Category Archives: Free Online Weird Movies

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 11/4/2011

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 DEVELOPMENT:

Sleepwalker (est. 2012): About a disappearance in a creepy Southwestern town.  The filmmmakers describe the tone as “David Lynch, Hitchcock, and The Twilight Zone mashed up into a strange and surreal puzzle…”  They are soliciting funds via Kickstarter; for as little as a $1 contribution, you could become a micro-movie-mogul.  Sleepwalker Kickstarter page.

NEW ON DVD:

“The Artists: The Best of Kino’s Silent Classics”: An interesting box containing seven classic silents.  The crucial title for weirdophiles is Metropolis (1927); however, be warned that the version included in this set is the 2002 restoration, not Kino’s “Complete” Metropolis from 2010 (reviewed here).  The other films in the star-oriented bundle are Rudolph Valentino in Blood and Sand (1922); Douglas Fairbanks in The Thief of Baghdad (1924); Clara Bow as the original It (1927) girl; 1920’s Dr. Jeckyll & Mister Hyde with John Barrymore, the earliest screen adaptation of the classic tale; Lillian Gish in D.W. Griffith’s Broken Blossoms (1919); and Buster Keaton’s The General (1926).  Buy “The Artists: The Best Of Kino’s Silent Classics Vol. 1”.

Bunraku (2010): Read our capsule review.  This expressionistic comic book detailing the adventures of a samurai and a cowboy in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world is plot-lite but pretty. Buy Bunraku.

Machete Maidens Unleashed! (2010):  Mark Hartley’s followup to Not Quite Hollywood, his surprise hit “Ozploitation” documentary (focusing on obscure Australian exploitation movies) travels this time to the more familiar (to trash aficionados) terrain of the Philippines.  Topics covered include the /Jack Hill women-in-prison flicks, Eddie Romero’s beastly “Blood Island” horrors, and the dwarf James Bond parody For Your Height Only, with interviews from talking heads like Corman and the ubiquitous John Landis.  Buy Machete Maidens Unleashed!.

The Nutcracker: The Untold Story [AKA The Nutcracker in 3-D] (2010):  A version of the Nutcracker re-imagined as a sci-fi-styled quest to restore the deposed Nutcracker to his throne, usurped by the Rat King.  A huge holiday flop in 2010, but of the nearly universally negative reviews, the one that caught our attention was Peter Hartlaub’s notice for the San Francisco Chronicle: “Imagine watching Tchaikovsky’s ballet after taking a handful of peyote…”  It cost a reported $90 million to create, but made back less than $200,000 at the box office.  Of course, the film is not in 3-D on home video, a happy accident that allows Universal to rename this release as The Untold StoryBuy The Nutcracker: The Untold Story.

Tabloid (2011):  Read our capsule review.  Errol Morris’ eccentric documentary about the UK tabloid sensation caused when a former Miss Wyoming (allegedly) kidnapped a Mormon missionary, tied him to the bed for a weekend, and forced him to have sex with her repeatedly. Buy Tabloid.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Bunraku (2010):  See description in DVD above.  Buy Bunraku [Blu-ray].

The Nutcracker: The Untold Story [AKA The Nutcracker in 3-D] (2010):  See description in DVD above. Buy The Nutcracker: The Untold Story [Blu-ray].

ALBUMS:

Crazy Clown Time: We don’t usually mention music here, but we’ll make an exception in this case: it’s David Lynch‘s debut album.  At the age of 65, Mr. Eraserhead has released his first techno album (yes, he sings—well, mostly recites into a vocoder—most of the lyrics).  We’re not music critics, so we won’t comment on the merit of the beats, or demand Dave get out of the studio and back on the set where he belongs.  The album (which officially drops Nov. 8) can currently be streamed via National Public Radio’s websitePre-order David Lynch’s album “Crazy Clown Time”.

WEB SERIES:

The Funny Man: We reported on Jake Barsha’s planned horror thriller featuring a psychopathic comedian serial killer some time ago.  It seems the project has shifted from a feature film to a (quite successful, it seems) 10 episode webseries on dailymotion.   All ten episodes should be up by the time you read this; here’s a link to episode 1 for horror fans.

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

Alice in Wonderland (1972): This Wonderland adaptation made by the BBC has a middle-of-the-road reputation, but some may want to see it for the casting (which is the way they always suck you into seeing yet another version of Alice): Sir Ralph Richardson as the Caterpillar, Peter Sellers as the March Hare, Dudley Moore as the Doormouse.  It’s also a curiosity in that it’s a musical, with a score composed by the great John Barry, lyrics by his Bond collaborator Don Black.  Watch Alice in Wonderland (1972) 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 10/28/2011

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 Rum Diary (2011):  ‘s adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s semi-autobiographical novel about the boozy adventures of hard-drinking expatriate journalists in Puerto Rico in the 1960s.  We’re not expecting it to be anywhere near as hallucinatory as Fear and Loathing, but there is a wealth of talent involved and Johnny Depp looks like he will be doing his spot-on Thompson impression all over again.  The Rum Diary official site.

NEW ON DVD:

Island of Lost Souls (1932):  A classic early horror talkie based on H.G. Wells’ novella “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” the story involves a mad doctor who is bringing human intelligence (and bipedalism) to animals on a deserted island.  Charles Laughton stars as the deranged Moreau and has one of his better roles as the bestial “Sayer of the Law.”  An unusual but very welcome Halloween choice by the Criterion Collection. Buy Island of Lost Souls (Criterion Collection).

Nine Nation Animation (2010): Nine short films (with a tenth “bonus” short), with each selection coming from a different country.  As the trailer illustrates, there are surrealistic images in a good number of these—dig the vacationing family posing in front of the functioning Panzer tank on family vacation and the strange birds being dragged into the sea by tentacles. Buy Nine Nation Animation.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010): Santa Claus is kidnapped and held for ransom, but the kidnappers didn’t reckon on his cadre of killer elves in this Finnish production that has “cult movie” written all over it.  We missed this last holiday season, but this year we’re considering indulging our inner Scrooge with this humbug.  Buy Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale.

A Serbian Film (2010): A down on his luck Serbian ex-porn star is lured back into the business with the promise of a big payday, but is not told what he will have to do to earn it.  Many have suggested this is one of the most depraved movies ever made, with a finale that would make the Marquis de Sade cringe.  WARNING: the commercially available version censors the key scenes (however, if you’re one of many who “enjoyed” the uncut version for free, you might consider sending a few dollars to the people who made the film).  Buy A Serbian Film [cut].

Starlight & Superfish (2010): An atheist finds himself a ghost in his apartment, now occupied by an evangelical Christian woman; a glam rock band serves as his guide to the afterlife, singing clues to lessons he must learn to avoid an eternity of perdition.  This comedy didn’t even play the usual festivals and thus flew well under our (and everyone else’s) radars, but the synopsis is intriguing. Buy Starlight & Superfish.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Destroy All Monsters (1968):  Ishiro Honda’s nutty kaiju romp, which sees Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra and pals all go on plywood-city smashing sprees at the same time, is a tons of fun.  This Tokyo Shock Blu-ray was so awaited by Japanese monster fans that it went out of stock within a few days of release . Buy Destroy All Monsters [Blu-ray].

Island of Lost Souls (1932): See description in DVD above.  Buy Island of Lost Souls [The Criterion Collection Blu-ray].

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010):  See description in DVD above.  This package includes a DVD copy of the film as well. Buy Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (Blu-Ray + DVD).

A Serbian Film (2010): See description in DVD above. Buy A Serbian Film [Blu-ray].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIE OF THE WEEK ON YOUTUBE:

White Zombie (1932):  Maybe it’s just us, but when Halloween rolls around, we like to go old school for our scares, and there’s little out there creakier than this Bela Lugosi outing featuring “real” (i.e. Haitian) zombies.  Read our capsule review if you’re on the fence.  Watch White Zombie 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 10/21/2011

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 Catechism Cataclysm (2011):  Read our capsule review.  Distributed by IFC Midnight, so it will open at the IFC Center in New York this week; future screenings unknown.  The Catechism Cataclysm official site.

