Category Archives: Free Online Weird Movies

LIST CANDIDATE: ALMA (2009)

DIRECTED BY: Rodrigo Blaas

PLOT: Young Alma encounters a toy shop containing a doll bearing an uncanny resemblance to her.

Still from Alma (2009)

WHY IT MIGHT MAKE THE LIST: In communicating its tale of terror in a style and medium almost uniformly associated with mainstream family-friendliness, Alma stands out as weird amidst today’s persistent stream of digital animation.

COMMENTS: As this site’s regular Saturday Short feature has proven, animation is one of the most fitting mediums for short-length cinematic weirdness. Whether minimalist or elaborate, animation offers a strong opportunity to evoke a particularly singular visual concept within a short frame of time.

Former Pixar employee Rodrigo Blaas—whose name appears in the credits of some of the studio’s most beloved features—has, with Alma, added his own particular twist to this well-established cinematic convention. Drawing on his past work, Blaas bring us his simple, independent tale of surreal horror in the bright, stylized CGI that’s now all but synonymous with modern mainstream animation.

In its themes and narrative, meanwhile, Alma recalls a more antiquated form of family entertainment. Its components—the snow upon slanted rooftops and narrow cobblestone alleys; the toy shop, at once quaint and sinister; the protagonist, a mischievous little one with the air of a vagabond—bring to mind the classical elements of old children’s’ books. The plotline, which imposes a nightmarish fate upon its young protagonist as punishment for a petty misdeed, evokes the Victorian cautionary tales that Hilare Belloc so famously lampooned.

Needless to say, this results in a strikingly unique piece of short cinema; especially considering that, despite mashing together conventions of children’s entertainment from opposite ends of the 20th century, it is very clearly not intended for children. The simple plot follows young Alma, who, prancing merrily down a snowy alleyway one day, encounters a toy shop, with a doll precisely resembling her in the window. Unable to resist this singular temptation, she heads into the unattended shop to take the doll for herself, and meets horrifying consequences—ones that add a twist to the primal fear of endless damnation.

Told, like many short works of weirdness, entirely without dialogue, the story of Alma is, as befitting the nature of Blaas’ past work, communicated via five minutes’ worth of highly expressive visuals that quietly convey basic narrative and subtle details alike. Alma’s slightly ragged appearance hints at her humble background, lending context to her sticky-fingered nature. Hundreds of children have chalked their names on the wall in the alleyway in which she finds the shop. It’s also lined with what might be interpreted as a number of “Missing” posters, ominously hinting at the shop’s scourge of terror. And the store window, picturesque upon first glance, takes on the appearance of a leering monster’s gaping maw when examined more closely.

In terms of weirdness, Alma has its more obvious elements: most notably, flashes of surreal, nightmarish images when Alma seizes the doll. The genuine uniqueness of the short, however, is found in its bold effort to render an artistically-driven work of cinema in a style that’s become emblematic of mega-budget commercial family cinema. The contrast is striking. As an artistic choice, it’s not unprecedented, but Blaas, having come directly off the set of some of the industry’s leading titles, evokes the style with particular authenticity.

Development is currently underway for a Dreamworks-backed feature-length adaptation of the short. As many have already predicted, even with Blaas himself at the helm, it seems highly likely that this horrifying tale, effective chiefly for its simplicity, will lose more than a little of its punch when stretched into feature-length. If nothing else, however, said feature might draw a little more much-deserved attention to the original short.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“…this is a fairytale of the old kind, and if you have any sensitivity at all, you’ll be shivering as the snow drifts down at the end.”–Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film (contemporaneous)

Alma from Rodrigo Blaas on Vimeo.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 2/24/2017

Our weekly 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 at the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Drifter (2016): A pair of post-apocalyptic assassins stumble into a town of psychotic cannibals. “Starburst” describes it as “[s]urreal stylings and extreme violence…Drifter official Facebook page.


