It’s a busy summer week here at 366. First off, our final reader-selected contest is on, your last chance to directly vote a film onto the List of 366 (and possibly win a prize!) Nominations are open here until Friday.
Alfred Eaker has a couple more pre-code films on tap in Safe in Hell (1931) and Murder at the Vanities (1934). Giles Edwards is busy catching two films a day at the Fantasia Festival, and plans to drop off a number of things—both a page of mini-capsules and some full length reviews. We’re keeping the titles secret for now, but he’s already found a couple of surprises. And amidst all the hubbub we’re also going to try to find time to post a review of Kino’s recent video release of Emir Kusturica‘s chaotic and epic ode to vanished Yugoslavia, Underground, and maybe even a report on the now-in-theaters hit (be weird movie standards) Sorry to Bother You. Check in daily!
Bucking recent trends, we actually had a few genuinely weird search terms to highlight this week. First up, we think it goes without saying that this entry has to be some kind of error: “[[[“xjs.sav.id.a3p-uiv9jxk.o”,5]],[[“id”,”type”,”created_timestamp”,”last_modified_timestamp”,”signed_redirect_url”,”dominant_color_rgb”,”tag_info”,”url”,”title”,”comment”,”snippet”,”image”,”thumbnail”,”num_ratings”,”avg_rating”,”page”,”job”]],[[“dt_fav_images”]],10000].” Back on planet earth, so to speak, was the search for “alien in woman’stomach and blew up by drinking water movie.” But for our Weirdest Search Term of the Week (and given the way things have been going, likely of the Month) we’ll pick “scary movie where girl throws up on guy but ge imagines colora.” Even fixing the misspellings results in a search for a scary movie where a girl throws up on a guy, but he imagines colors—and if that’s not a weird term to search for, we’re not sure what would qualify.
The suggestions page is temporarily shut down while we focus on the final reader-suggested contest, but it nevertheless continued to grow. Usual disclaimer: we will probably not be getting to all of these (though we will pick out a few), and you can consider this a list of “honorable mentions” for your own perusal and amusement. That out of the way, here’s how the ridiculously-long and temporarily-paused reader-suggested review queue now stands: Underground (next week!); Genius Party; The Idiots; “Premium” (depending on availability); Spermula; Killer Condom; Sir Henry at Rawlinson End; MoebiusContinue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE→
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 (and we mean it this time!) chance to have direct input on the List (at least, until we decide to expand it to 732 movies).
It’s going to work the same way as it did last time (with the added twist of a prize). 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. Feel free to nominate the same movie you did last contest (maybe you’ll have better luck this time). The nominations are subject only to a few minimal rules:
One official suggestion per reader.
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.
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).
Current contributors to 366 Weird Movies cannot nominate movies; they can second readers’ choices, however.
If your nominee appears to be a joke (i.e. E.T. or Mamma Mia!), 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.
The movies should be available for us to screen (legally) somewhere. We may consider some readily-available bootleg films, but not, for example, one of Matthew Barney’s Cremaster films (sorry! We’ll probably create another list of legendary unscreenable weird films someday.)
We will leave the nomination process open for one week. Fifteen titles is the most we’d be willing to deal with, so we’ll shut down the process if we reach that goal.
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 (although you may certainly nominate such a film if you want to). Movies currently in theaters or film festivals should be avoided.
After one week, we’ll shut off this post to new comments and create an official one-week poll to officially add one of these movies. (Others from the poll could possibly 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 one movie in the end, you can only second one.
Ready? Got to it! Comment away!
