Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs and Blu-rays (and hot off the server VODs), and on more distant horizons…
Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.
FILM FESTIVALS – Fantasia International Film Festival (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 7/11-8/1):
Long-time readers know we revere this festival (we’re in our fourth year of live coverage this year, with correspondent Giles Edwards settled in and ready to start watching). As the title suggests, Fant-asia festival began by specializing fantasy films from Asia, but has since expanded to cover all types of genre filmmaking from around the world, including the more accessible experimental and would-be-cult films. Last year’s big buzz title, Mandy, did not disappoint weirdophiles. We don’t see anything quite so can’t-miss on the schedule this year, but you never know what will pop up. Of the new-to-us titles we haven’t seen on the circuit before, here’s just a few of the titles we’ll be keeping an eye on:
- Alien Crystal Palace – A mad scientist tries to create an androgynous being by melding the souls of an avant-garde filmmaker and a rock star. From France. Screens Jul. 19 only.
- The Boxer’s Omen (1983) – Check out this madcap (and canonically weird) witchcraft duel classic from the Shaw Brothers on Jul 21.
- Bruce McDonald’s Dreamland – A genre mishmash mixing vampires and hitmen from the director of Pontypool. July 14-15.
- Cencoroll Connect – Two long (45 min) short anime produced a decade apart, about kaiju who appear to Japanese teenagers, put together to make what programmers describe as an “idiosyncratic, surrealist sci-fi teen drama.” July 21.
- Freaks – A seven-year-old girl ventures outside her front door for the first time in her life and finds the world is strange indeed;
is the creepy ice cream man, after all. July 28.
- Hard-Core – Bizarre satirical Japanese comedy about outsiders who discover a 50s-style “trash can” robot in a mine. July 24.
- Letters to Paul Morrissey – . Screens July 16 or 26.
- Maggie – South Korean fantasy/drama featuring mysterious events like sinkholes appearing in the city, a gunshot wound received from an apple, and a talking catfish. July 17-18.
- Night God – The Apocalypse is coming and the Night God is rising in this arty and esoteric fantasy from distant Kazakhstan. July 26 and Aug. 1.
- The Phantom of the Paradise (1974) – Brian De Palma‘s strange take on the “Phantom of the Opera” myth will be touring the country in a restored print the Summer; catch this hot ticket July 13.
- Son of the White Mare [Fehérlófia] (1981) – This restoration of the rare, “psychedelic” Hungarian animated fairy tale is our most anticipated release at Fantasia in 2019; can a Blu-ray release be far behind? Save the July 29 date.
Reports on these films and many more coming in the next three weeks.
IN DEVELOPMENT (rumored):
“Evil Dead” series: publicly announced he’s retiring from the role of Ash, but in a recent interview with “Bloody Disgusting” director says he’d ” love to make another” feature film in the series, with or without Campbell. He teased a possible announcement in a six-month time frame. Remember you heard it here first! Unless you heard it somewhere else first, in which case disregard that last sentence and go about your business.may have
NEW ON HOME VIDEO:
Alphaville (1965): Read Shane Wilson’s review. ‘s Surrealist absurdist sci-fi mini-epic comes to Blu-ray for the first time courtesy of Kino Lorber, in a 4K restoration with a new commentary from film historian Tim Lucas and an interview with . Buy Alphaville.
“The BRD Trilogy (Marriage of Maria Braun/Lola/Veronika Voss)”: Buy “The BRD Trilogy” [Criterion Collection Blu-ray].‘s “BRD Trilogy” consists of three films about seductive women in the post-WWII Germany; all are satires with dreamlike elements, though different in tone. The Criterion Collection DVD set has long been out of print and goes for hundreds of dollars; they rectify that inequity with this reasonably-priced Blu-ray upgrade.
“The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 2 (Sherlock Jr. / The Navigator)”: Read Alfred Eaker’s review of Sherlock Jr. and The Navigator. 1924’s Sherlock Jr., about a film projectionist who falls asleep dreams himself into the movie he’s projecting, is considered a pseudo-Surrealist comedy but has been surprisingly difficult to find lately (at least in a decent print) despite being in the public domain. The Cohen Media Group re-releases this pair of silent classics on DVD and Blu-ray this week. Buy “The Buster Keaton Collection: Vol. 2”.
