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 (WIDE RELEASE):
Sucker Punch (2011): Scantily clad young ladies go on an imaginary butt-kicking video-game inspired quest in Zach Snyder‘s latest comic book spectacle. We’re not sure we’d qualify this as “weird” (we’ll see), but there has been some discussion about it ’round here. Sucker Punch official site.
FILM FESTIVALS: GUADALAJARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Guadalajara, Mexico, Mar. 25 – Apr. 1)
Normally the Festival Internacional de Cine de Guadalajara wouldn’t draw too much attention from us, but there’s an interesting curiosity debuting there:
El vampiro y el sexo (1969): El Santo’s first color film, Santo en El Tesoro de Drácula, had the wrestling superhero using a past life regression machine (?) and pitted him against Dracula and a coven of female vampires. Like all El Santo movies it was family friendly, but for years a still showing a Dracula-type posing with bare breasted women had circulated among El Santo fans; it was said to be from a racier version of the film. It turns out the rumors weren’t just wishful thinking; a cut of the film featuring the squeaky clean hero tempted by nude vampires had been made and shelved. The film has been reconstructed and is seeing it’s debut as El vampiro y el sexo in a vampire movie retrospective hosted by Guillermo del Toro (other movies screening in the series include the original Nosferatu, Dreyer‘s Vampyr, Polanski‘s The Fearless Vampire Killers, Andy Warhol‘s Blood for Dracula, Werner Herzog‘s Nosferatu with Count Klaus Kinski, Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the underappreciated Habit, and E. Elias Merhige‘s Shadow of the Vampire, among others). Bloody cool! Here’s del Toro’s take on sexy El Santo (in Spanish and English) from the festival’s site. [NOTE: The Guadalajara festival site briefly went down, but is back up as of March 26. Here’s a news article on the El Santo film in case you can’t get through to Guadalajara.]
FILM FESTIVALS: DALLAS FILM FESTIVAL (Dallas, TX, Mar. 31 – Apr. 10)
The Dallas Film Festival is not one of the premier movie gatherings in the USA; it is, however, one of the cheapest, particularly if you have old college buddies in town who will let you crash on their floor. A mere two months after Sundance, Texans can catch many of the Aspen films for a mere $10 a pop. The main reason to mention this particular festival, however, is that 366 plans to be in town opening weekend to take in some of the weirder offerings, to wit:
- The Future: A couple fret that the pending adoption of a cat (who narrates) will mean the end of their youthful freedom, and they slowly drift apart into surreal, solipsistic dreams. 366 in attendance Apr. 1., 7:30 PM.
- The Last Circus [Balada Triste de Trompeta]: Álex de la Iglesia blackly parodies the Spanish Civil War as a Happy Clown and a Sad Clown fight (to the death) over a beautiful trapeze artist. See 366 there at midnight, Apr 2.
- The Oregonian: A nameless woman wanders around in an Oregon wilderness meeting bizarre characters. This one had walkouts at Sundance. 366 will be there at 10:15 PM on Apr. 3 and promises to stay until the bitter end.
If you’re in DFW next weekend and see a guy in a 366 Weird Movies t-shirt, feel free to say “hi” (saying “here’s a sawbuck” while extending a greased palm is also considered an appropriate form of greeting). Expect reviews of the foregoing to follow. Dallas Film Festival home page.
NEW ON DVD:
“4 Movie Marathon: Cult Horror Collection”: Who doesn’t love bargain multi-movie packs? This new release contains two films of potential interest to weirdophiles: The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988) (containing some very trippy hallucination scenes) and Phantasm II (1988) (sequel to the Certified Weird Phantasm). Tobe Hooper’s forgotten slasher The Funhouse (1981) and the silly snakesploitation Sssssss (1973) round out the quartet. Buy 4 Movie Marathon: Cult Horror Collection (The Funhouse / Phantasm II / The Serpent and the Rainbow / Sssssss).
“4 Movie Marathon: Dark Comedy Collection”: This 4-pack from Universal is less bizarre than their “Cult Horror” edition (see above): the only film of marginal weird interest is John Waters‘ Serial Mom (1994), which marked a return to (relatively muted) bad taste for the Prince of Puke after a pair of PG-13 experiments in the late 80s. Half the films are from Neil La Butte: his oddball and much maligned Nurse Betty (2000), and the better-received suburban sex satire Your Friends and Neighbors (1998). The hooker-killing critical flop Very Bad Things (1998) fills out the set. Buy 4 Movie Marathon: Dark Comedy Collection (Serial Mom / Nurse Betty / Very Bad Things / Your Friends & Neighbors).
Siren (2010): A group of friends out on a pleasure cruise find a seductive woman on a deserted island; is she a mythological siren leading them to their doom? This direct-to-DVD horror reportedly contains some reality-bending. Buy Siren.
“Venture Brothers, Season 4, Vol. 2”: The cult TV series spoofing “Johnny Quest” and comic book culture with a uniquely absurdist spin releases the second half of its fourth season on DVD. Contains eight episodes, including the one-hour season finale. Please note that the DVD releases are split into two volumes; season 4 is available in its entirety on Blu-ray (see below). Buy “The Venture Bros.: Season 4, Vol. 2” (DVD).
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
“Venture Brothers, Season 4”: See description in DVD above. This release fits the entirety of Season 4 onto two Blu-rays, rather than splitting the season into two sets as was done on DVD. Buy “The Venture Bros.: The Complete Season 4” [Blu-ray].
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:
Currently Untitled (2010): Adam Cooley couldn’t get anyone to work with him for free on his experimental film, so he made an experimental film about making an experimental film on his own. It’s the 8 1/2 of no-budget filmmaking. Definitely weird; nearly every fame is altered with distorted sounds and/or visuals. Available on YouTube (in five parts) or as an .avi download. You can also visit Adam’s homepage for links to more of his experimental free offerings. Watch Currently Untitled (part 1 of 5) free 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.