Boston Fantastic Film Festival
2004 Festival Schedule

Announcing BFFF Audience Awards!
The Boston Fantastic Film Festival is plead to announce this year's Audience Award winners:

First Runner-Up: ONG-BAK
Second Runner-Up: FREEZE FRAME

Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all who took part in this year's festival!

All screenings take place at The Brattle Theatre
in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

For location, directions, and other information click here!

To be added to the BFFF mailing list please send an email to bfff(at)brattlefilm(dot)org.

Tickets for ALL SHOWS + festival passes on sale now!

Thursday, October 14

Opening Night Selection! U.S. Premiere! New Fantasy From England!

New England Premiere! Indie Horror Sensation!
SAW at 9:30pm

Friday, October 15

New England Premiere! From Hong Kong!

New England Premiere! From The Director of Versus!
ALIVE at 9:30pm

U.S. Premiere! New Sci-Fi/Horror From Japan!

Saturday, October 16

U.S. Premiere! New Fantasy From England!

Special Screening! Bravo Television Presents

Saturday Night Spotlight! U.S. Premiere!
From The Author of Ghost In The Shell!
APPLESEED at 7:30pm

U.S. Premiere! New Sci-Fi/Horror From Japan!

From The Vaults! Super Rare Screening of Director's Cut!

Sunday, October 17

Sci-Fi Channel Presents
Theatrical Premiere Screening!
DARKLIGHT at 3:00pm

Special Preview Screening! Sensational Action From Thailand!
ONG-BAK at 5:00pm

New England Premiere! Paranoid Thriller From Ireland!
FREEZE FRAME at 7:30pm

New England Premiere! From The Director of Oldboy!

Monday, October 18

Closing Night!
New England Premiere! Intense Horror From Korea!

Special Preview Screening! Sensational Action From Thailand!
Plus Announcement of Audience Award!
ONG-BAK at 10:00pm
Film Descriptions

Special Screening! Bravo Television Presents
At last year's first Boston Fantastic Film Festival we were privileged to present a portion of Bravo Television's Halloween programming and we enjoyed it so much we're doing it again this year! Bravo's 2004 Halloween mini-series is a highly anticipated count down of the top 100 scariest moments in film history. Now, these aren't necessarily from horror films, but you gotta figure these guys have done their homework. Featuring clips from some terrific movies and interviews and commentary from a who's who of genre cinema luminaries: Directors Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Peter Jackson, Dario Argento, Clive Barker, George Romero, Tobe Hooper, Joe Dante, Rob Zombie, Eli Roth, and Guillermo del Toro; Actors Robert Englund, Bruce Campbell, Angus Scrimm, Lance Henriksen, Ron Perlman, Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Tilly, Kane Hodder, Patricia Hitchcock and Tony Todd; and Authors Ramsey Campbell, Kim Newman, Steve Niles, David Skal and even the elusive, rarely interviewed Stephen King! Exactly which of the hour-long episodes we'll be screening is still up in the air, but it's bound to be a fun and fright-filled couple of hours.

New England Premiere!
(2002) dir Ryuhei Kitamura w/Hideo Sakai, Tak Sakaguchi, Ryo, Shun Sugata, Koyuki [120 min, Japanese w/English subtitles]
From the director of the infamous, over-the-top sci-fi/zombie/yakuza action flick, Versus comes another superb action-fantasy flick. In a futuristic prison, two murderers (Sakai and Sakaguchi both of Versus) somehow survive the electric chair and are given a choice - face death for real or become part of a mysterious experiment. One guess as to which fate they choose? What follows is a tense claustrophobic duel between the two prisoners, one a man who sought revenge on his girlfriend's rapists, the other a sadistic serial killer with plenty of kills under his belt. The two spend much of the movie trapped in a cell together and the experiment seems to involve the scientists pushing the prisoners to attack each other but without any clear purpose. When the scope of the film expands outside of the room, it's revealed that the experiment is even more bizarre than it seems and the very future of the Earth is at stake. Kitamura (now filming the 'final' Godzilla film in Japan) packs all of the insane kineticism of Versus into the confines of one room and the results are explosive!
"A movie that will stun even the most jaded action fan." - Eye Weekly, Toronto

Official Site

US Premiere!

