About

The backbone of this site is the project to create the List of the 366 Best Weird Movies of all time.

Why make a list of 366 movies?  That’s one for every day of the year, with a spare for leap years. As every day is associated with a Catholic saint, we believe every day should have it’s own weird movie.

Most of the movies selected are both weird and good.  Sometimes, if a movie is very weird, it will make the list ahead of a better movie.  Sometimes, if a movie is very good, it does not have to be quite as weird.  The key determinant is that each movie gives me that I-know-it-when-I-see-it feeling; a film that makes my skin crawl, my jaw drop, or just causes me to mutter to myself, “Now that’s weird….”

We are very cautious in certifying a movie as weird—we may consider and review 4 or 5 movies for every one we decide to put on the List.  But just because a movie does not make the List on the first ballot doesn’t mean it’s forever out of contention.  From time to time, we’ll reconsider and promote movies that we once thought borderline to the exalted ranks of the Weirdest Movies Ever Made.

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A man tries to reach a woman, but finds himself suddenly chained to a piano with two dead donkeys on top and two priests clinging to the bottom. Weird.

A gas-sniffing maniac is about to teach a young man a lesson about snooping into his affairs, and before administering a vicious beating he insists a homosexual with a backlit microphone croon a Roy Orbison tune to put him in the mood. Weird.

An ex-Olympic gymnast turned secret agent is being chased by a village full of crazies, when he suddenly comes across a stone pommel horse in the middle of the village square, which he hops upon and starts doing his gold metal winning routine while his attackers kindly approach one at a time and step directly into his whirling feet. Weird.

If you recognize the movies those scenes are taken from, this may be the site for you. If you’re intrigued by the descriptions, this is definitely the site for you. If you own copies of all three DVDs, you may be qualified to write for this site.

Many people can’t stand weird movies, just like many people can’t stand rollercoasters. When you are in the grips of a truly bizarre film, it’s a lot like being on a rollercoaster: the narrative track is twisted and convoluted, it doesn’t run from point A to point B the way you’ve been taught to expect. You are hurtled about by it, you’re moving too fast to see where you’re going, sights flash by you; it’s frightening, confusing, and exhilarating.

I watched and enjoyed movies for years without realizing that the film experience that moved me the most was the encounter with the weird. When I was young, I was fascinated by supernatural horror movies like The Shining (1980) and The Howling (1981), without ever understanding quite what was giving me the thrill I enjoyed. In my late teens, when my family got our first VHS player, I instinctively sought out classics like A Clockwork Orange (1971), Taxi Driver (1976) and Apocalypse Now (1979). These movies seemed “important” and “artistic” to me, although I couldn’t put my finger quite on what it was about them that made them superior to the conventional Hollywood product my peers scarfed up with delight. I stumbled upon a few of the weirder releases like Eraserhead (1977), After Hours (1985) and Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982) (which, through my senior year of high school, I considered the single greatest work of Art ever created), and found something I recognized.

In college, I discovered the value of camp while watching an Ed Wood marathon on PBS, and for a long time I thought my cinematic calling was to explore the vast weird realm of “bad movies.” At the time I took this detour, I thought that what I enjoyed was purely the unintentional comedy to be savored in the substandard scripting, acting and the rubber-based special effects of movies like The Brain that Wouldn’t Die (1962), Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971), or Basket Case (1982). I continued exploring the classic artistic films in parallel with the “bad” movies, fitting films like Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922) and La Belle et La Bête (1946) in alongside incredible schlock like Rat Pfink a Boo Boo (1966) and Orgy of the Dead (1965), making for some truly bizarre double features.

Eventually I realized that, although I enjoyed a good flubbed line of dialogue or a risible visible zipper in a monster suit, it was the weird surprises in the “bad” movies that I enjoyed the most: hearing a disembodied voice call out “watch out for snakes!” as our heroes trudged out into the desert to search for the caveman, or the sun mysteriously appearing and disappearing during the “thrilling” chase scene in They Saved Hitler’s Brain (1967). (The fact that I was getting a lot of my exploitation movie videos from a place called “Something Weird” video helped me quite a bit with this realization as well).

