Tag Archives: April 1


Fifty-seven years ago today, popular interviewer Jack Stanton sat down with “premise consultant” William Ŝerco to discuss the inception of the cult film, Incubus. Having languished on the only known reel-to-reel recording for over half a century, Giles Edwards discovered this astounding artifact while antiquing outside Ashtabula, Ohio. Despite cutting out early (at a particularly exciting juncture), it is still an important piece of this cult phenomenon’s obtuse history.

Audio recording of the “lost” interview with Esperanto consultant, William Ŝerco. Transcript below.

Jack Stanton: And as the sun emerges ever more brightly from its wintertide rest, and the meadows emerge from the chilled waters lingering after the vernal equinox, I greet you, dear listener, and proudly present my evening’s guest: advisor to famed producer and director Leslie Stevenson, William Ŝerco. Mr. Ŝerco, good evening.

William Ŝerco: Dankon, Jack. Estas plezuro esti ĉi tie por diskuti pri mia filmo. Male al la nelavitaj amasoj, mi esperas, ke vi trovis la sperton kaj ekscita kaj edifa.

JS: Mr Ŝerco, I state with no sense of shame that indeed this film towered mightily above the dross that is better known as 1966’s standard cinematic slate.

WŜ: Fakte! La miraklo, kiu estas Incubus, mirigas eĉ min mem, min mem kiu, dum dek ok tagoj kaj poste, gvidis Leslie Stevenson al la glora vizio de mondo de Esperanta Horora Kinejo—ĝenro, kiun mi forte atendas, ke mi firmiĝos nun en la mondo. ekkonsentis kun mia genio.

JS: To begin, may I inquire how it was that you came to be a “premise consultant”? From my research, I am led to believe that this role is singular to this most singular of films.

WŜ: Estas simple: mi estas civitano de Esperanta. Naskita kaj kreskigita de du plensangaj Esperantaj gepatroj. Kaj pli-do, mi plene konas la arkanajn manovrojn kaptitajn surekrane de la ludludantoj William Shatner et al.

JS: It had been my understanding that the phenomenon of “Esperanto” was an academic contrivance, but now you say it is a genuine language of an actual people.

WŜ: Zamenhof estas kromvorto por “ĉarlatano” por mia popolo. Li venas valsante, asertante esti kampesploristo, longe pridemandis la maljunulojn, antaŭ ol malaperi kaj asertante, ke li kunmetis nian belan “o”-finan lingvon el nenio! Ĝi igas mian sangon boli memori—

JS: Ahh, yes, I can see that. But if I might beg you to remain seated, there is a great deal of delicate recording equipment right by your—

WŜ: Baldaŭ venos la tago, ke la vico de Zamenhof estos nenio alia ol malbenita, senfrukta branĉo de la morto, kaj ĉiuj parencaj estos dividitaj de la rapida kaj justa justeco de la Esperanta popolo!

JS: No, please, Mr Ŝerco—

Coincidentally, the reel snapped and burnt to cinders at this juncture despite much waving of hands in distress on the parts of Greg Smalley and Giles Edwards. It seems that the curse of Incubus continues.


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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.


Nosferatu (202?): Variety reports that Harry Styles has dropped out of remake of Nosferatu (1922), co-starring . (Also no longer attached to the project: recent Oscar winner Will Smith). We’re neutral on Styles’ departure, but the news here is that Eggers’ cursed Nosferatu project is not yet dead—it remains, it seems, in some weird unearthly state between life and death. Read more at Variety.


The American Scream (1988): A family takes a vacation at a winter resort filled with oddballs in this confusing amateur horror film filled with WTF? moments. A candidate for the club. First time on Blu-ray (only) from Culture Shock. Buy The American Scream.

Delta Space Mission (1984): Done in the style of a children’s cartoon and earning comparisons to both 2001: A Space Odyssey and Fantastic Planet, this science fiction epic from behind the Iron Curtain (Romania, to be exact) concerns a super-intelligent AI computer who falls in love with an alien journalist. New player Deaf Crocodile releases the deluxe Blu-ray. In our reader-suggested review queue, with streaming options (and our coverage) coming in April. Buy Delta Space Mission.