(2004) dir Shinji Aramaki [105 min, Japanese w/English subtitles]
This gorgeous new anime feature is like nothing you've ever seen before. Adapted from Masamune (Ghost In The Shell) Shirow's manga masterpiece APPLESEED features a striking mixture of traditional cel and 3D computer animation. The result is an otherworldly vision of the future and its robotic and human inhabitants. The year is 2135 AD and the Earth has been pushed to the brink of destruction by a cataclysmic war. Deunan is one of the many soldiers who, with lines of communication cut, are still out in the badlands fighting a war that is already over. One day Deunan is captured and brought to the utopian city, Olympus. Once there, her former lover Briareos (now a cyborg with over 75% of his organic body replaced by machine) tries to help her adjust to the new world she is thrust into. In the city, mankind lives side-by-side with a new race of clones, the Bioroids. This alarming fact brings the unexpected change in everything around her (including Briareos) into sharp focus and she begins to suspect that everything is not as it seems in this utopian society. Why has Briareos changed? Can the Bioroids be trusted? Does Olympus represent an ideal, or a nightmare? Deunan must face her own tortured past, and overcome the disorienting present, in a battle over the future of humanity itself! This may well be the only screening in the U.S. of the original Japanese language print, so do yourself a favor and don't miss this one!

Official Site (Japanese)

U.S. Premiere!

(2004) dir Hiroki Yamaguchi w/Luchino Fujisaki, Masato Tsujioka, Ikuma Saisyo, Kae Minami, Yuko Takarada, Ryousuke Koshiba, Kouji Yokokawa, Keisuke Urushizaki [80 min, Japanese w/English subtitles]
Teenage schoolgirl Luchino Fujisaki hasn't been to school in months. Today, she's heading back - but what a day to choose! Fujisaki lives in a vast, strange complex, a block of hundreds of towns stacked one atop the other, connected by a network of giant elevators. She boards one, and it passes town after town (or rather, floor after floor), taking on a variety of disconcerting fellow passengers. She's sharing her ride with, among others, an oddly robotic lady conductor, a troop of identical salarymen, a silent hipster in shades and headphones, a nervous scientist and a little boy with a particularly creepy plaything. At Level 99, a sadistic police officer boards with his charges - a pair of monstrous convicted criminals, brutal sex killers eager to resume their evil ways. Add to that the shocking psychic flashes Fujisaki is having about the other commuters, and the flashbacks to a traumatic episode in her own past, and the situation in the claustrophobic elevator is starting to seem downright terrifying. BOTTLED FOOL is the first feature film from Japan's Hiroki Yamaguchi, a 26-year-old prodigy whose second short film took the grand prize at Japan's Indie Movie Festival when he was only 19. Working with a staff composed mostly of student volunteers and sets created almost entirely out of industrial scrap material, Yamaguchi has conjured up a unique and intense vision of abstract, psychologically-charged sci-fi/horror. Most of BOTTLED FOOL takes place in the cramped transport elevator, generating a volatile, paranoid tone. Dark, violent secrets abound-the only thing that's certain is the young Yamaguchi is an exciting new talent with a clear personal vision of what indie film can be, and how far it can be taken! - Notes from the Fantasia Film Festival, Montreal

The Sci-Fi Channel Presents
Special Theatrical Premiere!

(2004) dir Bill Platt w/Shiri Appleby, Richard Burgi, John de Lancie, Richard Gnolfo, David Hewlett
A reformed demon and one kick-ass monk join forces to battle the forces of darkness in this well made supernatural sci-fi film. Roswell's Shiri Appleby is Lilith, the original wife of Adam who was cast out of Eden, who, over the centuries, has left piles of dead bodies in her wake. To combat her, a secretive society called The Faith was formed and, eventually, captured her. Her memory was wiped out and she was given the opportunity to start a new life as an innocent. Unfortunately, some seriously misguided experimenting with immortality goes awry (with a little help from a traitor within The Faith) and a scientist is transformed into the Demonicos... a big nasty demon that carries a super contagious plague in its bite. As it turns out, the only one who can defeat the thing is Lilith. And it falls to an old nemesis from The Faith to help her train her newly rediscovered powers in order to combat the new threat. With some nifty effects for a TV movie and a couple of decent turns from supporting actors Richard Burgi and John "Q" de Lancie, DARKLIGHT is an occult action thriller that hooks you at the beginning and drags you along breathlessly by its 5-foot-long barbed tongue right up until the climactic battle. Also included in the program will be previews of upcoming Sci-Fi Channel programs including Battlestar Galactica and the much-anticipated Earthsea.

