Our second Netflix watch party (April and the Extraordinary World) was as well attended as the first. This might just be a quarantine thing, or it may turn into a regular feature of the site, but we’re going to go for number three.
We have had requests to move the time back to accommodate viewers who must put small children to bed, so we’re going to suggest starting next week’s showing at 10:30 PM EST, although we’ll consider different suggestions if mentioned in the comments.
Do note that next week’s April 11 showing will be the night before Easter and plan accordingly. (Maybe we can even find a weird Easter-themed movie to watch?)
And the winner is… not a surprise. Robert Eggers‘ salty historical horror The Lighthouse (2019) blew away the competition, winning each of its head-to-head match-ups handily. The runner-up was Hitoshi Matsumoto‘s kaiju mockumentary Big Man Japan (2007), which was valiant in defeat. The Lighthouse will now be officially added to our Apocryphally Weird list (although you may not see the write-up appear immediately, trust us, it’s lurking out there, waiting to strike…)
The results of the entire tournament can be seen here.
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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.
NEW RELEASE (STREAMING):
The Other Lamb (2019): A member of an all-female cult (led by a man, of course) begins having visions which lead her to question the only reality she has ever known. With no theaters open, many releases have been pushed back; distributors not overly anxious to debut their movies on VOD may be forced to do so anyway. Times are tough. Rent The Other Lamb.
FILM FESTIVALS – South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) (Online, April-May):
After floating the idea, South by Southwest has decided to go through with it: they’re holding their film festival (canceled in March) online. Amazon will host it for ten days. Filmmakers will be invited to participate and given compensation, but we don’t know which films will be available or even the exact dates yet (their aiming for April). The good news: it will be free to view. We weren’t extremely excited about this year’s lineup, with the possible exception of St. Vincent’s Nowhere Inn, but there always could be a surprise or two hiding there, and this format will allow all of us to search for those hidden gems together: no credentials or costly badge needed. More details when available; meanwhile, you can read the announcement on SWSX’s homepage.
In addition, all (we think) of the SWSX shorts have been made separately available free online through a partnership between e-mail marketer Mail Chimp and distributor Oscilloscope. If you spot anything cool in there, let us know in the comments. Watch SWSX shorts here.
IN DEVELOPMENT (pre-release):
She’s Allergic to Cats (2016): Read our festival review and listen to our interview. When G. Smalley’s opening line in his interview with the makers of this weird little video art comedy about an L.A. artist trying to recreate Carrie with cats and his improbable romance were: “please get this movie distribution.” Four years later, they finally heeded his advice. It will release on VOD next week, but we’re so excited we wanted to share the trailer with you now. We’ll pass along the rental link next week.
With everything shut down for the pandemic, a few repertory theaters have opened up “virtual screening rooms.” The Alamo Drafthouse chain, Row House Cinemas, San Francisco’s Roxie, The Frida, The Loft, and AFI Silver are examples. Not ideal, and not that much of a better end-user experience than just watching Netflix or renting something off Amazon, but you will be supporting the theater. Your ticket purchase could—theoretically—be the difference between the venue reopening or declaring bankruptcy when this is all over. We do have one canonically weird online screening to mention:
WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE: First off, you may notice a new logo, designed by Joe Badon. No offense to our old designer, Ubik Designs, who donated the old graphics at the beginning of his career and has since moved on to better things. We may even break it out again occasionally for nostalgia’s sake, especially if we can figure out how to do one of those “rotating banner” things. Anyway, if you like Joe’s art, more can be found at his Esty shop.
Also, we still have two user polls rolling along. Our poll for the movie to watch for our second Netflix Party closes tonight at midnight; at this time, it looks like April and the Extraordinary World is going to be the pick. The party starts at 9:30 PM EST tomorrow evening; watch this website, Facebook, or Twitter ten minutes before showtime for the link to join. Last time was a lot of fun.
As far as next week’s reviews go, Giles Edwards will recap the sometimes nauseating Spanish capitalism allegory The Platform (the subject of our first Netflix Party). Pete Trbovich will take on the Exorcist rip-off Beyond the Door (1974) (and explains why he prefers it to its model). And G. Smalley is planning a trip into the long-neglected reader-suggested queue for a look at the anthropomorphic marsupial serial killer flick Executive Koala (2005), but reserves the option of substituting something more timely. With everyone stuck at home, we have nothing to do but order takeout, drink whiskey sours, and watch and write about weird movies. Onward and weirdward!
What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that we have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.
This announcement came as such a surprise, we thought it’s worthy of its own post.
The Criterion Collection just pre-announced that their latest addition to their catalog of “important classic and contemporary cinema from around the world” will be Mark Region‘s 2009 experimental thriller After Last Season, which has been out-of-print and highly sought after since the original DVD run sold out. (We spotted a copy on E-bay recently; the asking price was over $200).
The lone film by the reclusive Region, After Last Season may seem like a strange edition to the Criterion catalog, but the art-house label has recently added the transgressive early works of John Waters to their catalog as they expand their range from stodgy art movies and begin to include more culturally significant cult films with edgy, DIY aesthetics.
These photographs (leaked onto the Internet by an unknown Criterion insider) are early boxcover mockups, not the finished product (which won’t go on sale until July 2020 at the earliest). Thanks to El Rob Hubbard for bringing them to our attention. According to the Criterion Collection website, the final release will have the following special features:
New 4K digital restoration, not approved by Region
After Last Season has been one of the rarest titles on our list of Canonically Weird movies, and we’re thrilled that the general public will finally get the chance to experience this… um… unusual film.
We’re going to go ahead with our second weird Netflix watch party, tentatively scheduled for this Saturday, Apr. 3, at 9:30 PM EST. First order of business: voting on the movie to watch. If you plan on virtually attending, please vote for the movie we’ll be watching below.
There are two sets of instructions: one for the poll, and then the instructions for joining the Netflix Party.
Just vote for which movie you’d like us to watch from the selections below. We’ll screen the movie that gets the most votes. Your host, Gregory J. Smalley, will personally break any ties. Note that unlike our other polls, you can only vote once. Poll closes at midnight EST on Friday, Apr 3. You may vote for multiple movies, but not for every movie (because that would be pointless).
On March 28, 2020, at 9:30 PM EST time, history was made as a band of intrepid weird movie fanatics gathered in a virtual screening room to watch the Spanish capitalism allegory The Platform (review forthcoming?), making keen observations and tasteless wisecracks in equal measure.
A good time was had by all… at least, by all who spoke up. So we’re extending the experiment for one more week.