|by William Goss
The leading sci-fi/horror/fantasy/miscellany badass genre-centric film festival in the United States, Fantastic Fest took place at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX between September 18th and 25th. It's now OCTOBER 25th, and seeing as that was my first Fantastic Fest (their fourth), it took roughly a month for me to recover from all the films and fun. (If you don't buy that, then we can always just resort to the War on Terror. With any luck, you may soon understand why.)
Day 1: Opening Night Moves
(Thursday, September 18th)
Okay, mild exposition blitz: I had been to the Alamo the past three springs to cover SXSW, and each year had brought with it more mild beckoning along the lines of "When are you going to make it to Fantastic Fest?" and my continued response of "Whenever we get a spring break in September." The hush-hush world premiere of There Will Be Blood aside, last year's FF seemed to merit only the most impassioned fondness from Austinite film geeks and the fest-savvy nomads alike. Better than SXSW, they said. Mother(bleep)ingly (bleep)suckingly righteous, they implied. And so, at the relative last minute, with all the planets aligned and all my favors cashed in and all loose change possibly snagged from between sofa cushions, I made it my business to make it back out for this year's event.
Not moments off my flight did the differences become apparent, as I was greeted with an Alamo shuttle van and immediately made my first acquaintances with Doug Jones (programmer for the Los Angeles Film Festival, I believe) and Jeremy Walker (publicist for Seventh Moon, directed by The Blair Witch Project's Eduardo Sanchez and starring Amy Smart; they would have a demolished Volvo with the bloody title wiped on parked in front of the Alamo South Lamar for a couple of days), who were also attending for the first time. Soon enough, the question came up as to what I was looking forward to, which also seemed to lend itself to a sub-question of whether or not one had already seen Let the Right One In. I had the good fortune to watch a screener of this rightfully acclaimed Swedish vampire flick as my informal introduction to the Fest, and precious few words had to actually be exchanged to confirm that Doug and I saw eye-to-eye on that front. He, however, had seen late addition Martyrs - which would be among the very last movies I'd catch at FF - in Toronto and added his voice to a second-hand consensus that it was worthless (a sentiment that alone made me want to see it for myself).
As fate should have it, I had other reasons to be dropped off at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, their downtown location, but fortunately, it wasn't an hour before a laid-back pre-Fest mixer was to take place in the lobby. Faces in the crowd included, well, Doug Jones once more, Alamo and FF founders Tim and Karrie League, Not Quite Hollywood director Mark Hartley (whose film I was similarly fortunate to catch on screener; a lively look at Aussie exploitation films, some of which were to be featured throughout the Fest), the Magnolia/Magnet gang of Tom Quinn and Arianne Ayers (there on behalf of Right One, Hollywood, Surveillance, Donkey Punch, and FF '07 hit Timecrimes), the infamous and remarkably bearded Scott Weinberg (remarkable in that everyone kept bringing it up), and - wouldn't you know it - Bill Pullman, who was in attendance for two films: Surveillance and Your Name Here. He seemed to be getting his relative bearings as well - what, with Scott's new beard and all - but he was just as casual to chat up as anyone else in there, and in my first official hour at Fantastic Fest, I started to realize that casual was precisely the name of the game here. I shouldn't have been that surprised, but it was a mentality that pervaded the proceedings for the most part and arguably what ultimately sets it apart from more business-minded festivals; no one - publicist, press, filmmaker, fan - was here because they merely liked film. This, as wiser minds would put it and others would come to prove, was our summer camp...
...and what's a summer camp without a little Porno? We proceeded in clusters to the gorgeous Paramount Theatre a couple of blocks away for the U.S. premiere of Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which was preceded by A) the positively gonzo trailer for Thunder Cops, B) Tim League trotting out in a kimono and officially declaring the Fest 'awesome!' with the bang of a ceremonial gong, and C) Kevin Smith sharing a reliably self-deprecating anecdote about a tragicomic defecation incident (naturally, this would end up not being the filthiest thing on the Paramount stage that evening). Zack and Miri Make a Porno doesn't hesitate to get into the rapid-fire profanity and general crude humor as it introduces us to the purely platonic pals of the title (Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks) who come to find themselves strapped for cash, enough so to embark into adult filmmaking and maybe, just maybe, one another's hearts. It represents not only Smith's own experience of gathering a rag-tag crew to shoot a movie at work (Clerks), but also his equal fondness for the sophomoric and sentimental (think Mallrats crossed with Jersey Girl). It's a mix that worked well enough for Clerks II, but here, he takes some of the sweetest moments and quite literally proceeds to shit all over them. All manure for the sweetest-smelling flowers, I suppose, but save for some minor scene-stealing by Craig Robinson and major scene-stealing by Justin Long, I simply didn't find myself laughing or caring that much.
