The Best Fantastic Fest Movies You’ve Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week we celebrate Fantastic Fest’s 15th anniversary with a look at some of the best films that played over the years that failed to find the audience they deserved.)

As mentioned above – literally just two lines up – this year’s Fantastic Fest Film Festival in Austin, TX is their 15th, and that’s something worth celebrating. It remains one of the best genre festivals in North America thanks to the venue, the fans, and most importantly, the wide variety of movies programmed each year. They play their fair share of bigger movies destined for wide release with the likes of Jojo Rabbit and Knives Out opening and closing this year’s fest, but the magic is in the far smaller titles.

The fest programs films from around the world and across genres, and while some eventually find their way to a proper US release – Rubber (2010) is about a sentient, homicidal tire and is available on Blu-ray! – just as many are rarely (if ever) seen on these shores again. As a big fan of genre films (horror, action, thrillers, dark comedy, etc) I’ve been introduced to numerous films and filmmakers over the years thanks to Fantastic Fest. Keep reading for a look at six of my favorites that never quite found the eyeballs and acclaim they deserve.

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bad genius remake

Another day, another English-language remake of an Asian movie that deserved to get more eyeballs on it. Bad Genius is a Thai high school heist movie that broke box office records across Southeast Asian and became Thailand’s highest grossing movie of 2017, and even became a minor hit at film festivals in the U.S. Now an English-language Bad Genius is in the works, with You’re the Worst writer Eva Anderson set to pen the adaptation.

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pop culture imports june 14

(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best, wackiest, and weirdest foreign-language movies and TV shows streaming right now.)

Hello lovers of subtitles and soapy Asian dramas! June is here, and that means a whole new batch of foreign-language titles are coming your way. Our offerings this month include a zippy Thai heist film that broke box office records all over Asia, a Palestinian thriller with a tender love story, the hottest Korean romantic drama out right now, a biopic about a young and sexy Karl Marx, and a South Korean variety show that makes American variety pale in comparison.

Let’s dive in.

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