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.
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
Malibu Road (2016?): In 1960 a psychology professor and a starlet take LSD in a hotel room; the aftereffects haunt them up until the present day. This originally came out—or maybe it was announced and then canceled—in 2016; at any rate, it’s now listed as “premiering” in Los Angeles this week. Malibu Road official site.
Zeroville (2015): An idiot-savant with a tattoo of Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor on the back of his head goes to Hollywood and makes movies. This James Franco project was finished in 2015, but the distributor went bankrupt, and then sexual misconduct allegations about the director/star started bubbling up; only now has a new distributor been brave enough to take it on. The trailer describes a film-within-the-film as “a very weird movie”; here’s hoping the container film is, too. Zeroville official site.
FILM FESTIVALS – Fantastic Fest (Austin, TX, Sep. 19-26):
The Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX may be America’s coolest movie theater. Their brand has grown so big that now they have franchised Drafthouses, and have lately partnered with American Genre Films Archives on a number of interesting exploitation film re-releases. One of the Alamo’s hippest projects is Fantastic Fest, now in its fourteenth year. As per usual, there is a fantastic slate of weird movies and some neato revivals here. Coming at the tail end of the film festival season, we’ve already either noted or reviewed a number of these. Among the duplicates are the Slamdance microbudget feature The Vast of Night, along with a number of films we caught at the : Bliss, Come to Daddy, The Deeper You Dig, Knives and Skin, Ride Your Wave, Swallow, Vivarium, Why Don’t You Just Die?, and Koko-Di Koko-Da (about which we hope to have more for you soon…) Coming fresh off the Toronto International Film festival are The Antenna, ‘s The Color out of Space, ‘s Deerskin, ‘s First Love, and Synchronic, along with the zombified Super-8 tribute Die Kinder Der Toten (noted at the Karlov Vary Festival). And with all of that, they still managed to score a coup with the American debut of Jojo Rabbit, along with the following weirdo debuts and revivals (including one you’ll find listed below under “Repertory Screenings):
- Abou Leila – Hallucinatory quest set in the desert during Algeria’s 1994 civil war. Screening Sep. 20 & 23.
- Blood Machines – A crowdfunded feature-length expansion of the viral sci-fi-ish music video “Turbo Killer.” Catch it Sep. 23.
- Butt Boy – Absurd comedy about a straight suburban white guy who becomes obsessed with sticking things where the sun don’t shine. See it if you dare on Sep. 21 or 26.
- Cosmic Candy – A woman addicted to the title hallucinogenic treat takes care of the child of a missing neighbor. Screens Sep. 21 and 25.
- The Death of Dick Long – Bandmates try to cover up the demise of the title character in this offering from Swiss Army Man‘s that programmers called “the kind of film that makes you glad weird cinema is alive and well.” Screens on the 20th and 23rd.
- I Lost My Body – Animated French film about a disembodied hand; this has been one of our most-anticipated releases of the year. Netflix already bought the rights. See it Sep. 20 or 23.
- In the Tall Grass – adaptation of a Stephen King novella about kids lost in the Tall Grass (spooky!) Sep. 20 or 23.
- Keep Me Company – Secret lesbian lovers hear voices from the pool as they try to salvage their adulterous relationship. Sep. 22nd and 25th.
- Limbo (1999) – Rarely seen experimental video nightmare, the only feature directed by direct-to-video scream queen Tina Krause. Screens Sep.. 25th only.
- Night Has Come – Experimental Belgian film composed entirely of stock footage and overlaid with narration about a memory-erasing virus. Don’t forget to see it on Sep. 23rd.
- The Peanut Butter Solution (1985) – Severin Films’ restoration of the terrifyingly bizarro children’s lark is terrific news—hopefully someday soon, everyone will be able to see the legendary film that scarred a generation of Canadians. You won’t regret catching it on Sep. 24.
- Prey (1977) – Vintage exploitation oddity about a shapeshifting alien who infiltrates a lesbian household. Sep. 20 & 23.
- Son of the White Mare (1981) – Hungary’s celebrated psychedelic fairy tale continues its pre Blu-ray release tour. Be Mare or be square on Sep. 20 & 23.
- Tammy and the T-Rex (1994) – The restored “gore” cut that’s been making the festival rounds. One more screening on 9/25.
- VHYes – Sounds like an experimental “found footage” movie; young Ralph accidentally tapes himself goofing with his buddy, as well as several late night TV shows, over his parents’ wedding tape, and we watch the results. Sep. 21 & 23.
- The Wave – A corporate lawyer takes a mysterious psychedelic that sends him on a time-traveling trip. Screens Sep. 21 & 24.
- Wyrm – Young Wyrm must kiss a girl to remove his electric collar and pass his school’s sexuality requirement. Pop your collar on Sep. 21 or 25.
NEW ON HOME VIDEO:
Above the Shadows (2019): Here’s a plot you don’t see every day: an invisible woman helps a disgraced MMA fighter get his career back. Critics suggested there’s a reason you don’t see this plot every day. DVD, VOD or Blu-ray. Buy Above the Shadows.
