Category Archives: Miscellanea

THE PENULTIMATE READERS’ CHOICE POLL

With only 66 spots left open on the List of the 366 Weirdest Movies, last week we opened up nominations for readers to submit movies they could not bear to be left off the List.  We announced that this would be the last chance for readers to directly vote movies onto the List, but since the response was so strong we decided it might be appropriate to give you all one final shot when we get within sight of the finish line. So what you see below is now officially the Penultimate Readers Choice Poll rather than the final one.

The rules are simple, as always. You may vote for two of your favorites from the list below, and you may only vote once per day. We trust you are an honorable bunch so no shenanigans, please. The poll includes a short quote from the reader who nominated the film or seconded the nomination. You are encouraged to continue to campaign for your favorite in the comments on this post. Voting closes on October 7 at midnight, U.S. Eastern Standard time. Enjoy!


WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 9/22/2017

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):

Woodshock (2017): A grieving woman () smokes synthetic cannabinoids in the woods and hallucinates a lot. It’s savaging by critics makes it possibly A24’s first critical flop. Woodshock official site.

FILM FESTIVALS – Fantastic Fest (Austin, TX, 9/21-9/28):

The Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX may be America’s coolest theater. Their brand has grown so big that now they have franchised Drafthouses, and even distribute their own (generally weird) movies. One of the Alamo’s hippest projects is Fantastic Fest, going into its thirteenth year. As per usual, there is a fantastic slate of weird movies and some neato revivals here.  Coming at the tail end of the film festival season, much of the movies are retreads, but the Drafthouse folks always find a way to save some surprise debuts. We won’t do more than mention films we’ve already mentioned from other festivals, including the surreal resort feature All You Can Eat Buddha, the mindbending “cult” film The Endless, ‘ highly awaited The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and ‘s poliziotteschi tribute Let the Corpses Tan, Selma Blair and as the killers Mom and Dad, and Palme d’Or winner The Square. Here’s what we’ll be tracking down the road:

  • Anna and the Apocalypse – A Scottish Christmas zombie-invasion musical. Screens Sep. 22 & 26.
  • Anyab (1981) – Per the description, this is an Egyptian rip-off of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (sans cross-dressing). Sep. 24 & 26.
  • Applecart – Vacationers are disturbed by an odd woman () in a midnight movie the programmers describe as “weird, wild and blood-soaked.” Sep. 22 & 27.
  • Blue in My Mind – A Swiss teenage girl finds her body transforming (in a ian way) and, per the trailer, also eats goldfish. Screens Sep. 27 only.
  • Gerald’s Game – During a sex game a man dies leaving his wife handcuffed to the bed; hallucinations ensue in this feature adapted from a story. Sep. 24 & 26.
  • Ichi the Killer (2001) – A restored print of ‘s sadomasochistic yakuza hit. Catch it Sep. 27.
  • Mary and the Witch’s Flower – A girl becomes a witch for a day in this anime from Studio Ghibli refugees that brings to mind Kiki’s Delivery Service with flying whales. Sep. 22 & 27.
  • The Nude Vampire (1970) – A special screening of ‘s batty sex/vampire mashup (and List Candidate) to celebrate the release of Kier La-Janisse’s book “Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin.” On Sep. 24, hosted by La-Janisse.
  • The Originals – Reality (and time)-bending Egyptian film about a banker recruited into a secret society. Sep 22 & 26.
  • Pin Cushion – A mother and daughter in a new town retreat into fantasy when targeted by bullies. Sep. 22 & 26.
  • Topknot Detective – Mockumentary (?) about a brief Japanese cult TV series starring a samurai detective. Sep. 23 & 25.
  • Vidar the Vampire – A Norwegian farmer is vampirized by a bloodsucker claiming to be Jesus Christ. Sep. 24 & 28.
  • World of Tomorrow Episode Two: The Burden of Other People’s Thoughts – The 40-minute sequel to brilliant short “World of Tomorrow“; the original will also be shown, and Hertzfeld will lead a discussion during the intermission. World premiere Sep. 23, encore Sep. 28.

Fantastic Fest official site.

NEW ON DVD:

The Bad Batch (2016): ‘s much-anticipated followup to A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night features and and was originally pitched as “a dystopian love story in a Texas wasteland and set in a community of cannibals.” Critics didn’t like it much, but then again they hated Southland Tales when it first came out, too. Buy The Bad Batch.

“Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-1971”: Five rare films (A Film Like Any Other, See You at Mao, Wind from the East, Struggles in Italy, Vladimir and Rosa) from ‘s “Dziga Vertov” period. These experimental, avant-garde hippie-era Marxist screeds are dated and an acquired taste. Buy “Jean Luc-Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-1971 {Blu-ray + DVD].”

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

The Bad Batch (2016): See description in DVD above.  Buy The Bad Batch [Blu-ray]

“Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-1971”: See description in DVD above. Comes on 6 discs (we’re not sure how they are divided between DVD and Blu-ray).  Buy “Jean Luc-Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-1971.”

Starship Troopers (1997): Read the reader recommendation. Nothing new in this 20th Anniversary reissue except that it’s a 4K Ultra upgrade (with a spare Blu-ray in case your TV, like most, can’t handle 4k). Buy Starship Troopers [4K/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.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 9/15/2017

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):

mother!: A series of uninvited guests disturb Jennifer Lawrence’s tranquillity in ‘s latest psychological thriller. Critics have been divided but generally positive, though it did earn a smattering of “boos” from the Venice Film Festival crowd (which is often a good gauge of a movie’s weirdness). mother! official Facebook page.

FILM FESTIVALS – AFI Latin American Film Festival (Silver Spring, MD., Sep 14-Oct 4):

This year, AFI’s showcase of Latin American (or at least Spanish language) film features a couple of movies we’ve seen around the festival circuit: the List-worthy animation Birdboy: The Forgotten Children [AKA Psychonauts, The Forgotten Children] and the Mexican psychosexual horror The Untamed. There’s also one new title of interest:

  • Don’t Swallow My Heart, Alligator Girl! – A Brazilian boy falls in love with a Paraguayan girl in this magical realist take on “Romeo and Juliet.” Screens Sep. 17 & 19.

AFI Latin American Film Festival home page.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Phenomena (1985): A young girl who can speak to insects solves a mystery at a girls’ school. Synapse puts out a deluxe two Blu-ray set of Dario Argento‘s buggy horror with three cuts of the film, an Argento doc, and more surprises. Buy Phenomena [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.

THE FINAL READER-CHOSEN ENTRIES ON THE LIST OF 366 WEIRDEST MOVIES – PHASE 1 (NOMINATIONS)

As you, the careful and long-suffering reader, may have noticed, we’re starting to run low on slots for the 366 Weirdest Movies Ever Made. Only 67 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, and Why Don’t You Play in Hell? 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 (maybe your last) chance to have direct input on the List. After this, you’ll be left hoping, begging, and cajoling us to pick your favorites. (You might want to consider “bribing,” also—just throwing that out there).

Here’s how it’s going to work this time around. 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. 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. Star Wars) 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.

We will leave the nomination process open for an indeterminate length of time. Twenty titles seems like the most we’d be willing to deal with, so we’ll shut down the process if we reach that goal. Otherwise, we’d predict leaving it open for about two weeks, maybe longer if we don’t get enough candidates.

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.

Once we have enough nominees (we’re hoping for something in the ten to twenty movie range), we’ll shut off this post to new comments and create an official poll to officially add two of these movies. (Others from the poll may 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 for two movies in the end, it would be a good idea not to second more than two.

Ready? Got to it! Comment away!

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

OFFICIAL NOMINEES (voting to commence soon):

The Addams Family (1992)

Amer (2009)

Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

The Beyond (1981)

Big Man Japan (2007)

The Butcher Boy (1997)

Chronopolis (1982)

City of the Pirates (1984)

Heart of a Dog (2015)

I Am Here… Now (2009)

Incubus (1966)

It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012)

Last Year at Marienbad (1961)

Multiple Maniacs (1970)

O Ornitólogo (The Ornithologist) (2016)

Pink Narcissus (1971)

Save the Green Planet! (2003)

Survive Style 5+ (2004)

Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets (1971)

Under the Skin (2013)

Just missed (for historical purposes):

L’ange (1982) (russa03) – awaiting a second

Live Freaky – Die Freaky (Ben) – awaiting a second

Samurai Rauni (Aki Vainio) – awaiting a second

The Skin I Live In (Blakeg) – awaiting a second

Talking Head (chie) – awaiting a second

Madam Satan (1930) (Cham Ferguson) – awaiting a second

Wave Twisters (2001) (travis) – awaiting a second

The Spirit (2008) (Motyka) – awaiting a second

Fateful Findings (Wootex) – awaiting a second

Messiah of Evil (1973) (Scott Dwyer) – awaiting a second

Raising Arizona (Sebastian Murillo) – awaiting a second

mother! (2017)  (Barry Strickland) – awaiting a second

Seizure (1974) (Ricardo dos Santos) – awaiting a second

Dr. Caligari (1989) (Maico Nafarrate) – awaiting a second

Fight Club (Justin Gans) – awaiting a second

Blak Mama (2009) (Marco) – awaiting a second

Ritual dos Sádicos (Awakening of the Beast – 1970) (Douglas Fricke) – awaiting a second