NEW ON DVD:

Psychomania (1973): Bullfrog-worshiping bikers kill themselves so they can come back as living-dead cyclists. Arrow Films restores the British cult B-movie and releases it in a DVD/Blu-ray bundle with archival interviews and supplements. Buy Psychomania [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

The Boy Friend (1971): An understudy gets her big break in a musical production. completists will be interested in this oddity in his canon: a musical spoofing musicals, starring Twiggy, and, most shockingly, rated “G.” Buy The Boy Friend [Blu-ray].

Psychomania (1973): See description in DVD above. Buy Psychomania [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

V FOR VICTORY or THE FALL AND RISE OF CONNIE STARTRAVELER (2016): Visual concept album from Athens, Ohio band SUPERNOBODY, with a plot that mixes E.T. with “Ziggy Stardust.” A gorilla befriends a space-marionette and defends it from UFO investigators. About 45 minutes, or one hour if you watch the outtakes.

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.

270. WAX, OR THE DISCOVERY OF TELEVISION AMONG THE BEES (1991)

“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.”―Henry David Thoreau

RecommendedWeirdest!

DIRECTED BY: David Blair

FEATURING: David Blair

PLOT: A “supernatural photographer” and beekeeper searching for evidence of the afterlife buys a hive of rare, disease-resistant Mesopotamian bees. Years later, his grandson Jacob, who works as a software engineer designing flight simulators for warplanes, inherits the insects. The hive gives him visions, then drones pierce his skin and insert a crystal—which allows him to see the bees’ version of television—to direct him in his destiny as a metaphysical assassin.

Still from Wax, or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees (1991)

BACKGROUND:

  • Wax took six years to complete and was partially funded with grants from German Public Television, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Film Institute, and other private and state charitable endowments.
  • Jacob’s grandfather, James “Hive” Maker, is played by (in a non-speaking role).
  • First broadcast on German television in 1991, this shot-on-video feature never received a true theatrical release, although it was blown up to 16mm film for limited screenings in 1993.
  • The New York Times reported that Wax was be the first feature-length motion picture to be broadcast on the Internet.
  • A “hypermedia” version of Wax, or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees is available for free viewing at a site hosted by the University of Virginia. The movie is available to watch or download for free on Vimeo under a Creative Commons license.
  • Two years ago, Blair said that he was still working on a sequel, which has been in progress for at least seven years.

INDELIBLE IMAGE: Oddly enough, in a movie with so many digital distortions and abstract psychedelic graphics, it’s the shots of Jacob in his white beekeeping suit that stick in the mind the most—because, absurdly, he almost never takes it off, whether trudging through the steaming desert or walking past banks of supercomputers at his job at a military facility. Even when cuddling with his wife in front of the TV, he only takes off his hat. The suit becomes both a symbol of Jacob’s insular insanity, and a low budget substitute for a spacesuit a la 2001: A Space Odyssey, as Jacob ventures into cosmic realms far beyond ordinary human conception.

THREE WEIRD THINGS: Semi-intelligent missiles; the dead on the Moon; the Planet of Television

WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: This is a “documentary” about a man who is sent to the Planet of the Dead via bee television in order to kill the reincarnation of his grandfather’s brother-in-law, thereby becoming Cain, before being reincarnated in paradise. I think. The story is utterly insane, although it makes complete sense to bees.

Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees [10:00/85:00] from David Blair on Vimeo.

The first ten minutes of Wax, or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees

COMMENTS: When I first watched Wax, or the Discovery of Television Continue reading 270. WAX, OR THE DISCOVERY OF TELEVISION AMONG THE BEES (1991)

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 12/16/2016

Our weekly 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 at the official site links.

IN DEVELOPMENT (pre-production):

Patience (201?): An adaptation of Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel about a grieving man who uses time travel to try to prevent his pregnant wife’s murder. The original story was a New York Times bestseller described as a “a psychedelic science-fiction love story.” Clowes will adapt the screenplay in the movie version for Focus Features. Patience announcement at Variety.