Official Site

U.S. Premiere!

(2004) dir John Stephenson w/Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Izzard, Zoe Wanamaker, Freddie Highmore, Jonathan Bailey, Jessica Claridge, Poppy Rogers, Tara Fitzgerald, Alex Jennings, John Sessions [80 min]
E. Nesbit's turn-of-the-century children's classic, FIVE CHILDREN AND IT, is lovingly brought to the screen with the help of an enormously talented cast and a filmmaking team with the perfect eye for whimsy. Five British children are moved to their uncle's isolated house during the war when their father joins the air force and their mother becomes a nurse. What they find there at first depresses them: a creepy, dark old house, a dotty math and rule obsessed uncle, and a mean, brat of a cousin with a 'monster' collection in the basement. But, when the mischievous Robert defies the rules and explores the forbidden greenhouse, the children find a mysterious door that leads to a hidden beach where a strange creature lives. That creature (created by the Jim Henson Workshop) is 'It,' a sand fairy who has the power to grant wishes... wishes that always have a strange way of going comically awry. With sparkling performances by Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland and the new version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as Robert, Kenneth Branagh as Uncle Albert, and the terrific Eddie Izzard as the voice of It.

New England Premiere!

(2004) dir John Simpson w/Lee Evans, Rachel Stirling, Colin Salmon, Sean McGinley, Ian McNeice [100 min]
This beautifully paranoid thriller from Ireland features the remarkably talented stand-up comic Lee Evans in a starkly dramatic role. Evans plays Sean Veil, a man once accused of murder who now records his every waking second in an attempt to establish a permanent alibi for himself. He knows that the people who tried to put him away the first time will stop at nothing to get him where they think he belongs... rotting in a cell. The irony, of course, is that Veil has created a prison for himself. He lives in a subterranean complex and rarely goes outside. Every moment of his life is recorded by dozens of cameras and he painstakingly categorizes each tape in a vault. When he does go outside, he brands himself a freak with his paranoid mannerisms and the camera harness that he constantly wears. When his oppressors, the obsessed, dying Detective Mountjoy (Salmon) and the fleshy, pompous criminologist Saul Seger (McNeice), finally do come calling, Veil thinks he's prepared. There's been another murder and they swear it's him. But he's got the tapes that prove he was safely at home at the time of the murder... or does he?

"First-time writer-director John Simpson shows a raw but defiantly ambitious talent with this claustrophobic thriller. A virtually unrecognisable Lee Evans stars, his comic mannerisms filtered through his deeply troubled character until they stop being funny and start being creepily disconcerting... An intriguing premise and an atmospheric film" - The Times

Official Site

New England Premiere!

(2002) dirs Wai Keung (Andrew) Lau & Siu Fai (Alan) Mak w/Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang [100 min, Mandarin and Cantonese w/English subtitles]
After some lean years after many of the most talented directors defected to Hollywood, Hong Kong is experiencing a film renaissance. A new wave of great films is coming from Hong Kong and INFERNAL AFFAIRS is leading the pack. A huge hit at home, this thrilling, complex tale of cops-and-robbers has already been tapped for a remake by Martin Scorsese starring Brad Pitt and Matt Damon (and, incidentally set in Boston) and will be released in Boston by Miramax this fall. The film begins with the police desperately trying to crack down on one particular Triad boss who always seems to slip through their fingers at the last minute. The answer is simple, of course, he has an informant in the police force. But, little does the Triad boss know the police have also planted a mole in his ranks. A terrific cat-and-mouse showdown ensues when the police and the gangsters discover almost simultaneously that they are both being double-crossed. With the formidable Tony Leung and Andy Lau as the undercover cop and gangster respectively, INFERNAL AFFAIRS packs about as many breathless twists and turns as one can take in a 100 minute movie.

