Category Archives: Miscellanea

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Only 72 more titles left to Certify Weird!

Next week starts off with Alfred Eaker bringing you a 1971 drive-in double feature: stars in ‘s execrable Castle of Fu Manchu, and in the somewhat better Jekyll/Hyde adaptation I, Monster. Also on tap: still decompressing from his three-week movie binge, Giles Edwards looks back at 2017’s Fantasia Festival. We’ll also bring you our first look at ‘s latest, Endless Poetry (courtesy of Rafael Moreira), while Shane Wilson and G. Smalley chip away at that massive reader-suggested review queue, tackling ‘s Me and You and Everyone We Know and Bollywood’s take on the mindbender, No Smoking, respectively.

Here’s our weekly look at the weirdest search terms that brought visitors to the site this week, a feature we like to call “Weirdest Search Terms of the Week.” First off, we’re not sure about the cause and effect is supposed to work in “a action movie from the early 2000s about a girls who is impregnated by a creature and give birth to it.”  There’s also this one, offered in an unknown but strange-sounding language: “zex fonkey maying.” In a similar vein is the almost-sweet but still incoherent “zex love kusing.” We were both intrigued and weirded-out by our official choice for Weirdest Search Term of the Week: “film tentang two men found a wild girl. they have sex with her by rotation and together, but something strange and frightening was in this girl…” Nice use of the closing elipsis, but we’re not sure why you want to generate suspense in a web search (maybe the searcher thinks Google will be more motivated to process the query because it wants to find out what happens next?)

Here’s how our ridiculously-long reader-suggested review queue stands:  Me and You and Everyone We Know (next week!); No Smoking (next week!); Beauty and the Beast [Panna a Netvor] (1978); 1 Day; Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 8/4/2017

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

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

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

68 Kill: Bad-taste caper black comedy about a lowlife and his girlfriend who decides to steal cash from her sugar daddy. Reviews were generally impressed by its cult movie aspirations, although our own Giles Edwards was unimpressed (“it fails more often than not“). 68 Kill at Snowfort Pictures.

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NEW ON DVD:

Colossal (2016): An alcoholic woman (Anne Hathaway) discovers that the appearance of a giant monster in Seoul coincides perfectly with her blackouts in this absurd allegory. We missed it in theaters, but now is the perfect chance to get caught up. Buy Colossus.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Colossal (2016): See description in DVD above. Buy Colossus [Blu-ray].

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.

2017 FANTASIA FESTIVAL: MOVIES & MAYHEM IN MONTREAL, VOL. 3

7/26 : Throwback Thursday …I Mean, Wednesday

Still from Eternal Evil (AKA The Blue Man)Tucked far out of the way of anything else at the Fantasia Festival is the “Cinematheque Quebecoise” theater. After forty minutes of searching and using the secret knock to get through the door, I was finally able to get seated for Eternal Evil (AKA The Blue Man). Directed in the mid-’80s by George Mihalka, Eternal Evil tells a dark tale of murder and astral projection. Our hero Paul Sharpe spends a lot of time with his shirt unbuttoned, and wonders why those close to him keep ending up dead. The answer stems from an interview he did with an elderly couple who claimed to achieve immortality by shifting to new bodies when their current vessels had worn out. A cult hit in its native Canada, the ’80s cheesiness was fortunately outweighed by the interesting story and clever premise. Not really something to Certify, though.

Poster for God Tole Me To (1976)That honor might go to ‘s 1976 cop-drama/alien-abduction picture, God Told Me To. A series of mass murders take place in downtown New York City, only connected by one thing: the perpetrators informing a policeman after the fact that they did because “God told [them] to.” Police detective Peter Nicholas is convinced there’s something to their confessions and digs deeper, discovering both an ominous entity at the heart of the matter as well as some strange truth about his own nature. Quite Certifiable, with one of the “Three Weird Things” necessarily being “glowing furnace-room messiah.”

7/27 : “Well, all the movies can’t be good. You’ve got to expect that once in a while.”

I suppose I really shouldn’t complain. It took over two weeks for Fantasia to give me a swing-and-a-miss evening out. I had high hopes for the Filipino Town in a Lake, Jet Leyco’s (ever-so-slightly) bizarre crime drama concerning the murder of one girl and the concurrent disappearance of another. The first hour is a humdrum, if capable, drama surrounding the mystery: reporters rush to the small town as the news “trends”, politicians work hard to take advantage of the tragedy, and, as is so often the case, the police have no real leads. It takes over an hour for something weird to happen—and right on its heels, the movie ends with a “twist”. An out-of-the-blue, confounding, and not terribly inspired “twist”. Though my goal here is to find new movies that are out of the ordinary, I can’t help but think that Town in a Lake would have been better as a straight-up procedural. As it stands, it’s as if got particularly lazy and, in Continue reading 2017 FANTASIA FESTIVAL: MOVIES & MAYHEM IN MONTREAL, VOL. 3

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 7/28/2017

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

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

NEW ON DVD:

Bag Boy Lover Boy (2014): An art photographer specializing in “unusual” human specimens takes a slow-witted hot dog vendor for his muse. It’s got a grimy, shot-in-NYC grindhouse feel to it. Buy Bag Boy Lover Boy.

