Laguna Ave: “If Waters Made Robocop.”

Today is a pretty big day for the Buffalo film scene. It’s the kickoff for the 15th Annual Buffalo International Film Festival (see full lineup).

In recent days, I’ve received a lot of emails pertaining to the films that are being screened. Therefore, I’ve been watching a number of trailers, and even got to check out an online pre-screening for one of the highly anticipated releases – the US premiere of her film Laguna Ave, which is being premiered this evening at the North Park Theatre at 9:30pm.

I recently learned that the producer of Laguna Ave, Alison “Ali” Barone, is not only a Buffalo native, she’s also the daughter of Tralf owner Tom Barone.

“I am back home here in Buffalo promoting, and looking forward to seeing my movie at a such a gorgeous theater from my childhood,” said Ali. “We just premiered (in London) at the end of August.”

^ In this charmingly campy, lo-fi sci-fi comedy, a disaffected former musician is drawn into the mysterious and sinister world of his downstairs neighbor.


While I’m no film critic, I’ve watched my fair share of bizarro pictures, from Hardcore Henry to Singapore Sling to Tetsuo: The Iron Man. The stranger the better. When someone told me that Squid Games was off the chain, I told him that I was relatively unphased, due to my desensitization from watching so many crazy films over the years. Films such as The Lighthouse, Black Moon, Dogtooth, Bad Boy Bubby, Zardoz, Rubber, Spider Baby, Liquid Sky, Blue Sunshine, Greaser’s Palace, and so on. And those are some of the more toned down ones that I have come across. There’s some crazy stuff out there!

So when I was offered to pre-screen Laguna Ave, I took them up on the offer. Since I don’t want to give anything away – I love knowing zippo about a film before I watch it – I will only say that if you have a chance to make it to the screening this evening, you won’t be disappointed – especially if you love over-the-top films with wacko plotlines.

I would definitely add Laguna Ave to my zany film collection.

Critics have described it as if “John Waters directed Tetsuo” and a “cult classic in the making.”


David Buchanan (Dir), 80 minutes

Stars James Markham Hall Jr, Russell Steinberg and Sheridan Ward; Producer and Writer Paul Papadeas; and Producer Alison Barone in attendance.

See online reviews (but try not to read any spoilers)



Tickets on sale for physical screening

Tickets for sale for digital screening

Bonus: On Friday, October 8th, Tom Barone is hosting a party for the film at the Tralf Music Hall, which is named for the fictitious planet of Kurt Vonnegut’s stories, who also honors New York with the equally fictitious town of Ilium.

Tickets and passes are on sale now at WWW.BUFFALOFILM.ORG including the all-access Bison Pass ($45) and Triptych Virtual (3 virtual screenings for $20). Individual tickets to live screenings with filmmaker Q+As are $12 and virtual screenings are $9.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *