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.
SCREENINGS (Various theaters nationwide, Dec. 3):
Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (Rifftrax Live): Read the Certified Weird entry! You will probably enjoy this unbelievably cheap Florida-based Christmas movie more with the humorous commentary from the Rifftrax guys, which helps you avoid the otherwise inevitable Ice Cream Bunny headache. The big news here, however, is that the film will be screened with the rarely-seen alternate Jack and the Beanstalk insert footage (rather than Thumbelina), making for an all-new experience (since the insert footage comprises the majority of the film). Check the following link to find a theater near you. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (Rifftrax Live) from Fathom Events.
SCREENINGS – (Silver Springs, MD, AFI Silver Theater, Bov. 27 & 30):
Repulsion (1965): Certified Weird classic. Also of note at the AFI Silver Theater: the “European Union Film Showcase” runs Dec. 1-20 and includes screenings of Liza the Fox Fairy (see Alex Kittle’s brief screening note) and ‘s bloody fantasy Tale of Tales among its many offerings. AFI Silver home page.‘s mind disintegrates over her fear of men in ‘s
SCREENINGS – (New York City, Lincoln Center, Nov. 27-29):
“Todd Haynes: The Other Side of Dreams”: The Film Society of Lincoln Center highlights films by, and films that influenced, indie provocateur Todd Haynes. Highlights for the weird-inclined: I’m Not There (2007), a fantasy biography of Bob Dylan with six different actors playing alternate versions of the troubadour (11/27 & 29); Velvet Goldmine (1998), Haynes’ trippy Citizen Kane-styled search for a fictional glam rock star (11/28-29); and most notably the Certified Weird Performance (1970), with an ambiguous and androgynous Mick Jagger making gangster James Fox all kinds of uncomfortable (available alone or in a double-feature package with Goldmine 11/28). “Todd Haynes: The Other Side of Dreams” at Film Society of Lincoln Center.
SCREENINGS – (Los Angeles, Cinefamily, Dec. 3):
Nutcracker Fantasy (1979): A Rankin/Bass styled stop-motion Japanese adaptation of the Nutcracker, with a two-headed Rat King and no mention of Christmas whatsoever. A holiday screening of this never-on-DVD oddity is becoming an annual tradition with Cinefamily. Nutcracker Fantasy at Cinefamily.
NEW ON DVD:
The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant (1971): Doctor The Thing With Two Heads, and we mention it for completeness’ sake. The release includes an optional comic commentary track by the Rifftrax crew. Buy The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant.grafts a murderous hillbilly head onto the body of a man-child, because why not? This double-headed feature is even worse than
The Mask (1961): An 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. Classic replicas of the original red/blue 3D “masks” are included (yay!) in case you don’t have a 3D TV (chances are you don’t). Buy The Mask.
Star Leaf (2015): A veteran searches for a grove of extraterrestrial marijuana (!) to cure his PSTD, but finds himself in trouble when he refuses to follow the directions for safe use. I’m fairly certain that the screenwriter would happily cop to being high when he came up with the idea. Buy Star Leaf.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant (1971): See description in DVD above. Buy The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant [Blu-ray].
The Mask (1961): If I’m reading this right, the Blu-ray release includes a new 3D short and several 3D extras, but unlike the DVD edition it does not come with 3D glasses (what the…?) Buy The Mask [Blu-ray].
“The Quay Brothers: Collected Short Films”: There are several competing compilations of surreal stop-motion shorts by the Buy “The Quay Brothers: Collected Short Films” [Blu-ray].on DVD, but this is the first time they have been released in the Blu-ray format. Includes the frequently-requested “Street of Crocodiles,” ‘s short documentary “Quay,” commentary by the Brothers, and three post-2010 shorts that have never been released on home video before. A must to stuff in your weird love’s stocking.
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON SNAGFILM:
Mondo Cane (1962): The first successful exploitation documentary by Watch Mondo Cane on Sang Film (the full film, despite being incorrectly listed as “Part I”).examines such odd human behaviors as pet cemeteries, interspecies breastfeeding, drunks at Octoberfest, nude body painting, cargo cults and more. The title translates as “a dog’s world,” and the resulting documentary is duly cynical about mankind.
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.