Ghost in the Shell (2017): Read Shane Wilson’s capsule review. You’re better off with the animated original, unless you just really want to see Scarlett Johansson in a skintight bodysuit. Buy Ghost in the Shell.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Bag Boy Lover Boy (2014): See description in DVD above. Buy Bag Boy Lover Boy [Blu-ray].

Ghost in the Shell (2017): See description in DVD above. Buy Ghost in the Shell [Blu-ray].

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.

2017 FANTASIA FESTIVAL: MOVIES & MAYHEM IN MONTREAL, VOL. 2

7/19 & 7/20 : Preparing for another Long Weekend

Although it may come back to haunt me, I did not brave the swarms of fan-boys and girls that flocked to ‘s new space epic Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Wednesday evening. I did, however, stay out late to catch Ufuk Genç’s German-language martial-arts movie, Plan B. It was truly “a mix of action und comedy”, but unlike Rainier Wolfcastle’s mediocre McBain: Let’s Get Silly!Plan B has no shortage of hilarity (and, indeed, action). A trio of wannabe kung fu movie stars are trapped doing dirty work for a gang of vicious criminals and have constant run-ins with another gang of vicious criminals. Police detective Robert Kopp looms in the background wondering what these idiots could possibly be up to.

Still from Free and Easy (2017)On Thursday night, just one feature—a weird one. Geng Jun’s Free and Easy plays like it was shot from a screenplay whipped up by when he was doing his post-college backpacking trip around Northeast China. (Note: there is no record of Beckett back-packing around Northeast China). In a ghost town of some dozen people, around half of the inhabitants seem to be con-men; two bored policemen encounter victims of knock-out soap (literally). Free and Easy had a fair number of laughs, but as the screen darkened, the normally clapping crowd was silent, not quite knowing what to do: there was one clap, then silence during the incongruous Mandarin rap song that played over the credits.

7/21 : Triple Feature; All Hail “NongShim”

Technically it’s 7/22: just returned from the final film of a triple feature this evening, and I feel like my brain should be soaked in a cool bucket of ice. Things started around 7 o’clock with the Cambodian jailhouse action extravaganza Jailbreak. Very martial arts, not very weird, but those who like well choreographed (and non-hyper-edited) combat should check it out.

On the heels of this violence was some more violence—of less quantity, but far more grisly. Lowlife is looking to be the high point of the Festival, and I’ll remark more on it later once I’ve had a chance to shut down. Suffice it to say, I think America has a new go-to director for unsettling violence fused with smart script-writing and quirky wit. Lowlife also gives us one of the nastiest bad guys to come out on film in a long while.

Rounding out the evening was the hyper-bizarre, hyper-violent, and ultimately tender movie, Kudoku Meatball Machine. This film introduced me to the creativity of , whom I will have the pleasure of interviewing in under ten hours. I’ll provide details on the last two later this weekend. Now, though, I’m signing off and passing out.

7/22 : Laid-back Conversations

On Saturday-proper, I had intended to watch three movies: Dead Continue reading 2017 FANTASIA FESTIVAL: MOVIES & MAYHEM IN MONTREAL, VOL. 2

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

It’s a somewhat funky week upcoming on 366 Weird Movies. Alfred Eaker starts us off with a castle-themed 1964 drive-in double feature of Horror Castle and Castle of the Living Dead. Giles Edwards is busy at the Fantasia Film Festival and will be bringing us his weekly check-in, plus a bonus review and interview (or two). Finally, G. Smalley brings in the promised funk with reviews of the blaxploitation parody/soft porn feature Black Devil Doll and, on a more positive note, Melvin Van Peebles’ extravagant 1971 experiment Sweet Sweetback’s  Baadasssss Song.

Speaking of funky, it’s time for our survey of the weirdest search terms that brought people to the site this week, a feature we call “Weirdest Search Terms of the Week.” First off, we think it’s obvious that the guy who searched for “(((incest drama))) online” early in the week and the guy looking for “((incest film))) 1979 mubi” on the weekend are the same person. Right? Or is putting incest search terms inside multiple parentheses a thing now?[1]) [Ed. Apparently “triple parenthesis” are a “thing”; see the comments section.] We also noted other perverts with bad spelling searching for “japanes house keeper with ownar lebens sex .com”. But we’ll give the official award for Weirdest Search Term of the Week to “sex parody hit femors movies.com,” which we like to think is a search for x-rated parodies of hit movies about femurs.

