Category Archives: Free Online Weird Movies

SATURDAY SHORT: RED HOT DROPS

Today’s Saturday Short is a music video made by Chad Vangaalen.   Chad is a musician and artist from Canada who rarely leaves his basement, where he is constantly working.  Besides his passion for music and the visual arts, Chad also has a passion for skateboarding.

In the video you’ll see that Chad’s music style is a combination of indie, folk, pop, and experimental.   He has created a few stop motion videos to advertise his latest album, “Soft Airplane,” but in his other videos he uses computer animation.

Originally, I wanted to use the music video to “Molten Light.”  I find the animation as well as the music to be much better, but this video is a little too graphic for our site.  There are sequences of strong comic violence and nudity throughout.  If that content doesn’t bother you click here.

If you enjoy the music be sure to look up Chad’s alias, “Black Mold,” as well.  He just released an album under the name.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 9/18/09

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.

SPECIAL EVENTS:

The Wizard of Oz (1939) – 70th Anniversary Hi-Def Event:  Finally, flying monkeys in high definition!  This remastered re-release of the fantasy classic, with bonus features, is playing on Wednesday, September 23 only, in theaters across the country (click here for the list).  Definitely an event.

SCREENINGS (NEW YORK CITY; TEMPE, AZ.):

Devil Girl (2007):  This low budget “hallucinatory” horror road-trip features strippers, a drug-addled clown, and a literal devil girl.  It’s getting a token release at the Times Square Art Theater in New York City tonight only, and at a single theater in Tempe, Arizona tonight and tomorrow night (Sep 18-19); scheduled to arrive on DVD in early November.  Devil Girl official site.

NEW ON DVD:

An American Werewolf in London (1981):  This werewolf black comedy is more offbeat than weird, but on release it was was a trailblazer in the modern horror/comedy genre, and the film has a definite cult following who may be interested in a new, remastered special edition release. Buy from Amazon.

Army of Darkness: Screwhead Edition (1992): Read our capsule review of the third entry in Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy here.   It appears Anchor Bay’s contract to distribute Army is up, necessitating a new release from Universal.  Unfortunately, this means that the excellent bonus features on the Anchor Bay release are now out of print, and this new release is sparse on extras, with no commentary.  The Screwhead edition does include an alternate ending and the new featurette “Creating the Deadites,” but it rabid fans believe this release must have been created by a bunch of primitive screwheads.  Completists can buy from Amazon.

Deadgirl (2009):  Controversial, provocative fable about horny high-school boys who discover the plastic-wrapped body of a naked woman in an abandoned mental hospital; is she dead, alive, or neither, and what will they do about it?  It appears to be an extreme allegory on the objectification of women; many audience members were reported to have walked out of theatrical screenings due to the (ahem) “strong” scenes. Buy from Amazon.

Grace (2009):  Indie horror about a mother whose baby is born undead; first time feature director Paul Solet expanded Grace to a full length movie from an award-winning short that Fangoria called “superbly bizarre.” Buy from Amazon.

John Carpenter: Master of Fear:  Four of sometimes cult director John (Dark Star; Big Trouble in Little China) Carpenter’s lesser horror efforts collected in a single budget set.  Includes The Thing (1982), the jewel of the set, along with Prince of Darkness (1987), They Live (1988), and the mediocre 1995 remake of The Village of the Damned.  The four movies are on two discs, so extras are unlikely. Buy from Amazon.

Phantasm II (1988): Reggie Banister and Angus Scrimm return in this belated sequel to Phantasm (read entry), already certified as one of the 366 best weird movies ever made.  Dedicated Phanatics seem to love it, but most mainstream reviewers were unkind; at any rate, this long out-of-print film definitely deserves a revival. Buy from Amazon

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

An American Werewolf in London (1981):  See the DVD listing above. Buy blu-ray from Amazon.

Army of Darkness (1992):  See the DVD listing above. Buy Blu-ray from Amazon.

Hero [Ying xiong] (2002):  Beautiful looking, poetic epic martial arts film with a Rashomon-style storyline.  It became an international crossover hit, and is available on this standalone release and a bundled release (see below). Buy from Amazon.

The Ultimate Force of Four:  Another budget blu-ray bundle of some of the more renowned wuxia films: Iron Monkey (1993),  Legend of the Drunken Master (1994), Hero (2002) (see above), and The Blind Swordsman Zatoichi (2003).  A nice selection of films to start a collection in this genre. Buy from Amazon.

