Tom Six’s “The Human Centipede” (First Sequence) won best horror feature at the 2009 Fantastic Fest in Austin, while Ernesto Diaz Espinoza’s action-drama “Mandrill” won “Best Fantastic Feature” at the event, which closes Thursday. “Centipede” is a biological horror film in which Dr. Heiter decides to evolve his craft of separating Siamese twins by sewing together living beings Dieter Laser also took best actor in the horror category at FF. “Mandrill,” meanwhile focuses on Marko Zaror, a young hitman who will not give up until he fulfills his revenge on the man who killed his mother. Zaror also took the prize for “Best Fantastic Actor.”
Kerry Prior took the prize for best horror director for “The Revenant,” about a soldier who dies in Iraq, but shows up at his friend’s door as the Undead. Kim Nguyen took the Best Fantastic Director nod for “Truffe,” about Charles (Roy Dupuis), a Montreal truffle hunter whose nose easily finds the tasty morsels below the surface. Their abundance grows because of global warming and its a bonanza for the miners, until the laws of supply and demand take away the good times.
In Fantastic Fest’s “Next Wave Features” category, filmmaker Ben Wheatley’s “Down Terrace” took best feature. The film is a dark comedy from the U.K. about the daily travails of a family of crooks trying to keep their criminal enterprise from falling apart. The film opens with Bill (Bob Hill) and his son Karl (Rob Hill) leaving a courthouse after a stint in jail. As soon as they get out, the pair try to figure out who ratted them out to the police. Suspicions grow and the paranoia builds into a web of plots and schemes.
Stephane Aubier’s “A Town Called Panic” received Fantastic Fest’s Audience Award for Best Feature. The French-language feature is described as “primitively animated in stop motion using clay models of plastic cowboys, Indians and farmyard plastic toys many played with as kids. The film revolves around house-mates Cowboy, Indian and Horse as they go about their daily lives. Which in this case means dealing with the aftermath of an attempted birthday present gone wrong that results in fifty million bricks piled on the roof of the trio’s house, which then collapses under the weight of the bricks, which opens up a portal to a secret underwater civilization that covets the trio’s building skills and simply – and repeatedly – steals their home.
Jury results – Feature Awards
Best Horror Feature: “Human Centipede” by Tom Six
Best Horror Director: Kerry Prior for “The Revenant”
Best Best Horror Actor: Dieter Laser for “Human Centipede”
Best Horror Actress: Neve McIntosh for “Salvage”
Best Fantastic Feature: “Mandrill” by Ernesto Diaz-Espinoza
Best Fantastic Director: Kim Nguyen for “Truffe”
Best Fantastic Screenplay: Tamio Hayashi adapted from Kotaro Isaka for “Fish Story”
Best Fantastic Actor: Marko Zaror for “Mandrill”
Best Fantastic Actress: Chiaki Kuriyama for “Kamogawa Horumo”
Next Wave Features:
Best Feature: “Down Terrace” by Ben Wheately
Best Director: Yang Ik-Joon for “Breathless”
Best Screenplay: Robin Hill, Ben Wheatley for “Down Terrace”
Best Actor: Jeong-min Hwang for “Private Eye”
Best Actress: Shera Bechard for “Sweet Karma”
Audience Award, Best Feature: “A Town Called Panic” by Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar
Audience Award, Honorable Mention Films:
“Fish Story,” “Breathless,” “The Revenant,” “Merantau”
Jury results – Shorts Awards
Best Animated Short – “I Am So Proud of You” by Don Hertzfeldt
Special Mention – “Alma” by Rodrigo Blaas
Best Fantastic Short – “Terminus” by Trevor Cawood
Special Jury Award – “Next Floor” by Denis Villeneuve
Best Horror Short – “Full Employment by Thomas Oberlies, Matthias Vogel
Special Mention – “Excision” by Richard Bates, Jr.