Here’s how our ridiculously-long reader-suggested review queue stands: Black Devil Doll (next week!); Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (next week!); Beauty and the Beast [Panna a Netvor] (1978); 1 Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

  1. (Maybe he thinks it’s like whispering on the Internet? []

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 7/21/2017

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

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

IN THEATERS (WIDE RELEASE):

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017): Two space operatives investigate a mystery in a city that serves as a galactic cultural crossroads. ‘s latest attempt to crack the U.S. blockbuster market has gotten mixed reviews, but also drawn some complaints/plaudits for its “trippiness.” Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets official site.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

The Girl Without Hands [Le Jeune Fille sans Mains] (2016): Animated version of the Grimm fairy tale about a girl who loses her hands to the Devil. Looking more like a series of overlapping art canvases than a traditional animated film, this one is drawing universal praise. The Girl Without Hands U.S. distributor site.

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Kuso (2017): It looks like a psychedelic cable access variety show set in the aftermath of an L.A. earthquake. The grotesque bodily fluid imagery mixed with narrative incomprehensibility inspired many a walkout during its not-quite-succès de scandale debut at Sundance. Kuso official site.

The Untamed (2016): Erotic Mexican horror about an unhappy marriage and some sort of creature in the woods. It made enough of a splash on the festival circuit to earn a limited release; we hope it’s not too tame. The Untamed official site.

NEW ON DVD:

Buster’s Mal Heart (2017): Read Alex Kittle’s review. A hermit ranting about “the Inversion” has a couple of other possible identities in this mindbender. Buy Buster’s Mal Heart.

Stalker (1979): Read the Certified Weird review! The Criterion Collection releases ‘s newly-restored, mesmerizingly ambiguous sci-fi feature; special features (mostly interviews) are on a second disc. Buy Stalker.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Buster’s Mal Heart (2017): See description in DVD above. Buy Buster’s Mal Heart [Blu-ray].

Stalker (1979): See description in DVD above. The movie and bonus content fit on one Blu-ray. Buy Stalker [Blu-ray].

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.

2017 FANTASIA FESTIVAL: MOVIES & MAYHEM IN MONTREAL, VOL. 1

7/13 : Arrival

Nine hours in a train, thirteen hours securing Wi-Fi, and a whole ton of walking. All this adds up to your correspondent’s arrival to the 2017 Fantasia Film Festival. No sleep? No problem. This party’s got everything you need to stay on your feet.

Things began with a power-house slaughterfest, Doom-style, with Jung Byung-Gil’s latest picture, The Villainess. Countless dead bodies filled this tale of deadly women, murder agencies, and betrayal. Disarmingly introduced by the commendably low-key director, The Villainess is an ultra-violent assassin revenge movie with a strange “rom-com” interlude. I strongly suspect that would give Byung-Gil a high five after watching it.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable was introduced by no less than Japan’s consulate general, whose gracious speech was followed by some snazzy fantasy-rock violin. Unfortunately, things began to disappoint immediately thereafter; so much so that, having given Jojo a chance for half its length, I had to  duck out. Somehow I didn’t get the memo that most of the other attendees received: that this movie was amusing, stylish, and worthwhile. Ignorance of the series no doubt worked against me; the only other culprit I can think to blame is my sobriety.

I have no worries, though. Peeking ahead at the weekend, I find I will be booked solid with very promising titles. As midnight approaches, my first festival day winds down to a close. Tomorrow: three movies, with the action starting at 10 AM. Wish me luck out here; I’ll keep the reports coming.

7/14 : Travel-Size Review, The LaPlace’s Demon

Awkwardly titled, pleasantly unnerving. Giordano Giulvi’s The LaPlace’s Demon is a through-the-looking-glass take on the horror genre, replacing the fear of the supernatural with the terror at the hyper-rational. Eight souls are lured to an ominous mansion high atop a peak on a deserted island and trapped inside. Within, they find a clock-work model of their opulent prison, with eight white pawns. The all-knowing Professor Cornelius explains, via video-tape, they are part of an experiment to see if free will exists. As the pawns inside the model begin moving in sync with the visitors, real fear sets in when one pawn disappears—and an ominous Continue reading 2017 FANTASIA FESTIVAL: MOVIES & MAYHEM IN MONTREAL, VOL. 1

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Only 75 more titles left to Certify Weird!

Next week starts off at the drive-in as Alfred Eaker considers a 1960 double feature of Horror Hotel (with ) matched with Germany’s contribution to the disembodied head genre, the memorably titled The Head. Then, Pete Trbovich sails over Dark Waters to consider the nunnery-set horror of the title. Next, Giles Edwards brings us his first report from 2017’s Fantasia Festival, with possible bonus content to drop unpredictably through the week. Finally G. Smalley takes on ‘s surreal anti-fascist screed Viva la Muerte! (Long Live Death!) It’s a highly cosmopolitan and international week from the well-traveled (virtually and otherwise) crew here at 366.

