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 THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
The Theater Bizarre: A six-film horror anthology from directors Douglas Buck, Buddy Giovinazzo, David Gregory, Karim Hussain, Jeremy Kasten, Tom Savini, and Richard Stanley. Apparently Hussain’s segment is surreal. The Theater Bizarre official Facebook page.
The Wicker Tree: Two missionaries travel to a remote Scottish town where the villagers still worship the old pagan gods in this re-make/boot/hash of the Certified Weird The Wicker Man (1973). It’s from original director Robin Hardy and brings back star Christopher Lee for a cameo, but early reviews suggest Hardy should have left the old gods sleeping. We’ll probably check it out anyway: could it be worse than the infamous 2006 remake with Nicolas Cage? The Wicker Tree official site.
Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie: The Cartoon Network cult comics get their own billion dollar extravaganza, but blow the entire budget on celebrity cameos by Jeff Goldblum, Zach Galifianakis, and Will Ferrell, among others. The plot has something to do with shrim [sic]. This will be released to theaters in early March, but you can rent the movie now. Rent Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie on Video-on-Demand.
The Wholly Family: Terry Gilliam‘s much anticipated short film is set in Naples and involves Fellini-esque clowns and the director’s typically visionary visuals. It was commissioned by a pasta company and is believed to run around 15 minutes; it’s available for a $3 rental from Gilliam’s official site. Rent The Wholly Family at Terry Gilliam’s official site.
NEW ON DVD:
Fascination (1979): This week, Redemption Video is remastering and re-releasing five of the seldom-seen, dreamlike erotic vampire films of the infamous Jean Rollin (a box set would have been nice, but we’ll take what we can get). Fascination, the most recent of this bunch, features ex-porn star Brigitte Lahaie as a bisexual vampire aristocrat with a scythe, and is one of the director’s most popular and well-received movies. Buy Fascination.
The Iron Rose [AKA Rose of Iron] (1973): A couple wander into a cemetery and can’t find their way out. There’s a vampire, Gothic atmosphere, and a clown delivering flowers to a grave. Buy The Iron Rose.
Lips of Blood (1975): An amnesiac man is reminded of his life as a vampire after seeing a his family castle on a poster. Rollins was nearly killed making this film when he dived into the sea to try to save a coffin prop and was struck on the head and knocked unconscious. Buy Lips of Blood.
The Nude Vampire (1970): This is the immediate followup to Rollin’s Rape of the Vampire (1968), the movie that kicked off the director’s mildly surrealistic, exploitative erotic vampire fetish formula. This one throws in interdimensional portals and a stag-headed man alongside the marquee vampire(s). Buy The Nude Vampire.
Shiver of the Vampires [AKA Strange Things Happen at Night] (1971): A honeymooning couple stay in a castle run by vampires. The usual nonsensical atmosphere and nude women Rollin fans crave. Buy Shiver of the Vampires.
Sister Mary (2011): We’re going entirely off the plot synopsis here, but this does sound weird: a homophobic cop teams up with a flamboyantly gay partner to stop a serial killing nun, and they end up uncovering a conspiracy by the Catholic Church. So it’s a homoerotic blasphemous comedy thriller; oh, and it’s listed as a musical, too. Starring Judy Tenuda (remember her?) as the serial Sister. Buy Sister Mary.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
Fascination (1979): See description in DVD above. Buy Fascination [Blu-ray].
The Iron Rose [AKA Rose of Iron] (1973): See description in DVD above. Buy The Iron Rose [Blu-ray].
Lips of Blood (1975): See description in DVD above. Buy Lips of Blood [Blu-ray].
The Nude Vampire (1970): See description in DVD above. Buy The Nude Vampire [Blu-ray].
Restless (2011): In Gus van Sant’s latest, a boy obsessed with funerals (a la Harold in Harold and Maude) romances a girl with terminal cancer. Also, his best friend is the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze pilot. We chose to skip this bit of sentimental quirky magical realism when it briefly played in theaters, but it might make for an OK rental. This offering is a DVD/Blu-ray combo pack. Buy Restless (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo).
Shiver of the Vampires [Strange Things Happen at Night] (1971): See description in DVD above. Buy Shiver of the Vampires [Blu-ray].
Spellbound (1945): The new psychiatrist (Gregory Peck) at a mental hospital has amnesia and may actually be crazier then any of the patients; a glacial female doctor (Ingrid Bergman) helps him work though his repressed memories to discover a horrifying secret. So may of Hitchcock’s great movies tease us with near-weirdness; this flirtation is the director’s most serious, as Hitch actually hired Salvador Dalí to prepare the dream sequences. Buy Spellbound [Blu-ray].
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:
Star Wars Uncut (2012): You may remember this project. Hundreds of amateurs and semi-professionals were invited to recreate scenes from Star Wars: A New Hope (1977). The resulting pastiche switches styles from one submission to another every 15 seconds, turning the completed movie into a disorientingly hilarious experience. Contributions range from relatively sophisticated animations to textspeak iPhone transcripts to people acting out the scenes using their pets, and it features more hairy guys playing Princess Leia in drag than you’d ever want to see in one lifetime. Worth a watch. Watch Star Wars Uncut on 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.