WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 9/16/2011

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):

The Mill and The Cross:  Artist/director Lech Majewski brings Pieter Brueghel’s sprawling canvas “The Way to Calvary”—which set the Crucifixion in the painter’s own 16th century Flanders—to life, using CGI to overlap real actors with the artwork.  Maybe it’s not all that weird, but it’s certainly not normal.  Rutger Hauer stars as Brueghel and becomes the first actor ever to portray a Flemish painter and a hobo with a shotgun in the same year.  Opening this week at the Film Forum in NYC with scattered screenings  through the fall.  The Mill and the Cross official site.

The Weird World of Blowfly:  Documentary focusing on Clarence Reid, better known as his alter-ego Blowfly, the proto-rapper and x-rated auteur of 1970s party albums packed with brilliantly brain-dead song parodies like “Spermy Night In Georgia” and “My Baby Keeps Farting In My Face.”  Hey, it’s got “weird” right there in the title!  Opening this week in New York, with L.A. and other major cities to follow.  The Weird World of Blowfly official site.

IN DEVELOPMENT:

Gallino:  We mentioned this upcoming project last week (you can see the teaser trailer in this post), but we were unaware at the time that the project is still seeking funding.   Like many independent features, Gallino is reaching out to fans for fundraising via indiegogo.  Listen to their plea here.  If you have deep pockets, you can even be an extra and a guest producer!

NEW ON DVD:

Hesher (2010): A sociopathic arsonist and anarchist takes up residence in a family’s garage after the mother dies in a car accident; is he real, or just a symbol of discord?  Starring Joseph Gordon Levitt, Devin Brcohu, Rainn Wilson, Piper Laurie and Natalie Portman (who also produced). Buy Hesher.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: “Manos” The Hands of FateRead our review of “Manos”.  We love , and we “love” (well, “admire”… well, “are fascinated by”?)  Manos, and they turn out to be two great tastes that go great together: episode 424 consistently ranks among the top 3 episodes in fan polls, and has now been released on DVD three different times (as a single disc, packaged with Santa Claus Conquers the Martians as half of Rhino’s “Essentials” set, and this 2 disc extravaganza).  This set includes the uncut version of the film together with the riffed version, the mini-documentary “Hotel Torgo,” bonus shorts (including both parts of “Hired!” and an original comedy short by Larry “Lost Skeleton of Cadavra” Blamire), and cast reflections on the episode, making it an essential disc for “Manos” and MST3K fans alike. Buy Mystery Science Theater 3000: “Manos” the Hands of Fate.

Le Quattro Volte (2010):  The four stage journey of a shepherd’s soul through the afterlife, told according to one of geeky Greek cult leader Pythagoras’ lesser-known theorems.  It’s interesting that Lorber is releasing this under its Italian title and not as The Four Times; they must realize they’re not going to trick Redbox renters into picking up a movie about a dying Italian shepherd who slowly turns into a rock.  Buy Le Quattro Volte.

Trainspotting (1996):  Danny Boyle’s cult hit about terminally bored Scottish heroin addicts isn’t defiantly weird, but contains some unforgettable hallucination sequences (feel like trip into the toilet, anyone?)  This re-issue adds a wealth of supplementary material unavailable on the previous bare-bones release. Buy Trainspotting.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

3 Women (1977):  Robert Altman‘s dreamlike, surreal vision of three women—Shelley Duvall, Sissy Spacek, and Janice Rule—in an identity crisis gets an upgrade to Blu-ray.  From the Criterion Collection, and including a commentary track by the director. Buy 3 Women (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray].

The 10th Victim (1965): Celebrity assassin Ursula Andress tries to notch her tenth kill for a future televised version of A Most Dangerous Game; her assignment is to ice suave killer Marcello Mastrioanni.  This campy Italian satire anticipated reality TV, beating movies like The Running Man and Deathrow Gameshow to the punch by two decades; you may notice a scene later parodied in Austin PowersBuy The 10th Victim [Blu-ray].

The Frighteners (1996):  released this horror-comedy about ghosthunter Michael J. Fox inducing a near-death experience so that he could battle spirits in their own realm after his critically successful fantasy-drama Heavenly Creatures.  This one was a flop at the time, but it has drawn a small cult following over the years, though its membership is nowhere near the level of that for Jackson’s transgressive underground hits Bad Taste, Meet the Feebles and Dead-AliveBuy The Frighteners [Blu-ray].

Hesher (2010): See description in DVD above. Buy Hesher [Blu-ray].

Le Quattro Volte (2010): See description in DVD above. Buy Le Quattro Volte [Blu-ray].

Trainspotting (1996): See description in DVD above. Buy Trainspotting [Blu-ray].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

The Sky Crawlers [Sukai kurora] (2008):  Latest visually impressive sci-fi anime from Mamoru Oshii, director of Ghost in the Shell, about children who are trained from birth as pilots to fight in an endless dogfight.  Watch The Sky Crawlers 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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