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WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

First off, apologies for the advertising creeping onto the site.  It’s only going to get worse in the coming weeks and months, as we try to reach the level where the site can pay for its own hosting fees, but I will always try to keep it as unobtrusive and relevant as possible.

Next week, you can expect to see reviews of Takashi Miike‘s Gozu, and a reader review of Big Man Japan.  We’re hoping (no promises yet) to add a review of Suicide Club for an (almost) all “weird Japan” week—that is, until Thursday, when Alfred brings us another in his ongoing survey of the offbeat world of B-Westerns.

As for the weirdest search term used to locate the site this week, we had the usual string of fetish porn requests, including (among the printable and least disturbing ones) “penis weird movies” (a legitimate quest to find Taxidermia?)  We’ll go in a more PG related direction, however, and select “Dracula eye trick”: was the searcher looking for info on how they lit Bela Lugosi’s eyes, or advice on how to hypnotize potential victims just by looking at them?

The reader suggested review queue looks like this: Suicide Club (hopefully next week);  Gozu (next week); Trash Humpers (DVD release is imminent, but this will probably be pushed back while we wait for it); Tales of Ordinary Madness; The Wayward Cloud; Kwaidan; Six-String Samurai; Andy Warhol’s Trash; Altered States; Memento; Nightmare Before Christmas/Vincent/Frankenweenie; The Science of Sleep; The Attic Expeditions; After Last Season; Getting Any?; Performance; Being John Malkovich; The Apple; Southland Tales; Arizona Dream; Spider (2002); Songs From The Second Floor; Singapore Sling; Alice [Neco z Alenky]; Necromentia; Hour of the Wolf; MirrorMask; Possession; Suspiria; Mary and Max; Wild Zero; 4; Nothing (2003); The Peanut Butter Solution; Ninja Scroll; Perfume: The Story of a Murderer; Danger: Diabolik; Faust; Sublime; Battle Royale; Pink Floyd: The Wall; Escanaba In Da Moonlight; Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter; Zardoz; The Films of Suzan Pitt; Toto the Hero [Toto le Héros]; Paprika; The Holy Mountain; Brazil; The Casserole Masters; Dark Crystal; Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets; The Nines; 964 Pinocchio; The Pillow Book; Final Flesh; Lunacy [Sílení]; Inmortel; Tetsuo; Dead Ringers; Kairo [AKA Pulse]; The Guatemalan Handshake; Dead Leaves; The Seventh Seal; Primer; Maniac (1934); Hausu; A Boy and His Dog; 200 Motels; Walkabout; Private Parts (1972); Possession; Saddest Music in the World; Mulholland Drive; The American Astronaut; Blood Tea and Red Strings; Malice in Wonderland; The Films of Kenneth Anger, Vol. II (for Lucifer Rising, among others); Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory ; The Bride of Frank; La Grande Bouffe; Uzumaki [Spiral]; Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Even Dwarves Started Small; Bunny & the Bull; “I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meat Hook, and Now I Have a Three-Picture Deal at Disney” (assuming I can find it); Cinema 16: European Short Films; Freaked; Session 9; Schizopolis; Strings; Dellamorte Dellamore [AKA Cemetery Man]; The Hour-glass Sanatorium [Saanatorium pod klepsidra]; The Addiction; Liquid Sky; The Quiet; Shock Treatment; Tuvalu; “Zombie Jesus” (if we can locate it); 3 Dev Adam; Fantastic Planet; “Twin Peaks” (TV series); Society; May; The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; Little Otik; Final Programme; Careful; Sweet Movie; The Triplets of Belleville; “Foutaises” (short); Johnny Suede; and “Jam” (TV, UK, 2000).

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 5/7/10

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):

Trash Humpers (2010): Harmony Korine’s latest follows a gang of elderly Peeping Toms around in low-grade video as they engage in trash humping and other activities.  Reviews have been on the poor side of divided, but then the critics (including us) didn’t “get” Gummo, either.  Opens in NYC next week, with scattered showings across major U.S. cities through the summer.  We’re probably going to have to wait for DVD.  Trash Humpers official site.

