All posts by Gregory J. Smalley (366weirdmovies)

Originally an anonymous encyclopediast who closely guarded his secret identity to prevent his occult enemies from exposing him, a 2010 Freedom of Information Act request revealed that "366weirdmovies" is actually Greg Smalley, a freelance writer and licensed attorney from Louisville, KY. His orientation is listed as "hetero" and his relationship status as "single," but Mr. Smalley's "turn-ons" and "favorite Michael Bay movie" were redacted from the FOIA report. Mr. Smalley is a member of the Online Film Critics Society.


Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs and Blu-rays (and hot off the server VODs), and on more distant horizons…

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


Like Me (2017): A teen girl sets out on a crime spree which she broadcasts on social media. Produced by indie horror champion (who also co-stars); Variety calls it “a uniquely weird take on loneliness and lunacy.Like Me official site.

IN DEVELOPMENT (post-production):

Hipsters, Gangsters, Aliens and Geeks (2018?): “When the cigar-chomping Clown Captain (Martin Klebba from Pirates series) shifts his space craft into 4th gear and steps on the gas, all Hell breaks loose as we blast into hyperspace!” made this smaller-scale comedy feature as a way to generate interest in his long, long-gestating Forbidden Zone sequel. With Vern Troyer, French Stewart and George Wendt. The Hipsters, Gangsters, Aliens and Geeks official site features some intriguing perverted clown stills.

IN DEVELOPMENT (announced):

Two Screenplays from  : First up will be Chaos Walking, set in a “dystopian world without women” (yet, curiously, starring Daisy Ridley). It’s due out in 2019. Getting more buzz is Charlie’s adaptation of the bestseller I’m Thinking of Ending Things, a thriller starring a suicidal woman; Kaufman called the book “ingeniously twisted nightmare road trip through the fragile psyche of two young lovers. My kind of fun!” Netflix will fund and produce the film (presumably for theatrical release in 20??). We heard the news from IndieWire.


“Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”, Season 2 (2017): Read our Season 1 review. As Season 2 of the Douglas Adams inspired series begins, Dirk has been kidnapped, Todd and Farah are on the run from the FBI, and a man from the fantasy world of Wendimoor is seeking assistance to fulfill a prophecy that will save his kingdom. On DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD. Buy “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”, Season 2.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017): Read our List Candidate review! If you missed it in theaters, now’s your chance to check out ‘ first (official) horror movie, a story of irrational karmic vengeance. On DVD, Blu-ray and VOD. Buy The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea (2017): Read our review. A cartoon that’s exactly what it says on the tin. On DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD. Buy My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea.

Red Krokodil (2012): A man takes the homemade Russian drug “krokodil” and finds himself in a post-apocalyptic hallucination. You might remember when “krokodil” was the designer-drug-of-the-month scare sometime back in 2013 (despite never being found in the U.S.); this Italian exploitation film actually came out a year before, and now is being offered in a “director’s cut.” On DVD and Blu-ray. Buy Red Krokodil.


The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). We won’t list all the screenings of this audience-participation classic separately. You can use this page to find a screening near you.

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.


Jigureul jikyeora! 

“I sometimes feel as if movies from all over the world have melted inside me.”–Joon-Hwan Jang


DIRECTED BY: Joon-Hwan Jang

FEATURING: Ha-kyun Shin, Yun-shik Baek, Jae-yong Lee, Jeong-min Hwang

PLOT: Aided by Sooni, a lovelorn acrobat, Byung-goo abducts Kang, a pharmaceutical company executive, believing him to be a high-ranking agent of a group of aliens from Andromeda bent on eradicating the earth. As a pair of detectives close in on Byung-goo, the delusional man tortures the businessman in the basement of his remote cabin, hoping to force him to use his “royal DNA” to contact the prince of the Andromeda galaxy. Kang escapes but is recaptured and hobbled, and begins to play a psychological game with his tormentor, pretending to cooperate to avoid further injury.


  • Jang says the scenario for Save the Green Planet! was inspired by an Internet post suggesting was an alien in combination with his fondness for (and dissatisfaction with) Stephen King’s Misery.
  • This was Joon-Hwan Jang’s debut feature. He has made two movies since, a crime feature and a historical drama, neither of have shown significant weirdness or drawn many eyeballs outside of South Korea.

INDELIBLE IMAGE: Byung-goo’s homemade alien hazmat suit: a trash bag poncho with a modified miner’s helmet rigged with blinking gizmos (including a rear view mirror that bobbles up and down) of uncertain purpose and utility. The first time you see him outfitted in this garb, you know exactly who you’re dealing with.

