The Buried Alive Film Festival’s program for Saturday, November 17, is STACKED with three new feature films, one rep-pick, two supporting features, the Eyeslicer short film program, nine more short films in the “It’s Never Too Early to Start Digging Graves” block, and one burlesque show compliments of Blast Off Burlesque. Now that’s a full day of entertainment!
Overwhelmed with a bounty of goodness, MMC!‘s previews can only be more important, pointing the path from mere goodness and toward greatness. Here, dear readers, are five MMC!-approved reasons (that are actually nine reasons) to BAFF this Saturday:
1. Violence Voyager
Ujicha’s Violence Voyager (2018) involves Bobby, an American boy living in Japan who travels with his friend Akkun into the mountains and stops in at a mysterious amusement park. Attacked inside by strange robot creatures, Bobby and Akkun discover that the park is in fact a trap built by a man named Koike who feeds the captured children to his son Takashi. Violence Voyager is a boy’s adventure story spiked with body horror trauma and Japanese weirdness, made all the more unsettling by Ujicha’s “gekimation,” a false animation technique that relies on illustrated paper figures and backgrounds that “act out” the film’s story. “Gekimation” has an unusual, uncanny feeling reminiscent of that created by the PBS series Cover to Cover, blending storybook innocence with a palpable sense of tension and even transgression (or maybe I was the only one creeped out by that show). Transgression is the name of the game with Violence Voyager and those looking for something very different in their body horror cinema must check out Ujicha’s film.
Gorehounds will find plenty of trauma in Marc Martínez Jordán’s Framed (2017), a Spanish film about a group of young people at a going away party who are held hostage by a trio of home invaders intent on torturing the group and streaming the footage live as viral entertainment. Imagine REC if it were directed by Charlie Brooker. Framed might be a bit thin on its social commentary, not quite a Funny Games for the age of live-streaming, but it’s a wild, well-made ride sure to make more than a few audience members wince.
3. Psycho Kino
Opening for Framed is Guillem Dols’s short Psycho Kino, a work that will ultimately stand near the top of MMC!‘s favourite BAFF films when all is said and done. This Spanish title explores the problematic production faced by a pair of snuff filmmakers – one wrestling with a creative crisis and the other suffering from feelings of guilt inspired by the cheerful outlook and willing helpfulness of their next victim. Who knew that mid-budget execution videos have to cater the demands of foreign markets? Psycho Kino is top-shelf theatre of the absurd and it kills.
MMC! has already declared its allegiance to Fredrik Hana’s Sister Hell (2015) and so it should be no surprise that we’re equally enamoured with his current short, Rosalina (2018). The film focuses on Vinny, an underworld kingpin who enjoys access to every indulgence, and his breakdown in the wake of his 50th birthday party and the appearance of an old friend. Stylishly assembled and tensely presented, Rosalina is a reminder that kill-crazy psychos need love too, maybe most of all.
5. Five Overly-Specific Film Recommendations
For grad students relying on the theories of Julia Kristeva: Entropia (Marinah Janello, 2017)!
For those with a nostalgia for Scanners and The Fury: The Chairman (Frank White IV, 2018)!
For fans of —Winston and looking for the Edgar Allan Poe undergraduate experience: FlyTrap (Connor Bland, 2018)!
For fans of Rankin/Bass stop-motion and folk horror: Madder Isle (Laura Spark, 2017)
And there you have it: five great reasons (that are actually nine reasons) to get Buried Alive this Saturday! Remember to check out my Letterboxd list for more updates and reviews on the 2018 BAFF and come back to MMC! for five great reasons to check out the Fest’s final day of programming!