So this kid has a “fright” and loses all of his hair, but some friendly hobo ghosts give him a recipe to regrow it. The secret ingredient: Peanut Butter! But if you use too much, things get hairy… Ostensibly a heart-warming children’s movie, it seems to have inadvertently scarred an entire generation of kids. I get the impression that adults would just find it silly, but it apparently taps into a lot of fears for kids. Alas it was never made available on DVD (with the speculation being that the soundtrack includes two Celine Dion songs, her first English-language release, and that the rights to clear those songs would never be recouped by sales for such an obscure movie). Oh well, I guess we can always hope for a streaming solution someday…
Weird Movie of the Week
Young Bart Collins, lulled to sleep by the monotony of his piano lessons, dreams of a castle ruled by his piano teacher, the eccentric Dr. Teriwilliker. Dr. T is determined to prove that his “Happy Fingers Method” of teaching piano is the best method in the world. Having banished all other musical instruments to the dungeon, Dr. T lures 500 reluctant little boys to perform in a colossal concert on the grandest grand piano ever built. In his effort to escape, Bart comes in contact with some of the strangest characters imaginable – Siamese twins on roller skates, a human drum and the most memorable villian since the “Grinch”. Filled with surreal landscapes and tongue-twisting rhymes, for which Dr. Seuss is famous, this is a movie children and their parents will love to watch again and again.
Or, you know, not. Audiences at the time apparently didn’t, as this was a colossal bomb. Still, it boasts a screenplay by Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss), even if he pretty much disowned the film and made quippy remarks like “As to who was most responsible for this debaculous fiasco, I will have nothing more to say until all the participants have passed away, including myself.”
Also of note to eagle-eyed Simpsons fans is the fact that the name Teriwilliker was lifted from this film to be used as Sideshow Bob’s last name. And we all know that Bart is Sideshow Bob’s nemesis, just as this movie’s Bart is Dr. T’s nemesis. It’s amazing to me that I’m still, after 25 years, unpacking references made by The Simpsons.
Last time on Weird Book of the Week, we tackled a touching tale of Dinosaur Nazis. This time, well, it’s not so much the contents of the book so much as the cover:
It’s a centaur… but sorta recursive? Um… I don’t… what? If I were a bigger Bradbury fan, I’d snap this up in a heartbeat. It is a real book, but I don’t know if Amazon has this particular edition (the 1971 Corgi books edition).
Last time on Weird Movie of the Week, we took examined a touching tale of a gay yeti and his frat boy lover. This time around, we’ve got dolphins. Lots of dolphins.
It doesn’t get much better than “Unwittingly, he trained a dolphin to kill the President of the United States.” Oddly, it seems to have a decent pedigree, with actor George C. Scott and director Mike Nichols. So sign me up for this killer dolphin movie. What say you?
Update: Dammit, I post this, and then two days later, Mike Nichols passes away. He’s totally an underrated director, despite having made multiple classics. RIP…
Last time on Weird Movie of the Week, we took a look at a werewolf who was also a cop. This time, we’ve got a touching tale of a gay yeti and his frat boy lover:
…sexually repressed Frat Boy Adam finds himself kidnapped by a twisted cult and offered as human sacrifice to a homicidal and wildly homosexual Mountain Yeti. But when the misunderstood Yeti spares his life, young Adam soon gives in to his deepest desires and finds love with his new furry friend. As the kinky fun heats up, the outraged cultists set out to put a stop to the shocking man-beast love once and for all!
Yes, it’s called Yeti: A Love Story (aka Yeti: A Gay Love Story), and it is, of course, a Troma production (so ultra-low budget and intentionally terrible). Apparently it’s part of Troma’s Cinema VeriGay collection. It is also available for free, in its entirety, on YouTube, so don’t worry about trying to find it. Because I know you were getting worried about its availability (oddly, it seems that many Weird Movies of the Week are hard to find).
And the hits just keep on coming. I don’t specifically go out and hunt for weird stuff, somehow it just finds me. Last time on Weird Book of the Week, we pondered the age old question: How Green Were The Nazis? (It turns out that they were not as environmentally friendly as they claimed.) This time around, we’ll stick with the Nazi theme (indeed, Nazis seem to be a common theme amongst Weird Books/Movies of the week).
Many times, the hook for the weird thing of the week is purely visual. A book cover or poster or whatnot, but this time, it’s all about the title: Call Me Mumbles: Subcommandante Mumbles vs. The Dinosaur Nazis. I mean, you know right away if you want to read this story (which, actually, is only about 40 pages long, making it a short story or novelette or something like that). But if you were on the fence, this brief description might also help:
He expected boredom, or maybe a Taliban attack. He didn’t imagine Dinosaur Nazis. But then, who ever does?
