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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.
FILM FESTIVALS – Sundance Film Festival (Park City, UT, Jan 23-Feb 2):
The 2020 movie season will officially kick off with Sundance, where a hundred hopeful independent movies, including a few off-the-wall ones, come to vie for a handful of distribution contracts. In recent years, Sundance added the “Next” and “Midnight” screening sections to add some weirdness to the otherwise tame lineup of dramas about privileged white people and their problems. There is usually at least one memorably strange film that sneaks by the screeners: 2019 brought us the Groundhogian grief nightmare Koko-di, Koko-da. Of the recently announced titles (full list via Variety), here are the few we’ll be keeping our eyes on:
- The Nowhere Inn – Singer St. Vincent creates a fictional documentary described as “distorted and bizarre” and slated for the Midnight category.
- Omniboat: A Fast Boat Fantasia – Portmanteau feature centered around a Miami speedboat; it counts Swiss Army Man directing team among the contributors.
- Wendy – Beasts of the Southern Wild; it’s a retelling of Peter Pan set in Neverland and told from Wendy’s perspective.
“Sick ‘n’ Wrong Film Festival”: This is the first time we’ve ever seen a crowdfunding campaign for a film festival, but it’s a worthy one. This small Orlando festival “delirious celebration of cinematic weirdness” (mostly shorts) that’s been running for four years now and is looking for a fifth in May 2020. At the time of this writing the campaign had raised just over a thousand dollars; it runs for almost another three weeks. Perks include t-shirts, totes, hats, pins and ads. “Sick ‘n’ Wrong Film Festival” on indiegogo.
NEW ON HOME VIDEO:
The Death of Dick Long (2019): Bandmates try to cover up the demise of the title character in this offering from Swiss Army Man‘s . Beware spoilers for this bizarre black comedy. DVD, Blu-ray or VOD. Buy The Death of Dick Long.
The Limits of Control (2009): Read our review. Arrow Academy gathers together new and archival material for this Blu-ray Special Edition of ‘s odd, inconclusive anti-thriller. Buy The Limits of Control.
Millennium Actress (2001): Read the Certified Weird entry! This DVD/Blu-ray combo pack from Shout! Factory surprisingly marks the first time ‘s retrospective of Japanese cinema seen through the eyes of a dying actress has been released to Blu-ray. It’s also a new restoration. Buy Millennium Actress.
Monos (2019): Enigmatic Colombian film about a purposeless group of soldiers camped in a fog-shrouded jungle, often compared to Apocalypse Now. Neon releases it to VOD (the Blu-ray has been delayed for a couple of weeks) with little fanfare, but we’re excited to finally see it. Buy or rent Monos.
The Peanut Butter Solution (1985): Read our review. This bizarro Canadian kiddie flick about a boy who loses his hair after being frightened by ghosts finally makes it to DVD, Blu-ray and VOD, thanks to the good folks at Severin Films. (Per Amazon’s delivery times, Blu-rays ordered today may not arrive by Christmas, though DVDs might make it.) Buy The Peanut Butter Solution.
The Sore Losers (1997): An alien sent to the American south to complete a killing spree hooks up with some delinquents and inadvertently messes up his kill count. Unclassifiable punk/rockablilly/trash/surrealism feature from Memphis’ own Mike McCarthy, in a 3-disc Blu-ray/DVD/soundtrack CD set. Only available directly from the director. Get your ordering instructions at the Sore Losers official Facebook page.
“Twin Peaks: From Z to A”: There have been a lot of repackagings of “original series, Fire Walk with Me (1992) (with deleted scenes), “The Return,” and new behind-the-scenes featurettes, spread across twenty-one Blu-rays, in an innovative box that turns into a “red room display.” Buy “Twin Peaks: from Z to A”.” over the years, but this may be the ultimate set. The
Until the End of the World (1991): Buy Until the End of the World.‘ apocalyptic road movie includes a subplot about a machine that can make the blind see and bring dreams to life; too bad the world’s about to end. The movie flopped in the two-and-a-half hour cut released to cinemas, but here it is in all of its almost five-hour long glory, courtesy of Criterion on two Blu-rays or three DVDs.
Viy (1967): Read our review. The masterpiece of Soviet horror, from a Gogol story about a seminarian who must pray over a witch’s corpse, finally gets a decent DVD and Blu-ray release, courtesy of Severin. Buy Viy.
CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). We’ll only list irregularly scheduled one-time screenings of this audience-participation classic below. You can use this page to find a regular weekly screening near you.
- Austin, TX
- Los Angeles, CA
- New York City, NY
- Oakland, CA
- Santa Ana, CA
- Washington, DC
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:
The Teenage Tasteless Tourist Tape (2019): Got an hour to spend on some no-budget experimental cinema? The director of The Teenage Tasteless Tourist Tape (below) explains this one is “supposed to be watched alone in the middle of the night, not knowing what the hell this is.” I bet he wouldn’t be upset if you watched it during the day.
WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE: Have you bought your copy of the 2019 Yearbook yet? No? Just here for the free content? That’s fine. Next week we’ll alert you to a couple more pieces of odd culture you may not be aware of: Canada’s “Paul Anthony’s Talent Time” (at least, the episodes that are available to Americans via Amazon Prime) and Chinese mystic ‘s latest technical marvel, Long Day’s Journey into Night. But if you’re looking for a last minute stocking stuffer, there’s still time to order a copy of that Yearbook… 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.