With films about the devil, punk rock, true crime, and heavy metal highlighting their first wave, along with the much requested return of their Sonic Cinema block, the Chattanooga Film Festival (CFF) is ready to rock.
First up, CFF is partnering with newly launched Dark Docs (darkdocs.net) to present two films and a workshop. Dark Docs, a project from Rodney Perkins, explores documentaries with dark subject matter, including, but are not limited to, true crime, unexplained phenomena, politics, conspiracies, meta-narratives, experimentalism, and beyond. The two films that fall in that line: HAIL SATAN? and DESOLATION CENTER. In addition, producer Joshua Zeman (Netflix’s MURDER MOUNTAIN, CROPSEY) will present a workshop on true crime in film.
Equally exciting are a trio of world premieres sure to please those who’ve come to expect the festival’s eclectic offerings; ARROWS OF OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE, HELLBOUND and FINGERS.
The 2019 installment of CFF also includes a live show and a special movie screening by cult legend Crispin Hellion Glover, an opening night benefit show by CFF patron saint Joe Bob Briggs, an appearance from legendary filmmaker Gary Sherman, who will be on hand to present a screening of his exploitation classic VICE SQUAD and an insanely entertaining talk filled with strange but true tales on the making of POLTERGEIST III.
It wouldn’t be CFF without our annual party on the Southern Belle Riverboat. Returning this year are CFF BFFs Jeff the Brotherhood, along with The Medium, to perform.
Full first wave films below:
HAIL SATAN? | Director Penny Lane
You wouldn’t think that “hilarious” would be the first word used to describe a documentary about The Satanic Temple, but here we are using it. Penny Lane’s wildly entertaining documentary is sure to be one of the most talked about non-fiction films of the year and we’re pleased to offer it up along with a trio of other films that celebrate Satan in cinema sure to deeply concern the PTA (sorry mom!).
Synopsis: A look at the quick rise and influence of the controversial religious group known as The Satanic Temple. | Trailer
ARROWS OF OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE | Director Mickey Reece
* World Premiere with Mickey Reece in attendance
We once read Oklahoma filmmaker Mickey Reece referred to as the “Soderbergh of the Sticks” and man do we love that. Since 2008 Mickey has written, produced and directed over 20 feature films and shows no sign of slowing down. For our money, he is one of the most fascinating voices in the wide world of independent cinema and it is our supreme honor to share the world premiere of his latest labor of love, the surreal comedy Arrows of Outrageous Fortune.
Synopsis: George Arrow bequeaths his only son Henry a mansion filled with insane women.
LOST HOLIDAY | Directors Michael Kerry Matthews and Thomas Matthews
A New York social worker finds herself embroiled in the kidnapping of a Washington DC socialite in this laid-back comedy shot beautifully on 16mm film.
Synopsis: Margaret and Henry are back home in Washington DC for the holidays. At a Christmas party of old high school friends, Margaret discovers that her ex-boyfriend is now engaged. With her holiday mood ruined, Margaret and Henry ditch the party to go score some drugs. What starts as a night of debauchery evolves into a self-indulgent quest when the two friends become convinced that they are the only ones who can solve the kidnapping of a neighborhood socialite. | Clip
BODY AT BRIGHTON ROCK | Director Roxanne Benjamin
CFF fan favorite filmmaker Roxanne Benjamin is back with a terrifically tense thriller. All alliteration aside (see what we did there?) we’ve loved Roxanne’s work for years and we’re thrilled to have an opportunity to share her latest.
Synopsis: Wendy, a part-time summer employee at a mountainous state park, takes on a rough trail assignment at the end of the season, trying to prove to her friends that she’s capable enough to do the job. When she takes a wrong turn and ends up deep in the backcountry, she stumbles upon what might be a potential crime scene. Stuck with no communication after losing her radio and with orders to guard the site, Wendy must fight the urge to run and do the harder job of staying put—spending the night deep in the wilderness, facing down her worst fears and proving to everyone—including herself—that she’s made of stronger stuff than they think she is.
THE WRATH | Director Young-sun Yoo
Fans of a good ghostly mystery are sure to get some serious thrills with this atmospheric South Korean chiller. A remake of the classic film Women’s Wail.
Synopsis: In the household of Lee Gyeong-jin, a high-ranking official of Joseon Kingdom, three sons die from an unidentified horror. A woman pregnant with a child of the third son soon learns of the evil spirit that haunts the house. | Trailer
LETO | Director Kirill Serebrennikov
LETO is our kind of movie musical and it’s very existence is pretty punk rock. The filmmaker is currently under house arrest by Vladimir Putin as an enemy of the state and his wild, gorgeously shot love letter to the underground rock n roll scene of 1980’s Leningrad truly illustrates the power and magic that can come from when music and film are successfully intertwined.