NEW FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) ON YOUTUBE:

Fear X (2003):  Danish thriller with John Turturro, mysterious visions, and an ambiguous ending.  Watch free on YouTube.

BMC: B-MOVIE CLASSICS:

Even more free online viewing experiences, courtesy of the American Movie Classics cable channel.  The main drawback is low picture quality, and the fact that a lot of these are public domain movies that could be viewed elsewhere commercial free.  Selected titles are listed below, or you can browse all the selections here.

Carnival of Souls (1962): We’ve certified this sublimely creepy low-budget wonder about a church organist out-of-sync with reality as one of the 366 best weird movies of all time (read entry); here’s another way to watch it.  Watch Carnival of Souls free.

Dark Star (1974):  John Carpenter’s sci-fi spoof feature debut.  Watch Dark Star free.

The Prisoner (1967): Not a b-movie, and in fact not a movie; this is the existential/surreal BBC spy series starring Patrick McGoohan as a “retired” secret agent (known only as “Number Six”) trapped (for undisclosed reasons) in a village on an remote island patrolled by deadly balloons.   The bizarre final episode blew everyone’s minds in 1967, when minds were hard to blow indeed.  Watch The Prisoner free.

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.

CAPSULE: WHITE ZOMBIE (1932)

Recommended

DIRECTED BY: Victor Halperin

FEATURING: Bela Lugosi

PLOT: A Haitian plantation owner seeks the help of local witch doctor and zombie mogul ‘Murder’ Legendre (Bela Lugosi) to bewitch another man’s bride.

Still from White Zombie (1932)

WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LISTWhite Zombie can send quite the uncanny chill down your spine and is well worth a look for those seeking to soak up some classic Gothic atmosphere, but its weird elements are too submerged for it to make the List.

COMMENTS: Although talkies had been around for five years when White Zombie came out, the film is suffused with the sensibility of a silent movie, with the machinations of mustachioed villains causing damsels in flapper bobs to daintily faint.  The players still use the exaggerated facial expressions and physical gestures of actors used to conveying emotions by pantomime, and when they do speak, they over-inflect, as if concerned with projecting their words into the last rows of a theater.  This mannered, operatic style, where the characters magnify their fear, grief, malice and wonder in an recognizable but unnatural way, plays right into Bela Lugosi’s larger-than-life persona.  The Hungarian, here again the soul of suave degeneracy, dominates the proceedings in what may be the second best performance of his career.  In an era where we’ve become used to completely naturalistic performances and sets, White Zombie‘s primitive aesthetic seems romantic and, yes, a little weird; when this stately style is wedded to such a stark good versus evil storyline, the results can be magical, if you allow yourself to fall under its spell.  Even the grain in the picture, the hiss in the soundtrack, and the jumps where a few frames of film are missing add to the dreamlike effect. (Watching White Zombie, it’s easy to see how Guy Maddin became intoxicated with this era of film).  The narrative holds few surprises, there are dry patches, and the action climax isn’t exactly a thrill ride.  But White Zombie features many wonderfully disquieting moments that worm their way under your skin and make you squirm in your seat, including the Haitian funeral set to ancient African tribal chants and the damned souls powering the creaking mill wheel at Legendre’s sugar cane factory.

This was the first film to bring the Haitian idea of the zombie—a soulless, re-animated corpse brought to life by a combination of drugs and witchcraft—to the cinema.  Lugosi, just a year off Dracula, was a hot horror commodity but a notoriously bad businessman: he only received $800 for the role of Legendre. 

White Zombie is in the public domain and therefore can be found in many different DVD packages. The best picture comes from the restored Roan Group print (now released by Alpha Video). Although the source material used is not pristine, the best value is Mill Creek’s Horror Classics 50 Movie Pack Collection (also containing Carnival of Souls and several other worthwhile titles, along with some stunning losers like Creature from the Haunted Sea). White Zombie is also in the public domain and can be legally viewed or downloaded for free at the Internet Archive.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“Contemporary critics  found White Zombie childish, old-fashioned, and melodramatic.  They might have allowed that it was also a Gothic fairy tale filled with traditional symbols, dreamlike imagery, echoes of Romanticism, and (probably unintentional) psychosexual imagery.”–Carlos Clarens, An Illustrated History of Horror and Science-Fiction Films

SATURDAY SHORT: NACHTMAHR GEISTERGANG

This week’s short, Nachtmahr: Geistergang, (Nightmare: Ghost Trail) was written by another fan of ours, Kacper Radecki.   This is visually and aurally one of the stranger shorts I’ve come across.  Each scene is quite unique. There’s a creature (which took an entire week to make the costume for) dancing in the forest, a series of ruins, a pipe scene, and a bug trying to escape a jar. All of which, along with the whispers and screams in the background, make it true to it’s title; a nightmare.

