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 at the official site links.
IN THEATERS (WIDE RELEASE):
Nocturnal Animals (2016): Calvin Wilson’s hateful review for the St. Louis Dispatch suggests it has promise: “a bad cult film in the making… a tiresomely weird drama that’s pitched somewhere between the cinematic realms of directors David Lynch… and David Cronenberg…” Nocturnal Animals official site.writes a brutally violent novel that wife suspects may be a wish-fulfillment fantasy. We’re skeptical, but
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
The Brand New Testament (2015): Mr. Nobody is a comedy about God’s bratty daughter leaking the death dates of all of humanity. Thought this would never arrive on these shores, but it was worth the wait just for the first line of the official synopsis: “God exists, and He’s a jerk.” The Brand New Testament official site.s followup to 2009’s Certified Weird
SCREENINGS – (New York City, IFC Center, 12/9):
House [Hausu] (1977): Read the Certified Weird entry! Japan’s pop-haunted house madness makes for a perfect midnight feature this Friday or Saturday night. Or, if you prefer, you could take in Lost Highway or Mulholland Drive, both screening around the witching hour. Also, new release The Brand New Testament (see description in Limited Release above) is playing all week. Get out to the theaters now, before they go to a 24-hour It’s a Wonderful Life format! House at IFC Center.
SCREENINGS – (New York City, Lincoln Center, 12/9-12, 14-15):
“Life Is a Dream: The Films of Raoul Ruiz”: The Film Center at Lincoln Center continues their two week series on the movies of Chilean Surrealist Rauol Ruiz. Here’s a compact schedule: Mysteries of Lisbon (Dec. 9th & 11th), The Territory (9th), The State of Things (9th), Bérénice (10th & 14th), The Golden Boat (10th & 14th), Geneaologies of a Crime (10th & 13th), La Recta Provinca (11th & 14th), Three Crowns of the Sailor (13th, 15th), The Suspended Vocation, and The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting (Dec. 15th only). “Life Is a Dream: The Films of Raoul Ruiz” at Lincoln Center.
SCREENINGS – (New York City, Spectacle Theater, 12/10):
Mondo Weirdo (1990): Just your average hardcore sex vampire punk musical. A lost German underground obscenity screening in celeberation of distributor Cult Epics’ 25th anniversary; DVD/Blu-ray expected in 2017. Mondo Weirdo at Spectacle Theater.
IN DEVELOPMENT (announced):
Coin coin les z’inhumains (2018?): A sequel to the French television balack comedy/mystery Lil’ Quininquin is officially planned. No word on the plot, or whether the miniseries’ unsolved mysteries will be resolved; writer/director has to finish a rock musical based on the life of Joan of Arc first. French speakers may figure out something from this link.
IN DEVELOPMENT (post-production):
Journey to the West: Demon Chapter (2017): Pacifist demon hunter Xuan Zang continues his journey to India begun in the original Journey to the West, facing new demons. Still reclining on the bed of yuan he made from The Mermaid,
NEW ON DVD:
Heart of a Dog (2015): Avant-garde musician Laurie Anderson’s first feature film is an experimental film essay which includes pieces on her dog and the Tibetan Buddhist afterlife. A surprise acquisition and release from the Criterion Collection. Buy Heart of a Dog.
Phantasm: Ravager (2016): The Phantasm series comes to an end in this fifth installment that sees Reggie Bannister battling the Tall Man (the late Angus Scrimm) across a series of alternate realities. Reviews were all over the place, but Variety called it “the surreal thing.” Buy Phantasm: Ravager.
Phantasm (1979): Read the Certified Weird entry! The extra features look to be recycled from the last release, but the picture has definitely been scrubbed clean and brightened (not sure that’s a good thing, actually, but it’s how the director intended it to be seen). Buy Phantasm (Remastered).
Pulse (2001): See desription in Blu-ray below. Buy Pulse [DVD Blu-ray combo pack].
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
The Exterminating Angel (1962): Guests at a bourgeois dinner party find themselves inexplicably unable to leave the drawing room for weeks on end. The Criterion Collection upgrades its 2009 DVD of Buy The Exterminating Angel [Blu-ray].‘s neo-Surrealist masterwork to Blu-ray; review coming soon.
Heart of a Dog (2015): See description in DVD above. Buy Heart of a Dog [Blu-ray].
Phantasm (1979): See description in DVD above. This release includes a DVD disc as well for only a couple bucks more. Buy Phantasm [Remastered DVD/Blu-ray combo pack].
Phantasm: Ravager (2016): See description in DVD above. Buy Phantasm: Ravager [Blu-ray].
Pulse (2001): Read our capsule review. Arrow Video gives the special edition treatment to Kiyoshi Kurosawa‘s apocalyptic horror; a new transfer, new interviews, mutliple featurettes, etc. Buy Pulse [DVD Blu-ray combo pack].
The Quiet Earth (1985): A man wakes up in a depopulated world and sets out looking for survivors of whatever catastrophe has stuck. Long unavailable in the U.S., its enigmatic ending helped make it ia cult movie in its native New Zealand (and elsewhere); it’s also currently in our reader-suggested review queue. Buy The Quiet Earth [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.