Reaching the milestone of fifteen years, Fantastic Fest continues to champion groundbreaking international genre films, bringing a diverse array of global filmmakers to Austin in a highly-controlled explosion of curated cinematic mayhem.

Opening the festival will be the US Premiere of the brilliant Taika Waititi's hilarious and tender anti-hate satire JoJo Rabbit, in which a lonely young boy growing up in World War II Germany finds his world-view turned upside down when he discovers his single mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler, Jojo must confront his blind nationalism. With Taika himself playing the phantom Fuhrer and a terrific cast, including Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen, with Sam Rockwell and Scarlett Johansson.

Also coming in is the new World Premiere from returning alum Jim Mickle. In the Shadow of the Moon is a mind-bending sci-fi film starring Boyd Holbrook as a Philadelphia police officer who begins tracking a serial killer who mysteriously resurfaces every nine years, defying all scientific explanation. Joining Mickle will be Vincenzo Natali, who returns to the big screen with an adaptation of Stephen King & Joe Hill's bone-chilling novella In the Tall Grass, starring the ever-amazing Patrick Wilson as one of the unfortunates discovering what horrors hide in the tall grass, as well as Brad Anderson's latest Fractured, starring Sam Worthington as a desperate father trying to find his family at any cost after they mysteriously disappear in a hospital.

"Our fifteenth year is a one-of-a-kind of celebration of the cinema we champion: brilliant and out-there," the festival's Creative Director Evrim Ersoy said. "It's a 15-year-long love letter to the wide spectrum of daring, crazy films, filmmakers, and audience members whom we host in Austin each September. It's an ode to the independent spirit of cinema that allows us to showcase the diversity of the world at large and helps us to understand it better!"

Flying into Austin to celebrate the US Premiere of his brilliant, hypnotic, and violently hilarious new film First Love will be none other than Japan's unmatched movie maestro Takashi Miike, giving the audience the opportunity to join the director in person to discover the film that had Cannes audiences screaming in their seats with pure joy.

RELATED: Dolemite Is My Name Review: Eddie Murphy Is Back, Baby [Fantastic Fest 2019]

Fantastic Fest will continue to bring the best of Cannes to Austin with the US Premiere of alumni Quentin Dupieux's newest droll and gory wonder Deerskin, starring the ever-amazing Jean Dujardin; the US Premiere of the Romanian noir masterpiece (with a funny streak) The Whistlers from director Corneliu Porumboiu; as well as one of the best discoveries of the year: the magical and highly charged S&M romantic wonder Dogs Don't Wear Pants.

Traveling across the globe to seek out the best of the best, Fantastic Fest will host the most unusual, challenging, interesting, and wonderful films of the year, including the World Premiere of Peter Van Goethem's Night Has Come from Belgium which tells of a dystopian future using only archival footage. From Germany comes the North American premiere of Fatih Akin's searing and brutal examination of a psychopath in '70s Hamburg in The Golden Glove. And Argentina delivers the North American Premiere of powerhouse high concept thriller 4X4, pitting a petty thief against an inescapable SUV.

A focus on global female filmmakers provides a quartet of mind-bending features. From Greece, Rinio Dragasaki brings the World Premiere of the shockingly whimsical and brilliantly odd Cosmis Candy. Austria's Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska tell the story of a very different zombie invasion in the North American Premiere of Der Kinder Der Toten. Italian filmmaker Sara Summa explores the final day of a family in devastating detail in The Last To See Them. And finally, from the USA, Jennifer Reeder brings her singular vision of a high school torn apart by a missing cheerleader in the thrilling Knives And Skin.

Documentaries make a splash at Fantastic Fest with the World Premiere of Wrinkles The Clown, where your greatest real-life nightmares come true... in big, floppy shoes. The World Premiere of Michael Paszt's Nail in the Coffin: El Vampire Canadiense takes an in-depth look at the man behind the El Vampiro Lucha Libre grease paint, plus Alexandre Philippe's masterful autopsy of the classic movie Alien in Memory: The Origins of Alien, and the often-hilarious examination of the history of Showgirls in You Don't Nomi.

Twisted genre comes together in a trifecta of Fantastic Fest films to make you scream. The North America/World premiere of The Cleansing Hour sees a fake exorcist confronted by some very real demons in a highly charged adaptation from the short of the same name; an Argentinian family literally goes to war over their inheritance in the North America Premiere of the black-as-night comedy Rock, Paper, Scissors; and a man finds himself trapped in the deep end while facing a giant alligator in the perfect midnight movie The Pool.

