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WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 2/23/2018

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.

IN THEATERS (WIDE RELEASE):

Annihilation (2018): A group of scientists investigate a paranormal phenomenon called “the Shimmer.” This highly-anticipated feature from Alex (Ex Machina) Garland is hard sci-fi with a final act that at least one critic found “intensely weird.” Annihilation official Facebook page.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

November (2017): Read our List Candidate entry! The early forerunner for Weirdest Picture of 2018 gets its NYC debut, to be followed by screenings in major cities throughout the Spring. November official site.

We Are Not Cats (2018): An indie love story between trichophagiacs (people compelled to eat their own hair). Maybe more darkly quirky than weird, but it’s a queasy subject that hasn’t been explored before. We Are Not Cats official site.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

Mom and Dad (2017): 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 . Out on DVD, VOD and Blu-ray. Buy Mom and Dad.

The Night Walker (1964): Read Pamela De Graff’s review. ‘s surreal B-horror was never released on DVD, but Shout! Factory ships it straight to Blu-ray. Buy The Night Walker.

Underground (1995): A black market arms dealer locks his partner in an underground compound so he won’t figure out that the war is over. ‘s Palme D’or winning surreal satire hasn’t been easy to find recently, but Kino Lorber unleashes a lavish set which includes the expanded television version (six episodes, each about an hour long). It comes in either three DVD or one Blu-ray, two DVD flavors. Buy Underground.

NEW EXCLUSIVELY ON NETFLIX:

On Body and Soul [Teströl és lélekröl] (2017): Two slaughterhouse workers find that they share a common dream (literally—they each have the exact same dream night after night). We’re not fond of Netflix exclusive releases for smaller foreign films—treasures like Skins can get buried and lost—but it is better than the movie sitting on a distributor’s shelf forever.

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 MOVIES ON TUBI.TV:

Akira (1988): Read the Certified Weird entry! If Neo-Tokyo’s all-time cult anime has somehow evaded you, here’s your chance. Watch out for the motorcycle clowns! Watch Akira free on Tubi.tv.

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 47 movies left to Certify Weird…

Next week Alfred Eaker continues his unofficial spiritual movie quest by meditating on Andrei Rublev, ‘s early, controversial (in the Soviet Union) biography of the titular icon painter. Next up, Giles Edwards dives into the reader-suggested queue for a look at ‘s gory 1987 debut, Bad Taste. Giles will also take a second look at ‘s shroomy historical saga A Field in England, while G. Smalley looks at the chilly new Estonian fairy tale fantasy November (briefly mentioned by the aforementioned Giles in his 2017 Fantasia Festival coverage). We’re filling in holes and patching up oversights as we continue to build to the magical 366.

This week’s weirdest search terms come with an alien theme. The least strange of these is the search for “hungarian alien porn,” a genre we did not realize Hungarians specialized in. A bit stranger in “alien stealing white blood”; who knew there were alien KKK sympathizers? Our official Weirdest Search Term of the Week, “dial are sick also monkey movie since our own a sitter,” stretches the theme to its breaking point. We contend that only an alien completely unfamiliar with Earth movies could have submitted such an outlandish and incoherent request. Or perhaps a monkey.

Here’s how the ridiculously-long reader-suggested review queue now stands: Bad Taste (next week!); Visitor of a Museum [Posetitel muzeya]; Darc Arc; Genius Party; The Idiots; The Shout; “Premium” (depending on availability); The Falls; Spermula; Killer Condom; The Godmonster of Indian Flats; I Am Here Now; Sir Henry at Rawlinson End; Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 2/16/2018

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.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Double Lover [L’Amant Double] (2017): A woman falls in love with her psychoanalyst and discovers he has a secret. Writer/director has always threatened to go full weird; maybe this is the time he makes it? Double Lover U.S. distributor site.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

Drag Me to Hell (2009): Read our review. Shout! Factory celebrates ‘s brief return to horror with this elaborate two-Blu set that includes an unrated cut of the flick. Buy Drag Me to Hell [Collector’s Edition Blu-ray].

Night of the Living Dead (1968): Read Alfred Eaker’s mini-review. Not so weird, but we thought you’d like to know: the got their hands on this film everyone has already seen, livening it up for Deadheads by exhuming a horde of special features, including never-before-seen workprints and dailies. On DVD and Blu-ray. Buy Night of the Living Dead [Criterion Collection].

Orchestra Rehearsal (1978): An orchestra rehearsal degenerates into squabbling and chaos. Rare , a fake documentary made for Italian television featuring Nino Rota’s final score for the director, now on Blu-ray and video-on-demand courtesy of Arrow Academy. Buy Orchestra Rehearsal.

