They're Coming To Get You, Barbara...
Fantastic Fest Round Two
By Marc Savlov,
5:02PM, Wed. Aug. 12, 2009
Fantastic Fest has announced its second round of films, and boy, are zombies back in style. Not that they ever went out of style: just twenty minutes ago we were walking our fourpaws down Sixth Street and relishing the balmy aftergoo of our recent thundershowers when -- we kid you not -- a real, live (or not) zombie shambled past us.
Seriously. We were standing in front of The Jackalope, minding our own business and admiring the apocalyptic weather when a threadbare cardigan-sporting returner with a foot-long strand of saliva swinging from his chin and a freakishly bloody abrasion on his noggin shuffled past, heading east, presumably, back to his burrow at the Texas State Cemetery. Who says Sixth Street is dangerous? We were completely unarmed and Mr. Creepy Deadfolk didn't even give us a snarl. (Frankly, we're a tad disappointed by that. And by god, we'll never leave the house without our digital camera/iPhone again.)
But we digress. The real big news is that Fantastic Fest has, for the second time now (or third, if you count pre-Fantastic Fest Alamo appearances), lassoed zombie-flick godhead and only-reason-to-visit-Pittsburgh-ever director George A. Romero, who will be premiering his latest chompsocky nightmare, Survival of the Dead, along with, most likely, lots of scotch. (That would be a reference to his infamous "What's your favorite color?" answer from his Fantastic Fest Q&A session two years ago, in case you missed it.)
Also on this bit-list this year: Zombieland pits Jesse Eisenberg and, wow, Woody Harrelson against the armies of the dead; Uwe Boll -- yeah, this Uwe Boll -- hosts the world's most awesome video game tourney, like, ever; and the future belongs to the Daybreakers, who, whoops, aren't actually zombies per se, but are ridiculously badass vampires. Hey, whatever gets your blood pumping, right?
Fantastic Fest Hot Tip No. 1: House of the Devil. We've seen it and it rocks. Beloved former Alamo Drafthouse programmer Kier-La Janisse's hair has a supporting role, and if that's not enough to make you rush out into the flesheater-infested, filth-ridden intersection of Sixth and Sodom, drop to you knees, and thank the black gods of creation that you live in the same city as Fantastic Fest, then by golly, you might be better off as dead-bait. Argh.