Synopsis: A love triangle emerges around a rock and roll musician, his protege, and his wife in 1980s Russia. | Trailer
VICE SQUAD | Director Gary Sherman
*Gary Sherman in attendance
Join CFF as we screen an honest to God exploitation classic with the legendary filmmaker behind it in attendance. Gary will also be on hand to give an eye opening and fascinating new talk on the making of his film POLTERGEIST III. If you’re a sucker for a good “making of” story do NOT miss this!
Synopsis: A Los Angeles businesswoman, turns to prostitution to support herself and her young daughter when she's forced by Detective Tom Walsh and his vice squad to help them arrest a brutal pimp named Ramrod for the murder of a prostitute named Ginger. But when Ramrod learns that he was set up, he escapes from police custody and begins a long night of tracking down Princess while Walsh and his vice squad are always one step behind him. | Trailer
BURNING KENTUCKY | Director Bethany Brooke Anderson
*Bethany Brooke Anderson in attendance
Synopsis: In the hazy mountains of eastern Kentucky, a young woman searches for the missing pieces of a mysterious event that killed her family. When the truth is revealed, she must choose between the love of a man or avenging her blood.
MUTANT BLAST | Director Fernando Alle
As fans of independent and genre cinema know, a new film from Troma is always a thing to behold and this bloody blast of a movie (their first Portuguese co-production) stands a tall among our favorite all-time Troma outings.
Synopsis: After a scientific experiment goes horribly wrong and results in a zombie apocalypse, a fearless soldier named Maria has to partner up with TS-347, a man with superhuman strength, and Pedro, a survivor who battles zombies as hard as he is battling his hangover. It is up to Maria to lead a quest to a safe place, but complications will cross their paths in the form of a nuclear bomb. | Trailer
DESOLATION CENTER | Director Stuart Swezey
It doesn’t get more punk than this.
Synopsis: The untold story of a series of Reagan-era guerrilla punk and industrial desert happenings in Southern California that are now recognized as the inspiration for Burning Man, Lollapalooza, and Coachella. Interviews and rare performance footage of Sonic Youth, Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Redd Kross, Einstürzende Neubauten, Survival Research Laboratories, Savage Republic, Swans and more. | Trailer
LORDS OF CHAOS | Director Jonas Åkerlund
This is filmmaker, and former Bathory drummer, Jonas Akurland’s adaptation of the cult true crime/black metal history book of the same name that tells the strange but true tale of the birth of heavy metal’s most infamous sub-genre. This film is filled with all the blood and fire you’d expect, and a surprising amount of humor that you won’t.
Synopsis: A teenager's quest to launch Norwegian Black Metal in Oslo in the early 1990s results in a very violent outcome. | Trailer
FINGERS | Director Juan Ortiz
* World Premiere with Juan Ortiz and actor Jeremy Gardner
If Harmony Korine and Luis Bunuel had taken a crack at co-directing Office Space it still wouldn’t be as bizarre as filmmaker Juan Ortiz’s crime/comedy/body horror filled debut. Featuring CFF fan favorites Jeremy Gardner (THE BATTERY, TEX MONTANA WILL SURVIVE) along with Michael St. Michael’s (THE GREASY STRANGLER) and boasting cinematography from THE BATTERY’s Christian Stella, FINGERS is truly indescribable fun!
IN FABRIC | Director Peter Strickland
With his films THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY and BERBERIAN STUDIO SOUND, Peter Strickland established himself as a filmmaker worth keeping an eye on. His latest tells the tale of a cursed dress which passes through the lives of many women with haunting and devastating consequences. Throw in Game of Thrones Gwendoline Christie a bit of humor and the elegant visuals and sound design Strickland’s films are known for and you’ve got nothing short of one of 2019’s most beguiling films.
Synopsis: A haunting ghost story set against the backdrop of a busy winter sales period in a department store that follows the life of a cursed dress as it passes from person to person, with devastating consequences… | Clip
I TRAPPED THE DEVIL | Director Josh Lobo
Synopsis: Christmas is supposed to be a time for peace and joyful family reunions. But when Matt and his wife Karen show up unannounced at the home of his estranged brother Steve to celebrate the holidays, they are instead greeted with a horrifying surprise: trapped in the basement is a man. But not just any man. Steve believes that his hostage is none other than the devil himself.
HELLBOUND | Director Ben Winston
* World Premiere with Ben Winston in attendance.
Ben Winston’s feature debut from Atlanta simultaneously gave us EASY RIDER/TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE/RACE WITH THE DEVIL vibe. Shot in black and white 16mm, the film's entire aesthetic is a love letter to classic films of the 70’s. Longtime fans of our CFF After Hours block are sure to fall under the spell of this witchy, psychedelic Satanic biker flick.
Synopsis: Ben Winston's feature film debut about two reckless bikers on a provocative, nightmarish journey through the mountains.
Badges for CFF 2019, April 11th - 14th, are on sale now are now at chattfilmfest.org. In addition to different badge tiers, individual tickets are now available for Crispin Glover, Joe Bob Briggs’ CFF Benefit Talk, the Saturday night Southern Belle Riverboat concert and party, as well as previously announced Everything is Terrible.