Category Archives: Miscellanea

THE FINAL READERS’ CHOICE POLL (THIS TIME WE MEAN IT!) – PHASE 1, NOMINATIONS

We’ve already had one final readers’ choice poll, but it was such a success that we’re doing it again. And this time, there’s a prize pack involved, so read on.

We’re coming down to the finish line in what has turned out to be an almost-decade-long countdown of the 366 Weirdest Movies Ever Made. Only 26 spots remain at the time of this writing. In the past, we’ve relied on reader input to help shape the List by running regular polls. Readers are responsible for directly placing Alice [Neco Z Alenky], Visitor Q, Pink Floyd: The Wall, Trash Humpers, The American Astronaut, Dead Ringers, Keyhole, Sweet Movie, Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny, Ninja Champion, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Vampire’s Kiss, Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, and last contest’s winners, Last Year at Marienbad and Under the Skin (2013), into the field of 366. (That’s not even counting reader-suggestions which we reviewed and found worthy.)

Some of those misfit films above surely would have made the List anyway without readers selecting them. But this new poll will be your last (and we mean it this time!) chance to have direct input on the List (at least, until we decide to expand it to 732 movies).

It’s going to work the same way as it did last time (with the added twist of a prize). We’re going to shut down the suggestion box for the time being, and you can post all your suggestions in the comments on this post. You may nominate any movie at all, whether it’s something we’ve never heard of, something that’s been languishing among our List Candidates, something that’s already sitting in the reader-suggested queue, or even something that we’ve already reviewed and rejected. Feel free to nominate the same movie you did last contest (maybe you’ll have better luck this time). The nominations are subject only to a few minimal rules:

  1. One official suggestion per reader.
  2. Don’t suggest a movie you had a part in creating. If you want us to review your work sent us a note via the contact form.
  3. Every movie suggestion will require a “second” from someone else in the comments to become a nominee. (Seconding someone else’s movie choice will not preclude you from forwarding your own nominee).
  4. Current contributors to 366 Weird Movies cannot nominate movies; they can second readers’ choices, however.
  5. If your nominee appears to be a joke (i.e. E.T. or Mamma Mia!), even a second will not help. But don’t be afraid to make a non-conventional choice for a non-conventional movie—you just have to be more persuasive about why you think it belongs here.
  6. The movies should be available for us to screen (legally) somewhere. We may consider some readily-available bootleg films, but not, for example, one of Matthew Barney’s Cremaster films (sorry! We’ll probably create another list of legendary unscreenable weird films someday.)

We will leave the nomination process open for one week. Fifteen titles is the most we’d be willing to deal with, so we’ll shut down the process if we reach that goal.

We’re trusting our readers are sophisticated enough to avoid recency bias and won’t only suggest movies made in the last two or three years (although you may certainly nominate such a film if you want to). Movies currently in theaters or film festivals should be avoided.

After one week, we’ll shut off this post to new comments and create an official one-week poll to officially add one of these movies. (Others from the poll could possibly make the List at the editors’ discretion). At that time, we’ll also reopen the “Suggest a Weird Movie!” page, though using it will be a Hail Mary pass for latecomers only.

Since you’ll need a second to get your nominee on the ballot, you’ll probably want to campaign as persuasively as you can for your choice. Since you can only vote one movie in the end, you can only second one.

Ready? Got to it! Comment away!

Oh, and did we mention a prize? We have a pair of Artsploitation horror anthology discs to give away! First up, it’s the Blu-ray version of the transgressive shock horror outing German Angst (which we have already reviewed favorably, though we didn’t nominate it for the List). We’ll pair that with the new DVD of A Taste of Phobia, wherein fourteen filmmakers fashioning flash fear films from a phobia. To draw this out as long as possible, the person who nominates the film that is eventually chosen to ascend to the List will be awarded the prize. If they are not eligible, the prize will go to the person who nominates the second-highest vote getter, and so on. The usual eligibility rules apply: you must supply a valid e-mail, you must be over the age of 18, and you must have a U.S. mailing address. You also must respond to notification that you have won within 48 hours or we’ll move on to the runner-up.

