LIST CANDIDATE: DOGGIEWOGGIEZ! POOCHIEWOOCHIEZ! (2012)

Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez! has been promoted onto the List of the 366 Best Weird Movies of all time. Please make any comments on the official Certified Weird entry.

Recommended

DIRECTED BY: Commodore Gilgamesh, Ghoul Skool

FEATURING: None (found footage and movie clips, although you can catch glimpses of faded celebrities like Tim Allen and Gary Busey)

PLOT: 55 minutes of 1 to 5 second clips of strange and funny dog footage from movies and

Still from Doogiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez!

videotapes, arranged into a psychedelic montage that loosely follows the plot of Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s surrealist epic The Holy Mountain.

WHY IT MIGHT MAKE THE LIST: You would think a “remake” of The Holy Mountain made up from found footage of dog movies would easily qualify as one of the 366 weirdest movies of all time. There are only two obstacles to adding Doggiewoggiez! to the List immediately. One is a philosophical issue: since this is just a compilation of clips—albeit one put together with wit and skill—with no original material save for a few kaleidoscopic canine collages, does it even meet the definition of a “movie”? The second objection is more practical than philosophical: if Doggiewoggiez! is in fact a “movie,” it potentially fails “the grandma test.” When considering a movie for the List, I imagine showing the movie to my grandma (God rest her soul); if at any time during the imaginary screening she leaves the room, muttering under her breath, “that was weird,” I add the film to the List. Now, I didn’t show this movie to my dead grandma, but I did show it to a living grandma—and she loved it and thought it was cute. Can a movie be truly weird if dog-loving grandmas find it adorable?

COMMENTS: A startling indictment of the indignities desperate Hollywood producers will inflict upon man’s best friend in the name of cheap entertainment, Doggiewoogiez! features every terrible sub-Disney talking dog movie in which an uncomprehending pooch is forced to recite a horrible pun acting against a slumming Dave Thomas, Fred Willard, or Cuba Gooding, Jr. And it’s not just the major Hollywood players that are into abusing the long-suffering fidos, either, as Doggiewoggiez! collects plenty of examples of amateurs touting undignified forms of dog massage, puppy training, and owners posing nude with their pooches. The consortium at Continue reading LIST CANDIDATE: DOGGIEWOGGIEZ! POOCHIEWOOCHIEZ! (2012)

RECOMMENDED AS WEIRD: SLEEPING BEAUTY (2011)

DIRECTED BY:  Julia Leigh

FEATURING, Rachael Blake, Ewen Leslie

PLOT:  A quiet but reprobate student blindly contracts for unconventional assignments with an enigmatic madam to cater to the peculiar perversions of the ultra-rich.

Still from Sleeping Beauty (2011)
WHY IT SHOULD MAKE THE LISTSleeping Beauty is not a sex-movie, but rather a tense, eerie multiple character study. The focused, unadorned manner in which it is shot, without a musical score, combines with the bizarre nature of its story to set an unusual mood which demands that we take it seriously. This atmosphere, and the choices the writer and director made in deciding what elements of its story to show us, to make Sleeping Beauty a weird and unusual viewing experience.

(Ignore the website and DVD jacket descriptions of this slick Aussie thriller; because US distributors don’t know how to present unusual efforts to a general audience, the synopses grossly mischaracterize this effort as some sort of racy potboiler. Sleeping Beauty is not a sex piece, even though Emily Browning looks just like a Real Doll sex doll in the trailer. Sleeping Beauty is not another Eyes Wide Shut. It is not designed to be racy or titillating. Nor is it a murky, confusing David Lynch-style movie, although fans of Lynch’s works will surely love it. Sleeping Beauty is in no way what I expected. It is unpredictable and although it declines to utilize a demented twist ending, I assure the reader he will never guess where it is heading).

For additional fun, be sure to look for an appearance by actor Hugh Keays-Byrne, who played the crazed “Toecutter” in 1979’s Mad Max.

COMMENTS: Wow! What a gem! I was hoping for something different and creepy from the trailer. I was not disappointed! Yet I was surprised. I was expecting something sci-fi or horror, about turning girls into living sex dolls. Sleeping Beauty turns out to be so much more unsettling, sophisticated and subtle. From its opening frames, the somber cinematography and unabashed, close-in concentration on its characters makes it clear that you are watching a serious, high-quality effort crafted by a writer and director who know exactly what to do. There’s a controlling sensation that your impressions are being skillfully manipulated by the filmmakers. Continue reading RECOMMENDED AS WEIRD: SLEEPING BEAUTY (2011)

RECOMMENDED AS WEIRD: PALINDROMES (2004)

DIRECTED BY: Todd Solondz

FEATURING: , Richard Masur, , Sharon Wilkins

PLOT: A teenager falls in with a group of anti-abortionists in her quest to become pregnant.

