Pussy Cake (2022) – Goopy Goodness

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Pussy Cake Info

In Argentina, the title of this film is Emesis. Emesis, for those who aren’t wanting to google or don’t know this off the top of your head, is another word for vomiting. This title genuinely suits the film as there is a considerable amount of vomiting going on. It also brings up images of sickness, perfect for a movie about a mysterious otherworldly plague. Emesis is the kind of odd but intelligent title that could really work well when placed alongside a disturbing film like this… or we could just rename it Pussy Cake for the English-speaking audiences because Pussy Cake is a goddamn amazing title that might not mean a damn thing but it’s fun to say.

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Dual (2022) – Deadpan Double

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

One of the most fascinating kinds of film is the twin film, a movie where one actor is tasked with playing 2 or more roles. There’s always just something exciting about seeing one actor trying to give off performances that are distinct enough that we can tell who is who while also looking identical. This is the kind of thing that’s been done for years, like any time they revive The Parent Trap or in something as recent as this year’s Samaritan where there needed to be two versions of Stallone in order to pull off the dramatic twist in the final act. It’s a great tool that, if used well, can make for something genuinely amazing… or at very least it can be a great display for the actor taking on the multiple roles.

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Swallowed (2022) – Slimy Yet Satisfying

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Swallowed Info

When it comes to queer representation in cinema, we’ve come pretty far in recent years by having some pretty mainstream movies throw in some form of representation. Sure it’s been minimal, like the 3-second lesbian kiss in Lightyear that sent everyone insane for a month or when a rock monster was revealed to have two dads but still, it happened. It’s fun to see gay characters popping up and more queer storylines in general… even when they turn up in dark horror/thrillers about drug trafficking, still fun to see.

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Cult Hero (2022) – Worshippable

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Cult Hero Info

The world of religion is a wild place even at the best of times, but when religion is at its worst you get a cult. Cults come in all shapes and sizes, from small things like Heaven’s Gate to seemingly large abusive groups like Scientology and they all just pull people into their web and ruin their lives in some way. Sometimes when someone is in a cult you might need to hire someone known as a deprogrammer who will do what they can to pull your loved one out of this toxic environment… and naturally a situation that’s this intense and fraught with danger is just perfect to be the foundation for a comedic action film.

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The Pez Outlaw (2022) – Impezive

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

It is a truth universally known that Pez is a disgusting candy that no one actually likes. It tastes like chalk that somehow lost all its flavour and it’s shaped like a depressed brick that hates itself. The only reason that they’ve sold so well (and this is merely an opinion) is due to the undeniably clever and adorable design of the Pez dispensers. These dispensers are obscenely popular, chances are good that you have one somewhere in your house even if you’ve never actually bought one… and, naturally, they have an entire underground system of collectors who go to insane lengths to get all the rarest Pez dispensers. You would think that a group of Pez dispenser collectors would be boring and not have any remotely exciting stories… The Pez Outlaw is here to prove you dead wrong.

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Exposing Muybridge (2022) – Photogenic

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Exposing Muybridge Info

Every film student at some point has had to look at a set of images that would show the power of motion pictures in a way no one had ever seen before it was made. Those images were of a horse galloping, roughly 16-20 photos showing the horse in different poses that when shown in rapid succession created the appearance of a galloping horse. These images were taken by Eadweard Muybridge  (yes, that is how he chose to spell it) in 18-whatever and basically showed the power of sequential photos and how they could create movement. It’s basically one of the foundational images that created cinema and in Exposing Muybridge, we learn about the man that made it happen and his strange and at times controversial life.

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Pig Killer (2022) – Slop

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

In 2002, Robert “Willy” Pickton was arrested on suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder. By the time his trial began in 2006, the number of charges had gone up to 27 and by the time he was convicted, Robert Pickton would confess to the murders of 49 women and said he would’ve made it to 50 if he hadn’t gotten sloppy. His murder spree is absolutely horrific, he’s one of the worst serial killers in Canadian history so it’s kinda only natural that someone was going to inevitably use this horrific story to make some form of horror film… did the film have to be this terribly tasteless? Well, yes because the actual case is pretty damn tasteless too but it doesn’t help that the film isn’t great.

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Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022) – Dead Funny

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Bodies Bodies Bodies Info

Every now and then, a horror film will come along and decide to basically just roast the current generation and all their eccentricities. Usually, it’ll do this by having a bunch of characters that are stereotypes from that specific era and then pick them off one by one, it’s effective and it works pretty well. The 90s were perfect for this, notably with films like Scream and Urban Legends that filled their films with irony poisoned teens and made fun of them while also giving us a high body count. It was only a matter of time before the current generation was going to get their own pointed ribbing by the horror genre and finally, Bodies Bodies Bodies delivers the ribbing that is well deserved with a side serving of… well, bodies.

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Routines (2020) – Routine

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Routines Info

Political Correctness is ruining comedy. That’s the phrase you will hear by a lot of comics who got really big in the 90s and haven’t changed their act at all in the 30 years since they started, expecting the same jokes that worked back then to get the same reaction now. You’ve undoubtedly noticed comics who get really upset that they can’t tell a joke that mocks a certain minority group but the truth is… well, maybe those comics just aren’t actually funny anymore and need to update their material. Routines feels like someone decided to take one of those comics and place him in a dramatic story of love and loss and it works – occasionally.

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Bad Girls (2021) – Talking About Bad Girls

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

The gloriously unsubtle is basically the bread and butter of the Sydney Underground Film Festival (which, by the time you read this, will possibly be finished for the year). Every time I’ve gone to see what they’re showing, most of their films are some level of bonkers, no ifs ands or buts. Well, it looks like someone’s stealing the show and decided to be the most bonkers thing around… ok second most bonkers, you can’t top Ninja Badass.

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