Only 68 movies left to Certify Weird! (That number is right, we didn’t miscount: see the explanation below).
Alfred Eaker kicks us off next week with a review of Flicker Alley’s new Blu-ray release of the short that birthed the fantastique, “A Trip to the Moon.” Then, Bryan Pike updates you on the new existential indie release It Takes from Within, Pete Trbovich knocks one out of the review queue with a shout-out to Britain’s The Shout (1978), and G. Smalley goes classic and retro with an examination of Jean Cocteau‘s surrealistic debut, Blood of a Poet (1930).
No fooling here: the quotes below are actual search terms weirdos used to find 366 Weird Movies this past week. First, the search for a “movie where man says etcettera” goes into our “can you narrow that down for me?” file. We would be remiss if we did not note the search for “lesbian girls and doll pul movies.com” (it was making sense until the “doll pul” arrived). Then we have a pair of perhaps related searches: a jazz cinema fan’s search for “sax films of 2012,” which might possibly be better found on the site “sax bandits.com”. Simple misspellings can sometimes lead to ambiguity: is the guy looking for “twin leaks 366 weird movies” actually looking for the David Lynch television series, or the pee fetish porn parody? A similar searching error led to our official Weirdest Search Term of the Week, “link floyd thé wool”. The misspellings are bad enough, but going out of your way to add an accent aigu to the “thé” that makes the search acutely weird.
On to the bit of business hinted at above: many of you have expressed dismay that the List of the 366 Best Weird Movies ever made is nearing its end, and are afraid that your worthy favorites will not fit into the few remaining slots. If you fall into that category, we have good news: we’re removing some of the dead wood to make way for better choices. Obviously, when we started this List ten years ago, we were very different people than now. As you may have noticed with Alfred’s series on spirituality themed movies, we are (a little!) more mature than the crazy live-for-today 40somethings who started this List. We recognize that we made mistakes in the early days (and even in the later days), and canonized a few movies of questionable intent that didn’t deserve to be honored. What better day than Easter Day, 2018 to announce a culling of the List and the rebirth of a new one? We’re going to free up twenty-seven movie slots by canceling several of our rasher and more questionable choices. These entries have already disappeared from the sidebar list; we’ll detail them below, with an explanation for each film’s removal.
Sometime after midnight, when one would expect the President of the United States to be either resting up for a big day or burning the midnight oil prepping for a diplomatic meeting, Donald J. Trump was apparently cruising the Web, and came across a site that rubbed him the wrong way:
What prompted this attack against a small-traffic, niche cinema website devoted to surrealist and cult cinema, fields in which the President had previously shown zero interest? Apparently, it was an offhand comment by leftist commentator Alfred Eaker in his review of Suicide Squad that drew the Preisdent’s ire:
A few minutes later, after cruising the site a bit longer, the President chimed in with another, unexpected criticism:
The President was, of course, referring to the 1989 Bo Derek vehicle where she plays the trophy wife of ghost Anthony Quinn, who wants Bo to kill a younger man so he can possess his body and have sex with her again, and also advises her in corporate negotiations:
A weird movie (though not a very good one), but where does this have a bearing on the point at issue?
Naturally, all tweets were deleted within half an hour of posting. Fortunately we were able to save screenshots to prove that this bizarre rant did indeed occur.
Dead 7 (2016): In a post-apocalyptic world, a cowboy, a samurai, a mime, and four others team up to fight zombies. The heroes are all played by ex-members of the Backstreet Boys, NSYCNC, and some more obscure boy bands. Proudly presented by the folks who brought you Sharknado. Dead 7 at SyFy channel.
FILM FESTIVALS – StraightJacket Guerilla Film Festival (Everywhere and nowhere, 4/1-4/7):
Here’s an idea that’s probably overdue: an exclusively online film festival. No pesky plane tickets and hotel rooms for out-of-towners to buy, or even $3/kernel bags of popcorn. Each day of the festival, several new full-length films and music videos just show up online. The films are supposed to adhere to the “Pink 8” manifesto, which includes tenets like “no script” and “the cast must NOT know what your film is about,” though we’re not sure how strictly these rules will be enforced. The only thing we’ve heard of is Kelly Hughes‘ 1995 cross-dressing undead action film La Cage aux Zombies, which magically appears on April 3.
“Death Walks Twice: Two Films by Luciano Ercoli”: Due gialli from Ercoli starring “Susan Scott” (Nieves Navarro). In Death Walks on HighHeels, she’s an exotic dancer fleeing a jewel thief; in the weirder Death Walks at Midnight, she’s a model who takes LSD and witnesses a murder that happened six months earlier. Buy “Death Walks Twice”.
Fascist Frauleins [AKA Airplays of Old] (1969): An Amazonian Nazi dominatrix with a transgendered m-t-f daughter kidnaps Allied airmen and keeps them in her torture chamber, where she feeds them hallucinogenic drugs and forces them to engage in “experimental” orgies. Bizarre, forgotten Nazisploitation made at the height of the psychedelic era, in black and white but with splashes of color (red for blood, yellow and pink spirals swirling onscreen during the hallucination sequences). Buy Airplays of Old.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
“Death Walks Twice: Two Films by Luciano Ercoli”: See description in DVD above. This is only available in a 4-disc set: 2 DVDs, 2 Blu-rays. Buy “Death Walks Twice”.