Reflections in a Golden Eye (Ray C) – awaiting a second

Medea (1988, von Trier) (PeterRox) – awaiting a second

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 9/8/2017

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.

Summer is over and the weird movie world is heating up now that blockbuster season is past…

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

The Challenge (2017): Experimental low-dialogue documentary about the strange hobbies of wealthy Qatari sheiks who converge for a meeting in the desert. In a generally negative review, Variety nonetheless suggests it’s a “non-fictive but scarcely less fantastical (or mannered) equivalent to Matthew Barney’s cinematic oeuvre.The Challenge U.S. distributor site.

Napping Princess (2017): In the near future a student discovers that the secret to freeing her arrested father may lie in her dreams of a science fantasy kingdom. Light, whimsical anime magic. Napping Princess U.S. distributor site.

FILM FESTIVALS – Toronto International Film Festival (Toronto, Ont., Canada, 9/7-9/17):

TIFF continues to be one of the world’s major film festivals, even as it continues to evolve and find its own niche in a crowded field. This year, they have narrowed down the slate (from 296 to 255 films) and appear to be focusing more on potential awards contenders, perhaps in an attempt to position themselves as Oscar kingmakers. (Thanks to Variety for recognizing the trend.) Unfortunately, this shift in emphasis means that a few scrappy, weirder films may be the first to be shunted aside for more conventional titles—but there’s still plenty of unusual stuff hiding in the program. Aside form a few titles we’ve noted elsewhere (like s rock opera Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc, James Franco’s biopic The Disaster Artist, ‘s The Shape of Water, ‘s mother!, and Palme d’Or winner The Square), here’s what caught our eye:

  • All You Can Eat Buddha – A mysterious man performs miracles at a tropical result in this low-key film programmers describe as a “trippy and complex cinematic experience.” Screens Sep. 11-14.
  • The Crescent – Hallucinatory horror about a grieving woman and her 2-year old child. Sep. 13-15.
  • Gutland – Billed as a “surrealist rural noir,” the scenario involves a German drifter who wanders into a strange village in Luxembourg. Sep 8, 10, 12, 13, 16.
  • I Am Not a Witch – Magical realist story about an African girl exiled from her village on suspicion of witchcraft. Sep. 8, 13, 14, 16.
  • The Killing of a Sacred Deer‘ latest reunites him with The Lobster‘s , playing a cardiologist who befriends a 16-year old boy. The Sep 7 debut is passed, but you can still catch it Sep 9 or 10.
  • Let the Corpses Tan (Laissez Bronzer les Cadavres) – Gold thieves engage in a shootout with cops in this tribute to Italian poliziotteschi films; doesn’t look as weird as their previous giallo-inspired work, but it’s always interesting to see what and are up to. Sep. 9, 13, 14, 17.
  • Mom and Dad – Pitch black comedy wherein mass hysteria causes parents to hunt their own children; what makes it notable, however, is cranky director teaming up (again) with ever-hammy . Sep 9, 10, 13, 16.
  • Motorrad – Brazilian dirt biking kids are hunted by a machete-wielding biker gang; we probably wouldn’t have noticed this one except that the programmers called it “wild and weird” (twice!) Sep. 9, 11, 13, 16.
  • Oblivion Verses (Los Versos del Olvido) – An elderly cemetery caretaker sets out to bury a woman killed by the secret police in a world gone mad. Sep. 11, 12,. 13, 15.
  • Occidental – Set entirely inside a stylized French hotel, where the arrival of a gay couple sets off a series of absurd xenophobic events. Sep. 9, 10, 14, 16.
  • On Body and Soul – Two Hungarian slaughterhouse employees try to recreate the identical recurring dream they share. Sep. 15-17.
  • Redoubtable – This biopic portrait of at an artistic crisis point after making 1967’s flop La Chinoise is not weird, but potentially of interest. Sep 9, 14, 15, 17.
  • Simulation – Gritty Iranian drama told in reverse chronological order with dreamlike moments. Sep. 12, 14, 17.