Oh, and did we mention a prize? We have a pair of Artsploitation horror anthology discs to give away! First up, it’s the Blu-ray version of the transgressive shock horror outing German Angst (which we have already reviewed favorably, though we didn’t nominate it for the List). We’ll pair that with the new DVD of A Taste of Phobia, wherein fourteen filmmakers fashioning flash fear films from a phobia. To draw this out as long as possible, the person who nominates the film that is eventually chosen to ascend to the List will be awarded the prize. If they are not eligible, the prize will go to the person who nominates the second-highest vote getter, and so on. The usual eligibility rules apply: you must supply a valid e-mail, you must be over the age of 18, and you must have a U.S. mailing address. You also must respond to notification that you have won within 48 hours or we’ll move on to the runner-up.
We’ll list the nominees (whether seconded or not) in the body of this post for clarity.
The Adolescence of Utena
Big Man Japan (2007)
Celine and Julie Go Boating
Fruit of Paradise (1970)
The Last Movie
Multiple Maniacs (1970)
Peau d’âne [Donkey Skin]
The Addams Family
Juliet of the Spirits
See You in Hell My Darling
Sorry to Bother You (2018)
The Spirit (2008)
Tales from the Gimli Hospital
The Voices (2014)
Waiting for Godot (assuming 2001 version unless James says different)
FILM FESTIVALS – Fantasia International Film Festival (Montreal, Canada, July 12 – Aug. 2):
As its name implies, Montreal’s Fantasia Festival originally began as a showcase for fantastic films from Asia; it has since morphed into a major event on the genre cinema calendar. Not that they’ve let mainstream success get to their heads; there’s still more rare weirdness to be found at Fantasia than at just about any film festival on the globe. We make watch lists from Fantasia’s programming, and we’re always saddened when less than half of the most daring films find meaningful distribution in the U.S. Because of the large number of entries, we’re highlighting only the most promising offerings here; it goes without saying that there will be new films by Takashi Miike and Shion Sono splashed across the screens. 366’s own Giles Edwards is in attendance and will be bringing us updates weekly (perhaps more frequently) on the Fest’s biggest and weirdest contenders. While realizing that surprise favorites always pop up, here are the top contenders for the throne of strangeness we took note of:
Cam – A camgirl finds an exact duplicate of herself writhing onscreen, but transgressing her personal and professional boundaries; described as a “relentlessly tense surrealistic thriller.” Screens July 18 & 20.
Chained for Life – The title is a reference to a 1952 exploitation film starring conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton (Freaks); the scenario involves “freaks” cast in a movie who “swipe the film’s camera equipment after-hours and make their own film”; the source is Aaron Schimberg, whose praised but little-seen debut Go Down Death earned comparisons to the work of Guy Maddin. Screening July 18 & 24.
Hanagatami – Hausu‘s Nobuhiko Obayashi returns to realize his unfilmed first script (written in the 1970s), an eve-of-WWII tale of incestuous desire that The Telegraph called “avant-garde in the extreme” and “like nothing else around.” July 14 or 19.
Mandy – Not just a Fantasia highlight, but one of the buzziest films of the year: Panos Cosmatos puts Nicolas Cage into a surreal supernatural revenge drama. Closing the festival on Aug 1, and already sold out.
Godmonster of Indian Flats (1973): Read the Certified Weird entry! From American Film Genre Archives (AFGA) comes this special edition (!) of Fredric Hobbs’ strange modern Western/mutant sheep monster mashup that’s actually mainly about real estate shenanigans and staged dog funerals. The disc comes with exploitation shorts and a bonus feature, 1975’s The Legend of Bigfoot, on, uh, Blu-ray? Buy Godmonster of Indian Flats.
Yellow Submarine (1968): Read the Certified Weird entry! If you’ve been watching our “Repertory Screening” column, you’ve probably figured out that a restored version of The Beatles‘ psychedelic cartoon about the saffron submersible has been touring the country this summer in a 4K restored version. What has received less fanfare is the fact that (as of today’s writing) it’s available to stream free for subscribers on Amazon Prime; and, perhaps even more surprising, so is the soundtrack. We suspect both offerings will be up for a limited time.
