Category Archives: Miscellanea

MARCH MAD MOVIE MADNESS, ROUND OF 256 (PART 2)

Our March Mad Movie Madness tournament marches on with part 2 of the round of 256. Our semi-random, editorial-free method of seeding the tournament produced at least one bizarre matchup: vs. Sono, as the Japanese master’s Love Exposure faces off against his own Why Don’t You Play in Hell?.  Such is the cutthroat nature of the tournament.

Here’s part 1 of the staggered tournament (voting ends Mar 12).

Part 3 of the round of 256 begins tomorrow and ends Mar. 14. Part 4 will begin on 3/12 and end on 3/16.

Get to voting below!

Continue reading MARCH MAD MOVIE MADNESS, ROUND OF 256 (PART 2)

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 3/8/2019

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.

FILM FESTIVALS – South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) (Austin, TX, Mar. 8-16):

If you can’t get your indie film into Sundance, the massive SXSW festival in Austin, Texas is your next best bet. With the continued mainstreaming of Sundance, and the increasingly homogenized “indie” product spotlighted there, if your movie’s a bit on the weirder side, SWSX may even be a better fit—in a normal year. 2019, on the other hand, has been a very weird-light year in the early festivals, an unhappy trend that continues at SWSX.  Maybe Us, Jordan Peele’s art-horror followup to Get Out, will tip slightly into the weird column, though we’re skeptical. There’s also a reprise of Sundance debuter Greener Grass, the absurdist satire based on a Saturday Short and a screening of the restored True Stories (1986) (see “Screenings,” below). Here’s a couple more to look out for down the road:

  • The Beach Bum ‘s first feature film since 2912’s Spring Breakers stars as a comic hippy beach bum sentenced by a judge to finish his novel; looks fairly conventional by Korine standards. Debuts tomorrow, Mar. 9.
  • J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and The Church of the SubGenius – Conspiracy-funded documentary, made with the participation of the cult itself, on the Church of the Subgenius (Arise!), falsely suggesting that the fake religion is a hoax. Mar. 10.

SWSX Film Festival home page.

IN DEVELOPMENT (Post-production crowdfunding):

Greatland (est. 2019): An artificial intelligence (which appears as a blinking toy plastic heart, among other forms) sets the rules in this budget indie described as “a teenage love story in a dystopian future.” The director (a young woman from Kazakhstan) cites The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Un Chien Andalou, A Clockwork Orange and Idiocracy as influences. It’s seeking an additional $16,500 for post-production in the next 24 days. Greatland crowdfunding page at Seed & Spark.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

Female Human Animal (2018): The curator of a retrospective of Surrealist painter  Leonora Carrington becomes lost in dark psychosexual fantasies. A modern surrealist documentary/thriller mashup shot on VHS tape (!) Streaming exclusively on Mubi (available with a Prime Video Channels Free Trial) until the end of March; perhaps it will be more widely available in the future?

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 (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

In the Mirror of Maya Deren (2001): Documentary covering the short career of the extraordinary , godmother of American avant-garde film. Interviewees include , , and ex-husband/collaborator . Watch In the Mirror of Maya Deren free on Tubi.tv.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE: Next week we’ll be continuing our March Mad Movie Madness tournament to determine the weirdest/best of the 366 Weird Movies. 110 movies have already been eliminated, and the remaining 256 will be pitted against each other in single elimination head-to-head matchups next week. Look for the brackets to be revealed on Saturday and Sunday. With the tournament taking up so much of our attention, it will be a light week of reviews, with Giles Edwards covering Blue Movie, the recently rediscovered Dutch softcore sex comedy, while G. Smalley previews the upcoming weird apocalypse horror-drama, Starfish. 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.

PLAY-IN ROUND TIEBREAKER AND RESULTS

As we suspected, a couple of movies from the 22 groups in the play-in round of our March Mad Movie Madness tournament tied for fifth place (the cut-off to advance to the next round). So, we’ll be having a 24 hour tiebreaking vote for these two sets of movies before advancing the tournament to the next round.

