The Ithaca Fantastik film festival has given us a taste of what’s come for their upcoming 7th edition. For ten days, the festival will screen bizarre and fantastic genre films at the Cinemapolis theater in upstate New York. Here are just a few titles to get excited about.
Ever heard of Rubber, the movie about a killer tire? Well, director Quentin Dupieux is at it again with his newest project Keep An Eye Out! (Au Poste! in French). Also from France, there’s Game Over (3615 Code Père Noël), a newly restored holiday-themed film that pits a young boy against a home invader. Before you say that it’s been done, this movie actually pre-dates Home Alone, and is reportedly much darker. Other international features include Diamantino of Portugal, Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) of Columbia, and Love Me Not, a film made in both Greece and France (not to be confused with the 2018 Spanish movie of the same name).
In the realm of animation, audiences will be treated with three series by French perverts BobbyPills production: insect-buddy-cop comedy Vermin, violent anime Crisis Jung—which I thoroughly enjoyed at its international premiere at Fantasia—and an exclusive first look at their sex-positive cartoon Peepoodo and the Super Fuck Friends. From Japanese artist simply known as Ujicha comes Violence Voyager, a bloody childlike adventure told using beautiful hand-drawn paper cut-outs.
Killers will be prowling about in screenings of Piercing (pictured above) and Knife + Heart (Un Couteau Dans Le Coeur), which depicts a string of murders of the set of 70s gay porno. Finally, viewers will want to catch Chained for Life, the story of a young actress who makes friends with her disabled co-stars on the set of a horror film.
Ithaca Fantastik will run from October 26th to November 4th. A second wave of films is due in early October. For more information, visit the website here.
Listed below are all the first-wave movies with description.
Keep an Eye Out! (Au Poste!)
Quentin Dupieux / 2018 / France / 73min
When Fugain trips over a dead body in front of his condo, his first impulse is to report it to the police—as any good, logical citizen would. He quickly realizes his mistake when he learns that the obsessive Captain Buron will gleefully grill him until he cracks.
Khalik Allah / 2018 / USA / 77min
The history of Jamaica retold through the framework of a woman’s pregnancy, Black Mother is a heartfelt look at Jamaican identity that transcends its documentary form to offer an unusual and unique exploration of humanity.
Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano)
Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra / 2018 / Colombia / 125min
In La Guija, Colombia in the 1970s, an indigenous Wayuu family gets swept up in the newly-booming marijuana trade. When greed and passion overtake their tribe’s honor, their lives and ancestral traditions are forever fractured.
Chained for Life
Aaron Schimberg / 2018 / USA / 91min
Freda is an actress cast as the lead in a schlocky horror film. Her co-star and much of the supporting cast are played by actors with disabilities. As she connects with her peers off-screen, she begins to consider if their treatment on set is exploitational and whether our current standards of representation in modern film are really as equal as we would like to believe.
Baptiste Gaubert and Jérémie Hoarau / 2018 / France / 70min
Jung and Maria are sweethearts enjoying their blossoming love in an innocent world. But their starry-eyed love is imperiled when the malignant Little Jesus kidnaps Maria’s body to build his nefarious temple of pain!
Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt / 2018 / Portugal / 92min
After missing the penalty shot at the world cup final, footballer Diamantino’s career is over. Floundering, he falls prey to sinister forces offering him a job as a political mascot—shilling the promise to “make Portugal great again”. Hoping for a second chance, he is instead transported on a surreal and satirical journey through a dysfunctional modern landscape.
Game Over (3615 Code Père Noël)
René Manzor / 1989 / France / 87min
Thomas, a French kid obsessed with American action films, believes he will be the first kid to catch Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. When a thief dressed as Santa shows up instead of the real deal, Thomas’s vengeance for broken childhood dreams takes on epic proportions in this cornerstone film.
Knife + Heart (Un Couteau Dans Le Coeur)
Yann Gonzales / 2018 / France / 110min
After producer Anne breaks up with her editor girlfriend, the late 70s low-budget gay French porno they were shooting begins to take an… artistic turn. The sensual film becomes a real-life erotic thriller when one of her adult film stars is brutally murdered. Anne and her sidekick, Archibald, can’t seem to out-maneuver the chaos that ensues.
Love Me Not
Alexandros Avranas / 2018 / Greece, France / 99min
An infertile, upper-middle-class couple hires a young woman as a surrogate and all three move into a remote villa. The ladies start to bond, the husband becomes envious, and an unfortunate chain of events turns the table on the already dysfunctional new family dynamic.
Ujicha / 2018 / Japan / 83min
Bobby and Akkun set out for an end-of-school celebration in the mountains where they discover an abandoned amusement park. Surprise! The owner greets them and conveniently offers them free tickets. Against their better judgement, they take him up on his offer.
Nicolas Pesce / 2018 / USA / 81min
Reed takes off from his idyllic life with his wife and baby for a very important business trip. But the business he has in mind is murder! All set with his plan to commit the perfect crime, Reed finds his victim in mysterious call girl Jackie…but Reed may have called the wrong person.
Alexis Beaumont / 2018 / France / 81min
A young praying mantis follows in his father’s many footsteps and moves to the big city to become a police officer. A greenhorn kid from the country, young Reggie is totally unequipped for the dangers and temptations of city life. But when Reggie is assigned a partner with a history of drinking and bad police work, the sparks fly and both characters get more than they bargained for.