurged? Celebrate the release of Spectacular Optical’s debut anthology Kid Power with an offbeat slapstick gangster musical that features ruthless mobsters, gin hall singers and hard-nosed cops… played exclusively by a cast of children. Alan Parker’s BUGSY MALONE showcases the talents of a pre-Chachi Scott Baio and 13-year-old Jodie Foster in perhaps the most elaborate playground game of cops and robbers ever attempted. In the film, Baio, playing the titular role, gets mixed up with one of the pint-sized gangs competing to take over the “sarsaparilla racket” by uncovering a cache of the ultimate weapon: tommy-gun like “splurge guns” that—instead of spraying bullets—shoot forth globs of custard that take their recipient out of commission. But what starts as a novelty soon gives way to a genuinely interesting story, supported ably by the pre-teen cast and a sprinkling of Broadway-style song and dance numbers written (and sometimes performed) by Paul Williams. Goofing on the clichés of prohibition-era set gangster pics like THE STING, DILLINGER and Robert Altman’s THIEVES LIKE US, the film plays off of the absurdity of miniature mobsters talking up dancers at speakeasies and chasing each other in Model T pedal cars. More importantly, BUGSY MALONE also exemplifies the idea of kid power, as the film’s small stars get the chance to resolve their own issues in a world without parents or adult authority—especially once the story explodes in delicious, creamy warfare. (Paul Corupe)
Read a great retro review of BUGSY MALONE at Badass Digest!
PLUS! True to the nature of the book—which focuses on films wherein kids often have to navigate independently through frightening or “adult” situations—we’ve added a duo of short films that aren’t quite “made for children,” although they do involve young, misunderstood protagonists who lash out at an uncaring world!(Kier-la Janisse)
Shorts Paired with Bugsy Malone:
HURRICANE BOY FUCK YOU TABARNAK (L’OURAGAN FUCK YOU TABARNAK)
Texas Premiere, 14 min
Director - Ara Ball
Dripping with crass humor and Quebecois colloquialisms, this hilarious short is about a neglected, angry white trash kid with a mullet who rechristens himself “The Hurricane” and sets about terrorizing the neighborhood.
United States, 2014
World Premiere, 13 min
Director - Zach Endres
Arthur Dale (star of last year’s S/ASH) is an alienated teen whose gnarly choppers earn him both an uncomplimentary nickname as well as frequent beatings at the hands of the school bully. When his father realizes the kid’s lack of confidence is hereditary, he unwittingly orchestrates a surprising act of aggression.
THE ASTROLOGER - hosted by Nicolas Winding Refn
Director – Craig Denney, 96min
If ever there was a movie made for us and our deep love for singular visions brought to life despite the lack of any traditional filmmaking structure and ability... this is it!
A carnival con man discovers that he has genuine psychic powers and uses them to become an astrology bigwig. But it does little good to describe the plot of this movie, and doing so would only ruin the fun of the constant string of surprises that is THE ASTROLOGER. It's the kind of film where an abrupt change in time and location makes you think either A) the reels are out of order or B) a reel from a completely unrelated movie has slipped in. But then you realize THERE WASN'T EVEN A REEL CHANGE and your mind is blown. As soon as you learn to expect the unexpected from this movie, it does something to defy your expectations of "expected"!
It's the kind of film where the main character makes a movie that is basically THE ASTROLOGER within the movie and then we get to spend a few minutes watching The Astrologer watch THE ASTROLOGER inside the movie THE ASTROLOGER! It's the kind of movie where long passages of clinical astro-babble are considered to be moving the plot forward. It's the kind of movie where someone says "Uranus explodes." It's the kind of movie that has an entire dynamic dinner scene shot entirely in slow-motion. It's the kind of movie where someone shouts, "You're not an astrologer... YOU'RE AN ASSHOLE!" It's the kind of movie where the story is propelled by newspaper headlines which are mostly in FOREIGN LANGUAGES! And it's all done without an ounce of irony. It's all genuine, it's all passion, it's all GOOD.
We won't die happy until thousands of people have experienced this incredible film. (Brian Kelley)
DEATH WISH 3
United States, 1985
Director – Michael Winner, 92 min
Look… people have their differences. Politics, religion, blah blah blah. But we can certainly all agree that there will never be another human who’s 1/10th as powerful, as brutal, as handsome, as all-around perfect as Charles “Charles Bronson” Bronson. So in celebration of the Cannon Pictures documentary, we’re detonating Fantastic Fest with this action demigod’s most unconscionably violent movie in 35mm. It’s a mindlessly berserk assault on crime... and everything else that can be shot, exploded, bludgeoned or otherwise murdered. Bronson reignites his celebrated vigilante character Paul Kersey for a fully automatic free-for-all into the deepest recesses of heartless, bullet-flavored mayhem. See America’s least responsible hero singlehandedly take on New York’s darkest denizens, a nigh-feral pack of shit-eating punk gutteroids with heroin for brains and ten fingers on the trigger. It’s the rarest, rippin’-est exercise you’ll ever experience in sheer Bronsonism, a.k.a. the undersung art of thunderously destroying your opponents with a bazooka. (Zack Carlson)
NINJA III: THE DOMINATION
United States, 1984
Director – Sam Firstenberg, 92 min
Before you go and throw some damn fool fit about how it’s unacceptable that Fantastic Fest would run ANY film from the director of BREAKIN’ 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO, you’d better consider some facts. First off, NINJA III is a straight-up supernatural possession epic; the blue-collar martial arts cousin to the almighty original EXORCIST. Only in this case, lil’ Linda Blair is exchanged for high-kicking aerobics instructor Lucinda Dickey, lead actress from (yep) BREAKIN’ 2. And her soul is controlled—not by a demon—but by a blood-starved ninja masterbastard bent on vengeance and supreme annihilation. The opening golf course slaughterstorm immediately sets the stage for an IQ-shattering attack against all five senses. Oh, and don’t worry if you’ve never seen the two previous NINJA installments… because the folks who made this one sure seem to be in the same boat. Screening in 35mm. (Zack Carlson)
United States, 1987
Director – Pat Bishow, 90 min
The first-ever theatrical screening of the long-lost, straight-to-VHS mad science messterpiece. In this 1987 Long Island export, insane genius Dr. Anton Lupesky has worked in seclusion to develop the experimental drug Anphorium, which allows its user to inhabit any fresh corpse they wish. But this medical miracle has its price, as it transforms its user into a rabid maniac bent on the annihilation of our species. This 86-minute epic of outsider filmmaking creates a unique, sometimes dreamlike suspension that’s punctuated with jarring moments of severe visceral hysteria. Though the actors are friends and in-laws and the sets are basements and garages, there’s an earnest devotion to truly unique storytelling that elevates THE SOULTANGLER beyond kitsch and into deeply unsettling territory. If H.P. Lovecraft rose from his grave in the late ‘80s with a 16mm camera, ten severed heads and a case of Schlitz, this would be the result. Featuring the most brutally gory finale in the homemade horror canon, this film may not be for humans, but it’s supreme entertainment for the rest of us. (Zack Carlson)