We’ll list the nominees (whether seconded or not) in the body of this post for clarity.

Seconded nominees so far (as of 7/14):

Either Jubilee or Last of England (if Connor doesn’t clarify, I’m reading his vote as Jubilee)

Putney Swope

Singapore Sling

Symbol (2009)

Nominees awaiting a second:

Arrebato [Rapture]

Essex Spacebin

The Idiots

Multiple Maniacs (1970)

Oldboy

Peau d’âne [Donkey Skin]

The Spirit (2008)

Talking Head

Tusk

Wet Hot American Summer

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 7/13/2018

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs and Blu-rays (and hot off the server VODs), and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Poor Boy (2016): Two redneck sons of a rodeo clown (played by ) try to marry a Native American woman so they can move to California in this scuzzily surreal experiment. Variety‘s Nick Schager inadvertently tries his best to sell it to our readers, complaining that it “has a strung-out, sunburnt feverishness that makes it seem, at any moment, poised to tip into outright insanity… tries too hard to be weird.” No official site located.

FILM FESTIVALS – Fantasia International Film Festival (Montreal, Canada, July 12 – Aug. 2):

As its name implies, Montreal’s Fantasia Festival originally began as a showcase for fantastic films from Asia; it has since morphed into a major event on the genre cinema calendar. Not that they’ve let mainstream success get to their heads; there’s still more rare weirdness to be found at Fantasia than at just about any film festival on the globe. We make watch lists from Fantasia’s programming, and we’re always saddened when less than half of the most daring films find meaningful distribution in the U.S. Because of the large number of entries, we’re highlighting only the most promising offerings here; it goes without saying that there will be new films by  and  splashed across the screens. 366’s own Giles Edwards is in attendance and will be bringing us updates weekly (perhaps more frequently) on the Fest’s biggest and weirdest contenders. While realizing that surprise favorites always pop up, here are the top contenders for the throne of strangeness we took note of:

  • Cam – A camgirl finds an exact duplicate of herself writhing onscreen, but transgressing her personal and professional boundaries; described as a “relentlessly tense surrealistic thriller.” Screens July 18 & 20.
  • Chained for Life – The title is a reference to a 1952 exploitation film starring conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton (Freaks); the scenario involves “freaks” cast in a movie who “swipe the film’s camera equipment after-hours and make their own film”; the source is Aaron Schimberg, whose praised but little-seen debut Go Down Death earned comparisons to the work of . Screening July 18 & 24.
  • HanagatamiHausu‘s returns to realize his unfilmed first script (written in the 1970s), an eve-of-WWII tale of incestuous desire that The Telegraph called “avant-garde in the extreme” and “like nothing else around.” July 14 or 19.
  • Mandy – Not just a Fantasia highlight, but one of the buzziest films of the year: puts into a surreal supernatural revenge drama. Closing the festival on Aug 1, and already sold out.

Say “hi” to Giles if you see him. Fantasia Festival home page.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

Godmonster of Indian Flats (1973): Read the Certified Weird entry! From American Film Genre Archives (AFGA) comes this  special edition (!) of Fredric Hobbs’ strange modern Western/mutant sheep monster mashup that’s actually mainly about real estate shenanigans and staged dog funerals. The disc comes with exploitation shorts and a bonus feature, 1975’s The Legend of Bigfoot, on, uh, Blu-ray? Buy Godmonster of Indian Flats.

Yellow Submarine (1968): Read the Certified Weird entry! If you’ve been watching our “Repertory Screening” column, you’ve probably figured out that a restored version of ‘ psychedelic cartoon about the saffron submersible has been touring the country this summer in a 4K restored version. What has received less fanfare is the fact that (as of today’s writing) it’s available to stream free for subscribers on Amazon Prime; and, perhaps even more surprising, so is the soundtrack. We suspect both offerings will be up for a limited time.

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). We won’t list all the screenings of this audience-participation classic separately. You can use this page to find a screening near you.

