Category Archives: Miscellanea

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.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 4/26/2018

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.

FILM FESTIVALS – Tribeca Film Festival (New York City, NY, 4/24-5/5):

Like SWSX, Tribeca is a mid-to-large sized festival that nestles in the cinema crease between Sundance and Cannes. Truly weird films rarely debut there, although every now and again something sneaks past the programmers. This year’s slate tilts towards documentaries, but we did notice s fashion horror In Fabric (which has been acquired by A24 and must be at the end of its long festival run) made the cut. A newly restored cut of Apocalypse Now (screening this Sunday, April 28) highlights the revival section. There are also a few minor curios for weridophiles: some psychedelic virtual reality displays (one is based on an ayahuasca trip, while another warns viewers to watch out for space llamas) and a shorts program specifically called “WTF” that’s “curated especially for late-night viewing.” We noted two new features that might be worth New Yorkers time and money:

  • Initials S.G. – A struggling Argentinian actor who resembles hooks up with an agent to try to salvage a career; programmers describe it as a “weed-induced head trip.” Screens 4/28-4/30, 5/5.
  • Knives and Skin – Paranoia and surreal happenings ensue after the disappearance of a sophomore at a suburban high school. Playing in the “Midnight” category 4/26-27 and 5/2.

Tribeca Film Festival home page.

IN DEVELOPMENT (announced/pre-production):

“Deadly Ten” (2020): Full Moon studios will be making ten movies late this year for an early 2020 release, and livestreaming behind the scenes footage as they are being made. I guess we’re most excited for Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama 2, although you’ve got to hand it to the genius who thought up the title The Grim Rapper. These are almost a year out from production, but they really want you to get excited now. It’s a unique gimmick if nothing else. Deadly Ten homepage.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

Hagasuzza: A Heathen’s Curse [Hagazussa] (2017): A 15th century woman in an Alpine village is (appropriately) accused of witchcraft. In theaters last week, this week on DVD/Blu-ray/VOD. Buy Hagazussa.

Under the Silver Lake (2018): Read Giles Edwards’ review. ‘s trippy and divisive conspiracy-noir bombed at Cannes and got a much-delayed U.S. release, followed a few days later by this appearance on VOD. Buy or rent Under the Silver Lake.

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.

FREE MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

“366 Weird Movies: The Canon” (2018): OK, we just dropped this Wednesday, but we want to make sure you don’t miss Val Lewton’s hypnotic supercut of all 366 Canonized Weird movies. Be sure to show your appreciation on his YouTube page, he worked hard on this!

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE: Next week, “Penguin” Pete Trbovich exorcises the long-gestating review of William Girdler’s Indian-demon-fetus-on-Susan-Strassberg’s-neck horror The Manitou (now on Blu-ray); Giles Edwards looks at the new microbudget mindbender The Texture of Falling; and Gregory J. Smalley goes into the neglected reader-suggested review queue for the three-director horror feature The Signal (2007). 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.