Official Site

Special Preview Screening!

(2003) dir Prachya Pinkaew w/Tony Jaa, Perttary Wongkamlao [105 min, Thai w/English subtitles]
We had a hard time believing the hype about this movie (watch out Jackie Chan and Jet Li, etc.)... But then we saw the film at last year's Toronto Film Festival and we have three words for you: UN... BE... LIEVABLE! Tony Jaa is one of the most spectacularly vibrant and acrobatic martial artists to be seen on screen in a long time and, yeah, Jackie Chan and Jet Li are tired old fogeys next to this guy. The basic plot of the movie is that this precious Buddha head (the Ong Bak of the title) has been stolen from a backwoods village in Thailand and taken to the big city by thieves. It falls upon the village's toughest but (this is Thailand after all) most easy-going character to pursue the crooks to the city and retrieve the statue's head. He tries to do this without violence but, of course, it doesn't work out that way. This film puts recent action cinema to shame in almost all respects. Not only does it feature some incredibly brutal and stunningly original fight scenes but it also one-ups Jackie Chan on some super complex stunt sequences done without wires and without stunt doubles. Not only that but it's got characters and a plot that you actually care about! Thrill as Tony Jaa jumps two stories and lands an elbow on some poor badguy's noggin! Gasp and chuckle as he navigates an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink chase scene (watch out for those glass panes)! Basically, come see this movie! You won't be disappointed and you'll be cheering along with everyone else in the theater up to the very end!

Official Site

From The Vaults! Super Rare Screening of Director's Cut!

(1997) dir Alex de la Iglesia w/Rosie Perez, Javier Bardem, Aimee Graham, Harley Cross, James Gandolfini, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Alex Cox [126 min, English and Spanish w/English subtitles]
What do you do when you're one of Spain's most popular directors but you've been virtually unheard of in the U.S.? Whatever the hell you want!! At least that's the case with the insanely talented Alex de la Iglesia. His blackly comic repertoire includes a demonic Christmas film (Day of the Beast) and homages to Spaghetti Westerns (800 Bullets), Hitchcock (Ferpect Crime), and even Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis (Dying of Laughter). This film is a ludicrously over-the-top, hyper-violent, sexy sequel of sorts to David Lynch's Wild At Heart! Based on a novel and with a screenplay by neo-noir author Barry Gifford, PERDITA DURANGO follows the infamous adventures of the title character (played by Isabella Rosselini in Wild At Heart and here portrayed with gusto by Rosie Perez) and her sinister lover Romeo Delorosa (Oscar nominee Javier Bardem). Perdita and Romeo are asked to do a job by a crime boss involving the traffic of human fetuses for the cosmetic industry or something but end up on the run after they kidnap a couple of innocent American tourists (Graham and Cross) to use in a satanic ritual. PERDITA DURANGO features superlatively bizarre performances from Bardem and Perez and some wickedly funny cameos by the likes of cult director Alex Cox (Repo Man), gravel throated singer Screamin' Jay Hawkins and even Tony Soprano himself, James Gandolfini. Released in the U.S. in a criminally hacked-up video version called Dance With The Devil, this is the original 126-minute director's cut version!

New England Premiere!

(2004) dir James Wan w/Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Ken Leung [100 min]
A hit at this year's Sundance Film Festival and an instant cult favorite, SAW is a new indie horror film that is bound to contribute to the reenergizing of the horror genre that has begun over the past couple of years. Two men (Cary Elwes and screenwriter Leigh Whannel) wake up chained to the pipes in a mysterious room. What happened? How and why did they get there? Why are they bound and who is responsible? And who is that dead body lying on the floor? These are all of the questions that pop into both the audience's and the character's heads immediately, but do we really want to know the answers when the truth is too terrifying to imagine? It turns out these guys are captives of a serial killer who, technically, has never killed anyone... he finds ways for his victims to kill themselves, or each other. Thus begins a brutal and sadistic game where the two victims are pitted against each other while the killer watches and helps them to reveal the clues and tools that he has left in the room. Meanwhile, on the outside, a particularly obsessed cop (Danny Glover) tries to unravel the secrets of a killer who he was once almost a victim of.