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 MOVIES ON TUBI.TV:

Stroszek (1977): Read Giles Edwards review. Stick with ‘s quirky drama (featuring many amateur actors) about a drunk street musician, his elderly landlord, and a prostitute who move from Berlin to Wisconsin looking for a better life—it builds to a pretty good dancing chicken. Watch Stroszek on Tubi.tv.

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

As of this week, there are only 48 Weird Movies left to Certify.

We’ll start next week’s journey as Alfred Eaker continued his sidebar on legitimately spiritual films with Robert Bresson’s 1951 drama Diary of a Country Priest. Shane Wilson follows up with an arguably spiritual film (though from an atheist): ‘s experimental deathbed confession, Blue (1993). Then Giles Edwards will tackle the last year’s less spiritual, but probably weirder, Australian micro-budget black comedy Hitler Lives!, before we end the week with a second look at the Little-Red-Riding-Hood-meets-TheHowling horror, The Company of Wolves (1984).

The movies above (at least some of them) are weird, but what about the dubious films we saw asked about in search queries, queries that we will now feature in our Weirdest Search Term of the Week contest? For example, someone was looking for a “movie eels in stomach long life raped daughter.” Equally strange is the possibility that “a beast eat human organ and swing them and hang on wall movie” exists. We decided the weirdest search was for “list of 80s movie natives compiet with giant egg on there head race with subtitles,” because the searcher thinks that movies about natives racing with giant eggs on their heads is an entire subgenre of films (and wants to see only the subtitled ones, thank you very much).

Here’s how the ridiculously-long reader-suggested review queue now stands: Blue (next week!); Bad Taste; Visitor of a Museum [Posetitel muzeya]; Darc Arc; Genius Party; The Idiots; The Shout; “Premium” Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 2/9/2018

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.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Black Hollow Cage (2017): A girl who lives alone with her father and talks to her dog through a device called “mom” discovers a black cube in the woods. Last seen at Sitges film festival, now with a very limited U.S. release. Black Hollow Cage official site.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno (1964/2009): In 1964 French master Clouzot (The Wages of Fear, Les Diaboliques) began work on a big-budget experimental film that shut down three weeks into production. This 2009 documentary examines the movie that might have been, showing us the amazing expressionist footage that was shot along with storyboards, interviews and recreations to flesh out the storyline. It was released previously on DVD/Blu-ray by Flicker Alley, but here it is in a solo Blu from Arrow Academy. Buy Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno.

Pom Poko (1994): Read our review! GKids re-releases Studio Ghibli’s racoon-testicle classic (you read that right) in Blu-ray. Buy Pom Poko.

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 TUBITV:

Repo: The Genetic Opera (2008): Read Eric Young’s review. This gory, divisive goth musical has a small cult following; it’s free to join. Mature audiences; requires registration. Listed as “leaving soon” without a specific date. Watch Repo: the Genetic Opera free on Tubitv.

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

Here’s what we got coming next week: after having written a savage expose on s, Alfred Eaker does penance by bringing some legitimately spiritual films to your attention, beginning with Carl Theodor Dreyer‘s Day of Wrath. The, new writer John Francis Klingle introduces us to a new form of odd cinema, the fan film, using the Star Trek Time Warp Trilogy as his text. And things get existential at the end of the week as Shane Wilson reaches into the reader-suggested queue for a look at the 2001 adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, while Pete Trbovich spearheads a second look at 1997’s puzzler Cube. We continue our march to 366 titles…

It’s time once again for our weekly survey of weird search terms that brought people to the site, a feature we like to call “Weirdest Search Terms of the Week.” First up: “lonely maid deflowered in tricky arranged party,” which almost makes sense but is just too bizarrely worded (“tricky arranged party”?) to pass up. We then turn our attention to a search for a “film where a big oil looking puddle eats people in a lake” (we can almost picture this one…) But our official Weirdest Search Term of the Week has to be “2x indion ten rape virgen father.” Aside from the incoherently disturbing premise of the query, there are multiple levels of strangeness at work here: the unconventional spelling, the mysterious “2x,” and the fact that the searcher seems to believe a man can be both a virgin and a father.

Here’s how the ridiculously-long reader-suggested review queue now stands:  Waiting for Godot (2001) (next week!); Bad Taste; Visitor of a Museum [Posetitel muzeya]; Darc Arc; Genius Party; The Idiots; The Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 2/2/2018

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.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

Gothic (1986): Read the Certified Weird entry! Ken Russell‘s laudanum dream about the night Mary Shelley conceived “Frankenstein” has never had a respecable home video release—until now. On Blu-ray or VOD. Buy Gothic.

Jamón, Jamón (1992): A mother hires an aspiring underwear model to seduce her son’s fiance. Sexy, surreal, and one of the first films for future stars and Javier Bardem. DVD and/or Blu-ray. Buy Jamón, Jamón.