Stepping outside during part of the Kevin Smith/Scott Mosier Q&A, it appeared that most everyone else had felt a tad more generous toward the film than I, though never without qualifying how much they liked Smith going in. The rest of the Q&A seemed like a surprisingly laconic affair from the man who once held me captive in an Orlando convention center for the better part of a day with amusing anecdotes and surprising stamina, but there were still laughs to be had before the evening led into the inaugural Air Sex World Championships. For those unfamiliar, the Alamo's popular air guitar competitions had at some point given way to air sex antics, and now, on the stage of the glorious old Paramount, many people were going to pretend to do many things that might otherwise seem... uncouth. Like a horny vampire sucking a stained tampon. Or a Frenchman using his virtual phallus as a rope. Or Sarah Palin, a moose, and a polar bear masturbating over John McCain's motionless body (not making this up, people). Call me old-fashioned, but I enjoyed Vajenna's sexy-librarian "Hot for Teacher" routine most of all (now there's a girl who could run our country).
And just like that, the collective shame of the Fest and its attendees took a week off.
Day 2: Watching the Watchers
(Friday, September 19th)
The following afternoon, Fantastic Fest was playing host to a scavenger hunt prior to that night's premiere of Eagle Eye. I had hoped to accompany a team and cover it, but having not had the foresight to have the participants hunt down my luggage for me, I ended up spending the afternoon on my own mild hunt for my suitcase (oh, I knew where it was; just a matter of fetching it, which I did). Even if I had taken part, I would've had to ditch the hunt (which ended with a water balloon fight, apparently) in order to make it to a previously scheduled interview at the Driskill Hotel with the film's director, D.J. Caruso. Despite EE being a film steeped in advanced technology, I had managed to lose my brand new digital recorder (before even boarding my first flight, I suspect) and was forced to take notes by hand; D.J. was thankfully understanding (not that I really expect any filmmaker to blow any interview off for such difficulties, but I wasn't about to rule it out).
Afterward, I walked over to the Radisson Town Lake to wait for one of those ever-handy shuttles to roll around. The one that came happened to be driving around Olly Blackburn, director and co-writer of youths-on-a-yacht thriller Donkey Punch, about which I'd heard good things from Brit and Yank colleagues alike. Soon after, we were joined by Glenn Abbott, producer of noir lark South of Heaven (which Scott couldn't have been happier to have caught as part of Fantastic Fest Online), and Glenn and Olly pretty much turned to interviewing one another about their respective films and festival experiences. Me, I was just happy to watch, though something told me that being armed with a digital recorder at the moment would've been truly ideal.
We arrived at the Alamo South Lamar just in time for me to run into Scott, Jette Kernion (our mutual Cinematical colleague), Mr. Pullman (he remembered my name!), and others for that evening's screening of Surveillance, in which Pullman plays an FBI agent who, alongside partner Julia Ormond, is interrogating the survivors of a car accident/killing spree in the middle of nowhere. It starts out as a pretty consistently intriguing thriller, and even when it seems to have tipped its hands in terms of whodunnit answers, it becomes some warped fun to see just how the rest of it is going to play out.
Once the credits rolled, we made our way across the hall to Repo! The Genetic Opera, director Darren Lynn Bousman's first non-Saw feature to date. The night before, mention had been made of how Lionsgate was looking to bury the film come its November 7th release (though perhaps not as harshly as Midnight Meat Train), and a second screening had been added later this night in order to accommodate fans of the show who had reportedly come in from beyond Texas just to catch it. They certainly seemed satisfied with the end result (though applauding every last number as it ends is a bit much, people), but I'm still not entirely sure what to make of this futuristic goth-rock horror musical of sorts. I know precisely the type of people who'll eat it up (the Hot Topic/Tim Burton/'cult-ier than thou' crowd), I know that it isn't like anything else I've ever seen, I know that everyone in it is on the same page, and I know that it definitely picks up during its show-within-a-show climax, but at the end of the day, I'm not entirely sure that it's for me.
