WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Here’s what we’ll have for you next week. First off, we’ll highlight In Search of Weng Weng, an overlooked (made in 2007 but not released on Region 1 DVD until November 2016) documentary about the easy-to-overlook 2-foot-9-inch Filipino star of films like For Y’ur Height Only and The Impossible Kid. Then, on Tuesday, we’ll upstage the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences by unveiling the official nominees for the 2017 Weirdcademy Awards (and we’ll open up voting to the general public!) Then comes a second look at ‘ troubling Female Trouble (1974), followed by Alfred Eaker‘s next installment of his year-by-year exploitation movie survey (he’s up to 1968, the seminal year that broke the vomit meter and rewrote the rules of horror with Night of the Living Dead). And of course Friday will bring you your look at what’s hot and weird in the movie world. Stay tuned, things are just getting heated up at 366 Weird Movies…

Now is the time where we review the weirdest search terms that brought visitors to the site this week, a segment we quite sensibly call “Weirdest Search Terms of the Week.” First off, we have to mention that our own Alfred Eaker, and probably Eakers everywhere, were shocked to find someone looking for “www. penise eakers com.” None for us, thanks! In this week’s “not sure you’re remembering these movies correctly” category we saw people searching for both “90s movie dad trapped as water” and “wrestling movie with dwarf living under ring while couple had sex.” And let us not forget to mention an odd query for the specialized erotic subgenre of “amnesia arabic porn.” Our official Weirdest Search Term of the Week, however, was “movi film cinma sereal erotic hamester ftance.” Should it be “movie film cinema surreal erotic hamster france”? Would that be any less weird?

Here’s how our ridiculously-long-and-ever-growing reader-suggested review queue stands: Brain Dead; Uncle Meat; Nuit Noire; Screamplay; Grendel Grendel Grendel; Twilight of the Cockroaches; Indecent Desires; Daughter of Horror [AKA Dementia]; The Discreet Charm Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 1/20/2017

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Doobious Sources (2017): Two stoner freelance reporters are manipulated into perpetrating a local “fake news” story in this cannabis-themed satire. It appears to be playing in Santa Monica, but you’ll probably need to smoke it out on video-on-demand. Doobious Sources official site.

Staying Vertical (2016): A filmmaker meets a shepherdess, who bears him a child and then abandons both. It sounds like a standard dry French arthouse drama, except that Vanity Fair called it “the most shocking movie at Cannes” (partly for it’s “birth of a baby” footage) and numerous reviewers hint at weird psychological twists no one wants to fully reveal. Staying Vertical distributor site.

SCREENINGS – (IFC Center, New York, New York, Jan. 20-Feb. 2):

“Stanley Kubrick Series”: IFC Center screens all the major highlights from ‘s oeuvre over a two week period. Certified Weird selection 2001: A Space Odyssey plays Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday; droogs can glue their eyeballs to A Clockwork Orange on Friday, Saturday (including midnight screenings) or Sunday. You can also see The Shining on Friday, Saturday, or Monday, and keep an eye out for Eyes Wide Shut on Thursday. I’ve never regretted seeing any Kubrick film, weird or not. See the full schedule at the IFC Center Stanley Kubrick series page.

FILM FESTIVALS – Sundance Film Festival (Park City, UT, Jan 19-29):

The 2017 movie season officially kicks off with Sundance, where a hundred hopeful independent movies, including a few off-the-wall ones, come to vie for a handful of distribution contracts. In recent years Sundance added the “Midnight” screening section to add some weirdness to the otherwise lame, tame lineup of dramas about privileged white people and their problems (alternating with imported dramas about underprivileged brown people and their problems).

