Editor’s Note: The following article is part of our coverage of the 2015 Boston Underground Film Festival. For more information on the festival visit bostonunderground.org and follow BUFF on Twitter @.
There was a time when any talk of film festivals began and ended with Sundance. It was a time when Kevin Smith was still heavily in debt because of Clerks, Richard Linklater was just starting to contemplate the truths of life, and the thought of retirement wasn’t anywhere near Steven Soderbergh. As Sundance has continued to age, its relevancy becoming somewhat of a point of contention, the number and, more importantly, quality of film festivals has sky rocketed. Major cities boast handfuls of festivals and it’s gotten to the point where to be considered a true metropolis, you better be able to boast at least one week for the cinephile.
Every festival is like a weird little creature, complete with its own personality. Toronto International Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival have effectively become major award indicators and South by Southwest is the cool kids’ festival. While many well-known festivals tout their star power and world premieres, growing in volume are the smaller more intimate genre festivals.
Sure, you’ve heard of Fantastic Fest, and for good reason, but over at the Brattle in Harvard Square, Boston’s little genre festival Boston Underground Film Festival (or BUFF for short) kicks off its seventeenth anniversary on Wednesday. Previous years have seen plenty of SXSW and Fantastic Fest vets like Cheap Thrills, Starry Eyes, The Congress, and Blue Ruin. So, for those that love them some sci-fi, horror, action, and the just-plain weird, here are some films worth checking out at BUFF 17.
Wednesday March 25, 7:30 PM
The programmers went to familiar territory for the opening night film with the latest film from the Astron-6 team. The Editor has Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy, who previously delivered Father’s Day, reteaming for the story of a film editor with a wooden hand, having sliced off his fingers in a fit of rage. This ode to the giallo Eurotrash films of the 1970s is sure to pack plenty of gore, nudity, and knowing comedy and with a cast that includes Paz de la Huerta and Udo Kier, something ridiculous and at least entertaining is pretty much a lock. For those that worship at the altar of Argento, this is a movie for you.
Thursday March 26, 9:55 PM
If you were recently revisiting Single White Female, and thought to yourself, “well this doesn’t go nearly far enough,” then you’ll be pumped for Excess Flesh. The directorial debut of Patrick Kennelly is a twisted tale of twisted body image taken to the extreme. The film looks to explore more than the typical fear of torture and forced imprisonment, although there will be plenty of that. It also delves into the depressive mindset of an unattainable view of perfectionism, captured in the film’s LA setting.
Friday March 27, 11:59 PM
Let your mom talk in hushed whispers about 50 Shades of Grey, while you venture out for a real look at the world of BDSM. First-time writer-director Cheyenne Ricardo tells the tale of a woman’s exploration into the world of domination and submission. After answering a classified ad for a house domme, the newly named Mistress Remedy, gets an easy start before things start to get more and more interesting. If you’re worried about authenticity, know that Ricardo based the film on her own experience as a pro domme.
We Are Still Here
Saturday March 28, 6:45 PM
While we wait to see if the Poltergeist remake is worth our time, writer-director Ted Geoghegan was busy making his own house horror. The spiritual sibling of horror mainstays like The Amityville Horror and Poltergeist, We Are Still Here follows the Sacchetti family as they move to New England hoping for a new start. Unfortunately, they chose the wrong house. A love letter to the horror of the 70s and 80s, with a cast that boasts the necessary pedigree, We Are Still Here promises to be more than just a series of jump scares.
Sunday March 29, 12:00 PM
The inability to dream, a Tesla coil, an all-female sect of Ra worshippers, and the end of the world are just a few of the pieces that make up Magnetic. Powered by an electro soundtrack, musicians and writer-directors Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein bring this journey in ambiguity to audiences. Something like a feature length music video, a medium that BUFF celebrates annually in its Sound & Vision presentation (March 28, 5:00 PM), the film promises to leave audiences mesmerized and confused.
20 Years of Madness
Sunday March 29, 4:30 PM
Back in the 90s, a group of high school eccentrics came together to create 30 Minutes of Madness, a Detroit public access marriage of Kids in the Hall and Jackass. After going their separate ways after a botched attempt at living together, each went on to live his own life. Now 20 years later, this documentary follows leader Jerry White Jr. as he tries to “get the band back together” for one last episode. 20 Years of Madness is sure to be a dirty mixture of creative reunion and difficult examination of failure.