I recognized that there really wasn’t any polar opposition between the “art” movies I enjoyed, and the “crap” movies I considered guilty pleasure. There was a uniquely weird aesthetic that bridged the realms of the “high art” Surrealists (Buñuel, Cocteau, Fellini) and the wild, accidentally surreal movies of the hack auteurs (Wood, Wishman, Adamson). This epiphany opened up a whole new wide world of weird possibilities that encompassed everything from the obvious (David Lynch) to the unexpected (Pilipino all-midget spy adventures) under one umbrella.

The word “weird” derives from the Germanic word wyrd, meaning fate.  It achieved its current meaning of “odd, surreal” through Shakespeare, whose “weird sisters” who foretell Macbeth’s fate are both weird in the modern sense and wyrd in the pagan sense.

Today, “weird” his two dictionary meanings: “1. Suggesting the operation of supernatural influences (synonyms: eerie, haunting, mysterious, uncanny, unearthly)” and “2. Strikingly odd or unusual (synonyms: bizarre, eccentric, grotesque, odd, preternatural, surreal).” These two ideas are interrelated; perhaps a more comprehensive definition of weird that combines the two ideas is “of a mysteriously strange and usually frightening nature.”

To sum up:

A 1950s documentary preaching tolerance towards heterosexual transvestites is a bit offbeat.

When that same documentary hires Bela Lugosi to narrate the tale, casting him as a seemingly omniscient, godlike character named “The Scientist” who tells the story of the oppressed cross-dresser from a living room decorated with battleaxes and skulls, we’re moving into the realm of definitely peculiar.

But when Lugosi’s obscure mutterings about “the big green dragon that sits on your doorstep” and “puppy dog tales and big fat snails” segue into a dream sequence featuring bondage fantasies and a sudden appearance by Old Nick assisting at a wedding, that’s WEIRD.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  The author enjoys watching weird movies, and then writing what he thinks about them.

38 thoughts on “About”

  1. A friend recommended this site and I’ll return many times. Love the premise because that showcases films that may not earn wide appreciation but deserve it. I’m a fan already.

    I contribute to MovieSmackdown!
    http://www.moviesmackdown.com/mark_sanchez/index.html
    This site features a different approach to regarding movies: two films.. one review.. no holds barred!

    Your readers may enjoy a film featured in my very first SmackDown!: Motel Hell. A cut ’em up comedy with Rory Calhoun, Wolfman Jack and a pair of Playboy Playmates that will make you say “It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent fritters.” Bon Appetit.

    Best,
    Mark Sanchez

  2. I’ve run across MovieSmackdown before, it’s a very well-written site.

    Someone there desparately needs to cover Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!: Strippers v. Zombies (2007) and Zombie Strippers! (2008). Both have zombies, strippers and exclamation points, so how is the general public supposed to know which to pick?

  3. I just discovered your site — fabulous!

    I too started my “weird” journey with The Shining way back, followed by the rest of Kubrick’s oeuvre, early ’80s schlock horror, ’70s grindhouse, and European art film in college (Bergman and Tarkovsky especially). While I can’t fathom your fascination with Jodorowsky (I don’t find his films compelling at all), I thank you for your wonderful writing, skewed perspective, and devotion to the art form. I just saw “Dr. Caligula” after reading your recommendation and I can’t get it out of my head!

  4. MemeInjector5000: I think Dr. Caligari (1989) will end up on the List. I was probably too cautious in not including it on the first pass.

    As for Jodorowsky, I can see how someone might not like him—for one thing, he is one of the most narcissistic and pretentious film directors ever—but there’s no question in my mind that his films belong on the List. He is important as a link between the exploitation/cult movie world and the world of arthouse surrealism. I personally am not a fan of the insufferable Harmony Korine, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Gummo is an important movie in the weird movie genre.

