Since its inception, the Boston Underground Film Festival has been the go-to destination in New England for all things weird, scary, strange, or extreme in the world of film. Now in its fifteenth year, BUFF remains as surreal a festival as anyone could hope to find, and that is just the way it needs to remain.
Kicking off this Wednesday at The Brattle Theater, the fifteenth annual Boston Underground Film Festival is once again offering cinephiles a chance to experience more than a dozen film oddities that may otherwise never screen in New England. We are well aware of the fact not everyone has the kind of endless free time to dedicate to attending festivals as we do, and decided the best way to tell you about BUFF would be to mention the five films you simply must be sure to attend. These five flicks offer a smorgasbord of visual absurdities that are guaranteed to stick with you long after the festival has ended, and anyone lucky enough to get tickets to all five may very well leave the fest changed forever.
Click through to read our picks for the five must-see films of BUFF15, and comment below to let us know if you plan on attending. If not, be sure to keep an eye out for these indie features to eventually play on a screen near you in the coming months.
I Declare War
First appearing at the Toronto International Film Festival last Fall, I Declare War is the kind of simple story turned insane that cinephiles with a taste for the unusual crave. The plot follows to groups of kids who find themselves playing war in the woods, but this game is unlike anything you’ve likely participated in before. These kids have guns, real guns, and they are out for blood (or so it appears). It may seem obvious to make one of our picks the opening night film, but when your flick looks this good how can anyone say no?
Of all the films playing BUFF15 this year, Jug Face is the one pick I think everyone owes it to their movie-loving hearts to see. This festival was founded with the hopes of bringing high quality obscure storytelling to New England, and this movie is fits that definition perfectly. A teen, pregnant with her brother’s child, is trying to escape from a backwoods community when she discovers that she must sacrifice herself to a creature in a pit. Early word of mouth has been great for this, so count on finding at least one of us in the front row of the Brattle when this plays Thursday night.
One of the many horror darlings of SXSW 2013, Cheap Thrills tells the story of a new father facing eviction whose life is turned upside down when he meets a wealthy couple who offer a path to a better life…but at a price. It was scooped up almost immediately following it’s premiere in Texas earlier this month, and you can be the amongst the first in the world to enjoy all it has to offer by catching its East Coast premiere at BUFF!
Big Ass Spider
Serving as the second major monster movie to feature spiders in the last year, Big Ass Spider is the first of the bunch to have a New England premiere. Greg Grunberg (NBC’s Heroes) stars as a clever exterminator recruited to help a team of scientists stop a giant alien spider from destroying Los Angeles. Early buzz from SXSW says this film could likely signal an industry return to gigantic monster movies made on a shoestring budget, and if that doesn’t excite you there is possibly something seriously wrong with your taste.
A Band Called Death
The only documentary included in this year’s festival, A Band Called Death is a story far more punk than its title may lead you to believe. In the 1970s a trio of african-american musicians came together to create one of the earliest punk bands in the world. The industry turned them away at the time, but decades later their art came into the limelight, and that journey is what is captured in this new feature from directors Mark Christopher Covino and Jeff Howlett. We actually saw the band perform at SXSW this year, and forty years after their inception it’s pretty clear they’re still more punk than the rest of us will ever be.