SCREENINGS (ANTHOLOGY ARCHIVES, NYC)

DDR/DDR (2010): Descriptions of this collage-style documentary on the vanished East and West Germany sound like first drafts of a masters’ thesis, full of terms like “propositional” and phrases like “a self-reflexive inquiry into non-fiction film.”  It’s a “dreamlike” “ciné-constellation,” but jargon aside, the idea of a free-association visual essay mixing up historical surveillance footage with interviews with a group of German “‘Redskin’ Indian hobbyists” has real potential to weird-up the reality-bound documentary genre.  DDR/DDR official site.

NEW ON DVD:

Nine (2009):  Read our capsule review.  Adapting Federico Fellini’s relationship problems into a musical is a “small-w” weird concept, but with Oscar aspirations, the movie succeeds in being as conventional as it can. Buy Nine.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Nine (2009): See entry in DVD above. Buy Nine [Blu-ray].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE

Fantasy Mission Force (1982): This is a great, crazed, weird kung-fu comedy about a gang of misfits (including a young Jackie Chan) who brave a haunted house and fight Amazons, among other obstacles, in their quest to rescue Abraham Lincoln from the Soviets. That description barely scratches the surface of the lunacy of this movie, which also mixes in musical numbers and violent, epic gun battles. The legitimacy of this release is questionable, but as long as YouTube is OK with it, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. This may disappear soon. Watch Fantasy Mission Force free on YouTube.

Hamlet (2007): A surrealistic rendition of the Shakespeare tale focusing on the supernatural elements with minimalist sets. Very few people have seen this, including us. Watch Hamlet 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, look for reviews of the 80s cult item Liquid Sky (1982), the already notorious grossout horror The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009), and György Pálfi’s surrealist sensation Taxidermia (2006).

It was a good week for weird search terms.  We have to admit some pride in seeing that a search for “PICTURES OF 1935 MAKEUP DRESSER WITH MIRROR THAT BENT IN” brings up our Cowards Bend the Knee review as the number 1 hit on Google!  Our plan to siphon traffic by tapping into the incredibly specific antiques research market is working like a charm!  In more distressing news, we noticed a hit in our referrer logs from http://satan/: a site (with no earthly domain) that clearly does not exist—in this universe, at least.  Are some of our hits coming from the eternally damned in the afterlife?  We’ll take them. Despite all this, our favorite weird search term of the week was “weird pics of midget madness.”

Here’s the updated reader-suggested review queue: Suicide Club (haven’t forgotten it!); The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (cutting in line);Taxidermia (cutting in line); Trash Humpers (DVD release is imminent, but this will probably be pushed back while we wait for it); Gozu; Tales of Ordinary Madness; The Wayward Cloud; Kwaidan; Six-String Samurai; Andy Warhol’s Trash; Altered States; Memento; Nightmare Before Christmas/Vincent/Frankenweenie; The Science of Sleep; The Attic Expeditions; After Last Season; Getting Any?; Performance; Being John Malkovich; The Apple; Southland Tales; Arizona Dream; Spider (2002); Songs From The Second Floor; Singapore Sling; Alice [Neco z Alenky]; Necromentia; Hour of the Wolf; MirrorMask; Possession; Suspiria; Mary and Max; Wild Zero; 4; Nothing (2003); The Peanut Butter Solution; Ninja Scroll; Perfume: The Story of a Murderer; Danger: Diabolik; Faust; Sublime; Battle Royale; Pink Floyd: The Wall; Escanaba In Da Moonlight; Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter; Zardoz; The Films of Suzan Pitt; Toto the Hero [Toto le Héros]; Paprika; The Holy Mountain; Brazil; The Casserole Masters; Dark Crystal; Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets; The Nines; 964 Pinocchio; The Pillow Book; Final Flesh; Lunacy [Sílení]; Inmortel; Tetsuo; Dead Ringers; Kairo [AKA Pulse]; The Guatemalan Handshake; Dead Leaves; The Seventh Seal; Primer; Maniac (1934); Hausu; A Boy and His Dog; 200 Motels; Walkabout; Private Parts (1972); Possession; Saddest Music in the World; Mulholland Drive; The American Astronaut; Blood Tea and Red Strings; Malice in Wonderland; The Films of Kenneth Anger, Vol. II (for Lucifer Rising, among others); Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory ; The Bride of Frank; La Grande Bouffe; Uzumaki [Spiral]; Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Even Dwarves Started Small; Bunny & the Bull; “I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meat Hook, and Now I Have a Three-Picture Deal at Disney” (assuming I can find it); Cinema 16: European Short Films; Freaked; Session 9; Schizopolis; Strings; Dellamorte Dellamore [AKA Cemetery Man]; The Hour-glass Sanatorium [Saanatorium pod klepsidra]; The Addiction; Liquid Sky; The Quiet; Shock Treatment; Tuvalu; “Zombie Jesus” (if we can locate it); 3 Dev Adam; Fantastic Planet; “Twin Peaks” (TV series); Society; May; The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; Little Otik; Final Programme; Careful; and Sweet Movie.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 4/30/2010