Toronto Film Festival home page.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

The Cabin in the Woods (2012): Read our review. There’s nothing new in this Blu of the ultimate meta-horror except for the fact that it’s been updated to a 4K Ultra HD presentation for those with next generation TVs. Buy The Cabin in the Woods [4K Ultra HD 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.

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

“toco toco”: toco toco is a professional short documentary series profiling Japanese artists. Their latest offerings should be of interest to our readers: interviews with gurus (Robogeisha) and (Tokyo Gore Police). Both contain clips from these arterial auteurs gory films and therefore come with a “viewer discretion advised” warning. Highly recommended for fans. Watch them free on YouTube: Noboru Iguchi EpisodeYoshihiro Nishimura Episode.

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 9/1/2017

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.

FILM FESTIVALS – Venice International Film Festival (Venice, IT, 8/30-9/9):

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 there’s always some adventurous and/or interesting  stuff to be found in the catalog, and some high-profile debuts, as seen in our list below:

  • Controfigura – French film about a small crew trying to remake The Swimmer in Marrakesh. Screening Sep. 8 &9.
  • Dangerous but Necessary – Documentary about two-time Certified Weird director (Dillinger is Dead, La Grande Bouffe). Screens Sep. 3 & 4.
  •  Il Signor Rotpeter – Italian Kafka adaptation about a monkey who becomes a man. Screening Sep. 8.
  • Mother‘s psychothriller starring Jennifer Lawrence is one of the most hotly anticipated movies of the year. First peek comes on Sep. 5.
  • The Shape of Water – ‘s adult fairy tale about a cleaning woman who falls in love with a merman; some critics are calling it the equal of Pan’s Labyrinth. The opening night screening has already passed but you can catch it in wide release in December.
  • Woodshock – Looks like a grieving woman () smokes synthetic cannabinoids in the woods and hallucinates a lot. Debuts Sep. 4, also playing Sep. 5.

Venice International Film Festival official site.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

The Manster (1959): Read our review. Not sure this campy low-budget B&W creature feature merits a hi-def release, but B-Blu collectors may be interested. Buy The Manster [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.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 8/25/2017

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 BLU-RAY:

Barton Fink (1991): Read the Certified Weird review! This Kino Lorber special edition disc of the ‘ surreal writer’s block classic contains interviews and deleted scenes and fills a gaping hole in the Blu-ray market (and the Barton Fink market). Buy Barton Fink [Blu-ray].

Jezebeth (2011): A young woman “at war with God” invokes a demon. Looks like a feature-length goth-metal video, and one Amazon reviewer wondered “I have scratched my head until it bled trying to figure out what the heck I just watched?” Buy Jezebeth [Blu-ray].

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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 8/18/2017

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):

Dave Made a Maze (2017): Dave builds a pillow fort in his living room and then gets lost inside its maze of booby-trapped corridors; his girlfriend assembles a team to go in and rescue him. The rare film to debut at the low-budget Slamdance festival and still earn a relatively wide release. Dave Made a Maze official site.

Lemon (2017): An unsuccessful, socially-inept jerk actor loses his blind girlfriend and finds a new interracial relationship in this indie comedy. Probably more in the quirky vein, but at least one critic called it “deeply weird.” Lemon official site.

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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 8/11/2017

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):

The Ghoul (2017): A police detective goes undercover as the patient of a suspicious psychotherapist while investigating a series of bizarre murders that leave victims in an undead state. You have to take notice of any psychological thriller that gets a good review in “The Fortean Times.” The Ghoul official site.

Planetarium (2016): A movie director seeks to exploit two psychic sisters ( and Lily-Rose Depp) in between-the-wars Paris. Reviews suggest that it’s a mess, but perhaps a somewhat weird mess. Planetarium Facebook page.

IN DEVELOPMENT (completed):

Mother (2017): Paramount released the first trailer for ‘s Mother (starring Jennifer Lawrence) this past week. Anticipation is sky-high for this “psychological horror” movie, despite the fact that there have been few to no leaks about the plot. The trailer suggests weirdness is still a live possibility. It premieres at the Venice Film Festival in a couple of weeks, so we’ll know soon enough. Mother official Facebook page.

