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WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Not sure exactly what we’ll be reviewing next week, but for once, the problem is having too many options on what to publish, rather than too few. I think we’ll continue our “2009 in review” series with Growing Out, an indie horror about a musician who finds a head growing out of a cellar floor. We may also sneak in a review of Cold Souls, the Paul Giamatti expose about the black market soul trade. You can also expect to see a review of the offbeat 1979 vampire film Thirst. What else? Well, some possibilities include Johnny Got His Gun (1971), Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988), Housekeeping (1987), and Feed (2005)—you’ll just have to check out this space to find out for sure.

As for the weirdest search term used to locate the site this week, we may as well pick “sex movie in which fairies come near water,” which sounds like pretty weird request but could actually refer to an actual movie we’ve reviewed here. On the other hand, our favorite search term used to locate the site was “why are weird movies always the best”?

Here’s how the reader-suggested review queue looks: Greaser’s Palace (substituted for Institute Benjamenta), Waking Life, Survive Style 5+, The Dark Backward, The Short Films of David Lynch, Santa Sangre, Dead Man, Inland Empire, Monday (assuming I can find an English language version), The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Barton Fink, What? (Diary of Forbidden Dreams), Meatball Machine, Xtro, Basket Case, Suicide Club, O Lucky Man! , Trash Humpers (if it’s released), GozuTales of Ordinary Madness, The Wayward Cloud, Kwaidan, Six-String Samurai, Andy Warhol’s Trash, Altered States, Memento, Nightmare Before Christmas/Vincent/Frankenweenie, Johnny Got His Gun, The Science of Sleep, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 11/13/2009

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 Box: A couple are given a mysterious box that contains a temptation; push a button on it and you will get a million dollars, but an innocent person somewhere will die. I passed on mentioning this one last week because the theatrical previews made it look like a lame and hokey extended Twilight Zone episode. I disregarded a few reports trickling in that said it was “weird,” assuming they came from the same type of people who find any fantasy weird. Then, I discovered that it was directed by Richard Kelly, which makes it noteworthy for this site. We probably should give it a shot despite the underwhelming reviews and uninspiring trailer. The Box official site (much like the Donnie Darko website, there’s no clear navigation and you’re forced to click around randomly to find stuff).

Fantastic Mr. Fox:  This animated fable about talking animals is clearly not weird, but it does represent a collaboration between two borderline weird figures: ultra-quirky director Wes (I Heart Huckabees) Anderson and mordant children’s book author Roald (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) Dahl.  Featuring the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, and Bill Murray.  Fantastic Mr. Fox official site.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Uncertainty: An experiment in conflicting storylines from two different directors, Uncertainty deals with a young couple whose day follows one of two paths, depending on the flip of a coin: one route leads to a family drama, the other to a murder thriller.  Uncertainty official site.

NEW ON DVD:

Ink (2009): Critics compared this visionary thriller about a father entering the nightmares of his daughter to the work of Terry Gilliam and Jean-Pierre Jeunet; its own press release compares it to Brazil, Dark City and Donnie Darko, among others. We’re cautiously optimistic; that’s some awfully lofty company. Expect a review in the coming weeks. Buy from Amazon.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut (2009): Read our Watchmen capsule. Hopefully, this four disc (!) Blu-ray release will be the ultimate edition of Watchmen, but would you truly be shocked if Warner came out with a 6-disc Watchmen: The Even Ultimater Cut in three months? At any rate, this new version integrates the fanboy demanded story-within-a-story “Tales of the Black Freighter” into the Director’s Cut. There’s also a disc of featurettes, a digital copy of the theatrical release, and a disc of “Complete Motion Comics” (whatever that means). Buy from Amazon.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

NOTICE – POSSIBLE DOWNTIME:  Our webhost tells us they will be upgrading the servers on Monday, Nov. 9 and Tuesday, Nov. 10.  This may cause some limited interruptions in the availability of these pages.

Finally, we have an early frontrunner for weirdest movie of 2009! But what is it?  Spike (Adaptation) Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are?  The independent twentysomethings-get-slaughtered-in-the woods horror film I Can See You?  Or are we contrarians who actually liked the widely despised Donnie Darko direct-to-DVD sequel, S. Darko? Check this space in next week to find out the shocking answer!

For our “weirdest search term used to locate the site” pick of the week, we’re dipping back into the overflowing “disturbing” file for “watch free rape nuns movies in the farms.”  We find this request both disquieting and encouraging.  The weird specificity of the search: not only “nuns,” but nuns “in the farms”—sets it apart from the generic sordid “watch free rape movies” garbage we get all the time.