Flesh for Frankenstein [AKA Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein] (1973): Read Alfred Eaker’s mini-review of Flesh for Frankenstein. Less famous but gorier and possibly even campier than it’s companion piece, Blood for Dracula, this features as Frankenstein stitching together a monster (and doing naughty things to cadaver organs along the way). Vinegar Syndrome releases a 3 disc pack, with a UHD disc, a 3-D Blu-ray, a standard Blu-ray, and two hours of supplementary materials. Buy Flesh for Frankenstein.

(WARNING: above trailer NSFW for gore, nudity and declarations of intended gall bladder molestation)

Hair for Hyde [AKA Andy Warhol’s Jekyll and Hyde] (1974): Having lost the services of (who had decided to leverage his cult fame to make serious movies with ), unwisely leaned too far into camp, and hired a spectacularly miscast Jerry Lewis for a dual role (making this the “Nutty Professor’s” only gore movie). A spectacular misfire on every level, it’s weird for reasons never intended (Jerry Lewis in patchy werewolf makeup attempting to rape a barmaid played by Holly Woodlawn?), and ended the series of Warhol-backed horror remakes—and Morrissey’s career. Blu-ray only with minimal supplements. Buy Hair for Hyde.

Ham on Rye (2019): Read Giles Edwards Apocrypha Candidate review. Adolescents undergo a strange ritual that will allow some of them to escape their nowheresville town, while others will be left behind. Their fates hinge on whether they slip up at the deli counter and accidentally order pastrami on wheat. The Blu-ray includes an optional director’s cut, deleted scenes, and a commentary track. Buy Ham on Rye.

Red Spirit Lake (1993)/We Await (1996): Of these two direct-to-video horrors from microbudget director Charles Pinion, We Await, which concerns a cannibal family who eats hallucinogenic ooze from a green crystal and keeps a human dog, seems the stranger by far. Lots of bonus features on this double feature Blu-ray from an outfit called Saturn’s Core. Buy Red Spirit Lake/We Await.

Sister Tempest (2020): Read Giles Edwards’ review. Anne defends herself against an intergalactic tribunal in the case of her missing sister. She also performs one of the stranger karaoke numbers in recent memory. Now on DVD; Blu-ray coming to retailers in May. Buy Sister Tempest.


This section will no longer be updated regularly. Instead, we direct you to our new “Repertory Cinemas Near You” page. We will continue to mention exceptional events in this space from time to time, however.


“The Legacy of Satoshi Kon” – The National Museum of Asian Art and the Japan Information & Culture Center have teamed up to offer a series of free streaming screenings of films (sorry, U.S. i.p.s only). As we write this, you can select a la carte from Millennium Actress, Paprika, the documentary Satoshi Kon: Illusionist, or “Doubles and Composites: How Satoshi Kon Animates the Self,” an academic lecture by Thomas Lamarre of the University of Chicago. The event ends April 10, and virtual seats are limited (Kon’s other two features already “sold out”). Note: this is not an April Fool’s joke, even if you can’t get in for a screening. “The Legacy of Satoshi Kon” at Eventive.


It looks like ‘s dystopian virtual reality animation The Congress will be the featured screening at our next Weird Watch Party in the late hours of Saturday, April 9, but we will leave the discussion open through the weekend.

In next week’s reviews, Gregory J. Smalley will take on the psychopathic Period Piece (2006) from the reader-suggested review queue, then move to the new-release front for a look at the twisty psychological thriller Ultrasound (2022). Finally, in a 366 exclusive, Giles Edwards uncovers and transcribes a previously unpublished interview on the genesis of ‘s Esperanto horror film, Incubus. 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.


DIRECTED BY: Felix Laurson

FEATURING: Felix Laurson, the music of Klaus Nomi, and a number of people documented as having been paid for contributing to the production

PLOT: Difficult to say; see below.

