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THE PENULTIMATE READERS’ CHOICE POLL

With only 66 spots left open on the List of the 366 Weirdest Movies, last week we opened up nominations for readers to submit movies they could not bear to be left off the List.  We announced that this would be the last chance for readers to directly vote movies onto the List, but since the response was so strong we decided it might be appropriate to give you all one final shot when we get within sight of the finish line. So what you see below is now officially the Penultimate Readers Choice Poll rather than the final one.

The rules are simple, as always. You may vote for two of your favorites from the list below, and you may only vote once per day. We trust you are an honorable bunch so no shenanigans, please. The poll includes a short quote from the reader who nominated the film or seconded the nomination. You are encouraged to continue to campaign for your favorite in the comments on this post. Voting closes on October 7 at midnight, U.S. Eastern Standard time. Enjoy!


WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 9/22/2017

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):

Woodshock (2017): A grieving woman () smokes synthetic cannabinoids in the woods and hallucinates a lot. It’s savaging by critics makes it possibly A24’s first critical flop. Woodshock official site.

FILM FESTIVALS – Fantastic Fest (Austin, TX, 9/21-9/28):

The Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX may be America’s coolest theater. Their brand has grown so big that now they have franchised Drafthouses, and even distribute their own (generally weird) movies. One of the Alamo’s hippest projects is Fantastic Fest, going into its thirteenth year. As per usual, there is a fantastic slate of weird movies and some neato revivals here.  Coming at the tail end of the film festival season, much of the movies are retreads, but the Drafthouse folks always find a way to save some surprise debuts. We won’t do more than mention films we’ve already mentioned from other festivals, including the surreal resort feature All You Can Eat Buddha, the mindbending “cult” film The Endless, ‘ highly awaited The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and ‘s poliziotteschi tribute Let the Corpses Tan, Selma Blair and as the killers Mom and Dad, and Palme d’Or winner The Square. Here’s what we’ll be tracking down the road:

  • Anna and the Apocalypse – A Scottish Christmas zombie-invasion musical. Screens Sep. 22 & 26.
  • Anyab (1981) – Per the description, this is an Egyptian rip-off of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (sans cross-dressing). Sep. 24 & 26.
  • Applecart – Vacationers are disturbed by an odd woman () in a midnight movie the programmers describe as “weird, wild and blood-soaked.” Sep. 22 & 27.
  • Blue in My Mind – A Swiss teenage girl finds her body transforming (in a ian way) and, per the trailer, also eats goldfish. Screens Sep. 27 only.
  • Gerald’s Game – During a sex game a man dies leaving his wife handcuffed to the bed; hallucinations ensue in this feature adapted from a story. Sep. 24 & 26.
  • Ichi the Killer (2001) – A restored print of ‘s sadomasochistic yakuza hit. Catch it Sep. 27.
  • Mary and the Witch’s Flower – A girl becomes a witch for a day in this anime from Studio Ghibli refugees that brings to mind Kiki’s Delivery Service with flying whales. Sep. 22 & 27.
  • The Nude Vampire (1970) – A special screening of ‘s batty sex/vampire mashup (and List Candidate) to celebrate the release of Kier La-Janisse’s book “Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin.” On Sep. 24, hosted by La-Janisse.
  • The Originals – Reality (and time)-bending Egyptian film about a banker recruited into a secret society. Sep 22 & 26.
  • Pin Cushion – A mother and daughter in a new town retreat into fantasy when targeted by bullies. Sep. 22 & 26.
  • Topknot Detective – Mockumentary (?) about a brief Japanese cult TV series starring a samurai detective. Sep. 23 & 25.
  • Vidar the Vampire – A Norwegian farmer is vampirized by a bloodsucker claiming to be Jesus Christ. Sep. 24 & 28.
  • World of Tomorrow Episode Two: The Burden of Other People’s Thoughts – The 40-minute sequel to brilliant short “World of Tomorrow“; the original will also be shown, and Hertzfeld will lead a discussion during the intermission. World premiere Sep. 23, encore Sep. 28.

Fantastic Fest official site.

