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):
Dark Shadows: The accursed vampire Barnabas Collins (from the cult Gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows”) is resurrected in the 1970s and has trouble fitting in to wacky disco culture. No offense intended to the once-great Tim Burton, but lately, every time you make a movie, it causes a little piece of our collective soul to die. Dark Shadows official site.
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
You Are Here (2010): This Canadian festival eye-opener concerns a woman who discovers various artifacts and disconnected clues hinting at some metaphysical mystery; it’s self-described as a “Borgesian fantasy” and a “meta-detective story.” Opening at ReRun Gastropub in NYC, with late summer dates in Toronto and Edmonton to follow. We’ll look for it on DVD. You Are Here official site.
FILM FESTIVALS: CANNES (Cannes, France May 16 – 27)
Unlike past years, Cannes didn’t sneak up on us in 2012. The slate is fairly manageable this year, with Leos Carax’s Holy Motors the only title we’re truly enamored with (it’s the only weirdish movie playing “in competition,” that is to say, eligible for the Palme D’or). The last two Palme D’or winners (The Tree of Life and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives) went on to even greater honors (they were Certified Weird by 366 Weird Movies); we predict that unlikely trend will end this year (though we certainly hope not). We’ll be keeping an eye on a couple of possibly-weird films screening in the “Un Certain Regard” category and movies playing out-of-competition: check below to see what caught our eye this year.
- Antiviral – Here’s a bizarre premise: adventures in an underground trade supplying fans with viruses taken from their favorite celebrities. The debut of Brandon (son of David) Cronenberg. Cronenberg Sr. will also be at Cannes with Cosmopolis, a (non-weird) adaptation of a Don Delilo novel. Antiviral is playing in the Un Certain Regard category (ironically, his father’s film Crash was the impetus for creating this category, which was invented to keep wickedly weird films from winning the big prize).
- Beasts of the Southern Wild – A six-year old girl named Hushpuppy contracts a fever, which ushers in the apocalypse and a plague of prehistoric creatures called aurochs. This one debuted at Sundance. Un Certain Regard.
- For Love’s Sake [Ai to Makoto] – Judging by the trailer (which is all we have to go on), the latest from extreme provocateur Takashi Miike appears to be a musical comedy based on “West Side Story.” Playing out of competition.
- Holy Motors – A mysterious man named Monsieur Oscar drives through Paris one night, cycling through various personas. From too-infrequently seen director Leos Carax, and with an exciting cast mixing fresh faces with weird movie vets: Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Michel Piccoli, Eva Mendes… Playing in competition.
- Meekong Hotel – A surprise entry from “Joe” (Apichatpong Weerasethakul); this movie is still listed as “in production” by IMDB, but is showing up for a “special screening” at 61 minutes. The synopsis is not too much help, but the film “shuffles different realms, fact and fiction” and appears to deal with actors making another movie at the titular hotel.
NEW ON DVD:
Ganja and Hess (1973): Professor Hess (Duane Jones of Night of the Living Dead) is stabbed by an African knife and becomes an immortal bloodsucker. Playwright Bill Gunn was hired to deliver a black horror movie a la Blacula, but instead created a surreal art film that thrilled French critics at Cannes and bombed in 42nd Street theaters. If nothing else, this seldom-seen film is a major curiosity and gets an appropriate remastering from Kino Classics. Buy Ganja & Hess.
Lady of the Dark: Genesis of the Serpent Vampire (2011): A woman (named “Eve Dark”) is bitten by a snake and turns into a vampire. The director is credited on IMBD with 35 titles in just six years of filmmaking, mostly conspiracy documentaries like Alien from Area 51 and The Murder of Mary Magdalene! We think this will be inevitably odd. Buy Lady of the Dark: Genesis of the Serpent Vampire.
Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie (2012): Read our capsule review. Reviews (including ours) were mediocre for this big-screen comedy version of the absurd TV sketch show, but true T & E completists surely will want to own it anyway. Right? Buy Tim & Erics Billion Dollar Movie.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
Ganja and Hess (1973): See description in DVD above. Buy Ganja & Hess [Blu-ray].
Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie (2012): See description in DVD above. This release includes a DVD and digital copy of the film. Buy Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie [Blu-ray].
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:
Metropolis [Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis] (2001): A detective and his boy sidekick search for a cyborg girl created by a mad scientist in a future world where robot slaves live under a massive city. Not quite an uncredited anime remake of Fritz Lang‘s Metropolis, but pretty darn close to it. Watch Metropolis 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.