Weird Movie of the Week

Weird Movie of the Week: Holiday Horror Edition

Last time on Weird Movie of the Week, we covered a remake of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 film The Holy Mountain that is composed entirely of salvaged clips from old dog movies and VHS tapes. This time we’ve got some Holiday Horror:

A Christmas Horror Story has a lot going for it. It’s from several of the creative minds behind the Ginger Snaps trilogy (Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban and Brett Sullivan) and takes place in Ginger and Brigitte’s fictional town of Bailey Downs; it stars William Shatner as a drunk, hyper-conservative radio DJ full of holiday cheer; it features Krampus and zombie elves. Like any horror anthology, there are great moments and there are weak moments, but its framework is cleverly constructed, tying all of the vignettes together in an interesting way that isn’t revealed until the final act.

So the fact that it is a Holiday Horror movie is not, in itself, very weird. There’s lots of them, and we’ve covered this territory before. Repeatedly. Nor is it that it comes from the folks who made Ginger Snaps (an original take on the werewolf story, to be sure, but not quite weird). No, what sold me on this was the Shatner line: “it stars William Shatner as a drunk, hyper-conservative radio DJ full of holiday cheer”. Inspired. I’m all in.

The review isn’t exactly glowing, but few of these movies are actually very good. As it mentions, it’s clearly inspired by Trick ‘r Treat, one of the best horror anthologies ever made (surely the most consistently good and interconnected), which is funny, because this movie supposedly features the Krampus, an obscure Santa precursor that represents Santa’s… darker side (many precursors are actually two separate people, one to give gifts to all the good boys and girls, the other to punish the not-so-good). It turns out that Trick ‘r Treat’s writer/director Michael Dougherty is releasing his own take on Krampus during this holiday season. It’s an embarrassment of riches for Holiday Horror fans this year. Looking forward to it.

Weird Movie of the Week

Last time on Weird Movie of the Week, we covered a movie that revolved around a secret formula for growing hair using peanut butter. This time, we’ve got two weird movies for the price of one! Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez! is a remake of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 film The Holy Mountain (itself one of the weirdest movies of all time, along with the rest of Jodorowsky’s oeuvre) that is composed entirely of salvaged clips from old dog movies and VHS tapes. Naturally, the film was made by the Everything is Terrible crew, a group of people that wallow in the detritus of old VHS wastelands and the like (usually to hilarious effect). It makes the Kaedrin watchlist sheerly for the audacity of attempting a remake of a Jodorowsky film and coming up with a premise that actually makes it seem like they might pull it off. Having watched The Holy Mountain, I can tell you that it’s a miracle that someone could even come close to thinking of something that might rival that film’s weirdness. Can they actually fulfill that potential? Only one way to find out!

Weird Movie of the Week

Last time on Weird Movie of the Week, we covered Dr. Seuss’s self-described debaculous fiasco. This time, we’ve got The Peanut Butter Solution:

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

Last time on Weird Movie of the Week, we covered a touching tale of dolphin assassins. Today, we tackle The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.

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.

Weird Book of the Week

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:

Recursive Centaurs!

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).

Weird Movie of the Week

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.

Day of the Dolphin

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…

Weird Movie of the Week

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).

Weird Book of the Week

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”),

Weird Movie of the Week

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:

Wolfcop!

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).

Weird Movie of the Week

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.