Courtesy of 366 Weird Movies
A roundup and rundown of what’s happening now in bizarre cinema. For reviews, events, and festival coverage of the cinematically surreal, bizarre, cult, oddball, fantastique, strange, psychedelic, and the just plain WEIRD, check out 366WeirdMovies.com.
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
Sister Tempest (2020): Joe Badon strikes again with another crowdfunded surrealist epic; this one is a psychological thriller-type tale taking place in a dreamspace equally inspired by Jodorowsky and Zardoz. In virtual theaters (and live screenings at the Zeitgeist if you live in New Orleans). Sister Tempest official home page.
Come True (2020): A college freshman volunteers for a sleep study and something goes wrong, blurring the lines between the waking world and nightmares. It’s a premise we’ve seen before, but the 88% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes suggests that this time they’ve executed the scenario with atypical panache. In (some) theaters, and simultaneously releasing on demand. Come True official site.
Honeydew (2020): A young couple seek shelter on a farm overseen by a weirdly friendly woman, and experience odd phenomena. Another familiar-sounding plot, but mainstream reviewers are using the w-word, so we’ll be giving it a chance. Limited theatrical release only as of now, VOD (and review) coming on April 13. Honeydew official Facebook page.
Keep an Eye Out [Au Poste!] (2018): Read our review. Quentin Dupieux returns with an absurdist police procedural, which just might be his most Buñuelian effort yet. Mostly in virtual cinemas, starting today. Keep an Eye Out official site.
NEW ON HOME VIDEO:
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs. 1 [AKA Crazy Samurai Musahsi] (2020): Read Giles Edwards’ review. Maybe not weird per se, but it is a single-take movie where a lone samurai fights all comers for 90 minutes, which is something you don’t see every day. DVD/Blu-ray/VOD. Buy Crazy Samurai 400: vs 1.
Jumbo (2020): The tender tale of a romance between a young woman and an amusement park attraction. Not a comedy. VOD only, at the present time. Buy or rent Jumbo.
The Father (2020): Read our review. Oscar’s only even mildly weird contestant is a winner, putting you inside Anthony Hopkins‘ deteriorating mind. Still in theaters, but already on VOD (though at a premium price, so watch with a group). Rent The Father.
IN DEVELOPMENT (awaiting US release):
Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time (2021): The fourth film in Hideaki Anno‘s Evangelion remake is finally upon us, debuting a mere seven years after the previous installment. No word on how crazy the ending gets this time out—the Japanese trailer understandably focuses on the robot battles—but it did blockbuster business in Tokyo theaters. Americans will likely have to wait for the Blu-ray or VOD release to be completely confused. We first heard the news through Cartoon Brew.
Seed in the Sand (est. Summer 2022): It took Christiane Cegavske thirteen years to hand-animate her very personal surrealist fairy tale Blood Tea and Red String (2006). When she completed it, she immediately announced plans for a follow-up in the same style. That was fifteen years ago, and now it looks like there’s light at the end of the tunnel, with enough work completed to make a teaser trailer (below). She describes the plot thusly: “Driven by starvation in this dry, dying world, one desperate nest-dwelling creature obsessed by mysterious dreams of an island of dancing dolls abandons his mate and egg to find deliverance or ruin beyond the sea of sand” and promises she will continue “mixing dream images and symbols from magic, folklore, and pre-Grimm versions of familiar fairy tales to create my own surreal mythology.” You can support her efforts via Patreon. Seed in the Sand project page.
IN DEVELOPMENT (announced):
Holy Remedies [Santos Remedias] (202?): Sofia Garza-Barba, a young Mexican-American director whose magical realist shorts have earned her comparisons to Guillermo del Toro, plans to make her feature film debut with a fairy tale about an eight-year-old girl who makes a pact with Holy Death to meet her absent father for the first time. It’s just in the pitch stage now, but we’ll keep an eye out for it. Variety has more.
The President’s Analyst (202?): The original President’s Analyst (1967) was a paranoid psychedelic satire starring James Coburn as the President’s personal psychiatrist who gets drawn into a conspiracy. We don’t know anything about this update other than that the script was written by an Obama speechwriter and Trevor Noah is co-producing (and presumably taking the lead). Could be weird, could be a misfire. More from the Hollywood Reporter.
IN DEVELOPMENT (crowdfunding):
“Manos: The Debbie Chronicles” (202?): A 60-minute pilot for an episodic Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966) sequel, following the now-grown-up Debbie (still played by original actress Jackey Neyman Jones) as she deals with the aftermath of her experiences in the ‘Manos’ cult. The end result will likely be campy, though the director says they’re aiming for a 75/25% ratio of serious to comic. The good news is it’s modest $6,250 budgetary goal has already been met; you can still contribute to their stretch goal, a video game called “Manos: Debbie’s Dungeon Delve!” Read more (and/or contribute) at the “Manos: The Debbie Chronicles” Seed & Spark page.
Compiled by Amy M. Vaughn