5 to stream at CUFF 2020

The delivery method may be different, but the fare is the same fierce, funny and fucked-up cinematic stuff that fans of the Calgary Underground Film Festival have come to know and love.

For obvious reasons — ones, pretty sure, we’re all incredibly tired of repeating — this year’s event will be a online experience, save for the four drive-in viewings at Big Rock Brewery, which, sadly for those who weren’t on it immediately, are already sold out.

Never mind.

It’s the same awesome festival, just one you can watch at your leisure, with no showtimes but your own, no sell-outs or full-to-capacity screenings (but the aforementioned), which you can attend while wearing sweats or watching in bed, the best seat in the house the one of your choosing. (Also a bonus — because we’re all about the cup being half full — you can put it on pause to grab another beer or take a whiz while not missing anything.)

But ultimately you know you’re going to see some crazy shit you’d never have experienced without the discerning eye, minds and tastes of CUFF’s programmers guiding you there.

There is much, much goodness among the two-dozen feature films and docs to discover, but here are five suggestions to help get you started.

A Dog’s Death

Wasn’t it the killing of his pooch that sent John Wick over the edge (and allow Keanu Reeves to make even more money whilst killing but not emoting)? Well, this odd little Spanish-language satire is about the avenging of the untimely and accidental death of a beloved family mutt and appears to actually have people who can act in it. “Sharp” and “poignant,” this official Slamdance 2020 selection looks like a darkly funny comment on class and pet-ownership.

I Blame Society

More black comedy and social commentary comes from American director Gillian Wallace Horvat. The videomaker’s feature-film debut tackles gender issues in the entertainment world — and the world in general — as she tells the tale of a female filmmaker who would kill to make the movie she wants to make. Literally.

We Are Little Zombies

The antidote to K-Pop? This Japanese musical comedy looks like a cross between The Commitments and Speed Racer — a frenetic and colourful romp. To avoid life on the streets, four orphaned teens come together to form a rock band and … conquer the world? Honestly, looks like a ball and the music sounds like a Minipops Shonen Knife.

Uncle Peckerhead

What if a punk rock band had the undead shlepping gear for them out on tour in middle America? This movie. Gory, gritty, funny, it promises to be Return of the Living Dead meets Roadie meets Green Room meets, well, meat. Human meat. Yes, the drive-in screening is sold out, but you can still stream and cringe to it in the cozy confines of your own wherever. 

Sleeze Lake: Vanlife at Its Lowest and Best

A retro look at a fascinating subculture that has had an incredible resurgence of late (see local gathering Vantopia) — this documentary chronicles the world of vanning back in the ’70s and an event that brought together 6,000 of those who lived by the rules of “keep on truckin’,” and “gas, grass or ass … no one rides for free.” Called the “Woodstock of vans” and “Disneyworld on acid” this in-depth unpacking of the Sleeze Lake festival and the people behind it proves that “there’s no lifer like a low lifer.”

Calgary Underground Film Festival runs online from June 22 to June 28. For a full list of films, live screening schedules and to purchase tickets please go to