If any of these movies should still be tied by the end of the voting period (noon EST tomorrow, March 8), we’ll break the tie by their original seeding. You may only vote once.

Here are the two play-in overtime matches:



We’re not going to list the results of every one of the 220 movies in the play-in round: you can see the outcome here (keeping in mind that the top 5 vote-getters in each group advanced). We will mention that the top overall movie was Videodrome (voted for 75 times); no other movie got more than 70 votes (Wild at Heart received the next highest number of votes, at 67). The two movies that squeaked in with the smallest number of votes were The Falls and Rubin & Ed. The movie that G. Smalley personally was saddest to see eliminated in the first round was Prospero’s Books. We were encouraged to see the depth of knowledge shown by voters: some pretty obscure movies (1934’s Maniac, 1968’s Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell) made the cut, and people did not simply vote for the most recent and recognizable Hollywood titles (the oldest movie on the list, 1922’s Häxan, won its group handily). Great job, readers! You are probably the most informed group of cult cinephiles on the Net.

MARCH MAD MOVIE MADNESS: PLAY-IN ROUND

It’s March, which means it’s time for our March Mad Movie Madness tournament. This is a super-ambitious project lasting for a (a little over) a month that, when completed, will determine the most popular of our canonical weird movies, and effectively rank the others from 2 to 366.

We’ve actually already seeded every movie from 1-366, using a formula based on IMDb rating, number of IMDb votes (to adjust for obscurity), and page hits on each movie on this site. But the first step in the tournament is to cut the massive field of 366 down to a slightly less massive field of 256. To do that, we’ve taken the lowest seeded teams—220 of them—and placed them into 22 groups of 10 movies each. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to vote for up to 5 movies in each group to advance to the next round. When done, this will eliminate the bottom 110 weird movies from the competition.

The play-in round of the tournament will last until March 6th at midnight EST. March 7th is reserved for tiebreakers, if needed. God willing, the official tournament bracket will be released the next day.

So get to voting. If your favorite movie is eliminated in the play-in round, you’ll have no one else to blame. You may vote once every 24 hours.

Continue reading MARCH MAD MOVIE MADNESS: PLAY-IN ROUND

AND THE WINNERS OF THE 9TH ANNUAL WEIRDCADEMY AWARDS ARE…

In just a few hours, the telecast of the Oscars (or, as we refer to them, the “Weirdcademy Awards for squares”) will begin. We are happy to steal the Academy’s Thunder by announcing cinema’s weirdest winners of 2018 now.

In the category of “Weirdest Short Film,” the winner is for “Interface | Episode 11 | Revelation.”

In the category of “Weirdest Scene,” the Weirdcademy Award goes to Mandy for the “Cheddar Goblin,” a faux-1980s spokesmonster spotted vomiting gooey pasta onto appreciative tykes in the in-film commercial espied by protagonist Red while grieving over the death of his beloved. (Director Panos Cosmatos commissioned of “Too Many Cooks” fame to direct the “Cheddar Goblin” advert).

Cheddar Goblin Mandy Weirdest Scene 2018

In the category of “Weirdest Actress,” the Award goes to in Suspiria (2018). It’s the best stunt casting of 2018—for reasons we can’t reveal in case you haven’t seen the movie yet—except to say that she almost loses her head, and explodes, and gets dementia.

Weirdest Actress Tilda Wwinton in Suspiria (2018)

In the category of “Weirdest Actor,” the Award goes to in Mandy, in a romp, for another of the wonderfully subtle and restrained performances that have become his hallmark, this time as a vengeful lumberjack who hunts zombie bikers and hippie cultists with a crossbow, an axe he forged himself, and a chainsaw.

And finally, the award for Weirdest Picture of 2017 goes to… durm roll… Mandy, the trippiest psychedelic midnight movie of 2018 (and arguably of the decade).

Thanks to all members of the Weirdcademy, and see you again next year!

