WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 10/21/2016

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Creepy (2016): s latest is a return to his horror roots, as a detective comes out of retirement to investigate a cold case and finds an irrational world instead. This Halloween season offering got good reviews during its film festival run, including one from Jonathan Romney mentioning its “weirdness.” Creepy official site.

SCREENINGS – (New York, NY, IFC Center, Fri.-Sat., Oct 21-22):

Eraserhead (1977): Read the Certified Weird review! IFC Center continues its fine tradition of reviving midnight movie classics with ‘s searingly weird debut about an alienated man with a bad haircut and his monster baby. Eraserhead at IFC Center.

SCREENINGS – (Silver Spring, MD, AFI Silver Theater, Thurs., Oct 27):

The Exterminating Angel (1962): Without explanation, guests at a bourgeois dinner party find themselves unable to leave, as the days turn into weeks and they start to starve and turn on each other. ‘s surreal satire makes for an unconventional existential horror choice for this blessed Halloween season. The Exterminating Angel at AFI Silver Theater.

FILM FESTIVALS – Cambridge Film Festival (Cambridge, UK, Oct. 20-27):

Though it gets no big debuts, the Cambridge festival is a medium-large festival with mix of big movies (‘s Arrival, and lesser Oscar bait like Manchester by the Sea), experimental features, and classic revivals (actress Ingrid Bergman  and director Michael Curtiz are spotlighted this year).

  • Crash (1996) and Always (Crashing) – ‘s controversial movie about a secret cult of fetishists turned on by car crashes is paired with a new 14-minute experimental short based on the same J.G. Ballard story. On Oct 26.
  • The Kingdom of Shadows – The latest underground feature from and is a typically surrealist offering, set in an old dark house. See it Oct 24.
  • Salome (1922) – Stylized silent adaptation of the Bible story that’s noteworthy for its extremely bizarre avant-garde costuming (made by Natacha Rambova for her friend and rumored lover, Alla Nazimova). Screens Oct. 23.
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory – You know this one. See it on the big screen Oct 23.

Cambridge Film Festival home page.

IN DEVELOPMENT:

Untitled Willy Wonka Project: No firm news on this, except that Warner Bros. has cut a deal with the estate for the rights to the Wonka character. Before we all freak out, it appears this is not a reboot of the Certified Weird Gene Wilder classic (which was already remade by Tim Burton and Johnny Depp—it seems like just yesterday). It’s to be an original story starring the character (most likely a prequel, maybe of his time spent in Loompaland among the Oompa Loompas). Will it be weird? With Warners behind it, not likely, but we thought you should know. Variety has the announcement.

NEW ON DVD:

Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016): Read Alfred Eaker’s review. If you must… Buy Alice Through the Looking Glass.

Bride of Re-Animator (1989): See description in Blu-ray below. Buy Bride of Re-Animator [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006): Read the Certified Weird entry! The new Criterion edition ports over most of the features from New Line’s disc, including ‘s excellent commentary, and adds some new interview features with del Toro and Doug Jones along with “animated prequels” for some of the fantasy characters. Buy Pan’s Labyrinth (Criterion Collection).

The Pit (1981): A creepy, crazy kid takes advice from the talking teddy bear who advises him to lure his enemies into a pit where a bunch of subhumanoids eat them. A seldom seen, campy Canadian black comedy. Buy The Pit.

“Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro”: This Criterion Collection set matches ‘s Certified Weird fairy tale Pan’s Labyrinth with the vampirish Cronos and the Spanish Civil War ghost story The Devil’s Backbone. On five special-features-packed DVDs; the DVD release has a different (and to my mind, much cooler) cover than the Blu-ray. Buy “Trilogia de Guillermo del Toro”.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016): See description in DVD above. Buy Alice Through the Looking Glass [Blu-ray].

Bride of Re-Animator (1989): Dr. Herbert West and his glowing green needle return from the 1985 cult original to re-animate more dead bodies, with predictably tragic and gory results. This Special Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo is a slightly scaled-back version of the Limited Edition Arrow Films released back in April (the main exclusion seems to be there is no extra disc with the R-rated cut of the film). Buy Bride of Re-Animator [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

Gas-s-s-s [AKA Gas! -Or- It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It] (1970): The military accidentally unleashes an experimental chemical weapon that kills everyone over the age of 25. This directed counterculture comedy would make a great double feature with Wild in the Streets (and it was in fact paired with that title on a previous DVD release). Buy Gas-s-s-s [Blu-ray].

“The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection”: The Blu-ray edition of the classic set including Cocoanuts, Animal Crackers, Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, and of course our weird favorite, Duck Soup. With commentaries on every flick and archival interviews with Groucho and Harpo. Buy “The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection” [Blu-ray].

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006): See description in DVD above. Buy Pan’s Labyrinth [Criterion Collection Blu-ray].

The Pit (1981): See description in DVD above. Buy The Pit [Blu-ray].

“Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro”: See description in DVD above. Why not buy both sets? Buy “Trilogia de Guillermo del Toro” [Blu-ray].

NEW ON VIDEO-ON-DEMAND:

Winners Tape All: The Henderson Brothers Story (2015): Read Giles Edwards’s review. The Henderson brothers’s epics (Curse of Stabberman and Cannibal Swim Club) made it all the way from VHS to VOD, at least in mockumentary form. Buy or rent Winners Tape All: The Henderson Brothers Story.

BOOKS:

“The Secret History of Twin Peaks”: Co-creator (with David Lynch) of the cult TV series “Twin Peaks” produces a fictional history of the strange northwestern town where “the owls are not what they seem.” The series’ new season (season 3) will debut on Showtime sometime in 2017 so fans can see what’s been going on in the fifteen years since Agent Cooper last entered the Black Lodge. Buy “The Secret History of Twin Peaks”.

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.

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