NEPOTISM CORNER:

“Crest”: Longtime readers will know that shorts czar Cameron Jorgensen moonlights as the bassist of SLC-based progressive/hard rock group Visitors. After an EP release last year, their debut album drops today, 7/13/2018. Cameron describes it as “a concept record about a girl who falls in love, but begins to question if her love interest is real or a product of her mental illness” adding, mysteriously, “we recorded these songs two years ago in Portland, where I was bitten by a vampire while walking to a convenience store.” He hopes “a handful of people out there don’t hate it.” A local music writer didn’t hate it, at least, saying the band “sounds like Glassjaw and Letlive had a love-triangle baby with Chino Moreno, then that baby grew up on prog rock and had an obsession with reverse evolution.

Here’s the opening tune, “Pollyana”:

You can tell that Cameron has been paying attention to the experimental shorts he’s been posting, since he also collaborated on the music video.

Visit Visitors’ Bandcamp page to purchase the album.

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 7/6/2018

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs and Blu-rays (and hot off the server VODs), and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Sorry to Bother You (2018): A telemarketer discovers he has a magical sales power that catapults him up the corporate ladder and into a “macabre universe.” We’ve been eagerly awaiting the wider release of this weird, satirical festival hit, the debut of rapper Boots Riley. Sorry to Bother You official site.

Under the Tree [Undir trénu] (2017): Neighbors argue over the fate of an old tree; the dispute turns absurdly violent. In fact, the main complaint from detractors of this Icelandic black comedy seems to be the depth of violence the director is willing to go to. Under the Tree Facebook page.

IN DEVELOPMENT (websites):

byNWRcom: This is a strange new item.  announces that he will be opening a website to screen some exploitation films from his private collection which he has restored. Among the offerings are Night Tide and ‘s The Burning Hell (restored!), along with some even rarer ones (nudie westerns and unclassifiable outsider exploitation), all linked by a common denominator of “bad taste.” Refn offers this treasure trove of oddities as an antidote to Trumpism in a politico-artitsic manifesto for The Guardian. The site is not streaming yet (it says “coming this month”) but you may want to bookmark it.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

“Dietrich and von Sternberg in Hollywood”: Read Alfred Eaker’s reviews of Blonde Venus and The Scarlet Empress. This Criterion Collection box set includes Morocco, Dishonored, Shanghai Express, Blonde Venus, and The Devil Is a Woman, but buy it for the Expressionistic Catherine the Great biopic Scarlet Empress. Buy “Dietrich and von Sternberg in Hollywood”.

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). We won’t list all the screenings of this audience-participation classic separately. You can use this page to find a screening near you.

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON TUBI.TV:

Jacob’s Ladder (1990): Read the Certified Weird entry! A Vietnam vet sees demons everywhere: was he the victim of an Army experiment with weaponized hallucinogens? Listed as “leaving soon” on Tubi. Watch Jacob’s Ladder free on Tubi.tv.

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.

RIP HARLAN ELLISON (1934-2018): THE LAST DISH OF ANGRY CANDY

died on June 27th, 2018, and the reaction around the Internet has been… strangely more subdued than I expected. Perhaps it’s because the man was so ill-suited to our politically correct times. Perhaps it’s because he alienated the Internet and computing technology in general to the point that the Internet collectively snubs him in self-defense. Most likely, it’s because for all the amazing volume of work he put out, he could have put out ten times more, but preferred to become a professional litigant first and a creator second. Sci-fi forums and geek blogs are taking a bit more notice, but even there he’s best remembered as a lovably grumpy bastard.

Harlan EllisonBut me, I’m a train wreck today. All writers, whether they know it or not, have lost a brother. True, Ellison was a walking human pile of road rage, but he devoted half his life to activism that we’re better off for. The price he paid was becoming an insufferable bastard to everyone he met. Sometimes the universe needs an angry man. Just be glad it didn’t pick you.

