Ithaca Fantastik is bringing the best of genre filmmaking to upstate New York just in time for Halloween. The final wave of programming brings plenty of festival hits and killer special events. It all looks to make the 7th edition of Ithaca Fantastik unmissable! The festival will run from October 26th-November 4th in Ithaca New York.
The final wave lineup includes Nightmare on Film Street favorites Cam, Luz, One Cut of the Dead, and Relaxer. Joining them are Perry Blackshear’s chilling fable, The Rusalka, fantasy drama My Name is Myesiha, and the wild splatterfest Girls with Balls.
Along with the feature films, Ithaca Fantastik will feature special events like four blocks of shorts, including the Eyeslicer Halloween Special, “a curation of the weirdest and wackiest American indie spooky shorts from NYC producers Dan Schoenbrun and Vanessa McDonnell.”
Horror fans will be able to dive right into the horror with six VR/AR experiences, including Andre Aja’s Campfire Creepers. And finally, Drunken Cinema brings the B-Movies and booze, with a new 4K restoration of White Fire.
Here’s the full final wave!
The Unthinkable East Coast Premiere
Victor Danell | 2018 | Sweden | 129min
While Alex attempts to reconnect with the long lost love of his youth, a series of strange events unfold—each bizarre occurrence leading to the next until it culminates in a declaration of war by a belligerent foreign country. Carried on by his quest for love, Alex must also manage to find his family and save them from the war. This epic adventure pushes him to overcome each obstacle and face the deepest, darkest corners of his past.
Scandinavia has produced some of recent years’ most impressive action films with a healthy dose of heart—from The Wave (2015) to The Quake (2018)—redefining what it means to be a blockbuster in the global market. Following in this grand tradition, Crazy Pictures takes us by storm with this genre blurring piece of cinema. It expertly navigates the arthouse drama landscape while using a backdrop of a war as metaphorical elements enhance the frustration of the protagonist. THE UNTHINKABLE will make you think, cringe, laugh out loud, and cry- all in the span of a second. You’ll be talking about this perfect IF8 closing film for months to come.
Cam Regional Premiere
Daniel Goldhaber | 2018 | USA | 94min
Alice’s (Handmaid’s Tale’s Madeline Brewer) career as “Lola” the cam girl is red hot, and her public can’t seem to get enough! But when a mysterious clone of her web persona surfaces, Alice is left questioning where she ends and her online presence begins.
Daniel Goldhaber’s debut feature CAM delivers an unvarnished and brutal reflection on a culture of obsession and vice. The first feature about sex work written by a former sex worker Isa Mazzei has masterfully drawn from real life to create this dazzling and dark thriller. The 2018 Fantasia Film Festival New Flesh award winner is not to be missed.
Actor Patch Darragh in attendance
Dog (Chien) East Coast Premiere
Samuel Benchetrit | 2017 | France | 90min
After losing his wife, home and job, Jacques spirals into depression, closing himself off to the world around him. That is, until he meets the owner of a pet shop. He finds redemption in giving his free will over to the most random person he’s met: A dog trainer.
Multi-talented artist Samuel Benchetrit adapts his eponymous book with a style and voice reminiscent of another french perturbateur: Quentin Dupieux. Taking a literal route to define modern alienation, Benchetrit creates a surreal piece of cinema, which, despite its straightforward approach to the problematic, shocks at every turn.
My Name is Myeisha Regional Premiere
Gus Krieger | 2018 | USA | 85min
At the moment of Myeisha’s (the outstanding Rhaechyl Walker) death at the hands of police, she guides us inside her mind and muses over the life she’ll be leaving behind. Told uniquely through hip-hop, spoken word poetry, and dance—and inspired by the 1998 police shooting of California teen Tyisha Miller—the mix of style and social message allows the narrative to explore territories rarely tackled in film. We connect with Myeisha as we see into both her past and a possible future she will never have.
Highly acclaimed on the festival circuit, this is one of the most important films of the year.
