WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Quick note: with movie #316 Certified Weird, that officially means we’re down to the last 50. What a milestone!

So with that in mind, for next week Alfred Eaker plans to return from vacation with another pick (this time, it’s Welles’ Falstaff adaptation, Chimes at Midnight). Then Bryan Pike looks at two recent releases: Manos: The Rise of Torgo (you may recall Bryan interviewing director about his Manos prequel while the project was in the works) and ‘s quiet sequel to his “” short “World of Tomorrow” (“World of Tomorrow 2: The Burden of Other People’s Dreams”). Finally, G. Smalley will go outside of the new release/reader suggestion box for our third venture into the weird world of , 2001’s Millennium Actress.

It’s time once again for our weekly survey of the weirdest search terms that brought people to the site this week, a feature we quite sensibly call “Weirdest Search Terms of the Week.” First we’ll mention one of the more printable of the incest porn searches we constantly see, “incest scene from mainstream movies the mad son doing strange things.” (For some reason, the Internet thinks 366 Weird Movies is an incest and bestiality based porn site. I blame ). Next up is “girl yells is he dead then walks away man floats”: we certainly hope this Googler was describing a scene from a movie and not a real life experience. Finally, our official Weirdest Search Term of the Week is “3d alien p*** woman gets impregnated video.” The use of wildcards in your dirty search terms is rarely a good idea, guys. Is it “3d alien pets woman, gets impregnated”? Maybe “3d alien, part woman, gets impregnated”? We’ll never know what your actual alien impregnation kink is if you don’t spell it out for us.

Here’s the ridiculously-long-and-still-growing reader-suggested review queue. A few notes: you guys understand that, given the incredible length of this queue and the fact that we only have 50 slots remaining, the majority of these will never get reviewed, right? (We will continue to review items out of this queue, selectively). Also, in housekeeping news, we’ll be moving The Annunciation (1984) into the “out of print” holding pen. We suspect that the liberal amount of (non-pornographic) child nudity in that film, combined with noncommercial weirdness, makes it an unappealing choice for any distributor. Anyway, here’s what we have, in order of submission: Bad Taste; Visitor of a Museum [Posetitel muzeya]; Darc Arc; Genius Party; The Idiots; The Shout; “Premium” (depending on availability); The Falls; Spermula; Killer Condom; The Godmonster of Indian Flats; I Am Here Now; Sir Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 1/26/2018

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):

Like Me (2017): A teen girl sets out on a crime spree which she broadcasts on social media. Produced by indie horror champion (who also co-stars); Variety calls it “a uniquely weird take on loneliness and lunacy.Like Me official site.

IN DEVELOPMENT (post-production):

Hipsters, Gangsters, Aliens and Geeks (2018?): “When the cigar-chomping Clown Captain (Martin Klebba from Pirates series) shifts his space craft into 4th gear and steps on the gas, all Hell breaks loose as we blast into hyperspace!” made this smaller-scale comedy feature as a way to generate interest in his long, long-gestating Forbidden Zone sequel. With Vern Troyer, French Stewart and George Wendt. The Hipsters, Gangsters, Aliens and Geeks official site features some intriguing perverted clown stills.

IN DEVELOPMENT (announced):

Two Screenplays from  : First up will be Chaos Walking, set in a “dystopian world without women” (yet, curiously, starring Daisy Ridley). It’s due out in 2019. Getting more buzz is Charlie’s adaptation of the bestseller I’m Thinking of Ending Things, a thriller starring a suicidal woman; Kaufman called the book “ingeniously twisted nightmare road trip through the fragile psyche of two young lovers. My kind of fun!” Netflix will fund and produce the film (presumably for theatrical release in 20??). We heard the news from IndieWire.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

“Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”, Season 2 (2017): Read our Season 1 review. As Season 2 of the Douglas Adams inspired series begins, Dirk has been kidnapped, Todd and Farah are on the run from the FBI, and a man from the fantasy world of Wendimoor is seeking assistance to fulfill a prophecy that will save his kingdom. On DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD. Buy “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”, Season 2.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017): Read our List Candidate review! If you missed it in theaters, now’s your chance to check out ‘ first (official) horror movie, a story of irrational karmic vengeance. On DVD, Blu-ray and VOD. Buy The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea (2017): Read our review. A cartoon that’s exactly what it says on the tin. On DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD. Buy My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea.

