The Week in Horror: The Boston Underground Film Festival, ‘You’re Killing Me’, ‘Venus’, + more!

I’m still buzzing from Scream 6, but there’s a ton of horror news in the ol’ pipe this week. I’ve got a trailer for Jaume Balaguero’s latest, a horror comedy with a surprisingly-apt title, and the lineup from the Boston Underground film festival. Check it out!

Fresh off his role in Scream 6, Dermot Mulroney is back in the horror game with a new horror called You’re Killing Me, which co-stars the late Anne Heche. The college-set thriller is directed by Beth Hanna and Jerren Lauder.

In You’re Killing Me, “After learning she’s been waitlisted at the school of her dreams, Eden Muprhy decides to take drastic action. With the hope of receiving a letter of recommendation from the wealthy parents of resident alpha bro, and valedictorian, Barrett Schroder, Eden hatches a plan. She drags her best friend Zara along with her and sneaks into his annual legendary “Heaven and Hell” party. Betraying their better judgment, Eden and Zara don sexy wings and skirts and head to the notoriously debaucherous party to cozy up to Schroder.”

Check out the trailer for You’re Killing Me here, ahead of the film’s theatrical and digital release on April 7.

Sci-fi thriller The Artifice Girl is getting a lot of buzz since its US premiere at SXSW last week, and Deadline reports that the feature debut from Franklin Ritch is being distributed by XYZ Films. The film, which stars Lance Henriksen and Tatum Matthews will have a theatrical release as well as a digital one this spring.

The Artifice Girl “follows a small team of special agents who discover a revolutionary computer program that uses a digital child to catch online predators. After teaming up with the program’s troubled developer, they soon find that the AI’s inevitable advancement is far more rapid and incalculable than they could have imagined, posing unforeseen challenges and unsettling consequences for the future of technology and mankind.”

Guillermo del Toro never takes a break, huh? Moving on from his Oscar-winning adaptation of Pinocchio, the director will be tackling Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein next. Like Pinocchio, this project will also be for Netflix and Deadline reports that Andrew Garfield, Oscar Issac, and Mia Goth are all also in early negotiations for the cast. They do qualify that “del Toro is still working on the script and no formal offers have given to any actors. But sources add that he has met with all three and each is on board to star.”

If you were as enamored with HBO’s The Last of Us as I was, you’ll be happy to know that the first season will be seeing a physical release this summer on July 17. Standard Blu-ray and 4K UHD versions are planned, along with a 4K Steelbook which may or may not be a UK exclusive.

The package, according to VGC, will include all nine episodes of the season, as well as the following special features:

  • The Last of Us: Stranger Than Fiction (New Featurette Exclusive to 4K, BD and DVD) – Series cast and filmmakers are joined by experts in survival, microbiology, and parasitology for a chilling discussion on the realities of the invasive fungus and subsequent apocalypse in The Last of Us.
  • Controllers Down: Adapting The Last of Us (New Featurette Exclusive to 4K, BD and DVD) – Follow the journey of The Last of Us from console to screen as cast and filmmakers take us inside the process of expanding the world and breathing new life into the game’s beloved characters.
  • From Levels to Live Action (New Featurette Exclusive to 4K, BD and DVD) – Discover how The Last of Us incorporated and expanded fan-favorite game moments in the series.
  • Getting to Know Me (4 Featurettes)
  • The Last Debrief with Troy Baker (2 Featurettes)
  • Inside the Episode (9 Featurettes)
  • Is This a The Last of Us Line? (2 Featurettes)

No word yet on when The Last of Us Season 2 will kick off production, but at least we can rest easy knowing that it’s been greenlit.

If you’re not planning on eating any time soon, you might want to check out Lukas Rinker’s horror comedy Holy Shit! which heads to Screambox on March 21. In 2023’s frontrunner for ‘grossest premise’, Holy Shit! describes the nightmare of being trapped in a porta-potty.

