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WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Next week we venture out to the cinemas to check out a little thing called Cabin in the Woods; we’ll finish off our coverage of Redemption’s 5 film sexy-vampire drop with 1975’s Lips of Blood; we’ll go off on The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension (1984); and Alfred‘s series on continues with Footlight Parade (1933).

The volume of weird search terms used to locate the site continues to drop alarmingly; we’re somewhat concerned about a possible outbreak of sanity on the Internet. Still, when looking for our Weirdest Search Term of the Week we work with what we’re given, and we do still occasionally encounter inscrutable searches like “aflam man and woman nu canival.” There was also a weird Donnie Darko mini-trend this week. First, someone was looking to “rent a donny darko head,” which we suppose is understandable. We found the person asking “is frank the rabbit fro a real case study” far weirder, however. Another trend this week, a recurring one which usually produces humorously strange results, is the old “first person Google search.” Sometimes, these are just people chit-chatting with themselves with the aid of a search engine, like the guy who absentmindedly muses “i saw a weird trailer before a movie i would love to rent.” That’s nice to know, but at other times the conversation turns more confrontational, as it did with the exasperated fellow who wrote “ok i found your website…now how do i purchase dvd of the comedian toto.” To this guy we say: thanks for visiting, we have no idea how you purchase the DVD of the comedian Toto, and congratulations on winning our Weirdest Search Term of the Week award!

Here’s how the ridiculously-long-and-ever-growing-reader-suggested-review queue looks: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (next week!); “My Wrongs 8245-8249 and 117″; Dellamorte Dellamore [AKA Cemetery Man]; The Hour-glass Sanatorium [Saanatorium Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 4/27/2012

A 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 on the official site links.

IN THEATERS (WIDE RELEASE):

The Cabin in the Woods: Five college kids find themselves trapped inside an impossibly clichéd horror movie situation at the titular locale; who is the puppetmaster pulling the strings? We passed on mentioning this big time Hollywood horror release last week as too mainstream, too hiply postmodern, but we’ve since changed our minds and now think this could be worth a bit of your weird attention. The Cabin in the Woods official site.

IN DEVELOPMENT:

Bunnyman 2 [est. 2012]: The sole source of potential weirdness in this one is that the serial killer looks like a (far less terrifying) Ice Cream Bunny with a chainsaw. We confess, we weren’t even aware there was a Bunnyman 1. Here’s a link to the not-safe-for-work (NSFW) trailer: Bunnyman 2 trailer.

Mondo Art [est. 2012]: By coincidence, the day I was writing about “Mondo” movies in the context of Sans Soleil and wondering to myself where the Mondos had gone, I get a notice of a new Mondo in production, this one covering the modern/performance art scene. Fringe movements exploited in the shock-doc include feminazi films, insane asylum art, and an “assault rifle aggression” artist. Another NSFW trailer (this time, for nudity and perversion): Mondo Art trailer.

NEW ON DVD:

“Citizen Welles: The Stranger (1946), The Trial (1962), Hearts of Age (1934)”: Here’s a 2.5 movie set of Orson Welles pictures. The Stranger is a solid, conventional anti-Nazi noir; of more interest (to us) is Welles’ adaptation of Kafka’s The Trial, the story of an average man accused of a crime but never told what he is supposed to be guilty of (this movie is in our reader suggested review queue). Both the feature films were already in print, but what makes this 2-disc set a bit more interesting is the inclusion of “Hearts of Age,” Welles’ rarely seen 8-minute first film, in which a young Orson plays Death and which was actually inspired by Surrealism. Nothing new here, but an interesting collection nonetheless. Buy “Citizen Welles”.

Dirtbags (2009): According to the synopsis, this is a retitled (but identical) re-release of Dirtbags: Evil Never Felt So Good, which itself is supposedly a remake of a probably non-existent movie called Dirtbags: The Armpit of Metal. This “special” edition contains an interview with someone called Peter Steele and behind the scenes footage for extra features totaling about an hour and a half in length. Apparently, the movie is a date-rape comedy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’d have a lot more confidence in director Bill Zebub if he’d chosen the more elegant pseudonym Bill Z. Bubb. Buy Dirtbags.