Now is the time you wait all week for, when we survey the weirdest search terms that brought visitors to the site this week in a feature we sensibly designate “Weirdest Search Terms of the Week.” We’ll start with one we’ve seen before, which still mystifies us: “friends boring strangers” (we could maybe understand “friends boning strangers,” though that would still be an odd thing to search for). A bit weirder was “french language film bicycle ride policeman vagina.” (We’re guessing the last item on the list is the one the searcher is really interested in).  Still, it’s no match for our official Weirdest Search Term of the Week: “while stranded on an island this baby doll bit the head off a lizard and drank the juice.” We especially like that this query is stated so matter-of-factly, as if it came up naturally in conversation over coffee: “say, did you hear about the time…”

Here’s how our ridiculously-long reader-suggested review queue stands: Dark Waters (next week!); Viva la Murete (next week!); Beauty and the Beast [Panna a Netvor] (1978); 1 Day; Black Devil Doll; Vermilion Souls (depending on availability); No Smoking (2007); Gahjini; One Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 7/14/2017

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

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

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Endless Poetry: ’s second installment in the psychoautobiographical project that began with the Certified Weird The Dance of Reality, now concerning his experiences as a young bohemian artist in Santiago. We were shocked by how little Jodo had lost when Reality came out after a 21-year hiatus from filmmaking, making us even more excited for this second installment. Endless Poetry Indiegogo page.

The Persian Connection: A “neon-noir fever dream” set in the Persian and Russian gangster underworlds of L.A.. This drug, sex, and violence cocktail was originally titled The Loner when it played the Tribeca Film Festival. The Persian Connection Facebook page.

FILM FESTIVALS – Fantasia Festival (Montreal, Quebec, 7/13-8/2):

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. (We’re still awaiting release of the video-art black comedy She’s Allergic to Cats, never mind the completely bizarre and incomprehensible Atmo HorroX). Because of the large number of entries, we’re highlighting only films here that are debuting at Fantasia or that are totally new to us. We’ll mention that the indie comedy Brigsby Bear, Casey Affleck’s A Ghost Story‘s WFT The Mole Song: Hong Kong Capriccio, the surreal Estonian fairy tale November, and the Filipino Town in a Lake are also playing, while ‘s big-budget epic Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets gets an early screening at Fantasia. Also of note are revivals of God Told Me To (and other movies from Lifetime Achievement Award honoree ), a rare screening of Rape of the Vampire, and the debut of the restored print of the Certified Weird Suspiria, which will be touring North America in late summer.

  • Animals – Black comedy/horror about a couple whose vacation becomes a surreal nightmare after their car hits and kills a sheep. Screening July 16 & 18.
  • Assholes – This incestuous anal sex themed comedy with a butt monster aims to be the grossout ticket of the year. See it Aug 1, if you dare.
  • The Endless – Bored by life on the outside, two apostates return to the UFO death cult they had abandoned. Screens Aug 1.
  • The Honor Farm – High school seniors decide to take an after-prom shroom trip in an abandoned prison; bad idea. July 15 & 17.
  • Infiltration [Le Problème d’Infiltration] – A wealthy reconstructive surgeon’s life falls apart after he is threatened with a malpractice suit. World premiere Aug. 2.
  • Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is UnbreakableTakashi Miike opens the festival once more with this manga adaptation that pits a hero with bizarre hair against a serial killer. Debuted yesterday, with an encore screening July 23.
  • The Laplace’s Demon – Eight researchers are trapped in a castle in this retro B&W feature exploring concepts of chance and free will. See it July 21 or 23.
  • Night Is Short, Walk on Girl – Anime about a college student following his dream girl through a surreal all-night used book store. July 30 & 31.

As a special treat, 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. Fantasia Festival home page.

NEW ON DVD:

Pulse (2001): Read our review. Arrow Video’s release of ‘s apocalyptic millennial J-horror comes with a ton of extras for fans, including a collectible booklet available with this pressing only. Buy Pulse [Blu-ray/DVD combo.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

The Fifth Element (1997): Read our review. ‘s cult-y sci-fi epic upgraded to a 4K presentation; no extra features are listed. The Fifth Element Blu-ray.

Pulse (2001): See description in DVD above. Buy Pulse [Blu-ray/DVD combo.

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 YOUTUBE:

Maximum Shame (2010): Read our review of ‘ “apocalyptic fetish horror musical chess sci-fi weird feature movie.” You can watch it on YouTube or embedded on the director’s personal site.

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.