Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. SXSW has been a madhouse this year, but I wanted to take some time out to detail a couple sneak peaks we got at the fest.
First up is Seth MacFarlane’s TED. MacFarlane had a “Conversation With” style panel at the fest and Universal surprised us with the first 8 minutes and the red band trailer.
Ted starts off as a Frosty The Snowman type fantasy as a lonely young boy in the mid-‘80s can’t seem to make any friends. Patrick Stewart narrates and in classic MacFarlane style occasionally gets sidetracked from setting up this story, but the main thrust is that it’s Christmas and this lonely boy gets a big teddy bear that says “I love you” when you hug him.
That night the boy makes a Christmas wish. He wishes that Teddy would really talk with him so they could be best friends. Low and behold his wish comes true and he has a walking, talking friend.
The excited little boy introduces Ted to his parents (played by Family Guy’s Alex Borstein and Ralph Garman) who, naturally freak the fuck out when their son’s stuffed bear walks into the kitchen greeting them in a sweet child’s voice.
Ted becomes a world-wide story, becomes hot shit, but through it all he’s young John’s best friend first and foremost. Cut to modern day and little John is now Mark Wahlberg and Ted is still his best friend… but now smokes weed, uses a lot of vulgarities and a truckload of not-so-subtle innuendo.
In other words they’re just regular slacker friends except one of them happens to be a stuffed animal voiced by Seth MacFarlane (very Peter Griffin).
They also showed the red band trailer, which goes a little further in setting up the triangle of the movie, as Ted gets in the way of Wahlberg’s relationship with his longtime girlfriend played by Mila Kunis. One final bit of footage was an excerpt from a They Live style knockdown, drag-out fight between Wahlberg and the teddy bear. It’s a bit similar to the Mel Gibson/Beaver fight from Jodie Foster’s flick, but with a little more comedic oomph.
From the Temple of Doom poster on young John’s wall to overly raunchy dialogue this weird bit of live action from MacFarlane seems right up my alley.
The panel itself was also really fun. At one point they said they had a surprise and MacFarlane announced that he brought Charlie Sheen with him. Out walked Wahlberg, sniffing loudly and rubbing his nose, which got a huge laugh from the crowd.
So, that was one sneak peak and then before last night’s midnight movies at the Alamo Drafthouse Tim League screened some “totally not a trailer” compilation of footage from Drafthouse Films and Magnolia’s team-up anthology horror film THE ABCs OF DEATH.
And it looked insane, like every little detail and idiosyncrasy of Fantastic Fest all mashed together into one film-going experience. The conceit here is that there are 26 3 minute shorts, each representing a letter of the alphabet and some horror associated with that letter. Tons of up and coming genre directors (most of them Fantastic Fest alums) contributed and I saw claymation gore, genital mutilation, swastikas made out of fishnetted legs, something awful involving a toilet, tons of blood, lots of graphic nudity and enough surreal flashes to give David Lynch a respect-boner.
So, there’s a little SXSW update. I’ve been interviewing like a fool, so I’ve gotten really behind on reviews, but I will strive to have some stuff up tonight. Now I’m off to a documentary on Jeffrey Dahmer. Fun times!