We’ve now certified over 100 of an eventual 366 movies here, and it’s time to step back, take stock, and make a provisional list of the “Best of the Weird”—and a list of the “Weirdest of the Weird.” We first took a stab at this list about two years ago, and my how things have changed since then (at least, at the bottom). We’ve added new movies, and reshuffled our ratings for some of the others, and—well, you can read for yourself.
Recognizing that “weirdest” and “best” aren’t always the same thing, we’ve actually created two top ten lists here: one for the best movies that fall into the weird genre (these are the ones to start your timid friends off with), and one for the absolute weirdest movies we’ve seen (these are the ones to put on at a party when you want to clear the room). Because we’re giving you two top ten lists for the price of one, you’re actually getting 20 recommended weird movies. Well, actually 19, since one movie appears on both lists, but who’s counting? Oh, wait, we are, that’s the entire point…
Feel free to agree with my choices, disagree, or hurl hurtful epithets at me in the comments. But do remember that this list only covers movies we’ve already reviewed. Your favorite movie we omitted may be coming down the line, and may make this list the next time we formulate it (in another two years or so).
With that said, let’s get to it!
# 10 Best Weird Movie: Kwaidan (1964). “Although on the surface it’s just a collection of bare-bones ghost stories, in telling these tales director Kobayashi wisely jettisons reality in favor of a stylized, expressionistic, visually poetic aesthetic that gently detaches the viewer from everyday life and floats him into an ancient spirit world that seems simultaneously to have never and always existed.”
#10 Weirdest Movie: House [Hausu] (1977). “Rife with images of flying heads, murderous painos, laughing watermelons, an invisible wind machine, and a truly demonic kitty, the film’s surrealist atmosphere and ever-shifting styles are as hilarious as they are inscrutable. There is no way to get a handle on Hausu—the viewer is completely at the mercy of Obayashi’s bizarre whims.”
#9 Best Weird Movie: The Wicker Man (1973): “Hardy and Shaffer create an atmosphere like no other; it’s an encounter of civilized man with strange, primeval beliefs…. The viewer himself undergoes a dread confrontation with Old Gods who are at the same time familiar and terrifyingly strange.”