This year, the slate looks extremely tame, even for a festival that’s generally no friend to weirdos. Everyone is so serious and Al Gore-y. A harbinger of life in Trump’s America, perhaps? That said, last year we did overlook one of the weirdest movies that played at Sundance, the “Daniel Radcliffe farting corpse movie” (at the time, we thought it sounded like a dumb frat-boy joke; it wasn’t until early reviews started coming out we realized what we had failed to highlight). If we miss one this time, we’re guessing it will be David Lowery’s A Ghost Story (which looks like it stars Casey Affleck in a sheet). But we’re guessing Sundance’s lone weird entry of 2017—and yeah, we’re confident in this one’s strangeness—is Kuso, which looks like a psychedelic cable access variety show set in the aftermath of an L.A. earthquake. It’s the feature debut of Steven Ellison (whose alter ego is the musician “Flying Lotus”). It debuts tomorrow (Jan. 21) and plays again on the 22nd, 25th and 26th.

Sundance Film Festival official site.

FILM FESTIVALS – Slamdance (Park City, UT, Jan 20-26):

Slamdance is Sundance’s punkier, sometimes (usually) weirder little brother, a low-budget alternative to the mid-budget institution. Here’s what may be worth looking out for down the road:

  • Automatic at Sea – A Swedish girl is trapped on a private island, hallucinating while waiting for the owner’s guests to arrive for a party. Screens Jan. 23 & 25.
  • Dave Made a Maze – Dave builds a pillow fort in his living room and then gets lost inside its maze of booby trapped corridors; his girlfriend assembles a team to go in and rescue him. Get lost in it Jan. 21st or 23rd.
  • Weather House – People locked inside a house due to global climate change invent their own rituals and culture to pass the time; looks like a German global warming version of Dogtooth. In the house Jan. 22nd and 26th.

Slamdance Film Festival official site.

IN DEVELOPMENT (Crowdfunding):

The Field Guide to Evil (est. 201?): A new anthology horror film from the makers of The ABCs of Evil, focusing on folktales from around the world. It could be standard horror fare, but the oft-weird directors committed to the project make us take notice, especially (Berberian Sound Studio, The Duke of Burgundy), (The Lure), and (The Oregonian, The Rambler). The other talent isn’t too shabby either: up and comers Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala (Goodnight Mommy), Katrin Gebbe,  (Baskin), Ashim Ahluwalia, and Yannis Veslemes. Each will dramatize a horrific folk story from their homeland (except that Strickland will tackle Hungary). We don’t think funding will be an issue with this one, but their looking to raise at least an additional $190,000 in two months. The Field Guide to Evil at Microventures.

NEW ON DVD:

Death Race 2050 (2017): Straight-to-video (and video-on-demand, and Netflix) reboot of the satirical 1975 drive-in original about celebrity drivers running down civilians in the overpopulated future. It does not seem to be significantly different in tone from the campy original, and  was confident enough to lend his name. Buy Death Race 2050.

Something Wild (1961): Carrol Baker stars in this then-controversial portrait of a rape victim’s psychological trauma, with a score by Aaron Copeland. Some find it weird; it’s the second film called Something Wild in the Criterion Collection’s catalog (the other being ‘s 1986 romantic comedy). Buy Something Wild.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Death Race 2050 (2017): See description in DVD above. Buy Death Race 2050 Blu-ray.

Something Wild (1961): See description in DVD above. Buy Something Wild [Blu-ray].

YOU LINK US! YOU REALLY LINK US!:

We got a huge boost in traffic this week, starting with this mention by JHarris on Metafilter which called us “a substantial tribute to celluloid oddities and unconventionals, loaded with interesting essays and outside links.”

That was pretty sweet, but apparently Rob Beschizza at BoingBoing saw it and thought he could drive even more traffic our way with a blurb titled “Guide to Weird Movies” (citing our Blue Velvet review, which shows that he really did read more than the front page).

Not to be outdone, Randall Colburn at The AV Club advised that site’s readers to “Move beyond ‘bad’ movies with this encyclopedia of weird ones” and perceptively surmised that “Budding cinephiles might find it a refreshing alternative to the classics that permeate every other ‘best of’ list. Honestly, you’ll probably get a more well-rounded education; the movies here run the gamut from high-brow to exploitation, with multiple genres, styles, and decades represented.”