THREE WEIRD THINGS: One bullet, one bee; ghost mom with meth; aliens did kill the dinosaurs

WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: The first two thirds are a demented genre mashup of sci-fi, comedy, horror, thriller, and action elements whose rambunctiousness is aimed squarely at midnight movie audiences. But it’s the final act, which shifts to an even madder perspective and goes so far as to outright steal scenes from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)—while still managing to feel original—that puts it over the top.

English-language trailer for Save the Green Planet!

COMMENTS: Despite a sometimes (and sometimes not) predictable Continue reading 316. SAVE THE GREEN PLANET! (2003)


DIRECTED BY: Adam Fields

FEATURING: Jason Graham, Amber Benson, Veronica Hart, , Ron Jeremy

PLOT: At a porn shoot in a remote cabin, an alien possesses Ron Jeremy’s penis and sets about killing the cast and crew.

Still from One-eyed Monster (2008)

WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: It’s not weird, just a one-joke premise that might have held five minutes worth of comedy, stretched out to feature length.

COMMENTS: A movie about an animated killer penis? Starring (sort of) Ron Jeremy, as himself? It’s both a can’t-miss and a can’t-hit idea. Sure, people will tune in for the high concept, but even if you do your very best, could an idea that sounds like it was thought up during middle school recess work as more than a passable time-waster?

The answer, of course, is “no.”  You may giggle occasionally, but aside from the “writes itself” gimmick, this is by-the-numbers B-filmmaking about attractive people in a cabin being killed by an unseen presence. And I do mean “unseen”: we don’t get our first glimpse of the titular monster until the movie is 2/3 over (spoiler: it’s not worth the wait). Not only that, but this is a movie about a porn shoot that only has one nude scene. In other words, almost everything the target audience tuned in to see—penis monsters, penis monster kills, sex, nudity—occurs offscreen. That leaves us with a very talky movie relying on a few limp industry jokes—such as referring to an actress who’s only been in a hundred adult videos as a “newbie”—while following the Night of the Living Dead playbook by rote (there’s even a scene where the obnoxious white villain locks the noble black hero out of the cabin).

While One-Eyed Monster is generally unexceptional, there are a few high points: some cute moments with a “neurotactile simulator” and a funny, campy Vietnam flashback monologue from a grizzled Charles Napier. But my feeling is that they should have turned this script into an expensive porn movie instead of a cheap horror movie. We use our “” rating sparingly, but One-Eyed Monster comes close to meriting it. It’s not like it’s loathsome—just puerile. Be warned: watching it is a waste of time. (Its 4.2 IMDB rating supports this thesis). You might be cool with wasting your time, though, and if so, have at it. You might get a couple of chuckles out of the deal. The DVD does include a 35-minute reminiscence about the early days of the adult film industry from veteran porn stars Jeremy and Hart, which is a good bit more interesting than the feature film.


“There is the postmodern thrill of a film-within-a-film and actors playing themselves – and Jeremy proves particularly sporting in allowing his legendary proportions to be reduced to alien bait…  too short to let any of its more flaccid moments bring it crashing down, and funny enough (at least in a drunken crowd) to make your eyes water.”–Anton Bitel, Eye for Film (festival screening)

(This movie was nominated for review by “philbymon,” who called it “[t]he weirdest thing I’ve seen recently.” We bet he’s topped it by now. Suggest a weird movie of your own here.)


Next week Alfred Eaker is taking a well-deserved day of vacation and we’ll be running a repeat column on Monday. You’ll also see a (somewhat belated) rundown of Vinegar Syndrome’s latest limited-edition release of the cult classic Liquid Sky (already sold out, but we think a standard edition is coming down the line) before getting back to clearing out the reader-suggested review queue with looks at the killer penis horror comedy One Eyed Monster and South Korea’s sci-fi torture opus Save the Green Planet!

After a good batch weird search terms last week, Googlers let us down over the past seven days. The only things we really saw were people looking for strange and confusing forms of pornography: “upper hood floor porn story,” “daughter like bbc sex movie,” “porn compilation bra tube.” For an official Weirdest Search Term of the Week, we guess we’ll go with “kinky rubber frogman pulls swimmer underwater and drowns him game in pond.” It sounds just a bit more psychotically homicidal than “kinky” in our minds, but who are we to judge?