“Batman 4K Film Collection”: All four Batman movies in Warner Brothers 80s-90s series, from the reasonably entertaining first entry, its canonically weird followup Batman Returns, and the two embarrassing late sequels. 4K restorations on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD disc (eight discs in all), bundled together, with the special features from individual releases intact. Buy the “Batman 4K Film Collection”.
Dry Blood (2017): A man travels to a cabin in the woods to go cold turkey and starts hallucinating in this “surreal mystery.” This came out on DVD and Blu-ray in January and now it’s out in both formats again; no idea why it was re-released. Also free on Amazon Prime. Buy Dry Blood.
“The I-Land” (2019): Ten attractive people wake up on an island with no memories, etc. It’s “Lost” as done by the inimitable/infamous Netflix’s The I-Land May Be the Worst TV Show I’ve Ever Seen” which makes the intriguing claim “imagine the movie Serenity, then have it make 200% less sense.” “The I-Land” on Netflix., and we note it specifically because of a Paste review titled “
Nightwish (1989): Paranormal investigators hallucinate that they are fighting ghosts, aliens and demons, and no one is sure what’s real. A weird B-movie that’s been out of print for a while, now on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD courtesy of Unearthed Records. Buy Nightwish.
Odissea della Morte (2018): A man charged with his girlfriend’s murder sets out to prove his innocence from the back of a limousine, but his quest turns into a surreal and sleazy Odyssey of Death. Despite the Italian title, this was made in Canada, on a low budget. Free on Amazon Prime or buy the Blu-ray, which is emblazoned with hashtags: #erotic and #giallo. Buy Odissea della Morte.
Polyester (1981): Read Alfred Eaker’s overview of John Waters. goes (relatively) soft and suburban working with his biggest budgeted movie to date, a Douglas Sirk send-up starring Divine as a suburban housewife surrounded by sleaze. The Criterion Collection does Waters proud on DVD or Blu-ray with a host of new an old features and (of course) an Odorama card. Buy Polyester.
The Velocipastor (2019): A priest transforms into a dinosaur and fights ninja. This has been enough of an underground hit to rush out a Blu-ray to supplement previous DVD and VOD offerings. We should get around to reviewing this before the end of the year. Buy The Velocipastor.
CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:
- Austin, TX – Reflections of Evil (2002) (as part of Fantastic Fest). At Alamo Drafthouse.
- Columbus, OH, 9/20 – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). At Gateway Film Center.
- Dallas, TX, 9/20 – Tromeo & Juliet (1996) (with in attendance). At the Texas Theatre.
- Dallas, TX, 9/21 – Fight Club (1999). At the Texas Theatre.
- Idyllwild, CA, 9/21 – Blood Diner (1987) (with in attendance as part of the Women Under the Influence Festival). At the Rustic Theater.
- Kitchener, ON, Canada – Pan’s Labyrinth (2006). At the Apollo.
- Los Angeles, CA, 9/23 – Mulholland Drive (2001). At the New Beverly.
- New York City, NY, 9/20-21 – House [Hausu] (1977). At the Metrograph.
- New York City, NY, 9/20-21 (midnights) – Akira (1988). At IFC Center.
- New York City, NY, 9/20-21 (midnights) – Paprika (2006). At IFC Center.
- New York City, NY, 9/20-24 – Blue Velvet (1986). At IFC Center.
- New York City, NY, 9/20, 22-23 – Amarcord (1973). At the Metrograph.
- New York City, NY, 9/21 – Fantastic Planet [La Planète Sauvage] (1973). At the Metrograph.
- New York City, NY, 9/23 & 26 – Millennium Actress (2001). At the Metrograph.
- New York City, NY, 9/26 – Mulholland Drive (2001). At the Metrograph.
- Oakland, CA, 9/26 – Pan’s Labyrinth (2006). At the New Parkway.
- Portland, OR, 9/21 – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). At the Hollywood.
- Portland, OR, 9/22 – The Swimmer (1968). At NW Film Center.
- San Diego, CA, 9/22 – Daisies [Sedmikrásky] (1966). At the Ken.
- San Diego, CA, 9/23 – Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams (1990). At the Ken.
- Santa Ana, CA, 9/20-22 – Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001). At the Frida.
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON TUBI.TV:
The God Inside My Ear (2017): Read Pete Trbovich’s review. Our house reviewer didn’t exactly sing the praises of this low-budget indie about a girl who starts hearing the voice of God after being dumped by her boyfriend, but now you can judge for yourself at no cost. Watch The God Inside My Ear on Tubi.
WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE: What are we up to next week? Well, we should have a transcript of our recent interview with Koko-di Koko-da director ready, to whet your appetite for its upcoming limited theatrical release. Giles Edwards will also check out the microbudget camp of Space Ninjas (2019), while Pete Trbovich gives his opinion on the oft-requested Beetlejuice (1988). And we wouldn’t be at all surprised to have an additional unannounced review pop up: you’ll just have to check in daily to see. Onward and weirdward!
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.