In Ellison’s spirit of gonzo honesty in writing, let me spill some of my ugliest guts for you: Growing up, I was as good as raised by wolves, a functional orphan. I was only born because two hippies met on a blanket at Woodstock and the acid going around didn’t turn them off; hippies grow up to be bums with psychosis in Southern California and, thank Ronald Reagan, California is a rotten place to get help for being crazy. I ran away from home every chance I got, and damned if I wasn’t better off on the streets. Reading was the only thing I could always afford to do. So authors became my surrogate family, and Harlan Ellison was in there second or third place as one of the authors who shaped what I have become today.

I shouldn’t say that so literally, lest you think I’d been through five divorces and a scandal for groping women on stage. I’ve been married 25 years (the lady is still sane, miracles never cease), and I know not to make a huge ass of myself in public, at least not without reason. Ellison swore off having kids early; I enjoyed the adventure of raising a family. But the professional side of me, the creator’s side, owes a lot to him. I don’t know how much exactly. My brain is its own little animal living up there in my skull. I don’t inquire into its affairs and it doesn’t bother with me.

But Harlan, even the smart-ass, referred to his writing as an addiction, and God can I ever identify. People in real life (the meat space outside the Interwebs, where today there’s an extreme heat advisory) ask me why I picked freelance writing of all careers. And I always answer that it didn’t; it chose me. I have piss-poor patience with coworkers, a tissue-thin boredom threshold, and a word machine in my head that WILL. NOT. SHUT. UP. I dream a new novel every night. I blather to myself on autopilot while I fumble with coffee in the morning. Left to my own devices, I will wander around the house practicing dad jokes and alliteration headlines and catchy shower thoughts on everybody until they hide in the closets. If I haven’t worked in awhile, I start yelling at the TV because soap opera writers can’t plot for sour beans, and I run around making up homemade labels with more imaginative brand names for the peanut butter, and I rip up the newspaper and chew the crossword puzzle in my foaming mouth.

There’s no pill for hypergraphia and hyperlexia. Writing is merely my handle for mental illness. It just so happens to be a paying skill too, but if it wasn’t, I’d be on a desert island scrawling rants in crab blood on coconut fronds and sending them out in corked bottles.

We are all hideous hobgoblins of disease and insanity, that’s what Harlan taught us.

His only work commemorated here, A Boy And His Dog, is but a thread of his work. Over in Star Trek forums he’s known only for the episode “The City on the Edge of Forever,” and little else. Video game forums are remembering him for the game I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, adapted from his short story, and little else. Practical joker culture remembers him for mailing a dead gopher to a publisher he was having one of his endless quarrels with—and little else. But saddest of all, the crooks of this world breathe a little easier today, because he was way more trouble to them than he was to anybody else. Funny thing about Harlan Ellison: He had the work ethic of a monk melded with the attention span of a gerbil, so he dabbled in every medium, culture, franchise, fandom, and genre he could find, but always produced a landmark work in whatever he set his hand to do. Of course he was weird and original and feisty and controversial, he contained the soul of a rabid Balrog with PMS.

As , another tortured genius who ran all his life from hellbent demons, would have put it, Harlan Ellison was too weird to live and too rare to die. Like a comet striking the Earth, there will be an impact crater where he was for a long time.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 6/29/2018

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs and Blu-rays (and hot off the server VODs), and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.

FILM FESTIVALS – Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, June 29-July7):

Though in it’s 53rd year, Karlovy Vary is overshadowed by other, bigger summer European film festivals, and isn’t one we usually pay attention to. With some strange revivals we can’t ignore alongside equally strange new films (including Guy Maddin and ‘s new Vertigo tribute, The Green Fog, Jan Svankmajer‘s Insects, ‘s much-buzzed-about sophomore effort Mandy, and ‘s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote), that changes this year.

