First look at this year’s lineup SLASH 1/2

Guess which film festival will be extended for a forth day? Yeah, that’s right! Cancel all your Sunday plans because SLASH 1/2 will run from 17 to 20 June! Boom! 

After cancelling last year’s edition due to the pandemic, SLASH 1/2 is making its big comeback in 2021. Extended to four festival days, the mini festival presents international Fantastic Cinema in all its diversity. Sporting more than ten films, the program serves up hearty scenes of blood and pus splattering everywhere (mmhh!) as well as subtle horrors and social critique—after all, it’s not just your stomach that ought to turn but also the wheels in your head.

Festival films include Brandon Cronenberg’s sci-fi thriller POSSESSOR, Tyler Russell’s equally nasty and funny body horror flick CYST, Justin Simien’s ferocious horror satire BAD HAIR, and Bill Benz’s thriller mockumentary THE NOWHERE INN (hosted by FM4).
An integral part of the festival program is once again a cooperation with Crossing Europe Festival Linz.

Further film highlights will be announced in the coming weeks


Canada/UK 2020
Director: Brandon Cronenberg
Cast: Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sean Bean

Tasya Vos is an elite agent for a shady company: Thanks to a brain implant, she (or rather, her consciousness) slips into other bodies and uses them to do hit jobs. But every kill leaves deep wounds in her psyche, and Tasya is having an increasingly tough time finding back into her own identity. And then she suddenly gets “stuck” in another body—with fatal consequences. Despite the powerful heritage POSSESSOR marks the ultimate emancipation for Brandon Cronenberg from his famous father in the way he presents the themes and the world, staging a radical sci-fi thriller that also manages to hit the zeitgeist as a philosophical nail-biter.


Hosted by FM4:
USA 2020
Director: Bill Benz
Cast: Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent), Carrie Brownstein, Ezra Buzzington, Dakota Johnson

Art imitates life imitates art. This axiom of any metafiction is put through the wringer in Bill Benz’s surreal mockumentary THE NOWHERE INN as we watch the brittle relationship between the very human Annie Clark and her larger-than-life pop persona St. Vincent. A (fictional) documentary crew puts the spotlight on the woman behind the successful musician with a cult following—but her screen aptitude turns out to be limited due to her extreme mediocrity. To save the film, Annie exercises eccentricity and ebullience yet loses herself time and again in the artificial persona and her artificial world.


USA 2020
Director: Tyler Russell
Cast: Eva Habermann, George Hardy, Greg Sestero

Small-town USA, early 1960s: Dr. Guy spends his days tirelessly tinkering with his revolutionary “Get Gone” machine that uses laser technology to rid his patients of cysts, ulcers, and other growths. But its patent is postponed indefinitely when a minor malfunction transforms a malignant cyst into a malevolent blastoma monster that proceeds to make its murderous rounds through the doctor’s office. CYST is an icky, hideous, funny throwback to the golden age of creature features—a feast for enthusiasts of blood-and-boils cinema—with a luminous and telling cast of pulp veterans like George Hardy (TROLL 2) and Greg Sestero (THE ROOM).


USA 2020
Director: Justin Simien
Cast: Zaria Kelley, Corinne Massiah, Elle Lorraine

The year is 1989: Elle is trying to gain a foothold in the L.A.’s entertainment industry. When the television station where she works is revamped as a hip MTV competitor, her new boss recommends changing her afro to a relaxed long hairstyle. But Elle’s extensions develop a homicidal life of their own. BAD HAIR is a ferocious horror satire about the perils of suppressed (cultural) identity and a swoop through the new-jack-fueled African American pop landscape of the late 1980s—replete with cameos from Usher, Kelly Rowland, and an utterly magnificent Vanessa Williams.