By MICHAEL GINGOLD
New Yorkers, there’s a new genre fest in town, and it’s showcasing a bunch of eagerly awaited horror, sci-fi and just plain outrageous movies at the end of this month. Read on for the complete details.
Presented at the IFC Center (323 6th Avenue), What the Fest!? runs Thursday, March 29-Sunday, April 1, featuring a number of premieres. It opens with the New York premiere of Coralie Fargeat’s ruthless thriller REVENGE (recently seen on RUE MORGUE’s cover), and closes with the New York premiere of Jenn Wexler’s psycho-horror saga THE RANGER. “It’s a thrill to celebrate the opening of the festival with a powerhouse film and filmmaker like Coralie Fargeat,” says the fest’s creative director, Maria Reinup. “Equally exciting is our closing with THE RANGER, the feature debut of producer-director Jenn Wexler. And with the diverse, fun, delightfully scary, slightly crazy and entirely awesome movies that round out the rest of our lineup, we are happy to say that What the Fest!? is here to stay. Now join us for a feast for your eyeballs!”
The full lineup is as follows:
Thursday, March 29 at 7 p.m.: REVENGE (pictured; NY Premiere)
Written and directed by Coralie Fargeat
Starring Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe and Guillaume Bouchède
Three wealthy, married men learn the hard way that you should never bring your mistress along on a guys’ getaway, especially when there’s hunting involved. A Neon release.
Friday, March 30 at 7 p.m.: VALLEY OF SHADOWS (U.S. Premiere)
Directed by Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen
Written by Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen and Clement Tuffreau
Starring Adam Ekeli, Kathrine Fagerland, Jørgen Langhelle, Jone Hope Larsen and Lennard Salamon
In this mesmerizing Scandinavian Gothic fable shot on 35mm, a small boy sets out into the deep, dark woods in search of a mysterious creature. Filmmaker Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen will appear in person for a post-screening Q&A.
Friday, March 30 at 9:30 p.m.: THE ENDLESS
Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
Written by Justin Benson
Starring Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Tate Ellington, Callie Hernandez and Lew Temple
Two brothers (played by co-directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead of SPRING and RESOLUTION) return to the cult they fled years ago, only to discover that the group’s beliefs may make much more sense than they once thought. A Well Go USA release. Benson and Moorhead will appear in person for a post-screening Q&A.
Saturday, March 31 at 1:15 p.m.: BLUE MY MIND (NY Premiere)
Written and directed by Lisa Brühlmann
Starring Luna Wedler, Zoë Pastelle Holthuizen and Regula Grauwiller
Synopsis: As if adapting to a new town and a new life weren’t enough, 15-year-old Mia faces an overwhelming transformation when her body starts to change radically.
Saturday, March 31 at 4 p.m.: BOILED ANGELS: THE TRIAL OF MIKE DIANA (World Premiere)
Directed by Frank Henenlotter
Featuring Mike Diana, George A. Romero, Neil Gaiman, Peter Bagge, Jay Lynch, Stephen Bissette, Peter Kuper and more
Jailed for comics?! The true story of Mike Diana, the only American artist ever convicted of obscenity, directed by cult filmmaker Frank Henenlotter (BASKET CASE, BRAIN DAMAGE, FRANKENHOOKER). Henenlotter and Diana will appear in person for a post-screening Q&A, along with producers Anthony Sneed and Mike Hunchback.
Saturday, March 31 at 7 p.m.: GHOST STORIES (NY Premiere)
Written and directed by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman
Starring Martin Freeman, Andy Nyman, Alex Lawther and Paul Whitehouse
Arch-skeptic professor Phillip Goodman embarks upon a terror-filled quest when he stumbles across three long-lost cases of unexplainable “hauntings.” Filmmakers to appear in person for post-screening Q&A.
Saturday, March 31 at 9:45 p.m.: SATAN’S SLAVES (NY Premiere)
Written and directed by Joko Anwar
Starring Bront Palarae, Tara Basro, Endy Arfian and Dimas Aditya
A hit at Rotterdam, acclaimed director Joko Anwar’s (MODUS ANOMALI, A COPY OF MY MIND) remake of a beloved 1982 Indonesian horror classic (reputedly itself inspired by PHANTASM) is a delightfully terrifying haunted house movie—and the country’s biggest box-office smash of 2017.
Sunday, April 1 at 12:30 p.m.: CURSE OF SNAKES VALLEY, a.k.a. “The Soviet Indiana Jones” (World Premiere Restoration)
Directed by Marek Piestrak
Written by Wojciech Nizynski, Marek Piestrak and Vladimir Valutskiy
Starring Krzysztof Kolberger, Roman Wilhelmi and Ewa Salacka
This unseen 1980s Eastern Bloc-buster presents the Soviet answer to Indiana Jones in a tale that combines snakes and jungle traps and the classic weirdness of Polish sci-fi! Never released in the U.S., CURSE OF SNAKES VALLEY screens in a beautiful new digital restoration by the Estonian Film Institute.
Sunday, April 1 at 3 p.m.: LOWLIFE (NY Premiere)
Directed by Ryan Prows
Written by Tim Cairo, Jake Gibson, Shaye Ogbonna, Ryan Prows and Maxwell Michael Towson
Starring Jon Oswald, Nicki Micheaux, Mark Burnham and Ricardo Adam Zarate
The sordid lives of an addict, an ex-con and a luchador collide when an organ harvesting caper goes very, very wrong. An IFC Midnight release. Director Ryan Prows and co-star Mark Burnham will appear in person for a post-screening Q&A.
Sunday, April 1 at 5:30 p.m.: THE TERROR (Episode Sneak Preview)
Starring Jared Harris, Ciarán Hinds and Tobias Menzies
Join star Jared Harris for a sneak preview of AMC’s new series based on Dan Simmons’ 2007 best seller, the true-life tale of a group of sailors confronting certain death at the frozen ends of the earth. Harris and executive producers Soo Hugh and David Kajganich will appear in person for a post-screening Q&A.
Sunday, April 1 at 9 p.m.: THE RANGER (NY Premiere)
Directed by Jenn Wexler
Written by Giaco Furino and Jenn Wexler
Starring Chloe Levine, Jeremy Holm and Larry Fessenden
Teen punks on the run from the cops hide out in a remote cabin, only to find out that the forest has its own law. Writer/director Jenn Wexler and producer/co-star Larry Fessenden will appear in person for a post-screening Q&A.
For tickets and other information, head over to the fest’s official website.