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 dream anime on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD. Buy Napping Princess.

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.

NEPOTISM CORNER:

INTERVIEWTF WITH G. SMALLEY (366 WEIRD MOVIES): A random website randomly interviewed 366 Weird Movies’ own G. Smalley on random topics. Read the madness here.

Ten Outstanding Weird Movies You’ve Probably Never Heard Of: You have almost certainly heard of all these, but for novices 366’s “Penguin” Pete Trbovich published a list of ten “lesser known” weird movies (all featured on this website) on Imgur. See his choices here.

YOU LINK US! YOU REALLY LINK US!:

The Apple (1980) < Catherine Mary Stewart: Catherine Mary Stewart’s official site considers us one of only three notable resources (along with the IMDB and the Projection Booth’s podcast) for info on The Apple. Proud to be of service!

Letterboxd Guide to 366 Weird Movies: Superfan Val Santos compiled this list of Certified Weird films on the popular social movie site, and went above and beyond by creating guides to our List Candidates, capsule reviews and even the suggestion queue. Wow!

FREE MOVIES ON TUBITV:

Millennium Actress (2001): Read the Certified Weird entry! As we mentioned in our review, ‘s sophomore picture—a mixed-up anime biopic of a fictional Japanese actress—turns up from time to time streaming on free services. Right now, it’s upstart TubiTV’s turn. With minimal commercial interruptions. Watch Millennium Actress free on TubiTV.

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

Quick note: with movie #316 Certified Weird, that officially means we’re down to the last 50. What a milestone!

So with that in mind, for next week Alfred Eaker plans to return from vacation with another pick (this time, it’s Welles’ Falstaff adaptation, Chimes at Midnight). Then Bryan Pike looks at two recent releases: Manos: The Rise of Torgo (you may recall Bryan interviewing director about his Manos prequel while the project was in the works) and ‘s quiet sequel to his “” short “World of Tomorrow” (“World of Tomorrow 2: The Burden of Other People’s Dreams”). Finally, G. Smalley will go outside of the new release/reader suggestion box for our third venture into the weird world of , 2001’s Millennium Actress.

It’s time once again for our weekly survey of the weirdest search terms that brought people to the site this week, a feature we quite sensibly call “Weirdest Search Terms of the Week.” First we’ll mention one of the more printable of the incest porn searches we constantly see, “incest scene from mainstream movies the mad son doing strange things.” (For some reason, the Internet thinks 366 Weird Movies is an incest and bestiality based porn site. I blame ). Next up is “girl yells is he dead then walks away man floats”: we certainly hope this Googler was describing a scene from a movie and not a real life experience. Finally, our official Weirdest Search Term of the Week is “3d alien p*** woman gets impregnated video.” The use of wildcards in your dirty search terms is rarely a good idea, guys. Is it “3d alien pets woman, gets impregnated”? Maybe “3d alien, part woman, gets impregnated”? We’ll never know what your actual alien impregnation kink is if you don’t spell it out for us.

Here’s the ridiculously-long-and-still-growing reader-suggested review queue. A few notes: you guys understand that, given the incredible length of this queue and the fact that we only have 50 slots remaining, the majority of these will never get reviewed, right? (We will continue to review items out of this queue, selectively). Also, in housekeeping news, we’ll be moving The Annunciation (1984) into the “out of print” holding pen. We suspect that the liberal amount of (non-pornographic) child nudity in that film, combined with noncommercial weirdness, makes it an unappealing choice for any distributor. Anyway, here’s what we have, in order of submission: Bad Taste; Visitor of a Museum [Posetitel muzeya]; Darc Arc; Genius Party; The Idiots; The Shout; “Premium” (depending on availability); The Falls; Spermula; Killer Condom; The Godmonster of Indian Flats; I Am Here Now; Sir Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 1/19/2017

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.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Mom and Dad (2017): 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 . Mom and Dad at Momentum pictures.

Psychotic (2018): A “psychedelic slasher flick” set in Brooklyn. Premiering exclusively in NYC this week, debuting on VOD next week. Psychotic! home page.

FILM FESTIVALS – Sundance Film Festival (Park City, UT, Jan 18-28):

The 2018 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 “Next” and “Midnight” screening sections to add some weirdness to the otherwise tame lineup of dramas about privileged white people and their problems (alternating with imported dramas about underprivileged brown people and their problems).