At the stroke of midnight came the world premiere of Feast II: Sloppy Seconds, with much of the cast and crew in attendance, including acting legend Clu Gulager (who goes through just as much for director John Gulager's sake as he had in the first film). It's the same sick blend of humor and horror as the first film, which had similarly premiered at Fantastic Fest, if a bit rougher around the edges (it turns out that Feast II and III were shot back-to-back). Still, everyone who turned out knew what they were in for and seemed to have a good time with it.
I then found myself returning to the Driskill, as we had been invited to join Bill Pullman and others in the man's hotel suite. He apparently just wanted to show his appreciation before flying out the next day, and a more informal occasion you could not find, and while I made not have made it to the morning light, Bill reportedly stayed up to send off through the break of dawn. That's not a celebrity, my friends; that is a machine... and one whose acquaintance I couldn't have been happier to make.
Day 3: Sinkers and Floaters
(Saturday, September 20th)
I can't recall how I spent my morning or afternoon here -- sounds more scandalous than it was, I assure you -- but I do know that I made it back to the Alamo for that night's premiere of Mr. Blackburn's Donkey Punch, which I enjoyed in that nihilistic-ish, darkly humorous 'pretty people doing ugly deeds' sort of way, though I can certainly see why it's not for all tastes (this NC-17 version will hit DVD, but not theaters). In fitting fashion was the Boat Party which followed, though what fashions were indeed fitting became fodder for discussion. See, the event description encouraged guests to dress up in their best hipster-y duds and party in a manner best described as 'hearty'. However, in an effort to fill the boat and make matters slightly more awkward, in streamed a fair amount of genuine hipsters who had probably never heard of the film, or the festival, or of boats in general. And so, with the first departure around 10 PM, we set sail, hipsters up top, gyrating the night away, while the modest number of fest attendees stuck around downstairs, further from the noise and nearer to the booze. Thankfully, nature's balance seem to restore itself, as the midnight docking saw some hipsters leave and many more fest-ites joining the party after their screenings and whatnot. I remained downstairs, but with considerably improved conversation this time around, as many of us congregated out near the front of the boat, with a crowd not unlike an old-school phone-booth dare, and proceeded to chat incessantly about '80s-era horror tapes and the like while gliding back and forth beneath the various bridges and growing skyline of downtown Austin. Now that's smooth sailing.
Day 4: No Dumb Questions
(Sunday, September 21st)
I accompanied Scott and the assembly of Brit troublemakers (Jay Slater, James Moran, Sean Hogan, Jason Arnopp, Ian Rattray, Jen Handorf) to a lunch at the League's home. With the weather ever pleasant, we watched a number of guests knock the corks off some champagne bottles with a butcher knife in hand (in lieu of last year's sword, apparently) and were then served a nice multi-course meal of nothing I can recall at the moment (other than it all being delicious, and non-lethal to boot), itself accompanied by glasses filled with above-mentioned champagne.
After an afternoon of hanging out with some of the Magnolia lot, I wound up back at the South Lamar in time for Zombie Girl: The Movie, the chronicle of local teen filmmaker Emily Hagins as she set out to make her first feature, at the age of twelve, with the help of family and friends. It was pretty effortlessly compelling stuff for the most part, and I'm not just saying that because Hagins and numerous others involved were in attendance. Following that was the highly anticipated JCVD, a meta-dramedy in which Jean-Claude Van Damme (played by, well, himself) finds himself caught in the middle of a bank heist after a particularly trying day in his life. It's constantly playful with the concept of his celebrity, opens with one bad-ass tracking shot, and all but closes with a fourth-wall-shattering monologue that still doesn't quite sit well with me - though not in the least due to Van Damme's surprisingly sympathetic performance.
