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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 – Imagine Film Festival (Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Aug. 28 – Sep. 6):

Imagine isn’t a festival we normally take note of, but when we saw the trailer below, we figured it was worth a mention this year.

Sleepless Beauty (2020): Brutal Russian thriller in which a girl is kidnapped and forbidden to sleep. The poster and synopsis compare it to torture porn features Saw and Martyrs. Check out the brief glimpses of artwork in the hallucination sequences, however: enough of these might tip the movie into the truly weird column.

Other, older weird (and weird-ish) films screening at Imagine include Bliss, Blood Machines, and Lake Michigan Monster.

Imagine Film Festival official site (in Dutch).


5000 Space Aliens (2020?): Experimental animator Scott Bateman’s pitch is to assemble a film composed of 5000 one-second shots of people, taken from public domain/found footage sources and then rotoscoped or otherwise digitally altered, scored to minimalist electronica. It’s an expanded version of his short titled “600 Space Aliens.” At this writing he’s raised $2000 of a requested $4000 dollars, with less than a month to go; funds are earmarked for festival submissions. Perks include DVDs, the soundtrack, and the chance to be one of the featured aliens. A two-minute excerpt is available on the Kickstarter page, for the curious. 5000 Space Aliens at Kickstarter.


re-edits: The recently unretired and incredibly active Steven Soderbergh has been spending his quarantine productively. He’s written three screenplays, including a sequel to his 1989 breakthrough feature Sex, Lies and Videotape. He also tinkered with new director’s cuts of 2002’s Full Frontal and 1996’s canonically weird satire Schizopolis (unfortunately, he made it shorter). Most significantly for us, however, he announced that he’s completed his long-awaited re-edit of his weird 1991 thriller Kafka. The writer/director brags that this new version is “radically different, something else entirely.” No word on how it will be released, though, but we’ll definitely take a look when it’s available. Indiewire delivered the news.


Guy Maddin and James Naremore – Maddin will discuss The Chase (1946) and film noir in general in an interactive Q&A. Online via Zoom. Free but registration required. Sponsored by the Indiana University film department. 8/28 at 7 PM ET. Indiana University Cinema event notice.


Aenigma (1987): Eighties occult slasher set in a girls’ boarding school. While not regarded as one of ‘s “better” movies, the synopsis describes a “grisly surrealism,” and Video Vacuum said it contains “some of the most bonkers imagery Fulci ever put on film.” On Blu-ray from Severin with a commentary track by Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson and other special features. Buy Aenigma.

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989): Read our review. The latest Shout! Factory collectible steelbook release of a classic, a DVD/Blu-ray combo. Buy Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984): A pacifist post-apocalyptic princess tries to stop a war between two tribes. Another steelbook release from Shout!, with the same extras as GKIDS previous release in different packaging. Buy Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

Shining Sex [La Fille au Sexe Brillant] (1977): An alien and an android turn a stripper into a sex slave who kills with her genitals. Softcore erotica from that Mike Haberfelner dismissed as “too weird a concept to be brought across as a mere series of sex scenes.” Another Severin Blu-ray; the film has never been released uncut before now. Buy Shining Sex.


Independent theaters are cautiously starting to reopen across North America at diminished capacity, and we’re seeing a trickle of new screenings. We expect this section to grow slowly throughout the fall. You’ll have to use your own judgment as to whether it’s safe to go to movie theaters at this time.


Big Man Japan (2007): Read the Apocryphally Weird review! ‘s crazy kaiju mockumentary is now listed as “leaving soon”; if you haven’t seen it yet, now’s a good chance to correct that omission, at no cost to your pocketbook. Watch Big Man Japan free on Tubi.TV.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE: Grab your muskets and shrooms! Saturday’s weird Amazon Watch Party will be the canonically weird classic, A Field in England (2013). Please join us at 10:15 PM ET for the screening. As usual, we’ll post the link to join around 10 PM here, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Next week we’ll be wrapping up our remote coverage of , highlighted by ‘s return to classical drama with their typically transgressive take on “The Tempest”: #Shakespeare’s Shitstorm. We’ll let the remaining titles be a surprise. Onward and weirdward!

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.

One thought on “WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 8/28/2020”

  1. I really liked Troma’s take on Shakespeare with ‘Tromeo and Juliet’ and hoped for more Shakespeare adaptions from them, though I’m not sure how keen I am for ‘#Shakespeare’s Shitstorm’. We’ll just have to see if its any good!

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