MondoCon Booth 2

Ask a film fan and they’ll say Fantastic Fest is the best film festival in the world. An experience so unique and exciting, there’s almost no way it could be improved.

That is, until organizers added MondoCon.

MondoCon is a sister convention put on by the team known for their highly collectible and sought-after posters. The aim was to do a convention that celebrated all things Mondo (art, posters, toys, movies, comics) but do everything differently from other conventions. To create an experience that would be really fun for fans and non-fans alike. After attending for two days, I can safely say they succeeded — but not in the ways one may think.

So many criticize Mondo for the culture they’ve helped create with their low-supply, high-demand posters. There are valid arguments on both sides, but with MondoCon the team did their best to move away from that. It wasn’t a convention that was only about buying posters. (Though you could, of course, buy lots of posters.) MondoCon was more about community and communication. It was a venue for fans to interact with their favorite artists and other fans, and revel in the controlled geekiness.

However, at the start of MondoCon no one knew that. In fact, we knew very little at all. Below, read our full MondoCon recap. Read More »

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Gabz The Godfather

Little known fact: Mondo rejects just as many, if not more, posters than they actually release. Some are posters that didn’t get approved by a star or studio. Others are different versions of a poster that actually was released. And sometimes Mondo and a company can’t settle on a design and it never sees the light of day.

At MondoCon this past weekend, Justin Ishmael, Rob Jones and Mitch Putnam, the creative team behind Mondo, presented a panel called Mondo Talk about this very subject. However, what started as a way for fans to see the behind the scenes creation of a poster turned into, as Ishmael put it, “The depressing, what you could have had panel.”

They revealed a non-stop cavalcade of posters, concepts, licenses and more they tried to realize, but which failed for one reason for another. We’re talking Tyler Stout‘s Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Krzysztof Domaradzki‘s officially licensed The Godfather, Spring Breakers, and various different iterations of Man of Steel. Below, check out a bunch of posters Mondo posters that never happened. Read More »

Everly Review

With Everly, director Joe Lynch answers the age old question, just how much action can you stage in a single room? The answer, not surprising, is a lot. Salma Hayek is the title character, a hooker turned informant who has just been discovered by her employer. Her mission is to stay alive over the next few hours in hopes she can save her family. And over that time, she’ll be forced to stay in the apartment because of the seemingly non-stop barrage of people coming to kill her.

Written by Yale Hannon, from a story by he and Lynch, Everly sounds like a pretty simple movie and it is. It’s also a Christmas movie, giving this one woman vs. the world, in a confined space, film a decidedly and deliberate Die Hard vibe. The film never reaches the heights of that classic, but it keeps us suitably engaged because we never ever know what’s going to come through that door next. Read the rest of our Everly review below. Read More »

Tokyo Tribe

I want you to go get a piece or paper or open the Notes program on your phone and write down two words: Tokyo Tribe. You’re going to want tangible proof you knew about one of the craziest, most surprising, surreal fun films of the year well before anyone else.

Tokyo Tribe is directed by Shion Sono, a director whose films (Love Exposure, Cold Fish) are usually pretty brutal. For the most part, this one isn’t. In fact, it’s the opposite. Tokyo Tribe is a hip hop musical about gang wars in Tokyo filled with sex, action, rapping and more rapping. Think Les Miserables if it were populated by The Warriors, who acted like they were in a kung-fu version of Beat Street, with the visual aesthetic of Spring Breakers. Set in an Eighties. That almost describes Tokyo Tribe, a film I loved to no end. Read More »

Force Majeure trailer

I literally just walked out of a screening of Force Majeure at Fantastic Fest 2014 and had to let you know about it. Thankfully for me, a new poster and trailer came out earlier this week.

Directed by Ruben Östlund, the film follows a family who are on a ski vacation. When an avalanche unexpectedly hits, everyone is forced into a life or death situation where they’ll reveal their true colors. In one case, they aren’t what they expect. That might sounds like the set up to some kind of horror movie, but Force Majeure walks an absolute stellar tightrope of tone, seamlessly going from uncomfortable to funny, then tense and human. It’s poignant, it’s hilarious, it’s beautifully shot and it’s totally unexpected. The film won a special award at Cannes earlier this year and has been slaying the festival crowd, myself included. Below what the latest Force Majeure trailer and see the new poster. Read More »

Automata trailer

The tenth annual Fantastic Fest kicks off in Austin TX in just over a week, and the final wave of programming has just been unveiled. There’s a lot here, and in addition to the films the fest has announced appearances from James Gunn, Edgar Wright, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Ti West.

This programming wave might be the best yet, as it features the Toronto midnight madness hit It Follows, the full director’s cut of Nymphomaniac, rare exploitation gem The Astrologer (presented by Refn), the premiere of The Hive, sci-fi Automata, and Joe Lynch’s one-room action thriller Everly. Then there’s perhaps the thing I most want to see in this group, the US debut of Duke of Burgundy, the new film from Berberian Sound Studio director Peter Strickland. Check out the lineup below, and we’ll have trailers for quite a few of these shortly.  Read More »

Nightcrawler Halloween

This year is the tenth anniversary of Fantastic Fest, and the fest will close with a movie we’ve been anticipating over the past couple months: Nightcrawler, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a seedy news reported in Los Angeles. That film was announced today along with a host of other movies, including the new Keanu Reeves film John Wick, for which Reeves will make his second appearance at the fest. Then there’s The Creeping Garden, a documentary about slime molds and the people who study them; neo-giallo thriller The Editor, and new Studio Ghibli movie The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, and Sion Sono’s new film Tokyo Tribe.

The full second wave lineup is below. I’ve added trailers for most of the films. Note that I haven’t watched all those trailers in full yet, and there’s a chance that one or two are not safe for workRead More »

MondoCon schedule

Movie heaven comes to Austin, Texas during the third week of September. Not only is that when Fantastic Fest is happening (much more on that in the coming days) but the fine folks at Mondo are simultaneously hosting their first convention, MondoCon. But no, this isn’t going to be just a place to buy posters. As discussed a few months back, MondoCon will be a gathering for everything a movie fan or collector could desire.

Mondo has just released the full programming line-up, as well as a few small glimpses at the goodies. Among the highlights? A mini-gallery exhibition of work based on The Iron Giant, including that film’s score available on vinyl. The lost score to 2001: A Space Odyssey will be on sale along with a panel discussion. A never-made 1983 U.S. Godzilla film will be revealed through storyboards and concept images. Plus a screening of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with live score, the world premiere of a documentary on the 2000AD comic brand and much more.

And that’s just part of it. Will there be posters? You bet. Lots of surprise posters along with the first Alex Ross Mondo poster. Will there be guests? Tons, including newly annoucned names like Bryan Lee O’Malley, JC Richard and William Stout.

The event takes place September 20-21 in Austin and tickets are still on sale. Below, read the full programming press release. Read More »

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