Atlanta’s Buried Alive Film Festival Offers Witches, Werewolves, and Weirdness

November 8, 2019

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

The 2019 edition of Atlanta’s Buried Alive Film Festival is chock full of outstanding, outrageous horror features and shorts from around the world. The fest is scheduled for November 13–17 at 7 Stages Theatre. Following are the features that I am most looking forward to seeing, either for the first time or once again. My thoughts in italics follow the fest’s official descriptions for each film.

Antrum: The Deadliest Movie Ever Made

Dir. Michael Laicini and David Amito – USA – 95min

Antrum, a feature length film shot in the late 1970’s, is cursed. In 1988, a movie theatre in Budapest that was screening the film burnt to the ground, killing the 56 people who were in attendance. This incident follows the inexplicable deaths of a number of film festival programmers that had received Antrum as a submission and died shortly after watching the film. These events culminated with a riot during an exhibition in San Francisco, after which the film vanished. These events have created a belief that watching Antrum will you kill you. Else Films has successfully tracked down a sole copy of the film for public release. This is that film.

Does the film within a film in Antrum: The Deadliest Movie Ever Made live up to its titular promise? That  answer will vary from viewer to viewer, but I can say that this movie has some imagery that will be difficult to shake after seeing it. 


Dir. Keola Racela – USA – 97min

            When five teen employees at the local movie theater in a small Christian town discover a mysterious old film hidden in it’s basement, they unleash an alluring succubus who gives them a sex education . . . written in blood.

Porno is an absolute blast — a fun, grue-spattered horror comedy that is one of my favorite scare-fare films of the year. 

The Wretched

Dir. Brett Pierce and Drew Pierce – USA – 95min

A defiant teenage boy, struggling with his parent’s imminent divorce, faces off with a thousand year-old witch, who is living beneath the skin of and posing as the woman next door.

The Wretched is a current take on, and valentine to, the teens-stumbling-into-trouble horror subgenre that many of us loved growing up watching, no matter our ages. With eerie imagery and a solid cast, the film delivers in spades.

Hell Bound

Dir. Ben Winston – USA (Local) – 68min

Two reckless bikers on a provocative, nightmarish journey through the mountains. Shot entirely on black and white 16mm film. It invokes the aesthetic of the classic films of the 1970s.

I don’t want to give any of Hell Bound’s secrets away, so suffice it to say that if you are in the mood for seventies-style drive-in/grindhouse occult horror, you need to catch this lean-and-mean shocker.


Dir. Joe Begos – USA – 91min

VFW follows Fred and his military buddies as they must defend their local VFW post – and an innocent teen – against a deranged drug dealer and his relentless army of punk mutants. These Vietnam vets have been to hell and back, but this will be the longest night of their lives.

VFW sounds like it should be a ton of fun, with Stephen Lang of Don’t Breathe joining other fright flick veterans such as William Sadler of The Mist and David Patrick Kelly of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and Tales from the Darkside in a pulse-pounding siege-horror outing.

Those Who Deserve to Die

Dir. Bret Wood – USA (Local) – 91min

Based on a novella by Thomas de Quincey (Confessions of an Opium Eater) and fueled by visions of ’60s gialli, Those Who Deserve To Die is a thriller that subverts the formula of the revenge film, following its “hero” as he enacts a series of brutal crimes in the name of justice—without sharing with the viewer why these heinous acts are being committed. Goaded by the cold-hearted spirit of his dead 10-year-old sister Berenice, Jonathan wades into ever-deepening, ethically muddier water—not just punishing the guilty but extinguishing their bloodlines.

Writer/director Bret Wood delivers his long-anticipated follow-up to the eerie 2014 shocker The Unwanted, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m greatly looking forward to seeing what Wood has in store for us this time.

J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church of the Subgenius

Dir. Sandy K. Boon – USA – 85min

What started out as an inside joke amongst two self proclaimed weirdos in Ft. Worth, Texas soon becomes much more than they bargained for when they decide to turn their conservative southern ideology on its head and invent a new religion all their own. Praise Bob!

This documentary could either lighten things up at Buried Alive for about an hour and a half, or set viewers down a mind-bending rabbit hole!

Mark of the Beast: The Legacy of the Universal Werewolf

Dir. Daniel Griffith – USA (Local) – 83min

“Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms, and the autumn moon is bright.” Universal was the first studio to chronicle the tragic story of a man whose own inner demons become realized, and violently transform him into a ferocious beast. Of all the cinematic monsters that thrilled and terrified audiences over the last century, the wolf man was the only creature that sought its own demise. For that reason alone, countless filmmakers and special effects artisans have been drawn the character. This epic documentary utilizes new interviews with celebrated authors, actors, and make-up effects artists to help recount the evolution of the werewolf films released by the legendary studio.

Universal’s versions of the wolfman and werewolf legends are among my all-time favorite creature features, so this documentary is a can’t miss for me and like-minded lycanthrope lore lovers. 

Among the bountiful bevy of shiver-making shorts on tap are the following two, which I have already had the pleasure of seeing. There are dozens more that sound promising and exciting, as well.

How to be Alone

Dir. Kate Trefry – USA – 13min

How To Be Alone follows Lucy as she struggles to survive an increasingly bizarre and horrifying night. When her husband Jack leaves for the hospital graveyard shift, Lucy is left alone in the company of a particularly menacing kitchen cabinet, which she is convinced contains all her most secret fears. As the phobias begin to manifest and attack her, she must fight for control of her mind, and ultimately her life.

Starring real-life couple Maika Monroe of It Follows and Joe Keery of Stranger Things, this creepy short looks gorgeous and is well-acted . . . not to mention quite disturbing.

Maggie May

Dir. Mia’kate Russel – Australia – 14min

Sometimes doing nothing can be the worst move of all.

 The powerful performances in this Australian short are enough to highly recommend it, but it also boasts a chilling scene that may be the most unsettling of its kind since 1972’s The Other.

For the full Buried Alive schedule, visit Ticket information is also available on the festival’s website.


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