… or I could title this blog “My Adventures In Austin”, but really, nothing could prep me for the other dimension that is Fantastic Fest. This was my first film festival outside of Vancouver (having attended Cinemurete and the Queer Film Festival at home) and certainly the first one where I was actually IN one of the movies. I wasn’t totally sure what to expect from this, and I had thought between the touring experience in my past and my freshly-honed raver/outdoor festival sophistication, I’d be able to blend seamlessly in with the crowd and be quick on my feet.
Pride before the fall.
I got schooled by this festival, the people I went with, the people who put it on, the ones who share their films, and the people who attend it. But before I go too far into detail, which I’ve a habit of doing, let me tell you a little bit about this festival and it’s history. For those of you who are unfamiliar, this film festival is the largest genre film festival in the USA. What that means is you won’t accidentally wind up stranded in a theatre watching a drama or some high budget ‘indie’ that’s been directed by a former celebrity actor… these films are horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and “just plain fantastic” movies from around the world. But the festival isn’t confined to sitting in theatres and drinking. It’s embodies a series of events that happen thoughout the week to enhance the overall experience. This included the use of katanas to open champagne bottles at the amazing Tim League’s house (who keeps this monster going), the Fantastic Debates, karaoke, shooting guns, metal shows, photo booths and being in Austin, of course BBQ. There is as much to do in the day time as there is to do in the evening, movies notwithstanding. So I was quite unprepared for this plunge down the rabbit hole.
To understand what mental state I was in at the start, I had just come off a jag of working 24 straight days, so my brains were already somewhat scrambled… which led me to very nearly missing my early flight by sleeping though my alarm. so I started with my nerves somewhat frayed. However my cabbie is one who knows the ladies of Haus Of Boudior and not only broke multiple traffic laws in getting me there on time, also cranked the bhangra tunes for me as well. After a ‘random’ pat down test (c’mon guys, I was the only chick in stilettos – there was nothing random about it) I burst into the Starbucks and find not only the Twisted Twins and their lovely mother (my travelling companions) but Kevvy Mental and Anami Vice en route to LA. Bhangra, pat downs, and surprise friends: al better than coffee (but I won’t lie, the coffee DID help perk me up somewhat).
So we hit the ground running the first night: our first night screening American Mary at Fantastic Fest! It would screen an additional three times but that first time is always the most nerve-wracking I’d imagine. Somehow, with the power of sass, latex, rubber, some surgical tools (and smidgen of white wine) we greeted the film goers…
So some of the things we got up to (other than no good) were as follows…
Weapons expert on our team Jen uses her ninja skills to sabre off the champagne cork while Sylvia cheers her on. It should be noted these two bitches were the first up and set the tone, making all other film makers look a little less brazen by comparison. Lesson one: never arm Jen when bubbles are in question…
As body mods were pegged for discussion during out interviews, I figured I’d remind people that I walk the walk as a body mod myself with waist training. In the rapper’s delight room, of course. This one goes out to CP…
So the Fantastic Debates happened and for the first time in history, two female filmmakers debated with one another: remakes vs no remakes. The Soskas agreed to do it on the condition that they could be dressed as Katana and Mileena from Mortal Kombat. Little did the festival organizers know that they are both trained martial artists and Jen even came down whirling her say while Sylvia spun her fans. I died a little of happy that night as their round card girl… This totally trumped the hobbit vs hobbit fight last year, I feel.
Remember that ‘getting up to no good’ I mentioned earlier? Sylvia and I were trying to perfect our ‘innocent’ faces. Complete success. No one will ever suspect a thing.
Jen had a spa moment and could give a toss if anyone knew she was guilty or not.
Myself, as always couldn’t go more than 20 minutes without pulling some weird circus shit. That, and I wanted the blood rush to my head, and there was no brass pole handy. C’est la vie.
Sylvia and I strike a pose prior to seeing Sinister which scared me so badly I had to sleep in the twin’s room that night. Not even Jen and Sylvia’s EPIC Aerosmith karaoke performance could shake the creepy out of my bones.
Token fuzzy celebrity name-dropping photo of Eli Roth and Katherine Isabelle. I was introduced, for all of two seconds and then I got stupid shy, lost my playing cards I had meant to wow everyone with doing magic tricks, and snuck off to get drunk alone. Yup, I’m a rockstar.
And because I totally can’t help myself. Human centipede on the red carpet. Now we have officially set the bar worldwide for red carpet walks. Now to do it at the Oscars…
Meanwhile, back at Haus Of Boudior with my snake and parrot, my art deco roommate, my kombucha/coconut water-stoked fridge, and mouthful of kale, my west coast girl’s heart is glad to be back in my natural habitat. I thank you Austin for the good times, the great memories and of course the threat of my return next year. You’ve been warned.
Hugs and hisses,
Little Miss Risk