Red Krokodil (2012): A man takes the homemade Russian drug “krokodil” and finds himself in a post-apocalyptic hallucination. You might remember when “krokodil” was the designer-drug-of-the-month scare sometime back in 2013 (despite never being found in the U.S.); this Italian exploitation film actually came out a year before, and now is being offered in a “director’s cut.” On DVD and Blu-ray. Buy Red Krokodil.

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.

316. SAVE THE GREEN PLANET! (2003)

Jigureul jikyeora! 

“I sometimes feel as if movies from all over the world have melted inside me.”–Joon-Hwan Jang

Recommended

DIRECTED BY: Joon-Hwan Jang

FEATURING: Ha-kyun Shin, Yun-shik Baek, Jae-yong Lee, Jeong-min Hwang

PLOT: Aided by Sooni, a lovelorn acrobat, Byung-goo abducts Kang, a pharmaceutical company executive, believing him to be a high-ranking agent of a group of aliens from Andromeda bent on eradicating the earth. As a pair of detectives close in on Byung-goo, the delusional man tortures the businessman in the basement of his remote cabin, hoping to force him to use his “royal DNA” to contact the prince of the Andromeda galaxy. Kang escapes but is recaptured and hobbled, and begins to play a psychological game with his tormentor, pretending to cooperate to avoid further injury.

BACKGROUND:

  • Jang says the scenario for Save the Green Planet! was inspired by an Internet post suggesting was an alien in combination with his fondness for (and dissatisfaction with) Stephen King’s Misery.
  • This was Joon-Hwan Jang’s debut feature. He has made two movies since, a crime feature and a historical drama, neither of have shown significant weirdness or drawn many eyeballs outside of South Korea.

INDELIBLE IMAGE: Byung-goo’s homemade alien hazmat suit: a trash bag poncho with a modified miner’s helmet rigged with blinking gizmos (including a rear view mirror that bobbles up and down) of uncertain purpose and utility. The first time you see him outfitted in this garb, you know exactly who you’re dealing with.

THREE WEIRD THINGS: One bullet, one bee; ghost mom with meth; aliens did kill the dinosaurs

WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: The first two thirds are a demented genre mashup of sci-fi, comedy, horror, thriller, and action elements whose rambunctiousness is aimed squarely at midnight movie audiences. But it’s the final act, which shifts to an even madder perspective and goes so far as to outright steal scenes from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)—while still managing to feel original—that puts it over the top.


English-language trailer for Save the Green Planet!

COMMENTS: Despite a sometimes (and sometimes not) predictable Continue reading 316. SAVE THE GREEN PLANET! (2003)

CAPSULE: ONE-EYED MONSTER (2008)

DIRECTED BY: Adam Fields

FEATURING: Jason Graham, Amber Benson, Veronica Hart, , Ron Jeremy

PLOT: At a porn shoot in a remote cabin, an alien possesses Ron Jeremy’s penis and sets about killing the cast and crew.

Still from One-eyed Monster (2008)

WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: It’s not weird, just a one-joke premise that might have held five minutes worth of comedy, stretched out to feature length.

COMMENTS: A movie about an animated killer penis? Starring (sort of) Ron Jeremy, as himself? It’s both a can’t-miss and a can’t-hit idea. Sure, people will tune in for the high concept, but even if you do your very best, could an idea that sounds like it was thought up during middle school recess work as more than a passable time-waster?