NEW ON DVD:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Unusual Children (2016): Read Alfred Eaker’s review. No special features announced for ‘s latest would-be tentpole fantasy. Buy Miss Peregrine’s Home for Unusual Children.

Roma (1972): Read Alfred Ealker’s review. The Criterion Collection gets their mitts on some more experimental ; now, if they can only land CassanovaBuy Fellini Roma.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971): Read Alfred Eaker’s review. Not a “special edition”; Zandor Vorkov’s Dracula-in-an-afro is all the specialness anyone needs in a single Blu-ray. Buy Dracula vs. Frankenstein [Blu-ray].

Dreamscape (1984): A psychic tries to rescue the President of the United States, who’s trapped inside his own nightmares. Shout! Factory issues this 80s pop-surreal cheese in a “Collector’s Edition” full of featurettes and extras. Buy Dreamscape [Collector’s Edition Blu-ray].

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Unusual Children (2016): See description in DVD above. Buy Miss Peregrine’s Home for Unusual Children Blu-ray.

Roma (1972):See description in DVD above. Buy Fellini Roma [Blu-ray].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

A ‘Pitch-Dark’ Diorama (2016): An interviewer talks to an author about his completion of another writer’s work; the plot slips between parallel realities as the book’s story interweaves with real events. A rare example of independent surreal/horror cinema from India. It’s serialized in five parts on YouTube, and also available via torrent. Free to watch, but donations are accepted at the filmmaker’s website.

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.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 11/25/2016

Our weekly 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 at the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Always Shine (2016): The rivalry of two struggling young actresses turns less friendly when they take a vacation together to Big Sur. Comparisons to , Persona follow. Always Shine official site.

Evolution (2015): Our own Alex Kittle described it as a “quiet, subtle sci-fi mystery about an island of pale-faced women who have found a way to propagate without men” and says it “definitely isn’t for everyone.” Of course, every movie we love here pretty much by definition isn’t for everyone. Evolution Facebook page (mostly in French).

Tank 432 [AKA Belly of the Bulldog] (2015): Post-apocalyptic mercenaries seek refuge in an abandoned tank that becomes a prison. The feature debut of ‘s cameraman Nick Gillespie (Wheatley produced). Tank 432 official site.

SCREENINGS – (New York City, IFC Center, 11/25-11/26 (midnights):

Wild at Heart (1990)/Fire Walk with Me (1992): IFC Center continues its unofficial “ at Midnight” series, rotating out Blue Velvet but keeping the Certified Weird / road movie Wild at Heart on screen and adding the “Twin Peaks” wrap-up Fire Walk With Me. Also playing all week at IFC: Evolution (see description in “limited release” above). Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me at IFC Center.

SCREENINGS – (Los Angeles, Cinefamily, 11/25-11/28):

Delicatessen (1991): Read the Certified Weird entry! A post-apocalyptic post-Thanksgiving feast; Friday evening’s screening also includes a potluck leftovers dinner. Also at Cinefamily: Evolution (see description in “limited release” above) plays all week, and Larry Cohen hosts a double feature of God Told Me To and The Stuff (tonight only, starts at 10:30 PM PST). Delicatessen at Cinefamily,

SCREENINGS – (Silver Spring, MD, AFI Silver Theater, 11/27-11/30):

Persona (1966): Read the Certified Weird entry! For those in the D.C. area, a rare chance to catch a must-see weird film on the big screen. Persona at AFI Silver Theater.

