Category Archives: Miscellanea

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 8/31/2018

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):

Let the Corpses Tan (2017): Gold thieves engage in a shootout with cops in and ‘s latest, this time a tribute to Italian poliziotteschi films. It doesn’t look as strange as their previous giallo-inspired work, but at least one mainstream reviewer found it “profoundly weird.” Look for a screening on Let the Corpses Tan‘s official site.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

All You Can Eat Buddha (2017): A mysterious man performs miracles at a tropical resort in this low-key film described as a “trippy and complex cinematic experience.” Looks like it will be skipping theatrical and physical media altogether and only be available on VOD. Buy or rent All You Can Eat Buddha.

Mind Game (2004): Killed by a yakuza, a nerd goes to a psychedelic afterlife. Thanks to readers, this one arrives pre-approved for the List of the 366 Weirdest Movies. Buy the DVD/Blu-ray combo pack or watch it on VOD while waiting for our review. Buy Mind Game.

“Mohsen Makhmalbaf: The Poetic Trilogy”: Gabbeh (1996) is a magical realist fable about a woman who materializes from a Persian rug; The Silence (1998) is about a blind boy who tunes instruments; and The Gardener is a “surreal documentary” about the Baha’i faith. Arrow Academy continues to put out extremely obscure movies with mildly weird-sounding synopses in expensive editions. Buy “Mohsen Makhmalbaf: The Poetic Trilogy”.

Straight To Hell (1987): reportedly wrote this spaghetti western/bank heist script in three days after a musical tour of Nicaragua he was promoting fell apart. Featuring a crazy cast of Joe Strummer, Elvis Costello, Jim Jarmusch, Courtney Love, Grace Jones, the Pogues, and (!) Buy Straight to Hell.

The Tree of Life (2011): Read the Certified Weird entry! The Criterion Collection gets their mitts on ‘s surrealistic family drama, with an additional 50 minutes of footage (!) and new interviews. So much stuff, it requires two Blu-rays or three DVDs to fit it all on. Buy The Tree of Life.

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.

Multiple cities: 9/6 – Perfect Blue (1997) (subtitled). Check the GKids site for locations near you.

FREE MOVIES ON TUBI.TV:

The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976): Read the Certified Weird review! stars as the titular character, an alien searching for water for his dying planet who gets distracted by Earthly pleasures. Watch The Man Who Fell to Earth free on Tubi.tv.

NEPOTISM CORNER:

“Women Make Movies, Vol. 1”: Alex Kittle wrote and illustrated this ‘zine about female filmmakers, from Lois Weber to Ava DuVernay. Hand-stitched and signed, for a mere $8 U.S. No weird filmmakers occupy this volume (unless the Wachowskis count), but Alex promises and will show up in Volume 2. Buy “Women Make Movies, Vol. 1“.

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 8/24/2018

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):

The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl (2017): Our own called it “stuffed to the gills with both narrative and visual humor. (And wonderment. And surrealism. And drinking).” GKids put this out in a Fathom Live screening last week (which we neglected to mention), but now it’s in a regular limited release. Find locations and showtimes at The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl official site.

The Wild Boys [Les garcons sauavges] (2017): Five boys (all played by girls) are exiled to an island due to crimes they commit while under the influence of a mystical being called TREVOR. A French reader nominated this for review last year, but, weird as it sounds, given its limited limited release schedule we’ll probably have to wait until it gets to home video to check it out. The Wild Boys page at Cineuropa.

FILM FESTIVALS – Venice International Film Festival (Venice, IT, 8/29-9/8):

The world’s oldest film festival, Venice is still one of the most prestigious movie events of the year, although it has been losing ground in late years as many producers who miss the chance to debut at Cannes choose to premiere at the better-attended Toronto Film Festival instead. Like Cannes, its tastes tend towards the vino e formaggio crowd, but they always scoop Toronto for some adventurous high-profile debuts, as seen in our list below:

  • The Favourite – turns his attention to a period piece set in England in the 18th century; we suspect he will find some way to weird up the hoary history. Screening 8/20-8/31.
  • Last Year at Marienbad (1961)- A special screening of the Certified Weird classic about two people who may, or may not, have met lats year at Marienbad. See it 9/5 or 9/6.
  • Suspiria – This witchy horror is the rare remake (of a Certified Weird classic, no less) that has us intrigued. Screens 9/1 and9/2.
  • The Tree of Life (extended cut) – ‘s 3+ hour directr’s cut of his insanely ambitious (and Certified Weird) feature can  be seen on 9/6 or 9/7.
  • Zan [Killing] – 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; if the treatment isn’t at least a little weird, it will be a huge departure for Tsukamoto. Screening 9/6-9/8.

Venice International Film Festival home page.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

The Tingler (1959): Read the Certified Weird entry! Cinema’s first acid freakout, plus a monster that lives in the human spine, plus Vincent Price, on Blu-ray for the first time! (Percepto not included). Buy The Tingler.

