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.

SCREENINGS (Boston, Mass., Aug 24-26):

Daisies [Sedmikrásky] (1966): Read the Certified Weird entry! This Czech New Wave film about two spoiled girls who wreck their way through sundry surreal set pieces was so damn weird the Communist authorities assumed it had to be subversive, so when they couldn’t find any objectionable political content, they banned it because a food fight scene sent a bad message about wasting national resources. Janus Films has unexpectedly sent it on a U.S. tour; besides Boston, Daisies will sprout up in Chicago, Vancouver, Philadelphia, and other major cities throughout the remainder of 2012 and into early 2013. Check Janus Films’s Daisies theatrical release page to see if it will be coming to a theater near you.


Venice is the oldest and second most prestigious (after Cannes) film festival in Europe. Since Venice accepts only films making their world premier in competition, there is no overlap with the Cannes slate of films. There’s not much that looks weird in Venice but here are a few movies that may be worth keeping an eye on:

  • La cinquième saison [The Fifth Season] – All we know about this Belgian film is that the magical realist premise is that one year spring does not come to a rural village, and the social order disintegrates. Screening in competition Sept. 6.
  • Forgotten [Du Hast Es Versprochen] – Horrible secrets revealed on a remote island in what director Alex Schmidt describes as “a mixture of psycho-thriller and mystery-horror,” adding “My aim was to depict the abysses of the human soul by intertwining them with fairy-tale-like elements.” Screening out of competition Sep. 7.
  • Spring Breakers – The bikini publicity photos make it look like a typical teen-sex comedy, but with at the helm we’re guessing this story of four college girls who get into criminal trouble on spring break will be anything but conventional. Squeaky clean Disney alums Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens will try to de-habilitate their images with this project. In competition, screening Sep. 5.
  • Superstar – An ordinary man becomes a celebrity without any explanation why. The scenario is identical to the Roberto Begnini strand of ‘s To Rome with Love, but director Xavier Giannoli promises the tone is “simultaneously Kafkaesque and Hitchcockian.” Aug. 30.

Venice International Film Festival home page


Looks like we missed the first half of this found-footage/general craptasticness festival sponsored by the weirdos from Everything Is Terrible! (why oh why didn’t we subscribe to the newsletter?), so we’ll spare you the regret of detailing what you missed and instead set our sights on the highlights to come. Saturday, August 25th brings us a mini-festival of outsider artists movies (backyard impresarios working beneath the underground) and a selection of weird short films (at least one of which has been featured on these pages as a Saturday Short) curated by Dave Hughes of the Adult Swim program “Off the Air.” Sunday brings a screening of the “take that, George Lucas!” viral sensation Star Wars: Uncut on the big screen. Other oddities include screenings of the kung fu flop Miami Connection (1987), a reunion for the cult kid’s show “The Adventures of Pete and Pete,” and found-footage montages themed around cats and religion. Los Angelinos can get the complete scoop and schedule at the Cinefamily website.


Captain Ahab’s Motorcycle Club (201?): There’s really no solid information available yet on this mysterious project from American Astronaut auteur . It’s intended as a collaborative affair involving musicians, graphic artists, and documentary filmmaker Gregory Bayne, to be at least partially created by “independent club chapters” (“participation equals membership”). Head to the Captain Ahab’s Motorcycle Club website, and if you figure out what’s going on here, please tell us!


Black Magic Rites [AKA The Reincarnation of Isabella] (1973): Muscleheaded Mickey Hargitay believes the blood of virgins (naked ones, of course) will reincarnate his 500-years-dead lover, so he rents a Gothic dungeon, sets up a torture chamber, and gets to work perving about. Fans of nonsensical Eurosleaze will perk up the ears (at the very least) at this typically naughty Redemption release. Buy Black Magic Rites.


Black Magic Rites [AKA The Reincarnation of Isabella] (1973): See description in DVD above. Buy Black Magic Rites [Blu-ray].


Seraphim Falls (2006): Big time movie star Liam Neeson tracks big time movie star Pierce Brosnan from the mountains to the desert in this modern revenge Western that was overlooked at the box office because it turns bat-guano insane at the end. It’s not bad, rewarding the patient viewer with a dollop of high desert weirdness at the climax. Watch Seraphim Falls 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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