The Rusalka Regional Premiere
Perry Blackshear | 2018 | USA | 88min
A perfectly twisted balance of folklore and modern cinema, THE RUSALKA reinvents “the lady of the lake” into “the girl next door.” Mina is chained to water by demons that possess her. The man who pines for her is traumatized and left speechless by a childhood swimming accident. This love story is only rendered more eerie by the haunting beauty of the setting, and the slavic songs that set the dark and atmospheric tone of this tale.
Director Perry Blackshear in attendance
Prospect Regional Premiere
Christopher Caldwell | 2018 | USA | 98min
In a working-class future (in space!), a father and daughter mining team (Jay Duplass and Sophie Thatcher) struggle to make a living on an alien moon with worn out space suits and a barely functional spacecraft. When they learn about a large haul of the rare, valuable crystals they’ve been tracking, they decide to risk confrontations with their lawless competition.
Adapted from a short film of the same name, PROSPECT has a blue collar sci-fi atmosphere that evokes the highlights of the genre and follows the lead of films like Alien (1979) and Silent Running (1972).
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Relaxer Regional Premiere (pictured above)
Joel Potrykus | 2018 | USA | 91min
Settle in for 91 minutes of action and adventure set entirely on a sofa as our hero Abbie (Joshua Burge) attempts to beat every level of Pac-Man- including the legendary 256th. Berated by his brother and a slew of off-kilter friends, Abbie must stick to his mission at any cost. He’ll have to stay focused in the midst of hilarious antics. Will he beat the game? This is the Y2K apocalyptic slacker comedy you didn’t know you needed until Poltrykus dared you to.
Starfish Regional Premiere
A.T. White | 2018 | USA, UK | 99min
The past can creep up on us in the most unlikely of ways. While grieving the loss of her best friend, Aubrey (Runaway’s cosmic babe Virginia Gardner) finds herself in the middle of a wintery apocalypse. She holes up in her late friend’s flat, fending for herself as the world deteriorates and unspeakable Lovecraftian creatures lurk around every corner. With mixtapes, an indie soundtrack, and an adorable pet turtle, Aubrey fights to survive. This fantastical tale of grief and trauma transcends time, space, and logic.
Director A.T White in attendance
Luz Regional Premiere
Tilman Singer | 2018 | Germany | 70min
Luz (Luana Velis) arrives at a police station. Seemingly in a state of shock, she begins the interview process of filing a report. Meanwhile, at a nearby bar, a mysterious man drinks alone. He’s approached by a young woman with a disconcerting manner. They strike up a conversation over drinks. A malevolent force seems to permeate both communions.
Shot on 16mm—and the thesis project for German film student Tilman Singer—LUZ already feels like a movie out of its time with aesthetic trappings of a film made in the 80s but characters and story contemporary in their design and feel.
Boiled Angels: The Trial of Mike Diana Regional Premiere
Frank Henenlotter | 2018 | USA | 101min
In 1991, the FBI thought they had a lead on the Gainesville student murders when they came into possession of Mike Diana’s ‘zine, Boiled Angel. Despite being cleared of any murder charges, the FBI forwarded information about him and his work to Florida police. He became the first artist in US history to be prosecuted on obscenity charges—all because of his cartoonish depictions of depravity. This documentary, directed by Frank Henenlotter (Basket Case, Brain Damage), features narration by Jello Biafra and appearances by Neil Gaiman, George Romero, Jay Lynch, and the trial lawyers who felt they were justified in putting an artist behind bars.
Join us for this special screening of BOILED ANGELS, followed by an extended Q&A and discussion with director Frank Henenlotter, artist Mike Diana, and producer Mike Hunchback.
Taking the Piss Down Under:
Brother’s Nest Regional Premiere
Clayton Jacobson | 2018 | Australia | 98min
Two brothers reflect on memories, their upbringing, and family in their childhood home as they plot to kill their stepfather. What at first seems like a simple plan soon spirals out of control and into an abyss of mayhem and murder. Clayton Jacobsen’s pitch black comedy features rapid-fire dialogue that is both rhythmic and increasingly ironic and bittersweet—feeling like a blend of the Coen brothers and Hitchcockian crime dramas of the golden age of cinema.
