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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.
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
She Dies Tomorrow (2020): Amy is convinced that she will die tomorrow. It’s weirder than it sounds. Debuting in drive-ins this week (which is cool), showing up on VOD next week. Our review coming soon. She Dies Tomorrow official site.
ONLINE EVENTS (7/31):
“Alejandro Jodorowsky Retrospective”: As a prelude to their exclusive debut of‘s latest, the documentary
Lake Michigan Monster (2019): Read Giles Edwards’ Apocrypha Candidate review. An inventive microbudget comedy that’s like what would result if Guy Maddin remade a 1950s monster comedy (on a third of Corman’s budget). This is a special 24-hour virtual debut from distributor Arrow Video, complete with a Q&A with the cast and crew. The film (sans Q&A) is scheduled to show up on Itunes and on Arrow’s own streaming channel next week; we’d expect expanded distribution (including physical media) to follow soon. Purchase a virtual ticket through Altavod.
IN DEVELOPMENT (rumored):
Machete Kills Again… in Space (202?): In 2017 Danny Trejo comments on Machete Kills Again… in Space at Dread Central.released a trailer for this film (including appearances by , Michelle Rodriguez, Alexa Vega, maybe Justin Beiber and definitely not ) that looked like an April Fools joke (despite being released on Jan 2). The movie does have an IMDB placeholder page, though, and recent comments by Trejo suggest that the project is a real thing that’s still alive. We’re not huge fans of the Machete franchise or of the mock-grindhouse genre in general, but this one could be absurd enough to get onto our radar.
NEW ON HOME VIDEO:
“Blood Hunger: The Films of Jose Larraz”: 3-disc Arrow set including Whirlpool (1970), Vampyres (1974), and The Coming of Sin (1978). Vampyres is a popular and sexy lesbian vampire shocker, but we’re more curious about Sin [AKA Sodomia], about a girl who dreams of a naked man on horseback who then appears to her and is described as “dreamlike.” This “Special Edition” Blu-ray set contains lots of extras, but is pricey; last year’s “Limited Edition” set is much cheaper, though it lacks a couple of interviews unique to this set. Buy “Blood Hunger: The Films of Jose Larraz” [Special Edition].
“Galaxy Express 999, Collection 2” (1979-1980): Episodes 40-76 of the Japanese anime series about a 10-year old orphan traveling on the galactic railway in a quest for mechanical immortality. It’s got a link to a reader-suggested movie, since someone recommended Galaxy Express 999 (1979), which is a condensed version of Season 1. Collection 1 was released in 2019. Blu-ray only. Buy “Galaxy Express 999, Collection 2”.
“Gamera: The Complete Collection”: The complete run of the Japanese flying turtle series (popularized by Buy “Gamera: The Complete Collection”.), including one we’ve actually reviewed, Destroy All Planets [AKA Gamera vs. Viras] (1968). As a kid-friendly, cheapo competitor to Godzilla, the Gamera films are a special breed, and this set is pretty expensive. That said, Gamera vs. Guiron (1969), which mixes brain-eating aliens, a Hansel and Gretel storyline, and battles between a giant turtle a giant Ginsu knife monster is, in particular, a weird film (and let’s pray they kept the delightfully absurd original dubbing with the Southern accents and the repeated mistranslation of “planet” as “star”). Arrow’s 8-disc Blu-ray set also includes the three higher-budgeted films from the 1990s reboot.
“The Scare Film Archives Volume 1: Drug Stories!”: A collection of drug scare films curated by American Film Genre Archives from the Something Weird vaults. We’re not sure we’ve seen any of these, but the hysterical, moralizing atmospheres combined with low-budget attempts to replicate bad LSD trips tend to make these artifacts both campy and strange. Blu-ray only. Buy The Scare Film Archives Volume 1: Drug Stories!
The Tenant (1976): Read the Canonically Weird review! Shout! Factory has put out the third part of ‘s unofficial “apartment trilogy” on Blu-ray for the first time, with a heavy dose of bonus features including new interviews with the director and crew members, a commentary track by Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson, an archival audio interview with (who wrote the original novel), and more. Considering the shabby state of older releases, this is the one Tenant fans have been waiting on. Buy The Tenant.
The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield (1968): A totally tasteless and defamatory mondo-exploitation “documentary” about the busty actress who died tragically young. Apparently Severin released this on DVD in June and we missed it; we caught this Blu-ray release, however. Includes an interview about Jayne with celebrity Satanist Anton LaVey and a little-seen mondo film called The Wild Weird Wonderful Italians (1963) as bonus features. Buy The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield.
CANONICALLY WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:
Independent theaters are cautiously starting to reopen across North America at diminished capacity, although the big chains (and Alamo Drafthouses) remain shuttered. That said, we have a dribble of screenings to announce this week. We expect this section to continue to grow slowly throughout the summer, although we wouldn’t predict things to return to anywhere near normal until the fall, at the earliest. You’ll have to use your own judgment as to whether it’s safe to go to movie theaters at this time.
- Kansas City, MO
- Lehighton, PA
- The Mahoning Drive-In – The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension (1984) with Laserblast (1978) (double feature)
- Shafer, MN
- Vancouver, BC
WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE: Next week’s weird Amazon Prime Watch Party will be… My Neighbor Wants Me Dead.
A word about this choice is in order. Despite the fact that no one has heard of it, Neighbor not only won the poll, but got five times as many votes as the runner-up and shattered previous records with 31 votes. This is because the director, who also nominated the film, ran an online campaign asking people to vote for it. While this is not against the rules, we fear it may set a bad precedent and will probably institute a rule in the future preventing people associated with a movie from nominating it for a screening. We plan to honor the vote this week, however, and see how it goes. Maybe the director and crew will be there to answer questions in real time.
Also, since the feature runs less than an hour, we’ll also screen a short film to go along with it: the 15-minute suspense thriller Wanderer (2015) (trailer here). Separate links will be provided for short and feature. Watching the short may be a good, low-time investment way for you to sample a Watch Party if you’re curious but have never taken the plunge. The madness starts at 10:15 ET tomorrow; as usual links will drop here, on Facebook, and on Twitter.
With that out of the way, next week we’ll also bring you a pair of reviews: Giles Edwards dreams of Dream Demon (1988). And of course, we’ll also plan for a Weird Netflix Watch Party. Onward and weirdward!covers She Dies Tomorrow (see “in theaters: limited release” above), and
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.