Still from Palindromes (2004)

WHY IT SHOULD MAKE THE LIST: As if the plot isn’t off-beat enough, Palindromes‘s teenage porotagonist is played by a variety of actors of different ages, sizes, races, and even genders.

COMMENTS: The standout feature of Palindromes is the unorthodox casting of a series of different actresses (and one actor) in the role of Aviva Victor. The variety of thespians allows Solondz to express the evolution of Aviva’s self-image, physically reflecting changes in her emotional state during the movie. When we first meet Aviva, she is played by a young African-American girl who wears her emotions on her sleeves and in her facial expressions. She is the only child to middle class parents (Barkin and Masur) living in an anonymous suburb in the Northeast United States. Horrified at the probable suicide of her cousin Dawn and alienated by the material nature of her mother’s love, Aviva becomes obsessed with the idea of having lots of babies to ensure she has someone to love her. Then, as a Caucasian brunette in her early teens, she has an ill-advised encounter with the son of a family friend, and gets pregnant. As a reedy, red-haired, slightly older girl, she strenuously resists but eventually accedes to getting an abortion. As a more confident and more attractive brunette, she runs away with the help of a truck driver, with whom she has sex in the hopes of once again getting pregnant. Abandoned by the truck driver, she wanders through wilderness in the shape of a teenage boy and then is discovered—now as a large, older African–American woman—by the driven and very Christian Mama Sunshine, who runs an orphanage for children with medical infirmities. Here Aviva is least like herself: in a completely alien environment, she has to lie about her name and her past to fit in, and her self-doubt and anxiety are apparent in her magnified size, awkward movement, and change in race. The plot unfolds from there involving more pedophilia, a quest to assassinate the doctor who aborted her fetus, and a shootout in room 11 of a seedy motel, with Aviva switching from shape to shape, becoming more assertive and mature. At the point where she feels most grown-up, she returns to her family as a world-weary, bedraggled 20-something waif (Jennifer Jason Leigh). She holds her own in an existential debate with her older cousin, Mark, and easily wins arguments with her parents. But, as the title of the movie suggests, things come around: Aviva meets up with the boy who got her pregnant to begin with, reverts mentally through the chain of actors who have portrayed her, until she is once again the vulnerable, out-of-place, emotionally needy little black girl. As seductive as the message is that everything eventually returns to its beginning state, palindrome-like, some things in the film are irreversible: death, certain operations, and murder among them. In the end, it’s these things that will eventually shape the person Aviva will eventually become, but she’s not yet become them yet.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“What makes this strange story even stranger is Aviva is played by eight different performers… Solondz constructs a deadpan sheltering bubble around his film, thereby defusing most of the issues he raises. It’s all one Warholian shrug. Still, ‘Palindromes’ is unlike anything you’ve seen at the movies.”–Bob Longino, Atlanta Journal-Constitution (contemporaneous)

THE 366 WEIRD MOVIES 2011 YEARBOOK IS HERE!

In 2009 it was 54 pages and released in March… in 2010 it was 116 pages and released in April… now, it’s May 2012, and coming in at an astoundingly bloated 182 pages it’s the 366 Weird Movies 2011 Yearbook! By far our largest Yearbook ever, and still for the same low price of $6.99!

Traditionally, at this point each year we anticipate the readers complaint, “why should I pay for one of your damn Yearbooks when I can read the website for free?” and offer our five reasons to dig into your pockets and pony up the dough for one of these swell Yearbooks:

366 Weird Movies 2011 Yearbook

  1. Unlike the digital version, you can take the paper “Yearbook” into the “can” with you.
  2. If you unexpectedly run out of toilet paper in said “can,” the “Yearbook” can do double duty.
  3. This site may not always be here in the current form. (That’s not a hint, it’s a scare tactic).
  4. It’s distinctly within the realm of possibility that this Yearbook will become a collectible worth thousands/hundreds/a few cents over what you paid for it in five years. Collect them all! In the very near future, anything printed in ink on paper will be a valuable antique! (Don’t believe us? We actually saw a used copy of the 2009 Yearbook offered for $75.78. Don’t pay that, by the way, that link is just for illustration and has nothing to do with us).
  5. Each copy sold will contribute a few cents towards paying our hosting/domain registration bills.

This year we can add a reason #6: If you don’t buy a hard copy you’ll never know what’s on the back cover. (Hint: it’s mildly disturbing and involves pasta).

For complicated royalty reasons we’d prefer you buy from the link at the top of the page or by clicking on the cover image, but if you’d feel better you can also order the Yearbook from Amazon.

