Fantastic Fest Day 4 (Cheap Thrills, Mirage Men)
Ryan Revolver

Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from all around the world. This unique film festival is taking place from September 19th-26th at the Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline location.



Film: Cheap Thrills


Synopsis: A recently fired father facing eviction is paid to take on an escalating series of insane challenges from a rich couple with a twisted sense of humor.


Thoughts: Social norms be damned, money buys absolutely anything. Laid off mechanic Craig (Pat Healy) and his old skateboarding friend turned debt collector Vince (Ethan Embry) eventually trade their dignity for the dollar. Cheap Thrills is a movie that is hard to stop watching because you will want to see what happens next. It was surprising seeing David Koechner in this. I guess in between Will Ferrell flicks he ventured into the most dangerous character I have seen him, especially considering he usually plays a goof. The last shot of this film was commanding, with the decision and the reason occupying the same room.


Cheap Thrills - ★★★1/4



Film: Mirage Men


Synopsis: A mind-scrambling documentary that posits that popular myths about the existence of UFOs originated from a disinformation campaign by the U.S. government.


Thoughts: Oh! So the NSA was partaking in analog surveillance of American citizens in the 80’s as well. Who were they snooping on? Paul Bennewitz-a WWII vet/UFO researcher. The NSA isn’t even the evil government types needing to be the center of attention. Nope, the splurging of funds resides on the shoulders of Richard Doty, or more specifically his superiors. Doty was in the USAF-and carried out “sanctioned counterintelligence” against those researching the phenomenon of lights out in the desert. The guy has some real guts on him considering his weekend activities in post-retirement.


What to take out of this documentary? Be like Mulder, and trust no one. Not the government, not the ufologists. Maybe not even aliens, if they do in fact exist. Kudos, I guess, are in order for this expose on governmental meddling and infighting amongst believers of extraterrestrials.


Mirage Men - ★★★

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