“Eclipse Series 32: Pearls of the Czech New Wave”: Although some of these movies are currently in print from other sources, this 4-disc, 6 movie set from the Criterion Collection’s “Eclipse” line still counts as one of our most anticipated releases of the year. Covering the frequently surreal movies of the Czech New Wave from 1966-1969, the star of the set is the “madcap feminist farce” Daisies (already in our review queue). Also of note is the surreal and notoriously banned Report on the Party and the Guests. Other films are the anthology Pearls of the Deep, the eccentric comedy Capricious Summer, the subversive adultery drama The Joke, and Return of the Prodigal Son, a film about which we know absolutely nothing. This set could potential contain multiple movies that we’ll eventually certify as weird (if they live up to their legendary reputations). Buy “Eclipse Series 32: Pearls of the Czech New Wave”.

Girl on a Motorcycle (1968): Marianne Faithful leaves her newlywed husband, gets on a motorcycle, experiments with psychedelic drugs, and has flashbacks inside of flashbacks. This feminist counterculture road-trip film was billed as the European version of Easy Rider. Buy Girl On a Motorcycle.

“A Hollis Frampton Odyssey”: Another compilation of “not for everyone” experimental films from the 1960s avant-garde, of which the frustratingly ambiguous “Zorns Lemma” (1970) comes closest to being famous. Brilliance, or structuralist wankery? Now you can decide. 2 discs. Buy “A Hollis Frampton Odyssey” (Criterion Collection).

The Theater Bizarre (2011): A six-film horror anthology from directors Douglas Buck, Buddy Giovinazzo, David Gregory, Karim Hussain, , Tom Savini, and .  Apparently Hussain’s segment is surreal. Like any anthology, we expect this to be of mixed quality—but we like the title. Buy The Theater Bizarre.

Thor at the Bus Stop (2009): Ragnarök has arrived, and the Norse god Thor needs to take public transportation for his date to fight the Midgard serpent; his annoyed actions at a Las Vegas bus stop spark mini-dramas in those standing around him. Zero budget or not, you have to take notice of a concept like that. The DVD had been sold independently, but was picked up by VCI for a proper release. Buy Thor at the Bus Stop.

The Wicker Tree (2010): Two missionaries travel to a remote Scottish town where the villagers still worship the old pagan gods in this re-make/boot/hash of the Certified Weird The Wicker Man (1973).  It’s from original director Robin Hardy and brings back star for a cameo, but reviewers suggested Hardy should have left the Old Gods sleeping.  We’ll probably check it out anyway: could it be worse than the infamous 2006 remake with Nicolas Cage? Buy The Wicker Tree.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Girl on a Motorcycle (1968): See description in DVD above. Buy Girl On a Motorcycle [Blu-ray].

“A Hollis Frampton Odyssey”: See description in DVD above. Buy “A Hollis Frampton Odyssey” [Criterion Collection Blu-ray].

The Wicker Tree (2010): See description in DVD above. Buy The Wicker Tree [Blu-ray].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

Stranger Than Fiction (2006): An IRS agent (Will Ferrel) comes to realize that he is actually a character in a novel being written by a creatively-challenged author (Emma Thompson)—and even worse, he figures out that she’s trying to come up with a plot twist to kill him off. This literate comedy-fantasy with a postmodern premise is one of the biggest hits available for free on YouTube, as well as the only movie starring Will Ferrel that critics actually liked. Watch Stranger Than Fiction free on YouTube.

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

Next week we’ll be taking a dip into the reader-suggested review queue for a look at the funny freaks of 1993’s weirdo comedy Freaked and to soak in the odd atmosphere of the marionette-world high fantasy Strings (2004). We’ll go off-queue to examine Chris Marker’s mindbending mondo/arthouse documentary Sans Soleil (1983), and Alfred will get to that Busby Berkely he’s been promising/threatening to cover.