FILM FESTIVALS – Monster Fest (Melbourne, Australia, 11/23-27):

There’s nothing really new debuting here (except perhaps to Australians, who seem to be the last stop on the festival circuit), but there’s plenty of cool stuff playing at this small but stocked film festival. If our trusty time zone converter is correct, there’s still time for Aussies to get out to today’s 11:00 AM screening of the marvelous Spanish animated fantasy Psychonauts: The Forgotten Children. Other films worth checking out for the underground crowd down under include the pregnancy horror Antibirth (Nov. 26), the restoration of ‘s unfinished sci-fi epic On the Silver Globe (Nov. 27), and the -ish closing film The Greasy Strangler (Nov 27, with cast members Sky Elobar and “disco cutie” Elizabeth De Razzo in attendance). Monster Fest 2016 official site,

NEW ON DVD:

Magnetic (2015): Who knows what the plot is—apparently those who’ve watched it are just as much in the dark as we are—but we infer that the world will end on Dec. 31 unless Alice defeats members of the Daughters of Ra cult. Amazon reviews are full of one-star reviews that include thoughts like “This was a very weird movie, and usually I like weird movies, but even when it got to the end I didn’t really understand exactly what was going on.” Buy Magnetic.

Yoga Hosers (2016): The second entry in an announced “True North Trilogy” (the first was 2014’s Tusk), this horror-comedy stars director ‘s daughter Harley Quinn and ‘s daughter Lily-Rose as a pair of Canadian teens fighting an invasion of Nazi sausages (!) Critics hated it, but apparently Smith included some prophylactic anti-critic jokes, so that’s probably why he got the negative reviews, eh?  Buy Yoga Hosers.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Rabid (1977):  directs ex-adult star Marilyn Chambers in an early example of his pioneering “venereal horrors.” Shout! Factory packs this collector’s edition Blu-ray with extras both new and old, including two separate commentary tracks (one from Cronenberg and one by scholar William Beard). Buy Rabid [Collector’s Edition Blu-ray].

Yoga Hosers (2016): See description in DVD above. Buy Yoga Hosers Blu-ray].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON VIMEO:

Psychic Snakebite (2016):The tagline calls it “a 100% green screen nihilistic thriller.” Add “experimental,” because it’s full of double images, odd tinting, and strange sound design (the main characters have been dubbed into Mandarin and supplied with subtitles). The 60-minute film involves terrorists on a jetliner and is rated “Mature.” Watch Psychic Snakebite on Vimeo.

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.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 10/28/2016

Our weekly 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 at the official site links.

SCREENINGS – (Los Angeles, Cinefamily, Sunday, Oct. 30):

The Tingler (1959): Read Shane Wilson’s review. Vincent Price frees the creature that lives in all of our spines that causes the fight response, and also takes LSD (wonder if those two are connected?) This screening will be shown in ‘s original “Percepto” format—i.e., theater patrons seats will be wired for electricity, and random people will receive shocks to the tuckus when the creature escapes the screen and flees into the audience. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for sure. The Tingler at Cinefamily.

SCREENINGS – (Silver Spring, MD, AFI Silver Theater, Fri., Oct. 28):

Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (1922): Read the Certified Weird entry! D.C. metro residents can get their Halloween weekend off to a terrifying start with ‘s essential occult vampire film, with a live score by the Silent Orchestra. Also at AFI Silver this week: ‘s no-exit masterpiece The Exterminating Angel on Sunday at 3:00 PM. Nosferatu at the AFI Silver Theater.

NEW ON DVD:

“The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast”: Fourteen definitively awful exploitation and gore hits (including, of course, the atrocious Blood Feast and the abysmal The Wizard of Gore) spread across seventeen discs (eight DVDs and nine Blu-rays). Unpacking it all would take a separate article, but suffice it to say there are a few extra bonus features in this sprawling Limited Edition set from Arrow; two Blu-rays and a DVD here are exclusive to this set. Buy “The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast” [DVD/Blu-ray combo Limited Edition].

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

The Exorcist III (1990): Read Eric Young’s review. A 2-disc collector’s edition with both the theatrical and director’s cuts and a legion of supplements. Buy The Exorcist III [Collector’s Edition Blu-ray].

“The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast”: See description in DVD above. Buy “The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast” [DVD/Blu-ray combo Limited Edition].

