20 Strange Movies

Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 3:52 pm

If you enjoy strange movies, then I’ve got a treat for you. In the list below, I’ve included 20 of the strangest films I could think of, so there’s bound to be a few that you haven’t seen. Whether it’s a heavy-set transvestite eating dog poop or a Japanese schoolgirl gunning down villains with her machine-gun arm, this list of strange movies should entertain on a number of levels.

Most (if not all) of these strange films can be rented from Netflix. With their multiple subscription plans to meet every budget and library of over 100,000 films, there’s little doubt why they’re the top online rental company in the United States. Become a Netflix member today and see what all the fuss is about.

Jacob’s Ladder (1990) – Director Adrian Lyne helmed this hallucinatory nightmare about a U.S. soldier (Tim Robbins) who experiences a series of troubling visions and stumbles across a possible cover-up by the government. Elizabeth Pena’s transformation while dancing is especially troubling, and the film co-stars Danny Aiello, Ving Rhames, and Jason Alexander.

Naked Lunch (1991) – Many thought it would be impossible to adapt William S. Burroughs’ trippy novel to the big screen, but it turns out that David Cronenberg was more than up to the task. The resulting production stars Peter Weller as an exterminator-turned-writer with a penchant for shooting women in the head and producing reports on living typewriters. While it takes great liberties with the source material, it’s still a perfectly entertaining film and one of many such strange movies turned out by Cronenberg.

The City of Lost Children (1995) – Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro direct this French tale of a youthful thief (Judith Vittet) and circus strongman (Ron Perlman) who join forces to stop a mad scientist who’s kidnapping children in order to steal their dreams. You’ll be left in awe of the stunning cinematography.

The Dark Backward (1991) – There are lots of strange movies out there, but one of the most unusual revolves around a garbage man (Judd Nelson) who performs awful stand-up comedy while being accompanied on the accordion by his co-worker (Bill Paxton). But nobody notices until he begins growing a third arm, an event which quickly gains the attention of a seedy talent agent (Wayne Newton). The highlight is Paxton’s character finding a big-breasted corpse in the dump and proceeding to perform oral sex on her.

Synecdoche, New York (2008) – Oddball screenwriter Charlie Kaufman makes his directorial debut with this tale of Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a theatre director who creates a replica of the real world inside a sprawling Manhattan warehouse and hires actors to lead seemingly mundane lives. But as he tries to deal with one personal crisis after another (not to mention constant health issues), Caden’s false world slowly becomes to only one he feels conformable in. Co-starring Samantha Morton, Emily Watson, Dianne Wiest, Tom Noonan, Catherine Keener, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Eraserhead (1977) – David Lynch gave us an unfiltered view of things to come with his first feature film, a disturbing tale of a vacationing printer (Jack Nance) beset by inhuman infants, deranged ex-girlfriends, dancing women in radiators, and an ominous man inside a planet. While it was shot in black-and-white and took years to complete, Lynch’s efforts paid off in a big way: Mel Brooks loved the film and offered Lynch a job directing The Elephant Man. From there, it’s been one strange movie after another for the well-coiffed Montana native.

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The Lair of the White Worm (1988) – After finding the skull of what appears to be a large snake, a Scottish archeology student (Peter Capaldi) runs afoul of an erotically charged immortal priestess (Amanda Donohoe). Written and directed by Ken Russell and co-starring Hugh Grant and Catherine Oxenberg.

Harold and Maude (1971) – The darkly comic tale of a friendship and romance between a death-obsessed young man (Bud Cort) and a 79-year-old woman (Ruth Gordon) looking to live each day to the fullest. Listed as one of the 10 best romantic comedies by the American Film Institute.

Don’t Look Now (1973) – After their daughter accidentally drowns, an American couple (Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie) travels to Venice to get a change of scenery. But a killer is on the loose, and the pair soon encounter a pair of elderly sisters with strange abilities. You’ll never see the ending coming, and the sex scenes between the two leads are interesting to say the least. One of the finest weird films from director Nicolas Roeg.

Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl (2009) – Based on a popular manga, this Japanese gore film follows the rivalry between two girls for the affections of a boy. It turns out that one of the girls (the smoking hot Yukie Kawamura) is an ageless vampire, while the other (Eri Otoguro) is the daughter of a mad scientist. Blood and body parts fly in every direction, and directors Yoshihiro Nishimura and Naoyuki Tomomatsu have a few things to say about Japanese students into emulating African-Americans and wrist cutting.