It was a meager week for weird search terms used to locate the site, but we’re contractually obligated to share the most bizarre queries we can with you and pick a winner for Weirdest Search Term of the Week. We’ll start with an old favorite, “men licking awful” (last time we encountered this term it was actually “men licking awful porn,” but we feel certain this has to be the same searcher back for a second round). In a similar vein is “watch movies online brestfeeding horses,” a search term for which 366 Weird Movies is now in the #1 position on Google! We liked “names of the movie list where man eats man and sex woman?” and “old christian movie with adults dressed as mice,” but they’re no odder than honorable mentions. For our Weirdest Search Term of the Week we’ll chose “mop town. saxy move in,” an incomprehensible broken English request that gets bonus points for including punctuation that suggests it may actually be a fragment of an even more bizarre broken English paragraph.

Here’s how the ridiculously-long reader suggested review queue. (Note: for the first time in months we did not get a new suggestion to add to the queue; have we finally reached the end of weird movies to consider?) At any rate, there are still an amazing number of titles to wade through: Freaked (next week!); Strings (next week!); “My Wrongs 8245-8249 and 117″; Dellamorte Dellamore [AKA Cemetery Man]; The Hour-glass Sanatorium [Saanatorium pod Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 4/20/2012

A 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 on the official site links.

FILM FESTIVALS: TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL (New York City, Apr. 18-29)

The Tribeca Film Festival, started by Robert De Niro (and others) in 2002, has quickly become one of the most important US film festivals—although it’s still a distant second to Sundance on the indie scene. This year, they’ve even scored a mainstream coup, hosting the premiere of the summer comic book blockbuster The Avengers (yawn—but in a nice gesture, they’re allocating all the tickets to first responders: police, firefighters and military personnel). We’re more impressed by the fact that Tribeca Film distributed the Certified Weird male-janitor pregnancy comedy The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle (2009); for that, the organization will always hold a special place in our hearts. Here’s a few weird ones to look out for if you’re in NYC this week:

  • “Avant-Garde Masters: A Decade of Film Preservation” – A special screening of seven avant-garde short films made between 1950 and 1986, including ‘s “Rabbit’s Moon.” Screening 4/21.
  • Chicken with Plums [Poulet aux prunes] – After his beloved violin is destroyed, a master musician loses the will to live and suffers a series of hallucinations, flashbacks and visitations from Sophia Loren and the Angel of Death. Live action from the makers of Persepolis.  4/22 & 24.
  • Consuming Spirits – Experimental animation with a story involving three rust belt newspapermen with weird names: Gentian Violet 42, Victor Blue 38, and Earl Gray 64. 4/23-25.
  • The Fourth Dimension – Per the festival synopsis, this triptych of short films with temporal themes is “weird, ominous, cool, compelling.” One of the three pieces is the Harmony Korine/Val Kilmer motivational speaker project we mentioned several months ago. 4/24-25, 27.
  • Francophrenia (or: Don’t Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is) – Psychological thriller (?) constructed from “repurposed” behind-the-scenes footage from James Franco’s recent role as a performance artist on the “General Hospital” soap opera—confused yet? 4/22, 24-25, 28.
  • Postcards from the Zoo – Indonesian film about a young woman raised in a magical realist zoo and what happens when she journeys into our drab world. 4/21, 23, 25, 28.
  • Rat King – Another European film (see also Poland’s @Suicideroom) about teenagers sucked into a video game reality.

Tribeca Film Festival home page.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975): It’s a re-mastered, hi definition version of the ultimate comedy cult classic. If you’ve never heard knights say “Ni!” in remastered stereophonic sound, you’re in for a treat! Also with a 12-minute mystery short subject. Playing in Boston and Detroit next week, with stops in Philadelphia, Washington DC and St. Louis the following week. Oops! We forgot to mention this re-release when it played NYC & Seattle the past two weeks! Monty Python and the Holy Grail announcement from Rainbow Releasing.

NEW ON DVD:

Dead Or Alive 2 (2000): Takashi Miike‘s Dead or Alive (1999) was a Yakuza adventure with an apocalyptically weird ending; this sequel starts where that one ended and is completely surreal from start to finish, with the hitmen spouting wings or changing into children without explanation. There is a Dead or Alive 3 (which takes the series in a science fiction direction); to our knowledge, this is the first time the second film has been released separately in Region 1 (it was previously available as part of Kino’s three-film box set). Buy Dead Or Alive 2.