Manhattan Baby (1982): An evil spirit from an Egyptian tomb possesses a young New York girl and turns her into a murder machine. Another  horror that straddles the fine line between the surreal and the incompetent; this Limited Edition  from Blue Underground includes a disc of extras and the soundtrack CD. Buy Manhattan Baby Limited Edition.

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

Queer Duck: The Movie (2006): The adventures of anthormorphic gay animals, including the title fowl and his lover, Openly Gator (groan). In this episode, Queer tries to go hetero in this “South Park”-esque “straight”-to-video satirical cartoon, with musical numbers like “Smile, You Bastard, Smile.” Watch Queer Duck: The Movie 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.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 10/14/2016

Our weekly 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 at the official site links.

SCREENINGS – (Los Angeles, Cinefamily, Mon., 10/17):

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010): (or “Joe,” as his American friends call him) will be in attendance to discuss his Certified Weird mystical breakthrough about death and reincarnation as part of Cinefamily’s “Celebration of the Uncanny in 11 parts.” Joe sticks around until Wednesday for a second of 11 parts of the celebration when his latest, the narcoleptic Cemetery of Splendors, screens. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives at Cinefamily.

SCREENINGS – (Los Angeles, Bob Baker Marionette Theater, Tues., 10/17):

Santa Sangre (1989): Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s armless serial killer movie is probably his most Halloween-y feature. Screens as a double feature with Hammer‘s Vampire Circus, with cocktails, live circus acts and other surprises (one presumes Bob Baker has scary marionettes prepared). Off site but hosted by Cinefamily, naturally. Santa Sangre at Bob Baker Marionette Theater.

SCREENINGS – (Silver Spring, MD, AFI Silver Theater, Fri., 10/14):

Certified Weird Triple Feature: OK, these three movies all played at AFI last week, and they are not officially a triple feature (tickets sold separately), and we don’t think the programmers have been reading this column, but come on? How often do three Certified Weird movies line up by chance at a single venue? That’s right, you can catch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at 5:15, segue into Daisies at 7:15, and cap it off with Blue Velvet at 9:00. It’s like an introductory course in weirdness. AFI Silver Theater.

IN DEVELOPMENT:

Abracadabra (2017): Director and actress (of the Certified Weird silent Snow White adaptation Blancanieves) reunite for this black comedy. The plot will follow Verdu’s efforts to rid her husband of an evil spirit and, according to Cineuropa, will “straddl[e] terror and ludicrousness.” More info at Cineuropa.

Re-Animator: Evolution (2017): A remake of the  short story about a mad doctor bringing the dead to life. This version, by Serge Levin, with Johnathon Schaech co-scripting and starring as Herbert West, will attempt to make a true horror film out of the story that was previously adapted (with incredible success) as a transgressive black comedy by  and . Skepticism abounds in these offices, but read more at Bloody Disgusting.

Small Star Seminar (est. 201?): Collaborative film project by and starring The American Astronaut‘s as a singing motivational speaker traveling the country and inspiring people to dream small. He’s accepting donations through Fractured Atlas (a new crowdfunding platform we’ve never heard of before). In the accompanying video, McAbee implies he might accept a couch to crash on in your town in lieu of a donation. Small Star Seminar at Fractured Atlas.

NEW ON DVD:

The Astro-Zombies (1968): In a very slow week for weird movie releases, you might take a chance on this Ted V. Mikels proto-slasher mad scientist atrocity, starring John Carradine and busty Tura Satana as some kind of Iron Curtain Mata Hari. The optional commentary track by Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett may make it all tolerable. Buy Astro-Zombies.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

The Astro-Zombies (1968): See description in DVD above. This is one of Wayne “Trapper John” Rodgers’s two produced movie scripts (the other was Dr. Sex). Buy Astro-Zombies [Blu-ray].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

Purge (2010): Set in the “257th parallel universe,” the protagonist is a dominatrix unhappy with her assigned role in a totalitarian society. Director David King says it’s “an experiment in using a variety of  unusual techniques to create a dystopian reality with virtually no money… influenced by Jean-Luc Godard’s more intellectual films of the 1970’s and visually by George Lucas’s THX1138.” Watch Purge 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.

