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Bloodsucking Bastards | © ScreamFactoryTV/Youtube
Bloodsucking Bastards | © ScreamFactoryTV/Youtube

Must-See Films At The 2016 BIFF Festival

Picture of Nana Van De Poel
Updated: 8 January 2017
With the Belgian capital’s film festival season in full swing, it’s time to look forward to the celebration of sci-fi, horror, and all things bizarre coming up in late March and early April. The Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival will have viewers hollering, screaming, and crying at these five unmissable oddities.

Bloodsucking Bastards

Good horror-comedies are hard to make, so when one does come along – like the goofy Bloodsucking Bastards – you better grab the chance to see the low-budget gore on the big screen, even if it’s playing in the middle of the night. The premise is simple: dutiful employee Evan spends his days in a mind-numbing office job, waiting for his promotion to finally come through, since at least he doesn’t play video games or watch porn at work like his best friend Tim does. Alas, the job goes instead to his college nemesis Max, whose presence in the office suddenly causes the space to become a whole lot darker and colder. That’s right, the new sales manager is a vampire. As the bloody mess erupts, the surprisingly clever quips persist – thanks to the screenwriters of Dr. God (an L.A.-based comedy group) – and make this an enjoyable Saturday night movie.

April 10 at 3am, Cine 1. 

Bloodsucking Bastards is part of BIFFF’s Fantastic Night, 4 hair-raising films including breakfast. Tickets aren’t sold separately. 

Blood on Méliès’ Moon

For those who thought the Italian genre cinema of the seventies and eighties was long gone, think again. After more than twenty years out of the business, legendary science-fiction and horror helmer Luigi Cozzi – also known by his pseudonym Lewis Coates in the States – has returned to make another film: Blood on Méliès Moon. In this supernatural mockumentary loaded with cameos from his Giallo-friends, Cozzi pretends to be on the hunt for Georges Méliès film A Trip to the Moon. Catch the world premiere of the Contagion director’s love letter to the cinema on Saturday, April 9th.

April 9 at 4:30pm, Cine 2

Men and Chicken

A long-time favorite of the festival and the only filmmaker to ever reel in three prizes during one edition (Golden Raven, Silver Méliès, and the Audience Award), Anders Thomas Jensen returns ten years after his BIFFF triumph with Men and Chicken. In it, we follow the disheveled Elias and Gabriel who travel to join their three half-brothers in a decrepit old sanatorium on an isolated island, effectively completing the most dysfunctional family in all of Denmark. The equally absurd and dark tragicomedy again showcases Jensen’s remarkable skills. Amidst the hilarious rubble of a family gone awry due to unfortunate genes and a mad scientist of a father, the director subtly inserts a philosophical contemplation of all that is life.

March 29 at 9pm, Cine 2

The Corpse of Anna Fritz

When a young, famously beautiful actress by the name of Anna Fritz dies unexpectedly, morgue orderly Pau notifies his friends Ivan and Javi by text. What starts off as three friends taking a look at the corpse quickly escalates into a perverse act of necrophilia by the timid Pau and perverse Ivan. At this point, the highly disturbing subject matter would be enough for most to write off Hector Hernandez Vicens’ feature debut as morally repugnant sensationalism. Yet, there’s a point to the perversity. Though the first twenty minutes are definitely hard to sit through, The Corpse of Anna Fritz eventually evolves into an intense psychological thriller, allowing for a commentary on our celebrity-obsessed society to float to the surface. While certainly not for everyone, fans of the horror genre will be interested to see the clever ways in which the film subverts its tropes.

April 6 at 6:30pm, Cine 1

The Marriage of Reason and Squalor

Something between a dream and a nightmare, The Marriage of Reason and Squalor is an odd duck even at the BIFF Festival. In adapting his novel of the same name, Jake Chapman (half of the surrealist artist duo known as the Chapman brothers) has maintained the offbeat tone as his heroine Chlamydia Love – Lydia for friends – attempts to bring order to her love life. After a meltdown at her own hen party, Lydia takes off to a tropical island to meet her beloved doctor Hertz, a fiancé whom nobody believes actually exists. When the inhabitants turn out to be a little less than friendly, she is forced to seek shelter at the lair of Helmut Mandragorass, not exactly a sight a sight for sore eyes with his grotesquely big head and awkward comb-over. This four-part television series turned feature is sure to treat to you to a delightfully bizarre evening.

March 31 at 7pm, cine 2