It’s Fantastic Fest time! If you’re like me, you know what that means – watching all of your friends post pictures and status updates about all of the cool stuff they’re doing and all of the neat new movies they’re watching! Without you! Those jerks! We hate them, don’t we? WE HATE THEM.
(We do not really hate them. They are cool.)
There’s a fair share of Daily Grindhouse folks covering the Austin-based genre film festival, and you’ll certainly be hearing plenty from them in the coming days, as they give you the heads-up on all of the new psychotronic offerings that’ll be hitting screens (be they cinematic or television) in the coming year. “That’s great,” you say, “I love Daily Grindhouse and all of its sexy writers, telling me what to be excited about for the future. But I live here, in the present! And I’m not going to Fantastic Fest, because of reasons! What about me? Don’t I deserve entertainment too? How can you get me all excited and then tell me that we won’t be able to watch this stuff for months, or years, or ever? You’re terrible people.”
Now hold on, dear reader. We haven’t left you out of the lurch. (At least, I haven’t. I can’t say anything about those jerks, what with their fancy Texas film festivals and their moon boots and their daily makeout sessions with Elijah Wood. But I digress.) With 2017’s Fantastic Fest happening, I bring you the opportunity to stay at home, order a pizza, and drink without the judgment of strangers, and still enjoy the Fantastic Fest experience – by watching last year’s Fantastic Fest features on streaming in a very special I WAKE UP STREAMING!.
I present to you a complete guide to the availability of 2016’s Fantastic Fest films on a variety of streaming platforms, including some only available for rent or sale. (Even with the handy subscription-based streaming platforms, I’d recommend actually renting a few of these as well, as it’s a great way to show your financial support to a smaller genre film. nd what’s the Fantastic Fest experience without a little spending?) Be sure to check out the links to Daily Grindhouse’s coverage of last year’s event as well!
So take a gander at some of the movies that you may have missed, and catch up on your Fantastic Fest experience all from the comfort of your own home. Sure, you may be a little behind on the times, but at least you don’t have to leave the house, and you can bring in your own beer.
Titles on Subscription-Based Streaming Services and Rental
24 X 36: A MOVIE ABOUT MOVIE POSTERS – Kevin Burke’s documentary about the resurgence of painted movie poster art (which I wrote about here) is available exclusively on Tribeca Shortlist.
A MONSTER CALLS – Liam Neeson is the voice of a giant tree monster! Don’t be deceived, however – it’s a drama about a young boy dealing with his mother’s chronic illness, more in the vein of PAPERHOUSE or THE REFLECTING SKIN. You can watch it on HBO NOW, or rent it.
AMERICAN HONEY – Director Andrea Arnold’s well-received sleeper of a character journey starring Sasha Lane is available to stream on Amazon Prime, or you can rent it from a variety of platforms.
ARRIVAL – Space movie, nominated for a bunch of Oscars and stuff. You can stream it via Epix, or rent it from Google Play. It’ll be on Hulu in October, so you may want to throw money at a smaller film and wait until you can watch this one on a service you already have.
THE BAD BATCH – After a brief theatrical run earlier this year, Ana Lily Amirpour’s bizarre cannibal dystopia flick, following up her excellent A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT, is now available on Netflix and to rent on several platforms. DG’s Sharon Gissy called it “visually stunning, bringing every wayward character in this demented western to life.”
BOYKA: UNDISPUTED – The fourth chapter in the series of nifty Scott Adkins-fronted action pics lacks Isaac Florentine as a director, but Patrick Smith remarked that it’s “still a solid entry into the series and definitely worth your time when it comes out.” It’s out now! You can see it! On Netflix, or via a rental.
BUSTER’S MAL HEART – Rami Malek plays it paranoid as a mountain man in Sarah Adina Smith’s psychological thriller, a follow-up to her THE MIDNIGHT SWIM. You can stream it on Netflix and Hoopla, or rent it. Check out Jason Coffman’s write-up on it here!
CALL OF HEROES – Benny Chan’s epic western/martial arts mix set in early 20th century China can be streamed on Hoopla or Netflix, or rented.
A DARK SONG – This Irish tale of a black magic ritual was called “quite unsettling and goes to some brutal places” by our own Matt Wedge here – check it out now on Netflix or rent it!