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):

A Nightmare on Elm Street: The inventive dream sequences of the original made it a slasher series of marginal weird interest. The uninspiring reviews of the reboot make it sound like it’s of marginal human interest. A Nightmare on Elm Street official site.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009): This intended cult horror film about a mad doctor who creates a human centipede by linking victims together mouth to anus (!) is already in our reader-suggested review queue, but is only now getting a limited release here in the U.S.  Debuting in NYC this week, and going on a 12 city tour the following week.  It’s also appearing contemporaneously on IFC’s “On Demand” service (available on many US cable systems), which may be how we end up seeing it.  The Human Centipede (First Sequence) official site.

IN POST-PRODUCTION:

Inception:  Buzz is continuing to build around director Christopher (Memento, The Dark Knight)  Nolan’s latest project, reported to be a mind-bending psychological thriller with the tag line, “your mind is the scene of the crime.”  This will be the second psychological thriller of the year for star Leonardo di Caprio, who has been quoted as saying Inceptiondidn’t make sense to any of us when we were doing it.”  Sounds great, though it could just be marketing.   Release date is set for July 26.   Inception official site.

NEW ON DVD:

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (2009): Read our capsule review.  This tale of magic mirrors, carnival drifters and Faustian bargains may be ever-so-slightly underwhelming, but only because Terry Gilliam has set the bar so high.   It might have worked better had Heath Ledger survived to do re-shoots, but it’s a Gilliam movie and it’s still worth seeing. Buy The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

Life Blood [AKA Murder World] (2009): The plot appears to involve God, a gay female, who turns two lipstick lesbian lovers into vampires and sends them out to wreak vengeance on the straight world. That’s the plot as I understand it from skimming the synopsis while drunk, and if it’s actually something more conventional I don’t want to know about it.  Buy Life Blood.

Mega Piranha (2010): This laughable, cheap and ridiculous Asylum production about mutant flying piranhas got noticed in the camp community thanks to a Syfy channel screening.  Our own Eric Young even reviewed it on his personal site.  Now, it’s on DVD, where it belongs.  The only question, is why isn’t this home-video version the unrated director’s cut with nudity and piranhic gore?  Buy Megapiranha.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Dune (1984): The flop sci-fi epic about giant sandworms and messianic prophecies is perhaps David Lynch‘s most divisive work; it turned out too weird for a blockbuster, but it has it’s defenders. A nice weird addition to the Blu-ray ranks. Buy Dune [Blu-ray].

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (2009): See review in DVD above. Buy The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus [Blu-ray].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE

Breakfast of Aliens (1993):  We’re just going to quote the plot synopsis here: “A lovable loser, Walter Clydepepper (Vic Dunlop) eats an alien from outer space in his cereal and becomes a deadly stand up comic.”  Looks cheap and campy, like it might have been made specifically for the old “Up All Night!” TV show.  Watch Breakfast of Aliens 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.

REPRINT: DAMON ZEX, INTELLECTUAL PROVOCATEUR

Alfred Eaker is off this week. A new “Alfred Eaker’s Fringe Cinema” will return next Thursday. Here is a reprint of an older column (the original post, with comments, can be seen here).

While there might still be quality, dramatic television, there is little doubt the medium has lost it’s imaginative powers and any penchant for innovative, experimental, provocative, quirky aesthetics. Ernie Kovacs and Andy Kauffman are long dead. In addition to Kauffman, the 80’s did see Pee Wee’s Playhouse and Bakshi’s “New Adventures of Mighty Mouse”, but they have been relegated to distant memories. Then, in the 1990’s came Damon Zex; the underground cult icon from Columbus, Ohio’s short-lived public access television.

