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Genre Flick Picks at SYDNEY UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL!

13 August 2018

SYDNEY UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL (SUFF) returns to The Factory Theatre on Thursday September 13th for one of their most genre-laden program yet! There’s a little bit of something for every demented genre fan here: time travellers, Japanese vampires, a killer Santa and Nazi puppets are all here to savour!

To help Cultists get their film fix, we’ve highlighted all the genre gems that deserve your dollar:

MEGA TIME SQUAD
A low-level criminal from the small New Zealand town of Thames steals an ancient Chinese time-travel device, helping him pull off another heist and start a new life. But he may not survive the demonic consequences of tampering with time in this hilarious action comedy,which features a fully committed cast including inspired performances from genre stalwarts Jonny Brugh (What We Do in the Shadows) and Milo Cawthorne (Deathgasm). Wearing its cinematic influences like a badge of honour — from the goofy mysticism and inspired action sequences of Hong Kong cinema, to the rapid-fire repartee of contemporary crime comedies —Mega Time Squad is a riot; the most fun you’ll have in the cinema this year.
Screening Thursday September 13th & Saturday September 15th

DOWNRANGE
When a group of car-sharing millennials break down on a remote, dusty road, it seems like a great opportunity to get to know each other while they change the tyre. But a sniper hidden in the trees has a different idea, picking off the group one by one. Pinned down and with no phone signal, the survivors must figure out how to survive and manage to find help without becoming the gunman’s next victim. Executed with a refreshing minimalism, Downrange eschews convoluted plotting and exposition, instead exploiting the simple thrills of gooey gore gags, outrageous car stunts, its deadeye antagonist and an iconic confrontation. A wickedly entertaining bloodbath results, direct from the twisted mind of cult provocateur Ryuhei Kitamura (Versus, Midnight Meat Train).
Screening Friday September 14th & Sunday September 16th

TOKYO VAMPIRE HOTEL
SUFF is honoured to present the theatrical cut of Sion Sono’s nine-part mini-series Tokyo Vampire Hotel, a film that oozes with colour, delirious spectacle, and tons of blood and gore. Festival regular Sono needs no introduction, having helmed past favourites The Virgin Psychics, Why Don’t You Play in Hell? and Guilty Romance. Here, he tackles an eternal vampire blood feud in 2021, as the Dracula family and fellow vamp clan the Corvins prepare for cataclysmic battle. The result is a confetti cannon full of blood squibs coming right at your face, in typical Sono fashion. With vampire flicks proving so passé of late, Tokyo Vampire Hotel is a refreshing blast, rising out of the ashes to prove that the genre still has life — and offering a nonstop rush of bloodsucking mayhem in the process.
Screening Friday September 14th

TRAUMA
Drawing comparisons to A Serbian Film, director Lucio A. Rojas’ twisted home-invasion horror is not for the faint of heart or stomach. What starts as a sun-soaked, wine-drenched getaway for four friends quickly spirals into a nightmare when two unwelcome visitors crash their party. The next morning, the remainder of the group desperately search for help in a nearby village, unaware that their perpetrators stem from the most brutal period of Chile’s dark, dictatorial past. Though extreme, Trauma is far from thoughtless exploitation, weaving together a brilliant allegory about the violence of Pinochet’s regime that will stay with you long after you leave the cinema.
Screening Friday September 14th

PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH
During a road trip to a convention commemorating the 30th anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders, a comic book nerd, his new girlfriend and his best friend come face-to-face with a set of sadistic Nazi puppets. All hell breaks loose when a strange force animates the puppets at the convention, setting them on a bloody killing spree that’s motivated by an evil as old as time. Written by ferocious genre talent S. Craig Zahler, (Bone Tomahawk, Brawl in Cell Block 99), Puppet Master mixes fresh socio-political insights and gaudy political incorrectness with insane amounts of splatter, resulting in one hell of an intoxicating cocktail. Top it off with appearances from legends Udo Kier, Barbara Crampton and Thomas Lennon (Reno 911), and you’ve got a movie destined to win a whole new 21st century cult following.
Screening Saturday September 15th

AN EVENING WITH BEVERLY LUFF LINN
Produced by Ben Wheatley and featuring an all-star indie-comedy cast, An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn is one of the most daring and singular comedies to be released in years. After getting fired by her scheming husband Shane Danger (Emile Hirsch), the dissatisfied Lulu (Aubrey Plaza) is stunned when a TV commercial for “An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn For One Magical Night Only” reveals a mysterious man from her past (Craig Robinson). When Shane and his bumbling cohorts steal the cashbox from Lulu’s adopted vegan brother, specialist Colin (Jemaine Clement) is hired to retrieve the stolen funds. Lulu seizes the opportunity to run off in search of her mystery man and things only get weirder from there in Jim Hosking’s delightfully bizarre follow up to The Greasy Strangler — showcasing the director’s innate gift for outrageous absurdity, and pushing the boundaries of storytelling into the wild unknowns of glorious outsider art.
Screening Saturday September 15h & Sunday September 16th
SATAN’S SLAVES
or years, versatile Indonesian director Joko Anwar wanted to remake Pengabdi Setan, not only a 1982 horror classic from his home country, but a film that was based on the cult classic Phantasm. With Satan’s Slaves he finally has, telling the chilling tale of four children who are left alone when their mother passes away from a mysterious illness. But soon, the kids sense that their late mum may not have left at all. Things only get worse when they realise she has returned to take them back to the underworld. What results is a tense and stylist horror movie that lured over a million viewers to cinemas during its premiere weekend, and also received a record 13 nominations at this year’s Indonesian Film Awards.
Screening Saturday September 15h & Sunday September 16th