DEAREST SISTER – Jamie Righetti called this Laotion horror pic “an exciting and welcome addition to the genre and a director whose career is worth watching.” You can watch it on Shudder, or rent it on iTunes.
DOG EAT DOG – A Paul Schrader film with Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe, based on an Eddie Bunker novel? Sounds like the perfect thing to get a small-scale indie following twenty years ago, but you can now check it out on Netflix, or via a rental.
ELLE – Paul Verhoeven’s controversial tale of a woman, played by Isabelle Huppert, who takes a unique tactic after being assaulted is available to stream on Starz. (You’ll have to buy it otherwise, for some reason.)
THE EYES OF MY MOTHER – Nicolas Pesce’s debut effort wowed the DG staff that saw it, with Matt Wedge calling it “a horrific film that I will not soon be able to shake.” You can watch it on Netflix, or rent it.
THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS – Set in a dystopian world, a young girl with special powers is torn between multiple motives in Colm McCarthy’s well-received flick featuring Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine. You can watch it on Amazon Prime, or rent it. (It’s on sale for 99 cents on Amazon and iTunes!)
THE GREASY STRANGLER – What’s grosser than gross? Jim Hosking’s revolting gross-out comedy, produced by a number of Fantastic Fest alumni. Jason Coffman called it “roughly akin to being locked in a room with a very enthusiastic 14-year-old theater kid who was just shown an episode of TIM & ERIC AWESOME SHOW, GREAT JOB!, thought it was the funniest thing they had ever seen, and spends about 93 minutes repeatedly retelling to you everything that happened in the episode while the song “Daddy Would You Like Some Sausages?” from FREDDY GOT FINGERED plays on a constant loop.” Check it out on Amazon Prime, or rent it.
THE HANDMAIDEN – Chan-Wook Park’s twisty-turny tale of love, con games, and discipline set in 1930s Korea is a must-see. And then a must-see again to see what you missed. Watch it on Amazon Prime, or rent it. Matt Wedge reviewed it for DG here!
HEADSHOT – An Indonesian crime thriller about an amnesiac and a doctor, with the star of THE RAID! “Whenever people are beating the hell out of each other it’s a blast,” says Jason Coffman. Watch it on Netflix, or rent it!
THE INVISIBLE GUEST – I hate the term “Hitchcockian,” but it keeps coming up in describing this Spanish thriller about a man who wakes up to find his lover dead. Matt Wedge reviewed it here, and you can watch it for yourself on Netflix.
MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN – A Tim Burton film is a little mainstream among the offerings, but still, it’s bound to be pretty to watch! Watch it on HBO NOW, or rent it.
ORIGINAL COPY – The battle to preserve the last remaining theater showing 35mm prints in Mumbai is chronicled in this solid (if a little sad) documentary. Jason wrote about it here, and you can watch it on Amazon Prime.
PHANTASM: RAVAGER – There were plenty of diverse opinions on the fifth entry into the long-running horror series, but you can decide for yourself via Shudder or Hoopla, or renting it. Matt Wedge loves the series, and you can read his take on the film here.
PSYCHO RAMAN– A corrupt cop and a serial killer mix it up in this Bollywood flick, which you can watch on Netflix under the title RAMAN RAGHAV 2.0. Jason called it “a fantastic horror/thriller” when he covered it for Fantasia here!
RATS – Morgan Spurlock’s doc about, well, rats, based on Robert Sullivan’s book, is available to check out on Netflix, or by a rental service. “Fast and informative, but ultimately fairly lightweight,” says Jason.
THE RED TURTLE – A dialogue-free animated film produced in collaboration with Studio Ghibli, THE RED TURTLE impressed Sharon Gissy in her write-up of the film here. You can watch it on Starz, or purchase it – it’s another one that’s not available for rent.
S IS FOR STANLEY – Cinephiles will dig this documentary on Stanley Kubrick’s personal assistant Alex Infascelli, and they can do so by checking it out on Netflix.
SADAKO VS KAYAKO – Two Japanese horror franchises enter! One Japanese horror franchise leaves! Or maybe none! Or both! Find out when the RING meets the GRUDGE (JU-ON) on Shudder, or rent it on iTunes.
