Category Archives: Top 10 Lists – Guest Experts


In between watching whatever comes his way, Niels Matthijs has been dedicating his time and effort to highlighting the films he loves. With a soft spot for contemporary Asian genre cinema and a sweet spot somewhere between auteur and genre, he has written for ScreenAnarchy while keeping a fully detailed overview of all his watches, review and interviews on

Rather than give a regular rundown of my all-time favorite weird films, I figured it would be more interesting to highlight some films that have fallen (or are on the verge of falling) through the cracks. Films that are so odd, different and out there that they managed to divide even the most hardcore fans of unusual cinema.

Back when I was first becoming serious about film (the late 90s) the internet wasn’t what it is now. When I got my hands on VHS cassettes with bad copies of  Tetsuo or Eraserhead, I felt like I had just made the biggest underground discovery ever. Things are different now, with many websites and communities out there doing their very best to spread the word about weird and off-kilter cinema. Nowadays, talking about Tetsuo doesn’t feel too different from gushing about the latest Marvel film, so it felt unnecessary to go that route. But from time to time I’ll hit a film so delightfully different that I can’t imagine how it could’ve slipped under the radar. These are the films I would love to give that extra push.

I made a first draft for my shortlist, which turned out to be rather voluminous. To narrow it further down to 10 films, I checked IMDb and Letterboxd for sub-1K vote counts. I also tried to stay away from familiar directors and took a bit of care not to swamp my list with Japanese films (a personal soft spot and a country known for having poor export channels). The result is the following list of beauties, which I’m sure will hold some secrets for even the most hardened cult fan. In alphabetical order:

01. Ambiguous Places [Uron na Tokoro] by Akira Ikeda

Don’t be fooled by the low-key poster of Ambiguous Places, this is not a simple Japanese drama. Ikeda was supposedly inspired by dream logic when making this film, and boy does he have some crazy dreams. It’s a wildly absurd comedy about a small rural town and its oddball inhabitants, made even stranger by the utterly deadpan delivery of the comedy. The mix of wacky creatures, odd rituals and near-comatose performances makes this a tough sell, but it sure made me laugh out loud a lot.

02. Baby Bump by Kuba Czekaj



We here at 366 Weird Movies appreciate the contribution of music to the tone and impact of a weird movie, and try to highlight it whenever we can, but we’re not musicologists. We had long hoped to publish some kind of feature on bizarre movie scores, but when a pair of actual experts approached us with a similar idea, we jumped at the chance. Here are Butler University composer/professors Michael Schelle and Frank Felice’s choices for ten strange movie scores:

Over the course of film’s history, the styles and indeed the function of a film’s musical score has changed frequently, from the earliest silent film’s “pianist-in-the-pit” to today’s “anti-score” sound design of Hans Zimmer. Most of the time, however, the musical score for each movie serves to intensify the emotional core, underscore/buttress the plot, or some cases, function like an unseen character. For nearly its entire history, this musical underscore has been fairly conservative, with quite accessible classical music providing the basic music for most films, augmented (or replaced at times) by the pop music of the day. However, sometimes directors and producers asked their composers to go further, or more likely, the composers themselves took the risk or writing something unique, and their bosses accepted it. Here are ten scores (well, a few more) that are weird, either in their techniques, or their instrumentation, or how they interact with the images and dialogue.

Body Parts (1991) – directed by Eric Red, score by Loek Dikker

Much of the score by Dikker uses a typical horror music aesthetic and language, but what makes this film unique is one instrument’s frequent use  a bowed musical saw. Just about perfect for a film about lost limbs and their replacements…

(listen for the saw doubling the violins at about the three minute mark)

Crash (1996) – directed by , score by Howard Shore

Howard Shore may derive much of his fame as a composer from his work on Lord of the Rings, but it’s scores like this that show his range—most of the music is derived from the sounds and a few chords played by the opening guitar parts. Other instruments augment this essential music, but the guitar is nearly always there lurking in the texture, certainly adding to the creepiness of this very bizarre film.