The answer, of course, is “no.”  You may giggle occasionally, but aside from the “writes itself” gimmick, this is by-the-numbers B-filmmaking about attractive people in a cabin being killed by an unseen presence. And I do mean “unseen”: we don’t get our first glimpse of the titular monster until the movie is 2/3 over (spoiler: it’s not worth the wait). Not only that, but this is a movie about a porn shoot that only has one nude scene. In other words, almost everything the target audience tuned in to see—penis monsters, penis monster kills, sex, nudity—occurs offscreen. That leaves us with a very talky movie relying on a few limp industry jokes—such as referring to an actress who’s only been in a hundred adult videos as a “newbie”—while following the Night of the Living Dead playbook by rote (there’s even a scene where the obnoxious white villain locks the noble black hero out of the cabin).

While One-Eyed Monster is generally unexceptional, there are a few high points: some cute moments with a “neurotactile simulator” and a funny, campy Vietnam flashback monologue from a grizzled Charles Napier. But my feeling is that they should have turned this script into an expensive porn movie instead of a cheap horror movie. We use our “” rating sparingly, but One-Eyed Monster comes close to meriting it. It’s not like it’s loathsome—just puerile. Be warned: watching it is a waste of time. (Its 4.2 IMDB rating supports this thesis). You might be cool with wasting your time, though, and if so, have at it. You might get a couple of chuckles out of the deal. The DVD does include a 35-minute reminiscence about the early days of the adult film industry from veteran porn stars Jeremy and Hart, which is a good bit more interesting than the feature film.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“There is the postmodern thrill of a film-within-a-film and actors playing themselves – and Jeremy proves particularly sporting in allowing his legendary proportions to be reduced to alien bait…  too short to let any of its more flaccid moments bring it crashing down, and funny enough (at least in a drunken crowd) to make your eyes water.”–Anton Bitel, Eye for Film (festival screening)

(This movie was nominated for review by “philbymon,” who called it “[t]he weirdest thing I’ve seen recently.” We bet he’s topped it by now. Suggest a weird movie of your own here.)

“LIQUID SKY” LIMITED EDITION BLU RAY RELEASE (2017)

In November 1999, Liquid Sky‘s first major VHS release hit the stores. Shortly thereafter it hit DVD—very briefly—in February of 2000. Those who were lucky enough to nab a copy of the all-too-small batch put on market have had access to ‘s NYC New Wave cult hit for some time now. For official consideration for the List of the 366 Weirdest Movies, we’ve been waiting for a re-release. That release would comes almost 17 years after Liquid Sky first got digitized. Worth the wait? The movie’s own merits aside, the folks down at Vinegar Syndrome have taken every step to ensure that their limited edition release will be the copy to own for any fan of Liquid Sky.

Small text on the right-hand third of the box goes more than half-way down the exterior case of the “Limited Edition” copy (there is a promise of a substantially less Limited edition a-coming). The film’s as beautiful as it could ever be, with the only “artifacts” to speak of being those integral to the early ’80s feel of the picture. (Tsukerman took no liberties in sprucing up the special effects, unlike some of his more famous sci-fi film counterparts). The disc is crammed with everything we have come to expect in the age of Blu-ray: documentaries, interviews, rare footage, reversible cover artwork, and so on.

The movie can be watched as it was released, or with the director’s commentary. For those wishing to spruce up their next New Wave get-together with dissonant sound and strange images, there’s an isolated soundtrack option.

Liquid Sky Limited Edition Blu-ray coverThe “Liquid Sky Revisited” documentary featurette does most of the heavy lifting for the extras. Tsukerman and company walk us through the background, production history, and other tidbits of information with input from leading lady Anne Carlisle, some peripheral characters, the co-producer (Tsukerman’s wife), the cinematographer, the costume designer, and the lead make-up guy. We learn how comprehensively Liquid Sky shows us the late ’70s/early ’80s New York City punk/art/New Wave scene; no coincidence, as many of the key players from that time and place were involved in it. (I found it sweet how all these counterculture types banded together under the direction of a sweet, older Russian/Jewish immigré documentarian).