NEW ON DVD:

The Bad Batch (2016): ‘s much-anticipated followup to A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night features and and was originally pitched as “a dystopian love story in a Texas wasteland and set in a community of cannibals.” Critics didn’t like it much, but then again they hated Southland Tales when it first came out, too. Buy The Bad Batch.

“Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-1971”: Five rare films (A Film Like Any Other, See You at Mao, Wind from the East, Struggles in Italy, Vladimir and Rosa) from ‘s “Dziga Vertov” period. These experimental, avant-garde hippie-era Marxist screeds are dated and an acquired taste. Buy “Jean Luc-Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-1971 {Blu-ray + DVD].”

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

The Bad Batch (2016): See description in DVD above.  Buy The Bad Batch [Blu-ray]

“Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-1971”: See description in DVD above. Comes on 6 discs (we’re not sure how they are divided between DVD and Blu-ray).  Buy “Jean Luc-Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-1971.”

Starship Troopers (1997): Read the reader recommendation. Nothing new in this 20th Anniversary reissue except that it’s a 4K Ultra upgrade (with a spare Blu-ray in case your TV, like most, can’t handle 4k). Buy Starship Troopers [4K/Blu-ray].

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

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.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Only 68 more titles left to Certify Weird… and you can help pick them! If you haven’t already, check out our final (?) chance for reader input onto the shape of the List with the nominations post. Slots are filling up fast with 15 of a potential 20 finalist nominees already selected. If you want to participate, this opportunity won’t last forever…

Next week, Alfred Eaker continues his episode guide for the 1950s TV series “The Adventures of Superman” (first part here). takes Arrow Video’s deluxe new release as an excuse to re-examine 1985’s cult classic Re-Animator. We’ll also bring you our initial impression of ‘s divisive psychohorror mother! and look back at an older paranoid classic, ‘s The Tenant. It’s a spooky week—it’s starting to feel like Halloween’s coming early.

Now is the time at 366 Weird Movies when we take our weekly look at the weirdest search terms that brought readers to the site. First up is a search for a movie we’d probably like to see: “snake movie women get underground snake babies born movie.” In the USA, we’ve had lots of debate over how to handle bathrooms and transgendered folk, but things are apparently worse in Europe, assuming “european bathroom belly button creature movie” is a documentary. For our official Weirdest Search Term of the Week, however, we’ll go with “inkinkfistyfink,” which sounds like a charming children’s rhyme (unless it’s meant to be read as “in kink, fisty fink,” in which case it’s even weirder!)

Here’s how the temporarily-suspended reader-suggested review queue stands: The Tenant (next week!); Beauty and the Beast [Panna a Netvor] (1978); 1 Day; Vermilion Souls (depending on availability); Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 9/15/2017

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 (WIDE RELEASE):

mother!: A series of uninvited guests disturb Jennifer Lawrence’s tranquillity in ‘s latest psychological thriller. Critics have been divided but generally positive, though it did earn a smattering of “boos” from the Venice Film Festival crowd (which is often a good gauge of a movie’s weirdness). mother! official Facebook page.

FILM FESTIVALS – AFI Latin American Film Festival (Silver Spring, MD., Sep 14-Oct 4):

This year, AFI’s showcase of Latin American (or at least Spanish language) film features a couple of movies we’ve seen around the festival circuit: the List-worthy animation Birdboy: The Forgotten Children [AKA Psychonauts, The Forgotten Children] and the Mexican psychosexual horror The Untamed. There’s also one new title of interest:

  • Don’t Swallow My Heart, Alligator Girl! – A Brazilian boy falls in love with a Paraguayan girl in this magical realist take on “Romeo and Juliet.” Screens Sep. 17 & 19.

AFI Latin American Film Festival home page.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Phenomena (1985): A young girl who can speak to insects solves a mystery at a girls’ school. Synapse puts out a deluxe two Blu-ray set of Dario Argento‘s buggy horror with three cuts of the film, an Argento doc, and more surprises. Buy Phenomena [Blu-ray].

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

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.