KING COHEN
Strap yourself in for King Cohen, the true story of writer, producer, director, creator and all-around film maverick Larry Cohen (It’s Alive, Maniac Cop, The Stuff). Labelled “the John Cassavetes of exploitation”, Cohen’s story is told through interviews with and film clips of the people who helped fulfil his vision, including industry icons Joe Dante, John Landis, Martin Scorsese, Fred Williamson, J.J Abrahms and more. It’s a raucous celebration of a remarkable and prolific filmmaker who has spent more than half a century entertaining and shocking audiences without the slightest hint of compromise, in a documentary that brings one-of-a-kind insight into the work, process and legacy of a true American auteur.
Screening Saturday September 15th

MANIAC COP
“You have the right to remain silent – forever!” Following our screening of King Cohen, come and celebrate one of Larry Cohen’s masterpieces as it turns the big-3-0: the original, quintessential video nasty, Maniac Cop. After reports of a man in a police uniform committing horrific murders on the streets of New York, officer Jack Forrest (Bruce Campbell) stands accused. Now, with few friends, powerful enemies and a psychopathic slayer still at large, it’s up to Jack to prove his innocence and bring down the killer before it’s too late. A violent, sleazy, rip-roaring gore-a-thon for lovers of pure cinema, legends Cohen, Lustig, Campbell, Landon (the A-team for B-movie freaks) turn this into a gleeful grindhouse romp that’s about as much fun as you can have at the movies.
Screening Saturday September 15th

LET THE CORPSES TAN
Based on the cult novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette and Jean-Pierre Bastid, Let the Corpses Tan tells the story of Rhino and his wily band of thieves — who make off with a truckload of stolen gold, only to find themselves in an all-out fire-fight among the Mediterranean ruins. A deliriously hypnotic, ultra-violent pastiche of retro Euro crime thrillers, spaghetti westerns and giallo, this mind-blowingly stylized shoot-em-up from Belgian filmmaking team Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani is a beautiful, experimental and bold take on the classic pulp crime tale.
Screening Saturday September 15h & Sunday September 16th

REVENGE
Jen arrives at a remote villa with her wealthy boyfriend Richard, ready for a weekend of illicit romance. Things quickly go from hedonistic to devastating when her lover’s hunting buddies show up unannounced, turning a night of drunken revelry into one of horror. Leaving Jen for dead, these men underestimate not only her will to survive, but also her thirst for vengeance. Drenched in enough blood to paint an entire town red, Coralie Fargeat’s Revenge reframes the rape-revenge genre’s typical proclivities, complete with a gaze that scrutinizes male bodies and foregrounds its protagonist’s transformation into a hardened vehicle of vengeance. Culminating in a grisly, violent climax that needs to be seen to be believed, first-time French director Fargeat’s explicitly controlled yet wildly over-the-top masterpiece assures her a spot amongst the highest echelons of the New French Extreme.
Screening Saturday September 15th & Sunday September 16th

CHRISTMAS BLOOD
Using more than 150 litres of fake blood to complete the film, the aptly named Reinert Kill unleashes a slasher with one of the biggest body counts in recent memory. Serial killer Nissen has a penchant for dressing as Santa, and has been haunting Norway each Christmas Eve for 13 years. He now has his eyes set on the northern countryside, just as a group of unwitting co-eds have chosen the spot for their seasonal getaway. Meanwhile, detectives Rasch and Hansen are more determined than ever to catch their bogeyman before he strikes again — but with Christmas just around the corner, the two cops must race against time to prevent another bloody holiday massacre.
Screening Saturday September 15th

MANDY
In his remarkable follow-up to cult hit Beyond the Black Rainbow, Panos Cosmatos gleefully demonstrates an audacious command of tone and atmosphere, conjuring an ethereal treat for the senses that begs to be seen on the big screen. When Red Miller (Cage) meets Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) he instantly falls in love — but  unfortunately, so does Jeremiah (Linus Roache). And when this telekinetic bikie messiah tasks his dedicated followers with kidnapping Mandy, Red is spurred into frenzied action as he seeks retribution against the Children of the New Dawn. Awash in a salacious sea of gloriously unhinged performances, carnage, lumberjack skills, and general sights and sounds, Cosmatos grinds up beloved genre tropes into a fine pulp and sculpts them into something altogether otherworldly and unforgettable.
Screening Sunday September 16th

For more information on the festival and line-up, visit the official SUFF site here.