Kacper is a self-taught photographer and director who plans to study film in the United States in 2010. Our best wishes go out to him in furthering his passion for film.

For a look at Kacper’s photography visit this link.

366 EXCLUSIVE: “9″

We are pleased to debut Alfred Eaker and Robbin Panet’s short film film “9” on the web.  This is the movie they made for the 2009 48 Hour Film Festival.  The rules of the contest festival are simple: every team has only 48 hours to complete the film, and each must incorporate three elements given by the festival : a character name, a line of dialogue, and a prop.  Look for a character named “Professor Sherman Kane,” a ball, and the line “I’m not talking to you.”

Rather than making a straightforward short that looked like everyone else, “9” takes an experimental approach, becoming a sepia-hued exploration of domestic abuse through the generations, in a Western setting.  The bizarre free-association poetry of John M. Bennet replaces traditional narration.  It runs approximately seven and a half minutes.

Alfred’s description of the making of the film can be read in his Reflections on the 48 Hour Film Festival and the “9” Diary.

9

[Our license to display “9” has expired.  We will inform you if this film is released, on DVD or otherwise, in the future.]

At the producers’ request, this film will not be released to YouTube or other video hosting sites, and will be available here for one month only.  UPDATE: Because this film was reviewed and linked from Rogue Cinema, we are leaving the film up for another week, until October 12, 2009.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 9/4/09

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.

Sadly, there’s nothing of even marginal weird interest debuting in American theaters this week.

NEW ON DVD:

TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Horror—House of Wax (1953) / The Haunting (1963) / Freaks (1932) / Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941):  All good movies, but it’s Freaks, Tod Browning’s one-of-a-kind disquieting exploitation fable, that catches our attention here.  Weird freaks might also get a kick out of seeing Ingrid Bergman’s head used as a champagne cork in Dr. Jekyll. This two double-sided disc set is an interesting way to start a high-end horror DVD collection if you’re not interested in the extras you would get from buying each individual film (all of these films are out on single disc DVDs in more lavish editions). Buy from Amazon.

TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Science Fiction2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)/ Soylent Green (1973)/ Forbidden Planet (1956)/ The Time Machine (1960): All good films, but the obvious weird draw here is 2001, Kubrick’s trippy and ambiguous sci-fi parable about… well, there are lots of theories as to what it’s about.  Apply the same caveats about this set as about the Horror collection above—no extras here, in case you want a definitive edition of a particular movie, but a good way to start a collection of smart science fiction films.  Buy from Amazon.

Not weird, but potentially of interest to some, is TCM’s collection of classic murder mystery/film noir movies including the beloved The Maltese Falcon (1941) along with The Big Sleep (1946), Dial M for Murder (1954), and The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946). Buy from Amazon.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Fire and Ice (1983): Seldom seen animated sword-and-sorcery fantasy by weirdish Rotoscope auteur Ralph Bashki (Coonskin).  Animation fans may want to check out the Rotoscoping, which is said to be much better than the story.   Poster/book cover artist and chainmail-bikini fetishist Frank Frazetta was involved in some capacity. Buy from Amazon.

NEW FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) ON YOUTUBE:

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953):  A boy dreams that his piano teacher is enslaving children on surrealistic sets in this classic weird children’s musical movie with nonsense lyrics by Dr. Seuss.  Show your kids at a young age to ensure they grow up weird.  Too good to watch on YouTube, but if you can’t resist… Watch The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T free on YouTube.

Freakmaker [AKA The Mutations] (1974):  A scientist experiments with mixing human and plant DNA in this bizarre grindhouse wonder that’s almost a remake of Tod Browning’s FreaksWatch Freakmaker free on YouTube.

The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield (1968):  The most exploitative biopic ever made, mixing Jayne’s most salacious footage with the slanderous sexcapades of a “lookalike,” ending with totally tasteless footage of Jayne’s fatal car crash and grieving family.  Incoherent and unbelievable; will leave you feeling fascinated but very dirty.  Watch The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield 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.

