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WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 5/17/2019

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):

Perfect (2018): A troubled young man is sent to a clinic where he is given various implants to remove his imperfections. Co-produced by Flying Lotus (who also scored the film) and , and clearly made under the influence of a heavy dose of . .Perfect official site.

The Wandering Soap Opera [La Telenovella Errante]: A surreal and satirical spoof of Chilean soap operas. ‘s widow,  Valeria Sarmiento, completed this project, which her late husband left unfinished in 1990. The Wandering Soap Opera official site.

FILM FESTIVALS – Cannes Film Festival (Cannes, France, May 14-25):

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. Many years, an unusual film will sneak it’s way onto the card and Cannes debut may even end up Certified Weird: it’s happened for three films in the past seven years, including, most recently, 2012’s Holy Motors. This year looks particularly bleak, however; maybe they should invite Netflix to screen films there to liven things up? 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; it offers a more exciting slate this year.

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

  • The Dead Don’t Die – A zombie comedy by starring , Adam Driver,  , , , Selena Gomez, and more; probably not weird but special, and the cast alone makes it worth checking out. In competition, opening night.
  • Deerskin [Le Daim] – The seventh feature from ; no plot synopsis was provided. Director’s Fortnight.
  • First Love [Hatsokui] – ‘s latest, about a noxer and a call girl who get on the wrong side of some drug dealers. Miike han’t made a truly weird (or great) movie in years, but his name always sparks hope. Director’s Fortnight.
  • Jeanne continues the Joan of Arc story from his previous Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc; this sequel features the same actress (now 10, playing the warrior-saint at 19) but dropping the musical numbers for a more serious presentation. Un Certain Regard.
  • The Lighthouse directs and in a black and white period horror set in a lighthouse. Director’s Fortnight.
  • Red 11 – A college student signs up for a medical experiment and “things get surreal.” From genre legend . Director’s Fortnight.

Cannes Film Festival official site.

Director’s Fortnight home page.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

Saint Bernard (2013): An orchestra conductor named Bernard (natch) goes insane and sees surreal visions. One of only two sole writing/directing efforts by special effects guru Gabe Bartalos, who worked on everything from Leprechaun to multiple to Matthew Barney’s “Cremaster” movies, with special appearances by Andy Kaufman henchman Bob Zmuda to Warwick Davis. All of this, and unreleased for six years? Severin rectifies the oversight on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD. Buy Saint Bernard.

TELEVISION (HULU, DEBUTS 5/17):

“Catch-22”: A six-episode miniseries adaptation of Joseph Heller’s groundbreaking comic novel on the absurdity of war. We already declared Mike Nichols’ cinema version one of the 366 Weirdest Movies ever made. You’d have to be insane to remake it; did. The total series runs for a little over 4 hours, allowing more of the novel to make it onscreen. Watch “Catch-22” on Hulu.

BOOKS:

“Giraffes on Horseback Salad: Salvador Dalí, the Marx Brothers, The Strangest Movie Never Made” (2019): A graphic novel recreation of a propsed collaboration between and the , recreated from about 4 pages of notes Dalí scribbled for the non-stater project. Comedian joined author Josh Frank in fleshing out the “screenplay,” and Manuela Pertega illustrated. Buy “Giraffes on Horseback Salad”.

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

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’S IN THE PIPELINE: Not that this matters much to the end reader, but next week editor-in-chief G. Smalley will be on vacation (not in Cannes, sadly). Although everything should continue as normal, limited access to wi-fi could cause some delays in content being posted. As far as what that content will be: Shane Wilson will give you the scoop on the free-to-watch micobudget thriler (?) She Found Now, while Giles Edwards retains his humanity while watching Rhinoceros, the 1974 film adaptation (with Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel) of Eugene Ionesco’s famous absurdist play about… people turning into rhinos.

One final note: the print version of the 2019 Yearbook is nearly ready to go, just needing one more proof review before finalization. Were that Smalley guy not on vacation, the thing would be available for purchase next week for sure… we’ll try to get it out as soon as it’s ready, but you may have to wait one additional week to place an order.

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.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 5/10/2019

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 ON HOME VIDEO:

Gutboy: A Badtime Story (2015): An (almost) all-marionette feature about a flayed puppet who fights the Man that proudly advertises itself as “the weirdest movie in the world.” Finally on Blu-ray after being exclusive to Troma’s streaming service for years. Buy Gutboy: A Badtime Story.

The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970): A pre-007 Roger Moore stars as a man who senses he has a doppelganger running around after a near-death experience in a car crash. A somewhat obscure mindbender, now out on DVD or Blu-ray from Kino Lorber. Buy The Man Who Haunted Himself.

Rhinoceros (1974): An adaptation of Eugene Ionesco’s quintessential absurdist play about a town where everyone is slowly turning into rhinoceroses (rhinoceri?) We had no idea that a film version of this existed—starring The Producers‘ Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder! Via Kino Classics, DVD and Blu-ray only. Buy Rhinoceros.

Sex Madness Revealed (2018): The (fictional) “Film Dick” podcaster (Patton Oswalt) interviews (fictional) experts about the (real) sexploitation film Sex Madness (1939) as it plays, and discovers (fictional) shocking secrets about the production. From the producer of Room 237, this appears to be another satire about people who read too much significance into cult movies. Released straight to DVD and Blu-ray. Buy Sex Madness Revealed.