LIST CANDIDATE: COLLECTIVE: UNCONSCIOUS (2016)

DIRECTED BY: Lily Baldwin, Frances Bodomo, Daniel Patrick Carbone, Josephine Decker, Lauren Wolkstein

FEATURING: Will Blomker, Ryan Cassata, Frank Mosley, Tonya Pinkins

PLOT: In this experimental compilation, five filmmakers adapt each other’s dreams into short films.

WHY IT MIGHT MAKE THE LIST: As both a film depicting dreams and as a formal experiment, the project presents a pressing case for inclusion on the list of the weirdest films ever made. There are a number of arresting images within this film and some truly bizarre moments.

COMMENTS: Dreams have always proved a tantalizing subject for filmmakers. Arriving from the unfettered unconscious mind with surreal imagery and associations to codify our thoughts, feelings and memories, dreams have forever enticed filmmakers to realize these bewildering experiences on screen. However, translating this phenomenon presents a number of challenges. One is budgetary, because of the opulent settings and fantastical creatures that can be found in a dream. Another is sensory: despite film’s ability to engross us it remains an outside object, never as immersive as the internal, subjective experience of dreaming.

Successful translators of the experience, such as , recognize the limitations of film immersion and focus on pacing and juxtaposition of image and sound to recreate the atmosphere and “feel” of dreams. Surrealism as an artistic movement is deeply tied to the unconscious and dreams, so it is hardly surprising that one other successful interpreter is Surrealist filmmaker , who overcame budgetary restraints through jarring combinations of everyday objects and people in unconventional ways.

Film compilations also come with their own separate challenges. Unless there is a strong through line each segment will have a different tone and pace, and invariably some episodes will be more satisfying than others. Throw in some deeply personal dreams as subject matter and you could have a hotchpotch of cinema that doesn’t gel together as a whole. Despite the technical sophistication and invention of each filmmaker—none of whom are familiar to me, so I can’t comment on the clash/serendipitous mix of subject and filmmaking styles within—I’m afraid this is the case here.

The film opens with its linking device, a man addressing the camera and attempting to hypnotize us, luring us to sleep and imploring us to lower our resistance, as dream logic demands. It is an effective device to prep us for the experience, if, like most wraparounds, narratively weak on its own. There follows some pretty if perfunctory animation from Maya Edelman before the film begins proper with arguably its most successful segment, “Black Soil, Green Grass,” directed by Daniel Patrick Carbone from a dream by Lauren Wolkstein. Combining Lynch and Buñuel’s techniques, it successfully creates a surreal, dream-like atmosphere through unusual juxtapositions of the everyday: a watchtower that inexplicably pipes a recording of a man counting sheep through loudspeakers, a man encircled Continue reading LIST CANDIDATE: COLLECTIVE: UNCONSCIOUS (2016)

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 8/12/2016

Our weekly 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 at the official site links.

SCREENINGS – (Los Angeles, Cinefamily, 8/16):

The Devil (1972): Read El Rob Hubbard’s review! The posthumous lovefest continues with this medieval period piece about a Polish nobleman and a mysterious Mephistolean manipulator. From a newly restored print. Devil is surely scheduled for a video release soon. Also at Cinefamily this week: 1973’s Touki Bouki, Africa’s first surrealist film (tonight at 7:30 PM PST), ‘s Multiple Maniacs (all week), and the Waters-esque new release The Greasy Strangler (“offsite at the Ace”—we confess we don’t know exactly what that means, but assume Los Angelinos will be able to figure it out). Check it all out on the Cinefamily calendar.

