The Boston Underground Film Festival has announced the full lineup for its 20th annual festival! From March 21-25 2018, fans of horror and genre film will gather in Boston to celebrate the best of bizarre, bloody, and beautiful cinema. This year’s lineup includes the World Premiere of The Queen of Hollywood Blvd, directed by Orson Oblowitz, and the East Coast Premiere of The Ranger and Revenge.
Filmmakers and cast will be in attendance as well, including Jenn Wexler (Dir. The Ranger) and Issa López (Dir. Tigers Are Not Afraid).
In addition to the steller feature lineup, BUFF will feature the return of the Saturday Morning All-You-Can-Eat Cereal Cartoon Party, animated and live action shorts, the Homegrown Horror shorts series highlighting local filmmakers, music videos, and a secret midnight feature!
Check out the exciting lineup below!
My Name is Myeisha (2018) USA. Dir. Gus Krieger
Opening Night, East Coast Premiere. Gus Krieger & Rhaechyl Walker in Attendance.
On the evening of December 28th, 1998, Myeisha Jackson’s night ends with her asleep in her car, her cousins outside, and police on the way. In the fleeting moments before the unthinkable occurs, she awakes with a start inside her inner dreamscape and contemplates her life–what it was and what it was going to be. A metaphysical trip into Myeisha’s mind reveals a life brimming with promise on the cusp of adulthood–her secrets, goals, flaws, strengths, loves, and talents–and is fueled and expressed by her love of hip hop, dance, and spoken word as she comes to terms with what’s happened to her.
Liquid Sky (1982) USA. Dir. Slava Tsukerman
35th Anniversary Repertory Screening. Slava Tsukerman in Attendance.
Heroin-seeking invisible aliens land on top of a NYC apartment inhabited by a drug dealer and her androgynous, bisexual, nymphomaniac, fashion model lover: Margaret (played by co-writer Anne Carlisle). The aliens quickly get hip to a better drug–orgasmic pheromones–and start vaporizing her casual sex partners. Things get weirder as Margaret’s arch nemesis Jimmy (also played by Carlisle), a lonely, horny neighbor across the street, and a German scientist get involved in the proceedings.
Pin Cushion (2017) UK. Dir. Deborah Haywood
New England Premiere.
New to town, the inseparable dafty duo Lyn and her daughter Iona are excited to have a fresh start. Determined to establish herself successfully after a rocky start, Iona drifts away from her bestie/mum and becomes BFFs with the school’s equivalent of the “Heathers.” Forlorn, Lyn attempts to make friends of her own, but after a lifetime of being othered, she still struggles with the same vicious trials and tribulations of being different that her daughter now faces.
The Theta Girl (2017) USA. Dir. Christopher Bickel
As the local purveyor of the designer drug Theta, a hallucinogenic party drug that purports to expand and enhance consciousness, Gayce Delko is everyone’s best friend. When Gayce is not slinging Theta at every party, DIY show, and orgy in town, she’s hanging with her communal housemates, the all-girl punk band, The Truth Foundation.
Things go quickly south when a band of bible-thumping Jesus freaks, let by the intense Brother Marcus, get dosed with Theta and go on a maniacal murder spree. When people close to Gayce end up dying, it’s up to her and her supplier Derek to get to the bottom of the wave of death that becomes more personal with each new victim.
The Queen of Hollywood Blvd (2018) USA. Dir. Orson Oblowitz
World Premiere. Orson Oblowitz & Rosemary Hochschild in Attendance.
A sublime and stylish thrill ride along Tinseltown’s infamous mile-long haven of debauchery and debasement. Starring No Wave luminary Rosemary Hochschild (1978’s Table Conversation, 1979’s Minus Zero, 1983’s King Blank), badass Queen (of all our hearts) Mary must navigate Los Angeles’ seedy underworld of violence, prostitution and murder to save her kidnapped son and her strip club.
Let the Corpses Tan (2017) Belgium/France. Dir. Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani
After stealing a cache of gold, Rhino and his gang discover a near-abandoned Mediterranean hamlet hideout, occupied by an inspiration-seeking woman. Their bucolic surroundings become a horrific battlefield when uninvited guests arrive on the scene to foil everyone’s plans.
Top Knot Detective (2017) Australia/Japan. Dir. Aaron McCann & Dominic Pearce.