Here’s what we’ll be tracking in the coming months:

  • An Evening With Beverly Luff Lin – Greasy tries to make a romantic comedy, without sacrificing his absurdist tendencies. Screening 1/20-1/21, 1/23, 1/26-27.
  • Clara’s Ghost – A ghost prompts an actress to confront her dysfunctional family. 1/19-1/20, 1/24-1/25.
  • Mandy – For his long-awaited sophomore fillm, puts into a surreal supernatural revenge drama. Playing midnights 1/19 & 1/24, or see it during daylight hours 1/20-21 or 1/27.
  • Sorry to Bother You – A telemarketer discovers he has a magical sales power that catapults him up the corporate ladder and into a “macabre universe.” Screens 1/20-1/22, 1/24, 1/25-26.
  • We the Animals – The youngest brother of a trio of neglected kids retreats into an imaginary (animated?) world. See it 1/20, 1/22, or 1/24-27.

Sundance Film Festival home page.

FILM FESTIVALS – Slamdance (Park City, UT, Jan 19-25):

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:

  • Charlie and Hannah’s Grand Night Out – Two girls find their boozy pub crawl turn surreal; the programmers use the word “trippy” to describe it, twice. Screening 1/20 & 1/25.
  • Rock Steady Row – Absurd “frat Western” about a freshman who plays off deadly rival fraternal organizations. 1/19 & 1/22.

Slamdance home page.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

Blade Runner 2049 (2017): Read Alfred Eaker’s review. A sequel that’s well worth your time. This is a “standard edition” release, suggesting a “special edition” may be planned down the road. On DVD, Blu-ray, 4K, and on-demand. Buy Blade Runner 2049.

The Relationtrip (2017): Two young adults go on a “friend trip” and experience an entire relationship in one weekend. Oh, and there’s a muppet. On VOD only, for now. Buy The Relationtrip.

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.

READER RECOMMENDATION: SUPER MARIO BROS. (1993)

Reader Review by John Klingle

DIRECTED BY: Annabel Jankel, Rocky Morton

FEATURING: , ,

PLOT: Two plumbers from Brooklyn are unwittingly warped into an alternate dimension populated by human-dinosaur hybrids, and  discover a plot to invade the Earth that only they can prevent.

Still from Super Mario Bros. (1993)

INDELIBLE IMAGE: The fugitive Princess Daisy discovers her long lost father, the King: a sentient mass of yellow fungus drooping from the ceiling above his old throne.

WHY IT SHOULD MAKE THE LIST: Combining slapstick humor and trite wordplay with a penchant for grotesque visuals and fascist imagery completely disconnected from its beloved source material, Super Mario Bros. seems determined to shock and disturb its supposed target audience.

COMMENTS: The original sin of video game-to-movie adaptations, Super Mario Bros. is widely regarded as a transgression against its beloved source material and a discordant mish-mash of half-baked, poorly-executed ideas. But while it’s true that the film is unforgivable as an adaptation, looking at Super Mario Bros. for its own merits reveals a unique Gothic fantasy filled with psychedelic imagery.

Rather than making any real effort to replicate the experience of playing Shigeru Miyamoto’s foundational game series, Super Mario Bros. instead takes the bare skeleton of the Mario games and builds its own dystopian adventure around it. The elements the film plucks from the games are well-chosen ingredients for a cult film, too: it borrows the game series’ central fish-out-of-water fantasy world conceit (The Wizard of Oz), its recurring theme of bodily transformation (Videodrome), and its visual obsession with ducts and pipes (Brazil ) and, of course, mushrooms (“,” take your pick). The filmmakers (“Max Headroom” creators Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton) unfortunately don’t manage to create any sense of cohesion among these various elements, but this doesn’t prevent each of them from being deeply memorable on its own.

Mixed in liberally with these ingredients from the games are the film’s own inventions, whose connection to the Mario universe is much more tenuous. The most notable of these is the corporate fascist imagery. The movie adaptation re-imagines the games’ draconic King Koopa as a Donald Trump-like plutocrat who runs a mechanized police state under the guise of democracy. This conceit is perhaps the film’s most powerful source of tonal dissonance: the bumbling, Stooges-like antics of Koopa’s minions do little to detract from the horror of seeing a street busker forcibly converted into a devolved monster as punishment for political dissidence.

Much like Labyrinth, Super Mario Bros.’ commitment, however lackluster, to being a commercial children’s film prevents it from pursuing its darker themes to any satisfying conclusion. In some ways, this makes it all the more disturbing; the film consistently dips its toes into dystopian or psychosexual territory only to retreat back into John Leguizamo and Bob Hoskins’ yukking and shucking, depriving the viewer of any catharsis. Super Mario Bros. is a movie that doesn’t leave you, its most bizarre moments sticking like burrs to the minds of the children who saw it.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“Bizarre, replete in often stunning special effects and verrrry strange from the outset, Super Mario Bros is curiously entertaining, even though it often makes little sense.” – Roger Hurlburt, South Florida Sun Sentinel (contemporaneous)