“Ernie Kovacs: The ABC Specials” (1961): Kovacs, the TV comedian who pioneered both experimental video techniques and absurd humor, may be the strangest funnyman you’ve never heard of. This disc collects five of his final specials for ABC TV, filmed at the height of his comedic powers just before he died in a car accident at the age of 42 on the brink of stardom. (This is a one-disc “best of”-type compilation of Shout! Factory’s 6-disc The Ernie Kovacs Collection, released last year). Buy “Ernie Kovacs: The ABC Specials”.

A Trip to the Moon (1902): A major restoration of the 13 minute A Trip to the Moon, ‘ seminal film fantastique and possibly cinema’s first blockbuster, which restores the original hand-tinted color from a single surviving print discovered in Spain. Featuring a new soundtrack by the electronic band AIR. The package contains a much longer documentary on Trip to round out the running time. This is take two on this release; as we reported in last week’s Weird Horizon, the DVD/Blu ray combo pack was released but almost immediately recalled due to problems with the Blu version.  Hopefully everything is sorted out now. Buy A Trip to the Moon (Restored) [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

A Trip to the Moon (1902): See description in DVD above. Buy A Trip to the Moon (Restored) [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

Reefer Madness (1936): From the prologue: “[Marijuana’s] first effect is sudden, violent, uncontrollable laughter; then come dangerous hallucinations – space expands – time slows down, almost stands still ….fixed ideas come next, conjuring up monstrous extravagances – followed by emotional disturbances, the total inability to direct thoughts, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions… leading finally to acts of shocking violence… ending often in incurable insanity.” According to the movie, cannabis also makes you want to listen to piano music played really fast. Maybe it’s not what we typically think of as “weird,” but it certainly bears no resemblance to reality.

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

Next week we’re planning on reviews of ‘s new post-apocalyptic walking thriller Hellacious Acres; sticking with the post-apocalyptic theme, we’ll cover the seminal sci-fi short La Jetée (1962);and from there we’ll time travel back to Roman times to check out the costuming orgy of Fellini Satyricon (1969). Also, Alfred has been publicly threatening to start a series about 1930s Hollywood choreographer Busby Berkeley… consider yourself warned.

We saw a disturbing trend with weird search terms this week. It started with a search for info on a “movie sex addict lead grandma in hospital alzheimer’s,” and grew even weirder and more unsettling with someone’s quest for “grannies wearing diaphanous panties videos.” Leaving those mental images behind, we also wanted to mention a pair of runner-ups in our search for our Weirdest Search Term of the Week: the very strange “movie female robot naked eliminate acid” and the subtly odd “angry ex searching for a blond wig.” We turn once again towards the disturbingly fetishistic, however, for our weirdest search term of the week: “sea critters in her vagina sex stories.” To us the weirdest part of such searches is always the use of the plural: the searcher assumes there’s an entire erotic literary genre devoted to stories about sea critters in vaginas. The even weirder part is they’re probably right

Here’s the ridiculously-long-and-ever-growing reader suggested review queue for your perusal:  Fellini Satyricon (next week!); “My Wrongs 8245-8249 and 117″; Freaked; Strings; Dellamorte Dellamore [AKA Cemetery Man]; The Hour-glass Sanatorium [Saanatorium pod klepsidra] (turns Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 4/13/2012

A 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 on the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Detention:  A postmodern, self-aware slasher sci-fi comedy that also parodies 1980s teen movies. Depending on how the idea is handled, this could totally rule, or end up totally gay.

NEW ON DVD:

Hidden (2011): Addictions turned into literal monsters run amok at an experimental clinic. We’re listing this as a possible “so-bad-it’s-weird” candidate. One of the few available reviews is titled “David Cronenberg called, he wants his story back!” Amazon reviewers complain the movie is incomprehensible and the screenwriters are “Alan and Alana Smithy,” so we’re cautiously hopeful. Buy Hidden.