  5. I just wanted to say this website has essentially changed my life, at least in terms of movie watching. For many years, I’ve basically watched what one would consider weird. It’s my drug of choice, so to speak. However, now whenever I watch “normal” films, I’m looking to see if it is, in any regards, weird. For example, I was camping this weekend and although we don’t have very many modern amenities, we do have access to a television with a cheap DVD player. My brother-in-law brought a few movies with him; American Beauty (a great film) and Starship Troopers (Fun, but not that good). My point is…I can no longer watch any movie without picking it apart to discover if there is any weirdness within. I think what makes weird films so good is their ability to invoke the the personal weirdness in us all. We all have it in us in some form or other.

  6. My best friend and I bonded over the fact that we were the only people we knew who loved Tideland, and now have what we dubbed our Odd Squodd Movie Nights where we strive to introduce each other to the strange and wonderful films we could never recommend to anyone else: Love Object, American Astronaut, Brazil, etc.

    In other words, as soon as I stumbled across your site I immediately contacted him to share the wonderful new resource . . . and then spent the next several hours scouring the site for movies to add to my Netflix queue.

  7. Care to add a few words describing how you go about reviewing movies and deciding whether to add them to the list? I was going to suggest some films, but got confused when I noticed that some, e.g., Dogtooth, have already wended their way through the reviews queue, have a Guest Review on the site, but are neither in the “certified weird” list nor the “list candidates” reject pile. This make it difficult to tell what you have and haven’t already considered.

  8. Eric: Good question. We could definitely work on organization a bit.

    As for the designations: “Certified Weird” speaks for itself.

    “List Candidates” are not rejects. They are films that 1) I either watched and thought were on the borderline, so I deferred making a decision on them until later, or 2) another reviewer recommended the movie be put on the List, but I haven’t had a chance to watch and approve it yet.

    Anything that gets just a “capsule” review is a reject.

    I should have marked Dogtooth as a List Candidate; it was an oversight.

    Implementing a better search engine for the site than wordpress’ crappy default is something we need to work on down the road. In the meantime every film that’s gotten a review is on this page somewhere.

    1. Thanks, that’s helpful.

      For anyone else who’s looking for a particular film or director or whatever on 366 Weird Movies, here’s a tip: you can use Google to search the site by prepending “site:366weirdmovies.com” (no quotes) to your query at google.com (or in your search bar).

  9. Brilliant site that is destined to burn a hole in my wallet. I was hoping some would ask and it would be answered but I guess all people commenting are real connoisseurs of the weird genre – so let me be the tyro that asks – can you PLEASE name the movies that you are making references to – actually name them for me please. The piano / priest / donkey, the ex-Olympian, the gas-sniffer – what movies are these? Also is the Bela Lugosi one too a real movie?

    Ananth

    1. SPOILERS AHEAD:

      Piano/priest/donkey: Un Chien Andalou (1929)
      Gas-sniffer: Blue Velvet (1986)
      ex-Olympian: Gymkata (1985)

      Of course, Bela Lugosi only acted as an omniscient godlike narrator in one pro-transvestite documentary: that would be Glen or Glenda? (1953)

      Happy to help. All those movies are fun in their own way, although they’re all very different.

  10. Wow, thanks. Am glad to report that I got one out of three :)
    My heartiest wishes for keeping up the wonderful work. Bookmarked as the site I check on a daily basis. Though it is a shame that being out here in India it is sooooooooo expensive for me to lay my hands on most of the stuff you guys write about.. someday… hopefully…..

    Ananth

  11. it is sooooooooo expensive for me to lay my hands on most of the stuff you guys write about.
    _______________________

    There are ways around that. :)

  12. I have been reading all the reviews here for a while and i just read this part. You just told my story. I grew up on MST3K because of my parents then moved into the weird. Thanks for everything. Keep it up

  13. Whenever a doggy by using a by natural means gleaming dress acquires arid complexion or simply a flat layer, it might be owing to A±nner or simply external usb variables.