“The Extraordinary World of Charley Bowers”: Read Alfred Eaker’s essay on Charlie Bowers. Lobster Films, in collaboration with Flicker Alley, releases the most comprehensive collection of works by the early silent comedian/experimental animator now in print, including “There It Is” (whose exclusion from Lobster’s last Bowers compilation Alfred bemoaned ). Newly restored with new musical scores, on Blu-ray only. Buy “The Extraordinary World of Charlie Bowers”.
High Life (2018): Read our review. stars as a chaste death-row inmate on a spaceship hurtling towards a black hole while mad scientist tries to conduct sex experiments on him. Released with little fanfare to DVD, Blu-ray and VOD this week. Buy High Life.
Silent Hill (2006): Read the Certified Weird review! bizarro, apocalyptic feature film adaptation of a popular video game franchise had been released on Blu-ray by Tri-Star previously; Shout! Factory’s “Collector’s Edition” features a new transfer and new extras including commentary track by the cinematographer and interviews with the director, actors and Roberto Campanella, and make-up man Paul Jones. Buy Silent Hill “Collector’s Edition”.
CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:
- Boston, MA, 7/13 (midnight) – Evil Dead II (1987). At Coolidge Corner Theatre.
- Boston, MA, 7/18 – The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). At Coolidge Corner Theatre.
- Los Angeles, CA, 7/12 – Vertigo (1958). At the Egyptian Theater.
- Los Angeles, CA, 7/13 (midnight) – Barbarella (1968). At the New Beverly Cinema.
- Los Angeles, CA, 7/17 – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), preceded by a live recording of the Greg Proops Film Club podcast. At the Egyptian Theatre.
- New York City, NY, 7/12-7/13 (midnights) – Eraserhead (1977). At IFC Center.
- New York City, NY, 7/12-7/13 (midnights) – Mulholland Drive (2001). At IFC Center.
- New York CIty, NY, 7/12-7/14 (with additional midnight screenings on 7/12 & 7/13) – Brazil (1985). At IFC Center.
- New York City, NY, 7/12-7/18 – Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001). At IFC Center.
- New York City, NY, 7/13 – After Hours (1985) (free screening). At Governor’s Island.
- New York City, 7/14 – Hereditary (2018), with The Butcher Boy (1997) (double feature). At the Alamo Drafthouse.
- Oakland, CA, 7/13-7/15, 7/17-7/18 – Howl’s Moving Castle (2004). At the New Parkway Theater.
- Portland, OR, 7/12 – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971). At the Hollywood Theatre.
- Portland, OR, 7/14 – Phantom of the Paradise (1974). At NW Film Center.
- San Francisco, CA, 7/12 – The Doors (1991) with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) (double feature). At the Castro Theatre.
- San Francisco, CA, 7/14 – Last Year at Marienbad [L’Année Dernière à Marienbad] (1961) with Long Day’s Journey Into Night (2019) (double feature). At the Castro Theatre.
- San Francisco, CA, 7/16-7/17 – Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) with The Cockettes (2002) (double feature). At the Castro Theatre.
- Silver Spring, MD, 7/15 & 7/17 – Underground (1995). At AFI Silver Theatre.
- Toronto, Ont., Canada, 7/16 – Dogtooth [Kynodontas] (2009). At the Royal.
- Toronto, Ont., Canada, 7/17 – Society (1989). At the Royal.
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension (1984): Read the Canonically Weird review! YouTube is upping its free movie game with a legitimate release of this ultra-campy 80s cult flick about secret agent/nuclear physicist/rock star Buckaroo Banzai. If you haven’t caught this classic yet, here’s your chance.
WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE: It’s a busy week coming up. Giles Edwards will be reporting from the Fantasia Festival as the spirit moves him (in fact, his first reportage should roll in later today). In between those dispatches, Gregory J. Smalley will squeeze in a couple of new outsider cinema reviews: She’s Just a Shadow, a stylish / inspired odyssey about odd yakuza wars in a nameless city, and The Holy Trinity, an avant-garde pansexual experimental feature about a dominatrix who can speak with the dead that will be premiering at L.A.’s “Outfest” next week. Read religiously and you’ll be the first to know about what’s percolating in the underground. Onward and weirdward!
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.