Film festival season might be missing its usual quotient of A-listers on the red carpet, but Beyond Fest has no shortage of superstars bringing genre glitz to Los Angeles this month — including directors James Cameron, Guillermo del Toro, Michael Mann and cult icon Roger Corman, who, at 97, will receive a star-studded four-film career tribute.
The legendary B-movie producer will be in attendance for retrospective 35mm screenings of “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School,” “Piranha,” “Grand Theft Auto” and “The Raven” before longtime collaborators Ron Howard, Jon Davison, Amy Holden Jones, Joe Dante and Allan Arkush join him onstage in conversation.
“Terminator,” “Titanic” and “Avatar” auteur Cameron will appear to screen one of his underrated gems, 1989’s underwater sci-fi adventure “The Abyss,” presented in its special edition. Mann will discuss his 1986 serial-killer classic “Manhunter.” Del Toro will appear in celebration of the 10th anniversary of his sci-fi mecha-actioner “Pacific Rim,” and Brad Bird will present his beloved 1999 animated film “The Iron Giant.”
Those are just a few of the events, premieres and screenings planned for the 11th iteration of the highest attended genre festival in the world, with 55 features playing over 15 days from Sept. 26 to Oct. 10.
While other recent fall festivals have wobbled amid the Hollywood strikes, genre audiences tend to show up to celebrate their favorite horror, sci-fi and action auteurs in person. Last year’s Beyond Fest bet big on Indian filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli, helping launch a successful Oscar bid for his action epic “RRR.” In 2020, the festival shifted to drive-in screenings amid the pandemic.
This year’s festival will open with 20th Century’s new AI epic “The Creator” starring John David Washington and Gemma Chan, directed by Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla”). It will close with Kristoffer Borgli’s upcoming A24 satiric comedy “Dream Scenario,” starring Nicolas Cage as a man who starts appearing in strangers’ dreams.
In between those, audiences will get early peeks at buzzy titles from the international festival circuit, including Justine Triet’s Palme d’Or-winning “Anatomy of a Fall” and Kitty Green’s thriller “The Royal Hotel.” Demián Rugna’s “When Evil Lurks,” already gaining a reputation with horror insiders as one of the scariest films of the year, will also play, as will the buzzy Indian actioner “Kill” from filmmaker Nikhil Nagesh Bhat.
Beyond Fest will screen not one, but two upcoming Paul Mescal films as the “Normal People” star appears in Andrew Haigh’s “All of Us Strangers” opposite “Fleabag”’s Andrew Scott, and in Garth Davis’ psychological drama “Foe,” opposite Saoirse Ronan.
L.A.’s boisterous horror fans will be the first to catch world premieres of Tyler Macintyre’s holiday romp “It’s a Wonderful Knife” (what if George Bailey was a final girl?), Prime Video and Blumhouse Television‘s Kiernan Shipka-starring time-travel slasher “Totally Killer” from director Nahnatchka Khan, and the unexpectedly timely Jodie Wille documentary “Welcome Space Brothers,” about the Unarius Academy of Science, the extraterrestrial-channeling spiritual organization founded in Los Angeles.
Actor and filmmaker Macon Blair’s highly anticipated “The Toxic Avenger” remake — starring “Game of Thrones”’ Peter Dinklage as the titular Troma superhero — will screen, as will 4K world premieres of Michele Soavi’s “Cemetery Man” and “The Church” and the North American premiere of the 4K restoration of Gareth Evans’ action classic “The Raid.”
Meanwhile, the exploitation cinema maestros at Severin Films will screen their Brucesploitation documentary “Enter the Clones of Bruce.”
More special guests include Malcolm McDowell, who will present and discuss “Caligula: The Ultimate Cut”; Britt Ekland, who will attend with “The Wicker Man — The Final Cut”; and “Final Destination” creator Jeffrey Reddick. The spicy NC-17 cut of David Cronenberg’s “Crash” will be virtually introduced by “You Must Remember This” podcaster and writer Karina Longworth.
Horror icons Kane Hodder and Linda Blair will appear with “Spooktacular!” from director Quinn Monahan, a look at America’s totally ’90s first horror theme park, and filmmaker Gregg Araki will appear with the restoration of his 1997 L.A. black comedy “Nowhere.”
Beyond Fest screenings will take place at the Aero Theatre, Los Feliz 3 and Regency Village Theatre in partnership with the American Cinematheque, with all ticket sale proceeds going to the nonprofit. Check out the full lineup here.