Just Plain Weird
Call them art house, call them cultish but some films are just plain weird! Whether they are directed by David Lynch or David Cronenberg these films, go out of the way to weird you out.

Begotten- (1990)

Dir- E Elias Merhige

Blue Velvet- (1986)

Dir- David Lynch
One young man's journey home becomes a terrifying trip into a world of darkness and evil. From the first image of the severed ear to the title song performed by the sexy Dorothy (Isabella Rossellini) Blue Velvet would undue much of the criticism David Lynch faced after the disastrous Dune. Kyle MacLaughlin plays Jeffery, and with new gal pal Sandy (Laura Dern) the two investigate a possible murder and kidnapping involving a strange man named Frank Booth. Dennis Hopper plays the evil Booth to perfection as his psychotic ramblings, and constant puffing of the mysterious gas brings the viewer a villain who is terrifying on levels never seen before. The top-notch cast also includes Lynch regular's Dean Stockwell, Jack Nance. Remember that next time you order a round of brews, avoid Heineken! Frank Booth says Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!

Boxing Helena- (1993)

Dir- Jennifer Lynch
Julian Sands portrays an obsessed doctor who is smitten by a woman with whom he had a previous affair with only she now despises him. Helena uses every opportunity to put him down yet for whatever reason she accepts a lunch invitation only to storm out when she discovers it is a ploy to win her over. It is then that a truck strikes her down as she is fleeing from the mad doctor. Instead of sending her to the hospital he takes care of her in his home lab by removing her legs. When she becomes involved to control, he then proceeds to remove her arms and makes her entirely dependent on him. In the meantime, her current lover is searching for her as the mad doc slowly works his charm and tries to do make Helena love him. At first, this bizarre premise might sound like some joke; it is safe to say that the director Jennifer Lynch is none other than the daughter of David Lynch so that might explain the strange aura to the film. Unlike her father who is a master at the weird, Ms. Lynch still has some learning to do as the movie tends to explore some rather pointless areas while under-emphasizing its creepy theme. The actors do a pretty decent job, but the real credit goes to Sherilyn Fenn, who portrays the limbless Helena quite convincingly. The film was pretty much torn to shreds by critics, and the rather ambiguous and silly ending didn't help it much either. For her credit, Ms. Lynch does weave a creepy tale that some may find interesting, but take note that her father is the one with the talent for the weird.

Brood- (1979)

Dir- David Cronenberg
For those who may not have figured out Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg's style, it is quite straightforward, plenty of weird images, all sorts of biological terror and all done in beautiful streets of Toronto. Oliver Reed is a psychiatrist who is experimenting with a technique in rage control called psycho plasmic's that involve some weird biological stuff. One of his patients can transgress her rage into these bizarre creatures that exact her anger on her enemies. Unfortunately, her ex-husband soon finds himself and his daughter at odds with these creatures and his wife. Cronenberg goes all out in the weirdness department with this tale that features the lovely Samantha Eggar and her external womb which is left out of view until the end of the film; man is it creepy. This would become one of Cronenberg's strongest movies and somehow makes an excellent allegory for divorce and dealing with your rage.

Eraserhead- (1977)

Dir- David Lynch
David Lynch is well known for such classic movies as Blue Velvet and the strangely addictive Twin Peaks. His first film will be remembered as being one of the most twisted. Made in 1978 and shown mostly in film festivals and art houses, Eraserhead is such a creepy movie that the viewer will find it hard to forget. In many ways watching Eraserhead is like looking at a waking nightmare, the characters are bleak, the sets are dark and dirty, and we are shown images that defy rational logic. A title character is an odd man named Henry who spends his nights watching a small woman dancing in his radiator. We then meet his girlfriend and her family and are witness to a rather uncomfortable meal that may still be alive. Well, it seems the lovebirds have conceived a child who when born resembles a little penis. With this misery at hand, the girl runs away, leaving the poor sickly child to Henry. Surprisingly he does an excellent job of caring for the little one. The movie is 90 minutes long, but I swear it seems like 3 hours, the pacing for the last 10 minutes appears to take an eternity. Shot in black and white, the movie shows one shocking scene after another and continues to do so until the very end. Like no other film, Eraserhead is the type of film that reminds us that no matter how bleak life may seem all you need to do is pop in this tape and go for a ride in this nihilistic living nightmare.

Happiness- (1998)

Dir- Todd Solondz

Jacob's Ladder- (1990)

Dir- Adrian Lyne
One of the most mainstream movies on the list yet I found it to be one of the most disturbing and creative films in recent history. Jacob Singer is a postal worker (Sic!), who is haunted by what may or may not be drug induced nightmares, the result of a bizarre experiment during the Vietnam War. The only relief in his sad, wasted life is the comfort in his co-worker/mistress played by the lovely Elizabeth Pena and his chiropractor friend played by Danny Aiello. Jacob Singer is confronting sick visions that make him feel as if he is turning into a madman, at the same time we witness flashbacks of a happier and very different life before his wartime experience. Jacob has indeed lived two very different lives, and one wonders what makes him live the way he does, he is an intelligent and well-educated man working for the post office. In time, Jacob discovers that his war buddies are being killed off and that they all were receiving chilling visions as well. He encounters a chemist who tells him they were part of a plot to increase their efficiency as soldiers by drugging them with a super-LSD. Meanwhile, Jacob is experiencing some truly nightmarish visions, one of the most notable being a mad hospital with deformed souls and equally grotesque doctors. Somewhat confusing in its eerie nightmare vision and gory visuals, Jacob's Ladder delivers a unique trip into the world of a man who may or may not be living. The finale is very creepy and has An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge style twist ending. Having watched this movie many times, I still find myself wondering just what the hell is going on in his life, about the only logical conclusion being that he is dead and is in hell. What is certain is that Jacob's Ladder is neither mild nor passive in its nature, it is shocking and brilliant in its use of gory visuals and nightmarish visions that will leave the viewer reeling in their sanity.