The Third Man (1949) – directed by Carol Reed, score by Anton Karas

This is so utterly bizarre! In what is surely one of the best suspense films of all time, wonderfully written, paced, and filmed, the music throughout the WHOLE of the film is performed largely by a ZITHER. Happy and cheerful. Even through the crazy chase scenes. Of course, some of the most intensely acted scenes have no music. Making the return of the zither each time it happens a lot less trustworthy…

Forbidden Planet (1956) – directed by Fred McLeod Wilcox, “electronic tonalities” by Louis and Bebe Barron

The first score to be produced completely by electronic means, Continue reading TEN OF THE MOST UNCOMMON AND WEIRDEST MOVIE SCORES


Scott Dwyer is a writer and filmmaker living in upstate NY with his black cat Haxan. His weird short film “Stillborn” is available to view on Youtube. He also runs the weird horror in film and literature website The Plutonian.

I have been a fan of weird films pretty much my whole life. I remember wandering around video stores in the 1990’s looking for strange thrills, surreal dreams, bleak zombie apocalypses, and poetic perversions. The thrill of finding a strange film on the rack that you have never heard of is a pleasure lost in this modern era of Wikipedia and YouTube.

The true connoisseur of the weird is the hardest to please. Most films that try to be weird fall flat. Usually the best weird films are made by people who are just so weird that they don’t realize how weird their visions are, like , or who are held back by budget or other factors and their film just ends up this strange offspring they did not intend, like Manos: The Hands of Fate. I classify the best weird movies as films that you can throw on late at night, fire up your hallucinogenic of choice, and see which of your friends gets freaked out and bounce, and which ones stay, lost in the infectious signals emanating from your television. Weird films tend to have a nonlinear logic to them, a kind of alien ambience. Sometimes you can’t tell if you are still watching a film, or have fallen asleep and are dreaming. Weird films are transgressive to those not into them, and objects of obsession to those who love being lost in a nightmare. So here is a list of my top ten, in no particular order, weird films that have somehow injected themselves into my psyche and force me to re-watch them repeatedly.

  1. The Black Cat (1934) – A couple traveling find themselves somehow caught in a tragic revenge story that seems to have emerged from some fevered horror fan’s wet dream. A revenge obsessed and a satanic square off against each other in a art deco complex built over an old battlefield, eventually sending the whole film diving headfirst into a self-annihilating abyss. The plot and the acting are so over the top that it goes way beyond the Gothic horror that the director may have been going for and heads straight into bad drug territory.
  1. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) – Racing camera, exploding transformations, a pounding industrial soundtrack, never has a weird film been so in your face. This film was my first exposure to the very strange field of Japanese cult films. If Eraserhead is a slow burn weird film, Tetsuo is a hyperkinetic burst of corrupted bodies, cold steel, and black blood.
  1. Still from Mystics in Bali (1981)Mystics in Bali (1981) – The image of a witch’s head flying around, dragging its spinal cord, looking for fetuses to suck out of pregnant women’s wombs, is the zenith of Continue reading SCOTT DWYER’S TOP 10 WEIRD MOVIES


Nico B. has directed the underground shorts Pig (1998) and 1334 (2012) and the feature Bettie Page: Dark Angel (2004). He has been running Cult Epics, a distribution company with a deep catalog of obscure, extreme, and downright weird movies, for the past 25 years.


1. & 2. I Was a Teenage Zabbadoing AKA I Was a Teenage Zabbadoing and the Incredible Lusty Dust-Whip from Outer Space Conquers the Earth Versus the 3 Psychedelic Stooges of Dr. Fun Helsing and Fighting Against Surf-Vampres and Sex-Nazis and Have Troubles with This Endless Titillation Title AKA Vampiros Sexos (1988), and Mondo Weirdo: A Trip to Paranoia Paradise AKA Jungfrau im Abgrund (1990), dir. Carl Andersen

I Was a Teenage Zabbadoing‘s long title alone says this must be the weirdest movie ever, but it’s nothing you expect. In 1989 we invited the director Carl Andersen to the Cult Club in Amsterdam to show this movie, but instead he gave us the premiere of his next film, Mondo Weirdo. Teenage Zabbadoing, shot on 16mm, is in part the Austrian answer to the of Richard Kern and , but even more it’s a European punk rock hardcore sex vampire film, stylistic and trashy at the same time, with an excellent no-wave score by Model D’oo.