New England Premiere
This is the story of how a failed Japanese samurai series, RONIN SUIRI TENTAI (Deductive Reasoning Ronin), became an instant Australian cult classic. Badly acted, translated and edited, the show centered around a detective samurai who solved crimes and killed monsters while avenging his master’s murder. This hilarious doc digs up the bizarre behind the scenes antics that it’s creator and co-stars got up to, and investigates how the main star ended up in jail 20 years later…or maybe not!
Spoor (2017) Poland. Dir. Agnieszka Holland
New England Premiere.
Janina Duszejko (a remarkable Agnieszka Mandat), an elderly retired engineer, is a part-time teacher and a full-time protector of animals who lives alone in a small mountain village near the Czech-Polish border. A staunch nonconformist who regularly speaks truth to power, she’s become an outcast among certain circles. One day, her cherished dogs go missing. Duszejko has regularly gotten into confrontations with poachers in the area, and she fears the worst. Soon, the poachers themselves begin to turn up dead along with some neighbourhood authority figures under highly unnatural circumstances, always with animal tracks found around the bodies. Sometimes a deer. Other times a boar. Could the animals finally be taking their revenge?
The Ranger (2018) USA. Dir. Jenn Wexler
East Coast Premiere.
After a police raid at a punk club leaves an officer dead, Chelsea (Chloe Levine) and her friends flee the city for her family cabin secluded in a national park. Hazy flashbacks reveal Chelsea’s history mired in tragedy, the accidental death of her outdoorsman Uncle Pete (Larry Fessenden), and the zealous forest ranger (Jeremy Holm) who took her under his wing. The past returns in the familiar form of a ruthless by-the-book public servant who resorts to diabolical measures to protect the forest.
Revenge (2017) France. Dir. Coralie Fargeat
New England Premiere.
What starts as a weekend getaway between a married man and his mistress quickly devolves into a deadly game of cat and mouse when his hunting buddies arrive. Director Fargeat revamps and recalibrates the rape-revenge trope from a female perspective, creating a violent, visceral monomyth about the rebirth and survival of a woman wronged seeking to even the score..
Daha (2017) Turkey. Dir. Onur Saylak
Young Gaza lives in a small town on Turkey’s Aegean coast and dreams of escaping the soul-crushing drudgery of the family business: smuggling refugees. Studious and still imbued with a youthful sense of optimism and innocence, Gaza is pulled deeper and deeper into a dark, immoral world of human suffering and exploitation by his domineering father; will he avoid becoming the monster he’s being raised to be?
Tigers are Not Afraid (2017) Dir. Issa López
Issa López in Attendance.
Ten-year old Estrella lives with her mother in a Mexican border town where street violence is endemic and daily life revolves around dodging bullets. One such day at school, as the children lie on the ground while guns blast outside their classroom, Estrella’s teacher gives her pieces of chalk, deeming them “three wishes,” to comfort her.
Upon returning home, Estrella finds her mother is missing and logically makes her first wish. While granted, the wish isn’t all she’d hoped for and soon the girl ends up on the streets. Joining a gang of children borne of the same tragic predicament, Estrella is simultaneously a glimmer of hope and an inadvertent spark igniting a dangerous chain of events. Supplanting some of their reality-based horror with phantasmagorical creatures and animated plush toys, the unthinkable becomes easier to grapple with for resilient children thrown into a living nightmare and an audience that bears witness to their plight.
Good Manners (2017) Dir. Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra
Lonely nurse Clara arrives at a luxury tower block in São Paolo to interview for a live-in nanny position with Ana, a wealthy and equally lonely mom-to-be. The difference in these women’s social classes and backgrounds is stark, yet Ana hires Clara despite a lack of experience and references. It’s not long before Clara becomes an essential part of Ana’s life, wearing the hats of housekeeper, handyperson, confidant, and eventually lover.
As her due date approaches, Ana displays an unusual tendency towards full-moon somnambulism and a concerning choice of midnight munchies. All comes to a head one fateful night; the best laid plans of women and werewolves often go awry.
Something Wicked This Way Comes (2018) USA. Dir. Jessica Barnthouse & Stacy Buchanan
World Premiere. Jessica Barnthouse & Stacy Buchanan in Attendance.
Something Wicked This Way Comes is a full-feature exploration into the popular horror culture of New England. Through discussions with genre luminaries, horror fans, and natives, the film discovers popular conventions within the genre and identifies how they’re driven by the history, eerie settings, and social issues of the area. And through the stories of actors and local filmmakers, it aims to discover if the area’s passion is strong enough to help grow an independent film industry
MexMan (2018) Dir. Josh Polon.