FREE (LEGITIMATE) WEIRD MOVIES ON YOUTUBE

In a move that says “if you can’t bring yourself to actually police people uploading copyrighted movies, you might as well encourage copyright holders to upload their own,” YouTube has recently invited movie studios to upload copies of their own movies.

I’m personally against watching full-length movies on YouTube (or any computer service), at least with current technology. The quality of the video is typically so bad that it’s often an insult to the film, and even the most expensive monitor usually provides an inferior viewing experience to an inexpensive television. You also have to deal with clumsy navigation, occasional network outages, and of course, ads. Ads inserted into the YouTube videos are unskippable and occur about once every twenty minutes. But, the service is offered for free, and you get what you pay for.

As might be expected, the initial selection of films is motley. Currently offered are a few moderately popular older movies (like DePalma’s Carrie adaptation and Sylvester Stallone’s Cliffhanger) mixed in with public domain features, some forgotten B-movies that (given their limited audience) might as well have lapsed into the public domain, PBS documentaries, a few Bollywood movies, and some independent productions of varying quality. There are also a few gems on offer. I’ve tried to list some of the titles that may be of interest to our readers (keep in mind that I haven’t viewed any of these all the way through and make no guarantees as to quality or editing).

Animal Farm (1954): The animated version of George Orwell’s classic cautionary fable about the Russian Revolution.  Watch.

Casino Royale (1967): With five directors and an all-star cast (David Niven, Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, Orson Welles and Woody Allen, among others) in an out-of-control nonsense plot, this non-canonical Ian Fleming spy spoof is the weirdest Bond film ever made. Watch.

Do You Like Hitchcock? [Ti Pace Hitchcock?] (2005): Recent Dario Argento thriller/giallo. Watch.

Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Blue Sunshine (1976/1983): This movie about some bad LSD that turns hippies into serial killers years later is viewed as both atmospheric and ridiculous; voluptuous 1980s horror hostess Elvira comments on the latter aspects between commercial breaks. Watch.  Also available for Elvira fans:  Monstroid (watch).

Even Dwarfs Started Small [Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen] (1970): This early Werner Herzog movie about little people overrunning an institution is his most surreal effort.  Watch.  There is actually a wealth of Herzog of youtube courtesy of Anchor Bay: you can also find the classic Aguirre, the Wrath of God (watch), Fitzcarraldo (watch), Woyzeck (watch), and the documentary My Best Fiend about the director’s stormy relationship with intense actor Klaus Kinski (watch). NOTE: As of 5/23/04, the Herzog material has been removed, with the exception of My Best Fiend.

The Film Crew: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett’s post-MST3K direct-to-video
Continue reading FREE (LEGITIMATE) WEIRD MOVIES ON YOUTUBE

FREE ONLINE WEIRD MOVIE ALERT: COMING SOON (2008)

coming_soon

I’ve just been alerted to the presence of a recent surrealist Czech film that is available for viewing for free (with the permission of its owners, of course) online.  The operators of the webiste say the film will be available for online streaming for a limited time only, but don’t give a date for it to be removed.

I have only briefly glanced at it, but it looks like genuine, certified weirdstuff.  A full review in the near future is probable.

WARNING TO VIEWERS:  Although the film does not appear to be explicit, it deals with controversial subjects that may upset some people: bestiality and religion.

The film is called Coming Soon (2008) (not to be confused with the 1999 sex comedy of the same name!), and can be accessed at:

http://www.comingsoon.cz/

In case the server load is too high at the official site, it’s also available in a lower resolution on Google Video:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-152460894465175765&hl=en

The film is in Czech, but with English voiceovers.

From the filmmakers’ synopsis:

COMING SOON can be seen as a documentary about our civilization’s eternal quest for “the perfect balance” between love, tolerance, morality, censorship, tradition, experimentation, etc. COMING SOON can be seen as a futuristic tragi-comedy about civilization’s next “Great Debate”. COMING SOON can be seen as a fantastic adventure through world philosophies – both past, present and future. COMING SOON can be seen as championing the rights of animals and zoophiles.

Inspired by Nietzsche, Svankmajer and Pasolini, Sir Tijn Po and dozens of friends have created a challenging journey for the experimental mind.

The film is also being sold on DVD through the site and through Amazon.com.  If you enjoy the online version, I encourage you to buy the DVD.

