WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 12/17/2010

A 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 on the official site links.

IN DEVELOPMENT:

The Funny Man (est. 2011): There are only a few details, but it looks like a Psycho-inspired horror/thriller about a killer comic who wears a scary mask.  The director promises “unconventional stories, unusual characters, psychological thrills, and dark-twisted entertainment,” and the concept video is promising. The Funny Man facebook page.

ON THE WEB: AUDIO

“The Grandfather”:  We mentioned “Tales from Beyond the Pale” – Radio Plays for the Digital Age a couple of weeks ago.  The idea is to resurrect the dead art of the radio play for the mp3 age.  The latest release is Graham (I Can See You) Reznick’s “The Grandfather,” starring Angus Scrimm (in a role written with him in mind) as a lonely old man with a habit of talking to his cat as if she were his dead wife and a family tree that’s potentially very twisted.  I’ve heard it, and I can confirm that this one is indeed “weird” horror (I’m still not sure what really happened in the deliberately ambiguous ending).   Best listened to in a darkened room.  Hear a clip and download “The Grandfather” at “Tales from Beyond the Pale”.

NEW ON DVD:

Double Take (2010):  Archival footage of Alfred Hitchcock and a body double are used to create a new story involving the Master of Suspense meeting an evil doppelgänger during the Cold War.  Sounds fascinating, and who doesn’t love Hitch? Buy Double Take.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions (2004): We’ve never seen one of Spanish director Carlos Atanes’ films, but we’re aware of him because he’s one of the few filmmakers who proudly describes his movies as “weird.” FAQ is an underground movie about a matriarchal dystopian future; to get a feel for it, we offer the following dialogue where a prisoner proposes his own punishment: “I will confess my crimes in public. I will shave my eyebrows. I will open my belly with a spoon and hang myself by the neck until I die before the year ends.” This is a special edition, Region 0 release. Buy FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions – Special Collector’s Edition.

The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle (2009): An absurdist comedy about janitors undergoing male pregnancy. This is in our reader-suggested review queue, and we’ve been waiting for a DVD release ever since we first heard about it on the festival circuit. Buy The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle.

Micmacs (2009): Read our capsule review. Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s junkyard farce about a man with a bullet in his head fighting arms dealers is whimsical and way offbeat, but not as weird as his earlier efforts. Buy Micmacs.

“The Quintessential Guy Maddin! 5 Films from the Heart of Winnipeg”:  If you’ve been staying up nights wondering what 366 Weird Movies wants for Christmas, this announcement should put you to sleep.  This 4-disc treasure chest contains two Certified Weird movies—the arctic WWI fantasy Archangel and the bizarre hockey-themed Cowards Bend the Knee—along with the interesting Technicolor misfire Twilight of the Ice Nymphs and the yet-to-be-reviewed-here Careful and Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary.  But wait!  That’s not all!  There’s also six shorts (including the mini-masterpiece The Heart of the World), a 60 minute documentary narrated by Tom Waits, extras from all the previous DVD editions of these films, poster art postcards, and a cardboard peephole for viewing Cowards as it was intended!  Sweet dreams! Buy “The Quintessential Guy Maddin! 5 Films from the Heart of Winnipeg” (Four-Disc Set).

Trouble in Mind (1985): A weird noir with a down-on-his-luck Kris Kristofferson meeting a bunch of absurd eccentrics at a diner in “Rain City.”  Also with Keith Carradine and Joe Morton. The “25th Anniversary” DVD is remastered, but no extras are advertised.  We should probably get around to checking out this one eventually. Buy Trouble in Mind (Special Edition).

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Micmacs (2009): See entry in DVD above. Buy Micmacs [Blu-ray].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

Alice in Wonderland (1966): This black and white 1966 BBC adaptation of the nonsense classic features a detached Alice, minimalist sets and costumes, Peter Sellers as the King of Hearts, John Gielgud as the Mock Turtle, Leo McKern in drag as the Duchess, and musical accompaniment by Ravi Shankar, and is very highly regarded.  Watch Alice in Wonderland (1966) free on Youtube.

Ride in the Whirlwind (1965): Monte Helleman’s companion piece to The Shooting, also featuring a young Jack Nicholson, although this one is a bit more conventional and less “existential” than the 1967 film.  Watch Ride the Whirlwind free at YouTube.

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.

One thought on “WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 12/17/2010”

  1. 5 Guy Maddin movies, plus shorts, with a documentary narrated by TOM WAITS? That’s like the greatest holiday gift of all time! His Dracula is fairly weird (though for Maddin, that’s not saying much), as it’s a silent ballet, and I’ve always wanted to see Careful. Now, if only I had an extra $44 sitting around…

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