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

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’S IN THE PIPELINE: Next week, Giles Edwards gives you his impressions of the brand-new eldritch German art-house horror Hagazussa. Meanwhile, G. Smalley finally got around to viewing ‘s decayed-footage fantasia Decasia (Alfred Eaker’s original review is here), and will bring you his (redundant?) opinions on that one. We’re also aware that, once again, we’re way overdue on the print version of the annual Yearbook, but we wanted you to know that it’s all done but the final proofing—you should see an announcement soon! 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.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 5/3/2019

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 ON HOME VIDEO:

Khrustalyov, My Car! (1998): Read Giles Edwards’ review. This nightmarish Stalinist satire has long been hard-to-find; Arrow Academy to the rescue with another “special edition” Blu-ray with a new restoration and Criterion Collection-style extras. Also now on VOD. Buy Khrustalyov, My Car!

Serenity (2019): A commercial fisherman accepts a noirish bargain to bump off an ex-flame’s current husband, and then things get weird. Bombed at the box office, where it confounded viewers expecting a less metaphysical twist, but made it into our “reader suggestion” queue—so expect a review soon. On DVD. Blu-ray, and VOD. Buy Serenity.

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

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’S IN THE PIPELINE: Next week, Pete Trbovich considers the psychedelic screensaver aesthetic of the 2019 assassin-in-a-coma flop Against the Clock, and fishes into the depths of the reader-suggested review queue and comes out with 1976’s mystery drama The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea. Of course, you’ll also get a new Saturday Short tomorrow and this column one week from today. Who knows, we might just throw something else in there, too. 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.

MARCH MAD MOVIE MADNESS TOURNAMENT RECAP AND FINAL RANKINGS

And your winner, and “official” Weirdest Movie of All Time is…

We must say, readers showed tremendous taste and knowledge in voting throughout the entire tournament. We feared there might be significant recency bias towards films released in the late 2010s, but you guys really went for the deep cuts. There were some surprises—we didn’t expect to see Suspiria (1977) in the Freaky 4—but the final Eraserhead (1977) vs. The Holy Mountain (1973) matchup was exactly what we would have hoped for.

You can see the entire progress of the tournament (play-in rounds excepted) here.

We’re not going to count up the total number of votes cast during the tournament, but with 292 votes in the finals and 388 in the semifinals, we’d conservatively guess we tallied over 10,000 mouse clicks and mobile taps during the entire tournament (well over 1,000 votes were cast in the play-in rounds alone). That’s a pretty significant amount of data.

We can use that data to create a very unofficial ranking of the popularity of all 366 movies in our Canon. Of course, we realize this enterprise is silly and ultimately somewhat arbitrary—but people love to list things, organize and rank them, and then argue about the results. That human tendency is sort of the basis for this site’s very existence.

So, after awarding the winner and runner up, we placed each movie in the tier it was eliminated in, and then rank them by number of votes cast in their favor, breaking any ties by the movies’ initial seeding (which was itself determined by a combination of number of page visits to our site and  IMDB rankings). And here’s the way they turned out, ranked from #1 to #366 in reader preference (remembering that the “least popular” movie here is still more interesting than 90% of what’s currently playing at the cineplexes):
Continue reading MARCH MAD MOVIE MADNESS TOURNAMENT RECAP AND FINAL RANKINGS

READER CONTRIBUTION: THE 366 CANON (WEIRD SUPERCUT)

What you’re about to see below is probably the single most impressive fan-inspired content this site has ever seen. We have mentioned Val Santos before thanks to his complete Letterboxd list of the 366 Canon (which saved us the trouble of composing one). His latest project blows that contribution out of the water, however. Mr. Santos has taken four or five clips from every one of the 366 Caonically Weird movies and arranged them into a “supercut” that runs for over an hour. Sure, it’s a long time, but the parade of surreal imagery (expertly edited and scored to Michael Nyman) will make for great video wallpaper at your next gathering of weirdos. Give it a watch and be sure to give Val some appreciation here and on his YouTube page.

 

MARCH MAD MOVIE MADNESS TOURNAMENT: THE FINALS

This is the final matchup G. Smalley personally was hoping for. Good job, readers.

                                             vs.

Here’s how they got here:

The Holy Mountain (1973): defeated Playtime (1967), 135-33; defeated The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), 105-36; defeated Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), 108-45; defeated Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970), 107-46; defeated Spirited Away (2001), 78-55; defeated 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), 106-65; defeated Suspiria (1977), 123-69.

Eraserhead (1977): defeated Evil Dead II (1987), 99-29; defeated A Clockwork Orange (1971), 102-33; defeated The Exterminating Angel [El àngel exterminador] (1962), 117-30; defeated The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), 112-41; defeated Häxan [Witchcraft Through the Ages] (1922), 111-34; defeated Mulholland Drive (2001), 151-51; defeated Un Chien Andalou (1929), 149-47.

We are expected a close and hard-fought battle between these two titans who have demolished all of their competition.

You can see how the entire tournament has played out here (but you must vote on this page, in the poll below).

Voting lasts until Wednesday, April 24 at 12:00 midnight EST. You may vote once a day. As always, no wagering, please.


WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 4/19/2019

9Our 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 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). Buy Diamonds of the Night.

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:

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.

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.