Anyone who's been there will tell you – the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas, rules. In fact, over the course of my summer blog project of watching 100 flicks in theaters in 100 days, it rightfully won for Best Overall Theatrical Experience. For anyone lucky to be down in Austin starting this Thursday, Sept. 23rd, through next Friday, Sept. 30th, the Drafthouse is putting on their supremely cool, annual Fantastic Fest, devoted to the glory that is genre film.
Here's how you know Fantastic Fest isn't just your average run-of-the-mill, ho hum, stuffy movie festival. In preparation for Thursday night's gala opening of Ryan Reynolds' Buried (in which the actor's character finds himself sealed in a buried coffin with only a cell phone to help aid his potential rescue), Drafthouse organizers selected four volunteers to participate in a highly unusual promotion. All were blindfolded, driven 30 minutes outside town, placed in wooden boxes, and forced to watch the movie on lcd monitors fixed to the coffin lids (!) In exchange, they will all now get to meet their movie hero Mr. Reynolds at the premiere – with plenty of breathing room and personal space.
Another interesting twist to this year's fest…Alamo Drafthouse co-founder Tim League will be taking part in a debate with Avatar co-star Michelle Rodriguez to determine whether "Avatar should have won the Academy Award for Best Feature Film." League will be taking the negatory position while Ms. Rodriguez will put up the defense. The real twist comes after the spoken debate, when the two strap on gloves and go toe to toe in a literal boxing ring for a full round of fisticuffs...while I'm a fan of Tim…Michelle looks a little more fit…so I'd put my money on the Machete girl.
If the boxing, the Buried promotion or the fact that you can drink and eat from a full menu at Drafthouse fest screenings isn't enough to entice you down south, then you should know, too, that plenty of other great genre films will be making an appearance, including the upcoming vampire chiller Let Me In (the American remake of Let The Right One, this time directed by Cloverfield's Matt Reeves), the Helen Mirren-Bruce Willis-Morgan Freeman ensemble action/comedy Red and Edward Norton and Robert DeNiro in the prison drama Stone. Plus, there's other cool stuff, like a '30 Days of Night' Flashlight Dance Party, a FearNet Zombie Roadkill After-Party at the Drafthouse's cool converted bowling alley/party hall The Highball and a Norwegian Viking Boat Party, plus plenty of opportunities to bbq, pub crawl and watch more amazing films. For details and the full schedule, check out the Fantastic Fest site. We'll also be posting up blog updates, photos and interviews here on Freshly Popped.
Ready to watch a movie like this? Only in Austin...