Here’s how the ridiculously-long-and-still-growing reader-suggested review queue now stands: One Eyed Monster (next week!); Save the Green Planet (next week!);The Annunciation (1984); Bad Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE


AKA Brand Upon  the Brain! A Remembrance in 12 Chapters

“[Children are] constantly constructing, and then reconstructing and amending and annexing a model of their cosmos, their universe. The real joyous intoxications and wonderment come from building faulty models, and then tearing them down and rebuilding. But you never completely tear down your model, I think you just keep adding on to your faulty model of the way the world works. All if us, by the time we’re grown-ups, have built this really elaborate model, which we feel is right now finally. But at its very foundation, at the very bottom, its very earliest days, there are these errors that run like a motherlode through the ensuing years.”–Guy Maddin, “97 Percent True”



FEATURING: Sullivan Brown, Gretchen Krich, Katherine E. Scharhon, Maya Lawson, Erik Steffen Maahs, (narration)

PLOT: “Guy Maddin,” who has not been home in thirty years, returns to Black Notch, the island on which he spent his childhood, to fulfill his mother’s dying wish: to give the family lighthouse/orphanage two good coats of paint. The trip sparks Guy’s memory; he recalls when celebrity teen detective Wendy Hale arrived on the island to investigate the strange holes found on the back of orphan’s heads. Guy develops a crush on the detective, but Hale goes undercover as her own brother, Chance, and seduces Guy’s sister, all while investigating his dictatorial mother and mad scientist father on her way to uncovering secrets that will tear the family apart.


  • Brand Upon the Brain! was funded (for a reported $40,000) by a Seattle-based nonprofit organization on the condition that Maddin use a local Seattle cast and crew. The film was shot in nine days.
  • This is the middle entry in Maddin’s unofficial autobiographical trilogy, in which each film has a (different) protagonist named Guy Maddin. (The first was 2003’s Cowards Bend the Knee and the last was 2007’s My Winnipeg).
  • The script was written with Maddin’s frequent collaborator Geroge Toles, but Maddin regular (who usually appears as an actor) wrote the narration.
  • The idea of narration for a silent film was inspired by “explicators,” people who would be hired by theaters to explain visual and narrative concepts the audience might not get on their own during live screenings of silent films.
  • Originally staged as a live event with a small orchestra (including a “castrato”) and foley artists, different performances featured different guest narrators, including Isabella Rossellini (who does the definitive reading), Laurie Anderson, John Ashberry, , , Louis Negin, , Eli Wallach, and Maddin himself.

INDELIBLE IMAGE: The lighthouse lamp, an all-seeing orb, sort of a rotating papier-mâché rendition of the Eye of Sauron. Several of Guy’s family members come to bad ends before it.

THREE WEIRD THINGS: Rumanian womb birthmark; holes in orphan’s heads; the undressing gloves

WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: It’s another mad Maddin false autobiography! This time, the director imagines himself as the offspring of a mad scientist and yet another iteration of his domineering mother archetype, raised in a lighthouse among a band of orphans. Absurd but emotionally true memories are jumbled up, with a melange of archaic obsessions each taking their turn in the subconscious spotlight: teenage detectives, confused genders leading to confusing crushes, family members transfigured into zombies and vampires, with all of this lurid melodrama shot on blurry Super 8 and edited by a drunken, psychotic subconscious. Pure madness.

Original trailer for Brand Upon the Brain!

COMMENTS: “The past… into the past!” Memory is the theme of Continue reading 315. BRAND UPON THE BRAIN! (2006)

313. KIN-DZA-DZA! (1986)

“Koo! Koo!”–Kin-Dza-Dza

DIRECTED BY: Georgiy Daneliya

FEATURING: Stanislav Lyubshin, Levan Gabriadze, Evegeni Leonov, Yuri Yakovlev

PLOT: A construction foreman and a student meet a man on the Moscow streets who claims to be from another planet; humoring him, they use his “traveler” and are transported to the desert planet of Pluk. There, they meet a pair of aliens who only speak the words “koo!” (until they figure out how to translate the human’s language via telepathy). The aliens are amazed by the earthling’s matchsticks, which contain chemicals that are very valuable on Pluk, and barter to return them to Earth in exchange for boxes of matches—but can they be trusted?

Still from Kin Dza Dza (1986)


  • Kin-Dza-Dza was a minor flop when released in Soviet theaters in the winter of 1986, but later became a cult hit when it was split into two parts and shown on television.
  • The movie was virtually unknown outside of the former Soviet Union for many years, only available here in rare dubbed VHS copies until an (almost equally rare) 2005 Russico DVD release.
  • In 2013, original director and co-writer Georgiy Daneliya remade Kin Dza-Dza as an animated children’s movie.