One writer speculated that Charlie Chaplin was nearly the sole silent super star to have survived sound because he alone understood it was a different art form. There is a reason that Chaplin, Keaton, Harry Langdon, Charlie Bowers, Theda Bara, etc. were inspirational fodder to later surrealist luminaries such as Samuel Beckett and Andre Breton. Those provocateurs understood and connected with elements from the silent art form which had it’s origins in vaudeville and can be seen in today’s performance artists such as Diamanda Galas and Damon Zex.

Damon Zex’s “Asana Assassin” (discussed below)

Much in early film, by today’s standard, was experimental because the rules had not yet been set as to what constituted ‘film’ and what did not. Luis Buñuel once said, “Moving pictures merely repeat what we have been told for centuries by novels and plays. Thus, a marvelous instrument for the expression of poetry and dreams (the subconscious world) is reduced to the role of simple REPEATER of stories expressed by other art forms.”

In lieu of today’s obsession for squeaky clean, hypernarrative Hollywood realism, reactions to expressionism, experiment, rough improvisation range from red flag dismissals such as “artsy” and “pretentious” to downright hostility. Audiences can numbly sit through porn fests such as Hostel or Passion of the Christ, but will react quite differently when aesthetically provoked.

Author Scott MacDonald nails it in his introduction to avant-garde film studies:

Mainstream cinema is so fundamental a part of our public and private experiences, that even when filmmakers produce and exhibit alternative cinematic forms, that dominant cinema is implied by the alternatives. If one considers what has come to be called avant-garde film from the point of view of the audience, one confronts an obvious fact. No one–or certainly, almost no one–sees avant garde films without first having seen mass-market commercial films. In fact, by the time most people see their first avant-garde film, they have already seen hundreds of films in commercial theaters, and their sense of what a movie IS has been almost indelibly imprinted in their conscious and unconscious minds by their training as children and by the continual reconfirmation of this training during adolescence and adulthood. The earliest most people come in contact with an avant-garde film of any type is probably mid to late teens (for many people the experience comes later, if at all). The result is that whatever particular manipulations of imagery, sound, and time define these first avant-garde film experiences as alternatives to the commercial cinema are recognizable only because of the conventionalized context viewers have already developed. Generally, the first response generated by an avant-garde film is, ‘This isn’t a movie,’ or the more combative, ‘ You call this a movie?’ Even the rare, responsive viewer almost inevitably finds the film–whatever its actual length in minutes–‘too long .’ By the time we see our first avant-garde film we think we know what movies are, we recognize what ‘ everyone’ agrees they should be; and we see the new cinematic failures-to-conform as presumptuous refusals to use the cinematic space (theater, VCR, viewing room) ‘correctly.’ If we look carefully at this response, however, we recognize that the obvious anger and frustration are a function of the fact that those films confront us with the necessity of redefining an experience we were sure we understood. We may feel we KNOW that these avant-garde films are not movies, but what are they? We see them in a theater; they’re projected by movie projectors,just as conventional movies are… we can see that they ARE movies, even if we KNOW they’re not. The experience provides us with the opportunity to come to a clearer, more complete understanding of what the cinematic experience actually can be, and what–for all the pleasure and inspiration it may give us–the conventional movie experience is NOT.

Elitism in artistic taste has become a dirty word and frequently one hears the
Continue reading REPRINT: DAMON ZEX, INTELLECTUAL PROVOCATEUR

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Trash fans may be a bit disappointed next week as we temporarily class up the joint with reviews of two art movies: Roy Andersson’s absurdist You, the Living [Du Levande] (2007) and Lindsay Anderson’s sprawling 1973 satire O Lucky Man! But just so no one feels left out, we’re hoping to squeeze in a review of Frank Henenlotter’s latest sexy shocker about killer genitalia, Bad Biology.  Also look for a review of the deep, deep underground surrealist experiment Heads of Control: The Gorul Baheu Brain Expedition (2006).

With each passing week it seems like people come here actually looking for “weird movies” instead of “insect porn,” so it’s getting harder and harder to find a suitable weirdest search term used to locate the site.  But this week Altavista did report someone came here looking for reports on the “japanese ‘popsicle melting’ contest,” so that will have to serve as our weird search term of the week.