Pink Flamingos (1972) – John Waters leaves his thoroughly tasteless mark as the director of this cult film about a transvestite (Divine) why endeavors to defend her title of the “filthiest person alive.” Black market babies are sold to lesbians, a chicken is crushed to death during sex, and Divine eats a handful of real-life dog feces. Originally banned in many countries, including Norway, Australia, and parts of Canada.

Archangel (1990) – Depicting German and Bolshevik soldiers as ape-like cannibals, this Canadian satire is set in a remote Russian port where nobody is aware that World War I has come to an end. So the wage rages on, while most seem to suffer from some sort of strange form of amnesia. Directed by Guy Maddin, the whole affair has the look and feel of a black-and-white propaganda film.

Altered States (1980) – William Hurt makes his film debut in Ken Russell’s tale of a psychology professor whose experiments lead to a state of biological devolution. Based on the novel by Paddy Chayefsky, the film also stars Blair Brown, Bob Balaban, and a young Drew Barrymore.

Bad Boy Bubby (1993) – When a 35-year-old man (Nicholas Hope) steps out of the house for the first time, director Rolph de Heer wastes no time in skewering everything from religion to mother/son relationships. There’s also murder, sex, and violence against cats, and this bizarre outing uses a different director of photography for each scene involving Bubby’s foray into an unsuspecting world (over 30). If you like the films of John Waters, you’ll want to give this one a look.

For even more strange movies, click here to become a member of Netflix.

El Topo (1970) – This Mexican western is filled with symbolism, naked children, dwarves, and plenty of other material that’ll keep you scratching your head in disbelief. Director Alejandro Jodorowsky also stars as the title character, and it’s highly recommended for Western fans looking for something a bit more bizarre than the usual Clint Eastwood outing. Fans of the film include David Lynch, Peter Fonda, Marilyn Manson, Peter Gabriel, and Bob Dylan.

Videodrome (1983) – David Cronenberg makes his second appearance on the list, this time with his body horror flick about a sleazy TV president (James Woods) who goes looking for original programming to pirate and winds up finding a battle for the minds of North America. A surreal and chaotic film that co-stars Deborah Harry and is filled with blood, guts, sex, transformations, and plenty of other oddities. Long live the new flesh!

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) – Terry Gilliam knows a thing or two about strange movies, and he demonstrates his expertise by adapting the gonzo novel from eccentric journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Johnny Depp is balls-to-the-wall crazy as Thompson’s alter-ego Raoul Duke, and Benicio del Toro pitches in as Duke’s high-as-a-kite attorney, Dr. Gonzo. Depp was hand-picked for the role by Thompson, and other recognizable faces in this fantasy-drama include Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, Ellen Barkin, Gary Busey, Mark Harmon, Cameron Diaz, Debbie Reynolds, and many more.

Machine Girl (2008) – After her brother is killed by a gang of young hooligans, a Japanese schoolgirl (Minase Yashiro) goes looking for revenge with the help of a machine gun in place of her left arm. Filled with over-the-top gore and such lethal instruments as the “drill bra,” you’ll be laughing from start to finish.

Donnie Darko (2001) – Jake Gyllenhaal first gained notice as a troubled youth who experiences visions of the future courtesy of a menacing guy in a bunny suit. It’s much deeper than it sounds, and director Richard Kelly’s tale is anchored with performances from a fine cast including Jena Malone, Patrick Swayze, Drew Barrymore, Noah Wyle, and Mary McDonnell. Jake’s older sister Maggie also puts in an appearance. If you’re serious about strange movies and unusual films, then stop your search right here, but be sure to skip the ill-conceived sequel, S. Darko.

Being John Malkovich (1999) – More craziness from screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze, this quirky black comedy follows a morose puppeteer (John Cusack) who takes a job as a file clerk and discovers a portal into the mind of actor John Malkovich. Naturally, he begins selling passage inside the performer’s psyche. Cameron Diaz couldn’t be more unglamorous in this one, and Catherine Keener gives her usual strong performance. Malkovich plays himself.

This list of strange movies should keep you busy for a while, but there are plenty more odd films out there (David Lynch, for example, has nine others). If you absolutely can’t wait, be sure to become a member of Netflix to enjoy a selection of over 100,000 films. Plus, the commission we get for sending you there will allow us to keep our doors open for business.

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 16th, 2010 at 3:52 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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