The Best Movies to Debut at Fantastic Fest, From Zombieland to Split

Fantastic Fest is one of the best opportunities for fans of genre cinema to watch science fiction, horror, fantasy and comedy films. If something doesn’t feel “ordinary” and can’t be labeled as one thing, it could find a home at this Austin Film Festival. The festival was founded in 2005 Team League from the Alamo Drafthouse and has since become a staple of the film community.


This year’s festival promises an exciting lineup of long-awaited projects. Among the most interesting films presented at the festival are Menu, Bones and all, The decision to leave Triangle of sadness Banshee Inisfree and Lynch/Oz. Of course, the festival should also be able to draw attention to some undiscovered gems that will gain a wider audience as a result of their debut. This year the festival runs from 22 to 29 September.

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Although Fantastic Fest tends to showcase projects that have debuted at other festivals, it also shows many great films for the first time. Here are some of the greatest films ever to have their world premiere at Fantastic Fest.


There will be blood (2007)

Paul Thomas Andersonthe modern masterpiece is often cited as one of the greatest films of the 21st century. Daniel Day-LewisA performance for the ages, but the film was actually shown for the first time at Fantastic Fest. After a big debut There will be blood became a top contender for the 2008 Oscars. Though it would eventually lose out to Best Picture Old people don’t belong hereDay-Lewis returned home with his second Best Actor trophy.

RELATED: ‘The Menu’, ‘Decision To Leave’ And More To Premiere At This Year’s Fantastic Fest

Tales of the South – Director’s Cut (2007)

Southland Tales one of the most disastrous premieres in the history of the Cannes Film Festival took place. director Richard Kelly had to rush the film to perform at the 2006 festival, where it suffered terrible reviews and booing from the audience. Southland TalesThe theatrical release ran for a whole year. It wasn’t until Fantastic Fest 2007 that Kelly was able to present a director’s cut of his wild, hallucinatory dystopian satire.

Zombieland (2009)

Zombieland one of the best horror comedies of the century; it strikes the right balance between truly unsettling and downright hilarious. Fantastic Fest attendees were thrilled when the film debuted at the festival in 2009. Zombieland is in many ways a love letter to the history of zombie cinema, a genre that Fantastic Fest often promotes. The audience also saw amazing Bill Murray cameo before the internet ruined it.

Universal Soldier: Rebirth (2009) and Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012)

Who would have thought that Universal Soldier turn into one of the most ambitious and exciting franchises of the 21st century? Although Roland Emmerich1992 Original – Tasteless Summer Blockbuster, Director John Hyams took the sequels in a much darker and more experimental direction. Hyams used this premise to satirize jingoism, toxic masculinity, and radical fundamentalism. Dolph Lundgren attended the premiere of the film in 2009 Universal Soldier: Regenerationas well as Scott Adkins appeared on 2012 debut Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.

Red (2010)

Red is a self-conscious action franchise about elderly killers, The Expendables should have. Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, as well as John Malkovich star as the land of former black ops agents who reunite to defeat a common enemy. Red works like an action movie that’s enjoyable for the audience, but the cast delivers more than a few great one-liners. Unfortunately, Red 2 decided to skip Fantastic Fest. In hindsight, it would have been better if Austin viewers hadn’t had to watch a disappointing sequel.

Frankenweenie (2012)

Original 1984 frankenweenie short film where Tim Burton got its start, and nearly three decades later, it’s back to the premise. Burton’s 2012 animated film is both a heartfelt story about a boy and his dog and a truly intelligent take on Frankenstein origin story. The Fantastic Fest audience attending the world premiere was lucky; Burton appeared in person to discuss how his early featurette inspired this article.

Bone Tomahawk (2015)

On its surface Bone Tomahawk it looked like another on-demand western with a few movie stars involved. However, this is the type of obscure project that Fantastic Fest celebrates, and anyone who attended the world premiere S. Craig Zahlera ridiculous horror western will never forget this. Bone Tomahawk has been widely celebrated as soon as it was available digitally, but there’s nothing better than seeing terrible final moments with a live audience.

Split (2016)

split definitely a movie that audiences should have seen right away. Bye M. Night Shyamalan famous for his plot twists, shocking connection with Invulnerable Universe was one of the boldest decisions of his career. It’s a testament to the respect that Fantastic Fest audiences have for their fellow film community that the film’s twist wasn’t spoiled for most viewers who had to wait to see it during its wide release a few months later.

1922 (2017)

2017 was the year Stephen King. Between The Dark Tower, It: Chapter Oneas well as Gerald’s game, King’s adaptations were more popular than ever. Although 1922 missed by many viewers, this is truly a creepy King story brought to life Thomas Jane in the best performance of his career. 1922 essentially a version of King Edgar Allen Poe“Heart-accuser”; Fantastic Fest audiences had the rare pleasure of seeing it in theaters before it was released on Netflix.

Wheeler (2017)

One of the joys of festivals like Fantastic Fest is the opportunity to see movies that wouldn’t otherwise be shown in theaters. Manager was sent straight to Netflix and it’s a shame. A car chase thriller tells a gripping crime story from the point of view of an unnamed driver (Frank Grillo); the camera does not show anything outside the interior of the helmsman’s car. If you liked Lockebut wanted action Drivethen Manager the perfect B-movie for you.

Overlord (2018)

Fantastic Fest loves pulp. Lord looks like a crazy genre mashup that just doesn’t get done anymore because who doesn’t want to see Nazi zombies get wiped out? Although Lord Seems like an homage to classic B movies, it has a fresh take on racism in the military thanks to a great lead role Jovan Adepo. It’s also the type of gruesome spectacle that deserves to be watched with an audience of ardent fans of the genre.

Tammy & T-Rex – Restored Version (2019)

Fantastic Fest has gone to great lengths to restore strange moments in film history and restore many forgotten “classics”. Tammy and T-Rex is one of the strangest films ever made. The film is about a teenage girl, Tammy (Denise Richards) who is watching her boyfriend Michael (Paul Walker) is brutally murdered by a gang of hooligans. Michael’s brain is then placed inside the T-Rex. If you think this sounds confusing, just wait until you see the ridiculous direction the movie is taking in its final act. Spectators at Fantastic Fest who saw Tammy and T-Rex It’s safe to say they’ve never seen anything like it.

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