Sleeping Beauty (2011):  From Australia comes this modern folktale that sounds like it has more to do with The House of Sleeping Beauties than with the classic fairy tale.  We like writer/director Julia Leigh’s quote: “I’m interested in Wonder Cinema…” On the other hand, we don’t like some reviewers’ quotes, like David Rooney’s “Soporific in every sense.Buy Sleeping Beauty.

A Trip to the Moon (1902): A major restoration of the 13 minute A Trip to the Moon, ‘ seminal film fantastique and possibly cinema’s first blockbuster, which restores the original hand-tinted color from a single surviving print discovered in Spain. Featuring a new soundtrack by the electronic band AIR. The package contains a much longer documentary on Trip to round out the running time. This is a DVD/Blu-ray combo set, but if you’re specifically interested in the Blu version, please read the additional notes under “New on Blu-ray” below for details on a minor defect. NOTE: Since composing this entry the set was recalled while Flicker Alley corrects the defect. We leave the link up in case you want to pre-oder (we’ll remind you again next week!) Pre-order A Trip to the Moon (Restored).

The Witches of Oz (2011): A grown up Dorothy Gale discovers that the tales of the wonderful world of Oz she spins into children’s books don’t come from her imagination, but are repressed memories of a real place, and that the Wicked Witch is now coming to New York City to claim a magical artifact in her possession. This aired as a 150 minute miniseries in the UK, then a 110 minute cut very briefly ran in US theaters as a US theatrical release (this release is the complete version). Christopher Lloyd plays the Wizard, and reviews were generally negative. Buy The Witches of Oz.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

A Trip to the Moon (1902): See description in DVD above. Per Flicker Alley, there is an issue with the Blu-ray disc: one of the alternate audio tracks was supposed to feature an orchestral arrangement along with narration written by , but the narration is missing. The feature works properly on the DVD. New Blu-rays are being remastered and will be replaced in future sets, but if you order and receive one of the defective Blus you can request a free replacement from Flicker Alley’s site. Replacement discs will be available April 19.  Pre-order A Trip to the Moon Restored [Blu-ray].

The Witches of Oz (2011): See description in DVD above. Buy The Witches of Oz [Blu-ray].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

RoboGeisha (2009): Read the reader review. It’s Japanese  about Robo-Geishas: what more do you need to know? Watch RoboGeisha free on YouTube.

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 (AND WAS IN) THE PIPELINE

We bumped our “What’s in the Pipeline” column from Sunday to Monday so we could bring you a thematically appropriate review of Jesus Christ Superstar on Easter Sunday. So, you already know a bit of what we’ll be covering this week. But, even though we’re taking today off, tune in the rest of the week for reviews of Fascination, part of our continuing coverage of ‘s lesbian vampire series; Even Dwarfs Started Small, ‘s bizarre disturbing parable about little people running the asylum; and our exploration of the more hysterical brand of madness exhibited in Duck Soup, the Marx Brothers’ insanest comedy.

Of course, we could have just skipped the “What’s in the Pipeline” feature this week, but then you would have missed our intensely popular rundown of the Weirdest Search Terms of the Week feature—and we can’t afford to alienate regular readers. So without further ado, we bring you our first nominee: the simple, but powerfully strange, search for “frog weirdo.” That’s OK, but we prefer the query about “gospel on guest jesus.” (“Sorry, folks, Christ couldn’t be here tonight for this Gospel, but not to worry, we do have a guest Jesus!”) And we would be remiss if we didn’t mention a couple of searches for films that we should probably track down: a “movie about orgasming robots” and a “movie allagory garden of eden peeing.” For our Weirdest Search Term of the Week, however, we’ll once again turn to one of our favorite types of searchers—the stream-of-consciousness typist—for “they find the train under the movie comedy to buy the house mexican he sold the train for hause.” Frankly, guy, you had us at “they find the train under the movie” and the rest of that bizarre search string was just gravy.

Here’s the ridiculously-long-and-ever-growing reader suggested review queue: Even Dwarfs Started Small (next week!); “My Wrongs 8245-8249 and 117″; Freaked; Strings; Dellamorte Continue reading WHAT’S IN (AND WAS IN) THE PIPELINE