Glitch in the Grid (2011): An artist suffers a spiritual crisis in this film mixing live action and stop-motion animation.  The director calls the style “spiritual surrealism.”  Opening in New York City with scattered single-night screenings across the country through the fall.  Glitch in the Grid official site.

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011): Psychological thriller about the mental struggles of woman who has escaped from a cult trying to adjust to “real” society.  Reviews are excellent, making us think it’s weirdness must be fairly mild.  Martha Marcy May Marlene official site.

FILM FESTIVALS: FETISCH FILM FESTIVAL (Oct. 25-29, Kiel, Germany):

If you’re into S&M and outré erotica, Kiel, Germany is the place to be in October.  Amongst the dominatrix documentaries and soft porn bondage features, the Fetish Film Festival will also be screening a few very weird films:

    • Maximum ShameRead our capsule review.  The world’s only “apocalyptic fetish horror musical chess sci-fi weird feature movie.”  Oct. 26.
    • Planet Diva –  Self-aware mock-grindhouse movies are the latest fad for low-budget producers; this short looks to be the weirdest of the genre screening here. Oct. 26.

  • Sleeping Beauty – From Australia comes this modern folktale that sounds like it has more to do with The House of Sleeping Beauties than with the classic fairy tale. Julia Leigh’s feminist “Wonder Cinema” film has been making a name by playing every festival that will book it.  Oct. 29.
  • VigasioSexploitation -The synopsis begins, “an egg from outer space infects the villagers of Vigasio…” and only gets weirder from there.  Starring a man-pig and a naked woman with a soapbox covering her head.  The movie is available for free download from the official site (adults only, obviously).  There’s also a VigasioSexploitation, Vol. 2 (not downloadable, but will be shown at the festival).  Oct. 26.

Fetisch Film Festival official site (in German).

IN DEVELOPMENT:

Untitled Snow White Feature (est. 2012): It promises to bring a “dark twist” to the Snow White legend.  The presence of icons of conventionality Julia Roberts (as the Evil Queen) and Nathan Lane in the cast gives up pause, but director Tarsem Singh has gone weird in the past (The Cell, The Fall).  Untitled Snow White on IMDB.

Upstream Color (est. 2012):  After making a splash with the microbudgeted mindbender Primer, engineer-turned-filmmaker disappeared off the radar, but word has it he’s back with a new project (one that’s described, partly, as a romance).  Chud.com appears to have broken the news, though they don’t have many details.  Even more interesting than the Color confirmation is the news that his script A Topiary (which concerns a “mysterious box” and may be a sequel of sorts to Primer) is still alive, with an estimated release date of 2013.  (Assist to Pussy Goes Grrr for bringing this story to our attention).

NEW ON DVD:

The Bulgarian Prophet (2011?): Unpretentiously animated satire about a Bulgarian immigrant who becomes an unlikely prophet after being struck by a meteor during the hippie era.  Creator Yavor Batchev calls it “an amalgam of Eugene Ionesco, Boris Vian and Kafka” and from the trailer it appears to take (equal?) shots at both the East and the West.  Apparently a one-man show, thanks to the marvels of modern technology; it’s being sold via the author’s website for $14.95 + shipping for a DVD or a $5.95 download.  The Bulgarian Prophet official site.

The Last Circus [Balada Triste de Trompeta] (2010):  Read our capsule review.  We declared this tale of warring clowns in Franco’s Spain not weird, but we won’t blame you if you want to check it out anyway. Buy The Last Circus.

Satan Hates You (2009):  Read our capsule review.  We were one of the very first outlets to review this film, and it seems like we’ve been waiting forever for this Jack-Chick-tract-come-to-life to finally come out so we can prove we didn’t dream it. Buy Satan Hates You.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

The Clowns (1970):  The seldom-seen Federico Fellini “documentary,” made for Italian television, exploring the weird director’s obsession with clowns.  Parts are scripted (thus the quotes around “documentary”). Buy The Clowns [Blu-ray].