In Holy Shit!, “Architect Frank (Thomas Niehaus) regains consciousness in a locked portable toilet on a construction site where a detonation is being prepared. As he desperately tries to find ways of escaping this prison before potentially being blown to smithereens, he realizes who has put him into this predicament: none other than the corrupt and lecherous mayor Horst (Gedeon Burkhard) who also has designs on Frank‘s pregnant girlfriend Marie (Olga von Luckwald). Now Frank has to do everything in his power to get out alive, save his Marie and expose Horst‘s delusional crimes.”

Check out the trailer for this Screambox original from Germany ahead of its release on the streamer on March 21. My bet is that you’ll find yourself shouting the title at least once.

I was a big fan of Jaume Balagueró’s Venus when I saw it at TIFF this year, and the HP Lovecraft-inspired film has earned a well-deserved ‘R’ rating for “Strong bloody violence, language, and some drug use.” I can say from first-hand experience that Venus contains all these things in spades.

Take a look at a teaser for the second film in Alex de la Iglesia’s Fear Collection for Amazon Prime Video here!

Finally, the Boston Underground Film Festival is rapidly approaching, and Biff Bam Pop will be providing coverage of some of the best films from the lineup.

One of the most revered genre festivals in North America, the BUFF comes to Harvard Square’s Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA from March 22 to March 26.

This year’s lineup includes the “World Premiere of Jeffrey A. Brown’s haunting, Massachusetts-based horror thriller The Unheard for a homecoming heroes’ welcome on Opening Night. Starring Lachlan Watson (ChuckyChilling Adventures of Sabrina), The Unheard follows a deaf young woman ensconced in a signal-to-noise mystery of dueling senses, realities, truths, identities, and possibly worlds.”

Also, coming out of its SXSW premiere, “writer/director Bomani J. Story’s The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster lands at BUFF for its East Coast Premiere. Teen science genius Vicaria (The Equalizer’s Laya DeLeon Hayes) plays god when she embarks on a quest to find the cure for death, a disease, she theorizes, versus an inevitability, whose destructive path of substance abuse, brutality, and violence has rended itself through her family and community. Breathing new life into Frankenstein’s monster, Story’s electric feature debut challenges conceptions of mortality and monstrosity through a Black lens.”

BUFF also brings some folk horror from Slovakia with “the East Coast Premiere of Tereza Nvotová’s nightmarish Nightsiren, which examines the chokehold grip of toxic patriarchal structures on a remote Slovakian village, where the pervasive fingers of superstition point to witches when two women dare to defy and disrupt the unnatural order.”

If absurdist comedy is more your speed, BUFF also presents “the New England Premiere of Quentin Dupieux’s French dark comedy/quasi-horror anthology/superhero sendup Smoking Causes Coughing, where candy-colored, lo-fi heroes (ala Power Rangers, but called the Tobacco Force) battle giant diabolical turtles and regale one another with lakeside scary stories on a bizarre team-building retreat.”

BUFF also hosts “the New England Premiere of Kristoffer Borgli’s Scandinavian unromantic comedy Sick of Myself,  which takes toxic relationships to the next level when narcissistic Signe attempts to derail her equally self-absorbed partner’s art career by way of Munchausenian extremes that are as cringe as they are unadmittedly relatable.”

More esoteric fare is on the menu with a couple of features – “Equally allegorical and hypnotizing is Ryan Stevens Harris’ incredibly gorgeous Moon Garden, which follows a comatose child on a dark Gilliamesque odyssey back to consciousness.” and “Kirby McClure’s atmospheric debut Spaghetti Junction, which deftly blends elements of sci-fi, fantasy, and social realism in this tale of a Southern family grappling with life after a devastating loss.”

Finally, if you’re after something slightly more grounded in reality, “there’s “DIY documentarian Ryan Worsley takes a deep dive into the history of culture jamming, plunderphonic prophets Negativland, crafting an experimental piece of media about media about media as unique and provocative as the band with her latest, Stand By for Failure: A Documentary About Negativland.

Check out the whole Boston Underground lineup and ticket information over at the Festival’s official website here!

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