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 (WIDE RELEASE):
Frankenweenie: Tim Burton has struck out twice this year, garnering mediocre marks directing Dark Shadows and producing Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer. This stop motion kiddie horror, a remake of his pretty good 1984 short live-action film, shot in glorious black and white, is a pet project of Burton’s. In his third at bat, will the once-visionary auteur knock it out of the park, or at least get on base? Frankenweenie official site.
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
The Double Steps [Los Pasos Dobles]: Various groups of people search the Sahara for a bunker covered in frescoes painted by an American expatriate artist. Reviewers have been stumped trying to describe the plot. Playing in NYC only this week. Los Pasos Dobles Facebook page (Spanish).
SCREENINGS (Sunday, Oct. 7, New York City, Film Forum):
Week End (1967): A weekend trip to the country turns into a surreal nightmare as a French couple find themselves stuck in an apocalyptic traffic jam. As they recently did with the Czech masterpiece Daisies, Janus films has refurbished another classic 1960s weird foreign film and unleashed it on an unsuspecting modern American public; please, keep it up! This print will be touring the larger and hipper North American cities through 2013; check Janus Films’ site for playdates.
NEW ON DVD:
Dark Shadows (2012): Read our capsule review and our other capsule review. We didn’t like this poorly conceived revamp (hee hee) of the Gothic soap from the Sixties, but this week has a Tim Burton theme, so if you must… Buy Dark Shadows.
“Found Footage Festival: Volume 6″: Before YouTube, there was VHS. Thankfully we have historians like the fine folks at the Found Footage Festival (and rivals Everything is Terrible!) to sift through the video dating, religious puppet show, and ferret care instructional tapes of yesteryear to bring us the funniest (and weirdest) video trash from the past. Buy “The Found Footage Festival: Volume 6″.
Iron Sky (2012): Nazis from the moon invade Earth. The early buzz was sky-high thanks to the nutty premise and an effective trailer, but after some early sightings of the space-fascists, people lost interest as the invasion grew nearer. Buy Iron Sky.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
Dark Shadows (2012): See description in DVD above. This release contains a DVD as well as an “Ultraviolet Digital Copy.” Buy Dark Shadows [Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy].
Dark Star (1974): John Carpenter’s student film is a spoof of 2001 with a talking bomb and a beach ball alien; it was a minor cult hit. This “Thermostellar Edition” contains the theatrical and director’s cut (confusingly, the director’s cut was the version released to theaters; it’s the same as the “theatrical” version but runs ten minutes longer). Buy Dark Star [Blu-ray].
Iron Sky (2012): See description in DVD above. Buy Iron Sky [Blu-ray].
Masters of the Universe (1987): He-Man (really? the hero is named He-Man?) must defeat Skeletor (really?) in this campy cult movie based on a TV cartoon based on a children’s toy from the 1980s. Hopefully, people won’t look back this fondly on the Transformers movies in 20 years. Buy Masters of the Universe [Blu-ray].
The Milk of Sorrow [La Teta Asustada] (2009): Magical realist tale with an interesting premise: women who are abused during pregnancy transmit their sorrow to their children through breast milk. Most critics found the pace poetic, others complained it was too slow, but all agree it features an interesting alternative use for potatoes. Buy Milk of Sorrow [Blu-ray].
Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection: Released in time to schedule a Halloween marathon, this set collects together Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Wolf Man (1941), The Phantom of the Opera (1943), and The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). Bride is definitely the weirdest of these offerings, but the Universal horror cycle as a whole was much more influential than the sum of its parts. Essential indeed. Buy Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray].
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:
Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006): A fast-food franchise builds a restaurant on the site of an ancient Indian burial ground, resulting in a plague of zombie chickens. Adding insult to injury, they perform song-and-dance routines before ripping your internal organs out. Watch Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead 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.