A 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.
SCREENING (NEW YORK CITY):
Altiplano (2009): Heavy-looking message movie about corporate types allowing mercury to poison the water supply of pure and virtuous Andes villagers; there are reportedly touches of surrealism (the Village Voice complains that it looks at times like a “Benetton ad by Alejandro Jodorowsky–lite“). Screening this week at the Village East in Manhattan, with a date to follow in LA in October. Altiplano official site.
Untitled Spike Jonze/Arcade Fire collaboration: While we patiently wait for news on Jonze‘s reported adaptation of the “eternal winter” novel Light Boxes, it seems that the former music video prodigy is working on a short film project with indie rock darlings the Arcade Fire. Word is it’s a sci-fi b-movie. More info at slashfilm.
Star Wars Uncut: Star Wars fans and aspiring filmmakers submitted 15-second recreations of scenes from the classic Episode IV: A New Hope, and an editor chose the best (nearly 500 different segments) and stitched them together to recreate the entire movie. The idea is similar (but more amateur) than Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated (review coming later today). It’s interesting to see the style and actors change every few seconds: talented animators and semi-professional film crews are put on equal footing with the large number of folks who simply re-enacted scenes using their kids or pets. I confess that I enjoyed seeing Darth Vader with breasts in an early scene. The project manager promises to release this as soon as he finishes “working through the legal issues.” Good luck with that. While we wait, here’s the clumsy link to watch Star Wars Uncut online.
NEW ON DVD:
Big Money Rustlas (2010): A Western from the rappers Insane Clown Posse, who play the entire movie in their trademark clown makeup and enlist reality-TV show level talent like Ron Jeremy, Brigitte Nielsen, Vanilla Ice (!), Todd Bridges, and a post-sex scandal Screech (Dustin Diamond) to their cause. Avoid if you’re a Juggalo, as if you are it apparently makes sense; all others are encouraged to try it out. Buy Big Money Rustlas.
The Good, the Bad and the Weird (2008): A South Korean tribute to Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns that wowed audiences on the festival circuit. Though “the weird” refers to a character and not the film’s style, it’s pretty hard for us not to notice a movie with such a title, especially when it gets glowing reviews containing words like “wild” and “ridiculous.” Buy The Good, the Bad, the Weird
Ichi 1: Origin [AKA 1-Ichi] (2003): Direct-to-Japanese-video prequel of Takashi Miike’s Ichi the Killer, telling how the title character became a sadomasochistic killer (was he teased in high school?). It comes from one of Miike’s assistant directors. If this were any good, we suspect it would have been released on these shores years ago, but some may be curious. No idea why this Tokyo Shock edition is being released just one year after Unearthed put out a DVD of the prequel. Buy Ichi 1: Origin.
The Lost Skeleton Returns Again (2009): Sequel to the minor cult hit The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (2001), with most of the same cast returning. The original was a campy tongue-in-cheek send-up of 50s science fiction films and we expect the sequel to be more of the same. Buy The Lost Skeleton Returns Again.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
The Good, the Bad and the Weird (2008): See description in DVD above. Buy The Good, the Bad, the Weird [Blu-ray].
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.