JANUARY AMAZON PRIME WATCH PARTY NOMINATIONS THREAD

Our next Weird Watch Party on Amazon Prime is scheduled for Jan. 23 at 10:15 PM.

As always, we’ll be looking for nominations from people who plan to attend. After we get the minimum five nominations and likely attendees, we’ll put up a poll. Management will break any ties. We’re open to suggestions for different starting times, dates, or methods of propagating the watch link.

Amazon Prime’s catalog of movies is larger (and less exclusive) than Netflix’s. Ed Dykhuizen’s availability spreadsheet is a good resource to check for Canonically Weird movies (look for ones marked “free w/ Prime” in the “Amazon” column). Or, do your own research and come up with a title from Amazon. Eligible movies will have a “watch party” button on their Amazon page. You must be a Prime subscriber; you don’t have to download an extension or additional software.

We will not provide tech support; you’re on your own. Help each other.

When the party is set to begin we’ll announce it in three places:

  • On this site (if you’ve signed up for regular email alerts via the sidebar you’ll also get a notice that way)
  • On our Facebook page
  • On Twitter

We’ll take nominations through the week and put up a poll a week from today. Make your nominations in the comments below.

JANUARY’S WEIRD NETFLIX WATCH PARTY, “ERREMENTARI: THE BLACKSMITH AND THE DEVIL,” STARTS IN 15 MINUTES

Netflix Watch Party #23—Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil—starts in fifteen minutes.

Please install the Netflix Party extension (now officially called “teleparty”) if you haven’t already. You must have a U.S. Nextflix account and a Chrome-based browser to participate.

Here is the link to join: https://www.tele.pe/netflix/488457e11733be8f?s=s134

Be sure to click on the red Teleparty icon to sync up and join the chat room.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 1/8/2021

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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.

NEW ON HOME VIDEO:

“30 Coins” (2020): A disgraced exorcist investigates weird happenings—like a cow that gives birth to a human child—in a remote Spanish town. An eight-episode limited series from none other than Spanish madman . Streaming exclusively on HBO. “30 Coins” HBO page.

Ingagi (1930): A real curiosity: an implicitly-racist mondo-style documentary hoax from the silent film era, including notorious staged bit about a mythical African tribe who worships (and sacrifices women to) a gorilla. Inagagi was a legendary oddity that had never before been released on home video; Kino, in collaboration with Something Weird, restores the film and puts it out on Blu-ray. Buy Ingagi.

“Three Films by Luis Buñuel”: The three films in questions are all canonically weird entries you should be interested in: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), The Phantom of Liberty (1974), and That Obscure Object of Desire (1977). All films are newly remastered, although all the bonus content (other than the booklet) looks recycled from past individual releases. From the Criterion Collection, on Blu-ray only. Buy “Three Films by Luis Buñuel”.

ONLINE EVENTS (Thursday, Nov. 8, Zoom):

“Seminar: Blue Velvet”: This free online seminar consists of two parts: a pre-recorded lecture on ‘s psychosexual thriller Blue Velvet (1986) from film critic Beatrice Loayza, followed by a live Q&A with her via Zoom at 8 PM ET on Nov 8. You are left on your own to find and watch the movie. Sponsored by Coolidge Corner Theater in Boston. Register for free online Blue Velvet seminar.

CANONICALLY WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

Once again, due to Covid closures there is nothing to report in this section. (There was a single notable screening, but it was scheduled too early on Friday for us to promote it this week.) Perhaps next week things will improve, but we would expect it will take weeks or months to approach anything near normal.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE:

Please join us tomorrow, Jan 9, at 10:15 PM ET on Netflix for our screening of and chat regarding Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil (2017). Who knows what this movie is about? We’ll find out together. As always, the link will appear here, on our Facebook page, and our Twitter page about 15 minutes before showtime.

In reviews, next week we’ll spend some time vainly trying to whittle down the reader-suggestion queue as Giles Edwards tackles ‘s politically incorrect animated race comedy Coonskin (1974), while covers 1994’s Tammy and the T-Rex (now available in the R-rated gore cut!) 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.

11*. THE WOLF HOUSE (2018)

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La casa lobo

“Like in dreams, where one person can assimilate the attributes of another, the story and characters of the film take on different materialities. All of the changes in the house, characters and objects emphasize the permanent under-construction reality of the film.”–from the director’s statement to The Wolf House

DIRECTED BY: Joaquín Cociña, Cristóbal León

FEATURING: Voices of Amalia Kassai, Rainer Krause

PLOT: A prologue purports to be a documentary on a Chilean commune founded by Germans; we are told that the film that follows has been restored from their vaults. Those reels tell the story of Maria, a girl who strays from their community and finds herself hiding from a wolf at a mysterious house in the woods. There, she finds and nurtures two piglets, who gradually turn human.

