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):
SCREENINGS – (New York, NY, IFC Center, Fri.-Sat., Oct 21-22):
Eraserhead (1977): Read the Certified Weird review! IFC Center continues its fine tradition of reviving midnight movie classics with ‘s searingly weird debut about an alienated man with a bad haircut and his monster baby. Eraserhead at IFC Center.
SCREENINGS – (Silver Spring, MD, AFI Silver Theater, Thurs., Oct 27):
The Exterminating Angel (1962): Without explanation, guests at a bourgeois dinner party find themselves unable to leave, as the days turn into weeks and they start to starve and turn on each other. The Exterminating Angel at AFI Silver Theater.‘s surreal satire makes for an unconventional existential horror choice for this blessed Halloween season.
FILM FESTIVALS – Cambridge Film Festival (Cambridge, UK, Oct. 20-27):
Though it gets no big debuts, the Cambridge festival is a medium-large festival with mix of big movies (Denis Villeneuve‘s Arrival, and lesser Oscar bait like Manchester by the Sea), experimental features, and classic revivals (actress Ingrid Bergman and director Michael Curtiz are spotlighted this year).
- Crash (1996) and Always (Crashing) – ‘s controversial movie about a secret cult of fetishists turned on by car crashes is paired with a new 14-minute experimental short based on the same J.G. Ballard story. On Oct 26.
- The Kingdom of Shadows – The latest underground feature from is a typically surrealist offering, set in an old dark house. See it Oct 24.
- Salome (1922) – Stylized silent adaptation of the Bible story that’s noteworthy for its extremely bizarre avant-garde costuming (made by Natacha Rambova for her friend and rumored lover, Alla Nazimova). Screens Oct. 23.
- Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory – You know this one. See it on the big screen Oct 23.
Untitled Willy Wonka Project: No firm news on this, except that Warner Bros. has cut a deal with the Certified Weird Gene Wilder classic (which was already remade by Tim Burton and Johnny Depp—it seems like just yesterday). It’s to be an original story starring the character (most likely a prequel, maybe of his time spent in Loompaland among the Oompa Loompas). Will it be weird? With Warners behind it, not likely, but we thought you should know. Variety has the announcement.estate for the rights to the Wonka character. Before we all freak out, it appears this is not a reboot of the
NEW ON DVD:
Bride of Re-Animator (1989): See description in Blu-ray below. Buy Bride of Re-Animator [DVD/Blu-ray combo].
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006): Read the Certified Weird entry! The new Criterion edition ports over most of the features from New Line’s disc, including ‘s excellent commentary, and adds some new interview features with del Toro and Doug Jones along with “animated prequels” for some of the fantasy characters. Buy Pan’s Labyrinth (Criterion Collection).
The Pit (1981): A creepy, crazy kid takes advice from the talking teddy bear who advises him to lure his enemies into a pit where a bunch of subhumanoids eat them. A seldom seen, campy Canadian black comedy. Buy The Pit.
“Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro”: This Criterion Collection set matches Pan’s Labyrinth with the vampirish Cronos and the Spanish Civil War ghost story The Devil’s Backbone. On five special-features-packed DVDs; the DVD release has a different (and to my mind, much cooler) cover than the Blu-ray. Buy “Trilogia de Guillermo del Toro”.Certified Weird fairy tale
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016): See description in DVD above. Buy Alice Through the Looking Glass [Blu-ray].
Bride of Re-Animator (1989): Dr. Herbert West and his glowing green needle return from the 1985 cult original to re-animate more dead bodies, with predictably tragic and gory results. This Special Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo is a slightly scaled-back version of the Limited Edition Arrow Films released back in April (the main exclusion seems to be there is no extra disc with the R-rated cut of the film). Buy Bride of Re-Animator [DVD/Blu-ray combo].
Gas-s-s-s [AKA Gas! -Or- It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It] (1970): The military accidentally unleashes an experimental chemical weapon that kills everyone over the age of 25. This Wild in the Streets (and it was in fact paired with that title on a previous DVD release). Buy Gas-s-s-s [Blu-ray].directed counterculture comedy would make a great double feature with
“The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection”: The Blu-ray edition of the classic set including Cocoanuts, Animal Crackers, Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, and of course our weird favorite, Duck Soup. With commentaries on every flick and archival interviews with Groucho and Harpo. Buy “The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection” [Blu-ray].
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006): See description in DVD above. Buy Pan’s Labyrinth [Criterion Collection Blu-ray].
The Pit (1981): See description in DVD above. Buy The Pit [Blu-ray].
“Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro”: See description in DVD above. Why not buy both sets? Buy “Trilogia de Guillermo del Toro” [Blu-ray].
“The Secret History of Twin Peaks”: Co-creator (with David Lynch) of the cult TV series “Twin Peaks” produces a fictional history of the strange northwestern town where “the owls are not what they seem.” The series’ new season (season 3) will debut on Showtime sometime in 2017 so fans can see what’s been going on in the fifteen years since Agent Cooper last entered the Black Lodge. Buy “The Secret History of Twin Peaks”.
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.