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FF2012: Now It's Your Turn For Fantastic Fest Features

'Combat Girls,' 'Vanishing Waves' acquired, more get release dates

By Richard Whittaker, 5:47PM, Sun. Sep. 30, 2012


Don't roll your eyes, you'll get your chance to see Fantastic Fest award winner 'Here Comes the Devil'

If you think film festivals are the place that indie flicks go to die, think again: We're barely over our Fantastic Fest hangovers and our inbox is filled with FF2012 films that have been picked up for distribution.

– On the second day of the festival, Tribeca Films announced it had picked up the rights to Spanish thriller No Rest for the Wicked and will be hurtling it into screens for a December multi-platform release.

– On the same day, Magnet Releasing, the genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, announced they will handle the US release of Here Comes The Devil. Adrían García Bogliano's low-budget creepster swept the horror awards category at FF, and Magnet have a strong record when it comes to marketing this kind of mood-based shocker.

Artsploitation went on a spending spree with two more big winners: They acquired Lithuanian psycho-sex odyssey Vanishing Waves (which took best film, director, actress and screenplay in the Fantastic Features category) and German Neo-Nazi drama Combat Girls, which took the AMD Next Wave best actress award for Alina Levshin's performance.

Dead Sushi keeps Noboru Iguchi at the top of the weirdo Japanese low-budget oddities pile, and has been picked up for US release by Action Slate Releasing and Millennium Entertainment.

– No surprise that Drafthouse Films and Fantastic Fest continue their strong relationship (after all, Tim League is kind of boss of both.) Five Drafthouse acquisitions – Filipino crime saga Graceland, Australian masterpiece Wake in Fright, Eighties martial arts/rock oddity Miami Connection, the goretastic The ABC's of Death, and Wrong, the latest from Quentin Dupieux – screened at the festival, and will all be turning up soon. However, don't rule out a few extra announcements in the near future.

– Halloween home haunt The American Scream is a legitimate crowd pleaser of a documentary (and we're not just saying it because Alamo institution Zack Carlson is a producer: It's genuinely a heart-warming exploration of how three households try to do something awesome for their neighborhood.) The doc screens on Oct. 28 on the Chiller Network, but talking to the film's publicity folks at Fons PR, they're planning on some pop-up one-off theatrical shows nearer Halloween.

– Let's deal with the big studio releases. Dredd 3D and Looper are both on release now, and we heartily recommend both. (Marc Savlov called Dredd "relentlessly, brutally, and crowd-pleasingly violent", while Kim Jones said that Looper "makes a full-meal entertainment out of piecemealing genres." Go see both, and read our interviews with Dredd writer Alex Garland and star Karl Urban here, and our long chat with Looper writer/director Rian Johnson here.

– On the more family-friendly front, after a five-screen world premiere complete with Winona Ryder and many, many dogs, Tim Burton's Frankenweenie opens Oct. 5.

– Paramount snuck a work print of Paranormal Activity 4 into the schedules: Now they have until Oct. 19 to finish the job.

– At the other end of the festival to Frankenweenie, the long-shelved remake of Red Dawn provided the closing night premiere. After a Cabin in the Woods-style shuffling of rights (oh, Chris Hemsworth, who did you piss off before you were Thor?) expect shrieks of "Wolverines!" on Nov. 21.

– And now a blast from the past. Wondering whatever happened to You're Next? The film that rewrites all the rules about home invasion flicks (and the movie that should put AJ Bowen on the map as one of the best actors of his generation) got picked up by Lionsgate at Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, and it took all the negotiating power of the FF crew to squeeze one screening out of the distribution house. Since then? Crickets. Now, finally, we have a release date: August 23, 2013. Now, yeah, it sucks we have to wait so long, but as Bowen himself has said, better to wait than to get dumped in some dog slot. And that Aug. 23 weekend has been very kind to horror for the past few years. Returning college students, eager for a little gore and a lot of thrills, put The Possession in the number one slot this year (in spite of almost universal negative reviews.) Before that, The Last Exorcism and Machete got big boosts, so just cool your jets. And, yes, it is that damn good.

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