A 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 on the official site links.
Sleepwalker (est. 2012): About a disappearance in a creepy Southwestern town. The filmmmakers describe the tone as “David Lynch, Hitchcock, and The Twilight Zone mashed up into a strange and surreal puzzle…” They are soliciting funds via Kickstarter; for as little as a $1 contribution, you could become a micro-movie-mogul. Sleepwalker Kickstarter page.
NEW ON DVD:
“The Artists: The Best of Kino’s Silent Classics”: An interesting box containing seven classic silents. The crucial title for weirdophiles is Metropolis (1927); however, be warned that the version included in this set is the 2002 restoration, not Kino’s “Complete” Metropolis from 2010 (reviewed here). The other films in the star-oriented bundle are Rudolph Valentino in Blood and Sand (1922); Douglas Fairbanks in The Thief of Baghdad (1924); Clara Bow as the original It (1927) girl; 1920’s Dr. Jeckyll & Mister Hyde with John Barrymore, the earliest screen adaptation of the classic tale; Lillian Gish in D.W. Griffith’s Broken Blossoms (1919); and Buster Keaton’s The General (1926). Buy “The Artists: The Best Of Kino’s Silent Classics Vol. 1”.
Bunraku (2010): Read our capsule review. This expressionistic comic book detailing the adventures of a samurai and a cowboy in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world is plot-lite but pretty. Buy Bunraku.
Machete Maidens Unleashed! (2010): Mark Hartley’s followup to Not Quite Hollywood, his surprise hit “Ozploitation” documentary (focusing on obscure Australian exploitation movies) travels this time to the more familiar (to trash aficionados) terrain of the Philippines. Topics covered include the Roger Corman/Jack Hill women-in-prison flicks, Eddie Romero’s beastly “Blood Island” horrors, and the dwarf James Bond parody For Your Height Only, with interviews from talking heads like Corman and the ubiquitous John Landis. Buy Machete Maidens Unleashed!.
The Nutcracker: The Untold Story [AKA The Nutcracker in 3-D] (2010): A version of the Nutcracker re-imagined as a sci-fi-styled quest to restore the deposed Nutcracker to his throne, usurped by the Rat King. A huge holiday flop in 2010, but of the nearly universally negative reviews, the one that caught our attention was Peter Hartlaub’s notice for the San Francisco Chronicle: “Imagine watching Tchaikovsky’s ballet after taking a handful of peyote…” It cost a reported $90 million to create, but made back less than $200,000 at the box office. Of course, the film is not in 3-D on home video, a happy accident that allows Universal to rename this release as The Untold Story. Buy The Nutcracker: The Untold Story.
Tabloid (2011): Read our capsule review. Errol Morris’ eccentric documentary about the UK tabloid sensation caused when a former Miss Wyoming (allegedly) kidnapped a Mormon missionary, tied him to the bed for a weekend, and forced him to have sex with her repeatedly. Buy Tabloid.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
Bunraku (2010): See description in DVD above. Buy Bunraku [Blu-ray].
The Nutcracker: The Untold Story [AKA The Nutcracker in 3-D] (2010): See description in DVD above. Buy The Nutcracker: The Untold Story [Blu-ray].
Crazy Clown Time: We don’t usually mention music here, but we’ll make an exception in this case: it’s David Lynch‘s debut album. At the age of 65, Mr. Eraserhead has released his first techno album (yes, he sings—well, mostly recites into a vocoder—most of the lyrics). We’re not music critics, so we won’t comment on the merit of the beats, or demand Dave get out of the studio and back on the set where he belongs. The album (which officially drops Nov. 8) can currently be streamed via National Public Radio’s website. Pre-order David Lynch’s album “Crazy Clown Time”.
The Funny Man: We reported on Jake Barsha’s planned horror thriller featuring a psychopathic comedian serial killer some time ago. It seems the project has shifted from a feature film to a (quite successful, it seems) 10 episode webseries on dailymotion. All ten episodes should be up by the time you read this; here’s a link to episode 1 for horror fans.
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:
Alice in Wonderland (1972): This Wonderland adaptation made by the BBC has a middle-of-the-road reputation, but some may want to see it for the casting (which is the way they always suck you into seeing yet another version of Alice): Sir Ralph Richardson as the Caterpillar, Peter Sellers as the March Hare, Dudley Moore as the Doormouse. It’s also a curiosity in that it’s a musical, with a score composed by the great John Barry, lyrics by his Bond collaborator Don Black. Watch Alice in Wonderland (1972) free on YouTube.
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.