The Crow (1994): A rock musician returns from the dead as a goth spirit to wreak vengeance on the street gang that killed him and his fiancée.  A simple, but extremely atmospheric, graphic novel adaptation, the movie is unfortunately best known for the death of rising star Brandon (son of Bruce) Lee, who was tragically killed when a prop gun was accidentally left loaded.  Buy The Crow [Blu-ray].

The Last Circus [Balada Triste de Trompeta] (2010): See description in DVD above. Buy The Last Circus [Blu-ray].

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Ultimate Collectors Edition) (1971):  This psychedelic and very frightening children’s story sees foppish candyman Wonka (a brilliant Gene Wilder) and his gang of moralizing orange dwarfs knock off disobedient children one by one.  The set comes in a commemorative tin box and (natch) contains a replica of a Golden Ticket along with a 144 page (!) booklet, a Blu-ray copy of the movie with hi-def extras, and a DVD copy of the movie with (different) standard-def extras.  Buy Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Ultimate Collector’s Edition).

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

We’re not linking any YouTube movies this week, but we’re using this space to remind you of the VigasioSexploitation free download (IPod or torrent) mentioned above in the Fetisch Film Festival rundown.  If you do download and watch it, be sure to tell us what you think!

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 10/14/2011

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):

Bombay Beach: Footage of three residents of the decaying Salton Sea region—a bipolar boy, a high school athlete fleeing gang violence, and a retired oil-rig worker—is mixed with musical montages from Beirut and Bob Dylan to create what the makers describe as a “slightly surreal documentary experience.”  The screening order goes like this: New York this week, L.A. next week, DVD afterwards.  Bombay Beach official site.

The Skin I Live In [La piel que habito]: Pedro Almodovar (who has never gone fully weird, but is always off-center) delivers a mad scientist revenge movie with significant superficial similarities to the Certified Weird Eyes Without a Face.  The power of Antonio Banderas got this released in New York and L.A. this week, with scattered showings through the middle of the country in the months to follow. The Skin I Live In official site.

FILM FESTIVALS: TORONTO AFTER DARK (Toronto, Canada, Oct. 20-27)

One of the worlds most important horror-themed film festivals.  This year’s lineup didn’t blow us away with its audacity or weirdness, but here are a few interesting titles:

  • Love – a man alone on a spaceship orbiting earth slowly loses his mind; there are Civil War battle scenes.  The producers are proud of the score by Angels & Airwaves. Screens Oct. 23.
  • Monster Brawl – horror comedy featuring a werewolf, vampire, zombie, etc. fighting it out in a wrestling ring.  Almost a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.  Screens Oct. 20.
  • The Theatre Bizarre – A six-film horror anthology from directors Douglas Buck, Buddy Giovinazzo, David Gregory, Karim Hussain, , Tom Savini, and .  Apparently Hussain’s segment is surreal.  Screens Oct. 23

We hope to have some semi-official skinny for you on this one.  Toronto After Dark Film Festival website.

NEW ON DVD:

Night of the Demon (Maria’s B-Movie Mayhem) (1980):  Not to be confused with Jacques Tourner’s 1957 witchcraft classic, this Night of the Demon is an almost unreleased 1980 oddity mixing Bigfoot and black magic, with some of the most laughably inept gore effects ever seen onscreen.  Or, as the Amazon “Editorial Review” inspiringly puts it, it’s a movie about “a psychodic [sic] Bigfoot on a killing rampage” that “has some of the goriest death scene!”   Hosted by WWE Diva and Playboy Playmate Maria Kanellis.  A true horror for Halloween.  Buy Maria’s B-Movie Mayhem–Night of the Demon.