A little more straight-forward was J.T. Petty's frontier horror movie, The Burrowers, which basically comes to pit an 1800s search party against some nasty creatures of the night. There's a fair amount of humor, but more so with regards to the western elements of the film as opposed to the horror stuff (which is why I hesitate to compare it to something like Tremors), with the ending perhaps being the biggest, bleakest joke of all. It's a shame that Lionsgate is already set on dumping this on DVD next April, since the wide-open-spaces cinematography alone is worthy of a sizable screen. The Q&A that followed turned out to bring with it a recurring question, one that would only come to increase the number of sighs that any audience might let out before even hearing it answered, of how the film we'd just seen -- yes, even the post-Civil War horror-western (though, okay, not entirely without its parallels) -- was influenced by the War on Terror. (Oh, if only you'd seen the impressively identical looks across the Brits' faces upon hearing this.) Soon after, I found Scott out on the smoking patio (natch) with Petty and another guy, and not moments after I brought up how it must feel like to be asked such a question did the mystery man to Petty's right, and directly across from me, reveal that he had in fact asked that question, and intentionally so for hope of provoking discussion. I hastily apologized, though I'd pulled something similar in that very same auditorium in March 2007 at a SXSW showing of The Signal, hoping to curb any assholes who were ready to unfavorably compare that film to Stephen King's similar novel, "Cell", when I knew that those filmmakers had already addressed that comparison elsewhere (and continued to through that film's release, to my recollection).
Midnight brought with it the return of Fantastic Feud and its subsequent karaoke session. Apparently, last year's Feud was hastily created and went off like gangbusters, so excitement this time around was fairly palpable. Teams were divided between Americans and foreigners, each armed with a frosty Foster's (except for young Miss Hagins of course; after all, this was a school night), and under the guidance of hosts Scott Weinberg and Devin Steuerwald (Alamo's hospitality manager by day, I believe), much trivia was breezed through, many debates were set off, and I found myself (temporarily) shunned by the Brits when I stepped in to break an apparent tie and sided with Tim League and his gang instead. The numbers didn't really matter, but it should be said that the Americans had the lead by the time Tim took the mic and cut matters short in the name of precious karaoke, which was kicked off by his wife's rendition of ABBA's "Waterloo" before racing off into a night-long blitz of singing, sweat and shirtlessness that did in fact last until sun-up. Something tells me that Pullman would've been proud.
Day 5: And The Winner Is...
(Monday, September 22nd)
This day also got off to an unusually late start, although I'd like to think that the antics of the night before justified as much (and I say that not having consumed much alcohol at all). (Honest.) The night's Awards Ceremony would find each and every winning filmmaker asked to drink a personalized stein full of Miller High Life in honor of accepting their awards (the audience was also served High Life; 'tis the Champagne of Beers, lest you forget). The Awards were then followed by 100 Best Kills, in which sweet death scenes were selected from the collections of host Zack Carlson and horror hound Lars Nilsen, not to mention a sampling of audience offerings, everything ranging from Irreversible and Maniac to Million Dollar Baby and The Bridge (yeah, yeah, sick crowd, what'd you expect?).
Day 6: Good and Plenty of Weird
(Tuesday, September 23rd)
With relatively short notice and a willingness to get it done and out of the way (not to mention making one more seat available for it as the Closing Night Film), I joined Jette for this morning's press screening of City of Ember, which was a pretty decent family adventure with some political overtones I was finding harder and harder to ignore the more I considered them. Afterwards, it was right back to the South Lamar, where we went our separate ways.
Having met Glenn on the second day and having seen his gang earn some love at the Awards Ceremony the night before, I began to think that maybe Weinberg wasn't so crazy in his eager support of South of Heaven, and while I may not have all-out lurved it, I felt both appropriately braced for and pleasantly surprised by this curious noir riff in which a Navy man (Adam Nee) is mistaken for his brother (Aaron Nee), who is reluctantly on the lam with the appropriately named Mad Dog (Shea Whigham, whose psychotic performance is really reason enough to watch).
Unfortunately, I had to bolt once the credits hit so I can dash next door for The Good, The Bad, The Weird, an epic Korean action-adventure/Spaghetti western that was among the most buzzed titles at FF, and rightfully so. I knew from the moment I nabbed a seat that I had done right by catching this on the big screen: the colors lush, the sound loud, the action that much more exciting, the jokes that much funnier. It's one of those movies that it sounds like people try to defend as 'pure entertainment', but trust me, they have reason. Some had said that the film reminded them of the giddiness of Raiders of the Lost Ark; I'm not quite sure that I'd go that far, but to say that it's a unique, exhilarating mix of The Good, The Bad, The Ugly with, say, Kung Fu Hustle and the first Pirates of the Caribbean is hopefully enough to get your attention. IFC is apparently releasing this in January, meaning that it'd be available on-demand for digital cable subscribers, but if you can make a point of catching it in a theater, with a crowd, then you seriously should.
