Category Archives: Free Online Weird Movies


DIRECTED BY: Peter Bogdanovich (using the pseudonym Derek Thomas)

FEATURING: Mamie van Doren

PLOT: Three cosmo—I mean, astro-nauts—are sent to Venus to rescue two missing comrades,while Venusian blondes in seashell bras pester them from afar by sending volcanoes, thunderstorms and dinosaurs to hinder them.

Still from Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968)

WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: Prehistoric Women is a classic Frankenstein-film, stitched together from various pieces of footage lying around the studio. The movie was made from dubbed footage from the Soviet space opera Planeta Bur, some effects from a second Soviet science fiction film, new voiceover narration which changes the focus of the original plot, and added scenes shot years later featuring English-speaking actors. Not only is the discrepancy between film stocks, soundtracks and atmospheres disorienting, but the new footage of (top-billed) Mamie van Doren and other scantily clad, pterodactyl worshiping Venusian dames is itself bizarre. This makes Prehistoric Women a worthy curiosity, if one for specialized tastes. Unfortunately, the movie is neither entertaining nor demented enough to merit inclusion among the 366 Best Weird Movies of all time.

COMMENTS: Though it was seriously intended, the original 1962 Soviet space opera that forms the bedrock stratum of Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women was not a great movie. Looking at it from a post-Cold War perspective, the most valuable thing about it is the revelation that, despite petty ideologically differences, the US and the USSR were not so different as we supposed at the time: both societies assumed that nearby planets in our shared solar system would probably be inhabited by dinosaurs. Technically speaking, the special effects are highly variable: the hovercar looks great, the giant-tentacled cosmonaut-eating Venus flytrap is not bad, the tin-can robot is standard Forbidden Planet surplus issue, and the men in dinosaur suits are as cheesy as anything you might see in a low-budget 1950s American sci-fi epic. The color, which was tinted from the original black and white, is extremely washed out in surviving prints, a look that producer and director Bogdanovich managed to keep consistent for the new sequences; or, maybe, the passage of time did their work for them. The muted colors add another layer of unreality to the film.

Looking at the original Soviet film, you have to believe that Corman was onto something: what this movie really needed was a bunch of sunbathing, telepathic, pterodactyl-worshiping sirens in skintight pants and clamshell bras to liven things up. The gratuitous mermaid babe sequences are the most memorable parts. Every time the explorers face an environmental Venusian threat like a volcano or thunderstorm, it turns out the ladies’ pagan ceremonies were the cause. Their siren scenes, which all take place on a single rocky beach, are accompanied by an eerie, wordless keening, and the fact that the prehistoric witches never speak except in voiceover does add a legitimately dreamlike feel to these sequences. Prehistoric Women is slow (and incoherent) by contemporary standards, but the patient viewer seeking a cinematic experience that’s the equivalent of a fractured dream half-remembered after falling asleep on the couch at 2 A.M. while watching a sci-fi marathon on a UHF station will find this to be mildly rewarding.

This was the ever-frugal Corman’s second attempt to recycle footage from Planeta Bur. In 1965 he released the same Russian footage, with different inserts, as Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet. The earlier film featured a few scenes of top-billed star Basil Rathbone as a mission control type back on earth, barking extraneous orders to the stranded cosmonauts that were relayed to them through yet another unnecessary character. Mamie and her buxom coven were a big upgrade over Basil, and not just in pulchritude; without the ridiculous Venusian siren subplot, Prehistoric Planet was a much duller experience, while remaining just as confusing.

Because Corman was too cheap to renew the copyrights on his 50s and 60s movies, Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women fell into the public domain.  It can be found on many bargain-priced compilations or can be legally viewed or downloaded by anyone through the Internet Archive or other sites.


“…[the] very peculiar ending… has a weird B movie pulp poetry to it.”–Richard Scheib, Moria: The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review (DVD)


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


Where the Wild Things Are: Weird director Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation) takes a crack at adopting the titular classic 1963 children’s book, with the blessing of author Maurice Sendack.  Unlikely to be weird, but the previews show Jonze has done a remarkable job of bringing Sendack’s fanciful illustrations to life, and it’s always interesting to see what Spike’s up to.  Is this a one-off moneymaking detour for Jonze, or will a big hit here make him renounce his weird proclivities?  His followup project, an adaptation of Shane Jones’ weird novel “Light Boxes” about a town that battles eternal February (projected for a 2011 release) suggests we haven’t lost him yet.  Where the Wild Things Are official site.