Next week, Alfred Eaker starts us out with a pair of new documentaries which (as he promised) feature a King and a Pope. Then Shane Wilson goes into the reader-suggested review queue for the 1966 teen satire Lord Love a Duck. Giles Edwards takes on the Joe D’Amato giallo Death Smiles on a Murderer (with Ewa Aulin and Klaus Kinski, how bad can it be? You’ll find out!) That’s one movie from the 1960s and one from the 1970s, so naturally, the next in the series will come from the 1980s: G. Smalley takes a second look at the zoology-based madness of Peter Greenaway‘s A Zed and Two Noughts (1985).
For months we’ve been predicting that Google privacy filters would cause the eventual demise of our popular (?) Weirdest Search Term of the Week feature, and it seems that time has finally come. But we’ll see if we can muster enough strange searches for a Weirdest Search Term of the Month contest instead. We’ve only got a couple of contestants this week. First up is “1990s movie which involves a cop and a women that fights monsters with the fbi and try to save rich people traped in a building.com”: a mildly weird description, made odder by the searchers affixing “.com” to the end (why do Googlers do this? Are they trying to exclude relevant information from .org or .edu domains?) The second search is perhaps even less comprehensible: “movie name s the trin drum sex all movies sex.” Is he looking specifically for The Tin Drum, or for “all movies”? And does he really think the results will be twice as sexy if he types “sex” twice?
Before listing the reader-suggested queue, it’s time for another disclaimer: with only 27 movies left to Certify Weird, all of the hundreds of suggestions listed below can’t possibly make it, or even receive a fair hearing. These movies are currently listed in order of submission, but at this point we are ignoring that order and reaching deeper into the queue for the few films we feel, for one reason or another, merit coverage. Consider the rest of them reader-suggested honorable mentions. With that out of the way, here’s how the ridiculously-long-and-still-growing reader-suggested review queue now stands: Lord Love a Duck (next week!); Genius Party; The Idiots; “Premium” (depending on availability); Spermula; Killer Condom; Sir Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE→
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):
Sorry to Bother You (2018): A telemarketer discovers he has a magical sales power that catapults him up the corporate ladder and into a “macabre universe.” We’ve been eagerly awaiting the wider release of this weird, satirical festival hit, the debut of rapper Boots Riley. Sorry to Bother You official site.
Under the Tree [Undir trénu] (2017): Neighbors argue over the fate of an old tree; the dispute turns absurdly violent. In fact, the main complaint from detractors of this Icelandic black comedy seems to be the depth of violence the director is willing to go to. Under the Tree Facebook page.
IN DEVELOPMENT (websites):
byNWRcom: This is a strange new item. Nicolas Winding Refn announces that he will be opening a website to screen some exploitation films from his private collection which he has restored. Among the offerings are Night Tide and Ron Ormond‘s The Burning Hell (restored!), along with some even rarer ones (nudie westerns and unclassifiable outsider exploitation), all linked by a common denominator of “bad taste.” Refn offers this treasure trove of oddities as an antidote to Trumpism in a politico-artitsic manifesto for The Guardian. The site is not streaming yet (it says “coming this month”) but you may want to bookmark it.
Only 28 more movies left to Certify Weird, and only four more days to participate in our latest DVD/Blu-ray giveaway contest. How time flies!
Alfred Eaker starts us out next week with another installment of his pre-Code series, examining the politically incorrect (by today’s standards) comedy Diplomaniacs, and the early Frank Capra drama The Bitter Tea of General Yen. Then, Giles Edwards reviews the recent psychological thriller Kaleidoscope (starring Toby Jones as an ex-con with mommy issues and a new corpse to deal with). Then it’s into the reader-suggested review queue as Terri McSorley looks at the post-apocalyptic, avant-garde film adult Cafe Flesh, while G. Smalley takes on Waltz with Bashir, Ari Folman‘s Academy Award nominated semi-documentary animation about his experiences as an Israeli soldier in the Lebanon War.