INDELIBLE IMAGE: The first appearance of Uef and Be, who arrive on scene in what’s best described as a flying junk bucket. Be emerges in a makeshift cage, squats with his palms facing forward, and says, “koo!” Uef takes two metal globes and places them on the ground flanking his craft. He also says “koo!” Our two Muscovite travelers are nonplussed.

THREE WEIRD THINGS: Koo-based linguistics; Patsak nose bells; alien/Russian Sinatra karaoke

WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: This absurdist science fiction satire was deliberately odd from its inception. Today, since the vanished Soviet Union is almost as strange a world as the desert planet Pluk, Kin-Dza-Dza has become a movie about one alien culture lost inside another.

Unofficial Hollywood-style trailer for Kin-Dza-Dza

COMMENTS: You can describe the plot of Kin-Dza-Dza in detail Continue reading 313. KIN-DZA-DZA! (1986)


2017 saw a decrease in the number of truly great weird films released. Maybe it was because the year’s political climate was so bizarre that no surrealist could outweird reality: what screenwriter could come up with a character as absurd as “the Mooch“? Whatever the reason, we only saw two 2017 releases (so far, at least) attain the coveted “Certified Weird” status, versus five laureates in 2016. On the other hand, it was an excellent year for re-releases, with the Oedipal transvestites of Funeral Parade of Roses once again tramping across arthouse screens, and ‘s chicken-centric giallo Death Laid an Egg getting a clucking good restoration and subsequent Blu-ray debut. And any year which sees new films from a particularly fervid , a relatively restrained , and a steadily strange Yorgos Lanthimos can be called a loser—and that’s not even mentioning ‘s return to the small screen with the absolutely bizarre “Twin Peaks: The Return.” So let’s pay tribute to the weirdness of 2017 past: the eel transfusions, killer mermaid musicals, and rectum-faced women that strangened our screens, while we look forward to the oddness certain to come in this weird year of our Lord 2018.

The Lure Weirdest Movie of 2017As for the choice of movies, as always, I personally pick them using a secret proprietary formula that accounts for cinematic craftsmanship, the degree of surrealism/weirdness, and the perceived prestige in the weird movie community based on buzz and reader feedback, then I rank them in whatever arbitrary order I momentarily feel like without regard to any of that. As always, we list the films in random order—the weirdest of orders.

7. Slack Bay  – Unexplained disappearances plague a seaside resort frequented by an odd bourgeois family. Slack Bay finds writer/director carrying over a number of themes and tropes from his hit television miniseries Lil’ Quinquin: the resort setting, bumbling gendarmes, and a mixture of absurdist comedy and dark metaphysical mystery. Our mused “The film goes all in on the oddness, contrasting over-the-top dramatics with an aggressively blasé attitude toward the more salacious elements of its story. Writer/director Bruno Dumont wants very badly to put you off your guard, mixing in livewire topics like cannibalism, incest, and gender confusion with characters who are carefully calculated to be ridiculous.”

1. The Lure [Córki Dancingu– Certified weird! We’ve been waiting for two years for ‘s 2015 Polish debut The Continue reading TOP 10 WEIRD MOVIES OF 2017


Here is my annual top 10 list of movies, ranked according to mainstream standards. In other words, weird movies are allowed in this list, but I attempt to rank 2017 releases according to their general merit, as a guide intended for people who don’t specialize in the genre. Therefore, a provocative, nearly Surrealist film like mother! will rank highly in a year-end weird movie list, but only earns an honorable mention as a notable 2017 release here. (That said, there is an entry here to shock the unaware). Stay tuned for the top 10 weird movies of 2017 at a later hour.

2017 Honorable mentions (in alphabetical order): Baahubali 2; Baby Driver; The Big Sick; Brawl in Cell Block 99; City of Ghosts; Columbus; A Cure for Wellness; Darkest Hour; Dunkirk; The Florida Project; A Ghost Story; Graduation; Jane; The Killing of a Sacred Deer; Lady Bird; The Lego Batman Movie; Logan; The Lost City of Z; mother!; My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea; A Quiet Passion; Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Stronger; Thelma;Thor: Ragnarok; The Women’s Balcony; Wonder Woman; Your Name

10. Mudbound: The epic tale of two families–black sharecroppers and white landowners–in Jim Crow Mississippi, and the unlikely (and tragic) friendship between two sons who bond over their WWII service. Great historical detail, a fine ensemble cast, and a chilling ending are the high points in this excellent adaptation of Hillary Jordan’s novel. A Netflix production with a limited theatrical release.

