Our weekly 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.
FILM FESTIVALS – Venice Film Festival (Venice, Italy, Aug 28-Sep.7):
The world’s oldest film festival, Venice is still one of the most prestigious movie events of the year, although it has been losing ground in late years as many producers who miss the chance to debut at Cannes choose to premiere at the better-attended Toronto Film Festival instead. Still, Venice always lands a few scoops, and this year they host premieres from two of the world’s weirdest directors.
- Algunas Chicas – Psychological thriller about a woman running away from marital problems who visits an old friend and experiences what are described as “porous nightmares.” Screening 8/30 & 8/31.
- Mysterious Object at Noon (2000) – A special screening of Apichatpong Weerasethakul‘s experimental documentary/fiction hybrid where a series of average Thais construct a narrative one piece at a time, Exquisite Corpse-style. 8/30 & 8/31.
- Why Don’t You Play in Hell? – A movie-within-a-movie is the setting for Shion Sono’s latest; an early teaser trailer featured samurai fighting yakuza and literal rivers of blood. 8/29.
- The Zero Theorem – Christoph Waltz plays a computer hacker close to cracking the meaning of existence who is constantly interrupted by distractions from Management in Terry Gilliam’s eagerly awaited latest feature. World premiere on 9/2.
The Brick House (est. 2013): A modern adaptation of “the Three Little Pigs.” The trailer is amusing and the theme song is amazing; if the filmmakers can keep up that level of invention for 90 minutes, we should be blown over.
NEW ON DVD:
“All Night Horror Marathon” (Schizoid, The Vagrant, The Godsend & The Outing): The gem in this two disc, four film marathon is Schzoid (AKA Lizard in a Woman’s Skin), a psychedelic giallo about a woman who dreams about killing her downstairs neighbor in a drug-fueled orgy, then wakes to find herself accused of murder. The even weirder thing about this set is that Scream Factory has recalled it, and Schizoid will be replaced in a new October edition with Curtis Harrington’s What’s the Matter With Helen? (the three less distinguished movies remain the same). We assume there was some sort of copyright clearance error, but if you want this set with Schizoid you better order now before stocks are gone. (To confuse things even further, this week Scream Factory also releases the unrelated 1980 Schizoid, with Klaus Kinski and a young Christopher Lloyd, in a double feature set with Barbi Benton’s X-Ray). Buy “All Night Horror Marathon” (Schizoid, The Vagrant, The Godsend & The Outing).
Alyce Kills (2011): A young woman goes insane from guilt after accidentally killing her best friend. From the director of Zombie Strippers. Buy Alyce Kills.
“Betty Boop: The Essential Collection, Vol. 1”: Those in the know realize that the early Fleischer Brothers’ Betty Boop shorts (especially the pre-Code numbers) were some of the wildest, swingingest, and sometimes the surrealest cartoons ever made. Although about 22 of the flirty flapper’s 100 or so appearances are in the public domain, there hasn’t been any significant attempt to release the cartoons that are still under copyright until now. No word on whether any of these 12 shorts are as crazy as something like Snow White, but it would be a blast going through this Olive Films set looking for buried treasure. Buy “Betty Boop: The Essential Collection, Vol. 1”.
Nightmares Come at Night (1970): A lesbian exotic dancer has nightmares that blur into reality in a Jess Franco shocker that the few who have seen it often describe as “confusing.” Apparently Redemption has finished reissuing their Jean Rollin catalog, and now they’re turning to Franco—with 200 directorial credits to the Eurotrash auteur’s name, this should take a while. Buy Nightmares Come at Night.
Post Tenebras Lux (2012): From Mexico comes this kaleidoscopic, non-linear portrait of a family in crisis that looks a bit like a Mexican Tree of Life. We dig the glowing red demon thingee from the trailer. Buy Post Tenebras Lux.
A Virgin Among The Living Dead [AKA Christina: Princess of Eroticism] (1973): A beautiful young woman goes to a Gothic castle for the reading of a will and finds herself trapped in a surrealistic Satanic nightmare. By Jess Franco, but the commonly-screened Living Dead version features inserted zombie footage shot by Jean Rollin years later. Christina: Princess of Eroticism is Franco’s original, seldom-seen X-rated cut; both versions of the film are available on this Redemption disc. Buy A Virgin Among The Living Dead.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
Nightmares Come at Night (1970): See description in DVD above. Buy Nightmares Come at Night [Blu-ray].
A Virgin Among The Living Dead [AKA Christina: Princess of Eroticism] (1973): See description in DVD above. Buy A Virgin Among The Living Dead [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.