NEW ON DVD:

Baskin (2015): Turkish midnight movie about cops who are lured into the entrance to Hell. A Blu-ray/DVD combo pack from Shout! Factory with no advertised special features. Buy Baskin.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Basket Case 2 (1990): Duane and his former Siamese twin (who lives in a basket) hide out in a home for wayward freaks. The sequel is campier and more deliberately comedy oriented than the original, and 2 is mainly notable for its creative (if cheap) monster designs. Buy Basket Case 2 [Blu-ray].

Basket Case 3: The Progeny (1991): The final installment of the Basket Case saga sees Belial fathering a litter of freaks with his better (?) half. Widely regarded as a disappointing end to the franchise. Buy Basket Case 3 [Blu-ray].

Baskin (2015): See description in DVD above. Buy Baskin.

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES:

collective:unconscious (2016): Five underground directors (Dan Carbone, Josephine Decker, Lauren Wolkstein, Lily Baldwin, and Frances Bodomo) take turns interpreting each others’ dreams. Per producer Dan Schoenbrun, “We’ve decided to release the full feature online for free … It’s such a strange film that we don’t think we’d stand much of a chance in the traditional marketplace, but we think we’ve made something really unique and special, and we have faith that audiences will connect with it if we make it freely available.” We’ll review it soon, but in the meantime here are some links to view or download it:

Bit Torrent – this download includes supplemental material, a song mix, and a remixed edit of the film (the “Nyquil” cut)

Vimeo – stream, or download the film without the extra features

YouTube – stream only

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.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 6/10/2016

Our weekly 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 at the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Misirlou (2016): The plot has something to do with a gang of surfers killing people to extract a drug from their adrenal glands. The NSFW trailer makes it look like a blend of The Doors, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Pulp Fiction, Surf Nazis Must Die, and Spring Breakers. Misirlou official site.

Tikkun (2015): A devout Hasidic Jew comes back from a near-death experience as a lusty hedonist. Devin Faraci of “birth. movies. death.” called it “one of the most strikingly weird movies I have seen this year.Tikkun official site.

SCREENINGS – (IFC Center, New York City, Jun 10 & 11 at midnight):

El Topo (1970): Read the Certified Weird entry! IFC has already screened their restored print of ‘s surreal Biblical spaghetti western a couple of times this summer; this could be your only chance to see this weird classic on the big screen. El Topo at IFC Center.

SCREENINGS – (Cinefamily, Los Angeles, CA, Jun 11, 13-14):

The Devils (1971): Due to a new print in circulation, screenings of ‘s hysterical arthouse nunsploitation classic no longer qualify as “rare.” But the question remains: where the hell is the DVD/Blu-ray? The Devils at Cinefamily.

NEW ON DVD:

Anomalisa (2015): Read Alex Kittle & G. Smalley’s dual review. ‘s melancholy existential puppet theater piece about a fling between an alienated motivational speaker and a plain-Jane fan. Buy Anomalisa style=.

Dead 7 (2016): In a post-apocalyptic world, a cowboy, a samurai, a mime, and four others team up to fight zombies. In one of the Sharknado producers trademark gimmicks, the SyFy channel hired  ex-members of the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, and other boy bands to play the heroes. Buy Dead 7 style=.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953): Read the Certified Weird entry! Dress us up in bock beer suds! It’s fantabulous to see Dr. Seuss’s surreal musical finally on Blu-ray—we do wish it was in an elaborate Criterion edition rather than this bare-bones Mill Creek release, but beggars can’t be choosers. Buy The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T [Blu-ray].

Anomalisa (2015): See description in DVD above. Buy Anomalisa [Blu-ray] style=.

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

Jacob’s Ladder (1990): Read the Certified Weird entry! Among major studios, Paramount has become the standard-bearer for free online content; now they’ve put up the Certified Weird psychological thriller about a Vietnam vet seeing demons (and worse) on the streets of New York. Watch Jacob’s Ladder 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.