A series of fortunate and unfortunate events have kept me from attending my first ever BUFF, the Boston Underground Film Festival. I am sad. But I am also poor. So the not going is necessary and the paying gig I am replacing my trip with is also necessary. (Film writer for hire. Right here folks. Get your film writer for hire! Or programming. I want to do more programming...anyway...) But, I like to think that my press-passed butt not being in a seat is freeing it up for some other splatter lover, or another giallo freak, or someone who refuses to watch anything but obscure Japanese sci-fi, whose movie poster collection is a beautiful, papery, yellowing wonder cultivated from the early days of internet auctions, or maybe even the total creep stranger who invited me to his house to watch Salo that time...shudder... In preparation of attending BUFF I made a list of my top three films that I was hoping to see which I will share with you film thirsty folks below! Big love to all those at BUFF...I feel like that's not fitting...big nightmares to all you BUFFers? Better.
The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears
When I read the description of this film I was like "I bet the blood is going to be some shade of wildly unnatural, fetishistic red that doesn't exist anywhere in nature." And I have a feeling it wouldn't have disappointed. The sparkling black full bodysuit topped with luscious blonde wig, the squeaky pink-leather gloves that seem fashionably poised to stab, sharply pointed gemstone rings that appear to be skin tearing accessories, and the booming pounces of blaring soundtrack (Morricone? YES! PS Morricone is doing live shows? This summer? Mouth Agape!) all in this brief trailer alone, is a legend of Freudian symbols that can only play out the fine, gushing line between sex & death.
The trailer for this one begins with a textured, haunting, layered scream that is almost a redefinition of the sound. An extremely gaunt, pale, wet eyed girl, her clothes hanging off of her sticklike frame, is the one doing the howling, her figure then shown running towards, or is it away from?, some sort of ineffable, intangible goal or evil. Starry Eyes is a horrific meditation on what we desire and how far we are willing to let those desires devour us, a film that, perhaps, turns in on itself as it questions the nature of fame or famine.
Revenge movies are one of the most complex subgenres of horror. Revenge implies that a wrong was committed and someone wants to even the scales, an eye for an eye, quite often literally, in a lot of these movies. There is an inherent confusion of audience identity: who do we side with? Who is "the bad guy?" Whose wrong is wronger? This twisting of logic & emotion is why I love revenge movies. And, truthfully, why I tend to think of them as a real American artform. When the first still of Blue Ruin surfaced awhile back, a musty, bearded man, wide eyed, sitting in a simultaneously rusting & inexplicably bright blue car, the presence of blood just out of reach, his face scared but somehow filled with resolve- all of this conveyed in one simple still frame- I knew that Blue Ruin was something I must see and something that has the potential to be a terrifying, suspenseful, artful new horror classic. This one comes out April 25th, in theaters & on VOD. I cannot wait.