Fantastic Fest 2011: Part 1

Ahoy, Chewers!

Fun fact. Did you know that the world’s largest urban population of bats lives in Austin? Under a bridge downtown? If you’re ever in Austin I recommend watching them fly out at dusk for a evening of mosquito genocide. It’s madness. We’re talking like 1.5 million bats here. But I digress…

Alamo founder Tim League

Due to my comically jammed schedule of movie watching and alcohol consumption here at FF, my film write-ups are going to be trickling out at a delayed pace, slowly and mostly after the fest ends, but I wanted to update y’all on the FF Awards winners. The ceremony happened last night, and – predictably – was a booze-soaked affair. I’d expect nothing less from the Alamo Drafthouse and their proudly touted sponsor Shiner beer. For those who don’t know, the FF trophy is a beer mug, which is filled with beer and which the winner must chug in order to receive it. Not drink. Chug. And if a winner isn’t present, the category’s presenter is forced to chug the beer as a surrogate. As CHUD vet Devin Faraci noted while presenting the Audience Awards, if William Lustig marvels at the FF’s beer obsession, you know it is intense.

Needless to say, this is fertile ground for shenanigans. Especially when the audience is given free booze. I particularly enjoyed how the audience’s “chug, chug, chug” chants evolved over the course of the evening as various international winners informed us how you say “chug” in their country. Japanese winners received table pounding “iki, iki, iki” and You’re Next Best Actress in a Horror Movie winner Sharni Vinson got us doing Australia’s “skull, skull, skull.” Vinson, a non-beer drinker, kicked off the evening’s funniest/scariest running gag when she brought You’re Next producer/screenwriter Simon Barrett up as her surrogate — and then You’re Next went on to win five awards; four of those awards being won in a short five-minute period. By the fifth win House of the Devil‘s Ti West decided to help a brutha out and pulled surrogate duty for Barret so FF wouldn’t have its first awards death. I was not at all surprised when I went to take a leak after the ceremony and there was vomit in the urinal. I also enjoyed the general presence of Timecrimes and Extraterrestrial director Nacho Vigalondo, who seems to be the unofficial drunken jester of Fantastic Fest. Speaking of Vigalondo, he caught me reading Clive Barker’s The Damnation Game between shows and revealed that it is his favorite Barker book. So I’m officially starting a rumor that he’s going to make a Damnation Game adaptation. Whisper it to the hills, my children!

Many of the wins were a forgone conclusion. You’re Next had the buzziest fest buzz, as far as horror flicks are concerned, and Clown was so adored that when my bud, The Cinefamily honcho Hadrian Belove, took the podium to present the Gutbuster Award the audience just started chanting “clown” before he even said anything. There probably would’ve been riot if something else had one. I’m surprised and very pleased that the cripplingly adorable A Boy and His Samurai won the audience award, which is a mild shocker only because it barely qualifies as a genre film. But it’s great. Also proves the FF isn’t a sausage fest; ladies love A Boy and His Samurai.


AUDIENCE AWARD (Presented by Maxwell Locke & Ritter)
A Boy And His Samurai (Yoshihiro Nakamura)
Runners Up: You’re Next, Juan Of The Dead

Best Picture – Bullhead
Best Director – Michael R. Roskam (Bullhead)
Best Screenplay – Josh MacDonald (The Corridor)
Best Actor – Matthias Schoenaerts (Bullhead)
Best Actress – Jessica Cole (Aardvark)
Special Jury Award for Boldness Of Vision: Beyond The Black Rainbow

Best Picture – You’re Next
Best Director – Adam Wingard (You’re Next)
Best Screenplay – Simon Barrett (You’re Next)
Best Actor – Sean Harris (A Lonely Place To Die)
Best Actress – Sharni Vinson (You’re Next)

Best Picture – Milocrorze: A Love Story
Best Director – Noboru Iguchi (Karate Robo Zaborgar)
Best Screenplay – Olafur Egilsson, Grimur Haonarson (Summerland)
Best Actor – Julián Villagrán (Extraterrestrial)
Best Actress – Sawa Masaki (Underwater Love)

Best Picture – Clown
Best Director – Steffen Haars, Flip Van Der Kuil (New Kids Turbo)
Best Screenplay – Casper Christensen, Frank Hvam (Clown)

Winner: How To Rid Your Lover Of A Negative Emotion Caused By You (Nadia Litz)
Runner-up: The Unliving (Hugo Lilj)
Special Jury Award for Outstanding Achievement in Special Effects and General Badassery: Brutal Relax (David Muñoz, Rafa Dengrá, Adrián Cardona)

Best Fantastic Short: Decapoda Shock (Javier Chillón)
Runner-up: All Men Are Called Robert (Marc-Henri Boulier)
Special Jury Mention for Acting: Robert Picardo (The Candidate)

Best Animated Short: Last Norwegian Troll (Pjotr Sapegin)
Runner-up: Lazarov (NIETOV)

Three of Simon Barrett's de-chugged awards.