NEW ON DVD:

“Seijun Suzuki’s Taisho Trilogy”: Full of eroticism, ghosts, and mysterious widows, this set collects three surreal period films from Japanese maverick : Zigeunerweisen (1980), Kageroza (1981), and Yumeji (1991). All set during the Taisho era (1912-1926), these three movies have never been released on Blu-ray before and have been long out-of-print on DVD. Buy “Seijun Suzuki’s Taisho Trilogy” [DVD/Blu-ray].

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Re-Animator (1985): ‘s influential 80s black comedy adaptation of ‘s story about a couple of mad scientists raising the dead is an outrageous hoot and a seminal cult film. Arrow Video pulls out all the stops with this 2-Blu Limited Edition that includes the original cut and the much-longer “integral” version (it’s complicated), along with the commemorative booklet and reams of extras you’d expect. Buy Re-Animator [Limited Edition Blu-ray].

“Seijun Suzuki’s Taisho Trilogy”: See description in DVD above. Set includes three DVDs and three Blu-rays. Buy “Seijun Suzuki’s Taisho Trilogy” [DVD/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.

BOOKS:

“The Holy Mountain” – A full-length appreciation of Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s mystical masterpiece by Latin American literature professor Alessandra Santos. We haven’t gotten out hands on it yet, but we do now this site’s review is cited in the bibliography.  Buy “The Holy Mountain (Cultographies)”.

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: RECAP

Before and During:

When I volunteered to cover the  some months ago, I immediately started to worry a bit. It was something new for me, utterly unprecedented in length and scope. It was ambitious, too, as I’ve averaged less than two reviews a month since I was signed up here at 366. “Apprehensive” is how I’d label the sensation that increasingly gripped me as the start approached. Fortunately, my fears were for nothing — and as tiring as the “work” was, it also proved incredibly energizing.

Over the course of my three weeks in Montréal, I kept wonderfully busy and met dozens of interesting and varied individuals. The film-makers, many of them having their debuts, were brimming with energy; the audience, too, was brimming with energy — eager both to “Meow”[1] before a screening and to enjoy their investment of time and money; the other members of the press were eager to get a scoop on the New and Exciting. My long walks to and from the screenings were well worth the worn-out footwear, as each trek to either the Auditorium des Diplômés de la SGWU or the Salle J.A. DeSève brought the promise of transportation to something on the cusp of transcendent. By necessity not every movie brought an exciting feast for my eyes and ears, but more often than not, they did.

The Good:

All told, I watched 43 feature movies at one theater or another, three screeners on my computer, and four feature-length collections of short films: 50 in total, if my math is correct (and that doesn’t include the one and only movie I walked out of). I’ve already spoken well of Lowlife and Sequence Break, as well as others in the travelogue, but there were also largely unmentioned spectacles that amazed. and ‘s nerve-wracker The Endless was an end-of-Festival highlight[2] ; Tommy Swerdlow’s A Thousand Junkies deserves far more than the one sentence I dedicated to it (although it’s probably not quite a 366 kind of movie); and I can claim to have been among the first in the world to see a blemish-free, 4K remastered Suspiria in a packed house teeming with ravenous fans. God bless my Press Badge, as it got me into almost five-hundred dollars’-worth of screenings, nearly all of which would have been worth the outlay. The adjustments, scribbles, and check-marks in the photo show the daily challenge of seeing as many of the right things as possible.

The Bad:

With the kind of tally I reached, there had to be some duffers. I will never for the life of me understand the appeal of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, a poorly done, cheesy comedy with vapid characters that adds insult to injury by being unfunny in addition to being un-developed. 68 Kill brought about my greatest clash with the rest of the audience. I’ve put forward my arguments earlier, so I’ll just reiterate that Trent Haaga’s violence-comedy committed the greatest cult movie sin: trying too, too hard to be ludicrous and hilarious with little to show for the effort. And for sheer tedium-sans-payoff, nothing took the cake more than the languidly paced suspense whats-it, Town in a Lake. That I enjoyed a by-the-numbers action-drama like Darkland more than those ostensibly weird and out-there travesties speaks volumes for those films’ ineptitude.

All Told:

The Fantasia Film Festival was a wonderful experience and I am thrilled to have been a part of it. I was able to get in on the ground-floor with a lot of rising talent, all while spreading the gospel of 366 Weird Movies. It was a tiring three weeks that kept me busy eight-plus hours a day — and I can’t wait to go again for Fantasia Festival 2018.

  1. It was only toward the end of the final week that I finally got the history of this bizarre tradition of the audience “meowing” when the lights first go down. A few times was fine; by the time it reached 40+ performances, a bit less-so. []
  2. Capsule review coming soon. []