The end may be near (for our Weirdest Search Term of the Week contest, that is). Due to privacy settings, only 33 of over 1,200 search terms used to locate the site thsis week are now visible to us. Based on past experience from the glory days of non-encrypted Googling, we’re sure there are some astonishingly weird requests hiding inside those 1100+ invisible queries. But we’ll let you know what we do see, at least until those 33 visible inquiries slip to 3. We’ll point out the ambitious search for “800 weird movie,” which is more than double what we’re offering (and certainly many readers hope we’ll eventually go that high). And then there’s the slightly weird “70s movie piece of the moon turns into a monster.” But, for the first week since we started this survey, the competition was too slim to justify giving out an official Weirdest Search Term of the Week. Maybe it’s time to move to a Weirdest Search Term of the Month contest?
Time for another disclaimer: with only 28 movies left to Certify Weird, all of the hundreds of suggestions listed below can’t possibly make it, or even receive a fair hearing. These movies are currently listed in order of submission, but at this point we are ignoring that order and reaching deeper into the queue for the few films we feel, for one reason or another, merit coverage. Consider the rest of them reader-suggested honorable mentions. With that out of the way, here’s how the ridiculously-long reader-suggested review queue now stands: Cafe Flesh (next week!); Waltz with Bashir (next week!); Genius Party; The Idiots; “Premium” (depending on availability); Spermula; Killer Condom; Sir Henry at Rawlinson End; Moebius (1996); The Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE→
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.
FILM FESTIVALS – Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, June 29-July7):
Though in it’s 53rd year, Karlovy Vary is overshadowed by other, bigger summer European film festivals, and isn’t one we usually pay attention to. With some strange revivals we can’t ignore alongside equally strange new films (including Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson‘s new Vertigo tribute, The Green Fog, Jan Svankmajer‘s Insects, Panos Cosmatos‘s much-buzzed-about sophomore effort Mandy, and Terry Gilliam‘s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote), that changes this year.
Accumulator 1 (1994) – Rare Czech movie about characters in TV programs who drain energy from their real-life doubles. Restored and screening July 6.
Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire (1987) – Surreal British rock opera about snooker players (there are no actual desperadoes or vampires). June 30 and July 4.
Pity – The story of a man addicted to sadness, notable because it was scripted byGiorgos Lanthimos‘ wiriting collaborator, Efthimis Filippou. June 29, July 1 and 4.
Reflections in the Dust – The story of a schizophrenic clown and his blind daughter, told through alternating documentary interviews and a fictional post-apocalyptic story. Screening 6/20, 7/2, and 7/4.
Volcano – An interpreter becomes lost in rural Ukraine and has a series of strange encounters. July 1-2, 4.
Zama – A Spanish official posted to a remote South American colony longs for reassignment in a “subtly surreal and bizarre” film programmers say “often feels like it was made to purposefully confound the viewer.” June 29, July 2 or 6.
FILM FESTIVALS – New York Asian Film Festival (New York City, June 29-July 14):
The long-running NYAFF usually finds a number of high quality pan-Asian movies overlooked by other festivals. The weird ones are scarcer this season than previous fests (we hope this doesn’t represent a growing trend in Asian normality), but here are some titles of interest:
Dukun (2006) – This “bizarre” blend of horror and courtroom drama is about a shaman on trial for allegedly killing a politician in an immortality ritual; shelved in its native Malaysia for its controversial nature and making its international premiere July 13.
Premika – A karaoke-loving ghost forces victims to sing for their lives in this Thai horror comedy. Also screening July 13.
Tears of the Black Tiger (2000) – This Thai take on a Spaghetti Western is set on psychedelic expressionist sets that are more stylized than Seijun Suzuki picture; weirdophiles will not find their time wasted on this “gloriously weird cult classic.” Catch the screening on July 5.