The reader-suggested review queue continues to expand like the universe after the Big Bang.  Here’s how it currently stands: Suicide Club; O Lucky Man! (next week); Trash Humpers (DVD release is imminent, but this will probably be pushed back while we wait for it); Gozu; Tales of Ordinary Madness; The Wayward Cloud; Kwaidan; Six-String Samurai; Andy Warhol’s Trash; Altered States; Memento; Nightmare Before Christmas/Vincent/Frankenweenie; The Science of Sleep; The Attic Expeditions; After Last Season; Getting Any?; Performance; Being John Malkovich; The Apple; Southland Tales; Arizona Dream; Spider (2002); Songs From The Second Floor; Singapore Sling; Alice [Neco z Alenky]; Necromentia; Hour of the Wolf; MirrorMask; Possession; Suspiria; Mary and Max; Wild Zero; 4; Nothing (2003); The Peanut Butter Solution; Ninja Scroll; Perfume: The Story of a Murderer; Danger: Diabolik; Faust; Sublime; Battle Royale; Pink Floyd: The Wall; Escanaba In Da Moonlight; Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter; Zardoz; The Films of Suzan Pitt; Toto the Hero [Toto le Héros]; Paprika; The Holy Mountain; Brazil; The Casserole Masters; Dark Crystal; Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets; The Nines; 964 Pinocchio; The Pillow Book; Final Flesh; Lunacy [Sílení]; Inmortel; Tetsuo; Dead Ringers; Kairo [AKA Pulse]; The Guatemalan Handshake; Dead Leaves; The Seventh Seal; Taxidermia; Primer; Maniac (1934); Hausu; A Boy and His Dog; 200 Motels; Walkabout; Private Parts (1972); Possession; Saddest Music in the World; Mulholland Drive; The American Astronaut; Blood Tea and Red Strings; Malice in Wonderland; The Films of Kenneth Anger, Vol. II (for Lucifer Rising, among others); The Human Centipede (First Sequence); Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory ; The Bride of Frank; La Grande Bouffe; Uzumaki [Spiral]; Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Even Dwarves Started Small; Bunny & the Bull; “I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meat Hook, and Now I Have a Three-Picture Deal at Disney” (assuming I can find it); Cinema 16: European Short Films; Freaked; Session 9; Schizopolis; Strings; Dellamorte Dellamore [AKA Cemetery Man]; The Hour-glass Sanatorium [Saanatorium pod klepsidra]; The Addiction; Liquid Sky; The Quiet; Shock Treatment; Tuvalu; “Zombie Jesus” (if we can locate it); 3 Dev Adam; Fantastic Planet; “Twin Peaks” (TV series); Society; May; and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 4/23/2010

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):

Best Worst Movie (2010):  This documentary on an unlikely subject—the making of the laughably inept 1980s horror Troll 2, a movie featuring vegetarian goblins—is an even more improbable critical favorite.  Premiering this week in Austin, TX at the famous Alamo Drafthouse; coming in future weeks and months to Warsaw, Poland; New York City; Los Angeles; Salt Lake City; San Francisco; Dallas; Seattle; Tuscon; Washington, D.C.; St. Louis; Atlanta; Minneapolis; and Cambridge, MA.  Best Worst Movie official site.

The Good, the Bad, and the Weird (2008):  Obviously, we have to mention this one because of the title, even though it refers to one of the characters rather than to the movie’s guiding principle.  A Korean tribute to the Sergio Leone classic set in the Manchurian desert; a cult buzz has been steadily building on this one as it blazed its way across the festival circuit.  Playing New York this week and Los Angeles the following week; hopefully it will make its way towards the middle of the country thereafter.  The Good, the Bad, and the Weird official site (Japanese).


Red Birds (2010): Apparently, the concept is that the director has selected various female artists, associated each with a particular bird, and allowed them to speak on random subjects while birdwatching footage of their avian plays.  New York movie critics who would normally lap up a feminist documentary have been moved to call it “irritating,” “tedious,” and to warn that “Eventually, the desire to scream ‘What, exactly, is going on here?’ will become overwhelming.” Playing to the director’s friends and family at Anthology Archives in New York City all week.   Red Birds at Anthology Film Archives.

IN POST-PRODUCTION:

Hamlet A.D.D.:  Hamlet is recast as a time-tripper with feet of clay who procrastinates from avenging his father’s murder through the ages, from the 1600s to the 1970s to the distant future.  A completed scene from this, featuring Kevin Murphy and Trace Beaulieu as the voices of two robots who perform “The Mousetrap” on a 1950s television broadcast, was included as an extra on the Mystery Science Theater 3000, Vol. XV box set, so we can verify that this is going to be cool and bizarre.  Hamlet A.D.D. official site.