  • Accumulator 1 (1994) – Rare Czech movie about characters in TV programs who drain energy from their real-life doubles. Restored and screening July 6.
  • Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire (1987) – Surreal British rock opera about snooker players (there are no actual desperadoes or vampires). June 30 and July 4.
  • Diamonds in the Night (1964)- Stream-of-consciousness (A Report on the Party and Guests) film about two young Jewish refugees fleeing Nazis. Jun 30 and July 5.
  • Pity – The story of a man addicted to sadness, notable because it was scripted by ‘ wiriting collaborator, Efthimis Filippou. June 29, July 1 and 4.
  • Reflections in the Dust – The story of a schizophrenic clown and his blind daughter, told through alternating documentary interviews and a fictional post-apocalyptic story. Screening 6/20, 7/2, and 7/4.
  • Volcano – An interpreter becomes lost in rural Ukraine and has a series of strange encounters. July 1-2, 4.
  • Zama – A Spanish official posted to a remote South American colony longs for reassignment in a “subtly surreal and bizarre” film programmers say “often feels like it was made to purposefully confound the viewer.” June 29, July 2 or 6.

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival home page.

FILM FESTIVALS – New York Asian Film Festival (New York City, June 29-July 14):

The long-running NYAFF usually finds a number of high quality pan-Asian movies overlooked by other festivals. The weird ones are scarcer this season than previous fests (we hope this doesn’t represent a growing trend in Asian normality), but here are some titles of interest:

  • Dukun (2006) – This “bizarre” blend of horror and courtroom drama is about a shaman on trial for allegedly killing a politician in an immortality ritual; shelved in its native Malaysia for its controversial nature and making its international premiere July 13.
  • Premika – A karaoke-loving ghost forces victims to sing for their lives in this Thai horror comedy. Also screening July 13.
  • Tears of the Black Tiger (2000) – This Thai take on a Spaghetti Western is set on psychedelic expressionist sets that are more stylized than picture; weirdophiles will not find their time wasted on this “gloriously weird cult classic.” Catch the screening on July 5.

New York Asian Film Festival home page.

IN DEVELOPMENT (post-production):

Zan (2018): Tetsuo: The Iron Man‘s turns his lens on a period piece, setting his latest in 19th century Japan and focusing on the adventures of a ronin and a peasant girl. The scanty description doesn’t sound weird, but if it isn’t at least a little twisted, it will be one of very few straightforward features Tsukamoto has made. Notice found at Variety.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

The Addiction (1995): Read Alice Stoehr’s review. ‘s philosophical vampire movie has still never been released on DVD in the U.S., but thanks to Arrow Video it skips straight to Blu-ray (complete with Ferrara commentary and documentary featurettes). Buy The Addiction.

The Endless (2017): Read our review. This Justin Benson/Aaron Moorehead mindbender proudly quotes the Hollywood Reporter’s declaration that it’s a “rich banquet of mind-bending weirdness.” DVD, Blu-ray and VOD. Buy The Endless.

Female Trouble (1974): Read the Certified Weird entry! The middle entry of ‘ taste-free “Trash Trilogy” is now in the Criterion Collection on DVD and Blu-ray, with all new interviews and supplements. It’s better than cha-cha heels on Christmas! Buy Female Trouble.

German Angst (2015): Read our review. Transgressive Teutonic trio of grisly horrors involving castration, fascist hooligans, and sexual depravity. Now on Blu-ray, for higher definition grue. This may be a giveaway item from us down the line. Buy German Angst.

Terminal (2018): Neo-noir set in a neon nowhere featuring assassins and an Alice-in-Wonderland themed strip club. This Margot Robbie vehicle managed to avoid a wide theatrical release and arrived on home video to complaints that it was “confusing” and “just weird.” Don’t know how we missed it? On DVD, Blu-ray and VOD. Buy Terminal.

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). We won’t list all the screenings of this audience-participation classic separately. You can use this page to find a screening near you.

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.

CONTEST: WIN A DVD/BLU-RAY PACKAGE OF “FAGS IN THE FAST LANE” AND “FRANK AND EVA”

THE CONTEST IS OVER! You may still comment on the topic if you like, however.

We have a surplus of promotional DVDs and Blu-rays we need to move, so it’s time for another giveaway! This time, the contest centers around the “movie of the day” concept that underlies the site’s mission statement, but which we rarely refer to.

