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.
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
Hagasuzza: A Heathen’s Curse [Hagazussa] (2017): A 15th century woman in an Alpine village is (appropriately) accused of witchcraft. This German art-house horror is receiving nearly universal critical acclaim. Hagazussa official Facebook page.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018): Toby, once an idealistic student filmmaker and now a director of commercials, revisits Spain to find the old shoemaker he cast as his lead in his “Don Quixote” student film now believes he is Quixote and Toby is Sancho Panza. Have you been following this? After a successful “one night only” Fathom screening, Terry Gilliam‘s “cursed” film gets a limited release after all. P.S.: it’s good. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote official site.
Under the Silver Lake (2018): Read Giles Edwards’ review. ‘s trippy conspiracy-noir bombed at Cannes and the release was repeatedly pushed back; there were rumors that distributor A24 was going to have the film re-edited, but they appear to have been scrapped. Will debut on VOD shortly (April 22, to be exact) after a very limited theatrical release. Under the Silver Lake official site.
NEW ON HOME VIDEO:
Diamonds of the Night (1964): Two Jewish boys escape from a Nazi train carrying them to a concentration camp into a surrealistic countryside. A Buy Diamonds of the Night.classic from that’s been long-unavailable, now rescued by the Criterion Collection and available on DVD or Blu-ray (and probably on their new streaming channel soon enough).
Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987): Two comely secret agents accidentally come into possession of stolen diamonds which lead them to a drug kingpin. The amazing 80s and 90s films of Andy Sidaris repeated the same campy formula over and over—ex-Playboy Playmates cast as secret agents, bounteous T&A, ersatz James Bond chicanery—but this one is the most ridiculous of them all, featuring a blow-up doll destroyed by a bazooka and a deadly cancer-infected snake (!) Mill Creek releases it restored on Blu-ray with behind-the-scenes features: what an age we live in! Buy Hard Ticket to Hawaii.
Keoma (1976): A half-breed (Franco Nero) returns from his wanderings to find his hometown faced with a plague and led by a corrupt mayor, assisted by his three hateful half-brothers. A very odd (though maybe not totally weird) Spaghetti Western that’s very self-conscious in its mythologizing, with a symbolic crucifixion, a witch only Keoma can see running around spouting prophecies, and a bizarre soundtrack where the singers simply describe exactly what’s happening onscreen. Arrow Blus it this week in a lavish special edition. Buy Keoma.
The Manitou (1978): That tumor on Susan Strasberg’s back turns out to be the reincarnated fetus of an ancient evil spirit. Maybe William Girdler’s best (and final) movie, which is to say it’s an incompetent hoot that at least has Tony Curtis embarrassing himself as a psychic who fights it out out with the Native American spirit by playing a game of live-action “Asteroids.” A Shout! Factory Blu-ray release. Buy The Manitou.
The Texture of Falling (2018): Two intertwined nonlinear stories: an affair between an aspiring filmmaker and a concert pianist intercut with another couple who are into bondage and discipline. This debut from Portland-based Maria Allred bills itself as a “controversial and surrealist feature film” and is available (exclusively) on Amazon Prime. Watch The Texture of Falling.
CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:
- Austin, TX, 4/21 – Akira (1988) (subtitled). Proceeds benefit the National MS Society. At the Alamo Drafthouse (South Lamar).
- Boston, MA, 4/19 (midnight) – Audition [Ôdishon] (1999). At Coolidge Corner Theatre.
- Boston, MA, 4/19-4/20, 4/24 – Audition [Ôdishon] (1999). At the Brattle.
- Chicago, IL, 4/19 & 4/22 – Fantastic Planet [La Planète Sauvage] (1973). At Gene Siskel Film Center.
- Chicago, IL, 4/21 – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971). At the Music Box Theatre.
- Cleveland, OH, 4/19 – Mandy (2018). At the Cleveland Institute of Art.
- Franklin, IN, 4/19-4/250 – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971). At the Artcraft Theatre.
- Los Angeles, CA, 4/19 (midnight) – Mandy (2018). At the Nuart Theatre.
- Los Angeles, CA, 4/19 – Society (1989) with Bride of Re-Animator (1989) (double feature), with and Tim Bartell in attendance. At the Egyptian Theatre.
- Los Angeles, CA, 4/21 – Donnie Darko (2001) with The Evil Dead (1981) (double feature). At the Egyptian Theatre.
- New York City, NY, 4/19-4/20 (midnights) – A Clockwork Orange (1971). At IFC Center.
- New York City, NY, 4/19-4/20 (midnights) –Fight Club (1999). At IFC Center.
- New York City, NY, 4/19 & 4/24 – Beauty and the Beast [La Belle et la Bete] (1946). At the Museum of Modern Art.
- New York City, NY, 4/20 – Female Trouble (1974). At the Museum of Modern Art.
- Portland, OR, 4/20 – Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams (1990). At the Hollywood Theatre.
- San Francisco, CA, 4/25 – Mulholland Drive (2001) with L’ Important C’est D’aimer (1975) (double feature). At the Castro Theatre.
- Santa Ana, CA, 4/19-4/20 – Repo Man (1984). At the Frida Cinema.
- Santa Ana, CA, 4/24 – True Stories (1986), with co-screenwriter Stephen Tobolowsky Q&A. At the Frida Cinema.
- Silver Spring, MD, 4/22-4/25 – Akira (1988). At AFI Silver Theatre.
- Tuscon, AZ, 4/19-4/20 – Donnie Darko (2001). At the Loft Cinema.
- Vancouver, BC, Canada – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971). At the Rio Theatre.
- Yonkers, NY, 4/20 – Spirited Away (2001) (subtitled). At the Alamo Drafthouse.
- Yonkers, NY, 4/23 – Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001). At the Alamo Drafthouse.
YOU LINK US! YOU REALLY LINK US!:
Gregory J. Smalley‘s review of Viy (1967) was quoted in Alison Nastasi’s list of 50 Visually Stunning Horror Movies for Twisted Aesthetes for Flavorwire. Nearly every movie on the list is reviewed in these pages (and 19 of them joined the Canonically Weird list), so we endorse it.
WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE: Next week will be the finals of the March Mad Movie Madness tournament (which is good, because we wouldn’t want this thing to run into May). As you read this, there’s still time to vote in the semifinals (although Eraserhead and The Holy Mountain have built such incredible leads that it’s hard to see any other permutation of finalists).
As far as new articles go, we will have at least two. Ryan Aarset brings you the scoop on Clair Denis’ trippy sci-fi feature High Times (in theaters now). And Gregory J. Smalley promises bring you at least one new review, but we can’t tell you exactly what it is because he’s failed to submit it yet. (We’d fire the cad for tardiness, but he controls the bank account and has the keys to the 366 yacht). And who knows, something else could always drop into our submission box between now and next Friday.
Onward and weirdward!
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.