Fantastic Fest – Day 1!

In a break from the normal RPG-only content hereabouts, I will be blogging about my visit to Fantastic Fest 2009!  FF is a week-long film festival here in Austin, TX with a focus on the “weird stuff” – horror, martial arts, foreign…  It’s co-sponsored by Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News.  I had a bunch of vacation to take by the end of the year, and decided since I’ve never done a film festival before, it would be a fun thing to try!

They have a pretty streamlined process where you get all your tickets for the day first thing, so you don’t have to stand in line for specific shows just to discover you don’t get in.  I discovered that, sadly, even though I was here early  I didn’t get a ticket to see Solomon Kane, the movie based on the Robert E. Howard hero by the same name.  So my lineup for the day is:

  • First Squad – Russian anime (No, really!)
  • Merantau – Indonesian martial arts.  (No, really!)
  • Short Fuse, a collection of shorts.  This was the Solomon Kane slot, as well as some big premiere for “Gentleman Broncos“, another outing by the Hess brothers, the Napoleon Dynamite guys.  I’m not too interested in Broncos, so I chose the shorts, and am wondering about the possibility of going standby for no-shows for Solomon Kane.
  • REC 2 – The first REC was the movie Quarantine was based on.  This is the sequel, which kicks off immediately after the events in the first one, Halloween 2 style.

This is a short day, subsequent days have like 5-6 slots.  Can my butt stand it?  We’ll find out.

Hooray for the Alamo

It’s made a lot easier by the fact that most of the screenings are at several of the Alamo Drafthouse locations.  For you poor bastards that don’t have something like this, the Alamo has a full service food and drink menu that they bring to your seat; each row of seats has a table-counter-thing in front of it to hold your, for example, pizza and bucket of beer.  Quite civilized.  They play entertaining shorts and old movie trailers and whatnot in the time leading up to the film, too, so the usual procedure is to show up really early, get settled in, order your food while watching the trailers and talking, and then you’re all set when the movie starts.   The Alamo is an Austin institution; there’s 4 in Austin and they’ve spread to San Antonio and Houston (and, weirdly, West Virginia.)

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