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I didn’t write a full review of Werner Herzog‘s Salt and Fire from Fantastic Fest 2016, but when I put together my silly end-of-festival awards, it walked away with two imaginary statuettes: “Most WTF Character” and “Most Quotable Movie.” That first award was well-earned because this is one odd movie, fluctuating between bonkers and boring on a scene-by-scene basis. That second award came about because I spent the rest of the fest encountering people who had also endured the movie and sharing lines of dialogue like a baffling inside joke that only we were privy to. I will never recommend Salt and Fire, but damn it, I will never discourage you from watching it.

And it’s only right that the trailer for the film is a total bait-and-switch that tries to sell the film as a traditional thriller when the last words you could ever use to describe this film are “traditional” and “thrilling.”

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fantastic fest 2016 awards

You never know what you’re going to get at Fantastic Fest, the Austin-based genre film festival that takes great delight in immersing attendees in the strangest, wildest, and most unique movies from around the globe. Over the course of eight days, I saw 27 movies. I saw some of the best films I’ve seen all year. I saw oddities I will never forget. I saw some things I wish I could forget. As is always the case, I missed a few big titles, like Paul Verhoeven’s Elle, the divisive The Greasy Strangler, and the crowd-pleasing Bad Black.

But now, it’s time to put a bow on this year’s fest. Sure, the festival itself has juries on hand to recognize films in the line-up, but there’s only one awards ceremony that really matters here – the one that I create out of thin air to throw imaginary accolades at my favorite movies from the line-up.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in the best, weirdest, funniest, oddest, scariest, etc. movies to emerge from Fantastic Fest 2016.

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Everything We Saw at Fantastic Fest 2016

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When the smoke cleared, I ended up seeing 27 movies over eight days at Fantastic Fest 2016. The Austin-based genre film festival always has a strong line-up of odd, unusual, and unique movies from around the world, but this year was truly exceptional – I saw very few movies I wouldn’t recommend in some capacity. I even saw a handful of movies that are in serious contention for my end-of-the-year top 10.

For the sake of completeness, I have compiled all of my Fantastic Fest coverage into one place, with links to my reviews and smaller capsule reviews for everything that didn’t get their own post. If you’re looking for a something terrifying or unique or action-packed or tear-jerking or just plain unusual, there is something here for you.

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