THE FINAL READER-CHOSEN ENTRIES ON THE LIST OF 366 WEIRDEST MOVIES – PHASE 1 (NOMINATIONS)

As you, the careful and long-suffering reader, may have noticed, we’re starting to run low on slots for the 366 Weirdest Movies Ever Made. Only 67 spots remain at the time of this writing. In the past, we’ve relied on reader input to help shape the List by running regular polls. Readers are responsible for directly placing Alice [Neco Z Alenky], Visitor Q, Pink Floyd: The Wall, Trash Humpers, The American Astronaut, Dead Ringers, Keyhole, Sweet Movie, Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny, Ninja Champion, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Vampire’s Kiss, and Why Don’t You Play in Hell? into the field of 366. (That’s not even counting reader-suggestions which we reviewed and found worthy).

Some of those misfit films above surely would have made the List anyway without readers selecting them. But this new poll will be your last (maybe your last) chance to have direct input on the List. After this, you’ll be left hoping, begging, and cajoling us to pick your favorites. (You might want to consider “bribing,” also—just throwing that out there).

Here’s how it’s going to work this time around. We’re going to shut down the suggestion box for the time being, and you can post all your suggestions in the comments on this post. You may nominate any movie at all, whether it’s something we’ve never heard of, something that’s been languishing among our List Candidates, something that’s already sitting in the reader-suggested queue, or even something that we’ve already reviewed and rejected. The nominations are subject only to a few minimal rules:

  1. One official suggestion per reader.
  2. Don’t suggest a movie you had a part in creating. If you want us to review your work sent us a note via the contact form.
  3. Every movie suggestion will require a “second” from someone else in the comments to become a nominee. (Seconding someone else’s movie choice will not preclude you from forwarding your own nominee).
  4. Current contributors to 366 Weird Movies cannot nominate movies; they can second readers’ choices, however.
  5. If your nominee appears to be a joke (i.e. Star Wars) even a second will not help. But don’t be afraid to make a non-conventional choice for a non-conventional movie—you just have to be more persuasive about why you think it belongs here.

We will leave the nomination process open for an indeterminate length of time. Twenty titles seems like the most we’d be willing to deal with, so we’ll shut down the process if we reach that goal. Otherwise, we’d predict leaving it open for about two weeks, maybe longer if we don’t get enough candidates.

We’re trusting our readers are sophisticated enough to avoid recency bias and won’t only suggest movies made in the last two or three years.

Once we have enough nominees (we’re hoping for something in the ten to twenty movie range), we’ll shut off this post to new comments and create an official poll to officially add two of these movies. (Others from the poll may make the List at the editors’ discretion). At that time, we’ll also reopen the “Suggest a Weird Movie!” page, though using it will be a Hail Mary pass for latecomers only.

Since you’ll need a second to get your nominee on the ballot, you’ll probably want to campaign as persuasively as you can for your choice. Since you can only vote for two movies in the end, it would be a good idea not to second more than two.

Ready? Got to it! Comment away!

We’ll list the nominees (whether seconded or not) in the body of this post for clarity.

OFFICIAL NOMINEES (voting to commence soon):

The Addams Family (1992)

Amer (2009)

Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

The Beyond (1981)

Big Man Japan (2007)

The Butcher Boy (1997)

Chronopolis (1982)

City of the Pirates (1984)

Heart of a Dog (2015)

I Am Here… Now (2009)

Incubus (1966)

It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012)

Last Year at Marienbad (1961)

Multiple Maniacs (1970)

O Ornitólogo (The Ornithologist) (2016)

Pink Narcissus (1971)

Save the Green Planet! (2003)

Survive Style 5+ (2004)

Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets (1971)

Under the Skin (2013)

Just missed (for historical purposes):

L’ange (1982) (russa03) – awaiting a second

Live Freaky – Die Freaky (Ben) – awaiting a second

Samurai Rauni (Aki Vainio) – awaiting a second

The Skin I Live In (Blakeg) – awaiting a second

Talking Head (chie) – awaiting a second

Madam Satan (1930) (Cham Ferguson) – awaiting a second

Wave Twisters (2001) (travis) – awaiting a second

The Spirit (2008) (Motyka) – awaiting a second

Fateful Findings (Wootex) – awaiting a second

Messiah of Evil (1973) (Scott Dwyer) – awaiting a second

Raising Arizona (Sebastian Murillo) – awaiting a second

mother! (2017)  (Barry Strickland) – awaiting a second

Seizure (1974) (Ricardo dos Santos) – awaiting a second

Dr. Caligari (1989) (Maico Nafarrate) – awaiting a second

Fight Club (Justin Gans) – awaiting a second

Blak Mama (2009) (Marco) – awaiting a second

Ritual dos Sádicos (Awakening of the Beast – 1970) (Douglas Fricke) – awaiting a second

Reflections in a Golden Eye (Ray C) – awaiting a second

Medea (1988, von Trier) (PeterRox) – awaiting a second

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

A little bit of a slow week coming up here due to “real life” commitments. Hopefully you, the reader, won’t notice anything awry, as we’ll still be bringing you daily content.

