Everything Went Black: My (Fantastic Fest) Rules!

Listen up, FF peeps, wisdom abounds

Elijah Wood and his Massive Motherfucking Boom Stick.
Elijah Wood and his Massive Motherfucking Boom Stick. (by Marc Savlov)

As Fantastic Fest 2012 is mere days away at this point, now is as good a time as any for you to learn, live, and love these unofficial rules that I and my fellow longtime attendees have amassed since the inaugural 2005 Fest. Do us all a favor and don't makes us send a sun-crazed Elijah Wood and his Massive Motherfucking Boom Stick after you.

Some of these are hard and fast (and should be enforced in a manner similar to the Alamo's severe "No Talking" policy) and a couple of them are just common sense. But after covering FF since before its very conception and having learned more than enough lessons the hard way, I know what I'm talking about here.

Rule No. 1: Bring deodorant and use it at least twice a day.

There are few things that can spoil a screening faster than being unlucky enough to be seated next to a fellow Festival-goer who smells like a dead mouse in a pop bottle on a hot July day. This happens all the time but it shouldn't, ever. Be considerate of the fact that your Drafthouse neighbors might not enjoy the scent of your godawful pheromones. Pack a Speed Stick Sport in your bag and use it. (This rule can be bent in the unlikely event of a Reeker screening.)

Rule No. 2: Pace yourself, alcohol-wise.

Fantastic Fest's parties are legendary, but so are the hangovers that follow. I once swam back into consciousness in the alley behind the Alamo South Lamar with the entire contents of the Necronomicon Ex Mortis carved into my gravel-and-puke-encrusted chest (bizarrely, it was not my puke). Don't let this happen to you. But if perchance it does, wear those scars with pride. Try and get Bruce Campbell to autograph your chest and then tattoo over his signature asap. You'll be glad you did!

Rule No. 3: Realize that you are probably being camera-phoned by somebody at all times.

Yeah, that's right, you're going to end up on somebody's YouTube channel/blog/Twitter feed, so either go balls out and let your chaos reign, or know for a fact that your mom, significant other, or offspring will someday, sooner rather than later, see grainy images of you singing "Don't Stop Believing" while smashed on Goldschlager and HighBall cocktails. (Which, you know, could be kinda-sorta cool.)

Rule No. 4: Keep your eye on your passport at all times.

Last year, director Noboru Iguchi lost his while imbibing at the Highball and nearly had to take up permanent, illegal residence behind the Alamo South Lamar's infamous "Malkovich Door" (see if you can find it while you're there) for the rest of his life. Nearly.

Rule No. 4: Have too much fun!

Admittedly, this is a tough rule to break. Still, there are going to be screenings that you had your heart set on that you will miss. There will be actors/directors/writers/badasses with shiny black Challenger R/T Classic V8 Hemi's that will be to tired and or tipsy to talk to you (and if they do, they'll almost immediately forget your name -- apologies in advance for that), and there will be once-in-a-lifetime, off-site events that you won't even know happened until the next day. That said, Fantastic Fest is your fest (except for the parts that are mine). It's the best Fest in the U.S. for freaks like us, so don't be shy. Also, don't be stupid. See you there.

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Everything Went Black, Fantastic Fest, Elijah Wood, Fantastic Fest 2012, ff2012

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