Dzien swira

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DIRECTED BY: Marek Koterski

FEATURING: Marek Kondrat

PLOT: An easily irritated Polish teacher with OCD spends a long day in increasingly surreal, comic situations.

Still from Day of the Wacko (2002)

WHY IT MIGHT MAKE THE APOCRYPHA: This cult Polish comedy is a long shot for consideration among the weirdest of all time, but it does offer numerous imaginary sequences, a uniquely cynical perspective, and a scene where the main character complains, “where are all these weird people coming from?”

COMMENTS: Day of the Wacko’s Adas Miauczynski is a comic creation who transcends cultural boundaries. Perpetually annoyed, he strides through Warsaw like a Polish Basil Fawlty, arguing with noisy neighbors, defecating on their lawns, and sending a crippled lapdog flying over a hedge with a swift kick. He’s no role model, but his take-no-guff attitude is perversely appealing; his misbehavior allows the audience to live out a fantasy of taking out their frustrations on annoying urbanites. But while Adas’ antics are vicariously satisfying, the film never loses sight of how utterly miserable the man really is. The first twenty minutes or so show him engaged in his obsessive morning rituals, which involve him washing up and making coffee, always using multiples of seven. He’s the kind of sad sack who, when he finally meets a dream lover in a fantasy sequence, immediately begins worrying about how he’ll be able to get rid of her. And his final monologue as night falls over his apartment block is utterly despairing, tonally inconsistent with the foregoing comedy, and yet somehow not at all out-of-character.

The movie is essentially plotless, showing Adas mucking his way through various social disappointments over the course of a long day. After completing his persnickety ablutions and raging at his noisy neighbors, he gets peeved and walks out of the poetry class he’s teaching; visits his mother, ex-wife, and son, all of whom disappoint him to various degrees; putters about attempting to complete errands; tries to take an afternoon nap just as a wandering minstrel decides to stroll by with an accordion; and decides to take a trip to the beach, where he falls asleep and dreams about death. These adventures are peppered throughout with little fantasy sequences and skits: snippets of the serene-but-constantly-interrupted poem Adas tries vainly to compose, a TV ad for dildos. The satirical material aimed at millennial Polish audiences may go over your head: for example, a scene where various factions tug at a medieval flag, which rips apart and bleeds. The film occasionally looks like it was shot on video, and the fantasy sequences lack visual fireworks, but the imagery isn’t really the thing here: it’s all about Kondrat’s peeved performance, which keeps you watching to see what outrage he will suffer, or commit, next.

Marek Kondrat plays the role of Adas Miauczynski in two other Koterski films, Dom wariatów (1985) and Wszyscy jestesmy Chrystusam (2006). Cezary Pazura played the same character (although named “Adam” instead of “Adas”) in Nothing Funny (1995) and Ajlawju (1999), and at least one other actor has portrayed Miauczynski at a different stage in life. Like Mick Travis in ‘s movies, there is little narrative or stylistic continuity between the various Miauczynskis; Wszyscy jestesmy Chrystusam, for example, seems to be an earnest drama about alcoholism, and in another, the character is described as a film director rather than a teacher. Other than Nothing Funny and Wacko, none of the Miauczynski movies appear to have been translated into English. Wacko is the most universally praised.


“A nonstop screwball screed against the multitude of perceived indignities in contempo Poland… sheer chutzpah alone should propel this unique item to brave fests and perhaps a bit of business.”–Eddie Cockrell, Variety (contemporaneous)

(This movie was nominated for review by “haui.” Suggest a weird movie of your own here.)

Where to watch Day of the Wacko


  1. Small note from a Polish person here: “Adaś” is a diminutive form of “Adam,” they’re basically the same name.

  2. Another Polish fan of weird cinema (and weird everything) report presence 🙂 I haven’t seen Day of the Wacko yet, because I didn’t think it’s a weird movie. Thank you for recommendation.

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