First up this week, Alfred Eaker will start a new episode guide series on the 1950s “Adventures of Superman” TV series. Following shortly, Shane Wilson will take one out of the reader-suggested queue with his review of The Brave Little Toaster, while G. Smalley goes the new-release route to tell you about the alcoholic kaiju allegory Colossal.

After that, we’re going to start a discussion thread seeking input on the two final movies you, the collective reader, will select to go on the List of 366. Rather than posting a poll with titles we select, as we have in all of our other reader votes, we’re going to let you make the nominees as well as deciding the final vote. So this is your chance to make your case for whatever you think we’ve overlooked. Even stuff we previously rejected is eligible. We don’t know how many nominees we’ll get, or how fast they’ll come in, but we tentatively anticipate leaving the discussion open for at least two weeks before creating the final poll. So be sure to think about your “must have” movies and check in on Thursday with your choices and arguments ready.

Our weekly survey of the weirdest search terms that brought visitors to the site (i.e. “Weirdest Search Terms of the Week”) once again has a sleazy porn movie focus. Surprise, surprise. Setting the theme was the search for “prono>strange” (which we read as “misspelled porno is greater than strange,” a sentiment with which we happen to disagree). But speaking of strange porno, how about “hg saxxy handy story full saxxy”? That’s twice as saxxy as it is handy, which seems odd. For our official Weirdest Search Term of the Week, we’ll go with “nuclear blast trying to survive by sucking boobs movies.” Sounds like a fun post-apocalyptic pastime, considering it should be hard to get a good wi-fi signal after the bomb falls, but we don’t think it will actually help you survive a nuclear blast.

Here’s how the ridiculously-long reader-suggested review queue now stands: The Brave Little Toaster (next week!); Beauty and the Beast [Panna a Netvor] (1978); 1 Day; Vermilion Souls (depending on availability); Gahjini; One Eyed Monster; Save the Green Planet; Crimewave (d. Sam Raimi); Murder Party; The Annunciation (1984); Funeral Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 9/8/2017

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.

Summer is over and the weird movie world is heating up now that blockbuster season is past…

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

The Challenge (2017): Experimental low-dialogue documentary about the strange hobbies of wealthy Qatari sheiks who converge for a meeting in the desert. In a generally negative review, Variety nonetheless suggests it’s a “non-fictive but scarcely less fantastical (or mannered) equivalent to Matthew Barney’s cinematic oeuvre.The Challenge U.S. distributor site.

Napping Princess (2017): In the near future a student discovers that the secret to freeing her arrested father may lie in her dreams of a science fantasy kingdom. Light, whimsical anime magic. Napping Princess U.S. distributor site.

FILM FESTIVALS – Toronto International Film Festival (Toronto, Ont., Canada, 9/7-9/17):

TIFF continues to be one of the world’s major film festivals, even as it continues to evolve and find its own niche in a crowded field. This year, they have narrowed down the slate (from 296 to 255 films) and appear to be focusing more on potential awards contenders, perhaps in an attempt to position themselves as Oscar kingmakers. (Thanks to Variety for recognizing the trend.) Unfortunately, this shift in emphasis means that a few scrappy, weirder films may be the first to be shunted aside for more conventional titles—but there’s still plenty of unusual stuff hiding in the program. Aside form a few titles we’ve noted elsewhere (like s rock opera Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc, James Franco’s biopic The Disaster Artist, ‘s The Shape of Water, ‘s mother!, and Palme d’Or winner The Square), here’s what caught our eye:

