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Cheap Thrills is one of my favorite movies of 2013. It’s a genre fan’s paradise: one messed-up idea, explored to the limit of its potential, with some supremely squirm-inducing moments. It is also a damn good movie, period — a killer directorial debut from E.L. Katz, with good performances all around, and work from Pat Healy and David Koechner that you won’t forget. If you’ve ever sensed that Koechner has a weird mean streak running through his comedy, this is the movie for you, because he taps into that and turns it into a river that propels this movie along.

Healy and Ethan Embry play a couple of guys, both facing hard times, who reconnect at a bar. Then a couple at the bar, played by Koechner and Sara Paxton (who co-starred with Healy in The Innkeepers) offers them a potential economic windfall. All the guys have to do to win some big bucks is follow through on the dares proposed by the couple. And then things get weird.

Watch a red-band trailer below.  Read More »

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Alamo 100

We all love a good top ten list, but the Alamo Drafthouse has gone ten times better. They’ve taken the end of 2013 as an opportunity to create the “Alamo 100,” the 100 favorite films of all time according to the theater’s programming team. These films, which predictably run the gamut from undeniable classics to super-specific genre gems, will begin screening at Alamo locations nationwide in the new year. Each month will bring a new slate of films and January gives a great cross section of the list. In January, Drafthouses will screen Brazil, City Lights, The Goonies, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Raging Bull, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Sixteen Candles. And that’s just the start. See the full list below. Read More »

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How the hell did John Huston and Sam Peckinpah end up in a ’70s sci-fi mind-bender about an intergalactic warrior and an alien Christ analog and their battle with a demonic 8-year old girl? That question has an answer, of course, but in the long run, it’s more fun just to enjoy the fact that they did end up in the movie.

Even better, Drafthouse Films has revived the effort, called The Visitor, and is releasing it in shiny remastered form. A trailer has been released that shows the pure dripping melted grey matter that swirls through this phantasmagoric trip, and I very much encourage you to watch it below. Read More »

Alamo Drafthouse Takes Fantastic Fest 2013 On Tour

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The Alamo Drafthouse have announced they will be taking Austin’s Fantastic Fest on tour, showing movies from the festival at all Alamo Drafthouse markets over three weekends in November. Films include Big Bad Wolves, Borgman, Cheap Thrills, Confession of Murder, The Congress, Grand Piano, Journey to the West: Conquering The Demons, and Why Don’t You Play In Hell. Tickets are now available on the Alamo website. After the jump you can learn more and read the press release announcement.
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Watch an Exclusive Clip From ‘I Declare War’

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I Declare War is a great indie that takes an unusually perceptive look at the games kids play, and how they can be a lot more than a simple way to pass time. The film follows two factions of kids playing “war” in the woods, and sees the game through their eyes — so sticks and balloons used as weapons are visualized on screen as guns and grenades.

Sure, it’s all a game, but the meaning behind it, and the ways the kids interact as they try to nab a win, turns into pretty big deal for each one as they try to forge and fit into friendships.

The film made its debut at Fantastic Fest last year and is on VOD/ iTunes/ digital download now, and in theaters on August 30. We’ve got an exclusive clip below.

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ABCs of Death

The ABCs of Death film concept is back with 26 more ways to die based on letters of the alphabet. A sequel to the 2012/2013 release is well under way aiming at a 2014 release. Much like the approach taken with the first film, the producers are now in search of an unknown filmmaker to fill the 26th spot.

Along with the contest to pin down the final director, the rest of the full director list has been revealed. It expands on the already announced names such as animator Bill PlymptonDay of the Beast and The Last Circus director Álex de la IglesiaRoom 237 director Rodney Ascher, Japanese director of Cold Fish Sion SonoVincenzo Natali (Splice), indie icon Larry Fessenden and The Collection‘s Marcus Dunstan. Read more about both below. Read More »

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Though most of us haven’t had a chance to see the film yet, hopefully you remember Ari Folman‘s movie The Congress. After years of development, the movie premiered at Cannes back in May, and scored a US distribution deal from Drafthouse Films. The movie features Robin Wright as an actress who sells her likeness to a film studio, and Folman uses live-action scenes and some really wild animated sequences to explore her life. (Paul GiamattiJon HammKodi Smit-McPheeHarvey Keitel and Danny Huston also star.)

The first trailer for the film was pretty mind-blowing, and now we’ve got two featurettes that explore specific parts of the film in just a bit more depth. They’re both quite short, but one shows one of the film’s dystopic visions, and how that slipstreams from live-action into animation. The other shows the basic elements of constructing the set for Wright’s character’s house.

The dystopian glimpse is the one you’ll really want to check out, since it shows off some new animation. Check out both below. Read More »

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Cheap Thrills is a great movie not just for the fact that it is freaky and unsettling in a very realistic way, but because it will make you look at the film’s four major actors in a new light. Ethan Embry and Pat Healy play two guys who need cash, and David Koechner and Sara Paxton play a rich couple with money to burn.

The four people collide at a bar, and the rich couple is soon paying their two new “friends” to engage in a bit of anti-social behavior. It begins in a relatively innocent manner, but things quickly get crazy. Really, crazy, and very bloody. This first international trailer will give you a creepy, messy idea of what the movie has in store, without giving too much away. Watch it below.

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