Wild at Heart (1990): Read the Certified Weird entry! Shout! Factory upgrades ‘s “weird on top” road trip to Blu-ray, with a new interview with original novelist Barry Gifford added to features recycled from older DVD releases. Buy Wild at Heart.

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 MOVIES ON TUBI.TV:

Cube Zero (2004): Read our review. You’ve seen the other two, now find out how the series ends in its B-moviest installment. Watch Cube Zero 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 8/17/2018

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:

“12 Monkeys, Season 4”: The expanded, TV version of the Certified Weird Terry Gilliam classic (Gilliam was not involved). Since we just inaugurated the film version onto the List of the 366 Best Weird Movies, we feel it’s only appropriate to  mention the home video début of the final season of the series, available on Blu-ray or as a VOD purchase. Buy “12 Monkeys, Season 4”.

Army of Darkness (1992): Read our review. Evil Dead III: Evil Goes Medieval (our suggested title, they should have used it) is now available in a new Blu from Shout! Factory, the same as the “Collector’s Edition” but with cool new artwork and in the popular steelbook format. Buy Army of Darkness.

Atmo HorroX (2016): Read our festival review. This self-described “experimental satire psychedelic horror” with no comprehensible dialogue earned our “weirdest!” badge, and is for seasoned weird-movie watchers only; it’s finally up for digital purchase (only). Buy Atmo HorroX.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2018): Read our review. This punk/alien/John Hughes mashup flopped at Cannes and made about $14 in theaters, but it’s not as terrible as some suggest, and may find a small audience among weirder teens and nostalgic ex-punks on home video. DVD, Blu-ray or streaming in Amazon Prime. Buy How to Talk to Girls at Parties.

Lifeforce (1985): Read our review. Another Shout! Factory steelbook, this time for the nutty nude space vampire epic that was a favorite of teenage boys everywhere during the VHS era. Buy Lifeforce.

Tideland (2005): Read the Certified Weird entry! This Arrow Video Blu-ray includes the same special features as Capri’s two disc DVD release but adds a few new interviews with the cast and some additional B-roll footage to the package. Buy Tideland.

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 WEIRD MOVIES ON TUBI.TV:

Cube 2: Hypercube (2002): Read our review. Obviously inferior to the original, but if you liked the randomly-slaughtered small-cast paranoia dynamic there, get ready for more. Watch Cube 2: Hypercube 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 8/10/2018

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):

Madeline’s Madeline (2018): Read G. Smalley’s positive review and Giles Edwards’ less positive mini-review. This experimental drama about a mentally unbalanced teenage girl in a theater troupe split our reviewers, but no one denies it’s a breakout work for director and rising star Helena Howard. Opening this week in New York city, then on to Los Angeles and other major cities in the late summer. Madeline’s Madeline official site.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

Lowlife (2017): Read Giles Edwards’ List Candidate review. Shout! Factory picked up this festival hit that’s a little like Pulp Fiction, but with luchadores; now on DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD. Buy Lowlife.

Zama (2017): A Spanish official posted to a remote South American colony longs for reassignment in a “subtly surreal and bizarre” film festival programmers said “often feels like it was made to purposefully confound the viewer.” Strand Releasing makes it available on all the usual platforms, including Blu-ray. Buy Zama.

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:

Cube (1997): Read the Certified Weird review! Existential horror; a pulpy Exterminating Angel in a cube. Watch Cube free on Tubi.tv.

NEPOTISM CORNER:

House of Shadows: Although it won’t be open until October, Alfred Eaker is already hard at work on the murals for the scare shack that bills itself as “Oregon’s Most Extreme Haunt.” Here’s a preview of his work, featuring a character some of you may recognize. Mark your calendars, Portlanders and other Oregonians! The House of Shadows website.

Caligari

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.

2018 FANTASIA FESTIVAL: THE FINAL SLICE OF STRANGE

Au Revoir

The Festival’s second half proved to be quite worthwhile, with a few gems tucked away in the final days. It was good, but my eyes started to hurt.

7/29: One Cut of the Dead

One Cut of the Dead Poster (2018)This should have appeared in the previous week’s “slice”, but for a couple of days I toyed with doing a fuller write-up of Shin’ichirô Ueda’s “found footage” horror exercise. I’m going to ask that you trust me on this, because I cannot say any more without compromising your viewing experience. But you Really, Really Should see this if you can. For those like me who regard the zombie genre as effectively run into the ground, this movie—despite what it seems the premise is—breathes so much life into the tired, tired tropes of zombie-this, -that, and -the-other. Top-notch cast, top-notch direction, top-notch notch. (Highly recommended.)