There may be a Kindle/e-book version to follow, but we promise nothing at this time. We recommend grabbing the analog weirdness while you can.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Next week’s slate of reviews is a little bit up in the air right now (thanks to “real life” scheduling issues), but here’s what we currently expect to feature: we’ll take our first sojourn into the black, black world of Todd Solondz with Palindromes (2004); we’ll gaze at lovely Emily Browning as she sleepwalks her way through 2011’s Sleeping Beauty; we’ll try to wrap our minds around the concept of Everything is Terrible’s Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez! (2012), which, as the title suggests, is a remake of The Holy Mountain composed from found footage featuring man’s best friend; and we’ll check out ‘s strange and lovely Dames (1934).

When you’re looking for bizarre search strings to nominate for your Weirdest Search Term of the Week rule, there’s a rule of thumb you can always count on: the hornier the Googler, the weirder the search term. We relied on that old chestnut to locate this week’s crazy candidates, and we were not disappointed. We start with an anonymous searcher’s quest to find “free cuching porn movei.com” (do we even want to know what “cuching” is?) The odd fetish requests continued to roll in with the somewhat understandable search for “shirtless pictures of weirdo’s,” but get stranger with the desire to find “hot girls shuffling videos” (like, shuffling cards?)  But we’ll go with “nude porn photo 0f boobs of heroin of hollywood movie underworld” for our Weirdest Search Term of the Week (just take random sub-strings out of that one and you’ll find sub-Weirdest Search Terms of the Week—“boobs of heroin”?) It doesn’t hurt that Google ranks us #1 for that search term—take that, nudeheroinboobunderworldmovie.com!

Here’s how the ridiculously-long-and-ever-growing reader-suggested review queue stands: “My Wrongs 8245-8249 and 117″; Dellamorte Dellamore [AKA Cemetery Man]; The Hour-glass Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 5/4/2012

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.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Meeting Evil: Samuel L. Jackson plays a serial killer who sucks an average white male suburbanite into a “surreal, nightmarish murder spree…” Directed by … now where have we heard that name before… oh no, that isn’t promising. Meeting Evil official site.

IN DEVELOPMENT:

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie remake: Does this sound like a pitch you would accept if you were a studio head? “Let’s remake a creepy 1987 flop kids movie based on a gross-out novelty card fad that was popular for about three weeks twenty five years ago!” Apparently, if you’re Michael Eisner, you say “yes, please.” Mike, this kind of decision is exactly why you’re the former CEO of Walt Disney. Deadline breaks the story, and not on April 1 (we double checked the date).

Zomboobies! (est. 2013): How to describe this: possibly what would result if Lloyd Kaufman was hired by a Japanese B-movie studio to direct a high concept Lucio-Fulci-meets-Russ-Meyer script? Whatever it is, it already has a website with a NSFW (in this case, “nearly safe for work”) teaser trailer. Zomboobies official site.

NEW ON DVD:

There are no new weird releases on DVD this week. I’m not sure we remember that ever happening before. Nonetheless, the Blu-ray equipped may find something of interest this week (see below).

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Miramax Triple Feature: eXistenZ (1999)/B. Monkey (1998)/Malevolent (2002): Multi-movie packs are the latest studio gimmick; they can be good deals if you happen to like the movies featured. This particular collection seems fairly random. eXistenZ, David Cronenberg‘s virtual reality thriller, is by far the most interesting title here. B. Monkey (1998) is a neo-noir with Asia Argento as a femme fatale, and the generically-titled Malevolent (2002) is a generic-sounding maverick cop picture with Lou Diamond Phillips. Buy Existenz /B. Monkey /Malevolent [Blu-ray].

“The Tim Burton Collection”: Speaking of multi-movie packs, now this one is a good deal; seven films on Blu-ray for what you expect to pay for two discs, plus a collectible booklet. The set includes all of Burton‘s Warner Brothers output, meaning you get Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman, Batman Returns, Mars Attacks!, The Corpse Bride, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This set is (currently?) exclusive to Amazon.com. Buy “The Tim Burton Collection” [Blu-ray].

The Wizard of Gore (1970)/The Gore-Gore Girls (1972): See what we’re saying? They can’t sell just one movie per disc anymore. This Something Weird double feature lives up to the brand name with two of goremeister ‘ weirdest efforts, made in an era when he was trying to reinvigorate his violence formula by adding a dose of surrealism. The Wizard of Gore concerns a grand-guignol stage magician whose illusions become reality after the show is over. The Gore-Gore Girls is about a slasher of strippers, is a comedy, and was Lewis’ final movie for 37 years until he made Blood Feast II: All U Can Eat. Buy The Wizard of Gore/The Gore Gore Girls [Blu-ray].

FREE ONLINE MOVIES:

This is Why Everyone Hates You (2011): This thirty-minute long, self-effacing comedy is a DIY 8 1/2, only with bananas crushed between toes, Spaghetti-O spitting, and a leather slave in a cardboard box. It’s also pretty darn funny. We highlighted the trailer (which you can see here) last week, but since nothing on YouTube caught our fancy this week we thought we’d give you another chance to catch it. Watch This is Why Everyone Hates You free.

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!