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.
SCREENINGS – (IFC Center, New York City, Mar. 11-12):
El Topo (1970): Read the Certified Weird entry! The acidiest of all acid westerns, and the first notable Midnight Movie thanks to its legendary run at the Elgin, is back on the big screen once more. Worth a pilgrimage. El Topo at IFC center.
SCREENINGS – (Videology Bar & Cinema, Brooklyn, Mar. 11-12):
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010): Read the Certified Weird entry. The first time we watched this Playstation romantic slacker epic about a nerdy hipster bro fighting off seven evil exes for the hand of a sexy hipster chick, we were certain it was destined to be a cult film. Six years later, our prediction has come true. Also playing: ‘s documentary/satire hybrid The Beaver Trilogy, starring both and as the same Olivia Newton John impersonator, at 7 PM. Make it a long night! Scott Pilgrim vs. the World at Videology Bar & Cinema.
FILM FESTIVALS – South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival (Austin, TX, Mar. 11-19):
If you can’t get your indie film into Sundance, the massive SXSW festival in Austin, Texas has become your next best bet. With the continued mainstreaming of Sundance, and the increasingly homogenized “indie” product spotlighted there, if your movie’s a bit on the weirder side, SWSX may even be a better fit. (The Greasy Strangler, which is playing at both fests, is an exception). Here are some of this year’s weirder offerings:
- The Alchemist’s Cookbook – is a director to keep an eye on, and this is an intriguing departure: another portrait of an anti-authority antihero, but this time in a supernatural horror context. Mar. 14 & 16.
- collective:unconscious – five underground directors take turns interpreting each others’ dreams on Mar. 14 & 16.
- Papagajka – a socially awkward parking attendant finds his life is being taken over by a mysterious stranger in this art house debut from a graduate of ‘s (literal) film school; screening Mar. 14 & 17.
- Pee Wee’s Big Holiday – sure to be one of the fest’s most sought-after tickets, this is a chance for a lucky handful to see Pee Wee’s latest film on the big screen one day before it premieres on Netflix. Catch it if you can on Mar. 17.
- Phantasm – a remastered print of the Certified Weird horror classic screens Mar 16.
NEW ON DVD:
Dickshark (2016): Bill Zebub calls this story about a penile-enhancement cream that turns the male member into a marine predator a work of “absurdism”—which, for some reason, he puts in quotes. Zebub’s movies always catch our eye, but we’d never actually pay to see if they’re as astoundingly stupid as they look. If you would, then buy Dickshark.
The Tribe (2014): A graphically violent and sexually explicit Ukrainian film, with no dialogue, about students at a school for the deaf who run a prostitution ring. No extra features are advertised. Buy The Tribe.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
The Forbidden Room (2015): See description in DVD above. Buy The Forbidden Room [Blu-ray].
Howard the Duck (1986): This notorious George Lucas produced 80s kiddie fantasy bomb about a cigar-smoking duck from an alternate universe who winds up saving the world from evil aliens in Cleveland didn’t even get a DVD release until 2009, so this is a relatively quick Blu-ray debut. Judge for yourself whether it deserves its reputation as one of the worst big-budget pictures ever, or (as a very few contend) its an underacknowleged masterpiece. Buy Howard the Duck [Blu-ray].
Jane B. par Agnes V. (1988)/Kung Fu Master! (1988): Two from Agnes Varda: Jane B. is an experimental biography of model/actress/singer/muse Jane Birkin, who acts in several fantasy sequences that cast her as Jane (of Tarzan fame) and Joan (d’Arc). Kung Fu Master! (AKA Le Petit Amour) is slightly more conventional drama—Birkin plays an older woman who embarks on an affair with a 14-year old boy. Buy Jane B. par Agnes V./Kung-fu Master [Blu-ray].
The Tribe (2014): See description in DVD above. Buy The Tribe [Blu-ray].
Xanadu (1980): A Greek muse convinces an elderly Gene Kelly to open a nightclub. A stunningly cheesy mixture of classical allusions and roller disco. Buy Xanadu [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.