SALT AND FIRE – Werner Herzog’s ecological thriller starring Michael Shannon and Gael García Bernal is streaming on Netflix, or rentable.
THE STYLIST – It’s a short film rather than a feature, but Jill Gevargizian’s 15-minute chiller can be watched on Shudder.
SWEET, SWEET LONELY GIRL – Mike Vanderbilt called this gothic chiller “a very ‘70s, very lurid, very European romance that brings to mind the works of Jess Franco.” You can check it out on Shudder, or rent it from iTunes.
THEY CALL ME JEEG ROBOT — An Italian, darkly comic version of superheroics, Jason called this flick “a grimy, black-humored take on what has become a depressingly tired subgenre.” You can watch it on Netflix, or rent it.
THEY WILL ALL DIE IN SPACE — You can watch this retro-sci-fi short film under the title GALAXY OF HORRORS on Amazon Prime, or you can rent it.
TONI ERDMANN – A German film about a very odd father/daughter reunion did fairly well on the indie film circuit this past year, and now you can watch it on Starz or rent it on Google Play.
THE VOID – Jeremy Gillespie (of the Astron-6 collective) scored a hit with his John Carpenter-esque horror throwback about a hospital under siege by a strange entity. You can watch it on Netflix or rent this “straight up cosmic terror film,” as Patrick described it.
WE ARE THE FLESH – Exclusively streaming on Shudder, Emiliano Rocha Minter’s horror pic “straddles the line between narrative and explicit performance art, documenting the process of turning the warehouse into a labyrinth of womb-like chambers and presenting explicit sex acts that appear to be at least partially unsimulated” according to Jason. That may be a recommendation!
YOUNG OFFENDERS – A drug bust leads to a pair of Irish teenagers to want to claim all of the coke that washes up on the shore in this crazy comedy with echoes of TRAINSPOTTING that Matt Wedge reviewed here. You can check it out for yourself on Netflix.
Titles Available to Rent
AALAVANDHAN – A 2001 Bollywood action film starring and written by Kamal Hassan that “has secured its place in film history as one of the wildest action spectacles of all time” according to DG’s Jason Coffman. You can rent via Google Play.
AGE OF SHADOWS – Korean director Kim (I SAW THE DEVIL) Jee-Woon’s spy tale set in 1920s Korea is available to rent on Amazon. Jason Coffman reported that it’s “highly recommended for fans of period piece spy dramas or just great cinema in particular.”
BELIEF: THE POSSESSION OF JANET MOSES – Matt Wedge called this documentary on the tale of a woman who was killed during an exorcism in 2007 “a hard film to shake.” You can rent it on several platforms.
COLOSSAL – Nacho Vigalondo’s inventive, highly recommended tale that merges the giant monster film with a story of toxic masculinity is available to rent.
DON’T KILL IT – Dolph Lundgren vs. demons, from the director of BIG ASS SPIDER. Matt called it a “a funnier-than-average star vehicle,” and you can rent it from a variety of places.
THE LURE – Probably the best mermaid stripper musical horror comedy you’ll ever see, Agnieszka Smoczynska’s bizarre fable can be rented on several platforms. Jason Coffman called it “unlike anything else out there and well worth a look.”
NOVA SEED – An animated film created by a single director, this ambitious sci-fi pulp film is available to rent. Jason called it a “fun, fast animated sci-fi feature informed heavily by HEAVY METAL and the art of Jean Giraud (Moebius),” so it’s definitely worth a look.
SHIN GODZILLA – Godzilla’s arrival sure makes you need to cut through a lot of red tape in this Japanese kaiju flick that you can rent on a few platforms.
THE TRUTH BENEATH – The Korean thriller about a politician’s wife attempting to locate her missing daughter can be rented on Google Play or iTunes.
Titles Available Only for Sale
THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE – Want some proof that streaming isn’t the end-all-be-all of content? After a brief run on Netflix, TROLLHUNTER director André Øvredal’s highly-reviewed investigative tale starring Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox is now available only for sale at $13 a pop. What the heck, content providers? This seems like a missed opportunity.
- JIM WYNORSKI RETURNS WITH THE CREATURE FEATURE ‘GILA’ - May 1, 2014
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