Let’s get weird: Our 5 most anticipated films at Boston Underground Film Festival 2016

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Some may regard Christmas as “the most wonderful time of the year,” but I save that kind of praise for the beautiful months of March and April. Why? Because in Boston, these months are filled with film farther than the eye can see. And first off, from March 23-27, we have the 18th incarnation of the Boston Underground Film Festival, and Under the Gun Review has access to all of the weird, brazen and downright insane occult cinema that the powers that be have in store for this year.

It was at BUFF that this writer was able to see Blue Ruin and The Congress before the masses glommed onto their greatness. Exclusivity is cool, but BUFF has always had a track record for bringing the underseen to prying eyes (seriously, look up Jerzy Rose’s Crimes Against Humanity). So without further ado, I present to you UTG’s top 5 most anticipated films at the fest. All information about the festival, including ticketing and scheduling info, can be found at bostonunderground.org/.

The Lure

Agnieszka Smoczynska’s narrative feature debut recently won the Special Jury Prize for Unique Sound and Vision at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. That kind of praise is usually reserved for a film that really captures the imagination of its audience. The Lure follows a pair of vampiric teen mermaid sisters as they find themselves drawn into Warsaw’s seedy nightlife, and it is there that they learn about the beauty and horror of humanity. Staged as a horror musical, the film is sure to break genre boundaries as much as it is to harken back to The Little Mermaid, but with more blood and punk rock. This seems like the kind of film that constantly defies explanation, so it sounds like something directly up BUFF’s alley (and ours).

The Lure plays on Wednesday, March 23 at 7pm.

Belladonna Of Sadness

Director Eiichi Yamamoto first debuted the conclusion of his “Animerama Trilogy” back in 1973, yet it has seemed to slink back into obscurity. Luckily though, the great people at Cinelicious Pictures are delighted to present a brand new, 4K restoration of Belladonna of Sadness for everyone to see. The animated film, heralded as rape revenge meets hallucinatory animation, follows Jeanne (voiced by Aiko Nagayama) as she makes a pact with the devil (Tatsuya Nakadi) to reclaim her life after being raped on her wedding night. “Boundary-pushing” seems to be the name of the game here and we can’t wait to see what is believed to be a lost, but not forgotten, animated tour de force.

Belladonna of Sadness plays on Wednesday, March 23 at 9:30pm.

Blood Of The Tribades

Boston natives Michael J. Epstein and Sophia Cacciola return to BUFF with their third feature, Blood Of The Tribades. From what I can gleen from the trailer, I think we’re in for a good ol’ vampiric time with a film drawing from Giallo horror and the slam-fisted madness that is any film released by Hammer Films. The story follows two vampire lovers (Chloe Cunha & Mary Widow) as their love is caught between two warring ideologies and separated by gender and extremist viewpoints in the land of Bathor. There looks to be much more than just that tidbit of plot summary but we have a feeling that the film will be a treasure trove of horror genre greatness. Time will tell!

Blood Of The Tribades plays on Sunday, March 27 at noon.


Antibirth is another Sundance favorite from this year, with Natasha Lyonne playing a woman who may or may not be carrying a baby spawned from means other than natural coitus. Lou (Lyonne) is a punky drunkard who lives her days at a low-wage cleaning gig and her nights getting hammered off of any substance that gets put in her way. Lou may or may not be pregnant; she can’t seem to remember getting laid any time recently. As Lou starts to question whether or not she is actually pregnant, conspiracy theorists, government spooks and other sinister things stand in her way of the truth. We’re particularly excited for this one because Lyonne is great in most things and it’s a pretty safe vote of confidence to put her into a role like this.

Antibirth plays on Saturday, March 26 at 9:30pm.

Trash Fire

Owen (Entourage’s Adrian Grenier) and Isabel (Angela Trimbur) are the world’s worst couple. They’re way too co-dependent and Owen’s particular brand of hedonism has led their relationship to near ruin. As history has told, the past can creep up and bite you in the ass, and that is exactly what has started to happen to Owen and Isabel. This time, though, they get caught up in a web of lies, deceit and murder. Director Richard Bates Jr.’s third feature is geared up to be as crazy (supposedly) as his previous efforts, Excision and Suburban Gothic.

Trash Fire plays on Sunday, March 27 at 8:45pm.

Try not to read this rundown as a list of the only films UTG is excited for; BUFF is always chock full of great things like filmmaker appearances and karaoke parties! So, if these films detailed here are of any interest, then we implore you to come and be part of the fun this year at Boston Underground Film Festival. You won’t regret it.

Sam Cohen

Sam Cohen is that guy you can't have a conversation with without bringing up Michael Mann. He is also incapable of separating himself from his teenage angst (looking at you, Yellowcard). Read on as he tries to formulate words about movies!
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