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Player one, start

Arcade fun and games with The FP at Fantasia International Film Festival

It feels like ages since I was last in an arcade; like phoneboxes, they almost seem to be a relic from the past in the UK at least. Thanks to Fantasia and Drafthouse Films though, this tragedy was solved with the Phantom Beat-Off after-party to mark the international premiere of The FP.

An utterly bizarre depiction of a dystopian society where, as always seems to be the case, fashion has reverted to the ’80s and where the one form of combat is based around the rhythm game, Beat Beat Revelation, The FP went down a storm with the fervent Fantasia crowd this weekend; so much so that even an establishing shot of a mountain was greeted with hoots of laughter from dedicated pockets in the Hall Theater.

But after the film was over, the serious business began with the official after-party, held at the AMC Pepsi Forum, where I let my inner games geek take over. Courtesy of some complimentary games tokens, I found myself dishing out Hadoukens one minute and then shredding some riffs the next; my performance on the latter proving that a change of career is highly unlikely.

And after a pretty woeful display on the air hockey, the main event was set to start with co-director, co-writer and the film’s star Jason Trost (or JTRO as he’s known in FP world) on hand to challenge all comers on Dance Dance Revolution. Not well versed in the skills of dance-based rhythm games, I left the professionals to their highly energetic performances and just enjoyed the spectacle.

Had these limbs been a couple of years younger and less weighed down by the delicious nibbles on offer though, I’m sure I could have taken him…

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