Our weekly 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):
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: Ax-slinging Honest Abe emancipates some vampires from their heads in this historical horror rushed out to beat 2013’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Notices are pretty bad (words like “insipid” were fairly common), but it does seem at least a little bit weird. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov, but many people will notice Tim Burton‘s name on the film as producer and consider this his second strike this summer (after a Dark Shadows that was so disappointing we gave it two negative reviews). Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Facebook page.
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
To Rome with Love: Woody Allen drifts from Paris to Rome to tell an anthology of Italian tales: two separate critics characterize the storyline featuring Roberto Begnini as an ordinary citizen thrust into the celebrity spotlight as “surreal.” The prolific Allen has already scripted his next two romantic comedies set in European capitals: Bratislava Brats will appear in 2013, and Neurotic Intellectual Affair in Oslo is slated for 2014. To Rome with Love official site.
“Barbarella” TV series: Cult director Nicolas Winding Refn plans to turn the 1960s cult comic book “Barbarella” (which was already adapted into a cult movie with Jane Fonda) into a TV series. We suspect the idea has cult potential. Although we would welcome seeing a well-done Barbarella on the small screen, we’re not as enthused about the idea of the talented Refn taking a vacation from feature films. Deadline breaks the news.
Coyote (est 2012): Described as an “art-horror feature” about “an insomniac writer whose sleep-deprived hallucinations distort reality as paranoia drives him to extreme violence.” From the folks involved in making last week’s Saturday Short, Crabs in a Dollhouse, it’s already met its modest $4,000 crowdfunding target, so we expect this to be a go.
NEW ON DVD:
Attenberg (2010): An awkward and alienated young woman who studies humanity through mammal documentaries learns about sex from her only friend. Part of the New Weird Greek cinema, it’s in our reader-suggested review queue and so we’ll be getting to it very soon. Buy Attenberg.
The Disco Exorcist (2011): In revenge for dumping her after a one night stand, an evil priestess causes a demon to possess a 1970s swinger’s new porn star girlfriend. The self-aware grindhouse throwback movie is already becoming a cliché, but as long as they keep making them we’ll keep watching them—when there’s nothing good on TV, at least. A sequel, The Brother of the Disco Exorcist, is already in development. Buy The Disco Exorcist.
“Driver x4: The Lost and Found Films of Sara Driver” (1981-1994): The complete films of Driver: You Are Not I (1981) is an adaptation of a Paul Bowles story about an escaped mental patient; Sleepwalk (1986) is about a typsetter who finds Chinese fairy tales coming to life as he transcribes them; When Pigs Fly (1993) is about a pair of female ghosts (one played by Marianne Faithful); and The Bowery (1994) is a ten-minute short about the titular bum-haunted Manhattan street. Auteur Driver is obscure even to us, but we hope to cure that deficiency soon. Buy “Driver x4: The Lost and Found Films of Sara Driver”.
The FP (2012): Post-apocalyptic spoof where rival gangs fight in a desolate urban wasteland, dominating the bands of survivors through their mastery of dance video games. Released via the new distribution arm of the fantastic Alamo Drafthouse theater, which we fear may end up being the coolest thing about the movie. Buy The FP. Buy The FP [Blu-ray].
Keyhole (2011): The latest Guy Maddin talkie stars Jason Patric as Ulysses, a gangster on the run, journeying through his labyrinthine house trying to find his wife (Isabella Rossellini). This is a Maddin film’s quickest appearance on DVD after release; we’re not sure if that’s a good sign or a bad one. Buy Keyhole.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
The FP (2011): See description in DVD above. Buy The FP [Blu-ray].
Keyhole (2011): See description in DVD above. Buy Keyhole [Blu-ray].
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:
The Castle of Cagliostro (1979): A thief seeks to rescue an imprisoned princess from the Count of Cagliostro’s castle in order to find a treasure. This early comedy/adventure from renowned director Hayao Miyazaki features cruder animation and PG-rated language and violence, but is as imaginative as any of his later work.
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.