Fantastic Fest X

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When I was young, my dad used to constantly relay an old maxim. “Son,” he’d say, “the loudest guy in the bar is always going to be the least tough.” Outside of providing me with an essential bit of sage wisdom when it came to assessing the chances of getting my ass kicked, this brief aphorism doubled as one of my first lessons in the art of storytelling. Essentially, what my father was relaying was a tutorial in how to determine intent — to pick through a story’s delivery and try to understand just why it was being told. Keeping this truism in mind, I’m having a tough time deciding just why in the hell Kevin Smith decided to make Tusk, his latest foray into the world of horror filmmaking. While the New Jersey writer/director is certainly stretching outside of his comfort zone with this demented slice of body horror, it ultimately is nothing more than another juvenile descent into nonsense. To borrow from another tried and true expression (whose zoological roots seem fit for a movie about a loon transforming another man into a walrus): “a leopard cannot change its spots.”  (more…)

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This is the best week of the year.

Seriously. If you’ve never been to Fantastic Fest before, start saving now to book your flight to Austin, Texas in 2015. Even if you have no idea what Fantastic Fest is as you’re reading this article, just start monitoring your bank account and scanning Southwest Airlines’ website for cheap flights. Because no other film fest in the world is like this one — a non-stop cortège of badass genre movies, video games, boxing matches, trivia challenges, drunken debauchery and the biggest food fight Texas has ever seen. Where at most other fests you have to parse through a sea of party-hopping star fuckers to find the real film fans, at Fantastic Fest you’re rubbing elbows with the most hardcore sect of cinephiles from the world over every single day. Simply put: if you love movies, this is Nirvana.

In 2014, Fantastic Fest is celebrating its tenth year of existence. To ring in such a grand occasion, the programmers and Alamo Drafthouse Founder/CEO Tim League are sparing no expense. Want to see League verbally spar with Ti West about whether or not found footage is a legitimate sub-genre (before they both don gloves and wail on each other in the ring)? Fantastic Fest X has got you covered. Wondering if the new Kevin Smith horror picture is worth its weight in snoogins? Fantastic Fest X has got you covered. How about a detailed Q&A with longtime film critic Leonard Maltin, moderated by former Drafthouse programmer extraordinaire Zack Carlson and suave Vulcan Video head Bryan Connolly? Fantastic Fest X has got you covered.

Welcome to Fantastic Fest X. To get you started, here are the eleven films we here at Nerd Bastards are most excited for. Not gonna lie, it’s going to be a rough and tumble seven days, but just remember what the fox once said:

“Chaos Reigns” (more…)