Mega Time Squad New York Premiere
Tim van Dammen | 2018 | New Zealand | 86min
John (Anton Tennet) is down on his luck in small town Auckland and hoping to escape his loser life. When a strange Chinese artifact gives him the power to travel back in time, Johnny decides to face off against his drug dealer boss Shelton (Jonny Brugh of What We Do In The Shadows). The consequences of time travel are more dangerous than Johnny expects, and he very quickly realizes the price he may have to pay. Quick-witted dialogue coupled with heaps of charm and charisma make Tim van Dammen’s Kiwi-comedy a must see.
Back to Castle: A Special Screening of THE TINGLER with live theatre
Wednesday, Oct. 31 7 pm at The Cherry Artspace
William Castle | 1959 | USA | 82min
When a pathologist (Vincent Price) discovers a creature that feeds and grows on fear, he quickly realizes the key to its defeat. He captures it to test his hypothesis. As the creature evolves in size and atrocity levels rise, the Doctor’s theories distill into one single urgent lesson: “please, do not panic, but scream!…. Scream for your lives.”
This film’s just-wacky-enough execution of excruciatingly frightening ideas may just keep its viewers from requiring intensive therapy.
Released the very same year as House on Haunted Hill, THE TINGLER reprises and intensifies the same camp horror theatricality and B-movie zeal from William Castle’s wild imagination. The delicate dissonance between Castle’s gimmicks and Vincent Price’s outstanding performance gets perfectly showcased in this triumphant return of the pioneering duo.
Enjoy this one-time-only interactive event, created in partnership with our friends at The Cherry Artspace—true to William Castle’s innovative vision of an immersive 4-dimensional theatrical experience. Filmed in “Percepto!”
Vinegar Syndrome’s 35mm scan of this gritty, seductive and totally bonkers film is filled to the brim with nudity, over-the-top action and enough ridiculous one-liners to satisfy even the most rambunctious cravings for sleaze.
White Fire (Vivre pour Survivre) East Coast Premiere
Jean-Marie Pallardy | 1985 | Turkey, France, UK | 101min
When Bo was a child, a mysterious stranger sadistically murdered his parents. Only Bo and his sister Ingrid survived the bloodshed. Now, twenty years later, Bo and Ingrid are employees at a diamond mineshaft in the desert. The mischievous duo stumble upon the discovery of a legendary diamond, the “White Fire.” However, rapture for the diamond has provoked the angst of some short-tempered, not-so-nice villains. The quest to capture the most sought-out diamond in the world is afoot!
One Cut of the Dead Regional Premiere
Shin’ichirô Ueda | 2017 | Japan | 96min
When an ambitious but small-time commercial director (Takayuki Hamatsu) is hired for the arduous task of creating a single-take zombie film which is broadcast live, death and gore become the least of his on-set problems. Starting with the unbroken 37-minute final piece, One Cut of the Dead then goes back in time to show the story behind the making of the actual film—complete with trouble from divas, saké, broken equipment, and even diarrhea. A high-energy screamfest that turns heartwarming, this film knows exactly how to sell its scares.
Girls With Balls East Coast Premiere
Olivier Afonso | 2018 | France | 87min
Girls volleyball team The Falcons find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere after their minivan breaks down. Little do they know they landed on the property of some degenerate redneck hunters. The hunt is on and thus begins a very long night where the girls must run for their lives and test their team spirit. But these young athletes may be more resourceful than the hunters give them credit for. Serve. Set. Spike. Kill!
Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss By Passing Through the Gateway Chosen By the Holy Storsh Regional Premiere
Vivieno Caldinelli | 2018 | USA | 96min
A small-town couple (Kate Micucci and Sam Huntington) find the perfect apartment at an inconceivable price. But their idyllic life is disturbed by a parade of intruders that won’t stop breaking in to practice a strange cult ritual, all following the direction of their guru, the Holy Storsh (Taika Waititi). The final step? Suicide in the apartment bathtub.