Thanks for the kind words everyone! This traffic spike explains why our already over-busy suggestion box is overrun with even more offerings than usual. We hope that some of the new visitors will stick around; you may notice that we’re starting to make that final push towards the last 100 titles, and we’ll need all the help and support we can get to struggle through to the finish line.

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.

1967 EXPLOITATION TRIPLE FEATURE: CORRUPTION, QUATERMASS AND THE PIT, AND THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS

We start our 1967 genre survey with a considerable amount of barrel-bottom scraping with two of ‘ most execrable efforts: The Gruesome Twosome and Something Weird. He also made the somewhat better A Taste of Blood the same year. With a bigger budget and longer running time (118 minutes), Lewis referred to Blood as his “Gone With The Wind” masterpiece.  Actually, it’s modeled more after than . Lacking the excess of Lewis’ previous films and featuring a “classic” monster in Dracula, it’s mostly seen as a noble misfire by Lewis’ cult.

Elsewhere in 1967, , a director on par with the likes of Lewis, , , or , produced a pair of jaw-dropping bombs in Mars Needs Women and Creature of Destruction. Jean Yarbrough, who had previously helmed such masterpieces as The Devil Bat (1940), directed Basil Rathbone, Joi Lansing, John Carradine and . in Hillbillies in a Haunted House. Rathbone died shortly after filming and was spared embarrassment from a film so wretched that it’s virtually unwatchable. His surviving co-stars and director weren’t as fortunate. Nazis-on-ice figure prominently in Herbert Leader’s The Frozen Dead, which at least has some unintentional humor going for it. went Beserk for director Jim O’Connell. The film’s a paltry effort, but Joan is a humdinger channeling her inner Mommie Dearest.

A blind got whupped by Viveca Lindfors in Cauldron of Blood, but the on-his-last-leg genre icon fared considerably better in ‘ excellent cult classic, The Sorcerers. Harald Reini did few favors when directing the actor for The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism.  likewise missed the mark in Hammer’s The Mummy’s Shroud. Away from Hammer Studios, was out of his element in his final sci-fi opus[1] , Island of the Burning Damned, starring Lee and . By his own admission, Fisher had no enthusiasm for science fiction and went back to his Hammer Horror niche later in 1967 with Frankenstein Created Woman.

Poster for Corruption (1967) Fisher favorite Peter Cushing made a sharp departure from his typical acerbic-but-classy screen persona by dipping into pure sleaze for Corruption (directed by Robert Hartford-Davis). Although most sources give the release date as 1968, it’s also listed as a 1967 production. Most likely it’s the later date, but since we have that year already filled up, we’ll cheat a tad in placing it here. A sordid hybrid of The Corpse Vanishes (1942) and Eyes Without a Face (1960), Corruption can be summed up by the Blu-ray cover art image of a middle-aged Cushing taking a knife to the throat of a scantily clad buxom blonde. He plays Continue reading 1967 EXPLOITATION TRIPLE FEATURE: CORRUPTION, QUATERMASS AND THE PIT, AND THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS

  1. Fisher’s first two entries in the genre were 1965’s The Earth Dies Screaming and 1966’s Island Of Terror. []

266. 200 MOTELS (1971)

Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels

“I never set out to be weird. It was always other people who called me weird.”–Frank Zappa, Baltimore Sun, October 12, 1986
Weirdest!

DIRECTED BY: Tony Palmer, Frank Zappa

FEATURING: Howard Kaylan, Mark Volman, , , Keith Moon, Jimmy Carl Black, Frank Zappa

PLOT: A collection of absurd sketches about life on the road as a rock band, 200 Motels offers very little in the way of plot. Running bits include Ringo Starr playing a large dwarf enlisted to portray Zappa, Theodore Bikel as a Mephistophelean figure trying to get the band to sign documents in blood, and Keith Moon as a groupie dressed as a nun; amidst the chaos, the band members constantly try to either get laid, get high, or scheme to form spin-off bands. In between, Zappa and the band perform musical numbers like “Lonesome Cowboy Burt,” and Zappa conducts an orchestra playing his avant-garde classical compositions.

