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 on the official site links.
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
Kung Fu Elliot (2014): An actor/director longs to become “Canada’s first action star” with self-produced low budget movies like They Killed My Cat and Blood Fight, but as this self-styled “surreal documentary” continues it seems that his identity is based on a web of lies. Limited screenings in the next two weeks take it to New York, Los Angeles, Columbus, Philadelphia, and the Texas trio of Houston, Austin, and Lubbock (!) Kung Fu Elliot official site.
Heart Attack! The Early Pulse-Pounding Cinema of Kelly Hughes: An hour-long look back at “Heart Attack Theater,” an anthology of transgressive melodramas featuring drug addiction, demonic possession, and psychic nuns with evil twins that ran on Seattle public access in the 1990s. Guest appearance by Kitten Natividad. Watch Heart Attack! The Early Pulse-Pounding Cinema of Kelly Hughes ($3.99).
SCREENINGS – (Cinefamily, Los Angeles, Feb. 20 & 21):
NEW ON DVD:
Cult of the Damned [AKA Angel, Angel, Down We Go] (1969): An overweight heiress with a retired porn star mom falls in with a gang of revolutionary rock musicians. This seldom-seen trashy exploitation film has musical numbers and is frequently described by those who’ve seen it as “bizarre.” Buy Cult of the Damned.
Jake Squared (2013): A Hollywood director decides to film his own party as an experiment, but is shocked when dead relatives and past versions of himself show up to castigate him. It’s a little 8 1/2, a little Synecdoche, New York, and a little Hot Tub Time Machine. Buy Jake Squared.
Motivational Growth (2013): A mold growing in filthy home of a depressed man starts giving the homeowner motivational advice (which may not be in his best interests). Featuring the voice of Jeffrey Combs. Buy Motivational Growth.
Le Pont du Nord (1981): Two women discover a magical map that turns Paris into a hallucinatory board game. Curious that this is obscurity finally released on DVD, 14 years after its debut, but Jacques Rivette’s far more eagerly awaited Celine and Julie Go Boating remains missing. Buy Le Pont du Nord.
Psych-Out (1968): A deaf girl goes to Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love looking for her missing brother and winds up hanging out with a psychedelic band fronted by “Stoney” (Buy Psych-Out.); everyone drops acid and indulges in some free love. Pair this with Cult of the Damned above for a swinging Sixties sexploitation double feature.
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013): Read our review. This classic Japanese fairy tale from Studio Ghibli about a tiny princess found in a bamboo stalk didn’t screen much in the U.S., but Universal put a lot of work into the DVD, including an entire disc of extra features. Buy The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
Birdman, or (the Unexpected Virtues of Ignorance) (2014): See description in DVD above. Buy Birdman [Blu-ray].
Cult of the Damned [AKA Angel, Angel, Down We Go] (1969): See description in DVD above. Buy Cult of the Damned [Blu-ray].
Motivational Growth (2013): See description in DVD above. Buy Motivational Growth [Blu-ray].
Le Pont du Nord (1981): See description in DVD above. Buy Le Pont du Nord [Blu-ray].
Psych-Out (1968): See description in DVD above. Buy Psych-Out [Blu-ray].
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013): See description in DVD above. The set includes 2 DVDs for a total of 3 discs. Buy The Tale of the Princess Kaguya [Blu-ray + DVD]
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON SHOUT FACTORY TV:
The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec (2010): Read our capsule review. ‘s French fantasy about a Renaissance woman dealing with mummies and a pterodactyl in a pre-WWI Paris. This is the “director’s cut,” which means the brief topless scene (in what is otherwise basically a kids’ movie) is fully intact. Watch The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec free on Shout Factory TV.
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.