The Gong Show Movie (1980): A week in the life of “Gong Show” host Chuck Barris, featuring R-rated outtakes from the show arranged around a plot, of sorts. Not available on DVD, as it would be a cinematic crime to watch a visual spectacle of this magnitude in anything but the highest definition possible. Buy The Gong Show Movie.
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.
PLOT: Giant robots attack a military installation. Shia LaBeouf buys a muscle car, but it’s actually a giant robot in disguise. A team of good giant robots from outer space battle a team of bad giant robots from outer space for control of a Rubik’s Cube.
The movie Transformers was so successful that it launched a toy franchise and a Saturday morning children’s show.
Against the studio’s wishes, director Michael Bay deleted thirty minutes of explosions from the final cut, then added an additional hour of character development. A yet-to-be-released director’s cut incorporates all the explosion footage that was shot, and runs for over four days.
Jon Voight was once a respected actor.
Shia LaBeouf is a pseudonym which roughly translates from the French as “Made-up name the beef.”
Within five months after receiving her paycheck for Transformers, Megan Fox declared bankruptcy. Reportedly, she spent all of the money on unlicensed Mexican plastic surgery, including $500,000 for an experimental procedure which would have installed an expression on her face.
Stephen “Schindler’s List” Spielberg executive produced, haters.
INDELIBLE IMAGE: Oh, how about just a freakin’ awesome muscle car transforming into a bad-ass killer robot, is all.
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: One of the basic tenets of Surrealism is its insistence on juxtapositions and transformations of unlikely objects. As poet Pierre Reverdy said, “the more the relationship between the two juxtaposed realities is distant and true, the stronger the image will be — the greater its emotional power and poetic reality.” In Un Chien Andalou, we see breasts that turn into buttocks; is this any stranger or more poetic than souped-up yellow Camaros that turn into giant missile-shooting bipeds?
FEATURING: Svetlana Avrora (as Lindsay Linton), Lazar Sukhorukov, Ray Romano (as Andrei Romanov)
PLOT: This film has not been translated into English, and in fact I suspect the dialogue is delivered in a made-up language (the alien “speaks” in a voice that sounds like out-of-pitch alto saxophone with a broken reed fed through a vocoder), so the plot is somewhat difficult to figure out, to say the least. It appears to involve an alien ad executive living in Tallinn who accidentally causes a woman at a cocktail party to miscarry by touching her swollen belly, and is then kidnapped and put through various psychological tortures by a gang before escaping to an orgy where he is eventually ripped limb from limb.
WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: I never thought I would say this, but this thing is actually too weird and incomprehensible to even be considered for the List. There is a reason this movie has never been picked up by a distributor, and it’s not just because Ray Romano’s agent reportedly asked to have all the negatives burned. This is pure weird-for-the-sake-of-weird nonsense, and we refuse to have any part in promoting it by placing it on the List of the 366 Best Weird Movies of All Time.
COMMENTS: Nobody will love Raymond anymore after seeing him cheer on the dairy-based psychological torture of an innocent lifeform in Mushy Vegetables, an irritating Estonian exercise in arthouse provocation. What was family-friendly comedian Ray Romano (working under the obvious pseudonym Andrei Romanov) thinking when he agreed to take a small part as an alien-terrorizing sadist in this Baltic bowel movement? My theory is that it was a short-sighted tax dodge, a way to write off a vacation in Tallinn as a work expense. At any rate, I lend no credence to the rumor that his people are responsible for Mushy Vegetables‘ unavailability; the movie is quite capable of being ignored on its own lack of merit. Crisp cinematography and clever creature design on the genitalia-free E.T. are the only positives in this utterly pretentious science-fiction experiment from conceptual artist Tabifulinyu, who should have stuck to his original enterprise of creating a line of women’s lingerie fashioned from his toenail clippings held together by hot glue. Film making is not in the artist’s blood, as evidenced by his decision to forgo an intelligible story for a series of tableaux designed to shock and irritate the viewer. Key moments include an grotesque miscarriage scored to an avant-garde jazz rendition of “Pop Goes the Weasel,” an alien whose digestive process is reversed (he sits on a recently-used toilet and suctions up the deposit, pooping eggs from his mouth), and a final (explicitly pornographic) orgy sequence where the alien is torn limb from limb (the blood that spatters on the naked revelers looks like beef gravy). All of this is far more nauseating to watch than it reads on the page, and the sickening feeling isn’t helped any by the screetchy soundtrack which mixes incessant nonsense blabber with wailing horns. Many of our readers will doubtlessly take the description above as a dare to watch the film, but trust me: you can’t sit through this one.
I received a DVD-R of this film personally mailed to me from Estonia by the director, with postage due. Thanks a lot, Estonian jerkface. Although the still reprinted above has circulated in the Internet for years, there’s hasn’t been any interest in pirating or bootlegging this impenetrable and grotesque movie. You won’t find Mushy Vegetables available for download on any torrent site. For all I know, the copy previously in my possession (I threw it out with this morning’s trash) was the last copy of the film in existence, other than the director’s master. The Cremaster series is readily available by comparison.