The Boston Underground Film Festival, which
opens tonight with "John Dies at the End," continues its trangressive programming
tomorrow night with Richard Bates Jr.'s debut feature "Excision."
It's kind of like "Welcome to the Dollhouse" with surgical instruments.
McCord, who here evokes a young, female Crispin Glover) doesn't fit in, her
strangeness perhaps going back to a childhood when her father saved her from
near-drowning by administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and in the process
inadvertently transmitting a virulent dose of herpes. Make of that what you
will, Freudians. Still, that doesn't really account for her recurrent sexual fantasies involving
lacerations, bandages, exposed organs, and rivers of blood.
So now she's a
sardonic teenager with a permanent eruption of cold sores on her face, hated by
her peers, despised by her holy roller mother (Traci Lords!), ignored by her
spineless father, and alight with fantasies of becoming a surgeon. In the midst
of all her gleeful hate and bitterness, she still adores her pampered younger
sister, who is suffering from cystic fibrosis, and whom she vows to one day
heal. Veering from the blatant and
obscene satire of John Waters (he has a cameo as a pastor) to the oneiric
weirdness of David Lynch, "Excision" is sometimes exhilarating, and always
"Excision" plays Friday night at 7:30 pm at the Brattle Theater, 40 Brattle St,
The director Richard Bates Jr. will attend the screening. 617.876.6837