9. Only the Brave: Trying to clean up so he can support his daughter, a recovering drug addict (Miles Teller) joins an ambitious wildfire-fighting crew led by a gruff workaholic (Josh Brolin). Nothing in this inspiringly macho adventure drama feels forced or exaggerated for effect; it is a honorable and touching tribute to the real life firemen who risk their lives to protect ours. Overlooked by both critics and box office patrons, this is a very solid, uncontroversial and inspirational movie that should move just about anyone.

8. I, Tonya: The true (?) story of Olympic ice skater Tonya Harding, from her abusive upbringing to the famous Nancy Kerrigan kneecapping incident that effectively ended her career. A tragicomic, distaff Raging Bull ripped straight from yesteryear’s tabloids, it’s entertaining, but also unexpectedly rich and quintessentially American. Chain-smoking stage mom Allison Janney makes for the year’s most hateful, unrepentant villains (at least, for those who miss Jonathan Banks in Mudbound).

7. The Disaster Artist: Struggling actor Greg Sestero befriends the odd, inept Tommy Wiseau—a mystery man of uncertain origins and bottomless wealth—who produces the disastrous self-indulgent camp classic The Room. The “making of” scenes of are very funny, but the core of the movie is the legitimate friendship between the two men—a call to stay loyal to those who show you loyalty, however weird they may be. If you’re looking for insights into Wiseau’s origins, the source of his fortune, or how he got to be so indescribably odd, you won’t find them here. But you’ll feel fondly towards him anyway.

6. Coco: A Mexican boy, the unhappy son of a family of music-hating Continue reading TOP 10 MOVIES OF 2017 – MAINSTREAM EDITION


The 2017 Online Film Critics Society awards awards are out. Weird films did surprisingly well this year, with mother! and A Ghost Story earning unexpected Best Picture nods (and although neither came close to winning, representation matters).

The Online Film Critics society has predicted the Academy Awards Best Picture winner three out of the last six years.

As always, despite the levity in my tone, I take my voting responsibility very seriously, and I do not put forward weird films at the expense of worthier mainstream candidates just because it’s “my thing.” Here is the list of this year’s winners, along with my choices and a touch of personal commentary.


Still from Get Out (2017)Winner: Get Out

Also nominated: A Ghost Story; Call Me By Your Name; Dunkirk; Lady Bird; mother!; Phantom Thread; The Florida Project; The Shape Of Water; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

My choice: Get Out

Comments: Get Out was both an unlikely, and a likely, winner. Unlikely because it’s essentially a genre horror movie (I’ve seen some even disparagingly call it a “B-movie”) that was released outside the late Fall/early Winter awards corridor. Likely, because it deals with timely racial issues in a subtle and entertaining manner. And because it’s damn good.


Winner: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Also nominated: Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out; James Franco, The Disaster Artist; Robert Pattinson, Good Time; Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name

My choice: Vince Vaughn, Brawl in Cell Block 99 (not nominated)

Comments: I’m not a huge fan of “impersonation” performances, where an actor simply mimics the mannerisms of a well-known historical figure. (Franco’s performance as falls into the same category, though I liked it a little better than Oldman’s). I think it shows more craftsmanship to build a believable character from the ground up, and I thought Vaughn’s con-Vincing performance as a brutal but principled ex-boxer in prison lifted Brawl‘s implausible revenge-fantasy script into something unexpectedly artful. Oldman earned an Oscar nomination at the casting stage.


Winner: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

Also nominated: Cynthia Nixon, A Quiet Passion; Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Margot Robbie, I, Tonya; Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

My choice: Cynthia Nixon, A Quiet Passion

Comments: All nominees of course gave good performances, but I would have ranked Hawkins turn as a mute in love with the Creature from the Black Lagoon as the least likely to win. Shows what I know. Eternally underrated Cynthia Nixon’s role as the sexually frustrated Continue reading ONLINE FILM CRITICS SOCIETY 2017 AWARDS (WITH OUR VOTES AND COMMENTS)


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

This is when the movies take the week off, ceding the field to the latest iteration of Star Wars. Many repertory theaters even take this opportunity to close for renovations). We should have more for you next week. The 2018 season kicks off in earnest in January at Sundance.


The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). We won’t list all the screenings of this audience-participation classic separately. You can use this page to find a screening near you.

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.