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Fantastic films and where to find them

Fantasy Filmfest, Germany’s touring genre film showcase, returns to the Hauptstadt Apr 13-14.

The Angel
Marcos Ludevid

Rolling out in Berlin and six other German cities this April, the wildly popular Fantasy Filmfest is back with an eclectic two-day programme of horror, sci-fi and exploitation movies.

Argentina’s Oscar entry for Best Foreign Film last year, the Pedro Almodóvar-produced El Angel, is a stylish, darkly comedic biopic of baby-faced serial killer Carlitos Robledo (played by newcomer Lorenzo Ferro). Set in 1970s Buenos Aires, director Luis Ortega skillfully recreates the period with impeccably detailed production design and a groovy classic Argentine rock soundtrack.

Fans of Scream and Final Girls will find plenty to love in Brett Simmons’ You Might Be the Killer, a meta-horror-comedy about Sam (Fran Kranz), a camp counselor who may or may not have murdered a bunch of co-workers. To solve the mystery, he enlists the help of his friend Chuck (Alyson Hannigan), a comic-book store employee with an encyclopedic knowledge of slasher films. The film is packed with movie references, in-jokes, and a surprising amount of gore.

For those who haven’t completely cancelled Mel Gibson, wannabe-auteur S. Craig Zahler’s relentlessly nasty Dragged Across Concrete is a lengthy love letter to vigilante cinema of the 1970s. Provocatively revelling in its blatant #MAGA politics, the compelling story of two corrupt cops (Gibson and Vince Vaughn) doing crime shit while on suspension is torpedoed by a stubborn moral ambivalence towards racism and some hilariously pretentious dialogue. A highly watchable, infuriating mess of a film.

Also screening: the long-awaited Ted Bundy biopic Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, starring former teen heartthrob Zac Efron as the infamous serial killer; The Nightshifter, an amusing Brazilian film about a morgue worker who communicates with the dead; Ruben Brandt, Collector, a beautifully animated art-heist thriller from Milorad Krstic; Nekrotronic, a colourful Australian sci-fi comedy starring Monica Bellucci; and the awkwardly titled but incredibly entertaining South Korean revenge thriller The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion.

Apr 13-14 Cinestar Sony Center, Mitte. Full programme at fantasyfilmfest.com