Fantastic Fest alumni are represented in a blitz of titles this year. Ant Timpson returns with his directorial debut Come To Daddy, starring Fest friend Elijah Wood as a man with some severe father issues. Daniel Scheinert explores the meltdown of two men over the death of their friend in the hilarious and strangely moving Death of Dick Long. And Jeremy Gardner along with co-director Christian Stella ask just what is behind the door in the uneasy and masterful blend of genres Something Else.

Finally, AGFA celebrates fifteen years of Fantastic Fest with a beautifully expanded program! Each day of the festival will be treated to a NEW AGFA screening, including the World Premiere of restorations of such outrageous classics as Bloody Birthday. The McPherson Tape, Reflections of Evil, as well as the 4K Restoration of the "gore cut" of the once-seen-never-forgotten Tammy and the T-Rex and a new transfer of Tina Krause's brilliant and unseen horror nightmare Limbo.

Fantastic Fest 2019 - Wave One Movies

  • 4X4
  • Argentina, Spain, 2019
  • North American Premiere, 93 min
  • Director - Mariano Cohn
  • A 4x4 car will be the battleground between a brash thief trapped inside and the mysterious man who will do anything to keep him imprisoned.

  • BLOODY BIRTHDAY: Presented by AGFA + Arrow Films
  • USA, 1981
  • World Premiere of Restoration, 85 min
  • Director - Ed Hunt
  • The classic Killer Kids slasher, newly restored by Arrow Films and presented by AGFA.

  • THE CLEANSING HOUR
  • USA, 2019
  • World Premiere, 95 min
  • Director - Damien LeVeck
  • Reverend Max and his best friend Drew have a hit web show where they make a pretty good living faking exorcisms for hundreds of thousands of fans until the evening a real demon takes over and terrorizes their crew.

  • COME TO DADDY
  • New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, 2019
  • Texas Premiere, 94 min
  • Director - Ant Timpson
  • When 30-year-old Norval receives a letter from his estranged dad begging him to visit, he is set on a weird path of discovery, unusual encounters... and a lot of violence.

  • COSMIC CANDY
  • Greece, 2019
  • World Premiere, 95 min
  • Director - Rinio Dragasaki
  • Anna, an eccentric supermarket cashier with an obsessive taste for a trippy treat called Cosmic Candy, undergoes a quirky transformation when forced to care for a ten-year-old neighbor girl.

  • THE DEATH OF DICK LONG
  • USA, 2019
  • Austin Premiere, 107 min
  • Director - Daniel Scheinert
  • Dick is dead but no one knows how, and Zeke and Earl are desperate enough to go to any lengths to stop anyone from finding out the reason... but a small town in Alabama is not the kind of place where secrets can stay buried for long. Soon all hell breaks loose, engulfing the two men in a reckoning they had never even considered.

  • DEERSKIN
  • France, 2019
  • North American Premiere, 77 min
  • Director - Quentin Dupieux
  • When Georges buys himself a deerskin jacket, he will find his life on a collision course with madness, crime, and the desire to be the only man wearing an overgarment.

  • DIE KINDER DER TOTEN
  • Austria, 2019
  • North American Premiere, 90 min
  • Directors - Kelly Copper & Pavol Liška
  • In this experimental adaptation of an epic Elfriede Jelinek novel, a group of Austrian tourists is killed in a traffic accident before reanimating as zombies and terrorizing a local pub.

  • DOGS DON'T WEAR PANTS
  • Finland, Latvia, 2019
  • US Premiere, 105 min
  • Director - Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää
  • A heartbroken heart surgeon is introduced to the dark and extreme when his daughter gets her tongue pierced, sending him down a path of pain, dreams, life, love, death, and awakenings.

  • FIRST LOVE
  • Japan, 2019
  • US Premiere, 108 min
  • Director - Takashi Miike
  • When aspiring boxer Leo discovers that he may not have long to live, he goes all out to help drug-addicted call girl Monica, facing down gangsters, assassins, corrupt cops, and much more over the course of one long night.

  • FRACTURED
  • USA, 2019
  • World Premiere, 100 min
  • Director - Brad Anderson
  • An unfortunate accident at a truck stop means Ray has to rush his daughter to the nearest hospital for a broken arm, but when his family disappears, he soon finds himself in a frantic fight to discover what happened.