To enter, we ask you to, in the comments, pick the day that’s most appropriate to view a particular Certified Weird movie. An obvious example would be viewing Santa Claus (or Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny) on December 25, Christmas Day. But what movie would you pick for Arbor Day? January 20? June 19? What’s the perfect day of the year to watch, for example, 2001: A Space Odyssey? (You might check Wikipedia for some ideas of celebrations and events associated with particular days of the year, or this site for some more whimsical choices.)

To enter, add your idea in the comments to this post. We are going to select the winner randomly using random.org, so you don’t have to provide the best suggestion to enter. (One entry per person, please, though you can mention as many films as you like). In fact, although we want to hear your thoughts, you don’t even have to have a suggestion to enter: you can simply mention in the comments that you love the site and you’d like to enter the contest. (You can even say you hate the site and still enter the contest; you will make us sad, but it won’t affect your chances of winning.)

The usual eligibility rules apply: to receive the DVD/Blu-ray, you must supply us with a mailing address in the United States. (Don’t publish your address in your comment! We’ll contact the winner through email). You also must be over the age of 18, given the extra-sexy nature of this prize pack. 366 contributors are not eligible for the prize. If you don’t meet those qualifications you can still comment for fun, but let us know you’re not in it for the swag. We’ll stop accepting entries Wednesday, July 4, at midnight EST, after the fireworks are over. If the winner does not respond to our request for a mailing address within 24 hours we’ll email a runner-up, and so forth, until the prize is given away.

Fags in the Fast Lane DVD cover

And now, for our prizes. First up is the campy, crazy Australian homo-comedy Fags in the Fast Lane. This special DVD presentation comes with a sticker and a large reversible poster plus the usual DVD extras like a commentary track, music video, cartoon and trailers.  Our review states that “we fully expect to see it on our 10 Weirdest Movies of 2018 list… It goes without saying that neither homophobes nor the easily grossed-out will want to encounter Fags, but if you’re made of sterner stuff, you should find it fast-paced fluff that satisfies your guilty desire for absurd sleaze served with a twist of retro pop-culture surrealism.” Check out their home page for more info.

Frank & Eva Blu-ray coverAnd just to please everyone, our second sexy feature is a softcore drama aimed at the heterosexual crowd: Cult Epics‘ new release of Frank & Eva, the debut film for Sylvia “Emmanuelle” Kristel. The DVD/Blu-ray combo includes a commentary track from director , the mini-doc “Up Front & Naked: Sex in Dutch Films,” and photo galleries. From the back cover: “Frank (Blue Movie’s Hugo Metsers) and Eva (The Lift’s Willeke van Ammelrooy) cannot live with or without each other. In the liberal 1970s, Frank sleeps with every woman he can get. Eva, meanwhile, is looking for more security and wants to start a family. Frank’s behavior frustrates her so much that she starts an affair with their mutual friend. This social drama offers a view on relationships not much different than today. For Sylvia Kristel (her debut prior to Emmanuelle), a special role was written after she said to Pim de la Parra, ‘Why won’t you discover me? I’m the best.'” Check out the Cult Epics Frank & Eva page for more info.

All right, get to it!

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 5/22/2018

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs and Blu-rays (and hot off the server VODs), and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Damsel (2018): A cowboy () journeys across the frontier, miniature horse in tow, to join his strong-willed bride-to-be (). Dana Schwartz of “Entertainment Weekly” raves that this Western comedy is “bizarre… and weird in the best ways,” although we suspect that assessment is aimed at a less jaded audience than this one. Damsel official site.

FILM FESTIVALS – Cinepocalypse (Chicago, IL, 6/21-6/28):

This Chicago festival, which mixes genre pictures with offbeat indies, is in it’s second year, and could grow into something special. We noted a couple of fest stalwarts in a pair of black comedies first seen at Sundance and Tribeca respectively, Clara’s Ghost and 7 Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss by Passing Through the Gateway Chosen by the Holy Storsh. Among listings with titles like Cop Baby, this new-to-us movie stood out:

  • The Secret Poppo – A paranoid eccentric hunts for the granddaughter he never knew in a comedy described as “THE PINK PANTHER crossed with an acid trip.” playing 6/28 only.

