After two successful years, the Other Worlds Austin scifi film festival returns this Thursday, December 1st, in new digs (Flix Brewhouse) and with an additional day. The now four day event has grown to include 18 full length films, a slew of of shorts, and an appearance by B-movie legend Sybil Danning, the late Dan O’Bannon’s wife Diane O’Bannon, and others. Not terribly surprising to anyone who regularly follows my writings, I’m covering the event.
Here’s what to expect at Other Worlds Austin 2016.
Thursday, December 1
7:42 PM RETRO GALA: BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS
DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE AWARDEE: SYBIL DANNING
Jimmy T. Murakami | USA | 105 min
Writers: John Sayles
Cast: Richard Thomas, Robert Vaughn, John Saxon, George Peppard & Sybil Danning
A young farmer (Richard Thomas) sets out to recruit mercenaries to defend his peaceful planet, which is under threat of invasion by the evil tyrant Sador (John Saxon) and his armada of aggressors. Among the mercenaries are a Space Cowboy (George Peppard), a spacegoing truck driver from Earth (Morgan Woodward); Gelt, a wealthy but experienced assassin looking for a place to hide (Robert Vaughn); and Saint-Exmin, a Valkyrie warrior looking to prove herself in battle (Sybil Danning). The film was legendarily pitched as ‘Magnificent Seven in Space.’ Produced by Roger Corman in the wake of the Star Wars cash-grab phenomena, the film also features one of the first scores from James Horner, and the below the line talents of Gale Ann Hurd and James Cameron.
(Sybil Danning will be in attendance)
Friday, December 2
7:00 PM OPENING FILM: OMG, I’M A ROBOT?!
Tal Goldberg, Gal Zelezniak | Israel | 75 min
Writers: Tal Goldberg, Gal Zelezniak
Cast: Yotam Ishay, Hili Yalon, Tzahi Grad & Rob Schneider
Danny’s girlfriend Noa leaves him because he is “not manly enough.” Sad and lonely, he slits his wrists only to discover he is not a man at all, he is a robot – an indestructible war machine. Moreover, his girlfriend did not leave him – she was kidnapped by a mysterious organization searching for war machine like Danny. With the help of Goldschmidt, his overly macho boss, and Robo-Joseph, a small Jewish R2D2-like robot with a lot of “hutzpah,” he goes out on a journey to save his girl and also figure out why exactly is he a robot?! Living in a country full of conflict, the directors of the film play at pure escapism, but end up making a film that is stealthily deep. With war and death a daily commodity, how does one live as a pacifist? And can one remain true to themselves when they find out they don’t even know they are? OMG, I’M A ROBOT?! is a film about remaking yourself, or rather reprogramming yourself, to face the expectations of another person.
Tal Goldberg has enjoyed a long career as a scriptwriter for international TV stations, YouTube channels and videogames. Gal Zelezniak created the Offscreen web series. OMG, I’M A ROBOT?! is the feature debut for both of them.
OMG I’m A Robot?! screens with:
Jody Wilson | Canada | 22 min
Writer: Jody Wilson
After years of waiting, Takumi and his toy robot companion receive a message that they will be returning to their home planet. Suddenly he’s faced with a choice: follow his cosmic destiny or pursue his dream girl here on earth.
9:40 PM THE AXE MURDERS OF VILLISCA
Tony E. Valenzuela | USA | 78 min
Writer: Owen Egerton
Cast: Robert Adamson, Jarrett Sleeper, Alex Frnka, & Jon Gries
Three outcasts break into the house where a husband and wife, their four children, and two guests were executed. Exploring the museum-like site after hours, they find the evil that came to visit the Moore’s in Villisca, IA 104 years ago may still cling to the walls inside. Based on a real unsolved murder.
The Axe Murders of Villisca screens with:
Catch (US Premiere)
Paul Cooke, Dom Rees-Roberts | UK | 16 min
Writers: Paul Cooke, Dom Rees-Roberts
A father tries to protect his daughter when she falls sick with an illness that has no cure.
10:10 PM SCIFI SHORTS 1 – HOW TO RECOGNIZE A MONSTER
Kepler X-47 (Texas Premiere)
Erin Li | USA | 13 min
Writers: Erin Li & Allison Lee
Fetched from Earth as a perfect specimen, a woman adjusts to her new reality in a human zoo on an alien planet.
The Call of Charlie (Texas Premiere)
Nick Spooner | USA | 14 min
Writers: Guy Benoit, John Simpson, & Nick Spooner
A trendy Los Angeles couple sets up a blind date for a friend … with an Ancient Evil Deity From Beneath The Sea.
Calvin Lee Reeder | USA | 10 min
Writer: Calvin Lee Reeder
Two strangers experience a bizarre phenomenon in a motel room, through the power of public access television.
Circles (US Premiere)
Dean Puckett | UK | 15 min
Writer: Dean Puckett
A pair of paranormal investigators may hold the key to the truth behind a string of crop circles outside their small town of Totnes, Devon.