But why in the world would we find a rape search encouraging?  Because it came from the Islamic Republic of Egypt.  I say this more than half-seriously: porn will destroy Islamic fundamentalism.  By pumping free porn behind enemy lines via broadband, we teach them the true value of freedom.  It may be a NeoCon myth that the huddled masses out there all yearn to be free, but they most certainly yearn to masturbate to freaky porn.  Show them a vision of a land overflowing with free rape movies, and they will eventually demand their governments give them the same freedom.  Worldwide democracy and an unprecedented era of global peace will inevitably follow.

On a more pleasant note, we finally have a Miss Weird Movie 2009!  Her name is Lola, and her favorite site is http://366weirdmovies.com!

missweirdmovies2009

Much thanks to the anonymous webmaster who spammed our server logs with this autogenerated image in order to promote some service or other, I forgot what it was.

Thanks to our decision to focus on 2009 releases, the reader-suggested review queue is growing quite unruly: Greaser’s Palace (substituted for Institute Benjamenta), Waking Life, Survive Style 5+, The Dark Backward, The Short Films of David Lynch, Santa Sangre, Dead Man, Inland Empire, Monday (assuming I can find an English language version), The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Barton Fink, What? (Diary of Forbidden Dreams), Meatball Machine, Xtro, Basket Case, Suicide Club, O Lucky Man! , Harmony Korine’s Trash Humpers (if it’s released), Takashi Miike’s GozuTales of Ordinary Madness, The Wayward Cloud, Kwaidan, Six-String Samurai, Andy Warhol’s Trash, Altered States, Memento, Nightmare Before Christmas/Vincent/Frankenweenie, Johnny Got His Gun, and The Science of Sleep.  Although we’re focusing on 2009 release at the moment, Johnny Got His Gun is likely to jump the line due to the fact that this long-unavailable movie finally got a DVD release this year.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 11/6/2009

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 Men Who Stare at Goats:  George Clooney or no George Clooney and loosely based on fact or not, I doubt anyone will claim that a comedy about a classified experimental squad of U.S. marines who are trained to kill using Jedi-mind tricks isn’t coming at us from a left-of-reality place.  Co-starring offbeat icon Jeff (Tideland) Bridges, Ewan (Stay) MacGregor, and Kevin Spacey.  The Men Who Stare at Goats official site.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Gentlemen Broncos: From Jared Hess (writer/director of Napoleon Dynamite) comes this gross-out satire about a nerdy amateur fantasy writer whose story is stolen by an established author and turned into an awful movie by a small-town director. Critics hated it (“Gentlemen Broncos doesn’t just visit Planet Quirk, it crash lands upon it.”–Peter Howell).  Still, scenes from the film-within-the film, with it’s gay cyclops and flying robotic deer, look at least mildly weird, and it seems anything that almost everyone in the mainstream hates must have something going for it.   On the other hand, Armond White liked it, which may justifiably scare you off.  Gentlemen Broncos official site.

SCREENINGS: NEW YORK CITY (MON, NOV. 9)

Flaherty NYC: Experiments with Animation!:  A program of new experimental animated shorts to be presented at the Anthology Films Archive, with a question and answer session with some of the animators to follow.  Featuring films by Martha Colburn, Jesse Epstein, Kenneth Hung, Jeff Scher, Phil Solomon, Steven Subtonick, and Signe Bauman (The Threatened One). For more information visit The Flaherty Seminar homepage.

NEW ON DVD:

Wings of Desire [Der Himmel über Berlin] (1987): Wim Wender’s beautiful, poetic movie about invisible angels roaming West Berlin who dispassionately hear the fears and desires of humans gets the Criterion Collection treatment. One of the best films of the 1980s.  Buy from Amazon.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Wings of Desire [Der Himmel über Berlin] (1987):  See above.  Buy Blu-ray from Amazon.

NEW FREE (LEGITIMATE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

Dracula (1992):  Read our capsule review.  The free viewing expires November 10, so hurry on down!  Watch Dracula (1992) 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

Expect to see reviews of Brainiac, the magnificent Pan’s Labyrinth [El laberinto del fauno], and more next week.

We’ve been tracking and documenting the weirdest search terms used to locate the site for a while now. However, every now and then something slips by. We looked at Alexa’s web information page the other day, and learned that “weird animal attached to woman’s face” is the top search term people click on to get here. Who knew?

