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):
Chained for Life (2018): Read Giles Edwards’ review. At the time of this writing, this comedy about “freaks” making their own movie during off-hours on another movie set currently holds an impressive 100% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Ridiculous trivia: Freaks (see below) and Chained for Life both share names with movies starring conjoined twins the Hilton Sisters. Chained for Life official site.
Freaks (2018): Read Giles Edwards’ review. As promised in our (possibly spoilery) interview, the festival hit about a 10-year-old girl whose father keeps her locked inside and warns her never to leave the house receives a Friday the 13th release. Freaks official site.
Monos (2019): Enigmatic Colombian film about a purposeless group of soldiers camped in a fog-shrouded jungle. It’s receiving excellent reviews (with optimistic comparisons to Apocalypse Now). Monos official site.
NEW ON HOME VIDEO:
Bloodsucker’s Planet (2019): A spaceship crew responding to a planetary distress signal encounter talking alien cockroaches, a gynobot with romantic delusions, and space vampires. An ultra-low budget 60s retro space opera, and a prequel to a 2012 movie (Bloodsucker’s Handbook) we never heard of, but looks weird. Blu-ray, DVD or VOD. Buy Bloodsucker’s Planet.
The Dead Don’t Die (2019): Residents of a small town endure a plague of zombies caused when polar fracking knocks the earth off its axis in this self-aware zombie parody. Features clunky satire and inconsistently deployed self-referential humor, but it is fun to see the amazing cast (led by a weary Buy The Dead Don’t Die.) get picked off by the undead. On Blu-ray, DVD and VOD.
“Undone” (2019): A new Amazon Prime series about a young woman whose dead father teaches her to time-travel. If that’s not enough oddity for you, we’ll add that it’s rotoscoped and from the makers of “Bojack Horseman.” The season debuts 9/13. “Undone” on Amazon Prime.
Spamflix: Questionable name, interesting service. Founded by a couple of international film festival programmers, spamflix specializes in rare films they describe as “absurd, fantastical and bizarre” and promises a platform “where genre enthusiasts can become ensorcelled with cinematic oddities from around the world.” The catalogue differs by country. The available-in-U.S. roster is currently small, but impressive, headlined (in our estimation) by the canonically weird Der Samurai (2014) (which is available on other platforms) and ‘s abstract Symbol (which is not). Other interesting, underseen films include Gandu, Liza the Fox Fairy, and the UFO musical The Legend of Kaspar Hauser. Spamflix.com.
CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:
- Auburn, NY, 9/17 – 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) (free screening). At the Auburn Public Theater.
- Boston, MA, 9/13 (midnight) – Eraserhead (1977). At Coolidge Corner.
- Boston, MA, 9/14 (midnight) – Blue Velvet (1986). At Coolidge Corner.
- Dallas, TX, 9/13 – Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001). At the Texas Theatre.
- Los Angeles, CA, 9/13 – Millennium Actress (2001) with Perfect Blue (1997) (double feature). At the Aero.
- Los Angeles, CA, 9/13 (midnight) – Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001). At the Nuart.
- New York City, NY, 9/13 – Spirited Away (2001). At the Metrograph.
- New York City, NY, 9/13-14 (midnights) – Paprika (2006). At IFC Center.
- New York City, NY, 9/13-14 (midnights) – Repo Man (1984). At IFC Center.
- New York City, NY, 9/13-15 – Amarcord (1973). At the Metrograph.
- New York City, NY, 9/13-14, 16 – Belle de Jour (1967). At the Metrograph.
- New York City, NY, 9/13-15, 17-18 – Blue Velvet (1986). At IFC Center.
- New York City, NY, 9/13-9/19 – Millennium Actress (2001). At the Metrograph.
- New York City, NY, 9/15 – True Stories (1986). At the Roxy.
- New York City, NY, 9/17, 19 – Fantastic Planet [La Planète Sauvage] (1973). At the Metrograph.
- New York City, NY, 9/19 – House [Hausu] (1977). At the Metrograph.
- Pittsburgh, PA, 9/13-19 – Akira (1988). At the Row House.
- San Francisco, CA, 9/13-14 – Paprika (2006). At the Roxie.
- Schenectady, NY, 9/19 – Donnie Darko (2001) (hosted and with book signing by Michael Gingold). At Proctor’s.
- Tuscon, AZ, 9/13-14 – Paprika (2006). At the Loft.
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:
K-12 (2019): Pop singer Melanie Martinez released a movie (a real musical, not just a “visual album”) in conjunction with her latest release, and put it up on YouTube for free. It’s a fantasy about a girl who is sent to a strict and surreal boarding school, and rebels; the aesthetic is almost oppressively pink. No word on how long it will remain up, so we assume indefinitely. Watch K-12 free on YouTube.
WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE: Last week was weird sex week; next week, we’ll go back to our regular format of just throwing whatever we feel like up on the page. Therefore, you can expect another eclectic slate of weird movie writing, starting off with G. Smalley‘s report on ‘s 15-hour classic, Berlin Alexanderplatz; Giles Edwards on Netflix’s Dark Crystal prequel “The Age of Resistance”; and Pete Trbovich getting philosophical with his essay “Questions Are Beautiful.” 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.