Night Patrol (1984)/The Wrong Guys (1988):  Night Patrol is an spectacularly, unbelievably unfunny attempt by the uber-untalented to make an Airplane! style spoof set in a police station.  But what a weird cast: Pat Paulsen, Linda Blair, Billy Barty, Pat Morita and “The Gong Show”‘s Unknown Comic!  The Wrong Guys, on the other hand, stars Louie Anderson, Richard Belzer, Richard Lewis, and John Goodman—and yet, you’ve never heard of it.  What does that tell you?  From Image Entertainment, it’s the perfect double feature for anyone who hates comedy and longs to see it spat upon and defiled. Buy Night Patrol/The Wrong Guys.

No Reason (2010):  A woman wakes up from a bath in a pile of severed limbs with a mysterious figure promising to lead her to the white light; nudity and graphic gore follow.  There are no English language reviews of this yet but from what I can tell from the Germans and the trailer, its brutal, confusing, and probably not very good. Buy No Reason.

Septien (2010): This story of an ex-high school athlete returning to live with his two eccentric brothers played at Sundance in the Midnight Movie category.  Reviews were mixed, but Dennis Harvey of Variety suggested the movie “proves the paths of ‘weird’ and ‘interesting’ do not always intersect.” Buy Septien.

“Snuff Box: The Complete Series” (2006): This dark and bizarre BBC Comedy about two executioners who travel through time meeting prostitutes of various eras and breaking into random songs lasted one season (six episodes) before the censors had enough.  Fans of Chris Morris’ “Jam” may be interested in this one.  Co-creator Rich Fulcher went on to write and perform the similarly absurd series “The Mighty Boosh,” while his partner Matt Berry worked on “The IT Crowd. “Buy “Snuff Box: The Complete Series”.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Boccaccio ’70 (1962): An Italian short film anthology wherein Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti, and Federico Fellini direct Sophia Loren, Romy Schneider, and Anita Eckberg in naughty (for the time) vignettes.  It’s of some interest to weirdophiles because of Fellini’s segment featuring Eckberg as a milk-selling billboard temptress mocking a moralist.  A fourth story by Mario Monicelli was originally cut for reasons of running time but has been restored for this release. Buy Boccaccio ’70 [Blu-ray].

The Tree of Life (2011):  Read our capsule review. So far, the movie of the year, and with its Christian dinosaurs, a fairly weird one, to boot.  This is a DVD/Blu-ray/Digital combo pack; we would expect a standalone DVD release to follow, though we haven’t heard anything yet. Buy The Tree of Life (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy).

NEW ON CD:

“Tales from Beyond the Pale, Season 1”: Ten thirty minute horror stories spread across 5 CDs, recalling the old days of radio plays (this writer is old enough to have actually been glued to the radio, terrified, while hearing a rendition of Poe’s “The Black Cat” read on CBS Mystery Theater). The likes of and Graham Reznick direct the voice talents of Ron Perlman, Doug Jones, , James Le Gros and more.  A singularly spooky way to celebrate the season. Buy “Tales From Beyond The Pale, Season One”.

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

Dracula [Bram Stoker’s Dracula] (1992):  Read our capsule reviewFrancis Ford Coppola‘s visually overheated Dracula adaptation is a fun fever dream, and could have been a real classic—if not for Keanu!  This was one of the first major films the studios offered for free on YouTube; when it was quickly withdrawn, we thought the experiment of offering quality entertainment for free had been scrapped.  But now Dracula‘s back, and free YouTube seems like it’s here to stay…  Watch Dracula 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 10/7/2011

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 Human Centipede II (Full Sequence):  More people are sewn together to make a longer centipede. If early notices are to be believed, this sequel is a dumbed-down, grossed-up version of the original.  Is that even possible?  Also available on demand beginning Oct 12.  The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) official site.

NEW ON DVD:

“Alfred Hitchcock: Essentials Collection”:  Universal Studios owns the rights to 14 Hitchcock films, including most of the master’s greatest pictures.  Here’s a truly essential collection of 5 masterpieces.  None of them will knock you out with their surreality, but in descending order of weirdness we’d rank them The Birds (1963), Vertigo (1958), Psycho (1960), and Rear Window (1954)/North by Northwest (1959) (tie).  All are must sees, though. Buy “Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection”.