  • All You Can Eat Buddha – A mysterious man performs miracles at a tropical result in this low-key film programmers describe as a “trippy and complex cinematic experience.” Screens Sep. 11-14.
  • The Crescent – Hallucinatory horror about a grieving woman and her 2-year old child. Sep. 13-15.
  • Gutland – Billed as a “surrealist rural noir,” the scenario involves a German drifter who wanders into a strange village in Luxembourg. Sep 8, 10, 12, 13, 16.
  • I Am Not a Witch – Magical realist story about an African girl exiled from her village on suspicion of witchcraft. Sep. 8, 13, 14, 16.
  • The Killing of a Sacred Deer‘ latest reunites him with The Lobster‘s , playing a cardiologist who befriends a 16-year old boy. The Sep 7 debut is passed, but you can still catch it Sep 9 or 10.
  • Let the Corpses Tan (Laissez Bronzer les Cadavres) – Gold thieves engage in a shootout with cops in this tribute to Italian poliziotteschi films; doesn’t look as weird as their previous giallo-inspired work, but it’s always interesting to see what and are up to. Sep. 9, 13, 14, 17.
  • Mom and Dad – Pitch black comedy wherein mass hysteria causes parents to hunt their own children; what makes it notable, however, is cranky director teaming up (again) with ever-hammy . Sep 9, 10, 13, 16.
  • Motorrad – Brazilian dirt biking kids are hunted by a machete-wielding biker gang; we probably wouldn’t have noticed this one except that the programmers called it “wild and weird” (twice!) Sep. 9, 11, 13, 16.
  • Oblivion Verses (Los Versos del Olvido) – An elderly cemetery caretaker sets out to bury a woman killed by the secret police in a world gone mad. Sep. 11, 12,. 13, 15.
  • Occidental – Set entirely inside a stylized French hotel, where the arrival of a gay couple sets off a series of absurd xenophobic events. Sep. 9, 10, 14, 16.
  • On Body and Soul – Two Hungarian slaughterhouse employees try to recreate the identical recurring dream they share. Sep. 15-17.
  • Redoubtable – This biopic portrait of at an artistic crisis point after making 1967’s flop La Chinoise is not weird, but potentially of interest. Sep 9, 14, 15, 17.
  • Simulation – Gritty Iranian drama told in reverse chronological order with dreamlike moments. Sep. 12, 14, 17.

Toronto Film Festival home page.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

The Cabin in the Woods (2012): Read our review. There’s nothing new in this Blu of the ultimate meta-horror except for the fact that it’s been updated to a 4K Ultra HD presentation for those with next generation TVs. Buy The Cabin in the Woods [4K Ultra HD Blu-ray].

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

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.

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

“toco toco”: toco toco is a professional short documentary series profiling Japanese artists. Their latest offerings should be of interest to our readers: interviews with gurus (Robogeisha) and (Tokyo Gore Police). Both contain clips from these arterial auteurs gory films and therefore come with a “viewer discretion advised” warning. Highly recommended for fans. Watch them free on YouTube: Noboru Iguchi EpisodeYoshihiro Nishimura Episode.

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.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Only 68 more titles left to Certify Weird!

Alfred Eaker has been working so hard we’re giving him Labor Day off—look for a repeat column on Monday. Not so Pete Trbovich, who chooses to take another title out of the reader-suggested queue with a look at the intersecting-narrative 2003 indie 11:44. G. Smalley is also punching the clock, with a compare and contrast of ‘s yin-yang gender features Evolution (about boys on an island) and Innocence (about girls at a boarding school).

Now it’s time for us to once again survey the weirdest search terms that brought users to the site, a feature that goes by the title “Weirdest Search Terms of the Week.” First up: “old lady man worm,” a couple we’d like to see out on the dance floor. Next up is a search that would  probably be dirty, if only it were full-bokep instead of just semi: “film semi bokep farmers family.” We picked our official Weirdest Search Term of the Week just because it’s a movie we would like to watch: “old movie with tranny witch cooked in oven and goatman.” Keep those weird searches coming, guys and gals!

Here’s how our ridiculously-long reader-suggested review queue stands: 11:14 (next week!); Beauty and the Beast [Panna a Netvor] (1978); 1 Day; Vermilion Souls (depending on availability); Gahjini; Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 9/1/2017

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.