OK, now to that ever-growing reader-suggested review queue (followed by an explanation of why it’s not likely to be cut down significantly any time soon):

Pan’s Labyrinth (next week), Greasers Palace (substituted for Institute Benjamenta), Waking Life, Survive Style 5+, The Dark Backward, The Short Films of David Lynch, Santa Sangre, Dead Man, Inland Empire, Monday (assuming I can find an English language version), The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Barton Fink, What? (Diary of Forbidden Dreams), Meatball Machine, Xtro, Basket Case, Suicide Club, O Lucky Man! , Harmony Korine’s Trash Humpers (if it’s released), Takashi Miike’s GozuTales of Ordinary Madness, and The Wayward Cloud, Kwaidan, Six-String Samurai, and Andy Warhol’s Trash.

OK, that’s a long list of titles to cover, and it’s not likely to get much shorter very soon.  When I woke up this morning, I noticed there was a bit of a chill in the air, a chill that spells: November.  And to any dedicated movie-review webmaster, November means one thing and one thing only: “I only have two months left to cover all those 2009 releases I skipped over so that I can create a meaningful Weirdest Movies of 2009 list.”  Just glancing through our weekly Weird Horizons, I noticed that there are at least eight high priority 2009 releases that we never covered because they never made it to a theater near us.  That’s not to mention a dozen or so less interesting movies, and a few intriguing movies that have yet to show up on DVD.

In other words, although we’d like to whittle that reader-review list down, we’re making the primary focus in the next two months to cover Weird 2009.  That doesn’t mean we won’t be throwing in older movies, including reader suggestions, into the mix: we’ll just be tackling them at a slightly slower rate than our usual glacial pace.

SATURDAY SHORT: HALLOWEEN TRASH (2007)

What the heck is a Shaye St. John? From the evidence provided in this short, it’s a scary, androgynous mask wearing figure that likes to film itself verbally abusing passing trick-or-treaters, then remix the resulting footage to make it look like a low-grade acid trip.  Or maybe it’s a robot?  Maybe its My Space page would help?

Oh, and happy Halloween, you luscious piece of trash!

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 10/30/2009

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):

The House of the Devil:  A satanic creepfest set in the 1980s, which (word has it) plays out like a forgotten VHS era occult gem.  Maybe not weird, but clearly offbeat, and the presence of cult actress Mary (Eating Raoul) Woronov doesn’t hurt anything.  Opening in L.A. with limited national distribution thereafter.  In a sign of the times, it’s also already gotten a “pre-theatrical” release via video on demand (rent)House of the Devil official site.

NEW ON DVD:

Adult Swim in a Box (Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume 2 / Space Ghost Season 3 / Moral Oral Season 1 / Robot Chicken Season 2 / Metalocalypse Season 1 / Sealab Season 2): What twentysomething hipster doesn’t dream of finding this 7-disc set and a one pound brick of medical-grade marijuana (with prescription) under their tree on Christmas morning? Contains and extra disc of failed pilots from the boundary-pushing late night cartoon lineup. Buy from Amazon.

Afterwards (2008): A New York lawyer meets a doctor (John Malkovich) who can foretell who is going to die. Reviewers used adjectives such as lyrical, allegorical, boring and pretentious to describe this arthouse non-hit that nonetheless may be to some tastes. Buy from Amazon.

Death in the Garden [Mort en ce jardin] (1956):  This minor Buñuel adventure piece from his Mexican Marxist period concerns conflicts between gold prospectors and the state. The director’s Surrealist tendencies were on the backburner during this period, so this one is for dedicated Buñuelists and Communist sympathizers only. Buy from Amazon .

Fear(s) of the Dark [Peur’s du Noir] (2007): A French horror anthology containing six black and white animated shorts dealing with themes of fear and night. As with all anthologies, the films likely vary as to quality and bizarreness. Buy from Amazon.

Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyers Cut) (2009): Six hours of interviews and clips spread out over three discs tell the entire story of the famous British comedy troupe that made absurdism fashionable through the 1970s. A must-get for dedicated fans. Buy from Amazon.

Night of the Creeps (1986): Long-anticipated released of the intentional campy cult 1980s horror/sci-fi flick that simultaneously sends up and pays honest tribute to teen sex comedies, alien invasion pics and zombie movies. Buy from Amazon

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyers Cut): See the description above in the DVD section. Buy Blu-ray from Amazon

Night of the Creeps (1986): See the description above in the DVD section. Buy Blu-ray from Amazon

The Prisoner: The Complete Series: The classically Kafka-esque, paranoid, psychedelic-era BBC TV series about a retired spy who finds himself held prisoner by the government on a surreal island makes it’s welcome debut on Blu-ray. Buy from Amazon.

