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.
FILM FESTIVALS – Toronto International Film Festival (Toronto, Canada, 9/5-15):
In the past few years, TIFF has risen from a scrappy underdog to an awards-season kingmaker. As their profile has risen, the number of smaller, scrappier, weirder films debuting here has fallen. Still, the slate is so massive (a reported 200+ movies!) that there’s bound to be something strange showing up there. The one interesting odd film we previously noted at other festivals is‘s Deerskin; here’s some new stuff we’ll be tracking:
- About Endlessness – Gloomy Swede
is back with another series of melancholy absurdist vignettes, this time watched over by a couple floating in the air. Screening 9/11, 14-15.
- The Antenna – A newly-installed antenna leads to “nightmare-scapes of early-Cronenbergian proportions” in this surreal-sounding horror from Turkey. View it 9/8, 10 or 15.
- Bacurau – A Brazilian village is sold to big human game hunters; they fight back with psychotropic drugs in what programmers call “a wild, weird, and politically charged revisionist western.” Screens 9/7, 9, 13.
- Color Out of Space – directs in an adaptation of an story with psychedelic special effects; yes, we might be interested. You can check it out on 9/7, 9 or 14.
- Crazy World – The third international release from Uganda’s IGG Nabwana (Bad Black), this one involves kid-kidnappers accidentally nabbing a bunch of pint-sized martial arts masters. 9/14 and 9/15 (closing the “Midnight Madness” section).
- First Love – A boxer and a call girl get caught up with drug smugglers in this well-reviewed (and likely less-than-weird) comedy from that takes place over the course of one night. Screening 9/13-15.
- The Lost Okoroshi – Nigerian film about a man haunted by dreams until he is transformed into a purple spirit. 9/6, 8 or 15.
- Red Fields [Mami] – A “surrealist” rock opera from Israel. Screens 9/6, 8, 13.
- Synchronic– and return to their strange cinematic universe, this time as New Orleans paramedics investigating victims of a designer drug. 9/7, 9 or 13.
- The Twentieth Century – ‘s debut feature is a “bizarro” biopic of former Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King including an “ejaculating cactus”; could be the weirdest feature playing TIFF. See in 9/10, 12 or 14.
IN DEVELOPMENT (Crowdfunding):
“Squash” (est. 2019-2020): If you enjoyed “The Absence of Eddie Table,” you may be interested in this proposed short film from Dave Cooper, the visual artist who wrote and designed that cartoon. There are no details on the plot, but Cooper describes his aesthetic as “ and thrust into a mud wrestling ring” and promises “Squash” will contain “custom-engineered nipple prosthetics.” What more do you need to know to throw a few bucks his way? Seeking just under $9,000 (in U.S. dollars), and at this writing had raised just over $2,500. “Squash” on Kickstarter.
IN DEVELOPMENT (Announced):
NEW ON HOME VIDEO:
Alps (2011): Read our review. ‘ absurd black comedy about actors who hire out to the bereaved to portray lost loved ones was one of his few misses after he found his auteurial voice; it’s still of interest. On Blu-ray from Kino Lorber with a new commentary track by film historian Amy Simmons. Buy Alps.
Apocalypse Now: Final Cut (1979): Read . A redux of the redux, ‘s review of Apocalypse Now Redux ‘s “final cut” of his slightly surreal Vietnam War nightmare is surely the definitive final word on this masterpiece. You may still be able to catch this in its limited theatrical run; if not, it’s now out in a 6-disc (!) set containing a standard Blu-ray, a 4K Ultra HD disc, two more discs in each format with the theatrical and redux cuts on them, a Blu-ray of recycled extra features, and a Blu-ray with the documentary Hearts of Darkness and all new featurettes. The horror! Buy Apocalypse Now: Final Cut.
Dogtooth (2009): Read the Canonically Weird review! This strange and dsiturbing Greek parable about three adult children who are isolated in a villa and taught lies about the outside world appears in an updated Blu-ray from Kino Lorber, with a new commentary track from actors Christos Stergioglou and , a new interview with director , and several extras recycled from previous releases. Buy Dogtooth.
CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:
- Baltimore, MD, 9/11 – Pan’s Labyrinth (2006). At the Senator.
- Boston, MA, 9/6 (midnight) – Pink Flamingos (1972). At Coolidge Corner.
- Denver, CO, 9/11 – Paprika (2006). At the Alamo Drafthouse.
- Kansas City, MO, 7/6, 8 – Blue Velvet (1986). At the Screenland Armour.
- New Braunfels, TX, 9/11 – Millennium Actress (2001). At the Alamo Drafthouse.
- New York City, NY, 9/6-7 (midnights) – Paprika (2006). At IFC Center.
- New York City, NY, 9/6-8 – Fantastic Planet [La Planète Sauvage] (1973). At the Metrograph.
- New York City, NY, 9/6-9, 11-12 – Millennium Actress (2001). At the Metrograph.
- New York City, NY, 9/6-7, 9, 12 – Pierrot le Fou (1965). At the Metrograph.
- New York City, NY, 9/6-7, 11 – Perfect Blue (1997). At the Metrograph.
- New York City, NY, 9/6-12 – Blue Velvet (1986). At IFC Center.
- New York City, NY, 9/7-9, 11 – Spirited Away (2001). At the Metrograph.
- New York City, NY, 9/11 – La Grande Bouffe (1973). At the Alamo Drafthouse.
- New York City, NY, 9/11-12 – True Stories (1986). At the Roxy.
- Portland, OR, 9/7 – Brazil (1985). At the Hollywood.
- San Francisco, CA, 9/7 – The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953) (with all-you-can-eat cereal buffet and live performance by “Media Meltdown”). At the Alamo Drafthouse.
- Santa Monica, CA, 9/6 (midnight) – Pink Flamingos (1972). At the Aero.
- Vancouver, BC, Canada – Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001). At the Rio.
“The Diabolical Damon Zex/Checkmate” (Screening at Spectacle Theater Sep. 7, 9, 17 & 20): Back in the early days of the site, we thought underground DVD distribution might be a viable business proposition. So in 2010 we released “The Best of Damon Zex,” a compilation of clips from 1990’s public access provocateur , along with his self-contained short film “Checkmate.” Now Brooklyn’s estimable ultra-underground Spectacle Theater—a venue that regularly screens films so obscure that even we have never heard of them—catches Zex fever, as Damon highlights their “Public Access, Private Desires” series. See greasepainted Goth Damon eat his girlfriend’s used tampon (we’re not kidding!) as the highlight of the surreal atrocities he once inflicted upon those foolish enough to tune in to his groundbreaking (and quickly banned) television show. If you can’t make it to Brooklyn, you can always buy a copy of the DVD… Damon Zex at Spectacle Theater.
WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE: Next week, 366 goes porno! That’s right, it’s sexytime. Giles Edwards warms you up with a review of the movie doesn’t want you to know he directed—the 1976 skin flick 9 Lives of a Wet Pussy. The, Pete Trbovich will take a hard look at the world’s first (only?) all-puppet hardcore film, Let My Puppets Come (also 1976). Finally, in the afterglow, G. Smalley tells you the sadomasochistic story of Singapore Sling (1990), which may not carry an XXX rating, but which will gross you out far more (unless you’re actually turned on by the idea of humping a mummy). Google tells us you guys want “weird sex,” and weird sex we shall give you! 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.