FILM FESTIVALS – Venice International Film Festival (Venice, IT, 8/30-9/9):

The world’s oldest film festival, Venice is still one of the most prestigious movie events of the year, although it has been losing ground in late years as many producers who miss the chance to debut at Cannes choose to premiere at the better-attended Toronto Film Festival instead. Like Cannes, its tastes tend towards the vino e formaggio crowd, but there’s always some adventurous and/or interesting  stuff to be found in the catalog, and some high-profile debuts, as seen in our list below:

  • Controfigura – French film about a small crew trying to remake The Swimmer in Marrakesh. Screening Sep. 8 &9.
  • Dangerous but Necessary – Documentary about two-time Certified Weird director (Dillinger is Dead, La Grande Bouffe). Screens Sep. 3 & 4.
  •  Il Signor Rotpeter – Italian Kafka adaptation about a monkey who becomes a man. Screening Sep. 8.
  • Mother‘s psychothriller starring Jennifer Lawrence is one of the most hotly anticipated movies of the year. First peek comes on Sep. 5.
  • The Shape of Water – ‘s adult fairy tale about a cleaning woman who falls in love with a merman; some critics are calling it the equal of Pan’s Labyrinth. The opening night screening has already passed but you can catch it in wide release in December.
  • Woodshock – Looks like a grieving woman () smokes synthetic cannabinoids in the woods and hallucinates a lot. Debuts Sep. 4, also playing Sep. 5.

Venice International Film Festival official site.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

The Manster (1959): Read our review. Not sure this campy low-budget B&W creature feature merits a hi-def release, but B-Blu collectors may be interested. Buy The Manster [Blu-ray].

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

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.

TEN OF THE MOST UNCOMMON AND WEIRDEST MOVIE SCORES

We here at 366 Weird Movies appreciate the contribution of music to the tone and impact of a weird movie, and try to highlight it whenever we can, but we’re not musicologists. We had long hoped to publish some kind of feature on bizarre movie scores, but when a pair of actual experts approached us with a similar idea, we jumped at the chance. Here are Butler University composer/professors Michael Schelle and Frank Felice’s choices for ten strange movie scores:

Over the course of film’s history, the styles and indeed the function of a film’s musical score has changed frequently, from the earliest silent film’s “pianist-in-the-pit” to today’s “anti-score” sound design of Hans Zimmer. Most of the time, however, the musical score for each movie serves to intensify the emotional core, underscore/buttress the plot, or some cases, function like an unseen character. For nearly its entire history, this musical underscore has been fairly conservative, with quite accessible classical music providing the basic music for most films, augmented (or replaced at times) by the pop music of the day. However, sometimes directors and producers asked their composers to go further, or more likely, the composers themselves took the risk or writing something unique, and their bosses accepted it. Here are ten scores (well, a few more) that are weird, either in their techniques, or their instrumentation, or how they interact with the images and dialogue.

Body Parts (1991) – directed by Eric Red, score by Loek Dikker

Much of the score by Dikker uses a typical horror music aesthetic and language, but what makes this film unique is one instrument’s frequent use  a bowed musical saw. Just about perfect for a film about lost limbs and their replacements…


(listen for the saw doubling the violins at about the three minute mark)

Crash (1996) – directed by , score by Howard Shore

Howard Shore may derive much of his fame as a composer from his work on Lord of the Rings, but it’s scores like this that show his range—most of the music is derived from the sounds and a few chords played by the opening guitar parts. Other instruments augment this essential music, but the guitar is nearly always there lurking in the texture, certainly adding to the creepiness of this very bizarre film.

The Third Man (1949) – directed by Carol Reed, score by Anton Karas

This is so utterly bizarre! In what is surely one of the best suspense films of all time, wonderfully written, paced, and filmed, the music throughout the WHOLE of the film is performed largely by a ZITHER. Happy and cheerful. Even through the crazy chase scenes. Of course, some of the most intensely acted scenes have no music. Making the return of the zither each time it happens a lot less trustworthy…

Forbidden Planet (1956) – directed by Fred McLeod Wilcox, “electronic tonalities” by Louis and Bebe Barron

The first score to be produced completely by electronic means, Continue reading TEN OF THE MOST UNCOMMON AND WEIRDEST MOVIE SCORES