Teach a Man to Fish April 1 2021

COMMENTS: The movie industry is replete with legendary lost films, pictures–pulped to make space in warehouses or damaged beyond recovery by time–that aficionados agree, based on contemporaneous reviews and publicity stills, might today be regarded as classics. A very long list of such possible classics might include the little-known Teach a Man to Fish, a film that possibly no one other than its director (Felix Laurson, who also wrote the screenplay and did the editing) has actually seen.

What few details we have about the film come from three sources. The bulk of it comes from interviews Laurson gave to press outlets over the years, including a 1986 interview for Der Schaden from his residence in the Kugelmugel (a self-declared independent republic located in Prater Park, Vienna – see image); a 1993 interview with Texte zur Kunst while living in a villa in Gjirokaster; and a March 2014 interview he gave from his residence in Crimea for a German film podcast. Financial and legal documents also give us tantalizing hints of other details of the film’s contents. But we’ve never had the film itself; all ten copies of it were reportedly destroyed in a Berlin warehouse fire the night before they were distributed to theaters. Laurson did his best to embrace the tragedy, encouraging moviegoers to treat the entire film and its loss as performance art, asking his prospective audience and film reviewers to take part in the performance by imagining what the film must have been like, sharing how they reacted to it, and thereby contributing to the creative process.

What we know about the film suggests it was very likely weird. Laurson spent much of the late 70s as an avant-garde performance artist in the seedier end of Berlin’s countercultural scene, developing an ever-more grandiose scope for his absurd and anarchic view of the world, a scope that he eventually felt could only be expressed in the form of an art film. Teach a Man to Fish was an expansion of a performance he put on at several venues during 1978: he would goad the audience to demand he swallow live tropical fish as an expression of the cruelty to which everyday people can be driven by the lure of fame and eye of the public. In the interviews, he described a host of amateur actors hired from the Berlin art and punk scene, costumes involving brightly-colored electrical tape and Q-tips taped on actor’s faces in vortex patterns, and a warehouse festooned with fish skeletons as essential elements of his vision. He also mentioned his fascination with Klaus Nomi’s haunting rendition of “The Cold Song” as an inspiration.

Which is where the evidence from the legal documents comes in. Nomi recorded a soundtrack, expecting to be paid from the proceeds of the film and the right to all proceeds of the subsequent album. But with the film reduced to ashes before tickets were sold Continue reading CAPSULE: TEACH A MAN TO FISH (1980)


This announcement came as such a surprise, we thought it’s worthy of its own post.

The Criterion Collection just pre-announced that their latest addition to their catalog of “important classic and contemporary cinema from around the world” will be ‘s 2009 experimental thriller After Last Season, which has been out-of-print and highly sought after since the original DVD run sold out. (We spotted a copy on E-bay recently; the asking price was over $200).

The lone film by the reclusive Region, After Last Season may seem like a strange edition to the Criterion catalog, but the art-house label has recently added the transgressive early works of to their catalog as they expand their range from stodgy art movies and begin to include more culturally significant cult films with edgy, DIY aesthetics.

After Last Season Criterion Collection back

These photographs (leaked onto the Internet by an unknown Criterion insider) are early boxcover mockups, not the finished product (which won’t go on sale until July 2020 at the earliest). Thanks to El Rob Hubbard for bringing them to our attention. According to the Criterion Collection website, the final release will have the following special features:

  • New 4K digital restoration, not approved by Region
  • The original trailer that rocked the Internet
  • “Region Free”: a documentary attempting to track down the mysterious Mark Region (the name has long been suspected to be a pseudonym for or another established director)
  • “I’ve Never Been to That Town, but I’ve Been Through It”: a feature-length appreciation by
  • New interview with star
  • A free copy of the trial animation software used to compose the special effects sequences (works on Windows 95 systems only)
  • PLUS: An essay by IMDB entry Lloyd Nickell

After Last Season has been one of the rarest titles on our list of Canonically Weird movies, and we’re thrilled that the general public will finally get the chance to experience this… um… unusual film.