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):
The Alchemist Cookbook (2016): Read our Fantasia Film Festival review. ‘s “Jim Jarmusch does The Evil Dead” horror drama gets a very limited pre-DVD national release. The Alchemist Cookbook official site.
Better Off Single (2016): NYC dating comedy that promises to follow one man’s “hallucination-fueled post-breakup quest to find new love.” Possibly weird by romantic comedy standards; playing in Los Angeles, but you’re more likely to find it on demand. Better off Single official site (reload page to see a new “Worst NYC Dating Comedy since…” banner).
The Greasy Strangler (2016): Read our Fantasia Film Festival review. After hiding out at film festivals all year, the Strangler is finally set loose on greasier venues across the land. The Greasy Strangler official site.
Phantasm: Ravager (2016): The Phantasm series comes to an end in this fifth installment that sees Reggie Bannister battling the Tall Man (the late Angus Scrimm) across a series of alternate realities. Reviews are all over the place, but Variety calls it “the surreal thing.” Phantasm: Ravager official site.
Phantasm: Remastered (1979): Read the Certified Weird entry! It’s phantastic to see a once-maligned weird horror cult film from 1979 remastered and on tour across the States for Halloween season! Phantasm: Remastered official site.
Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience (2016): Essentially, this is The Tree of Life. The IMAX version, which runs a trim 45 minutes, is garnering more universal praise than the 90 minute cut that will play regular theaters. Voyage of Time official site.‘s remake/reworking of the “birth of the universe” sequence from
SCREENINGS – (Los Angeles, Bob Baker Marionette Theater, Tues, Oct. 14, 10:30 PM):
Freaks (1932): Read Alfred Eaker’s review. The dwarf with no arms and a knife clutched in his teeth is one of the good guys. Sponsored by Cinefamily, and preceded by a screening of Disney’s uncharacteristically grim Something Wicked This Way Comes (looks like a separate ticket required, but you might want to query). Freaks (part of the “Carnival of Horrors” series at Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater).
SCREENINGS – (Silver Spring, MD, AFI Silver Theater, Oct. 7-14):
Blue Velvet (1986): Read the Certified Weird entry. Nice to see the 30th anniversary print of ‘s perverted thriller making the rounds. Also screening in a busily weird week at AFI: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Greasy Strangler, Phantasm: Ravager, (all week); ‘s Creepy (Oct 8), The Eyes of My Mother (Oct. 8), Mon Oncle (Oct. 11), and Daisies (Oct 13-14). That’s some outside-the-beltway stuff! Blue Velvet at AFI Silver Theater.
FILM FESTIVALS – London Film Festival (London, UK, Oct. 5-16):
The London Film Festival is large, but features relatively few premieres (at least, outside-of-the-U.K. premieres). The programming is not exceptionally adventurous but we did catch sight of a few weird and near-weird titles we’ve seen playing elsewhere, such as Phantasm: Remastered; Psychonauts. Here are a few offerings we’re highlighting here for the first time:and Lily-Rose Depp as psychic sisters in Planetarium; and the soon-to-be cult favorite
- Blue Velvet Revisited – A non-narrative, experimentally altered selection of behind-the-scenes footage from Blue Velvet. Screens Oct 7-8.
- On the Milky Road – Emir Kusturica‘s latest features the actor/director as a character in three magical realist roles: a milk deliveryman during a war, a star-crossed lover, and a rock-collecting monk. Screening October 15-16.
- Spaceship – Gothy teenage girl with headbanging archeologist dad is (possibly) abducted by aliens. Oct. 6, 8, 16.
FILM FESTIVALS – Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival (Sitges, Spain, Oct. 7-16):
Although Sitges as always has a fine slate of fantastic films, they’re more into quantity than exclusivity. We’ve seen many of the choicest offerings at other film festivals. Skipping those, here are a few notable films and longshots we noticed (along with some special screenings of older cult films):
- Alipato – The Very Brief Life Of An Ember – Filipino film with a “bizarre” atmosphere about a street gang that robs a bank and then gets bumped off one by one. Screens on the 11th and 13th.
- Antiporno – Shion Sono‘s latest is set in the Japanese softcore porn industry. Oct. 12 & 13.
- Artist of Fasting – Japanese adaptation of ‘s “The Hunger Artist.” Oct. 15 only.
- Begotten (1991) – A very rare screening of the hard-to-see Certified Weird “metaphysical snuff film.” Should be a hot ticket on Oct. 12.
- Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) – Elvis and now-black JFK battle a mummy in the old folks home in another Certified Weird revival. Catch it on Oct. 13.
- Likely Stories – An anthology of fantastical Neil (Mirrormask, Coraline) Gaiman short stories. The full two hour, four episode version screens on the 8th and 12th, while a shorter 90 minute cut plays on the 9th.
- Perfect Blue (1997) – ‘s anime classic about a retired J-pop star, her stalker, and the labyrinth of memory. See it on the big screen Oct. 14.
- Remainder – Amnesia pic in which the victim hires actors to re-enact his dreams to try to spur his recollection; the hitch is his memories turn increasingly violent. Oct 10 & 12.
- Solaris (1972) – Certified Weird minimalist sci-fi classic about a living planet that takes it upon itself to grant wishes. Oct. 12.
- The Sion Sono – Documentary on Sono, who has two features playing Sitges. Oct 7 only.
NEW ON DVD:
The Wailing (2016): Read our Fantasia Film festival review. We judged this Korean Exorcist variation very good but not weird enough for the List; it would still make great Halloween fare for anyone who loves occult arthouse horror with a side of comedy. Buy The Wailing.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
Swiss Army Man (2016): See description in DVD above. Buy Swiss Army Man [Blu-ray].
The Wailing (2016): See description in DVD above. Buy The Wailing [Blu-ray].
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.