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):
Bleak Street (2015): Two aging prostitutes accidentally kill two midget luchadores while trying to steal their earrings in this Mexican oddity based on a true story (!) The New York Times‘ A.O. Scott is both encouraging and discouraging, calling it “willfully weird but, at the same time, not quite weird enough.” Distributor page for La calle de la amargura (Spanish only).
Mojave (2015): A depressed artist wanders into the desert where he meets a strange, violent drifter (Oscar Isaac) who claims to be the Devil. Reviews have been poor, which may explain why it’s being dumped in the January film graveyard. Mojave official site.
Monster Hunt (2015): Chinese import about a cute half-breed bringing peace between the human and monster races. Raman Hui is known as “the Spielberg of Beijing.” No official site; Monster Hunt unofficial (?) Facebook page.
SCREENINGS – (Los Angeles, Cinefamily, Jan 22-28):
Pierrot le Fou (1965) :Pierrot and Marianne flee Paris, pursued by Algerian hit men, in this anarchic early experiment at a road movie from Pierrot le Fou at Cinefamily.. This restored print has been touring select destinations in the U.S. since November (although we just found out about it today).
SCREENINGS – (New York City, Videology Bar and Cinema, Saturday, Jan. 23 at Midnight):
Lisztomania (1975): Read the Certified Weird review! With Nazi golems, Richard Wagner as a vampire, a climax aboard a heavenly spaceship, and a giant phallic musical number, this phantasmagorical mock biopic of Franz Liszt is Ken Russell at his ebullient silliest. Lisztomania at Videology Bar and Cinema.
FILM FESTIVALS – Sundance (Park City, UT, Jan 21-31):
The 2016 movie season officially kicks 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. Recently Sundance added the “Midnight” screening section to add some weirdness to the otherwise lame, tame lineup of dramas about privileged white people and their problems (alternating with imported dramas about underprivileged brown people and their problems). Some of their big name weird movies are far from premieres: Anomalisa with a Q&A with co-directors and . Among the new stuff, here is some of the more adventurous offerings we’ll be tracking:
- 31 – We’re highlighting s killer clown horror solely on the basis of the character names: “Father Murder,” “Sex-Head,” “Venus Virgo,” and so on. In the “Midnight” category, screening Jan 23, 24, 27, 30.
- Antibirth – Danny “Oddsac” Perez’s paranoid stoner horror stars and Natasha Lyonne. Plays Jan 25, 26, 28 & 30.
- The Greasy Strangler -Director Jim Hosking financed this debut feature about the title character and a disco walking tour after his “G is for Grandad” segment from The ABCs of Death 2 wowed the guys with the purse strings. Jan 22, 23, 26 & 29.
- The Lure – Mermaid sisters join a band and a love triangle in this horror/drama/musical from Poland. Jan. 22, 24, 26, 28, 30.
FILM FESTIVALS – Slamdance (Park City, UT, Jan 21-28):
Slamdance is Sundance’s punkier, sometimes weirder little brother, a low-budget alternative to the mid-budget institution.
- Director’s Cut – This crowdfunded comedy bills itself as “the ultimate ‘meta movie'”; written by and starring magician Penn Gillette, directed by .
NEW ON DVD:
Luther the Geek (1990): Cult slasher movie about a killer geek with razor-sharp dentures who spends the entire movie clucking like a chicken. Sick and different, at least. Buy Luther the Geek [DVD/Blu-ray combo].
Nightmare Weekend (1986): A scientist turns co-ed nymphomaniacs into mutant killers; there’s also a telepathic hand puppet. Vinegar Syndrome proudly describes it as “among the weirdest and most jaw droppingly absurd horror films of the 1980s.” Buy Nightmare Weekend [DVD/Blu-ray combo].
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
Luther the Geek (1990): See description in DVD above. Combo pack only, neither the DVD nor Blu-ray is being offered by itself. Buy Luther the Geek [DVD/Blu-ray combo].
Nightmare Weekend (1986): See description in DVD above. Like Luther the Geek, this one comes in a combo pack only. Buy Nightmare Weekend [DVD/Blu-ray combo].
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.