Soon after was Secret Screening A, which a very certain little birdy informed me was to be The Brothers Bloom. Having been a considerable fan of writer-director Rian Johnson's debut, Brick, and less so a fan of this film's changed release date from October to January, I was giddy to get a glimpse at this con-man fable for myself. Despite being saddled with ticket #214 in a auditorium that allegedly sat 215, said birdy helped myself a close friend and I land prime seating (and I think I can speak for both of us when I say that we both remain grateful for this extended consideration). A month later, I'm still mulling over the flick, albeit for the better -- it's tonally askew in perhaps the best possible way, both whimsical and weighty, not to mention refreshingly un-cynical in its inevitable effort to trick the audience as much as its characters. It should also be noted that my crush on Rachel Weisz remains unfettered by her loosest, giddiest performance to date. Afterward, I had met with Johnson, and arrangements were made for me to join him for breakfast in an effort to get in an interview before his filled schedule caught up with him. I told him that I'd try my best to be there, and I meant it.
After a brief group detour for drinks, several of us returned to the South Lamar, or rather the all-but-neighboring gym, for the first annual Fantastic Debates, in which geeks sparred with words in a boxing ring before some of them actually put on the gloves and went a-wailin' on one another, to our collective amusement (it didn't hurt that there were a couple of (hilarious) ringers in the mix). Topics of debate ranged from the merits of CGI and the bane of horror remakes to whether or not George Lucas has lost his fucking mind. By the end of the night, Nick Robinson and Thomas Hanawa duked it out in the name of digital vs. film, before Tim League took on Jay Slater (on Weinberg's dentally excused behalf, that is). Don't be the least bit surprised if this, like the Feud, becomes a Fantastic Fest staple for years to come.
Day 7: Why I'm Not a Role Model
(Wednesday, September 24th)
"I've got all five senses and I slept last night; that puts me six up on the lot of you." -Brick, written and directed by Rian Johnson
I missed that interview with Rian Johnson.
See, I'd been spending the week sleeping on the floor of Scott's hotel room -- not my initial plan, but a cheap and not entirely uncomfortable option, it turned out to be. I'd honestly thought that I could get in a few hours of sleep before waking up and heading out, but between an unexpectedly early morning the day before (with that Ember screening) and a late night after that, my cell phone alarm in my pocket, on my person, was no match for those sweet, sweet carpet fibers. Luckily, Johnson and I are on good enough terms to make other arrangements, and who knows, maybe he'll even let me know whether or not his pancakes passed muster with the MPAA.
Despite the week being filled with any number of pre-planned trips and excursions for filmmakers and guests, an additional group was wrangled together to go shoot shotguns, and I saw fit to tag along with Jason Eisener (who won a shotgun the other night, in honor of his famous Hobo with a Shotgun short and some hilarious bumpers), Brian Udovich (producer of South of Heaven, not to mention The Wackness and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane), Todd Brown of TwitchFilm.net, Thomas Hanawa (who, it must be said, is quite the eagle-eyed expert when it comes to guns), Yoshi Nishimura (director of the apparently ridiculous Tokyo Gore Police, which I missed), and a couple of others. There were three shotguns in all to be handled -- well, make that four with Eisener's -- each with their own kick (by which I mean, my shoulder would come to bruise) and kicks to be had (by which I mean, popping the shells out of an over-under shotgun made me feel more like a man). It reminded me of that line from The Departed: "You could be a filmmaker or a film critic, but when you're wielding a loaded weapon - what's the difference?"
We were treated to some tacos and then taken back to the Alamo for what I'll call "the A-Team of screenings":
-Astropia was a slightly sitcom-ish Icelandic tale of a prissy bimbo forced to take up a job at ye local comic book shop, where she comes to befriend the expected line-up of geeks;
-Appaloosa (or the last-added Secret Screening D) was a straight-forward Western about two lawmen (director Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen) forced to take up a job at ye local town living in fear, where they both come to befriend a widow (Renee Zellweger);
-Alien Raiders was a decent sci-fi actioner from Raw Feed about hostages held in ye local supermarket by a well-organized team (led by Carlos Bernard of "24") on the hunt for Something Else. (If memory serves, this was the second Q&A to bring up the 'War on Terror' inquiry. Crowd response was as expected.)
