Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs and Blu-rays (and hot off the server VODs), and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.


Altered Perception (2018): Volunteers for a trial medication that promises to cure false perceptions find themselves instead addicted to a psychedelic drug that causes psychosis. With a title like that, it better have some great hallucination scenes. Altered Perception official site.

The Cleanse (2018): An unemployed man lands at a retreat where he undergoes a “cleanse” therapy, which involves drinking foul brews and vomiting up min-monsters. The L.A. Times‘ Gary Goldstein called it “one short, strange trip…” The Cleanse official site.

Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (2017): s rock opera about young Joan D’Arc finally arrives in limited release in the U.S. Who doesn’t want to see medieval nuns voguing? Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc U.S. distributor site.

FILM FESTIVALS – Cannes Film Festival (Cannes. France, 5/8-5/19):

Cannes is an odd duck. Not known as a “weird-friendly” festival—movies like ‘s Crash and Antichrist have been famously hooted at by Cannes crowds who were having none of that—it aims to flatter the mainstream arthouse crowd with middle-of-the-road dramas (and, rarely, dramadies, so long as they are not too funny to be taken seriously). Cannes programmers revel in the dry, the conventional, and the pompous; Cannes’ juries’ tastes resemble those of Academy Awards voters, but with an even higher premium placed on boringness. Still, one or two movies worth looking at always seem to find their way onto the card, and 2018 is particularly rich. Many years, a Cannes debut will end up Certified Weird: three films in the past six years, including, most recently, 2012’s Holy Motors. Movies at Cannes may either be screened “in competition” for the big prize, the Palm D’or; screen out-of-competition; or be entered in the “Un Certain Regard” section (a sort of also-ran competition for films that are either from first time directors, or are considered too daring or different to have a shot at the Palme d’Or). Recently, many filmmakers have been debuting their films in the parallel festival called Directors’ Fortnight, which runs contemporaneous to Cannes proper but does not hand out awards for individual films. ( surreal supernatural revenge drama Mandy, which debuted at Sundance, will play there).

Here’s what we would be keeping tabs on if we were in France next week:

  • The House That Jack Built – We question how weird it will be, but ‘s serial killer pic is one of the most buzzed-about titles at Cannes, and does feature a mysterious entity called “the Verge” who dialogues with a murderous Matt Dillon. Out of competition.
  • Lazzaro Felice [Happy as Lazzaro] – Hard to figure out what this Italian movie is about, but the synopsis suggests intriguing characters like a time-traveler and a ruler known as the “Queen of Cigarettes.” In competition.
  • Le Livre du Image [Image Book] – We haven’t been the biggest fans of his late work, but always demands attention; he describes this one as “like a bad dream written on a stormy night.” In competition.
  • The Man Who Killed Don Quixote‘s ill-fated Quixote variation, 20 years in the making and still under a legal cloud, is possibly the most anticipated debut at Cannes. Out of competition.
  • Muere, Monstruo, Muere [Murder Me, Monster] – A beheading leads an investigator to develop a strange conspiracy theory. Un Certain Regard.
  • Under the Silver Lake – A young man goes on a “surreal quest” through Los Angeles to find a mysterious missing girl; from the director of the indie horror it It Follows. In competition.

Cannes Film Festival official site.


The Cleanse (2018): See description in “Limited Release” above. Like many indies nowadays, this film is also available for VOD purchase the day it hits theaters. Buy The Cleanse on-demand.

Kaleidoscope (2016): Psychological thriller in which a recently-released prisoner finds his domineering mother is interfering with his ability to reintegrate into society. The second feature from Rupert Jones (brother of Kaleidoscope‘s star, veteran character actor Toby Jones); his first was an opera (2013’s The Answer to Everything) cast with homeless people. On DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD. Buy Kaleidoscope.


The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). We won’t list all the screenings of this audience-participation classic separately. You can use this page to find a screening near you.

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.

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