CAPSULE: KUNG FU ARTS [HOU FU MA] (1980)

AKA Kung Fu: Monkey, Horse, Tiger

DIRECTED BY: Lee Shi Chieh, Lee Geo Shu

FEATURING: Carter Wong [as Huang Chia-Da], Cheng Shing, Sida the French Monkey Star

PLOT:  A princess marries a chimpanzee, amidst intrigue in the Chinese imperial court.

kung_fu_arts

WHY IT’S ON THE BORDERLINE:  Any film featuring “Sida the French Monkey Star” is at least a little weird.  The main obstacle to Kung Fu Arts cementing a place in the list of 366 is that it’s coming out of the weirdest movie genre of all—those short lived 1970s “chopsocky” movies made quickly, dubbed badly, and exported to the West to cash in on the popularity of Bruce Lee.  When the average entry in this genre features fists that cut the air with a loud swoosh, heavily stylized but amazingly choreographed fight scenes between men wearing brilliantly colored robes, and silly dialogue that surrealistically refuses to keep up with the actor’s lips, the threshold to be considered “weird” rises significantly.  Kung Fu Arts adds monkeys to the formula: monkeys who are addressed by the ensemble as if they were mute actors with a perfect understanding of Cantonese, but monkeys nonetheless.  This is creates a fairly high weirdness quotient, but in the end I decided not to make Kung Fu Arts a finalist, because I have faith there were even more deserving entries out there.  But don’t be surprised to see this movie reconsidered and placed on the list some day in the future.

COMMENTS:  If you’re tuned in to the chopsocky wavelength (and you should be), Kung Fu Arts is an entertaining little picture.  Although it’s somewhat light on fighting, it has wonderful costuming, an intriguing fairy-tale plot, and a reasonable amount of chuckles stemming from the straight-faced acting directed at the primate stars.  From the moment the imperial guards fall to their knees and plead with Sida to come down from the rooftop with the king’s pilfered royal proclamation, to the final battle where a small army of primates help the hero to defeat the evil usurper to the throne, Kung Fu Arts supplies plenty of silly smiles, some intended by the filmmakers, and many unintentional.

Kung Fu Arts is available as part of the Mill Creek 50 Martial Arts Movie Pack.  Because the movie is in the public domain, it’s available for download from Public Domain Torrents.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY: ” The plot is completely nonsensical (though possibly based on some sort of Chinese myth), and it seems like the film was designed mostly for children with some potty humour thrown in for good measure.”–Doug Tilley, Movie Feast (DVD)

4. HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND (1960)

Ein Toter hing im Netz, AKA A Corpse Hangs in the Web [literal translation], It’s Hot in Paradise, and others   

Beware

DIRECTED BY: Fritz Böttger

FEATURING: Alex D’Arcy,  , & buxom German exhibitionists

PLOT:  A plane carrying team of eight dancing girls, along with one male and one female manager, crash into the ocean en route to Singapore.  There they find a cabin with the body of a man hanging in a giant spiderweb.  The lone male is bitten by a spider and turns into a spider-human hybrid, who then briefly terrorizes the girls at a party to celebrate their impending rescue after two men row ashore.



BACKGROUND:

  • With some brief nudity included, this German/Yugoslavian co-production was originally released in the US as a sexploitation feature under the title It’s Hot in Paradise.  After the nudity was clipped out, the movie was re-released under the present title and marketed as a horror film.
  • The movie was featured in the tenth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (show 1011).
  • Horrors of Spider Island is believed to be in the public domain.

INDELIBLE IMAGE:  The puppet-like evil spider, with it’s large, shiny, almost cute eyes and clawed hands.

WHAT MAKES IT WEIRDHorrors of Spider Island takes place in an alternate universe that’s nothing like our own.  The poor dubbing, including a mangled deep south accent, immediately takes us out of reality and makes suspension of disbelief impossible.  The plot is thin as a wire, made to hang chauvinistic male fantasies on, and often seems to be improvised on the spur of the moment.  Horrors of Spider Island already seems like a half-remembered bad dream, even as you’re still watching it.

4 minute clip from the film, including spider attack, courtesy of Something Weird video

COMMENTSHorrors of Spider Island is a movie that falls into the “so-bad-it’s-weird” category.  It’s quite obvious that the film was made with little Continue reading 4. HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND (1960)