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):
DOGGIEWOGGIEZ! POOCHIEWOOCHIEZ! (2012): A found-footage feature film montage from the guys at Everything is Terrible, consisting entirely of clips featuring dogs (more than 2,000 of them, apparently). According to the advertising, it’s also–in some sense we can’t quite wrap our heads around—a remake of The Holy Mountain. Not really appearing in theaters, but rather on tour screening for one night only in various seedy bars and disreputable nightclubs across the US and Canada, through April. Check the Everything is Terrible website for dates near you, or you can purchase the DVD from them directly.
FILM FESTIVALS: FANTASPORTO (Oporto, Portugal, Feb 24 – Mar 3):
Fantasporto has become one of our favorite film festivals, since three of their grand prize winners (Toto the Hero, Pan’s Labyrinth and Idiots and Angels) have gone on to be Certified Weird (with more to come). With that track record, we consider Fantasporto an excellent predictor of what we’ll be focusing on in the coming months; of all the world’s major festivals, these guys take the offbeat most seriously. Heck, this year’s featured retrospectives are the films of Alain Robbe Grillet, shown alongside the oeuvre of Ed Wood; how much more simpatico with our tastes could they get? Here are some of the flicks we’d make it a point to check out, if we could only get out to Portugal:
- The Bunny Game – B&W experimental shocksploitation about a prostitute named “Bunny” picked up and ritualistically tortured and humiliated but a trucker named “Hog.”
- Chinese Take-Away [Un Cuento Chino] – Quirky culture clash dramedy about an irritable Argentinian who reluctantly takes a Chinese immigrant under his wing; features a cow falling from the sky.
- Gandu – The life of a young man who lives with his mother—a kept woman—becomes increasingly hallucinatory as he experiments with drugs, pornography and rap music in an attempt to find meaning in his life. A rare slice of surrealism from the Indian subcontinent, decidedly un-Bollywood.
- Guilty of Romance – Provocateur Shion Sono is back with another might-be-weird transgression: a “true crime” policier that involves three middle-class women playing dangerous sadomasochistic games.
- Keyhole – The latest Guy Maddin film stars Jason Patric as Ulysses, a gangster on the run, journeying through his labyrinthine house trying to find his wife (Isabella Rossellini).
- Kill List – A psychologically scarred hit man agrees to the proverbial “one last mission” and finds it ironically horrifying.
- Meat – Surreal/absurd Dutch black comedy revolving around a perverted butcher.
- 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.
- This Must Be the Place – Here’s a truly odd premise for a comedy: a retired goth-rock star hunts the Nazi who persecuted his father at Auschwitz. Starring Sean Penn, of all people, as the laconic, androgynous angel of vengeance.
- Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead – We’d probably skip this scatological zom-com, except that, since it’s from the director of The Machine Girl and RoboGeisha, our readers would demand we report on it.
NEW ON DVD:
Bad Actress (2011): Black satire about a has-been TV actress who finds that personal tragedy leads to career success. It took director Robert Lee King a dozen years to make this follow-up to his minor cult hit Psycho Beach Party. Buy Bad Actress.
Blank City (2011): Documentary on the “no wave” Super-8 experimental film movement in New York City in the late 1970s/early 1980s exemplified by Nick Zedd, Richard Kern, Lydia Lunch, etc., along with a couple of characters who emerged from the underground into the (relative) mainstream: Jim Jarmusch and Steve Buscemi. With lots of archival footage and the inevitable commentary from John Waters. Buy Blank City.
Track 29 (1988): A woman whose husband is obsessed with model trains starts a relationship with hitchhiker claiming to be her long-lost son. Image Entertainment quietly re-releases this Nicolas Roeg surrealist flop: the star power of Teresa Russell, Christopher Lloyd and a young Gary Oldman couldn’t help something this weird thrive at the box office. Buy Track 29.
Where The Dead Go To Die (2012): A talking dog takes neighborhood children on what’s described as a “surreal hell-ride.” The box cover is surreally appealing, but we have our doubts about any film released by a director working under a ridiculous pseudonym (Jimmy ScreamerClauz?), and Unearthed Films does not exactly have the greatest track record (can we forgive them for Slaughtered Vomit Dolls yet)? Buy Where The Dead Go To Die.
World on a Wire (1973): Originally made for German television, this dystopian Rainer Werner Fassbinder story scooped the virtual reality storyline more than twenty-five years before The Matrix. According to the press release, it’s a “satiric and surreal look at the weird world of tomorrow from one of cinema’s kinkiest geniuses.” A Criterion release. Buy World on a Wire (Criterion Collection).
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
Alien vs. Ninja (2012): Read our capsule review. A silly but entertaining little B-movie that delivers exactly what the title promises. This is a DVD/Blu-ray combo pack. Buy Alien vs. Ninja [Blu-ray/DVD Combo].
Blank City (2011): See description in DVD above. It’s a bit strange to consider a hi-def release detailing a movement with such lo-fi aspirations. Buy Blank City [Blu-ray].
Where The Dead Go To Die (2012): See description in DVD above. Buy Where The Dead Go To Die [Blu-ray].
World on a Wire (1973): See description in DVD above. Buy World on a Wire (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray].
FREE ONLINE WEIRD MOVIES:
Race War: The Remake (2011): Read our capsule review. DWN productions, known more as mask-makers than filmmakers, are offering their politically incorrect Tromaesque blaxploitation comedy as a free download. Buy a DVD (or one of their masks) if you like it, won’t you? Download Race War: The Remake free from DWN productions.
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.