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.


Caterpillar (2010): The Japanese emperor declares a deaf-mute quadruple amputee a Sino-Japanese war hero and orders his wife to take care of him—including sexually.  Not so surreal, but certainly unusual, and the scenario recalls the weird anti-war classic Johnny Got His Gun.  Playing at the IFC Center in Manhattan this week, no information on other screenings.  Caterpillar at IFC Center.

Daydream Nation: A love triangle between a teen girl, an age-appropriate boyfriend, and their English teacher.  The press release calls it a “mash-up of the bizarre and the beautiful” and two separate reviewers have compared it to Donnie Darko; whatever weirdness might lurk within, cautious producers are keeping it out of the trailer.  Daydream Nation official site.

Hobo With a Shotgun: Hobo Rutger Hauer grabs a shotgun and sweeps scum off the street in this long-awaited (in some quarters) 1970s exploitation tribute.  Like last year’s Machete, it’s not a weird movie per se, but it has impeccable cult credentials: the project originated as the winner of the fake trailer contest to promote Quentin Tarantino and Robert RodriguezGrindhouseHobo With a Shotgun official site.

I’m Not Jesus Mommy: There’s a title for you, and apparently it actually describes the plot: a young boy is cloned from blood from the Shroud of Turin (!) and the Tribulation starts around the time of his birth.  Is it an inspirational horror movie, or someone’s idea of a joke?  Playing Minneapolis, with a showing in Duluth to follow.  I’m Not Jesus Mommy official site.

Passion Play (2010):  Fantasy fairy-tale starring Mickey Rourke as a jazz musician and Megan Fox as a “Bird Woman,” also with Bill Murray and a grown-up midnight movie teen idol Bud Cort.  It flopped at the Toronto International Film Festival and currently holds a remarkable 0% at Rotten Tomatoes, but if there’s really something wrong with it, we’d like to see for ourselves.  Playing New York and Los Angeles only (look for the DVD soon).  Passion Play official site.


The Power of the Dark Crystal (est. 2011):  We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this sequel (of sorts) to the 1982 cult puppet movie Dark Crystal (read our review), which now involves a girl made of fire (?) using a shard of the titular crystal to save a planet’s dying sun.  (We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention that a reader, Jocko, reminded us about the project).  In 3D (of course); Jim Henson is involved, Frank Oz is not.  Power of the Dark Crystal fan blog.   


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. This is a recently restored relic from the era of arty dirty movies, just before hardcore porn killed off erotica.  Buy The Lickerish Quartet.


What Dreams May Come (1998):  Based on a novel by Richard (“The Box“) Matheson, the story sends Robin Williams through the afterlife (both Heaven and Hell) in search of his wife.  The film won an Oscar for “Best Visual Effects” and is currently in our reader-suggested review queue.  Buy What Dreams May Come [Blu-ray].


The Nines (2007): The stories of a self-destructive actor under house arrest, a writer trying to get a pilot made into a series, and a video game designer lost in the woods converge in a strange way in this oddly conceived metaphysical mystery that coincidentally happens to be coming up soon in our reader-suggested review queue.  Watch The Nines 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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