East Coast Premiere.
Los Angeles-based artist Germán Alonso is a walking, talking fountain of creativity. Puppetry, animation, drawing, computer graphics and filmmaking are all mediums that Germán has dabbled in, but his goal is the live-action feature film adaptation of his creation MexMan, a comic book-like character that’s been a passion project of his for quite some time.
When an encounter with Hollywood producer Moctesuma Esparza (Selena, Gettysburg) turns a pipe dream into a real possibility, Germán must team up with a crew who don’t necessarily understand or appreciate his erratic creative process. Struggling to keep his vision intact, Germán tries to navigate the wants and needs of his creative partners with varied results.
Touching from a Distance:
5% Dad (Dir. Lyall Coburn, South Africa)
Evelyn’s Room (Dir. Nicole Georgallas, USA)
Reprisal (Dir. Mike Malajalian, Lebanon)
Beautiful Injuries (Dir. Judith Beauvallet, France)
Sitting Across from Strangers Like Us (Dir. Melina Valdez, USA)
Contact (Dir. Teal Greyhavens, USA)
Let Them Die Like Lovers (Dir. Jesse Atlas, USA)
Limbus (Dir. Lee Peterkin, USA)
Homegrown Horror Chapter V: (Un)safe Spaces:
Under Dusk, She Screams (Dir. R.J. Wilson, Maine)
Knock Knock II (Dir. Katharine McManus, Massachusetts)
The Misplaced (Dir. Alex DiVincenzo, Massachusetts)
Jolie Laide (Dir. Charlotte Warren, Maine)
I Want You to Know (Dir. Silvia Graziano, Massachusetts)
Baptism (Dir. Mackenzie Bartlett, Maine)
Death Has No Season (Dir. Coco Roy, Massachusetts)
A/S/L (Dir. Ben Swicker, Massachusetts)
Entropia (Dir. Marinah Janello, Rhode Island)
Trigger Warning (Midnight Shorts Program)
The Consequence (Dir. Chrzu Lindström, Finland)
Babs (Dir. Celine Held & Logan George, UK)
Mother (Dir. Lee Charlish, UK)
The Itch (Dir. Timothy Ryan Driscoll, USA)
Hell of a Day (Evan Hughes, Australia)
Seppukuckoo (Josh Wolk, USA)
Happy Birthday, Brenda (Dir. Rory Douglas Abel, USA)
Cruel is the Night (Dir. Alan Deprez, Belgium)
Queen Kong (Dir. Monica Stambrini, Italy)
I Remember My First Beer, Man (Dir. Brian Petillo, USA)
The Break Up (Dir. Tim Butcher, UK)
Mother F**kr (Dir. Nicholas Santos, USA)
Year of the Snake (Dir. Kevin James, Ryan Murphy & Neil Cicierega, USA)
Third Wheel (Dir. Daniel Delpurgatorio, USA)
Gene Lover (Dir. Tianying Jiang, USA)
Tiny Clones (Dir. Jim McDonough, USA)
Robo Greaser (Dir. Dakota Arsenault, Canada)
BFF Girls (Dir. Brian Lonano, USA)
Bride of Frankie (Dir. Devi Snively, USA)
Freelancer (Dir. Francisco Lacerda, Portugal)
Mailman (Dir. Eric Levy, USA)
End Times (Dir. Bobby Miller, USA)
The Ghost in You (Animated Shorts)
4th House (Dir. Cameron Stetz, USA)
Divided by Blue (Dir. Eric Ko, USA)
Edge of Alchemy (Dir. Stacey Steers, USA)
The Shepherd (Dir. Natalie Vinciguerra, USA)
Cowboy Castle (Dir. Kaitlin Martin, USA)
Panicutopia-the desertark (Dir. Gali Blay, Netherlands)
The Realm of Deepest Knowing (Dir. Seunghee Kim, Republic of Korea)
The Burden (Dir. Niki Lindroth von Bahr, Sweden)
Sugar (Dir. Kristin Pearson, USA)
Winston (Dir. Adam Sarkisian, USA)
Death Van (Dir. Michael Enzbrunner, Canada)
The Boston Underground Film Festival runs from March 21-25 2018. For more information, check out bostonunderground.org.