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2011 Underground Holiday Shopping Guide: Dramas & Thrillers

By Mike Everleth ⋅ December 12, 2011

Whether you know some folks on your shopping list who like contemplative dramas or violent revenge stories, there’s something for them below in this edition of the Underground Holiday Shopping Guide.


Mad World

Mad World DVD cover

Actor Cory Cataldo stepped behind the camera to direct his first feature film, a drama / black comedy hybrid that tackled the issue of bullying before the issue hit the mainstream. Now that Mad World is on DVD, the story of four high school outcasts on the shit end of the social climbing ladder seems even more relevant. Horrifying parental abuse, racism, drug use and other issues swirl together in this potent dramatic concoction.
Buy on Amazon!

Beneath Contempt

Beneath Contempt DVD cover

In a year stuffed with moody, emotional indie dramas, Benjamin Brewer’s affecting Beneath Contempt has been, for the most part, unfairly overlooked. A young man is released from prison years after he killed his friends in a drunk driving incident and both he and his victims’ families have to deal with the devastating fallout from the event. Brewer’s debut feature has strong acting and a powerful script that doesn’t settle for any easy answers.
Buy on IndiePix!


The Devil’s 6 Commandments

The Devil's 6 Commandments DVD cover

Violent revenge isn’t just the central concern of this demented Australian flick by Dicky Tanuwidjaya: It’s a religion. A young woman is raped, beaten and left for dead, so of course she goes looking to make the creeps who brutalized her pay for their sins. But, her journey towards self-empowerment sends her swirling deep into a world of psychotic gangsters, crooked cops and family members with their own bloodlust.
Buy on Amazon!

Bad Habits

Bad Habits DVD cover

If you thought the nuns who taught you in Catholic school were mean and sadistic, then please meet Sister Marie Fenche, a drug-addled woman of the cloth who wakes up one day in a bathtub with a corpse for a companion. But the quest to solve the murder mystery sends this twisted sister on a heady trip where the walls between reality and fantasy begin to break down in Dominic Deacon‘s nunsploitation thriller.
Buy from Dank Films!

Underground Classics

Burning Inside
Burning Inside, dir. Nathan Wrann
It’s an experimental film! It’s a revenge thriller! It’s also one of the most unique, measuredly-paced suspense movies ever made. An amnesiac man wakes from a coma, shacks up with his kindly nurse and tries to piece together his tortured past — all the while never uttering a single word.

Being Michael Madsen
Being Michael Madsen, dir. Michael Mongillo
Remember when all the tabloids were reporting that Michael Madsen killed that hot young actress? That was pretty crazy, right? Oh wait, did that really happen or was it a big hoax? If you think the way the paparazzi stalk celebrities is out of control, just wait and see how out of control a madman celebrity can be in this spin on Hollywood culture.