FILM FESTIVALS – SUBMISSIONS WANTED:

“Pure Dreams,” an international festival of independent films, is seeking submissions for its thirteenth annual competition to be held in November in St. Petersburg, Russia.  The deadline for submissions is Oct 1.  More information can be found at the festival’s official site, and an application form (in English) can be downloaded here.

NEW ON DVD:

44 Inch Chest (2009): London gangster drama about an aging bad guy who kidnaps an enemy he believes slept with his wife and considers taking revenge while being egged on by his sleazy, foul-mouthed mates.  Includes fantasy sequences, which is why we mention it.  From the writers of Sexy Beast and the producers of Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Buy 44 Inch Chest.

The Lovely Bones (2009):  Read our capsule review.  Peter Jackson’s slightly weird, slightly disappointing tale of a murdered girl who tracks her killer from the afterlife. Buy The Lovely Bones.

Peacock (2010): Direct-to-DVD psychological thriller about a bank clerk in 1950s Nebraska with a split personality—the second personality being a woman named Emma who harbors some secrets. The sparse reviews are generally positive.  Starring Cillian Murphy with, Ellen Page, Bill Pullman Keith Carradine, and Susan Sarandon (who also appears this week in The Lovely Bones). Buy Peacock.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

44 Inch Chest (2009): See entry in DVD above. Buy 44 Inch Chest [Blu-ray].

The Lovely Bones (2009): See entry in DVD above. Buy The Lovely Bones [Blu-ray].

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.

ANNOUNCEMENT: “THE BEST OF DAMON ZEX” NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

366 Distribution’s second project, “The Best of Damon Zex,” is now available for purchase at CreateSpace. It will also appear on Amazon in the following days.

Damon was a polarizing figure in public access television in the 1990s. His show assaulted the suburbs with frank sexuality, vulgarity, occultism and blasphemy; but more importantly, it challenged viewers with its high quotient of surrealism, artistry, experimental hypnotic video techniques, and satire.

The press release describes the contents thusly:

DVD 1 contains:

1. “The Diabolical Damon Zex.” 60 min. Watching this hour-long compilation is like flipping through the TV channels at 3 AM and discovering every station has been taken over by Zex. Includes the controversial and shocking tampon scenes from “Damon’s Bloodfeast.” First time on DVD.

2. “A Day in the Life of Damon Zex.” 30 min. Damon’s day begins with wine in his cereal, and gets weirder from there. First time on DVD.

BONUS DVD: CHECKMATE

30 min. Zex’s timeless, post-public access expressionistic chess game shows a more mature artist focused on aesthetics, without sacrificing his sadomasochistic edge. This film, which has never seen before in its entirety outside of private screenings, is a must-have for Zex fans.

For more information on Damon Zex, read Alfred’s article Damon Zex: Intellectual Provocateur and Damon Zex’s Checkmate.

We’re thrilled for the opportunity to help bring Damon’s work to a wider audience.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Next week, look for a lengthy review of the Hungarian subway flick Kontroll (2003), the lowdown on the new-to-DVD Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! tribute Bitch Slap (2009), and coverage of the would-be cult musical Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008).

After a few down weeks for bizarre search terms used to locate this site, the Internet showed us glimpses of Googles potential to generate random and surreal requests this week.  We liked “movie french clown war” (actually we want to see that one), “french hypno sex” (but who doesn’t?), and our runner-up, “donney a boy is 13 black hair the vampire in 2009.”  But once again we’ll vote for simplicity and honor “who makes odd movies named richard” as our weirdest search term of the week.

