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 on the official site links.
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
The Rabbi’s Cat [Le Chat du Rabbin] (2011): In this animated fantasy set in Algeria in the early 20th century, a rabbi’s cat find he’s able to speak after he swallows a parrot; he makes sarcastic comments, lusts after his master’s daughter, and tries to secure a bar mitzvah for himself. Director/artist Joann Sfar was last seen directing live actors (and giant-headed puppets) in Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life. The Rabbi’s Cat official site (French).
SCREENINGS (Multiple locations, Dec. 7-22):
Everything is Terrible! Holiday Special 2012: More terribleness, this time themed around the terriblest season of the year, the holidays. Playing one night only at multiple venues across the country: check the EiT website for details. Everything is Terrible! Holiday Special dates and venues.
NEW ON DVD:
The Adventures of Mark Twain (1985): Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and Becky Thatcher join Mark Twain aboard his airship as he flies off to see Haley’s Comet. this claymation feature sounds cute and kid-friendly, but it’s actually based on Twain’s cynical adult works like “The Mysterious Stranger,” and what everyone seems to remember is the surreal scene where the kids come face-to-face with Satan. Buy The Adventures of Mark Twain.
Alps (2011): Giorgos Lanthimos’ followup to Dogtooth involves a service that sends impersonators out to pretend to be the deceased loved ones of mourning families. It appears to be another weird one, but in a more subtle and quiet mode than the Greek’s provocative debut. Buy Alps.
Blood Beat (1983): An early 80s, Christmastime shot-on-video horror; as near as I can tell, the plot involves a samurai who appears and kills people whenever the lead actress masturbates (?) The publicity materials describe it as “quite possible the most bizarre Christmas themed horror film ever made!” [sic], and state that it’s also a limited edition (?) Buy Blood Beat.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964): Santa does what the title says he does in this ridiculous holiday misfire. This is the remastered version of the public domain “classic,” and it includes additional public domain shorts (some from Max Fleischer) as
filler bonuses. Buy Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (Remastered Edition).
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
The Adventures of Mark Twain (1985): See description in DVD above. Buy The Adventures of Mark Twain [Blu-ray].
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012): See description in DVD above. This release includes a DVD and digital copy. Buy Beasts of the Southern Wild [Blu-ray].
eXistenZ (1999): David Cronenberg‘s turn at making a mindbending virtual reality movie; parts do for video games what Videodrome did for television. A long-awaited Blu-ray release. Buy eXistenZ [Blu-ray].
“Francis Ford Coppola: 5 Film Collection”: We took notice of this set because of the angry and dreamy Vietnam War classic Apocalypse Now (1979) and its 3.5 hour director’s cut, Apocalypse Now Redux. This box also includes Coppola’s latest drama, Tetro (2009), along with his romantic musical One from the Heart (1982) and the paranoid classic The Conversation (1974). Buy “Francis Ford Coppola: 5-Film Collection” [Blu-ray].
Ninja Scroll (1993): See description in DVD above. Buy Ninja Scroll [Blu-ray].
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964): See description in DVD above. Buy Santa Claus Conquers the Martians [Blu-ray].
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)/Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (2005): Read our Sharkboy review. A pair of bizarrish kiddie movies from cult director Robert Rodriguez together on a single Blu-ray. Buy Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over/Adventures of Sharkboy [Blu-ray].
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.