Zan (2018): Tetsuo: The Iron Man‘s Shinya Tsukamoto turns his lens on a period piece, setting his latest in 19th century Japan and focusing on the adventures of a ronin and a peasant girl. The scanty description doesn’t sound weird, but if it isn’t at least a little twisted, it will be one of very few straightforward features Tsukamoto has made. Notice found at Variety.
NEW ON HOME VIDEO:
The Addiction (1995): Read Alice Stoehr’s review. Abel Ferrara‘s philosophical vampire movie has still never been released on DVD in the U.S., but thanks to Arrow Video it skips straight to Blu-ray (complete with Ferrara commentary and documentary featurettes). Buy The Addiction.
German Angst (2015): Read our review. Transgressive Teutonic trio of grisly horrors involving castration, fascist hooligans, and sexual depravity. Now on Blu-ray, for higher definition grue. This may be a giveaway item from us down the line. Buy German Angst.
Terminal (2018): Neo-noir set in a neon nowhere featuring assassins and an Alice-in-Wonderland themed strip club. This Margot Robbie vehicle managed to avoid a wide theatrical release and arrived on home video to complaints that it was “confusing” and “just weird.” Don’t know how we missed it? On DVD, Blu-ray and VOD. Buy Terminal.
THE CONTEST IS OVER! You may still comment on the topic if you like, however.
We have a surplus of promotional DVDs and Blu-rays we need to move, so it’s time for another giveaway! This time, the contest centers around the “movie of the day” concept that underlies the site’s mission statement, but which we rarely refer to.
To enter, we ask you to, in the comments, pick the day that’s most appropriate to view a particular Certified Weird movie. An obvious example would be viewing Santa Claus (or Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny) on December 25, Christmas Day. But what movie would you pick for Arbor Day? January 20? June 19? What’s the perfect day of the year to watch, for example, 2001: A Space Odyssey? (You might check Wikipedia for some ideas of celebrations and events associated with particular days of the year, or this site for some more whimsical choices.)
To enter, add your idea in the comments to this post. We are going to select the winner randomly using random.org, so you don’t have to provide the best suggestion to enter. (One entry per person, please, though you can mention as many films as you like). In fact, although we want to hear your thoughts, you don’t even have to have a suggestion to enter: you can simply mention in the comments that you love the site and you’d like to enter the contest. (You can even say you hate the site and still enter the contest; you will make us sad, but it won’t affect your chances of winning.)
The usual eligibility rules apply: to receive the DVD/Blu-ray, you must supply us with a mailing address in the United States. (Don’t publish your address in your comment! We’ll contact the winner through email). You also must be over the age of 18, given the extra-sexy nature of this prize pack. 366 contributors are not eligible for the prize. If you don’t meet those qualifications you can still comment for fun, but let us know you’re not in it for the swag. We’ll stop accepting entries Wednesday, July 4, at midnight EST, after the fireworks are over. If the winner does not respond to our request for a mailing address within 24 hours we’ll email a runner-up, and so forth, until the prize is given away.
And just to please everyone, our second sexy feature is a softcore drama aimed at the heterosexual crowd: Cult Epics‘ new release of Frank & Eva, the debut film for Sylvia “Emmanuelle” Kristel. The DVD/Blu-ray combo includes a commentary track from director Pim de la Parra, the mini-doc “Up Front & Naked: Sex in Dutch Films,” and photo galleries. From the back cover: “Frank (Blue Movie’s Hugo Metsers) and Eva (The Lift’s Willeke van Ammelrooy) cannot live with or without each other. In the liberal 1970s, Frank sleeps with every woman he can get. Eva, meanwhile, is looking for more security and wants to start a family. Frank’s behavior frustrates her so much that she starts an affair with their mutual friend. This social drama offers a view on relationships not much different than today. For Sylvia Kristel (her debut prior to Emmanuelle), a special role was written after she said to Pim de la Parra, ‘Why won’t you discover me? I’m the best.'” Check out the Cult Epics Frank & Eva page for more info.