Amer (2009):  Read our capsule review.  This hypersexualized giallo tribute is a welcome addition to the home video ranks. Buy Amer.

I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK (2006):  Read the Certified Weird entry!  It’s about time that ‘s film about love in a mental asylum—which probably ranks as the strangest romantic comedy ever made—gets a real region 1 release.  A big thumbs up to Pathfinder Pictures for doing the right thing (finally!)  Buy I’m a Cyborg, but That’s OK.

The Juche Idea (2010): One of director Jim Finn’s award winning “utopian comedies,” Idea paints a portrait of the absurdity of North Korea though a series of short films made by a fictional South Korean director brought across the border to to the North to help modernize the propaganda machine of Kim Jong Il.  We never thought something this smart, satirical, topical and off-the-wall would ever get a real DVD release. Buy The Juche Idea.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Amer (2009): See description in DVD above. Buy Amer [Blu-ray].

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005):  ‘s alternate version of Roald Dahl’s scary kiddie classic about a dictatorial candy magnate ( , natch) who exploits children’s moral weaknesses and has them killed in bizarre, ironic ways isn’t as classic as the 1971 film starring Gene Wilder and his orange dwarf slaves, but it has its fans (we’re not among them, but whatever). Buy Charlie and the Chocolate Factory [Blu-ray].

Dead-Alive [AKA Brain Dead] (1992): saw the rampaging undead and absurd gore in Evil Dead II, thought to himself, “I can top that,” and did, in this crazy film featuring kung fu priests and zombies sliced up with a lawnmower.  The pinnacle of the gut-spewing genre, it’s never been surpassed (although every year three or four low-budget filmmakers predictably try). Buy Dead Alive [Blu-ray].

Interstella 5555 (2003):  The plot is something about aliens who are kidnapped, have their memories wiped, and are forced to become a house band.  It’s really an extended music video by the band Daft Punk, with retro Japanimation done in an 80s style by Kazuhisa Takenôchi.  Fair warning: customers are complaining that the video quality on this Blu release is no better—or maybe even worse—than the DVD version. Buy Daft Punk: Interstella 5555 [Blu-ray].

Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985):  The adventures of man-child Pee Wee Herman, who meets Elvira, Twisted Sister and Godzilla as he crosses the country trying to recover his stolen bicycle, are almost surreal in their childish extravagance.  An early success for . Buy Pee-wee’s Big Adventure [Blu-ray].

Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975):  Torture porn, before the genre existed—except that this almost literal translation of the Marquis de Sade’s most pornographic work was made by Pier Paolo Pasolini, considered one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.  So respected was Pasolini that the Criterion Collection gave this hymn to coprophagia the deluxe treatment, and has now upgraded the depravity to hi-def.  Buy Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray].

NEW ON VIDEO ON DEMAND:

Melancholia (2011): Lars von Trier‘s latest is apocalyptic sci-fi; a planet (called Melancholia) is set to collide with Earth on a woman’s wedding day.  Kirsten Dunst walked away from the Cannes with Best Actress honors; Charlotte Gainsbourg, Keifer Sutherland, and John Hurt round out the fine cast.  In a tactic the smaller studios are increasingly using, for obscure marketing reasons we can’t explain, this is being released on demand a week before it appears in theaters.  Rent Melancholia (Pre-Theatrical).

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1921): The wild, slanted sets Caligari uses to tell its tale of murder and madness still amaze modern viewers.  A perfect way to get a jumpstart on the Halloween season.  Watch The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari 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 9/30/2011

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):

Bunraku (2010): A cowboy and a samurai team up to battle evil in this alternate reality actioner starring Josh Hartnett, Woody Harrelson (as a mystical bartender), Ron Perlman and Demi Moore.  The setup and cast are intriguing, but reviewers warn that it’s style over substance.  Bunraku official site.

My Joy (2010): A Ukrainian truck driver begins his day trying to make a delivery, runs into absurd bureaucracy and corruption, and ends up trapped in a strange timeless village.  Critical response has been favorable.  Opens in New York with only a few dates across the country to follow.  My Joy official site (US).