Still from 200 Motels (1971)

BACKGROUND:

  • Frank Zappa thought up the idea for the film while on tour with the Mothers of Invention. He wrote much of the music in 200 Motels from motel rooms while on tour.
  • The opening credits explain the split in the directorial duties, with Tony Palmer credited for “visuals” and Zappa for directing the “characterizations.”
  • Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan (“Flo and Eddie”) formerly comprised the Turtles, who had a smash hit with “Happy Together.” They joined Zappa’s band, the Mothers of Invention, as featured vocalists in 1970, and stayed in the Mothers until 1972—just long enough to have featured roles in 200 Motels.
  • Ringo Starr’s chauffeur played the band’s bass player: according to one anecdote, he was cast after the two bass players quit the band and a frustrated Zappa vowed to hire the next person who walked through the door.
  • 200 Motels was one of the earliest films shot on video and transferred to film. Shooting on video allowed Tony Palmer to create visual effects that would have been too expensive to shoot on film.
  • In his review of the soundtrack album, Palmer called 200 Motelsone of the worst films in the entire history of cinema, a criticism which I can confidently assert because I was in part responsible for its direction.
  • In 1988 Zappa made a documentary about the film called “The True Story of Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels. That rarity is long out of print on VHS and has never had an authorized DVD or Blu-ray release.

INDELIBLE IMAGE: Tony Palmer overlaid trippy experimental video effects—the visual correlative of Frank Zappa’s oddball music—over almost every minute of the running time, making this a particularly difficult movie to choose a single image for. These tricks accumulate to build up a hazy impression of whirling psychedelia. Since we have to pick one image, however, we’ll go with our first view of Centerville, the small town enveloped in a wavering pattern of lysergic zebra stripes, which represents the hazy, melted-together vision of every two-bit town the band soldiers through.

THREE WEIRD THINGS: Hot Nun; towel smoking; penis oratorio

WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: If anything sets 200 Motels apart from the other psychedelic cinematic noodlings of the hippie era, it’s Frank Zappa’s extraordinarily weird music—a unique mix of jazz-inflected blues/rock, avant-garde 12-tone classical music, and junior high school sex jokes. Mix concert footage (both of the Mothers of Invention and the orchestra Zappa retained for the shoot) with experimental videos, underground cartoons, oddball rock star cameos, and no plot whatsoever and you have a movie worthy of the production company’s name: “Bizarre Productions.” Zappa is a latter-day saint of pop-surrealism, and although he’ll always be best known for his music, this is the canonical record of his twisted sensibility on film.


Original trailer for 200 Motels

COMMENTS: The original tagline did not read “Ringo Starr IS Larry Continue reading 266. 200 MOTELS (1971)

LIST CANDIDATE: WE ARE THE FLESH (2016)

Tenemos la Carne

DIRECTED BY: Emiliano Rocha Minter

FEATURING: Noé Hernández, María Evoli, Diego Gamaliel

PLOT: A teenage brother and sister find their way to the lair of a hermit, who seduces them into acting out increasingly depraved, increasingly hallucinatory scenarios.

Still from We Are the Flesh (2016)

WHY IT MIGHT MAKE THE LIST: The overall project may seem to lack much purpose, but it’s intense and uncompromising—and weird—enough to merit a look.