"SAW may be the best independent horror film to have come out since The Blair Witch Project . It's certainly better than Blair Witch, and more fun, more gruesome, and more macabre. In a very delightful way." - Film Threat

Official Site

New England Premiere!

(2002) dir Chan-wook Park w/Ha-kyun Shin, Dong-jin Park, Du-na Bae, Kang-ho Song, Ji-Eun Lim, Bo-bae Han
With his elegantly brutal Oldboy burning up the festival circuit, we're pleased to present the New England premiere of Chan-wook Park's stunning second feature, SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE. No one who saw Park's first feature, the wildly popular political thriller Joint Security Area, would be prepared for this ornately constructed revenge tragedy. The excellent Ha-kyun Shin plays Ryu, a deaf/mute who is desperate to find a kidney transplant for his beloved sister. No legitimate one is available and he is not a viable match. He tries the black market (even trading one of his own kidneys) but he is ripped off. Finally, a legit organ becomes available, but the botched illegal deal has left him without the necessary medical costs. To raise some quick cash, he and his girlfriend team up to kidnap his boss's daughter. But what should have been easy quickly goes south and Ryu ends up on the run with two dead bodies in his wake. And that's just the set up for the rest of the film! With a straightforward yet somehow still thrillingly stylish style, Park is making his (and by extension Korea's) mark on the international filmmaking community... don't miss your chance to catch up with this major new talent.

New England Premiere!

(2003) dir Ji-woon Kim w/Su-jeong Lim, Geun-yeong Mun, Kap-su Kim, Jung-ah Yum [115 min, Korean w/English subtitles]
A great new twist on the new wave of Asian "hair horror" films. Korean filmmaker, Ji-woon Kim (The Foul King, The Quiet Family), takes the folklore inspired female ghoul of The Ring and The Grudge and infuses her story with an unexpected dash of family drama. The result is a thrilling, spooky ghost story that also resonates as a psychological drama. Two loving sisters are returning home to their father after a mysterious absence. Once there they find they must contend with the proverbial wicked step-mother as well as an apparently haunted house. It seems the girls have been in an institution since their mother died... but was she sick or did she commit suicide or was she offed in some way by the other woman. And just what is the malicious ghost inhabiting the house? Is it the mother? Or something even more troubling? This gorgeous horror film is remarkably intricate and the layers of plot and interpretation peel back to reveal a powerfully intense conclusion. The performances by Su-jeong Lim and Geun-yeong Mun as the tormented and troubled sisters are particularly strong and Jung-ah Yum is picture perfect as the step-mother wielding her sugar-coated, arbitrary cruelty like a deadly weapon. All-in-all, a haunting and frightening film that will linger in your mind for days afterward... and you'll never look under the sink without caution again.

Official Site (Korean)



Ned Hinkle
Steven J. Schneider

Creative Advisors
Joe Dante (director)
Kim Newman (author/editor)
Steve Niles (author)
Robert Parigi (writer/director)
Eli Roth (writer/director)
Stephen Susco (screenwriter)

Industry Advisors
Dennis Bartok (American Cinematheque)
Mitch Davis (Fantasia Festival)
Lizzie Francke (Ministry of Fear)
Colin Geddes (Midnight Madness, Toronto International Film Festival)
Kier-la Janisse (Cinemuerte)
Roy Lee (Vertigo Entertainment)
Ian Levy (Bravo)
Clinton McClung (Coolidge Corner Theatre)
Dede Nickerson (Miramax Films)
Jake Perlin (BAM Cinematek)
Nick Phillips (Dimension Films)
Sarah Self (Mostow;Lieberman)
Nathaniel Thompson (Image Entertainment)
Marc Walkow (Criterion Collection)
Darryl Wiggers (Scream TV)