The 19th annual Boston Underground Film Festival returns to Harvard Square to kick off New England’s Spring festival season, bringing with it a smorgasbord of phantasmagoria, dark comedy, thrillers, killers, and chillers to the Brattle Theatre and Harvard Film Archive from March 22nd through the 26th. This year’s schedule boasts an eclectic selection of weird, wonderful programming packed with flavors for cineastes of all tastes!
As usual, we’ll have: Our kid-friendly annual Saturday Morning Cartoons program with cereal smorgasbord, programmed by renowned curator, author, and Monster Fest Festival Director Kier-La Janisse; a veritable bounty of shorts programming celebrating fantastic music videos, animation, transgressive horror; and more! So. Much. More!
FEATURE FILMS SCREENING
BITCH – East Coast Premiere
Marianna Palka | USA | 2017Caged in the suburbs of our discontent, a woman (Marianna Palka) snaps and enters a fugue state, consumed by the psyche of a vicious dog. Her philandering, stay-at-work husband (Jason Ritter) must grudgingly assume the role of family caretaker, forcing him to engage with his four children and sister-in-law (Jaime King) as they attempt to strengthen their familial unit and entice mom back to reality. Marianna Palka writes, directs, and stars in her bitingly funny and profound fourth feature.
DAVE MADE A MAZE – East Coast Premiere
Bill Watterson | USA | 2017
Dave (Nick Thune) is an artist who has yet to complete anything of significance in his short career; out of frustration, he builds an elaborate box fort in his living room. When his girlfriend and friends (including Kirsten Vangsness, Adam Busch, and Meera Rohit Kumbhani) enter against his protests, he must save them all from a series of fantastical pitfalls, booby traps, and creatures of his own creation. Actor Bill Watterson writes and directs his hilarious and idiosyncratic first feature.
HOUNDS OF LOVE – East Coast Premiere
Ben Young | Australia | 2016
In Ben Young’s tense, chilling feature debut, 17-year-old Vicki Maloney is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple and held prisoner in their home. As she observes the volatile dynamic between her captors, she soon realizes the key to survival lies in driving a wedge between them.
PREVENGE – East Coast Premiere
Alice Lowe | UK | 2016
In her directorial debut, Alice Lowe (Sightseers, Hot Fuzz, Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place) writes, directs and stars in a pitch black comedic tale of vengeance about seven-months-pregnant Widow Ruth and the unborn serial killer that compels her on her homicidal rampage.
SAINT BERNARD – North American Premiere
Gabe Bartalos | USA/France | 2013
Prolific creature designer Gabe Bartalos (Brain Damage, Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, Gremlins 2, and the Leprechaun series) crafts a phantasmagoric vision of a classical music conductor descending into insanity with his sophomore feature. Seemingly vanished from a short-lived run on the festival circuit in 2014, BUFF is proud to give this must-see nightmare, and the visionary filmmaker who created it, a proper North American premiere.
68 KILL – East Coast Premiere
Trent Haaga | USA | 2017
Trent Haaga (writer of Deadgirl, Cheap Thrills) returns to the director’s chair following 2011’s Chop with a punk-rock after hours thriller about femininity, masculinity and the theft of $68,000. When Liza (AnnaLynne McCord) asks her boyfriend Chip (Matthew Gray Gubler) to help her rob her wealthy sugar daddy, he can’t say no. Once they step into the man’s home, Chip & Liza embark on a breakneck roadtrip to hell. Adapted from Bryan Smith’s 2013, no-holds-barred crime novel of the same name.
THE VOID – New England Premiere
Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski | Canada | 2016
ASTRON-6’s Jeremy Gillespie & Steven Kostanski return with a Carpenteresque saga of brutal, cosmic dread, packed with creatures straight out of hell. In the middle of a routine patrol, officer Daniel Carter (Aaron Poole) happens upon a blood-soaked figure limping down a deserted stretch of road in the middle of the night. When he rushes the young man to a nearby rural hospital, he finds that patients and personnel are transforming into something… inhuman. As the horror intensifies, Carter must lead the other survivors into the subterranean depths of the hospital in a desperate bid to save their lives and end the nightmare before it’s too late.
TRINITY – Boston Premiere
Skip Shea | USA | 2016
Award-winning Massachusetts-based filmmaker, writer, artist and actor Skip Shea brings to life a deeply personal and disturbing first feature based on the true story about a moment in the life of a clergy abuse survivor. While at a coffee shop, a man accidentally bumps into the priest who abused him when he was a child, triggering a surreal, PTSD-induced dissociative moment that sends him on a twisted journey through his past.
A DARK SONG – East Coast Premiere
Liam Gavin | Ireland | 2016
A determined young woman and a damaged occultist risk their lives and souls to perform a dangerous ritual that will grant them what they want.
A LIFE IN WAVES – East Coast Premiere
Brett Whitcomb | USA | 2017
This incredible documentary explores the even more incredible life and innovations of composer and electronic music pioneer, Suzanne Ciani. Join us for a Q&A with Suzanne & the filmmakers following the screening!
FRAUD – New England Premiere
Dean Fleischer-Camp | USA | 2016
A struggling family commits fraud in this contentious docu-ficto hybrid.
HIDDEN RESERVES – East Coast Premiere
Valentin Hitz | Austria/Germany/Switzerland | 2016
Where death with dignity comes at a premium, an insurance salesman turned narc must reevaluate his ideology when he falls for the rebel he’s assigned to entrap.
MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND – East Coast Premiere
Ana Asensio | USA | 2017
A chilling portrait of an undocumented young woman’s struggle for survival as she finds redemption from a tortured past in a dangerous game.
NEIGHBORHOOD FOOD DRIVE – East Coast Premiere
Jerzy Rose | USA | 2017
A group of awful idiots fail at throwing a party over and over.
SECRET SCREENING – Secret Premiere
Secret Director | Secret Country | Secret Year
One of the best genre films coming out this year.
SHE’S ALLERGIC TO CATS – New England Premiere
Michael Reich | USA | 2016
A dog groomer in Hollywood aspires to be more than a dog groomer in Hollywood.
SOUTHLAND TALES – Anniversary Screening
Richard Kelly | USA | 2006
During a three day heat wave just before a huge 4th of July celebration, an action star stricken with amnesia meets up with a porn star who is developing her own reality TV project, and a policeman who holds the key to a vast conspiracy.
Individual screening ticket prices vary and will be available online and at the Brattle Theatre box office on the day of screening. Festival passes, are available for $180 at www.bostonunderground.org/tickets.
For more information, including short film programming, visit bostonunderground.org