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):
The Catechism Cataclysm (2011): Read our capsule review. Distributed by IFC Midnight, so it will open at the IFC Center in New York this week; future screenings unknown. The Catechism Cataclysm official site.
Glitch in the Grid (2011): An artist suffers a spiritual crisis in this film mixing live action and stop-motion animation. The director calls the style “spiritual surrealism.” Opening in New York City with scattered single-night screenings across the country through the fall. Glitch in the Grid official site.
Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011): Psychological thriller about the mental struggles of woman who has escaped from a cult trying to adjust to “real” society. Reviews are excellent, making us think it’s weirdness must be fairly mild. Martha Marcy May Marlene official site.
FILM FESTIVALS: FETISCH FILM FESTIVAL (Oct. 25-29, Kiel, Germany):
If you’re into S&M and outré erotica, Kiel, Germany is the place to be in October. Amongst the dominatrix documentaries and soft porn bondage features, the Fetish Film Festival will also be screening a few very weird films:
- Maximum Shame – Read our capsule review. The world’s only “apocalyptic fetish horror musical chess sci-fi weird feature movie.” Oct. 26.
- Planet Diva – Self-aware mock-grindhouse movies are the latest fad for low-budget producers; this short looks to be the weirdest of the genre screening here. Oct. 26.
- Sleeping Beauty – From Australia comes this modern folktale that sounds like it has more to do with The House of Sleeping Beauties than with the classic fairy tale. Julia Leigh’s feminist “Wonder Cinema” film has been making a name by playing every festival that will book it. Oct. 29.
- VigasioSexploitation -The synopsis begins, “an egg from outer space infects the villagers of Vigasio…” and only gets weirder from there. Starring a man-pig and a naked woman with a soapbox covering her head. The movie is available for free download from the official site (adults only, obviously). There’s also a VigasioSexploitation, Vol. 2 (not downloadable, but will be shown at the festival). Oct. 26.
Untitled Snow White Feature (est. 2012): It promises to bring a “dark twist” to the Snow White legend. The presence of icons of conventionality Julia Roberts (as the Evil Queen) and Nathan Lane in the cast gives up pause, but director Tarsem Singh has gone weird in the past (The Cell, The Fall). Untitled Snow White on IMDB.
Upstream Color (est. 2012): After making a splash with the microbudgeted mindbender Primer, engineer-turned-filmmaker Shane Carruth disappeared off the radar, but word has it he’s back with a new project (one that’s described, partly, as a romance). Chud.com appears to have broken the news, though they don’t have many details. Even more interesting than the Color confirmation is the news that his script A Topiary (which concerns a “mysterious box” and may be a sequel of sorts to Primer) is still alive, with an estimated release date of 2013. (Assist to Pussy Goes Grrr for bringing this story to our attention).
NEW ON DVD:
The Bulgarian Prophet (2011?): Unpretentiously animated satire about a Bulgarian immigrant who becomes an unlikely prophet after being struck by a meteor during the hippie era. Creator Yavor Batchev calls it “an amalgam of Eugene Ionesco, Boris Vian and Kafka” and from the trailer it appears to take (equal?) shots at both the East and the West. Apparently a one-man show, thanks to the marvels of modern technology; it’s being sold via the author’s website for $14.95 + shipping for a DVD or a $5.95 download. The Bulgarian Prophet official site.
The Last Circus [Balada Triste de Trompeta] (2010): Read our capsule review. We declared this tale of warring clowns in Franco’s Spain not weird, but we won’t blame you if you want to check it out anyway. Buy The Last Circus.
Satan Hates You (2009): Read our capsule review. We were one of the very first outlets to review this film, and it seems like we’ve been waiting forever for this Jack-Chick-tract-come-to-life to finally come out so we can prove we didn’t dream it. Buy Satan Hates You.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
The Clowns (1970): The seldom-seen Federico Fellini “documentary,” made for Italian television, exploring the weird director’s obsession with clowns. Parts are scripted (thus the quotes around “documentary”). Buy The Clowns [Blu-ray].
The Crow (1994): A rock musician returns from the dead as a goth spirit to wreak vengeance on the street gang that killed him and his fiancée. A simple, but extremely atmospheric, graphic novel adaptation, the movie is unfortunately best known for the death of rising star Brandon (son of Bruce) Lee, who was tragically killed when a prop gun was accidentally left loaded. Buy The Crow [Blu-ray].
The Last Circus [Balada Triste de Trompeta] (2010): See description in DVD above. Buy The Last Circus [Blu-ray].
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Ultimate Collectors Edition) (1971): This psychedelic and very frightening children’s story sees foppish candyman Wonka (a brilliant Gene Wilder) and his gang of moralizing orange dwarfs knock off disobedient children one by one. The set comes in a commemorative tin box and (natch) contains a replica of a Golden Ticket along with a 144 page (!) booklet, a Blu-ray copy of the movie with hi-def extras, and a DVD copy of the movie with (different) standard-def extras. Buy Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Ultimate Collector’s Edition).
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:
We’re not linking any YouTube movies this week, but we’re using this space to remind you of the VigasioSexploitation free download (IPod or torrent) mentioned above in the Fetisch Film Festival rundown. If you do download and watch it, be sure to tell us what you think!
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.