WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 4/8/2011

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):

Blank City:  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 by John Waters.  Now playing at the IFC Center in Manhattan, with scattered dates to follow across this great land.  Blank City official site.

To Die Like a Man [Morrer Como Um Homem] (2009): A Portuguese transvestite fairy tale; it apparently gets pretty strange, and according to the Cannes press release by the end the characters “find themselves in an enchanted forest, a magical world…” Also playing the IFC center, with future screenings unknown.  No official site, but you can see the trailer on IMBD.

IN DEVELOPMENT:

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night:  A supernatural private eye hunts wolfmen, vampires, and so on in the Louisiana bayous.  “Dylan Dog” is a popular comic book character in Italy, whose adventures were somewhat surreal in tone; the comic book was the inspiration for the extremely weird existential living dead mood piece Cemetery Man (Dellamorte, Dellamore).  By all accounts this version has been “Americanized” in the worst way, turned into a teen-focused action/adventure movie with ample wisecracking; fans of the comics are already complaining. Coming to theaters April 29.  You can view a disheartening trailer on the Dylan Dog: Dead of Night Facebook page.

Suspiria (estimated 2012): It appears that work continues apace on the much-dreaded remake of Dario Argento’s Certified Weird horror classic.  Director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express and the soon-to-flop Your Highness) put his foot in his mouth in a recent Movieline interview, saying that his version would “focus more on the occult,” that he would expand on certain scenes and make them “very artful,” and announcing that he has purchased the rights to Goblin’s original music and has his own undistinguished composer reworking the originals.  In other words, he appears to be focusing only on the things that the original did superlatively well (occult feel, artiness, and music) and trying to improve them.  Which causes me to let out the Mother of all Sighs.

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

Earth Girls Are Easy (1988): An alien lands in a valley girl’s pool in this very 80s cult comedy with musical numbers.  Starring Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, “Downtown” Julie Brown, Damon Wayans and Jim Carrey; directed by Julien Temple (also the force behind the bizarre Sex Pistols documentary The Great Rock and Roll Swindle and the rock and roll musical Absolute Beginnners).  Watch Earth Girls Are Easy free on YouTube.

Steamboy (2004):  From anime titan Katsuhiro Ôtomo (Akira, Metropolis) comes this scenario meant to define the steampunk subgenre: a boy inventor in Victorian England discovers a steam-powered weapon that could wreck the World Exposition, if it falls into nefarious hands.  This movie features characters named “Scarlett O’Hara” and “James Ray Steam.”  Watch Steamboy 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.

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