From the deranged mind of Spectrevision (Mandy, 2018; Bitch, 2017), this is pure comedy in the tradition of the grand guignol, with the hilarious Dan Harmon (Rick and Morty) as an out of his mind inspector—be ready to laugh out loud for 96 minutes straight in this comedy. Definitely… cult!
GASP! The Horror! Shorts
Sometimes horror is a magical horned demon shooting fire at you. Sometimes it lives in your own home… Ithaca Fantastik is proud to present this selection of shorts that shows just how wide, wild, and inventive the realm of horror can be.
Goodnight, Gracie, Dir. Stellan Kendrick (USA); The Day Mum Became A Monster, Dir. Josephine Hopkins (France); MILK, Dir. Santiago Menghini (Canada); MAW, Dir. Jasper Vrancken (Belgium); New Feelings, Dir. Anastasia Nechaeva (Russian Federation), Those Who Can Die, Dir. Charlotte Cayeux (France)
Think you’ve seen everything the genre world has to offer? Think again. Our WTFantastiK! block challenges genre veterans with envelope-pushing, boundary- breaking shorts that must be seen to be believed. For adventurous audiences only!
What’s That In The Ground?, Dir. Wally Chung (USA); The Story of Everything, Dir. Sharon A. Mooney (USA); Sweet Deceit, Dir. Shannon Jones (USA); Loathing, Dir. Franz Milec (Czech Republic); NewVHS, Dir. Spencer Starnes, Kevin R. Wright, Pete Clendenning, Jordan Paul Miles (USA); Mama’s Boy, Dir. Samantha Kolesnick (USA); MOTHER FUCKER, Dir. Nicholas Payn (USA); Entropia, Dir. Marinah Janello (USA)..
Tampon Monsters. Murderous Johnny Depp fans. Two dudes just trying to be cool. The LIGHT+/-DARK shorts block presents the comedy genre shorts that made us laugh, or made us cringe.
BFF Girls, Dir. Brian Lonano (USA); Psycho Kino, Dir. Guillem Dols (Spain); Lunch Ladies, Dir. Clarissa Jacobson, J.M. Logan (USA), We Summoned A Demon, Dir. Chris McInroy (USA); Seafood Diet, Dir. Max Levine (USA); Beautiful Eyes, Dir. Rani Deigh Crowe (USA); Fetish, Dir David Lee Hess, Richard H. Perry (USA)
The Eyeslicer Halloween Special!
Dan Schoenbrun and Vanessa McDonnell / 2018 / USA / 93min
A comedy-horror anthology presented by internet rock stars The Eyeslicer. Taking viewers on a chaotic journey through the liminal space of the Halloween season, THE EYESLICER HALLOWEEN SPECIAL feels like an acid trip down the Halloween aisle at Party City.
Shorts Accompanying a feature:
Death Metal Grandma, Dir. by Leah Galant (US); Ad Infinitum, Dir. Murat Çetinkaya (Turley); Payment, Dir. Ben Larned (USA); Special Day Teal Greyhaven (USA); Saturn Through The Telescope
Didac Gimeno (Spain); Mannequins, Dir. David Malcolm (UK); Every Ghost Has An Orchestra, Dir. Shayna Connely (USA); TiCK, Dir. Ashlea Wessel (Canada); Riley Was Here, Dir. Jon Rhoads (USA); Smoke Grenade, Dir. Joe LaRocca (USA); Fontaineblues, Dir. Akim Gagnon (Canada)
Angel Manuel Soto, Charlotte Stoudt, Laura Wexler / Puerto Rico, USA | 2018 | 13min
Based on true events, this experience tells the story of Barney and Betty Hill, an interracial couple who in 1961 broke national news as the first reported extraterrestrial abduction in history. Trying to cope with the residual scars of their experience, they unexpectedly decide to seek out answers from an old tape recorder while hosting a dinner party.
Meeting A Monster
Gabriela Arp | USA | 2018 | 9min
With a past steeped in hatred and prejudice, a former white supremacist journeys back in time and invites us to experience both the stereotypes and bigotry that lured her into the white power movement as well as the encounters that led her back out. Before she can help others change their ways, she must come to terms with a true monster: herself.