Still from The Wolf House (Las Casa Lobo) (2018)

BACKGROUND:

  • The scenario was inspired by Colonia Dignidad, a colony founded by ex-Nazis in Chile. The colony was often described as a cult and was insulated from its neighbors by barbed-wire fences. From 1961 to 1996 it was led by Paul Schäfer, a refugee wanted for child molestation in West Germany. The colony became the subject of dark rumors among the locals, rumors which were validated after escapees told tales of systematic child abuse inside the compound. The cult survived by allying with Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who used the colony as a detention and torture camp.
  • Cociña and León had worked together, and sometimes separately, on a number of award-winning animated shorts before tackling this, their first feature film. The Wolf House took five years to complete.
  • Cociña and León took their sets on the road and worked on The Wolf House at various museums across the world, where visitors watched as they created the animation.

INDELIBLE IMAGE: Due to the sheer volume and continually shifting nature of The Wolf House‘s liquid visuals, picking a single image is an imposing task. We will go with the grayscale eyeball that materializes on the house’s wall like a sketch drawn by an invisible pencil, complete with a semitransparent eyelid, a pulsating pupil, and the ability to shake the furniture with its glance.

TWO WEIRD THINGS: Pigs with human hands; magic Aryan honey

WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: The Wolf House‘s experimental animation traps us in a constantly shifting nightmare dollhouse: Maria merges into and out of the walls, conjures human features for her pigs, and even the paintings on the walls can’t keep their shape for more than a second or two. The fascist-fairy tale tone is dreamily calm, and inescapably horrific.


Original trailer for The Wolf House

COMMENTS: It’s probably enlightening to have some background Continue reading 11*. THE WOLF HOUSE (2018)

CAPSULE: THE HUNGER (1983)

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DIRECTED BY: Tony Scott

FEATURING: , Susan Sarandon, David Bowie

PLOT: When her lover of many centuries begins rapidly aging, vampiress Miriam Blaylock seduces a gerontologist to revive him.

COMMENTS: Catherine Deneuve. Susan Sarandon. Ann Magnuson. David Bowie. When your movie features some of the most attractive people around, it can’t help but look beautiful. Tony Scott’s directorial debut is a beautifully shot Eurotrash-style drama whose only parallel to his smash-hit sophomore effort is, perhaps, that it has some flying things: in The Hunger, there is what I dubbed “the Dove Room”, teeming with white birds; in Top Gun, there are some flying machines (and a character named after a bird). There the similarities just about stop—but not entirely. Though Scott’s oeuvre would lean heavily toward action-thriller after he was harvested by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, a romantic sappiness pulsates through his first two films.

The advertising featuring David Bowie is a bit misleading, seeing as his character dies (well, mostly) by the halfway mark. This is really the story of Miriam Blaylock (Catherine Deneuve, gloriously vague in a European kind of way), a vampire who originated at least as far back as ancient Egyptian times. Her man-squeeze John (Bowie, young and sexy, until he very quickly isn’t) seems to have lost the knack for eternal youth—a fate suffered by Miriam’s innumerable lovers beforehand. However, their final hedonistic days of early ’80s New York City party-fun-time do slow down enough to allow them to make the acquaintance of Doctor Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon, doing a wonderful job as the smoky-sexy scientist), whose research may relate to the sudden trouble suffered by hapless John.

The Hunger starts in a nightclub, with the camera focused on a goth singer and his band performing behind a caged stage. Intercut with his exorbitantly vampiric lyricising are shots of Miriam and John picking up some gothed-out groupies and draining them dry. The pastiche of club life excess, luxury car excess, and sanguino-sexual excess nicely sets the mood, and acts as an early filter for the audience. If this is not what you want to be watching for the next eighty minutes, then The Hunger is not the movie for you. What follows is a semi-tragic romance, rapid aging in a doctor’s office, and some softcore lesbian sex (if you’re into that sort of thing). Ultimately, Scott’s movie reveals that perhaps the greatest hunger is a hunger for companionship…

This is all very flip, but it’s hard not to be that way when discussing something as cheesy and stylishly overwrought as The Hunger, whose stylized nonsense and hyper-vampire-sexuality predates Interview with a Vampire by about a decade. (On film, anyway: apparently that bit of fluff-core had been in development since the early ’80s.) The only truly impressive element to be found is the make-up work on David Bowie; by the time you see John Blaylock morph from 30-something Bowie into just-about-decomposing Bowie, you’ll understand why Dick Smith’s credited with “make-up Illusions.” Otherwise, this film merely demands you grab some of the butteriest popcorn and reddest wine you can find and marvel at its wet dreaminess.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“Dreamily photographed by Stephen Goldblatt and cryptically edited together by Pamela Power, nothing in The Hunger makes sense… like in that ludicrous advertisement for Britney Spears’s Curious perfume, sexual desire simply provokes postmodern psychotropic episodes.”–Ed Gonzalez, Slant (DVD)

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