MMC! will cover the 2018 Buried Alive Film Festival by previewing each day of its programming, focusing on those wonderful films that achieve MMC!-approval!
With BAFF’s emphasis on short films and a full program of these titles playing each day the Fest, there’s hardly any limit on the number of good reasons to attend! BAFF kicks off on November 14 with a screening of the films made as part of its 3rd annual Sinema Challenge, a 13 day filmmaking challenge that sees its participants randomly select a horror genre and a subject from a deck of Cards Against Humanity cards and then make a movie based on their selections.
The Fest’s main program starts on November 15 with a feature, a supporting short film, and BAFF’s first short program: “For the Love of the Undertaker.” For those counting, that’s thirteen separate works in a single evening of film fest-ing! There’s lots to enjoy, but here are MMC!‘s five favourite reasons to BAFF next Thursday.
1. The God Inside My Ear
Joe Badon’s The God Inside My Ear (2017) is BAFF’s opening feature and it’s a strange concoction of horror, surrealism, and comedy that might land somewhere between the sensibilities of David Lynch and Jared Hess. When her boyfriend breaks up with her after having seemingly joined a cult, Elizia (Linnea Gregg) finds herself descending into an uncertain world of horrifying visions and strange voices, launching her into a psychic tailspin. Badon, a storyboard illustrator who made this début feature for a mere $8,000, keeps the film visually arresting throughout and wears its cinematic influences on its sleeve, particularly its debt to Herk Harvey’s Carnival of Souls (1962). The tone of TGIME is all over the place, from deadpan comedy to hallucinatory brain-melt to existential dread, and it shouldn’t really work, but Badon’s film manages to be consistently fascinating throughout and works best when the movie dwells in some hipster-millennial version of cosmic horror, where the problems of underemployment and alienation bleed into the imposing indifference of the infinite. A micro-budget surprise.
Playing with The God Inside My Ear is Alberto Corredor Marina’s Baghead (2017), a short film concerning Kevin (Oliver Walker), a man haunted by grief and who seeks a meeting in a pub’s basement that will bring him into contact with the recently deceased. Baghead is exactly what a horror short wants to be – long on creepy atmosphere, strongly unsettling in its monster, ghoulishly funny at times, and hiding a nasty twist. Marina makes an efficiently lean and effective film, not even wasting its closing credits to wring out a few more chills (and gallows laughs).
3. Helsinki Mansplaining Massacre
Certainly BAFF’s winner for best title, Ilja Rautsi’s Helsinki Mansplaining Massacre (2018) is a hilarious gore-filled statement against misogynistic micro-aggressions, tracing one woman’s desperate struggle to survive the frail egos of some unusual men holed-up in a remote Finnish cabin. This is feminist splatstick in the best spirit of Braindead (Peter Jackson, 1992) and I’d say more, but …. well …. y’know.
4. Should You Meet a Lady in a Darkened Wood
Daniel Stankler’s Should You Meet a Lady in a Darkened Wood (2018) is a wonderful animated horror-fantasy about a taxidermist who decided his life lacks one thing – a woman – but the one he finds in that titular darkened wood has other plans. Its modernist style, creepy narration, and evocative music strongly brings to mind Ted Parmelee’s classic The Tell-Tale Heart (1953), a certain statement of Stankler’s achievement in mid-century modernist pastiche. This is a hidden gem waiting to find fans of UPA animation hanging around the 7 Stages Theatre.
5. Tuesday Crowd
Tuesday Crowd (2017) is like Quentin Tarantino made Fantastic Mr. Fox. That might sound glib but it’s surprisingly accurate as the film concerns a tough-minded, quick-to-shoot criminal holding a fast food employee hostage while he scours the restaurant for another criminal wearing a fox costume. William Kioultzopoulos’ short bears the hallmarks of the Tarantino-esque – violent criminals, snappy profanity, cheap consumer culture, conspicuous pop songs – and launches it even further into the comedic with furry-suits and minimum wage problems. This wacky, unseemly, and unforgiving crime thriller shouldn’t be missed!
So there you are, five great reasons to get Buried Alive next Thursday in Atlanta. Don’t forget about my Letterboxd list for BAFF with updating reviews. Keep visiting MMC! in the coming days as we’ll have more previews of Buried Alive hits to entice your further attendances to BAFF and the 7 Stages Theatre!