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.


The Forbidden Room (2015): ‘s latest (co-directed with ) is a series of absurd early-talkie, two-strip Technicolor shorts, set in dreamlike submarines, caves, trains, and other locales out of 1920s melodramas. Every Maddin movie is an event. Room is being released to theaters from Toronto to Winnipeg this fall, but no U.S. dates announced—yet. The Forbidden Room official site.

Yakuza Apocalypse (2015): s latest (now there’s a referent we have to refresh every couple of months) is about a new yakuza boss who finds his rival is a vampire. It is rare that a Miike film gets even a limited theatrical release on these shores, but there it, is in a few East coast theaters. Yakuza Apocalypse official site (in Japanese).

SCREENINGS – (Denver, CO., Glitterdome, Oct 8-31):

The Portal (2015): A multimedia psychedelic rock opera version of Dante’s Inferno. Until Halloween, a live onstage band will supply the score as the movie plays. Most of us will have to wait for the DVD version. No surprise that this project pops up in Colorado; recreational marijuana legalization is already paying cultural dividends. The Portal official site.

SCREENINGS – (Los Angeles, Cinefamily, Sat, Oct 10):

The Mask (1961): Don’t miss a rare chance to see this otherwise drab B-movie about a magical mask that gives the audience bizarre 3-D color hallucinations when instructed to put on their anaglyph glasses, projected in vintage 3-D. Part of an overlooked horror movie series Cinefamily has entitled UNSEEN! UNSCREENED!! OBSCENE!!! Check the link for a full schedule. UNSEEN! UNSCREENED!! OBSCENE!!! at Cinefamily.


Although Sitges as always has a fine slate of fantastic films, they’re more into quantity than exclusivity. We’ve seen most of the offerings at other film festivals. Here are a few notable films we noticed that appear to be debuting there (along with some special screenings of older cult films):

  • The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Maddin – As far as we know, the only feature length documentary on the work of Guy Maddin. Screens Oct 12.
  • Arcana – The least seen of B-surrealist ‘s three major features is a supernatural horror about a non-psychic fortune teller and her psychic son. Screens Oct. 16.
  • Cosmos‘s first film in 15 years is a metaphysical farce about a law school flunkout vacationing in a strange house. Screens twice on Oct 16.
  • Dyke Hard – Colorful spoof about a lesbian rock band fighting an army of ninjas and robots. Oct. 11 & 17.
  • Female Werewolf – A mentally ill woman believe she is turning into a werewolf in this Canadian film described as “1 moody, sensual and surreal psychological thriller.” Oct. 16.
  • Ink/The Frame – A double feature; the 2009 Certified Weird allegorical dream fantasy matched with the “Twilight Zone”-ish 2014 followup, both on Oct. 17.

Sitges Film Festival official site.


Burnt Offerings (1976): A couple rent an old house for the summer on condition that they leave out food for a decrepit grandma who never leaves her room. This haunted house chiller made quite an impression on folks who caught it during its initial run, so much so that it made its way into our reader-suggested review queue. Buy Burnt Offerings.

Children of the Night [AKA Limbo] (2014): Argentinian horror about a colony of child vampires being indoctrinated into believing they are a master race. Artsploitation Films’ contribution to the Halloween season. Buy Children of the Night.

The Falling (2014): An unexplained plague of fainting spells strikes at a British girls’ school in the 1960s. Picnic at Hanging Rock fans are sure to swoon at this one. Buy The Falling.

Gravy (2015): Costumed cannibals hold the patrons of a Mexican restaurant hostage on Halloween. Shout! Factory is now picking up current releases; not sure how weird this one is but it has clear cult intentions. Buy Gravy.

“Masterworks of American Avant-garde Experimental Film 1920-1970”: 36 short films meriting the titular description; the 4-disc (2 DVD/2 Blu-ray) set includes a “unique” version of the Certified Weird classic “Meshes of the Afternoon,” as well as shorts from Marcel Duchamp, , Stan Brakhage, and other names familiar to anyone with an interest in the avant-garde. A major release from specialty label Flicker Alley, and a major investment. Buy “Masterworks of American Avant-garde Experimental Film 1920-1970” [DVD/Blu-ray Combo].

Roar (1981): A gang of lions, leopards and tigers attack African homesteaders in a nonstop barrage of fangs and claws. The danger was very real; the ad copy brags that over 70 members of the cast and crew were injured making this insane feature! Not necessarily “weird” but definitely out-there and hard-to-believe. Buy Roar.

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015): Sharks rain down on over-the-hill actors in this third (!) installment of the toothy, spoofy series. We didn’t much like the first Sharknado‘s low-grade brand of idiot camp, but feel obligated to at least acknowledge this one’s existence. Maybe it’s “better.” Buy Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!.


Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992): Read our review! This deluxe Blu-ray release contains a number of extra features, including an (old) commentary track featuring . We have seen reports saying that the framing is off; we consider them unconfirmed (but credible). Also available in limited-edition “clear case” packaging with a 24-page booklet. Buy Bram Stoker’s Dracula [Blu-ray].

Burnt Offerings (1976): See description in DVD above. Buy Burnt Offerings [Blu-ray].

Gravy (2015): See description in DVD above. Buy Gravy [Blu-ray].

“Masterworks of American Avant-garde Experimental Film 1920-1970”: See description in DVD above. Buy “Masterworks of American Avant-garde Experimental Film 1920-1970” [DVD/Blu-ray Combo].

My Own Private Idaho (1991): River Phoenix and play two gay street hustlers in ‘s loose and hallucinatory adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV.” From the Criterion Collection, so there are a wealth of extras (Criterion’s 2005 DVD release spanned two discs; it all fits on one Blu). Buy My Own Private Idaho [Blu-ray].

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

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015): See description in DVD above. Buy Sharknado 3: Oh Hell no! [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.

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