At the core of the project was a fellow by the name of Bob Brady, who apparently was the guy to know at the time, traveling in the circles of the likes of , as well as being a prestigious film acting teacher in New York City. And who was this guy who knew everyone and had his fingers on the pulse of all that was hot, new, and cool? An affable, mustachioed professor, who shows up in Liquid Sky as… an affable, mustachioed professor. It turns out that the authenticity of the movie comes across so completely because it was written for the people who starred in it, particularly Anne Carlisle (who wrote the screenplay along with Tsukerman and his wife Nina Kerova).

But I’m getting ahead of the (likely) upcoming re-review of Liquid Sky. Once it’s released in quantity, rumor has it we’ll be looking at it again to see if Liquid Sky has what it takes to nab a place in one of our ever dwindling slots. If patience is your virtue, hang tight for the Vinegar Syndrome people to release the standard Blu Ray edition in April or May this year; if patience isn’t your virtue, brace your bank account for at least a $100 hit.

REPRINT: KLAUS KINSKI’S PAGANINI (1989)

Alfred Eaker has the week off, but here is a reprint of a classic column originally publishedDecember 12, 2103.

Films about composers are rare, and probably for good reason. Few can forget Hollywood’s sickeningly sanitized version of Chopin’s life, A Song To Remember (1945) with Cornel Wilde’s Hallmark-style portrayal of the composer literally (and hammily) dying at the keyboard (of tuberculosis) after a grueling tour for “the song to remember.” It was Liberace’s favorite movie for good reason. At the opposite end of the spectrum were the 1970 composer biopics by . Russell being Russell, these were, naturally, highly irreverent and decidedly idiosyncratic takes on Tchaikovsky (The Music Lovers), Mahler (Mahler), and Liszt (Lisztomania). Then came Milos Forman’s Academy Award winning film about Mozart, Amadeus (1984), which, though largely fictional, does capture the spirit, personality, and drive of the composer. If Forman’s triumph seemed to signal a new, respectable artistic trend in musical dramas, then along came Klaus Kinski with Paganini (1989) to prove that notion wrong. Script in hand, Kinski attempted to solicit to direct the life story of the demonic 19th century virtuoso violinist, Niccolo Paganini. Kinski had long felt a strong identification with the famed musician and repeatedly implored Herzog to direct. Upon reading Kinski’s treatment, Herzog deemed it an “unfilmable mess.” Not one to be dissuaded, Kinski, for the first and last time, took over the director’s reigns himself. The result is absolutely the weirdest musical biopic ever made, and that is no exaggeration. It has aptly been referred to as Kinski Paganini since it as much a self-portrait as it is the composer’s portrait. Picasso once said “every work of art, regardless of subject matter, is a self-portrait.” Kinski Paganini is the second of two highly personal self-portraits Kinski left behind before dying at the age of 56 in 1991. The first is an actual autobiography, titled “All I Need Is Love.” Both works sparked an outrage amongst the status quo. Kinski’s written manifesto has since come to be regarded as one of the great maniacal bios.

To call Paganini a biopic is a bit of a stretch. As Herzog predicted, the film is a mess, and a repellent one at that; but it is such an individualistic mess that it demands attention. Kinski’s movie is an unquestionably disturbing example of what happens when the lunatics take over the asylum.

The film is available on DVD via Mya Communications in both the 84 minute theatrical cut, mandated by aghast producers, and Kinksi’s own, fourteen minute longer “versione originale.” With Kinski’s cut, there is no reason to watch the theatrical version, which was an impossible attempt to downsize the director’s monstrously egotistical vanity project.