We’re Still Here
Jesse Ayala | USA | 2018 | 3 Minutes
Struggling to preserve his cultural identity, an artist and historian from Boise, Idaho takes viewers on a journey to learn about what it means to be “Two Spirit”; a cultural term describing the fluidity of gender identity and sexuality with respect to traditional tribal roles across First Nations.
Alexandre Aja | USA | 2018 | 12 minutes
From master of horror Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha, Horns) comes an original anthology series that brings classic campfire stories to life in stunning virtual reality. Produced by Oculus and Future Lighthouse, Campfire Creepers invites viewers to join the fire circle at a summer camp called Camp Coyote as a group of kids take turns telling spooky tales. Inspired by cult classics like Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt, every episode of Campfire Creepers is a wild ride that will have you laughing and screaming in equal measure.
Declan Dowling | 2018 | Ireland | 6min
This stereoscopic virtual reality film set in an isolated 9th century Irish village follows the perilous journey of young Celt Ruairi. Vikings have begun invading Ireland, and it’s only a matter of time before they reach his village. Take on role of the Faoladh, a wolf-like guardian spirit and protector of the children from the woods of ancient Ireland. It’s up to you to guide Ruairi to safety as he evades capture from a bullish young Viking named Snorre.
Becky Lane | 2018 | USA – Sneak Peek – Work in Progress
It’s your own private show! A 3D, 360° recreation of historical burlesque styles from 1900—1970. Go on an entertaining and seductive journey through the evolution of burlesque, exploring its history and its impact on women’s sexual empowerment. Showcasing the artistry of burlesque dance troupe Whiskey Tango Sideshow, VIRTUAL BURLY is a combination of dance performances and interviews brought together to explore themes in women’s experience in this art form.
Retrospective: The Wilding!
The uncanny terror that only children can elicit. The uncanny terror of what goes missing—or reveals itself—in the dark spaces between generations. The uncanny terror that intergenerational misunderstandings unleash, again and again.
The discord between old and young is a tension that is both as old as time and frighteningly contemporary and marks the theme of this year’s retrospective exploration.
The Bad Seed
Mervyn LeRoy | 1956 | USA | 129min
Christine Penmark (Nancy Kelly) and her daughter Rhoda (Patty McCormack) feign perfection to their community. When the the death of a schoolboy who won a penmanship competition brings suspicion to Rhoda’s hand, Christine assumes the worst about her little girl. As tension builds between characters, the calming atmosphere of suburbia is no match for this unsettling family dynamic.
Over-the-top performances and Oscar-nominated black-and-white cinematography keep the story reminiscent of its time. Based on a book by the same name, THE BAD SEED begs the question, what is worse: a remorseless homicidal preteen, or a mother who will do anything to hide her family shame?
ADS ARE SCARY
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Who Can Kill a Child? (¿Quién Puede Matar a un Niño?)
Narciso Ibáñez Serrador | 1976 | Spain | 112min
In reality, war and famine wreck their devastating effects on the innocent in refugee camps and struggling countries. On a remote island, eerie children take matters into their own hands. When an English couple, Tom and Evelyn (Lewis Fiander and Prunella Ransome), make their way to the island on holiday, they are forced to ask themselves the titular question: Who can kill a child?
Featuring a hypnotic score by Waldo de los Ríos, WHO CAN KILL A CHILD is an exploration of innate goodness and the lack thereof, and a violent confrontation between nature and nurture.
Ed Hunt | 1981 | USA | 85min
Three children are born during an eclipse. Because celestial patterns cause Saturn—which controls emotion—to be blocked, the children have no feelings. Void of all morality, the seemingly innocent youths create chaos in the town around them.
In a film that epitomizes the grainy cult horror scene of the 1980s, BLOODY BIRTHDAY entertains, building its body count in a vicious cycle of birth, life, sex, cake, and murder—setting the standard for sociopathic spree-killing movie tykes for decades to come.
And, there’s more! Check out all of the titles announce in Ithaca Fantastik 2018’s First Wave! Ithaca Fantastik will run from October 26th to November 4th. . For more information, visit the festival’s website.