If you are looking to expand your film viewing into a strange realm, here is a list of 10 movies that are a good primer for the field!
Akira Kurasowa’s ‘Dreams’ is a very odd movie not only in the way it’s shot, but the way it’s structured as well. I can’t really go into much detail about the film as it’s very difficult to explain. However it is worth watching for it’s visuals. Very beautiful to look at.
9. Jacob’s Ladder
Jacob’s Ladder is the film equivalent of a mind-fuck. Honestly this movie is terrifying and will really play with your head the whole way through. Watch this movie alone late at night if you need to stay up. Seriously, do yourself a favor and check this out. I first saw this when I was my parent’s friend’s house. They were out talking while I was watching TV and this movie came on. Needless to say it messed my little brain up hahaha. But this movie holds up so well and is just as frightening (if not more so) today
8. Synechdoche, New York
Charlie Kaufman always makes strange movies. That is not a surprise. However, his directorial debut is one of the strangest of his catalogue so far. A meditation on life and how you view the world and others and what that can take on, this film is beautiful and challenging. This is a movie that demands more than one viewing to really take it all in.
Tideland is to me a beautiful disaster. It was slammed by critics and moviegoers alike. A story of a young girl who escapes into her own fantasy world after her drug addicted parents die and she is left alone in an old house in the middle of nowhere. I mean for ¾’s of the movie Jeff Bridges is a rotting corpse in the house while the little girl feeds him and dresses him up. I can totally understand why people hate this movie, but for some reason I was captivated by it and I think it is worth at least one viewing.
James Wood’s puts a vhs tape inside of his newly formed stomach-vag. Do I need to say more? A classic body horror from Cronenberg, and an ahead-of-it’s-time satire about media and its effects on the viewer.
From Alex Winter (from Bill and Ted films and The Idiot Box) made what is in my opinion one of the most absurd and hilarious comedies ever made. This movie is weird and is shamefully unseen by most people. You’ll never look at a Styrofoam Cup the same again.
4. Pink Flamingos
A Warning: If you are at all sensitive to the grotesque or have hang ups about nudity/sex this is definitely not the movie for you. John Water’s seminal shock film. This movie still is shocking even by today’s standards. This is not Hairspray. So I’ll posit this question: Can you handle a butthole singing ‘Surfin’ Bird’? If you answered no, then stay away from Pink Flamingos.
Gummo is a movie that I love and I hate. It’s filthy, disgusting, brilliant, terrible. The first time I watched it, once the credits rolled, I sat in silence for a long time, then I rewound the tape and watched it again. This movie feels like it’s real and a nightmare. When I used to work at a popular video store I used to recommend it to teeny-boppers looking for a Friday night flick. Hope they enjoyed it.
It’s so hard to pick a weird Lynch film to recommend. But this is the Lynch-pin (hardy har har). This movie is, make no mistake, a horror film. Lynch’s use of sound and black and white, creates such a horrifying vision of parenthood and relationships. The ‘baby’ in this movie still freaks me out to this day.
1. The Holy Mountain
As much as I love El Topo, I think The Holy Mountain is a better movie. Like Jodorowsky’s other film’s this is steeped in religious allegory and symbolism. And it is absolutely amazing. One of my all time favorite movies and has the best twist ending ever.