  • THE GOLDEN GLOVE
  • Germany, 2019
  • North American Premiere, 110 min
  • Director - Fatih Akin
  • Based on true events that transpired in the grimy slums of 1970s Hamburg, loner-turned-murderer Fritz Honka stalks his local drinking spot, The Golden Glove, in search of his next victim.

  • HAPPY FACE
  • Canada, 2018
  • Texas Premiere, 97 min
  • Director - Alexandre Franchi
  • In Attendance - Director Alexandre Franchi and Actor E. R. Ruiz
  • An attractive teenager infiltrates a support group for those with facial differences in hopes of learning how to connect with his cancer-stricken mother in Alexandre Franchi's (THE WILD HUNT) deeply personal, often hilarious, and powerfully inclusive sophomore feature.

  • IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON
  • USA, Canada, 2019
  • World Premiere, 115 min
  • Director - Jim Mickle
  • In 1988, a Philadelphia police officer doggedly hunts a serial killer whose crimes seemingly follow no pattern, but he hasn't considered how far the repercussions of his hunt may go.

  • IN THE TALL GRASS
  • Canada, 2019
  • World Premiere, 90 min
  • Director - Vincenzo Natali
  • Adapted from the eponymous novella by Stephen King and Joe Hill, IN THE TALL GRASS follows siblings Cal and Becky who find themselves trapped within a vast field of tall grass when they venture in to answer the cries of a young boy.

  • JOJO RABBIT
  • USA, 2019
  • US Premiere, 108 min
  • Director - Taika Waititi
  • In Attendance - Director Taika Waititi
  • Writer director Taika Waititi (THOR: RAGNAROK, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE), brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, JOJO RABBIT, a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis as JoJo) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.

  • KNIVES AND SKIN
  • USA, 2019
  • Texas Premiere, 109 min
  • Director - Jennifer Reeder
  • The disappearance of popular teenager Carolyn Harper has a profound ripple effect across her small midwest town in Jennifer Reeder's hypnotic musical mystery.

  • KOKO-DI KOKO-DA
  • Sweden, Denmark, 2019
  • Texas Premiere, 86 min
  • Director - Johannes Nyholm
  • When a disconnected couple take a camping trip in an attempt to mend their marriage after tragedy, they find themselves tormented by a peculiar band of misfits.

  • THE LAST TO SEE THEM
  • Germany, 2019
  • Texas Premiere, 79 min
  • Director - Sara Summa
  • One summer evening in rural Italy, the Durati family is murdered during a home robbery. THE LAST TO SEE THEM chronicles the previous - and final - day of their lives.

  • LIMBO: Presented by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!
  • USA, 1999
  • Texas Premiere of Restoration, 55 min
  • Director - Tina Krause
  • Tina Krause's unseen and unreal shot-on-video horror movie, newly preserved by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!

  • THE MCPHERSON TAPE: Presented by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!
  • USA, 1989
  • World Premiere of Restoration, 63 min
  • Director - Dean Alito
  • The world's first found footage horror movie, newly preserved by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!

  • MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN
  • USA, 2019
  • Texas Premiere, 93 min
  • Director - Alexandre O. Philippe
  • Following up his deconstruction of PSYCHO's shower scene in 78/52, documentarian Alexandre O. Philippe is back with his analysis of ALIEN, its origins, and the impact of Ridley Scott's classic sci-fi shocker.

  • NAIL IN THE COFFIN: EL VAMPIRO CANADIENSE
  • Canada, 2019
  • World Premiere, 88 min
  • Director - Michael Paszt
  • In Attendance - Director Michael Paszt
  • An intimate and heartfelt look at professional wrestler Vampiro's past, and his new life navigating the management of a lucha libre federation in Mexico, while raising his teenage daughter in Canada.

  • NIGHT HAS COME
  • Belgium, 2019
  • World Premiere, 56 min
  • Director - Peter Van Goethem
  • In Attendance - Director Peter Van Goethem
  • In a dystopian society, the population is threatened by a virus eating its way through the brain, erasing memories. After developing a treatment to store and classify memories, the State requires citizens to comply.

  • THE PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION: Presented by AGFA + Severin Films
  • Canada, 1985
  • World Premiere 2K Restoration, 93 min
  • Director - Michael Rubbo
  • The Canadian children's oddity takes youthful fantasy to strange new places in a brand new 2K restoration.