Kinski’s version opens with two priests, racing towards the dying musician. They bicker back and forth over whether they should offer last rites to that vile seducer of young girls. To make his point of hypocrisy about as subtle as a pair of brass knuckles, Kinski intercuts the carriage ride with shots of priests’ hands distributing the Continue reading REPRINT: KLAUS KINSKI’S PAGANINI (1989)

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Next week Alfred Eaker is taking a well-deserved day of vacation and we’ll be running a repeat column on Monday. You’ll also see a (somewhat belated) rundown of Vinegar Syndrome’s latest limited-edition release of the cult classic Liquid Sky (already sold out, but we think a standard edition is coming down the line) before getting back to clearing out the reader-suggested review queue with looks at the killer penis horror comedy One Eyed Monster and South Korea’s sci-fi torture opus Save the Green Planet!

After a good batch weird search terms last week, Googlers let us down over the past seven days. The only things we really saw were people looking for strange and confusing forms of pornography: “upper hood floor porn story,” “daughter like bbc sex movie,” “porn compilation bra tube.” For an official Weirdest Search Term of the Week, we guess we’ll go with “kinky rubber frogman pulls swimmer underwater and drowns him game in pond.” It sounds just a bit more psychotically homicidal than “kinky” in our minds, but who are we to judge?

Here’s how the ridiculously-long-and-still-growing reader-suggested review queue now stands: One Eyed Monster (next week!); Save the Green Planet (next week!);The Annunciation (1984); Bad Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 1/19/2017

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):

Mom and Dad (2017): 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 . Mom and Dad at Momentum pictures.

Psychotic (2018): A “psychedelic slasher flick” set in Brooklyn. Premiering exclusively in NYC this week, debuting on VOD next week. Psychotic! home page.

FILM FESTIVALS – Sundance Film Festival (Park City, UT, Jan 18-28):

The 2018 movie season officially kicks off with Sundance, where a hundred hopeful independent movies, including a few off-the-wall ones, come to vie for a handful of distribution contracts. In recent years, Sundance added the “Next” and “Midnight” screening sections to add some weirdness to the otherwise tame lineup of dramas about privileged white people and their problems (alternating with imported dramas about underprivileged brown people and their problems).

Here’s what we’ll be tracking in the coming months:

  • An Evening With Beverly Luff Lin – Greasy tries to make a romantic comedy, without sacrificing his absurdist tendencies. Screening 1/20-1/21, 1/23, 1/26-27.
  • Clara’s Ghost – A ghost prompts an actress to confront her dysfunctional family. 1/19-1/20, 1/24-1/25.
  • Mandy – For his long-awaited sophomore fillm, puts into a surreal supernatural revenge drama. Playing midnights 1/19 & 1/24, or see it during daylight hours 1/20-21 or 1/27.
  • Sorry to Bother You – A telemarketer discovers he has a magical sales power that catapults him up the corporate ladder and into a “macabre universe.” Screens 1/20-1/22, 1/24, 1/25-26.
  • We the Animals – The youngest brother of a trio of neglected kids retreats into an imaginary (animated?) world. See it 1/20, 1/22, or 1/24-27.

Sundance Film Festival home page.

FILM FESTIVALS – Slamdance (Park City, UT, Jan 19-25):

Slamdance is Sundance’s punkier, sometimes (usually) weirder little brother, a low-budget alternative to the mid-budget institution. Here’s what may be worth looking out for down the road:

  • Charlie and Hannah’s Grand Night Out – Two girls find their boozy pub crawl turn surreal; the programmers use the word “trippy” to describe it, twice. Screening 1/20 & 1/25.
  • Rock Steady Row – Absurd “frat Western” about a freshman who plays off deadly rival fraternal organizations. 1/19 & 1/22.

Slamdance home page.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

Blade Runner 2049 (2017): Read Alfred Eaker’s review. A sequel that’s well worth your time. This is a “standard edition” release, suggesting a “special edition” may be planned down the road. On DVD, Blu-ray, 4K, and on-demand. Buy Blade Runner 2049.

The Relationtrip (2017): Two young adults go on a “friend trip” and experience an entire relationship in one weekend. Oh, and there’s a muppet. On VOD only, for now. Buy The Relationtrip.

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.

Celebrating the cinematically surreal, bizarre, cult, oddball, fantastique, strange, psychedelic, and the just plain WEIRD!