The fest closes on June 28 with  a screening of crowd fave Killer Klowns from Outer Space.

Cinepocalypse official site.

IN DEVELOPMENT (upcoming):

“A Love Story” (2017): Instagram is promoting its new video platform (IGTV) with a surreal short horror film from Petra Collins, starring Selena Gomez. Uncanny half-face masks, eyeballs in mouths, and finger-headed monsters co-star. First Spring Breakers, now this: no wonder Justin Bieber dumped her (that’s a shot at JB, not Ms. Gomez). ET Online has stills and a short clip to freak you out.

BOOKS:

“Room to Dream”: The biography/memoir we’ve been dreaming of. Kristine McKenna wrote the biographical sections, with Lynch himself dropping in to comment in a stream-of-consciousness style. A major event in weird movie literature. Buy “Room to Dream”.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

Double Lover (2017): Read our review. A strange, erotic psychological thriller from . DVD and Blu-ray. Buy Double Lover.

Night of the Lepus (1972): Read Alfred Eaker’s review. The infamous badfilm about giant killer rabbits gets a Blu-ray release with commentary (!) from Shout! Factory; make of that what you will. Buy Night of the Lepus.

Zen Dog (2016): A young virtual reality entrepreneur explores exotic herbs and lucid dreaming in an attempt to shake himself out of his rut, and hears the voice of Zen apostle Alan Watts. We’ll review this Buddhist parable/hippie-revivalist indie next week. On video-on-demand, or you can get a signed Blu-ray directly from the distributor.

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). We won’t list all the screenings of this audience-participation classic separately. You can use this page to find a screening near you.

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON TUBI.TV:

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1990): Read the Certified Weird entry! Two minor characters from “Hamlet” pass the time with intellectual games while awaiting their big moment. Currently listed as “leaving soon” (with no departure date given). Watch Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead free on Tubi.tv.

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 6/15/2018

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs and Blu-rays (and hot off the server VODs), and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

“Akio Jissoji: The Buddhist Trilogy”: Three rare films of the late Japanese New Wave: This Transient Life (1970) involves brother/sister incest, Mandara (1971) concerns a pro-rape cult, and Poem (1972) stars a young boy caught up in a plot to sell his ancestral home. Arrow Academy promises that these little-seen films are all stylized, experimental, erotic and spiritual. Blu-ray set only. Buy “Akio Jissoji: The Buddhist Trilogy”.

Curse of the Cat People (1944): Read Alfred Eaker’s review. A strange childhood fantasy film with little relation to its Cat People ancestor; a few people prefer it to the horrific original, though. Out on Blu-ray for the first time from Shout! Factory. Buy Curse of the Cat People.

Edward II (1991): ‘s experimental, queered-up version of Christopher Marlowe’s play. It’s in our reader-suggested queue, and now out on DVD, VOD and Blu-ray (for the first time) from Film Movement. Buy Edward II.

Inheritance (2017): A carpenter inherits a northern California villa from the biological father he never knew; the place is haunted by family secrets. Not to be confused with Hereditary; review (of both?) coming next week. VOD only. Buy or rent Inheritance.

King of Hearts (1966): In World War I, a private is mistaken for a bomb expert and sent to a French town deserted by the locals, but now occupied by the escaped inmates from a local mental asylum. This British anti-war cult favorite has long been hard to see in the U.S.; the Cohen Film Collection releases it on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD. Buy King of Hearts.

Vidar the Vampire (2017): A Norwegian farmer is vampirized by a bloodsucker claiming to be Jesus Christ. Debuts in the U.S. on various streaming and on-demand outlets; check the official site for details.

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). We won’t list all the screenings of this audience-participation classic separately. You can use this page to find a screening near you.

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 6/8/2018

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs and Blu-rays (and hot off the server VODs), and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.