Drag Me To Hell (2009):  Read our capsule reviewSam Raimi‘s multiplex-friendly classic horror film isn’t weird, but it is an effective and well-made thrillride that has lots of in-jokes for Evil Dead II fans. Buy from Amazon.

Hardware (1990):  Fangoria calls this long-unavailable post-apocalyptic sci-fi horror film about a man who finds a robot head in the desert “gritty, trippy and frightening.. one of the best horror movies you’ve never seen!”  Sounds intriguing to us, particularly since director Richard Staley followed this up with Dust Devil (1992), another horror film with a reputation for surrealistic tendencies that’s been on our radar for a while. Buy from Amazon

Land of the Lost (2009):  Read our capsule review.  Juvenile Will Ferrel comedy that’s a bit weird, but only by summer blockbuster standards. Buy from Amazon.

Natural Born Killers (1994):  This week sees a new 2-disc “director’s cut” version Oliver Stone’s controversial, violent, hallucinogenic satire on America’s fascination with violence, which on release was way too weird for mainstream critics to swallow.  The movie’s not perfect, but it is quite trippy, well-intentioned, and much better than received critical opinion would lead you to believe.  Look to these pages for a full review in the future. Buy from Amazon


Drag Me To Hell (2009):  See DVD review above. Buy Blu-ray from Amazon.

Land of the Lost (2009): See DVD review above. Buy Blu-ray from Amazon

Natural Born Killers (1994): See DVD review above. Buy Blu-ray from Amazon

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999): After four cardboard cutout children see a Canadian R-rated movie, America declares war on their neighbors to the north; Saddam Hussein and Satan get worked into the plot as well. We haven’t seen it, but we can guess what you’ll get from watching the TV show: the usual blend of clever plotting, bits of pop-absurdity, spotty satire and crude, cruel humor, with the R-rating giving the creators an excuse to focus on the last element. This popular title is finally available on Blu-Ray. Buy Blu-ray from Amazon.


Carnival of Souls (1998): NOT the creepy 1968 Herk Harvey/Candice Hilligoss classic (which can be seen for free here, among other places), but a remake-in-name-only with a horrible reputation, about a pedophile clown.  Interesting mainly because it’s almost universally reviled; watch only if you want to see how low filmmakers can sink in their quest for a buck.  Watch Carnival of Souls (1998) free on YouTube.

Salome’s Last Dance (1988):  One of Ken Russell‘s rarer films is now available for streaming.  By all accounts, the director plays this period piece about a staging of Oscar Wilde’s infamous banned play “Salome” in a brothel relatively straight, but it’s still Ken Russell, so expect ample baroque perversity.  Watch Salome’s Last Dance free on YouTube.

Taxi Driver (1979):  No, we’re not kidding: you can now watch the Martin Scorcese/Robert DeNiro urban alienation classic for free on YouTube, courtesy of Crackle.  Not very weird, at least up until the ambiguous ending, but a consistently fascinating character study of a decaying mind and a classic of 1970s filmmaking.  Watch Taxi Driver 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.


“Sultana Meadows” is a fine example of the delightful, under appreciated shorts by Spike McKenzie.  The unsettling images throughout this video are quite reminiscent of David Lynch, and paint a very weird and wonderful picture.

Relationships tend to slowly draw away our good side, and expose the bad.  Mayhap you’ll have much in common with this journey into the bizarre.

For more of Spike visit his YouTube account. I strongly recommend his mock kids show, “Wonderbang Island”.


Another Saturday brings another short film for our readers.

This week was exceptionally difficult, but with some help I selected another short film, “Henri” directed by Will Braden. Henri is a feline who is going to show us a different view on the seemingly carefree life of a house cat. Although this clip is not very weird, it is quite amusing, and certainly worth viewing. Give it a shot. Henri enjoys the attention.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.



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.


“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


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.