Review: SURVIVAL OF THE FILM FREAKS (2018) – BAFF 2018

Survival of The Film Freaks Poster

There have been many, many documentaries about cult and offbeat films. this year we’ve already seen WOLFMAN’S GOT NARDS and there everything from NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD, VIDEO NASTIES and CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES in the archives. But that barely scratches the surface, there are multiple films just about Troma films and its hyperactive co-founder Lloyd Kaufman. So how do you make another entry in the genre stand out? Bill Fulkerson and Kyle Kuchta (FANTASM) figured out a way for SURVIVAL OF THE FILM FREAKS.

The film does follow the usual formula of alternating clips of movies with interviews with various filmmakers and writers. But they’ve changed it up a bit. Instead of the usual authors of thick books on genre film, there are primarily writers for websites and podcasters. Which makes sense given that rather than books and magazines, most fans get their information from the web now.

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On the film making side of it, there are familiar faces like Kaufman and Adam Green (Victor Crowley). However, it’s great to see talented but overlooked people like Greydon Clark (WITHOUT WARNING, SATAN’S CHEERLEADERS), Kurando Mitsutake (GUN WOMAN, SAMURAI AVENGER: THE BLIND WOLF)  and William Sachs (THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN, GALAXINA) get some well-deserved attention. There’s also a few extremely new, up and coming names such as Kansas Bowling (B.C. BUTCHER) in the mix. Most of them are very engaging speakers and keep the viewer’s interest.

SURVIVAL OF THE FILM FREAKS provides a nice definition of what it considers a cult film and supports it nicely for the most part. I like that it’s open the bigger budget, studio films that have developed a following as well as indies. But I disagree with some of the examples such as ROBOCOP and THE RAID, which were hits on their original release. There’s also a great selection of clips, some from films like THE RAIDERS OF ATLANTIS which I haven’t seen used before.

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Other subjects covered include piracy/torrenting which gets an interesting amount of support as well as condemnation from those asked. Theater viewing versus streaming, internet versus conventions for meeting people and intentional cult films such as SHARKNADO are all discussed.

SURVIVAL OF THE FILM FREAKS is a fast, fun look at the films we love. It will be playing at the Buried Alive Film Festival on November 18th. You can keep up on other upcoming showings on its Facebook page.

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Jim Morazzini

Movie buff, gym rat and crazy cat guy