Who indeed? But I get it, that’s a terse description, perhaps you’d like some sample awesome? Here are the first lines in the story:
Call me Mumbles. Why, you ask? Because I fucking told you to.
I was humping up this hill in shitbagistan; heavy load and thin air. I could hear the cherry private wheezing behind me. Wanted to tell him to stop fucking breathing, but it just wasn’t worth the effort.
If you’re not on board by now, I don’t think this is for you. Me? They had me at “Dinosaur Nazis” (or probably even just “Subcommandante”),
Last time on Weird Movie of the Week, we took a look at a horrific/touching tale of redneck polka ditties. This time, we’ve got a werewolf who is also a cop, for reals:
That tagline (“Dirty Harry… Only Hairier”) is glorious. And the plot description, courtesy of Shock Til You Drop (more fantastic imagery at that article as well, including one where wolfcop is give a come hither look whilst holding a revolver and standing on a pentagram), sounds just about how you’d expect:
It’s not unusual for alcoholic cop Lou Garou to black out and wake up in unfamiliar surroundings, but lately things have taken a strange turn. Crime scenes seem oddly familiar. Lou’s senses are heightened, and when the full moon is out, he’s a rage-fueled werewolf. Wolfcop is one cop’s quest to become a better man… One transformation at a time.
As I mentioned last time, my record for actually going out and watching these Weird Movies of the Week is somewhat appalling, but this is one that I will almost certainly see (depending on release and distribution details, which are somewhat spotty right now).
The last Weird Movie of the Week was actually a book (a surprisingly common feature in this series), but today we have a bona fide weird movie, courtesy of Brian Collins (aka the guy who did Horror Movie a Day for, like, 5 years), who recounts weird movies he’s watched on his birthday, including this gem:
2007: CALVAIRE (aka THE ORDEAL) (2004)
The one that started it all! Obviously I wasn’t “burnt out” yet, as this was only a few weeks into HMAD’s lifespan. It just so happened that I had the place to myself for a few hours and knew it was the kind of movie my wife would get upset by (i.e. it featured rape and/or torture), so I wanted to get it out of the way when I had the chance. And what a delight it was! Sure, the rapey stuff (male on male, for the record) is hardly fun, but any movie that features an entire bar’s worth of rednecks suddenly dancing around to a little polka ditty is definitely worth your time. A film that works best without any inkling as to what it’s about, though I will say it starts off like (too many) horror films – a car breaking down in a remote area. In the immortal words of Buzzfeed, what happened next will blow your mind.
So yes, it’s got some rapey stuff (that’s bad), but also redneck polka ditties (that’s fun!), so I guess I’m in. I have to admit that my record in terms of actually watching Weird Movies of the Week is actually rather appalling (though I have seen several), but given Collins’ note that the less you know about this movie going in, the better, I think this one might be a nice surprise.
It’s the photo that really makes it. The subject matter seems relatively dry: Nazis courted German environmentalists for support (along with a whole slew of other German factions), and said environmentalists (and presumably lots of other Germans) started to realize that maybe the Nazis were lying once they started invading other countries and committing genocide. Or something. I didn’t read the book. But it is certainly a weird approach. If this doesn’t quite reach your weirdness quotient, check out a few others… Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to interview for a Top Perogi Makers Job.
Last time on Weird Movie of the Week, we featured a touching tale of butt demons. This time, we’ve got a movie that isn’t even made yet. Carver is a throwback, 80’s style slasher film, beginning with a tragic Halloween accident in the past, culminating in a masked killer dispatching those responsible with a scythe. Yeah, pretty standard slasher formula stuff here, so what’s the big deal? I’ll let the film’s co-director explain:
Yep, the movie is being made by 13-year-old Emily DiPrimio and her dad. From the looks of it, she’s got a great sense of humor and her bona fides in the horror department are already pretty well established. Plus, she hates CGI gore. That’s got to count for something!
My dad came up with the idea for Carver several years ago, but it never progressed further than an outline. That is, until I found out I needed ankle surgery this past January, which caused me to be off my feet for 12 weeks. I was really down and my dad noticed and asked if I would help him write this script he had been thinking about for a while. Before I knew it, we were writing Carver together which made the 12 weeks fly by. After we finished the first draft, I remember the pride I felt at having helped write a pretty darn good screenplay. I asked my dad if we could make it and of course he said we could try, but it takes a lot of time and money to make a feature film correctly. That is why I am here on Kickstarter- to humbly ask you to help me make my dream of making a slasher film with my dad come true.
The Kickstarter perks range from the normal (copy of the movie, etc…) to the outright awesome – if you donate $10 thousand, you get to write your own death scene in the movie, and judging from their video, the more bonkers the death, the better. As Evan Saathoff notes, “It’s not a dinner and basketball game with Spike Lee, but it’s better than a dinner and basketball game with Zack Braff, probably.”