The 2018 Sydney Underground Film Festival program was launched with all due pomp and circumstance at Marrickville’s Factory Theatre last night, heralding another season of outre, bizarre, challenging and straight-up disturbing cinema for those with palates developed enough to take a few hard hits.
This year’s opening night film is Kiwi action comedy Mega Time Squad, which follows the exploits of a bumbling low level criminal who gets his hands on a time machine. Comparisons have been drawn with The Breaker-Upperers and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which can only be a good thing. Writer/Director Tim van Dammen and lead actor Jonny Brugh (What We Do in the Shadows) will be on hand for a post-screening Q&A.
Other highlights this year include ground-breaking acid Western, Let the Corpses Tan; the bloody and brutal Revenge; Japanese auteur Sion Sono’s wonderfully weird Tokyo Vampire Hotel; bizarre comedy An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn starring Aubrey Plaza and Jemaine Clement; challenging Aussie micro-budget drama Bugs; body horror mockumentary The Foaming Node; and more.
Several older classics are also getting an airing: the seminal NY punk/sci-fi Liquid Sky; Alex Proyas’ debut film Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds; and a special 30th anniversary screening of exploitation slasher, Maniac Cop.
This year SUFF is inaugurating the Inhuman Screens conference, hosted by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney. Focusing on post-humanism in film, the conference features lectures from Professor of Film and Television, Sean Cubbitt, and American academic, philosopher and cultural critic, Steven Shaviro.
Finally, the festival will be closing out with Beyond the Black Rainbow director Panos Cosmatos’ delirious, visionary, blood-soaked epic, Mandy. Starring Nicolas Cage in what they’re calling his most over-the-top performance yet (!), Mandy is a mind-blistering tale of revenge and horror that blew audiences away at Sundance and is finally making its way to Australian screens.
The Sydney Underground Film Festival runs from September 13 – 16, 2018. for full sessions times, info, and tickets, hit the official site.