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):
The Big Bang: Antonio Banderas stars as a hard-boiled private eye encountering seedy LA weirdos while searching for missing diamonds in a case that turns out to be more than it appears. Critics are branding it “Lynchian,” but they’re also denouncing director Tony Krantz (Sublime) as a surrealist hack; this looks like a big weird flop from Anchor Bay. Playing New York and Los Angeles this week, appearing on DVD and Blu-ray May 24. The Big Bang official site.
Hesher: A sociopathic arsonist and anarchist takes up residence in a family’s garage after the mother dies in a car accident; is he real, or just a symbol of discord? Starring Joseph Gordon Levitt, Devin Brcohu, Rainn Wilson, Piper Laurie and Natalie Portman (who also produced). Hesher official site.
True Legend: Kung-fu fantasy with elaborate, impossibly staged fight scenes pitting “Five Venom Fist” style against “Drunken Fist” style. From action choreographer Yuen Woo Ping (The Matrix, Kill Bill). Playing in NYC, Austin, TX., Honolulu and San Francisco all next week. True Legend official site.
SCREENINGS (Louisville, KY.; Wed. May 18, 10 PM):
Night of the Living Dead (1968): OK, so everyone knows George Romero’s seminal zombie apocalypse survival feature isn’t really weird, except to the squarest of the squares. We only mention it because the reclusive 366 himself will be putting in an appearance at the screening. 366 will only be putting in an appearance because they are offering him beer. Playing at Rave Motion Pictures Preston Crossings 16, Wednesday May 18, at 10 PM.
Dali 3D (est. Summer 2012): Salvador Dalí lies on his sickbed and dreams a movie where he travels through time with his wife Gala and meets Freud, Walt Disney, and the Mona Lisa, among others. Alan Cuming stars as Dalí and weird favorite Judy Davis plays Gala, with Phillipe (Howling II… Your Sister Is a Werewolf) Mora to direct. As per the title, to be filmed in eye-popping 3D. This Canadian effort will attempt to make it to the screen before a planned big budget biopic starring Antonio Banderas (which is also aiming for a 2012 release). This is not a joke, repeat, this is not a joke, but rather a glorious opportunity they better not screw up. Dali 3D official page.
NEW ON DVD:
Dahmer vs. Gacy (2011): The government is trying to create a super-killer using DNA from two notorious serial killers, but their experiments escape and terrorize the nation. Ninjas also figure into the plot. Could this be the ultimate bad taste horror/comedy premise? Buy Dahmer Vs. Gacy.
Sledgehammer (1983): A novel spin on the 1980s slasher genre; the killer doesn’t slash his victims at all, but rather pounds on them with a large, heavy hammer. This shot-on-video feature is undoubtedly terrible, but the marketing team gets props for trying to play up its weirdness, calling it “85 minutes of fever-dream depravity” and a “nightmare-logic shocker.” Buy Sledgehammer.
Slime City Massacre (2010): In a near-future NYC wasteland homeless people turn into slime creatures who are then possessed by the spirits of cultists who died by their own hands (or something like that). It’s a long-delayed sequel to 1988’s minor cult hit Slime City. Buy Slime City Massacre.
The Violent Kind (2010): A movie about drug-dealing outlaw bikers and their encounter with the supernatural and weird colors in the sky. At Sundance, it was self-described as “gleeful, insane exploitation”; we’ve been keeping an eye out for the DVD release ever since. Buy The Violent Kind.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
The Lickerish Quartet (1970): This classy seventies softcore erotic feature from the stylish Radley Metzger features uncertain identities and surrealistic sex scenes, such as the one where a couple make love on a floor covered with dictionary entries. The Blu-ray comes hot on the heels of last week’s DVD release, but a word of warning: according to an Amazon reviewer the quality of the original print may not justify the hi-def presentation. Buy The Lickerish Quartet [Blu-ray].
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:
Alice in Wonderland (1949): This British/French co-production mixes live action and puppetry, and like the 1933 “all star” version of Alice it benefits from some unintentionally creepy puppet designs. Looking at some of the stop-animation, we wouldn’t be shocked to find out Jan Svankmejer watched this version before creating his own Alice. Watch Alice in Wonderland (1949) free on YouTube.
Viy (1967): Read our capsule review. Mosfilm has very quietly put some subtitled Soviet classics on YouTube for free, including this unforgettable horror film about a young priest conducting a vigil over a witches casket. Watch Viy on YouTube for free.
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.