  • THE POOL
  • Thailand, 2018
  • Texas Premiere, 90 min
  • Director - Ping Lumprapleng
  • When a dog trainer and his pet finish their commercial gig, it's time to head home and enjoy a lazy afternoon floating in the pool... until he wakes up to the pool being drained and no way out.

  • REFLECTIONS OF EVIL: Presented by AGFA
  • USA, 2002
  • World Premiere of Restoration, 137 min
  • Director - Damon Packard
  • The new ground zero for gonzo horror surrealism in the 21st century, newly preserved by AGFA.

  • ROCK, PAPER, AND SCISSORS
  • Argentina, 2019
  • North American Premiere, 83 min
  • Directors - Macarena García Lenzi & Martín Blousson
  • When Magdalena returns to Argentina to confront her half-siblings about her share of the inheritance, the stage is set for a family reunion both bloody and brilliant.

  • SHE MOB: Presented by AGFA + Something Weird
  • USA, 1968
  • World Premiere 2K Restoration, 82 min
  • Director - Harry Wuest
  • A gang of lesbian prison escapees kidnaps a gigolo in a 2K preservation of this sexploitation classic.

  • SOMETHING ELSE
  • USA, 2019
  • Texas Premiere, 83 min
  • Directors - Jeremy Gardner & Christian Stella
  • In Attendance - Directors Jeremy Gardner & Christian Stella
  • When Hank's longtime girlfriend Abby leaves him, he spirals into a cycle of drinking and depression. But it's the monster that shows up every night that's really driving him crazy.

  • SON OF THE WHITE MARE
  • Hungary, 1981
  • US Premiere 4K Restoration, 81 min
  • Director - Marcell Jankovics
  • A psychedelic animated cult classic is back on the big screen in this brand-new restoration. Three brothers join forces to restore order in their kingdom, encountering bizarre and mind-bending challenges along the way.

  • SWALLOW
  • USA, 2019
  • Texas Premiere, 94 min
  • Directors - Carlo Mirabella-Davis
  • Beautiful newlywed Hunter has a perfect home, perfect life, and perfect husband. When the pressure to maintain that perfection builds after the announcement of her pregnancy, she develops an unusual craving: swallowing random household objects.

  • TAMMY AND THE T-REX: Presented by AGFA + Vinegar Syndrome
  • USA, 1994
  • World Premiere of Restoration, 91 min
  • Directors - Stewart Raffill
  • Fully restored and ready to tear your head off. Literally.

  • THE WAVE
  • United States, 2019
  • World Premiere, 87 min
  • Director - Gille Klabin
  • Frank (Justin Long), a bored corporate lawyer, decides to shake it up with a wild night out. In the process, he takes a mysterious drug that launches him into a mind-bending time travel adventure.

  • THE WHISTLERS
  • Romania, 2019
  • US Premiere, 97 min
  • Director - Corneliu Porumboiu
  • Corneliu Porumboiu mixes Romanian New Wave with Hollywood noir beats as he follows a corrupt detective who helps a wealthy criminal escape from jail by learning the ancient, secret language of silbo whistling.

  • WHY DON'T YOU JUST DIE!
  • Russia, 2019
  • Texas Premiere, 100 min
  • Director - Kirill Sokolov
  • In Attendance - Director Kirill Sokolov
  • After agreeing to kill his girlfriend's father, Matvei gets in way over his head when he arrives at her parents' apartment to learn her dad's a cop.

  • WRINKLES THE CLOWN
  • USA, 2019
  • World Premiere, 78 min
  • Director - Michael Beach Nichols
  • In Attendance - Director Michael Beach Nichols
  • Pennywise isn't real. But Wrinkles is. This documentary explores the story of the infamous freaky clown from Naples, Florida who makes a living being hired by parents to terrorize their naughty children.

  • YOU DON'T NOMI
  • USA, 2019
  • Texas Premiere, 94 min
  • Director - Jeffrey McHale
  • In Attendance - Director Jeffrey McHale
  • Using cleverly edited clips of Paul Verhoeven's genre-spanning filmography, Jeffrey McHale's video essay explores the decidedly un-titillating and delightfully inexplicable Showgirls and its continued, ever-expanding legacy.

Brian B. at Movieweb
Brian B.