FILM FESTIVALS – Annecy International Animated Film Festival (Annecy, France, June 11-16):

Anncey is a big deal for world animation (including television animation), although it does tend to favor Western-style works. The big boys from the major Hollywood studios will be there again this year, with previews (usually not the complete films) of Incredibles 2, Hotel Transylvania 3, and Wreck-it Ralph 2. But there’s plenty of room for small, independent, and weird works here, too, as you can see from the highlights below:

    • Insect – Legendary Surrealist animator Jan Svankmajer‘s latest (and, he insists, last) film features the actors metamorphosing into insects. A very rare (and presumably packed) screening on June 13 only.
    • Seder-Masochism mixes her musical retelling of “Exodus” with Goddess mythology; we’ve featured a preview scene from this one on these pages. In development for alomost ten years and frankly, we were a little worried it might never be completed, so to see it show up now is a thrill. Catch it in competition June 11-15.
    • The Wolf House [La Casa Lobo] – A woman escapes from a religious cult and finds herself in a nightmarish house.  Screens in competition from Jun 11-15.

Annecy International Animated Film Festival home page.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

As the Gods Will (2014): Read our festival review with Miike Q&A. Aliens stage bizarre elimination contests to kill teenagers in this violent (but not ultraviolent) sci-fi effort. In a DVD/Blu-ray/digital combo pack. Buy As the Gods Will.

Greaser’s Palace (1972): Read the Certified Weird review! ‘s blasphemous, absurdist, satirical retelling of the story of Christ set in the wild west. A new release from Doppelganger Releasing (a new arm of Music Box films), there are no special features advertised, but it does mark the film’s debut on the popular Blu-ray format. Buy Greaser’s Palace.

Satellite Girl and Milk Cow (2014): A satellite transforms into a cyborg and romances a brokenhearted man who has metamorphosed into a cow; the animation style resembles with a more surreal bent. On DVD, Blu-ray and VOD from GKIDS. Buy Satellite Girl and Milk Cow.

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). We won’t list all the screenings of this audience-participation classic separately. You can use this page to find a screening near you.

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON TUBI.TV:

Beyond Re-Animator (2003): Read our review. Dr. Herbert West continues his experiments in re-animating the dead, now from inside a prison, with typically over-the-top black comedy results. Listed as “leaving soon.” Adults only. Watch Beyond Re-Animator free on Tubi.tv.

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 6/1/2018

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs and Blu-rays (and hot off the server VODs), and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Best F(r)iends Vol. 2 (2018):  and Greg Sestero continue their post-Room adventures in this comic roadtrip movie; Sestero stars as a drifter and Wiseau is a mortician. Some say Vol. 2 is weirder than Vol. 1, and can be followed even if you missed the first episode. Screening June 1 and June 4 only, so you’ll need to check the Best F(r)iends home page to see if there’s a screening near you.

The Texture of Falling: Parallel stories of artists in love, with one set playing around with S&M. Bills itself as “unlike any film you’ve ever seen,” but early critics who chimed in didn’t see that as a plus. The Texture of Falling official site.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

Annihilation (2018): Read our review. Femme-friendly sci-fi about a mysterious alien presence is pretty damn weird by Hollywood standards, and a good flick by anyone’s standards. Out on DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD. Buy (or rent) Annihilation.

A Good Dream (2017): The sparse plot description explains its about a 20-something gal suffering from dreams/hallucinations of a creepy demon bunny. There’s not much info available on this straight-to-VOD horror/psychological thriller, but the trailer actually looks pretty creepy. Rent or buy A Good Dream.

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). We won’t list all the screenings of this audience-participation classic separately. You can use this page to find a screening near you.

YOU LINK US! YOU REALLY LINK US!:

The weirdest movies we’ve ever seen: 366 gets a shout-out (naturally) in the Cinebuds podcast sponsored by Milwaukee’s noncommercial 88.9 radio. The episode is actually a great introduction to the genre, especially for newbies. One complaint: they credited (and linked) the compendium of the List hosted on Mubi, rather than the primary source (that would be us). Any publicity is good publicity, but let’s get the url correct next time, please!

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.