Take Shelter: Michael Shannon plays a crazy guy (daring casting, that) whose dreams of impending tempests are so lifelike that he cashes in his savings to build an elaborate storm shelter.  Fresh off a successful festival run, Jeff (Shotgun Stories) Nicholls second feature opens in New York and Los Angeles this week, and has a full card of future dates across the country (thanks to being picked up by Sony Classics).  Take Shelter official site.

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil: Not so weird, but noteworthy: a horror movie/slasher spoof where the loner hillbillies in the middle of nowhere actually don’t want to carve up the hot collegians on spring break with chainsaws—though they’d have a hard time convincing anyone of their beneficence.  This independent Canadian production is getting fine reviews and somewhat predictable comparisons to Shaun of the DeadTucker & Dale vs. Evil official site.

NEW ON DVD:

7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964):  Tony Randall plays eight (or is it nine?) different roles (mostly mythological characters like Pan and the Abominable Snowman) in this fantasy about a magical circus that comes to a Western town.  This is in our reader-suggested review queue.  It’s being re-released on DVD-R by Warner Archives, rather than in a nice new edition, unfortunately. Buy 7 Faces of Dr. Lao.

Baby Jane? (2010):  Remember the catty camp classic Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?  Well, here’s a (nearly shot for shot?) remake.  The gimmick?  Joan Crawford’s and Bette Davis’ roles go to female impersonators. Buy Baby Jane?

The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman (2010): Heavily stylized Chinese action comedy about a mythical blade that is melted down and made into a kitchen knife, and passes down through three different owners. Could this be a slight stirring in the crazy corpse of the Hong Kong New Wave we detect? Buy The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman.

Heathers (1988):  The hilarious cult black comedy about wholesale slaughter in high school, starring Wynona Ryder and Christian Slater.  The good news is that Heathers was, surprisingly, out of print.  The bad news is that this re-issue comes from Image Entertainment, who are known for releasing cheap bare-bones DVDs from substandard prints.  There are no reports on any extras, which suggests there are none.  A true fan might go looking for a used copy of the 20th High School Reunion Edition; this cheap release is aimed at casual fans and bargain hunters. Buy Heathers.

Herschell Gordon Lewis: Godfather of Gore (2010): The title says it all.  Cool folks like John Waters, Joe Bob Briggs, and Frank Henenlotter are interviewed on the Blood Feast auteur’s impact on the sleaze scene.  From Something Weird video by way of Image Entertainment. Buy Herschell Gordon Lewis: Godfather of Gore.

Maximum Shame (2010): From Carlos Atanes comes a release described as a “apocalyptic fetish horror musical chess sci-fi weird underground feature movie.”  Surprisingly, that description is completely accurate.  We’ll have a review of this coming shortly.  Available on DVD-R only. Buy Maximum Shame.

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991): A man with superhuman strength is sent to jail for avenging the rape of his girlfriend, and once there system pushes him too hard and he must rip out his tormentors’ intestines.  Tokyo Shock originally released this insane gore spectacle in 2000; no word on whether there are any upgrades this time, or if they’re just reissuing it with new cover art to capitalize on the film’s Blu-ray debut in two weeks.  Buy Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Basket Case (1982): Read our capsule review!  This strange, scratchy grindhouse monster flick doesn’t seem like it would benefit from high definition, but here it is anyway.  The abundant special features all appear to be ported over from Something Weird’s previous DVD release. Buy Basket Case [Blu-ray].

“The Blood Trilogy”:  ‘ foundational gore films on one disc: the ridiculous Blood Feast (1963), the extremely nasty Two Thousand Maniacs (1964), and also-ran Color Me Blood Red (1965). Another entry in the new Something Weird/Image Entertainment partnership. Buy “The Blood Trilogy” [Blu-ray].

Heathers (1988): See description in DVD above. Buy Heathers [Blu-ray].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

Southland Tales (2006):  Read our capsule reviewRichard Kelly‘s notoriously confusing (many say botched) speculative satire is now up to help you blow your mind for free.  Watch Southland Tales 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.