Top 10 Weird Movies, Continued
Entries 1 through 5
Liquid Sky (1982)
An extremely small UFO in the shape of a hubcap lands on the roof of a New York City apartment building occupied by early 80s new-wavish girl model Margaret (Anne Carlisle) and her drug dealer girlfriend (Paula Sheppard). The aliens like heroin, but soon find the human pheromones created in the brain during orgasm preferable, and they start killing off Margaret’s sex partners. The movie also features Margaret’s androgynous enemy Jimmy, also played by Anne Carlisle in a dual role. Plenty of low-budget violence, rape, drug use, and bizarre sex. It gives an interesting look at the early 80s post-punk underground and Paula E. Sheppard’s character Adrian does a really funny performance in a club doing something called “Me and My Rhythm Box.” It’s a catchy tune that may have inspired electroclash. Liquid Sky has horrible acting, but it’s so friggin’ weird that it doesn’t really matter. The film soundtrack is very alien (The music for the film was composed by Brenda Hutchinson and Clive Smith using the Fairlight CMI, the first digital sampler/synthesiser.), and the whole thing was made by a group of Russians. (Slava Tsukerman, his wife his wife Nina Kerova, Yuri Neyman).
Buy Liquid Sky on DVD
Dr. Caligari (1989)
A weird trip into surrealism from Stephen Sayadian, the director/writer of strange adult films like Cafe Flesh (1982) and Night Dreams (1981). Mrs. Van Houten has shown signs of losing touch with reality, and her husband discusses possible treatment with Dr. Caligari (granddaughter of the “original” Dr. Caligari), who says Mrs. Van Houten has a disease of the libido. The staff want Dr. Caligari removed from their facility due to her controversial experiments. The movie is firmly rooted in German Expressionism with sprinkles of 80s New Wave. Characters say stuff like “My feelings are like filthy prayers. I want to scream in your face!”. The sets are abstract and minimal, and sometimes it’s like you’re watching a pretentious theater performance from college drama majors who want to seem edgy and in-your-face. Some of the sequences seem inspired by Videodrome. There’s lots of perky boobs (mostly belonging to the good looking Laura Albert), and smoking, which we approve of, and Madeleine Reynal is hilarious as Dr. Caligari. Also features one of Fox Harris’ final performances. See it on a double bill with Liquid Sky (or Forbidden Zone).
Buy Dr. Caligari on VHS
Forbidden Zone (1980)
One of the reviewers of this movie on IMDB describes this film as
“if David Lynch Had Directed Betty Boop… no live-action movie has ever captured the anarchic feel of the rubbery Max Fleischer cartoons of the 1930s better than “Forbidden Zone.” It’s an LSD-fueled Betty Boop picture mixed with “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Inferno,” all filtered through David Lynch’s kaleidoscope (or run through R. Crumb’s Cuisinart).”
We’d say that’s a fairly accurate description of this odd insane-a-thon, shot in black-and-white, but featuring boobs, a midget King, the “sixth” dimension, the goofiest alphabet song you’ve ever heard, fat women eating bananas, a guy in a butler suit wearing a giant frog head, old dude in a boy scout uniform who humps every woman he meets like a dog, and, um, two weird looking boxer dudes making silly noises. This is Danny Elfman’s first film as composer, as well as the first appearance of his band Oingo Boingo on film, (called here the Mystic Knights of Oingo Boingo, they were performing on stage since ’72). Yes, Danny Elfman plays Satan in this film, which is directed by his brother Richard, by the way.
The musical numbers are good and make the movie go down better. But it’s this odd tribute to pre-Hays Code political-incorrectness, with occasional bursts of nonsense that feels like it was created by a sugared-up 13-year old boy after watching too many Betty Boop cartoons and his dad’s stack of 30s sex loops. Richard Elfman states that he started the film with no particular audience in mind, merely as an exercise in “unrestrained creativity.” Whether or not Forbidden Zone argues for or against the idea that creativity should be unrestrained is up to you. We kinda liked it.
Buy Forbidden Zone on DVD
David Lynch’s first mindf*ck is a cult phenomenon. It’s just the story of this dude who has a monster baby or something, and he works in a factory that makes pencil erasers, or something, and there’s a crazy lady living in the radiator or something and she likes to sing a lot. “God” is this weird looking dude pulling levers (to make the universe go, I suppose). The radiator lady is supposed to symbolize death, we think. And the dude’s monster baby is actually his vice, or hangup, or whatever thing he can’t control, which is why his wife takes off on him, see? So she doesn’t leave him alone with the baby really, since the baby is probably him. Which is why an eraser pops out of his head at one point. Or not, we don’t know. Watch it for yourself and decide!
Buy Eraserhead on DVD
Buy Eraserhead on Blu-ray
The Holy Mountain (1973).
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain is a major midnight cult item and was apparently a favorite of John Lennon’s. But it’s one of the oddest things ever put on film. Jodorowsky is one of these guys who dabbles in “surrealism” and symbolism and such. Which means plot doesn’t mean crap, and everything you see is a metaphor for something. It doesn’t matter how bizarre, either, he has no problems showing you. For example, what would it be like if some dude had two tiger heads for breasts and they shot streams of milk out of their mouths? Well, if you watch The Holy Mountain, you’ll find out! The movie starts out with a Jesus-like figure, who also is a thief, coming down from his cross and running around town. He runs into some kind of monk (Jodorowsky) who first puts the Jesus guy through some kind of fasting ritual, which involves taking his shit, burning it down, and making gold out of it. Just in case you wanted to know what that looked like, well, here ya go. The plot, such as it is, centers around a bunch of people searching for the Holy Mountain, where they’ll be immortal or whatnot. The ending will either make you love Jodorowsky forever (especially, if, like, you get his vibe, man) or, alternatively, you’ll want to rip his lungs out. Some people might want to do both – we’re in weird territory here. You have never seen anything like The Holy Mountain, and we guarantee you’ll never see anything like it again. People might be arrested if they tried.
Buy The Holy Mountain on DVD
Buy The Holy Mountain on Blu-ray
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