COMMENTS: The new year is only a few weeks old, and already we have a contender for Weirdest Movie of 2017. A demonic hermit uses two disciples—one reluctant, one willing—to transform his habitat into a womblike space where he enacts bizarre, perverse fantasies eventually incorporating sadism, rape, orgies, murder, cannibalism, and more. As the ringmaster in this cavalcade of perversions, Noé Hernández is believably crazy. He looks like he stinks, and rants like a guy you’d cross the street to avoid meeting. He projects a very specific form of charisma: like a Mexican Manson, he has a gravity capable of capturing those irretrievably lost to themselves in his orbit. “People shy from certain thoughts. Their lives are a continuous distraction from their own perversion,” the wild-eyed messiah preaches to an improbably intrigued teenage girl, while flapping his arms like a bird in the void. “Solitude drags you, forces you to come face to face with your darkest fantasies. And when nothing happens, you stop being afraid of your most grotesque thoughts.”

With siblings and a perverted Svengali, the story goes exactly where you think it will; but, incest is only the beginning. Once they indulge that taboo, all the walls come crashing down—and the plot immediately hops onto whatever crazy train it can catch, going to places you can’t possibly predict. In fact, after the strangely beautiful incest montage, shot in psychedelic thermal imaging and scored to a romantic Spanish ballad, there can hardly be said to be a plot at all, only a series of deranged, escalating provocations. (One presumes that in Catholic Mexico, the movie’s blasphemous parody of Christ—both the resurrection and the Eucharist—is the most shocking element). On a literal level, you might try to explain it all as the result of an all-purpose drug the hermit keeps in an eyedropper, which is capable of producing intoxication, serving as an antidote to his own homebrewed poisons, and possibly preserving the brains of those he’s lobotomized. More likely, the hermit simply personifies  perverse desire, and the movie is a representation of the nightmare of a narcissistic world of pure desire without taboos or boundaries. The tumbling of moral walls allows the irrational to flood in.

As shock cinema goes, Flesh displays far more artistry than most. The lighting is extraordinary—purple-lit faces in front of glowing yellow portals that serve to block, rather than lead to, the opaque outside world. These touches elevate the minimalist set into a true dream space. The music is also well-deployed, with horror-standard rumblings alternating with ironically beautiful ballads and a Bach concerto. Flesh shows the imagination of , mixed with the despairing nihilism of , in a scenario reminiscent of Salo.

As for misgivings: I wonder if Flesh has enough substance to compensate us for its unpleasantness. Late in the film, it takes a stab at social relevance, with a subversive recital of the Mexican national anthem and a paradigm-shifting final scene. But these digressions come off as afterthoughts to a movie whose main interest is to indulge its own most grotesque thoughts. And there, I wonder if the film doesn’t pull its own perverse punch. A Clockwork Orange‘s Alex was deeply chilling because he made you feel the appeal and charm of evil; the hermit here does not. He’s too clearly insane, too cartoonish in his fleshy villainy. The ominous music and horror movie atmosphere also instruct you to be repulsed rather than aroused. Despite the madman’s advice, this movie does want you to be afraid of its most grotesque thoughts. But fans of extremity cinema will—pardon the pun—eat it up.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“We Are The Flesh is a bizarrely arresting treat from an exciting new talent. It’s also just about the strangest film you’ll see this year.”–Michael Coldwell, Starburst (contemporaneous)

CAPSULE: OUT 1: NOLI ME TANGERE (1971)/OUT 1: SPECTRE (1972)

Recommended

DIRECTED BY: Jacques Rivette

FEATURING: Jean-Pierre Leaud, Juliet Berto, Michele Moretti, , Bernadette Lafont, Bulle Ogier, Francoise Fabien, Hermoine Karagheuz, Eric Rohmer

PLOT: Two theatrical troupes: one amateur and one professional, with different artistic approaches, rehearse plays by Aeschylus. Two loners: one male and one female, both scam artists, operate independently of each other. All these players are seemingly connected via a loose conspiracy of “13,” inspired by the work of Honoré de Balzac and .

WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: The improvisational framework is experimental, but it’s more conventional in its overall form. Rivette’s follow-up feature, Celine and Julie Go Boating, which is indebted to Out 1 in its production and concept, is closer to “weird.”