7/30: The Scythian

Still from The Scythian (2018)I had unfortunately missed seeing this on the big screen as both screenings conflicted with other films. However, even on a modest 41″ television in a darkened cubicle, Rustam Mosafir’s proto-Russian adventure fantasy proved itself to be one heckuva ride. Filled with sword fights, betrayals, mysterious pagans, and some crazy berserker-juice, The Scythian was everything one could want in a medieval adventure yarn. In particular, the score (which is something I’ve noticed I’ve been noticing a lot more) heightened the historical and mystical tones. Both the diegetic music from traveling performers and the ambient tribal chanting grounded the old world feeling; things cut loose a bit more during a fine bit of fighting when the chants were paired with some sick heavy metal guitar. While criticized in its homeland for a lack of historicity, I was more than happy to overlook incongruities from a millennium ago.

Cinderella the Cat

Still from Cinderella the Cat (2018)With four directors covering 86 minutes, you get about twenty-one minutes per director. I’m not sure how the assignment was divvied up (though conceivably they could had one for the animation, one for the voice acting, one Continue reading 2018 FANTASIA FESTIVAL: THE FINAL SLICE OF STRANGE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 8/2/2018

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):

Revengeance (2016):  A comic biker noir about a “low-rent” bounty hunter hired to recover an item stolen from “Deathface,” a former pro-wrestler turned U.S. Senator. Indie animation legend  completed this feature in 2016 (with the aid of a Kickstarter campaign), but it’s debuting this week in NYC, with a screening next week in LA (with DVD and/or VOD presumably soon to follow). Revengeance official site.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

Piranha II: The Spawning (1981): A scuba diver tries to figure out where all these mutant flying piranha (!) are coming from. Debuting director was fired from this picture after just one week, arguably making a hopeless project even worse—but it still gets a “collectors edition” Blu-ray release from Shout! Factory. Buy Piranha II: The Spawning.

UPCOMING SCREENINGS:

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) [IMAX]: Although prints of Stanley Kubrick‘s weird sci-fi classic have been touring all summer, Warner Brothers will be re-releasing a -supervised remastered version of 2001 specifically for IMAX theaters beginning on August 24. The reason we mention it now is that, although the film will screen in 350 locations in the U.S. and Canada, there will be only be four IMAX theaters screening it in 70mm: Universal Citywalk (LA), Lincoln Square (NYC), Metreon (San Francisco), and  Ontario Place Cinesphere (Toronto). Tickets for those four venues go on sale today, and are sure to sell out. You’re on your own finding tickets (hint: try Google), but you can’t say we didn’t give you a heads up. Here’s Warner Brothers’ full press release.

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.

2018 FANTASIA FESTIVAL: A THIRD SLICE OF STRANGE

Abridgement

Last year there were three fully scheduled screening rooms. This year there are only two. With a flood of dramas from Southeast Asia clogging the Festival, pickings were a little slim. But hope springs eternal as it heads into its second half.

Short: “Hooligans” (dir. Adam-Gabriel Belley-Côté)

After a match that could at best be described as a qualified success, three members of the blue team (the fourth is in hospital with a concussion; the other three are also injured to varying degrees) discuss the prospect of letting the leader’s cousin into the group. The controversy? It was that same cousin that caused the blue team their injuries. Presenting violent European football fandom as a sport of its own, “Hooligans” eschews social commentary in favor of rib-tickling reveals about competition, induction, and club-house procedure. Beware appendix 1-A.

Short: “A/S/L” (dir. Benjamin Swicker )

A horror film about American Sign Language? Heck no. I was immediately reminded of my age when I saw this short that hearkens back to simpler times of Windows 95 and AOL 2.5. Doug ill-advisedly makes the titular inquiry of a thirteen-year-old girl he meets online. He compounds his error by taking her up on her offer to visit her place. What could go wrong; her parents are “gone for the weekend.” Upon arrival, things turn sinister/awkward. With the appearance of the girl’s “sister,” they gets doubly so—doubling again with the appearance of yet two more under-age girls. In their way, the girls have a feisty-good time; Doug, however, should have stayed at home.

7/24: Inuyashiki

Still from Inuyashiki (2018)In the tradition of Kodoku: Meatball Machine and others, Shinsuke Sato presents another in the genre of “Superannuated Superhero”: Inuyashiki. By chance, a put-upon father who has just been told he has fatal cancer and a disenchanted young man end up at the same park by chance and are struck by a blinding light and massive object. Coming to the next day, the father is first surprised to find himself alive, and then to find he no longer needs his glasses. Slowly he discovers he has a a shiny, new interior: a “switch” in his wrist releases a high-tech weapon; another node in his neck flips his head open to reveal some very impressive central processing power. The young man, on the other hand, learns about his new self faster, but chooses a more destructive path than the older man’s healing spree.

Inuyashiki deftly combines sky-high action sequences with down-to-earth ruminations on the nature of good, evil, and the feasibility of forgiveness. Both the father and the young man have understandable gripes with reality, but the former never ceases to try to do the Continue reading 2018 FANTASIA FESTIVAL: A THIRD SLICE OF STRANGE