WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 8/19/2011

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.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy: Well, this is weird.  The world’s first (widely released) 3-D softcore sex movie is a remake of Michael Mak’s surreal 1991 sex comedy Sex and Zen, which featured a bungled horse penis transplant as its comedic centerpiece.  In Hong Kong, 3-D Sex had a record-setting opening and had already outgrossed Titanic and Avatar.  It’s playing Austin, TX at the storied Alamo Drafthouse, but no word on other venues.  3-D Sex and Zen official site (warning: explicit content and annoying music!).

Griff the Invisible: A clerk who moonlights as a masked vigilante meets a girl lost in daydreams in this Australian romantic comedy.  Half the reviewers who’ve seen it use some form of the word “quirk” to describe it (and one even uses a form of “weird”).  Griff the Invisible official site.

The Last Circus [Balada triste de trompeta]:  Read our festival report.  Though we didn’t think Álex de la Iglesia’s allegorical tale of harlequin havoc was quite weird enough to be inaugurated onto the List, we can guarantee many readers are going to make it a point to attend this Circus.  Those of you in New York City will have the chance to catch it this week, while readers in a dozen other US cities will have to keep their eyes out.  The Last Circus official site.

NEW ON DVD:

Cul-de-sac (1966): ‘s followup to Repulsion is another tense, eccentric and psychological tale about a gangster who hides out in a castle and terrorizes (at first) a wimpy Englishman and his French wife.  It’s always cause for celebration when the Criterion Collection restores another neglected Polanski classic. Buy Cul-de-sac [Criterion Collection].

Elvira’s Movie Macabre: The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962) /The Manster (1959):  In 2010, horror hostess Elvira relaunched her 1980s franchise show “Movie Macabre” in syndication; this DVD matches up two of the weirder b-horrors she featured.  The Brain That Wouldn’t Die is the incredibly sleazy (by early sixties standards) story of a mad doctor shopping for a body for his decapitated girlfriend; The Manster describes what happens when an American journalist lets a Tokyo scientist experiment on him and grows an extra, evil, head.  Not to spoil anyone’s good clean cleavage-based fun, but you do realize Cassandra Peterson is now your grandmother’s age, don’t you?  Buy Elvira’s Movie Macabre: The Brain That Wouldn’t Die / The Manster.

The Ward (2010): Psychological thriller about a woman who sees a ghost after she’s involuntarily committed to an asylum.  John Carpenter’s first film since 2001’s Ghosts of Mars was not the comeback hit he hoped for, but fans may want to check it out anyway. Buy John Carpenter’s The Ward.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Cul-de-sac (1966): See description in DVD above. Buy Cul-de-sac [Criterion Collection Blu-ray].

The Ward (2010): See description in DVD above. Buy John Carpenter’s The Ward [Blu-ray].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959):  OK, perhaps Ed Wood’s opus about aliens who come to Earth to raise the dead so that stupid humans won’t learn how to blow up sunlight isn’t that weird—but you know you want to see it anyway.  It’s a notorious and hilarious anti-masterpiece that everyone needs to see at least once to complete their cinematic education.  Watch Plan 9 from Outer Space free on YouTube.

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.

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