  14. Hi There

    I’m not sure if this is where I type a query or an answer. I have a query about a film so apologies if I am answering someone else’s question by mistake – I’ve never used this site before.

    I saw a film about 8 years ago and despite looking for it non-stop ever since I have never been able to find it. It was on one of the cable channels and has never been repeated as far as I know – I think it had a fairly short title. In fact most people are convinced I have imagined the whole thing! I would love to know what it is called so I could watch it again. I would say it would come under the heading of fantasy horror or something like that.

    It started with a young man and a young woman in an open top car (which I think was red?). They are looking for something (can’t remember what) and ask this gardener but he says ‘you’ve come to the wrong place’. It seems to shift around in time and not make much sense. There was a cat in a window and when it turned to look one of it’s eyes was mutilated but when it turned back again it was normal. There were a couple of children dressed as evacuees and one had a baseball glove for a hand. Nearer the end of the film there was a long brick wall outside which was of some significance and big octopus tentacles suddenly started coming out the pavement. There was also a tunnel and the man went into the tunnel looking for something or someone – I think he was attached to some sort of string but he obviously met something bad in the tunnel. I can’t remember the end.

    If this sounds remotely familiar to anyone I would really love to know what the film was called as it has been bugging me for years and years. Many Thanks.

  15. I have long hoped to find a good list of weird, strange or cult videos. I just stumbled onto your site and am glad for that. I will add a few that I feel deserve inclusion.

    At this moment I am watching Grind House (Planet Terror and Deathproof) and think that they fit.
    Keep it coming and think of expanding the list beyond 366

  16. Yah
    It seems you havent picked. Although this public as fuck….
    That this as public as fuck, … Persons like me are rejected from experiences with anyone, yeilding that loves and friends (but duck all rhat-i agree, in a minute) are the procound abusers, to which…
    I wpuld fear to say site exploits man for all he neglects to say ro woman. In that, I’ve been raped and near forces on cigs for ten years, and very abused…
    I like mpvies, and I would wish hell on anyone who mocked me.

  17. Nearly 30 yrs ago I watched a film, I’ve been searching for the title ever since.
    The story is sketchy but a small boy is wandering through different towns perhaps a war orphan, carrying a dead puppy with him. At one point someone throws the dead puppy into a river or lake.

  18. Movie where guy tries to save a woman and other people inside a shipping container or something . And at the end he gets in and they all have yellow eyes and the kill him

  19. There’s this one movie that has been on my mind since I started washing dishes this morning, and it’s been driving me insane. I saw it when I was about 5 or 6 years ago (a little over 10 years ago), so I only remember a few weird parts. I do remember that it was a sort of horror/thriller about a group of people, in a strange place, at the wrong time, that caused them to die off one by one.
    * A lady was brushing her teeth in a dark bathroom, when she sees a dead cat hanging from the ceiling, with a pocket watch inside of it. She proceeds to take it out and examine it.
    * A guy in a wheelchair somehow ends up drowning in a lake.
    * At one point in the movie, the group is in some weird store (I believe with creepy ventriloquist dummies, or something like that), when a can full of poisonous gas falls and sprays this guy’s legs. I can’t remember if he died, or if he’s Wheelchair Guy.
    Please help me figure out what this movie is!

  20. I just wanted to leave a quick thank you as this site really is superb, I was aware of about half of the films you’ve mentioned but the other half look beautifully demented and weird and I can’t wait to track them down and watch them.

  21. Would you include something like ‘See You Next Wednesday’ as a worthy weird film, considering it doesn’t truly exist, except as a pretence in a porn house in Piccadilly, during An American Werewolf in London? Do meta-films that aren’t ‘quite’ considered?

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