NEW FREE (LEGITIMATE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

Sex Madness (1938): From the demented mind of Dwain Esper (Reefer Madness, Maniac) comes another hysterically exploitative “warn your children!” anti-classic, wherein a promiscuous chorus girl catches syphilis from the casting couch.  Watch Sex Madness free on YouTube.

HAUNTED HOUSES (INDIANAPOLIS AREA):

The Asylum House is running a series of high-tech, interactive hauntings in the Indy area. Our own Alfred Eaker is involved in a mysterious, occult capacity with the Crypt of Shadows.  Check ’em out for a frightful time if you’re in the area; this is professional stuff.

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, you can expect to see a Director Retrospective on the legendary Russian director Rustam Khamdamov, an uncompromising artist with extremely bad luck.  His films are unavailable here in the west, and pretty much unavailable in his homeland as well; find out why.  We will also publish reviews of Guy Maddin‘s Cowards Bend the Knee and Robert Mulligan’s eerie but underseen twin horror film, The Other (1972).

As far as weird search terms used to find the site go, it was a surprisingly light week for perverted fetishists (although one guy did come here looking for that “gay porn frogman movie,” which we admit is probably fairly weird).   We did get hits from people searching for the following: a “bizarre movie about our lives,” some “weird movies names for weird people,” and  “simple weird experiments for the eyes.”

The reader-suggested review queue is growing fast.  It now looks like this: Cowards Bend the Knee (next week), Greasers Palace (substituted for Institute Benjamenta), Pan’s LabyrinthWaking Life, Survive Style 5+, The Dark Backward, The Short Films of David Lynch, Santa Sangre, Dead Man, Inland Empire, Monday (assuming I can find an English language version), The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Barton Fink, What? (Diary of Forbidden Dreams), Meatball Machine, Xtro, Basket Case, Suicide Club, O Lucky Man! , Harmony Korine‘s Trash Humpers (if it’s released), Takashi Miike‘s GozuTales of Ordinary Madness, and The Wayward Cloud.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 10/23/2009

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):

Antichrist:  Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg play a grieving couple who retreat to a cabin in the woods where the encounter the Ultimate Evil, in what’s described as either arty torture porn or one of the best horror films of modern times.  Lars von Trier’s latest has divided critics straight down the middle: half think its unreedemable, pandering shock trash, while others think it’s a masterpiece. Von Triers, severely depressed when he wrote the movie, dedicates the film to Andrei Tarkovsky; Cannes preview audiences reportedly booed at the comparison. Antichrist official site.

Night and Day [Bam gua nat] (2008): It’s difficult to divine much information about this well-reviewed “metaphysical” movie about an aging Korean womanizer among expats in Pairs, but reviews suggest that director Sang-soo Hong plays fast and loose with reality and may play tricks with the audiences mind in this drama/character study. Currently playing in NYC only? Bam gua nat Official Site (in French, and not safe for work due to nudity).

Rembrandt’s J’accuse (2008): Not a weird film, but rather a serious documentary about a single Rembrandt painting (“The Nightwatch”), mentioned here because it’s the product of oft-weird artist/director Peter (The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover) Greenaway.  Rembrandt’s J’accuse official site.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Easy Rider (1969): Not thoroughly weird, but when Fonda and Hopper drop acid in a New Orleans graveyard, the result is one of the better “trip” sequences in cinema. Buy Blu-ray from Amazon

Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971):  Gene Wilder is iconic as Wonka in one of the weirdest and most psychedelic children’s films ever made.  Everyone loves Oompah-loompahs. Buy Blu-ray from Amazon

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 you can expect to see our long delayed review of the reader-nominated Belgian film Ex Drummer.  Also, be sure to check in on Tuesday, when we debut a new writer!  He’ll be reviewing a little underground horror/comedy movie called Zorg & Andy, which was made for $25,000 and has cult aspirations (but don’t all movies made for $25,000 ?)  Did we scoop a future classic, or sniff out some amateur trash?

As for the weirdest search term used to locate the site this week, we’re going to eschew the usual slew of misguided fetishists looking for free porn and go with “eraserhead are you a vampire”?  We’ll remember to pass on that question the next time we see him.

In the reader-suggested review queue: Ex Drummer (next week), Cowards Bend the Knee (coming soon!), Greasers Palace (substituted for Institute Benjamenta), Pan’s LabyrinthWaking Life, Survive Style 5+, The Dark Backward, The Short Films of David Lynch, Santa Sangre, Dead Man, Inland Empire, Monday (assuming I can find an English language version), The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Barton Fink, What? (Diary of Forbidden Dreams), Meatball Machine, Xtro, Basket Case, and Suicide Club. Yeah, we know we need to start whittling this thing down!