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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.
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
Disappearance at Clifton Hill (2019): Read our review. This modest, thoughtful thriller debuts in select theaters and is simultaneously out on video on-demand. Disappearance at Clifton Hill official site.
FILM FESTIVALS – Keswick Film Festival (Keswick, UK, 2/29-3/1):
Keswick is an out-of-the-way festival, even for those in the U.K., and we’d never mention it—except that this year, they scored a real coup. Mary Whitehouse launched a campaign complaining about its sex scenes. In a separate controversy, Strauss’ family, upset that Russell satirized the composer’s politics by depicting himn picnicking with Hitler, succeeded in having the film withdrawn on copyright grounds. The film just entered the public domain this month and will be legally screened (in unrestored form) for the first time in fifty years. Maybe it will get a restoration and show up on home video? More info here.‘s Dance of the Seven Veils (1970) was one of the director’s imaginary composer biopics, this time of Richard Strauss. It was broadcast once on the BBC then withdrawn after
Two Taika Waititi projects: The Jojo Rabbit auteur is spending his Oscar nom cred on two longform projects with weird potential. First up is “The Auteur,” an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name, as a miniseries for Showtime. It’s about a Hollywood director coming off a flop who takes a lot of drugs and enlists a serial killer to help revive his career, and it’s described as a “psychedelic slapstick gorefest.” Waititi will executive produce, co-write, and direct some episodes. Then, it’s off to Apple+ to co-write and direct the pilot for a miniseries adaptation of the Canonically Weird classic Time Bandits. Executive producer Terry Gilliam is onboard with the idea, saying “…after I saw Jojo Rabbit I thought, ‘Fantastic, couldn’t have chosen a better guy.’” Read more at IndieWire.
NEW ON HOME VIDEO:
Can’t Kill This [AKA F*** You, Immortality] (2019): There’s little to go on with this one besides the trailer and plot synopsis: it’s a road trip mockumentary about two hippies who suspect that an old friend is immortal. The only review we found describes this indie as “over the top and wacky.” Only available on DVD or Blu-ray. Buy Can’t Kill This.
“The Maya Deren Collection”: The set contains essentially all of the avant-garde filmmaker’s output, including the Canonically Weird Meshes of the Afternoon. Kino’s set includes commentary tracks for the six major shorts, outtakes, and a 53-minute documentary. Buy “The Maya Deren Collection”.
“One Missed Call Trilogy”: The original One Missed Call (read our review), directed by Takashi Miike, had its weird moments; we have no idea about the two sequels, which were handed off to lesser directors. Arrow Academy releases all three in a Blu-ray set with their usual trove of special features. Buy “One Missed Call Trilogy“.
Spookies (1986): A sorcerer seeks to sacrifice the lives of some unfortunates who turn up on his doorstep. An 80s cult item that is in our reader-suggested review queue, now in a two Blu-ray set (!) from Vinegar Syndrome (who proclaim, “Of all of the bizarre horror films made in the 1980s, SPOOKIES easily ranks among the weirdest.”) Buy Spookies.
“Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman”: Czech artist Zeman’s wild fantasies mixed live action and animation and hugely influencedBuy “Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman”., among others. This set includes his three most famous features—Journey to the Beginning of Time, Invention for Destruction, and The Fabulous Baron Munchausen—along with four shorts and numerous tributes and featurettes. Your choice of DVD or Blu-ray.
Verotika (2019): A horror anthology sponsored by metalhead Glenn Danzig, inspired by his line of adult horror comics; the title is a portmanteau of “violent” and “erotica.” A couple of horror outlets hailed it as “insane,” while more mainstream critics called it unintentionally funny. Available for digital purchase only (at least, at present). Buy Verotika.
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
- Baltimore, MD
- Chicago, IL
- Houston, TX
- Kansas City, MO
- Memphis, TN
- Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
- New York City, NY
- Oakland, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- Santa Ana, CA
- Santa Rosa, CA
- Tuscon, AZ
Best Movies To Watch Stoned: Our own Pete Trbovich, calling himself “a professional stoner critic,” penned this thoughtful guide for DabConnection.com. Spoiler: every one of his top nine choices was also a Canonically Weird selection… but which ones did he pick?
WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE:
Next week, we’ll have the field set for our mini March Mad Movie Madness tournament (courtesy of this contest, which you can still enter until midnight tomorrow). We’ll also bring you reviews of Sion Sono‘s rap musical Tokyo Tribe and Netflix’s new schizophrenia drama Horse Girl. Until then, 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.