Now, for all the whispered words making the rounds, I must admit to being (pleasantly) surprised when my expectations for midnight's Secret Screening B were upended within a half hour of starting. We were treated to the first screening of the final cut for David Wain's Role Models, with Wain and star/co-writer Paul Rudd in attendance. My reaction compared to the general consensus afterward seemed opposite that of Zack and Miri...: I thought it was funny enough to forgive for being formulaic, while others thought it was just crude and predictable. Whatever, can't win 'em all. However, it would be hard for those attending to deny that the Q&A that followed was easily funnier than the film itself, with Wain and Rudd quickly retorting to stupid questions (including my own about just how the film was influenced by the War on Terror) and riffing breathlessly on each other's responses.
Day 8: You Don't Have to Go Home...
(Thursday, September 24th)
It didn't matter what Tim League had to do to get controversial French thriller Martyrs to show at the Fest (twice), because even those who didn't care for it were grateful that he had. It starts out as a gruesome home invasion by two young women looking for answers, and where it ends, I won't say -- just that, in my opinion and for the most part, it justifies the uncomfortable journey there and lends the title initially hidden meaning. I'd rank it somewhere between Inside and Frontier(s) on the 'Dude, What Are the French Smoking?' scale. Some fuzzy scheduling let me to miss Secret Screening C, which turned out to be Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla, and it was all the more pity when pretty much every reaction coming out seemed to be a positive one.
Sure enough, City of Ember showed as the Closing Night Film, but time spent in the movie would've time not spent out in the lobby, greeting director Gil Kenan (Monster House) myself and watching Weinberg get to interview the one and only Bill Murray. (Go ask him about it, he'll tell you just how cool that was.) Afterward, we all gathered in our various clusters and loaded up on a couple of buses to make the hour-plus trek out to Longhorn Caverns for the Get Lit cave party on behalf of Ember. It was neat enough, even if I would've killed to have been there when the Alamo showed The Descent underground, but outside, I found myself succumbing to the whole typical city-boy routine, staring up at the sky and being amazed at just how many stars one could see once they got away from it all.
(Bill Murray then walked by.)
Before our bus, the first to fill up, left, Tim League, AICN's 'Massawyrm' (on right) and others came aboard, handing out wraps and chips for the ride home. We all munched down on our grub while watching a greatest-hits selection from previous Best Kills events -- there's that Irreversible fire extinguisher bit again! -- and then all the passing comparisons to summer camp throughout the week really hit. In a single week, Fantastic Fest had really turned from just a particularly casual and savvy film festival to something else, something that had people crossing oceans just to come back and something that I knew that I was equally compelled to return to. Others had noted that the Fest had significantly grown this year from years past, and I was a testament to why: now that I'd gone, I wanted to go back, and I wished the same on any and every film geek I knew. I still do, even if I feel a selfish preservation instinct of sorts kicking in, telling me that spreading the love will only change the Fest more, but for just how many film festivals can you say that? How many movie theaters? How many anythings? Too many, and yet, not enough.
Speaking of too much and too many, let me toss out some names and titles that I didn't manage to fit in:
-Acolytes is a lean, mean Australian thriller that plays like a cross between Disturbia and Mean Creek;
-How to Get Rid of the Others is a wonderful Danish black comedy that ranks among Right One and Good/Bad/Weird as one of my very favorites of the fest;
-I nearly helped Wiley Wiggins charge his iPhone;
-I let Nacho Vigalondo show me dirty dances and less dirty YouTube videos;
-I marvel at the fact that a man as nice as Marcus Dunstan gets paid to come up with increasingly twisted ways for people to die;
-I tremble at just how much Oz-ploitation director Brian Trenchard-Smith knows about breaching the human skull.
Weinberg: thanks, really.
Faraci, Longworth, Vespe, and Cargill: always a pleasure to put faces to names.
Jette and Peter: always a pleasure to actually work with colleagues in person.
Jake and Maxim: we'll always have John Pierson.
And here's where I raise my Miller High Life (sorry, Foster's) to those responsible for rigging seats to buzz for The Tingler, for dragging home my luggage, for programming only good movies, for planning no bad parties, and for keeping things -- as promised -- awesome: Tim, Karrie, Liz, John, Jill, Devin, Henri, Thomas, Johnny, Lars, Zack, Rae, Matthew, Brad, and then all your wonderful bastards that don't work at the Alamo Drafthouse.
It wasn't 51 days before Fantastic Fest '08 that I decided to attend, but just know that there's only 51 weeks standing between me and FF '09.
link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=2601
originally posted: 10/26/08 13:27:51
last updated: 11/06/08 16:02:20