Here’s how the reader-suggested review queue currently looks: Suicide Club; O Lucky Man!; Trash Humpers (when/if released); Gozu; Tales of Ordinary Madness; The Wayward Cloud; Kwaidan; Six-String Samurai; Andy Warhol’s Trash; Altered States; Memento; Nightmare Before Christmas/Vincent/Frankenweenie; The Science of Sleep; The Attic Expeditions; After Last Season; Getting Any?; Performance; Being John Malkovich; The Apple; Southland Tales; Arizona Dream; Spider (2002); Songs From The Second Floor; Singapore Sling; Alice [Neco z Alenky]; Necromania (1971, Ed Wood); Hour of the Wolf; MirrorMask; Possession; Suspiria; Mary and Max; Wild Zero; 4; Nothing (2003); The Peanut Butter Solution; Ninja Scroll; Perfume: The Story of a Murderer; Danger: Diabolik; Faust; Sublime; Battle Royale; Pink Floyd: The Wall; Escanaba In Da Moonlight; Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter; Zardoz; The Films of Suzan Pitt; Toto the Hero [Toto le Héros]; Paprika; The Holy Mountain; Brazil; The Casserole Masters; Dark Crystal; Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets; The Nines; 964 Pinocchio; The Pillow Book; Final Flesh; Lunacy [Sílení]; Inmortel; Tetsuo; Dead Ringers; Kairo [AKA Pulse]; The Guatemalan Handshake; Dead Leaves; The Seventh Seal; Taxidermia; Primer; Maniac (1934); Hausu; A Boy and His Dog; 200 Motels; Walkabout; Private Parts (1972); Possession; Saddest Music in the World; Mulholland Drive; The American Astronaut; Blood Tea and Red Strings; Malice in Wonderland; The Films of Kenneth Anger, Vol. II (for Lucifer Rising, among others); The Human Centipede (First Sequence); Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory ; The Bride of Frank; La Grande Bouffe; Uzumaki [Spiral]; Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Even Dwarves Started Small; Bunny & the Bull; “I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meat Hook, and Now I Have a Three-Picture Deal at Disney” (assuming I can find it); Cinema 16: European Short Films; Freaked; Session 9; Schizopolis; Strings; Dellamorte Dellamore [AKA Cemetery Man]; The Hour-glass Sanatorium [Saanatorium pod klepsidra]; The Addiction; Liquid Sky; The Quiet; Shock Treatment; Tuvalu; and we’ll even take a stab at locating the hard-to-find short “Zombie Jesus.”

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 4/16/2010

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):

Pornography: A Thriller (2009):  Murder and weirdness in three related tales from the world of gay porn.  The press release promises us that “surreal and supernatural elements weave together these three haunting stories.”  Due to its subject matter and less than thrilling reviews it’s exceedingly unlikely to be coming to a theater near you. Expect a DVD release soon.  Pornography: A Thriller official site.

UPCOMING:

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead (2009):  The wacky premise involves a vampire writing a bizarre adaptation of Hamlet.  The distributors promise a “perfect mix of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ Terry Gilliam, Dude Where’s My Car and Woody Allen all in one fantastic film!” Release date was originally scheduled for this week but has been pushed back to June 11.  Rosencrantz and Guildendtern are Undead official site.

NEW ON DVD:

Essential Art House, Vol. 5: Courtesy of Janus films under the Criterion imprint, the Essential Art House series positions itself a low priced, extras-free alternative to Criterion Collection’s special editions. Beyond the “art house” theme, the selections are relatively random. Vol. 5 includes David Lean’s adaptation of Noel Coward’s Brief Encounters, the 1959 Japanese drama Floating Weeds, Francois Truffaut’s Jules and Jim, the Finnish holocaust drama Kapo (1959), and Milos Forman’s Loves of a Blonde (1965). We mention it because of the sixth feature: Fellini’s weird masterpice 8 1/2. Buy Essential Art House, Volume Five.

Nightmare on Elm Street Collection: With its iconic villain, multiple dream sequences and blackly comic puns, A Nightmare on Elm Street was a bright spot of imagination in the wasteland of 1980s teen-oriented slasher horrors. Later entries in the series became much campier than the frightening original, but were enjoyable nonetheless. This box set collects together Nightmares 1-5 along with Freddy’s Dead, Ronnie Yu’s “high concept” Freddy vs. Jason, and 1994’s Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, an admirable attempt to steer the series away from self-parody and back to horror. Buy Nightmare on Elm Street Collection.

Tenderness (2009): Despite starring Russel Crowe, theaters passed on this serial killer thriller and it debuts on DVD this week. Reviews are mediocre, but Bret Frazer of Amazon suggests that “flashes of David Lynch-esque eeriness provide some thrills” and fan reviewers often describe it as “strange” or “odd.” Buy Tenderness.

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.