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.
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart: A child has his heart replaced by a cuckoo-clock at birth and is told he will die if he falls in love. Slant Magazine says this Burton-esque animated fairy tale from France “is at once enabled and hindered by its utter strangeness.” Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart official site.
Maps to the Stars: A Tinseltown self-help guru, his pampered wife, and their drug-addicted child star son meet a young actress who is haunted by her mother’s ghost. Although the hype around this project has faded after a lukewarm Cannes debut, David Cronenberg ‘s Hollywood satire sports an interesting cast, including Mia Wasikowska, Julianne Moore, John Cusak, and of course new Cronenberg regulars Robert Pattinson and Sarah Gadon. Maps to the Stars Facebook page.
A WWII Fairy Tale: The Making of Michael Mann’s The Keep (201?): Michael Mann’s messed-up movie about Nazis guarding an ancient demon still hasn’t gotten a DVD release, but it does have this upcoming documentary, which looks like it would make an excellent DVD extra. The Keep‘s continued limited availability is a bit of a mystery—it keeps popping up on Netflix streaming, then disappearing (it’s currently listed as up until 10/1/2014). A doc on this neglected (not lost) curiousity isn’t as essential as Jodorowsky’s Dune was, but there’s apparently enough interest in this obscurity to justify a movie about the movie. A WWII Fairy Tale: The Making of Michael Mann’s The Keep official site.
NEW ON DVD:
“Elvira’s Movie Macabre: The Coffin Collection”: 26 episodes of B-movies occasionally interrupted by patter and puns from the buxom hostess. This set appears to cover the entire run of the 2011 revival of “Movie Macabre,” including unaired episodes, and comes in a tasteful tin coffin. Movies that we’ve reviewed here include A Bucket of Blood, The Terror, Manos: The Hands of Fate, and The Brain that Wouldn’t Die. Buy “Elvira’s Movie Macabre: The Coffin Collection”.
Legend of the Hillbilly Butcher (2012): A rustic carves up trespassers in this low-budget gore film. It bills itself as something that might be “conjured up by a hillbilly David Lynch.” Buy Legend Of The Hillbilly Butcher.
The Signal (2014): A computer expert ends up a prisoner in a mysterious facility. Critics are throwing the word “mindbending” around a lot. Buy The Signal.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
“The Complete Anthology: The Exorcist”: The five official Exorcist movies (along with an alternate cut of the original) collected together in one Blu-ray set. The first was a horror classic, the second two were flawed films that are each interesting (and slightly weird) in their own ways. The two Johnny-come-lately prequels which fill out the franchise made no impression on anyone. Buy “The Complete Anthology: The Exorcist” [Blu-ray].
Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977): Four years after the first exorcism, it turns out that they didn’t get that pesky Satan all the way out of Linda Blair. Talented but mercurial director John Boorman did his prospects no favors by following up the disastrous Zardoz with what is considered one of the great flop sequels of all time (not to worry: he pulled his career out of the toilet with Excalibur). Buy Exorcist III: The Heretic [Blu-ray].
The Exorcist III (1990): The demon that plagued the first two films takes up residence in a dead serial killer. Original “Exorcist” novelist William Peter Blatty took over directorial duties for this crazy third sequel that is widely considered to be an improvement on Boorman’s film. Buy The Exorcist III: Legion [Blu-ray].
Ghost in the Shell (1995): Cyborg cops hunt a hacker in 2029 in this seminal cyberpunk anime. Surprisingly, there are no extras in this “25th Anniversary” edition. Buy Ghost in the Shell [Blu-ray].
The Signal (2014): See description in DVD above. This is a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack (along with, naturally, the “Ultraviolet” version no one cares about). Buy The Signal [Blu-ray + DVD].
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.