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 2/22/2019

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.

NETFLIX EXCLUSIVES:

Paris Is Us (2019): A woman wanders through Paris in an ambiguous haze of memory and imagination after missing a plane flight that crashes. Crowdfunded for under 100,000 euros and snapped up by Netflix as cheap international inventory, there’s little to go on here besides the description and the trailer below. In an Oscar week without much new on the horizon, this looks like your oddest gamble.  Debuts on Netflix Feb. 22.

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 TUBI.TV:

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? (2013): Read the Certified Weird review! A yakuza boss hires a group of underground filmmakers to chronicle his raid on a rival’s headquarters; things get weird (and bloody). Watch Why Don’t You Play in Hell? free on Tubi.tv.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE: On Sunday we’ll announce the winners of the 9th annual Weirdcademy Awards race—a few hours before the Oscars announce their Most Conventional Picture awards—and there’s still time to get your votes in for features or shorts. There are a couple of races that are still close…  Then, we’ll have a trio of regular reviews. From the reader-suggested review queue, Pete Trbovich chows down on ‘s classic black comedy Eating Raoul (1982), while Simon Hyslop investigates the uncanny dystopian animation Metropia (2009). On the new release front, Giles Edwards catches us up on ‘s latest star vehicle, Best F(r)ineds (Vols. 1 & 2), now available (exclusively) on Blu-ray. Onward and wierdward!

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.

366’S CUDDLES AND KISSES: VALENTINE’S DAY PIC PICKS

Giles Edwards, Pete Trbovich, and El Rob Hubbard suggest fifteen films to share with your strangest sweetie on Valentines’ Day.

Giles:

Being a Curated Valentine’s Day Film List

Poet Blood’s Red, Velvet is Blue —
Your Valentine’s with 366 has come true!

‘s a hottie, none can resist her,
Bar when pining for sister.
For romantic movies, we’ll start our curricula
With the tear-jerking tale of the emperor Caligula.

The French, as they say, have a “je ne sais quoi”;
(Et je pense que je sais vous êtes assez comme moi:)
You know nothing tops love betwixt Man and a Mouse
Making Sitcom the film to watch with your spouse.

Then there’s the Manhattan girl who just wanted love,
And her pleas weren’t ignored by the powers above.
With each death of lovers in throes of their passion
Liquid Sky has romance on peaks of punk fashion.

With both dollops of love and betrayal in parts
Julia uses all of her feminine arts
To try to make David, now unhinged, to behave,
And to dig herself out of her own Shallow Grave.

But for simplicity in love’s questing and fun
This title’s the first, though writ as the last one.
Bringing smiles for show of most wholesome desire,
‘Tis Rubber, the rom-com of which you won’t tire.

Worry not for the titles you may think I’ve missed,
For next comes the Trbovich Valentine’s list.

Pete:

Now you see, man is an animal futilely trying to be a god.

We aspire to these great heights, to rule the planet as the benevolent apex predator, to split the atom and warp space-time, to create a utopia of crystal spires and togas. There’s just one problem holding us back: we’re still animals.

Deep in our brains, there is an electrochemical machine of neuropeptides, hormones, and neurotransmitters ticking away, and whether we like to admit it or not, these little nut-sized chunks of brainmeat with names like “hippocampus” and “amygdala” are our true gods. If you piss them off and go against your natural programming, no happy-joy squirt of dopamine for you!

Every one of us is here today because all of our ancestors got laid, all 3 million years of them. The sticky thing about natural selection is, it isn’t “survival of the fittest,” it’s just “survival of the most efficient way to get laid.” Once you’ve reproduced, that’s all she wrote, nature is done with you. You’ve passed on your genes now, so you can hang around long enough to raise the offspring and then go die alone on an iceberg for all your genes care.

The drive to mate is a powerful force of dominating neurotransmitters, often working against your better judgment, or you wouldn’t be Continue reading 366’S CUDDLES AND KISSES: VALENTINE’S DAY PIC PICKS