Funny story (at least to me). A couple months ago I had lunch with a new friend I made at this year's SXSW film festival. Immediately after that lunch ended I got a call from my wife telling me she was pregnant. Today I had lunch with that same friend and when I went to my car this time I pulled out my phone and found a new press release from Fantastic Fest announcing a special Lifetime Achievement Award for Roger Corman as well as the world premiere of Sharktopus. So, moral of the story, if you want your dreams to come true, having lunch with Jarod Neece is like rubbing a magic lamp.

You read that right. Not only is Roger Corman coming to Austin, Texas to be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award, but he's bringing his latest creature feature opus with him. Sure, Sharktopus premieres on Syfy the weekend of Fantastic Fest, but watching it on the television on September 25th won't hold a candle to seeing it on the big screen in the regal, 1,500+ seat, old school movie palace that is The Paramount Theater. And while those two events are awesome enough as it is, they're not the only news contained within the press release.

In addition to Corman's ceremony and Sharktopus' unveiling, Fantastic Fest have also announced the premiere of Mark Hartley's (he of the must-see Not Quite Hollywood) newest documentary, Machete Maidens Unleashed! as well as a special screening of one of the few films Corman directed himself, X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes. Read on for the full details.


FANTASTIC FEST HONORS ROGER AND JULIE CORMAN WITH
"SYFY IMAGINE GREATER" LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The Lifetime Achievement Award Will Be Presented Preceding the
World Premiere Gala Screening of "Sharktopus"

Austin, TX---Tuesday, September 7, 2010--- The 6th annual Fantastic Fest will honor Roger and Julie Corman with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Premiere of their new Syfy movie Sharktopus, starring Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight, The Expendables) and Sara Malakul Lane (Belly of the Beast) on Friday, September 24, 2010 at The Paramount Theatre in Austin, TX. Sponsored exclusively by Syfy, the film will play as the second part of a double feature with the U.S. premiere of Machete Maidens Unleashed!, a documentary about Philippine exploitation films from the 70's and 80's directed by Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood), which features Roger Corman prominently. The Lifetime Achievement award ceremony will take place between the two shows, each of which will include classic Corman trailers and surprises.

Roger Corman received an Honorary 2010 Oscar for his contributions to filmmaking, and is the legendary director and producer of numerous cult classics, among them It Conquered the World, Death Race 2000, The Little Shop of Horrors, and a series of Edgar Allen Poe adaptations that starred Vincent Price, including The Masque of the Red Death. Roger also directed X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes, which will screen at his request on Saturday, September 25, 2010.

Julie Corman, Roger's wife, has played an essential role in shaping the career that they have shared for just over four decades now. Though a much less public figure, Julie has been instrumental in helping discover now-famous talent, including Jonathan Demme, James Cameron, Ron Howard, Joe Dante, Martin Scorsese, Jack Nicholson, Charles Bronson, Robert De Niro, and Sylvester Stallone, among many others. Roger and Julie are responsible for fostering the independent, imaginative spirit that Fantastic Fest was founded on.

The Cormans have collaborated with Syfy on a number of projects, such as DinoShark and Dinocroc vs. Supergator, and continue to partner with them to deliver original content and discover new talent, like Sharktopus director Declan O'Brien (with whom they previously worked on Cyclops, another Syfy exclusive). Sharktopus premiere on Syfy Saturday, September 25 at 9pm Eastern and Pacific (8pm Central).

"Roger and Julie Corman have been the single greatest inspiration in the development of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema," says Fantastic Fest director Tim League. "Fostering independent cinema, employing all manner of ballyhoo to accentuate the theatrical experience and trying to make sure audiences have a blast at the cinema every time; these are the cornerstones of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, and my wife and I have drawn inspiration from the very beginning from Roger and Julie Corman. I am deeply humbled and honored to be bringing them to Austin and the Alamo Drafthouse for the first time since we opened."

Tickets for the Gala Double Feature Screening of Machete Maidens Unleashed! and Sharktopus will go on sale Wednesday, September 8 at NOON CST on the Fantastic Fest official site.


Sharktopus (2010)
World Premiere, director: Declan O'Brien
In Sharktopus, Eric Roberts (The Expendables, The Dark Knight) plays a research scientist who, with his talented daughter (Sara Malakul Lane/Belly of the Beast), develops a secret military weapon -- a hybrid shark/octopus that can be controlled by electrical implants. But when the controls break down, the monster goes on a killing rampage at the resort beaches of Mexico. Sharktopus premieres on Syfy Saturday, September 25, 2010.

Machete Maidens Unleashed! (2010)
U.S. Premiere, Australia, director: Mark Hartley
From Mark Hartley, who wowed Fantastic Fest audiences with Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! in 2008, comes a new documentary about the even wilder world of Philippine-made exploitation movies. During the classic grindhouse era of the '60s and '70s, independent producers began turning out more and more exploitation features for less and less money. The films being discussed and shown in Hartley's trademark montage style include such wildly entertaining titles as For You Height Only, Mad Doctor of Blood Island, The Twilight People, The Big Doll House and TNT Jackson. Machete Maidens Unleashed! might just be the funniest, fastest, most shocking film you'll see all year. It features hilarious and informative interviews with Roger Corman, Pam Grier, Sid Haig, John Landis, Joe Dante, Eddie Romero, Cirio Santiago and many more of the people who made the golden age of Filipino exploitation what it was.

X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes (1963)
Repertory Screening, United States, director: Roger Corman
Above all else, the movies of Roger Corman are designed to turn a profit, and in virtually every case they have, but there wouldn't be a long-lasting, devoted Corman cult if they were merely crass commercial product, devoid of ideas. X tells the story of scientist Dr. James Xavier (Ray Milland) who develops a method for improving eyesight. But without funding for proper research he is compelled to test it on himself. Soon he finds he has such acute vision that he can actually see through things - women's clothing for instance. When, through an unfortunate chain of events, the doctor is forced to go underground his powers become both his salvation and a kind of torture. He uses his powers to heal the sick but as his power grows stronger he sees into death itself. He goes to Vegas and becomes a wiz at blackjack but his vision now penetrates the darkness of the human soul and he is transformed by the experience. He has seen too much.