Mondo Weirdo, Carl Andersen’s second film, is in the same style as his debut, with a script like meets It surpasses the first one in obscenity: straight, lesbian and hardcore gay sex in a world of vampires, punk rockers, and surrealism, again with the electro music of Model D’oo. Carl sadly died a few years ago, nearly forgotten.

3. & 4. El Topo (1970) and The Holy Mountain (1973), dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky

Still from El Topo
El Topo

Advertised in Europe as a Western, El Topo, Jodorowksy’s trippy masterpiece, is my favorite surreal esoteric film, along with Holy Mountain. I met Jodorowsky in the early 1990s at his home in Paris and asked him if the rights for these two films were available and if we could make a deal. He closed his eyes and meditated for 10 minutes while I stood there, and then said “yes.” Little did I know he did not own the rights, nor did he have any 35mm materials, so nothing ever came of it. Years later he finally settled his dispute with Allen Klein (manager of the Beatles) and the films became available for the first time officially on video.

5. & 6. Viva la Muerte (1970) and I Will Walk Like a Crazy Horse (1973), dir. Fernando Arrabal

I was a fan of Arrabal at once after someone brought me a VHS tape Continue reading NICO B’S TOP 10 WEIRD MOVIES


 is an independent filmmaker working out of Denver, Colorado. His second feature film, the allegorical dream fable Ink, is certified by this site as one of the 366 Best Weird Movies of all time. Ink currently holds a 100% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and critics compared the style to works of and . His latest feature is the mind-bender The Frame. Together with his wife and collaborator Kiowa, Winans founded Double Edge Films to release his movies on his own terms without studio interference. DVD or digital versions of Ink and The Frame, and related merchandise, can be purchased directly from Double Edge films.

As it turns out, most of my favorite movies would be classified as “weird movies” so really I just need to list some of those.  These films aren’t wildly obscure or crude films, but they’re films that weren’t easy to get made just because they were doing something different.  A majority of them are from the 90’s, which was an amazing period for unique voices.

12 Monkeys (1995 – Terry Gilliam)

What I love about this movie is that Gilliam somehow sneaked a very weird film past Hollywood and into a wide release by disguising it as a and  blockbuster.  I had never been so confused and simultaneously so moved by a movie as 12 Monkeys.  I turned right around and immediately went to see it again.  It was even better and weirder the more I saw it.

The Blues Brothers (1980 – John Landis)

Still from Blues Brothers (1980)This was one of the very first movies I saw as a kid and I just loved it.  I wanted to be Elwood.  It’s not commonly seen as a “weird movie”, but when you look at it, it’s insane!  A couple of ex-con blues musicians go on a mission from God across the country to save an orphanage where they’re chased by Nazis, hicks, and the entire city of Chicago.  Oh, and it’s a musical.  Only John Landis…

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004 – )

 is one of the greatest writers of our time.  Michel Gondry is one of the most creative filmmakers of our time.  The two working together on a very sweet, yet profoundly deep film about love and pain turned out to be something magical.  An incredible cast (my favorite  performance) and a beautiful style.

The Double Life Of Veronique (1991 – Kryzystof Kieslowski)

I admire Kieslowski more than almost any other filmmaker because he was able to reach such depth in his work while having such a gentle touch in style.  Nothing was forced or too broad, yet everything he did had such spiritual depth and tension.  Veronique is my favorite Continue reading JAMIN WINANS’ TOP 10 WEIRD MOVIES