Inspired by a reader suggestion to review Josef von Sternberg’s heavily Expressionistic Catherine the Great biopic The Scarlet Empress (1934), Alfred Eaker dusts off his old “Pre-code Heaven” series (he’ll pair Empress with von Sternberg’s Marlene Dietrich showcase Blonde Venus). Speaking of pre-code films, Pete Trbovich takes the helm for our second view on Tod Browning‘s impossible-to-make-today freakshow horror Freaks. Also, G. Smalley opens your mind’s eye to the indie Zen Dog, a hippie-revivalist film featuring the teachings of Zen apostle Alan Watts. And while we’re at it, why not throw in a DVD/Blu-ray giveaway contest starting on Tuesday? That should keep you checking in throughout the week…
Increasingly, our survey of the Weirdest Search Term of the Week is leaning on queries by horny ESL students. Take, for example, “best wab side incest movies.” Or “block mejer pron hd,” a search we believe contains misspellings in at least two different languages (if not, it’s just a search for nonsense pron). And how about “aobgezwgyzl2sc-s7kkw7gscqa-5_kmi60e5otc_oqj0hmdwsakfswgqjo-onflqqzmye9-fb6z6kxsf3s6pz7b0hsbyjzhxacru3q3g63p1uokcba2lllu-iawxykxihgeltzip_ry38csvo_hm4he”, a misspelling of massive dimensions (which also brings up exactly zero Google hits, making it impossible for someone to locate our site using this bizarre string of characters). With all of that orthographic carnage, we’ll turn instead to “odd accompanied porn” for our official Weirdest Search Term of the Week. (Perhaps block mejer porn would qualify as odd accompanied porn? Who can say in the world of incomprehensibly concupiscent Google searches?)
Disclaimer: with only 30 movies left to Certify Weird, all of the hundreds of suggestions listed below can’t possibly make it, or even receive a fair hearing. These movies are currently listed in order of submission, but at this point we are ignoring that order and reaching deeper into the queue for the few films we feel, for one reason or another, merit coverage. With that out of the way, here’s how the ridiculously-long -and-still-growing reader-suggested review queue now stands: Genius Party; The Idiots; “Premium” (depending on availability); Spermula; Killer Condom; Sir Henry at Rawlinson End; MoebiusContinue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE→
FILM FESTIVALS – Cinepocalypse (Chicago, IL, 6/21-6/28):
This Chicago festival, which mixes genre pictures with offbeat indies, is in it’s second year, and could grow into something special. We noted a couple of fest stalwarts in a pair of black comedies first seen at Sundance and Tribeca respectively, Clara’s Ghost and 7 Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss by Passing Through the Gateway Chosen by the Holy Storsh. Among listings with titles like Cop Baby, this new-to-us movie stood out:
The Secret Poppo – A paranoid eccentric hunts for the granddaughter he never knew in a comedy described as “THE PINK PANTHER crossed with an acid trip.” playing 6/28 only.
“A Love Story” (2017): Instagram is promoting its new video platform (IGTV) with a surreal short horror film from Petra Collins, starring Selena Gomez. Uncanny half-face masks, eyeballs in mouths, and finger-headed monsters co-star. First Spring Breakers, now this: no wonder Justin Bieber dumped her (that’s a shot at JB, not Ms. Gomez). ET Online has stills and a short clip to freak you out.
“Room to Dream”: The David Lynch biography/memoir we’ve been dreaming of. Kristine McKenna wrote the biographical sections, with Lynch himself dropping in to comment in a stream-of-consciousness style. A major event in weird movie literature. Buy “Room to Dream”.
Zen Dog (2016): A young virtual reality entrepreneur explores exotic herbs and lucid dreaming in an attempt to shake himself out of his rut, and hears the voice of Zen apostle Alan Watts. We’ll review this Buddhist parable/hippie-revivalist indie next week. On video-on-demand, or you can get a signed Blu-ray directly from the distributor.