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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, Canada and online, 8/5-25):
If you’ve been reading the site for a while, you know we make a big deal about Fantasia every year. It’s a huge genre festival and, although it doesn’t focus specifically on our brand of weird, the programmers’ tastes are wide enough that we discover a list-worthy film or two there just about every year. In 2020, the pandemic forced the festival to go online only; this year, they’re going with a hybrid format of limited theatrical screenings mixed in with virtual events. We will have extensive coverage, as usual.
It’s quite the lineup this year, especially when it comes to revivals and restorations. The biggest news is that rights issues have (finally!) been ironed out for the canonically weird Dr. Caligari (1989), the infamous sexy and surreal 1980s pop-art in-name-only sequel to the 1920s Expressionist classic. A home video release from Mondo Macabro should follow soon! There will even be a free “masterclass” with director , and it’s being teased that he may tease a future project. Funky Forest: The First Contact is also getting an overhaul and future release (late 2021 or early 2022), paired with follow-up The Warped Forest. If that’s not enough, Fantasia is also screening a new restoration of 2000’s spiraling-horror Uzumaki.
Headlining the continuing festival favorites screening here is the Cryptozoo./ collab Prisoners of the Ghostlands; they’ve also got Sundance’s drama about dream-tax assessors Strawberry Mansion, the role-playing horror We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, and the trippy cryptid animation
Here’s just a few of the new titles we’ll be angling to see (Fantasia will also be debuting something called The Suicide Squad that looks like box office poison, but we’ll stick to the weird stuff):
- Agnes – Oddball auteur is back with a y offering about a demonic possession in a convent.
- Giving Birth to a Butterfly – Programmers describe Theodore Schaefe’s feature debut as a “surreal road trip.”
- Hotel Poseidon – Set in a decaying hotel, programmers evoke the names of and the to describe this Dutch feature.
- King Car – Brazilian satire about a man who can talk to cars.
- Mad God – Thirty years in the making, stop-motion animator and fx guru Phil Tippet’s passion project is a Boschian nightmare.
- Straight to VHS – A narrative/documentary hybrid about a locally notorious Uruguayan 1980s straight-to-video cult film called Act of Violence in a Young Journalist.
Tickets go on sale today. Sorry, all virtual screenings are geoblocked to Canada. Fantasia International Film Festival homepage.
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
Mandibles (2020): Quentin Dupieux‘ latest surreal comedy is about two friends who try to exploit a giant fly they find in their car’s trunk. It’s getting better U.S. distribution (Magnolia) and better reviews than the usual Dupieux; we don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. Mandibles official site.
CANONICALLY WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:
This section will no longer be updated regularly. Instead, we direct you to our new “Repertory Cinemas Near You” page. (We just added Manhattan’s Quad Theater, screening 8 1/2 all week, and the Roxy, who will be showing Celine and Julie Go Boating this Friday, Saturday and Sunday). We will continue to mention exceptional events in this space from time to time.
WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE: Join us tomorrow night on Amazon Prime at 10:15 PM ET for July’s Weird Watch Party, Uzumaki (2000) (coincidentally, also mentioned above in our Fantasia preview). As always, the link to join will appear here, on Facebook, or on Twitter around 10 PM ET.
Next week’s reviews will feature Shane Wilson‘s review of Netflix’s hot absurdist comedy series “I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson,” which just dropped its second season. In movies,
What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that we have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.