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Monday, November 19, 2018

BAFF 2018: Feature Films Overview

This year's selection of feature films at the Buried Alive Film Festival 2018 was easily the best I've seen in years. From an insightful documentary to neon gore, there was certainly something for every horror fan! Here is my rundown of all the features shown at this year's festival.



The God Inside My Ear
Dir. Joe Badon – USA – 100min




Following a young woman who has just been dumped by her weird cultist boyfriend, this film delves into strange and surreal territory as she spirals into madness. Great editing and super cool visuals make this one worth a watch! Full review here.


FP2: Beats of Rage
Dir. Jason Trost – USA – 90min

In a post-apocalyptic world where the only resource that matters is booze, JTRO must battle for control of The FP and The Wastes in the deadly art of Beat Beat Revolution. Watching the trailer for this movie, I admit it seemed like a silly concept better suited to a short film, but I found myself happily wrong as I enjoyed the movie quiet a bit. It plays out like a parody of a Mad Max movie, with some Snake Plissken thrown in for good measure. The straight-faced dudebro dialogue makes for some very funny contrast to the melodramatic events, and the cast is perfect. This is a great party movie!



Amazon Hot Box
Dir. James Bickert – USA – 83min
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Taking place in an off-the-grid women's prison somewhere in South America, the female inmates try to survive while a sadistic warden runs experiments on them and U.S. covert operatives try to infiltrate and take down the local government. While I wasn't a huge fan of Bickert and co's last film Frankenstein Created Bikers, I found this one to be much more entertaining and engaging. Bickert has managed to create a modern exploitation film that captures the bizarre over-the-top nature of the genre while creating a wealth of funny characters to inhabit that world. Tristan Risk is excellent as the ruthless top-of-the-food-chain inmate and Jett Bryant is full of hilarious one-liners in his role as himself once again. I really look forward to seeing what kind of exploitation film Bickert tackles next!


Framed
Dir. Marc Martínez Jordán – Spain – 80min
Official Site

This polished horror flick plays like a cross between The Strangers and Nerve as a live-streaming psychopath invades a house and tortures a group of friends in an attempt to break live viewer records. Framed has fantastic color and music, and has some surprisingly insightful things to say amidst its blood soaked fun. Full review here.



Violence Voyager
Dir. Ujicha – Japan – 83min
Official Site

One of the strangest and coolest films I've seen in quite some time! Done in a very unique 'gekimation' style, Violence Voyager plays out like a twisted Cronenbergian children's adventure where an amusement parks turns out to be a facility for transforming kids into weird insectoid robots. I guarantee you've never seen anything like this, and it is a must see! Full review here.


Dead by Midnight (11PM Central)
directed by Torey Haas, Eric Davis, Jay Holloway, Anissa Matlock, Tony Reames
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This Atlanta-based horror anthology film tells the story of a failing TV station on its final night as they air a Halloween special that increasingly encroaches on reality. Peppered in with this overall story are five short horror films that range from cartoonish and hilarious to deeply disturbing. The strength of Dead by Midnight is in the unique tone of each story, but it also feels like a full, cohesive horror film. For those looking for some excellent new horror with a dose of the retro, look no further.


Survival of the Film Freaks
Dir. Bill Fulkerson and Kyle Kuchta – USA – 86min

This documentary explores the origins and phenomenon of cult film through a series of interviews and clips. While the subject is far too broad to be covered effectively in its 90 minutes, the directing team of Bill Fulkerson and Kyle Kuchta do assemble a great group of people to talk about it. From podcasters and critics like Rob Galluzzo (Shock Waves) and Joe Bob Briggs to directors like Adam Green, Jackson Stewart, and Lloyd Kaufman; they all provide interesting and valuable insight. What sets the movie apart is that it doesn’t aim to just shed light on classic cult films, but explore its future, trying to decode the difference between a meant-to-be-bad movie like Sharknado and something that is a more genuine modern cult film like Blue Ruin. Survival of the Film Freaks isn’t the most polished documentary–it doesn’t look or sound that great–but isn’t that kind of appropriate given the subject matter?


The Buried Alive Film Festival happens in Atlanta, Georgia in November each year. Check out buriedalivefilmfest.com for details on next year's fest!
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