Fantastic Fest 2014 Preview

Fantastic Fest starts on the 18th and I absolutely cannot wait. Fantastic Fest, the best genre film festival in the country, has been one of the highlights of my year since I moved to Austin and in a few short weeks you can expect me not to shut up about it here on Agents Of Geek.

Until that time though here’s five films that I can’t wait to see that will be playing at Fantastic Fest. With the caveat that one of the wonderful things about Fantastic Fest is how it allows the experience of being absolutely blindsided by new films. Still it doesn’t hurt to look forward to things and here is some of the features that are making me shiver with antici……pation.


Look I’m not going to lie, I hadn’t given Tusk much thought one way or another since it was announced. Kevin Smith’s first foray into horror, Red State was pretty much a crushing disappointment and despite my lingering affection for Dogma, Chasing Amy and the Clerks films I’d pretty much written off Smith as a filmmaker. Listening to the original podcast that started it all, as a clearly stoned Smith giggles his way through a, “wouldn’t that be fucked up” session with Scott Mosier didn’t exactly fill me to the brim with confidence either.

But damn man, that trailer.

Whatever tone I was expecting Tusk to take it certainly wasn’t that. That’s- that’s something else right there. I’m not sure if Tusk is going to be brilliant or a disaster all I know is that by all accounts it has completely reenergized Smith as a filmmaker and I kind of can’t wait to see what did it. I’m more curious and excited about a new Kevin Smith film than I would have thought possible. As someone who once considered himself a pretty big fan I kind of feel like that already makes me a winner in this scenario.

I can’t believe I’m typing this but #WalrusYes.


Inspeaking of eye popping trailers Nightcrawler‘s certainly got plenty of attention when it debuted last month. The story of a freelance crime journalist who starts going for increasingly dangerous and scuzzy stories, Nightcrawler looks absolutely insane. A maniac morality play that captures the insane energy of Los Angeles at night. Crazy Jake Gyllenhaal is best Gyllenhaal and Nightcrawler looks to be pretty much the platonically idea platform for capturing his skewed intensity at full blast.

The Babadook

Ooh this one just looks nasty. A partially crowdfunded creature feature from Australia The Babadook got some rave reviews at Sundance. The story of a single mother’s complicated relationship with her disturbed son and the disturbed son’s “imaginary friend”. The Babbadook is horror just how I like it, character driven, unafraid and unembarrassed to grab the supernatural with both hands and absolutey pitiless.

Electric Boogaloo

Mark Hartley’s Not Quite Hollywood and Machete Maidens Unleashed were two of the most fun, occasionally bat shit insane film documentaries in recent memory. The idea of him capping out his trilogy of films that highlight the under seen and undervalued annals of Exploitation film history is already a no questions asked win for me. The fact that it’s going to be about one of personal favorite chapters in exploitation film history, the schlock empire of Golan & Globus just takes it up to a Wallace Beery and Wrestling Pictures level of perfection.

Princess Kaguya

…What’s that you say? What will almost certainly be the final film of Isao Takahata and could very well be one of the final Studio Ghibli films period will be playing at Fantastic Fest…

…Yes. Yes I believe that would be something I would be interested in.

Which Fantastic Fest title are you most interested in?

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The Author

Bryce Wilson

Bryce Wilson

Confirmed film geek and literary nerd. Writer for Paracinema and Art Decades Magazine, columnist for the San Luis Obispo New Times and author of Son Of Danse Macabre. Resides in Austin, TX.