COMMENTS: Out 1 was long hyped as “the Holy Grail of modern French cinema,” and that was not mere hyperbole. After French television turned the project down, a four-and-a-half-hour cut, Spectre, was edited to screen in theaters (with an intermission). The original version thirteen-hour version, Noli Me Tangere (Don’t Touch Me) was screened only once in workprint form in the early 70’s. A re-edited version followed in the late 80’s, and a “finished” version turned up on German and French television in the early 90’s.

At first, watching the complete, restored Out 1 may seem a daunting enterprise, but in a world of binge viewing, it seems very contemporary, while simultaneously presenting a time capsule of France in the early 70’s. Out 1 explores the role of art (specifically theater) in society, interpersonal relationships, and secret societies/conspiracies, all in a way that is very entertaining—much more than the words “experimental feature” would suggest.

Looking at it 45 years later, one thing that helps give Out 1 some perspective are the events of May ’68, which is the hub from which the story revolves around. After a brief period of revolution and the hope of all things possible, we pick up two years later; and while the revolutionary spirit is still alive in the efforts of the troupes, everyone involved is disillusioned with their current reality to some degree. The passing of a note to Colin (Leaud) by an unknown woman—seen as one of the actors in one of the troupes—stirs him to investigate the concept of the “13,” and its effect ripples out among the characters. Is there indeed a conspiracy? Or is the conspiracy merely an abstract concept of a fleeting ideal that may never be obtained, but should always be pursued?

The Noli Me Tangere version, presented over eight episodes, anticipates such shows as “Lost” with its canvas of characters and a central mystery at the core. However, while that mystery provides dramatic momentum, it is not the primary focus; in fact, it isn’t until Episode 5 that it begins to coalesce. A substantial portion of each episode focused on the exercises and rehearsals of both troupes, and their succeeding analyses. It’s a detailed look at theatrical process, and while some may find these sections maddening, they’re an important part of the whole: “acting”  and “performance” are the main subjects, after all. The characters’ interactions with each other at many points are performances, especially the outsiders Colin and Frederique (Berto), whose scams are another form of improvisation. And the entire enterprise is a performance by everyone involved. The Spectre version keeps this basic frame intact, yet at four hours, much is condensed. Scenes are rearranged, some tangents are dropped, and the “Conspiracy of 13” aspect is center stage.

BLU-RAY/DVD INFO: In 2016, Carlotta released a region free box set in North America of both versions of Out 1 on Blu-ray and DVD, featuring a 2K restoration. Also included in the set is a documentary, The Mysteries of Paris: Jacques Rivette’s OUT 1 Revisited, which is extremely informative, and a 120 page booklet with essays and notes. For those in the UK or with region free players, Arrow UK issued the box set “The Jacques Rivette Collection” which includes Out 1, and the additional Rivette features Duelle, Noroit and Merry-Go-Round.

LINKS OF INTEREST:

Order of the Exile – Jacques Rivette website

Introduction to Rivette – Jonathan Rosenblum essay on Rivetter

Out 1 And Its Double – Jonathan Rosenblum’s essay from the box set release

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“Uniquely ambitious, Rivette’s film (technically a serial) spends nearly 13 hours stitching paranoia, loneliness, comedy, and mystical symbolism into a crazy quilt big enough to cover a generation.”–Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, The A.V. Club (Blu-ray)

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Here’s what we’ve got for you weirdophiles next week: El Rob Hubbard sweeps up one of the last remnants of 2016 with a look at Kino Lorber’s massive release of Jacques Rivette’s Out 1 (covering both the fourteen-hour serialization and the four-hour theatrical cut), while G. Smalley gives you the scoop on the first genuinely weird movie of 2017, the transgressive pornographic horror We Are the Flesh (which is one Mexican import that Donald Trump is letting into the country). We’ll also return to Centerville for a second look at Frank Zappa’s psychedelic musical comedy 200 Motels, while Alfred Eaker advances his exploitation triple feature series to 1967, the year that brought us Corruption, Quatermass and the Pit, and The Fearless Vampire Killers. If you got the inauguration blues, we got the cure!

