Poster for The Wizard of Gore
Jeremy Kasten, writer/director of The Wizard of Gore, which kicked off the Boston Underground Film Festival last Thursday at the Brattle Theatre, admits his film has taken some knocks. Being called “flaccid” — that one galls. But what really upsets him, as he told me at the post-screening party at the Charles Hotel’s Noir bar, is the tag that it’s “misogynist.” “It’s about exploitation movies being misogynist,” he said, with affable exasperation. “It’s called The Wizard of Gore, it’s with the Suicide Girls in it. What did you fuckin’ expect?!”
Backstory: Kasten, a ’93 Emerson College grad, has spent nearly a decade doing this $2 million remake — or “cover version,” as he calls it — of the 1970 Herschell Gordon Lewis bloody camp classic. Set in post-punk LA, it stars Crispin Glover as Montag, a slice ’n’ dice mad magician. It has four Suicide Girls in semi-nude featured roles plus more than 20 others in supporting parts. The Weinstein Company has picked it up for a summer DVD release.
BUFF was celebrating its 10th year, and the bash at Noir was packed with filmmakers and friends yakking and networking. Brother Cleve DJ’d tunes as Casablanca screened silently on the club’s window blinds. Local filmmaker Michelle Millette good-naturedly shrugged off the $30,000 loss she suffered when her hard drive crashed and took with it her dark drama Douglas. She’ll redo it next year. “I’m bummed,’’ she said, “but how many people get to remake their first movie?’’
Anna Feder, BUFF’s executive director, extolled the 12-feature, 80-short festival that ran through Sunday. “It’s really energetic, full of unearthed hidden gems. Most film festivals now are less about discovering films and more about selling them.” David Kleiler, BUFF’s founder and eminence grise, thought the festival was “a little too much in your face, with not as much humor, but they’re making themselves radically distinctive. And they’ve maintained the tradition that things are subversive.”
The most prominent actor in attendance was buxom blonde Scarlett Suicide, of Nashua, who had a bit part in The Wizard of Gore peddling drugs with a group of other Suicide Girls, along with her fiancé, Jon McIntyre. Eight hours of work in March 2006 was cut to an on-screen minute, but she and McIntyre agreed it was time well spent. “The $400 we made nearly covered the trip.”