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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.
IN THEATERS (WIDE RELEASE):
Akira (1988) 4K remaster: Read the Canonically Weird entry! Despite the utter confusion it generates in the uninitiated, the seminal cyberpunk anime is getting a gratifyingly wide release in theaters across the U.S. this week. (Apologies if you missed the IMAX release, which was yesterday only). Akira 4K info page at Funimation.
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
Kajillionaire (2020): A family of con-artists take on a new swindle as the daughter questions their relationship. That synopsis doesn’t sound too weird, but this one is from a little too weird to handle…” (that warning is not addressed to you, btw). Kajillionaire official site.and a mainstream critic warns that it may be “
FILM FESTIVALS – Fantastic Fest (Austin, TX and online, 9/24-10/1):
Just a reminder that this year’s Fantastic Fest has started, is largely online, and is free. We won’t repeat our brief rundown from last week’s Weird Horizon, but you can follow the link if interested. Or simply visit the Fantastic Fest home page to see what’s playing now.
FILM FESTIVALS – Nightstream (Online [geolocked to U.S.], 10/8-11):
“Nightstream” is a 2020 collaboration between five smaller film festivals that were canceled due to the pandemic: Boston Underground, Brooklyn Horror, North Bend, Overlook, and Popcorn Frights. Selections Climate of the Hunter, Dinner in America, and Time of Moulting have already been reviewed on these pages. Also included are a number of webcasts/podcasts and special events, including cocktails, trivia, and a feature where , , and critique their early home movies. We’d also like to highlight the following films:
- Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell (1995/2012) – This seldom-seen gore feature, filmed in 1995 but not released until 2012, is like the Japanese Evil Dead with bodybuilders.
- Mandibles – Quentin Dupieux‘ latest is about two friends who try to exploit a giant fly they find in their car’s trunk.
FILM FESTIVALS – Sitges Film Festival (Sitges, Spain 10/8-18):
Despite the pandemic, Spain’s venerable Sitges Festival soldiers on with a hybrid of live screenings and online presentations. As far as we can tell, unlike most other festivals, online screenings do not seem to be geolocked to particular countries (but we admit we did not try to buy tickets to test that out). Among their massive slate, here are some we’ve previously mentioned or reviewed: At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1964), Fried Barry (screening online), Quentin Dupieux‘ Mandibles (see above, screening online), Minor Premise (online), Monster Seafood Wars (online), She Dies Tomorrow, Spookies (1986), The Old Man Movie (online), and Viy (1967). Sitges will also screens early previews of ‘s Possessor and A24’s delayed St. Maud (neither available online). The films and revivals highlighted below are of special interest:
- Anonymous Animals [Les Animaux Anonymes] – Animal-headed creatures hunt humans in this dialogue-free French experiment. 10/8 or online.
- The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari(1920) / The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1962) – The 1962 version is a Robert Bloch-penned riff on ‘s theme. The original screens 10/9 and the tribute film on 10/16.
- The Dragon Lives Again [AKA Deadly Hands of Kung Fu] (1977) – Bruce Lee dies and goes to Hell, where he teams up with Popeye to fight James Bond and eleven more assassins bent on killing him (again). Screens 10/14 only.
- Saint-Narcisse – Bruce LaBruce blasphemy about a man’s erotic longing for his long-lost identical twin. Screening live on the 15th, 16th and 18th, and also online.
- Sky Sharks – another absurdist shark B-comedy, this time featuring flying sharks piloted by Nazi zombies. Oct 10-11 and online.
- The Trial (1962) – Orson Welles adaptation of ‘s existential classic plays on the 17th.
STREAMING (Amazon Prime):
“Utopia”: A TV series about fans of the graphic novel “Utopia” who discover that events predicted in the story are coming true in real life, and whose investigation leads to a cultlike leader played by “Utopia” on Amazon Prime.. It’s based on a British TV show that ran from 2013-2014 that was canceled despite a cult following. Debuts today.
NEW ON HOME VIDEO:
The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (2005): Read our review. Alphabetically, this is the first of several features re-released on DVD and Blu-ray this week. Buy The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl.
The Brothers Grimm (2005): A couple of fairy-tale writing charlatans find themselves trapped in a real fairy tale. The frustration of filming what turned out to be a flop fantasy encouraged a bitter Tideland (2005). Re-released on DVD or Blu-ray. Buy The Brothers Grimm.to make
Fellini’s Casanova (1976): Preorder Fellini’s Casanova.plays the famous libertine as he bed-hops across ‘s avant garde vision of Europe. Casanova is almost a forgotten Fellini film, since it hasn’t been available in the U.S. in forever; it is, however, in our reader-suggested review queue. (This is a preorder: the Blu won’t be available until Dec. 8).
“Rob Zombie Trilogy”: This Blu-ray release of the serial-killing Firefly family saga features the weird (but annoying) House of 1,000 Corpses, the popular (but not weird) The Devil’s Rejects, and the few-bothered late sequel 3 from Hell. A bare-bones Blu that may be of interest to Zombiephiles. Buy “Rob Zombie Trilogy”.
Sin City (2005): Read the Canonically Weird review! Like From Dusk Till Dawn (above), the reason for this re-release of another Rodriguez/Tarantino classic at this time is not clear, but it does show up in Amazon’s listings with no details given. Your choice of Blu-ray or DVD. Buy Sin City.
“Stanley Kubrick 3-Film 4K Collection”: Includes the Canonically Weird 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), The Shining (1980), and Full Metal Jacket (1987), all restored in 4K. Buy “Stanley Kubrick 3-Film 4K Collection”.
“The Vincent Price Collection”: Includes the horrors The Pit and the Pendulum, The Haunted Palace, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of the Red Death, Witchfinder General, and, most notably, the canonically weird The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971). This in-time-for-Halloween release is a reissue of a 2013 set previously reviewed on this site by Alfred Eaker; it loses the Price introductions from the original set, and adds an extra minute of footage to the Red Death disc. Buy “The Vincent Price Collection”.
CANONICALLY WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:
Independent theaters are cautiously starting to reopen across North America at diminished capacity, and we’re seeing a trickle of new screenings. You’ll have to use your own judgment as to whether it’s safe to go to movie theaters at this time.
- Austin, TX
- Columbus, OH
- Coxsackie, NY
- Denver, CO
- Kansas City, MO
- Memphis, TN
- Phoenix, AZ
- Tustin, CA
- Vancouver, BC
- Winchester, VA
WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE: This week’s weird Amazon Prime party screening is Guy Maddin‘s fragmentary The Forbidden Room (2015). Join us tomorrow at 10:15 PM (ET), won’t you? We’ll provide the link to join about 10 PM here, on Facebook, or on Twitter.
In reviews, next week El Rob Hubbard reports on the unexpectedly and sadly relevant “12 Monkeys” TV series; Giles Edwards explores The Wild Wild World of Jayne Mansfield (1968); and Gregory J. Smalley looks at ‘s newly-released biopic Tommaso (2019). We wouldn’t rule out (or necessarily expect) a surprise pop-up review in what turns out to be a crowded week. 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.