And if you’ve got the haven’t-seen-enough-reprinted-weird-search-term blues, our Weirdest Search Term of the Week is riding in to the rescue! How does “chinese movie where a guy punches a vagina” grab you? If that’s not odd enough, then you can puzzle over the search for “hollyud online pronunciation.” There’s also “a movie about a guy who changed into a monster then their friends must go to heaven”—it doesn’t seem like a logical consequence of monsterization, but it is a happy one for the friends. Our official selection for Weirdest Search Term of the Week is “hollywood oldman drawings in ladies boobs sex movie list.” If there’s anything Hollywood producers love, it’s sexy scripts that include topless scenes where the actress has an old man’s drawings inside her breasts. Someday there will be a website collecting 366 examples of this type of movie.

Here’s how our ridiculously-long-and-ever-growing reader-suggested review queue stands: Brain Dead; Uncle Meat; Nuit Noire; Screamplay; Grendel Grendel Grendel; Twilight of the Cockroaches; Indecent Desires; Daughter of Horror [AKA Dementia]; The Discreet Charm Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 1/13/2017

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Ma (2015): Dialogue-free, Southwestern set version of the story of Mary (mother of Jesus). Debuting writer/director Celia Rowlson-Hall describes it as “a journey into the visceral and the surreal…” Screening in major U.S. cities.  Ma official site.

We Are the Flesh [Tenemos la Carne] (2016): In a post-apocalyptic world, a brother and sister find shelter with a hermit who is indulging his own depraved fantasies. It’s already in our reader-suggested review queue, with coverage planned for next week. The Mexican arthouse horror opens in Los Angeles this week and New York the following week, with scattered showings across the country throughout the late winter. We Are the Flesh official Facebook page.

NEW ON DVD:

Closet Monster (2015): A closeted gay teenager and aspiring special effects artist must face his coming out anxieties with the help of a talking hamster voiced by . Glen Dunks called it “[c]olourfully designed and with more than a hint of weirdness.” Buy Closet Monster.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Closet Monster (2015): See description in DVD above. Buy Closet Monster [Blu-ray].

The Triplets of Belleville (2003): Read the Certified Weird entry! The good news is that his animated tale of an old woman and her dog seeking the assistance of three retired singers to save her grandson from the mob is finally on Blu-ray; the bad news is Sony Classics gives it a disrespectful bare bones BD-R release. Buy The Triplets of Belleville Blu-ray.

NEW ON VOD:

In Search of the Exile (2016): An abstract experimental film described as “a visionary cinematic experience, a doorway into a dreamworld where reality morphs and transforms before our eyes.” Three of the releases featured in this section this week are from and of the UK’s Underground Film Studio; none of them have otherwise received U.S. releases. In Search of the Exile on Vimeo.

Replica (2005): Before Birdemic, honed his directorial skills with this never-released medical thriller about a man getting a kidney transplant. This curiosity is being offered “unriffed” to the most self-loathing cinema masochists by Rifftrax (you might want to wait for the version with comic commentary, due out in early February). Replica (unriffed) at Rifftrax.

Savage Witches (2012): A low-budget, experimental homage to the Czech classic Daisies. Per our own El Rob Hubbard, it’s “an aesthetic attack on the audience’s expectations of film as entertainment.” Savage Witches on Vimeo.

Splendor Solis (2015): Daniel Fawcett directs this one, a collection of his own transformed home movies presented in split screen, solo. El Rob describes it as “a tone-poem celebration of cinema, creativity, play, collaboration, friendship and all of the splendors under the sun.” Splendor Solis on Vimeo.

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.

Celebrating the cinematically surreal, bizarre, cult, oddball, fantastique, strange, psychedelic, and the just plain WEIRD!