Lost Highway- (1997)

Dir- David Lynch
One of the biggest anxieties to all married men is the fear his wife is having an affair, and for Sax player Bill Pullman his fears seem justified. He receives videotapes at his doorstep that appear to be from a stalker who can film some rather private moments. One morning he awakes to find his beautiful wife dead and is soon imprisoned for her death. While in custody he transmogrifies into a young man who has his owns problems. This young man finds himself attracted to the lovely young mistress of a mobster. In between, we have a strange man with no eyelashes who has a knack for getting some incriminating videotape. Confused, you better be because if you get it then maybe you can explain it to me! Not since Eraserhead has David Lynch delivered a film that raises confusion to an art form and leaves the viewer thinking about what exactly is going on. To say that Lost Highway is weird is somewhat redundant as the film almost moves in directions even David Lynch has never crossed. The film boasts an outstanding soundtrack that blends the strange imagery with the bizarre premise, often making the film more of a wild music video then the noir-style it seems to be. I think it best to avoid any cameraman who lacks eyelashes.

Mulholland Dr- (2001)

Dir- David Lynch

Naked Lunch- (1991)

Dir- David Cronenberg
Okay now let me get this straight, you have a cult novel by William S. Burroughs, which many consider too warped for the mainstream. Some weird creature FX and mix it with the unique and devilishly clever mind of the master of the bizarre David Cronenberg. Ok, Peter Weller is an exterminator who has a tendency to get high on his roach powder and while on one wild trip he somehow murders his wife and finds himself talking to his typewriter that has transmogrified into a giant cockroach. Follow Me! This bug-like typewriter then recruits him as a spy in the twisted world of the Interzone. This strange hallucinogenic tale was judged by many to be unfilmable, believe me, it is! Cronenberg can pull off the task by injecting his unique touch for the bizarre and delivering what no other director could have done. As for me, I found the book most incomprehensible and the film quite taxing to watch. It is not for everyone but the most daring of viewers, I recommend it only for those who wish to watch a movie that requires its audience to get stoned only to get past some fantastic images.

PIN- (1988)

Dir- Sandor Stern
As children, Leon and Ursula admired their father's anatomical mannequin named PIN. PIN would communicate to them on medical and hygiene issues via their father's ventriloquism. However living under the strict control of their father and mother Leon and Ursula begin to harbor resentment, for Ursula she turns to promiscuous sex while Leon closes himself towards others. As the two get older Leon starts to turn to PIN for advice, at first not realizing the doll doesn't talk and later voicing PIN himself. After a tragic accident, the two are left orphaned, leaving Leon to care for Ursula via PINs advice. When Ursula begins to date, a young man Leon gets upset and uses PIN to control his sister by murdering anyone who gets in the way. The problem with most psychological thrillers is that they tend to generalize the emotions and motivations of the crazed maniac yet PIN are unique in showcasing the psyche of the character as he falls out of sanity and into a schizophrenic nightmare with genuine realism. With its creepy subject matter and low budget charm the film is a real sleeper thriller that will surprise and terrify your standard horror fan. Horror fans take note as Terry O'Quinn aka The Stepfather portrays the doctor and father of the two kids.

Sweet Movie- (1974)

Dir- Dusan Makavejev

Teeth- (2007)

Dir- Mitchell Lichtenstein

Tetsuo- The Iron Man- (1989)

Dir- Shin'ya Tsukamoto
Ever wonder what would happen if you shoved a piece of wrought iron into your leg. Ever wonder what would occur if you suddenly developed a metal fetish. Using some techniques that seem more suited for a rock video, Tetsuo starts and finishes as if the director was on speed, and maybe something stronger. The film starts off with a shocking scene of a man who cuts open his leg and inserts a metal shaft into the skin. The pain notwithstanding, he then runs into the street and gets hit by a passing motorist. The man in the car then suddenly develops a strange personal affliction, while he is shaving a piece of metal sticks out of him. He then finds himself being stalked by a strange woman who is not entirely human. All of this seems like a dream, and for the early part, he thinks he just imagines it. He then returns home and sleeps with his girlfriend, stopping when the metamorphosis gets too wild. She tells him that is not afraid and want’s him to come back; she can handle anything she states. His awkward appearance at first makes her a little reluctant but then she seems drawn to him. The encounter proves a fatal as his newly obtained mega penis cuts her up. His transformation continues, and we are witness to a wild series of comical chases that occurs s his imagined nemesis appears for a final confrontation. The finale takes place in an industrial warehouse where it is quite a show, in fast forward of course. Even though the movie is about an hour long, Tetsuo has the pacing of a much longer film. The rapid sequences and nightmare like imagery create an atmosphere that rivals something by David Lynch (I MEAN ERASERHEAD!). Not for those who want a lovely evening with their loved one. Followed by an equally weird sequel.

Videodrome- (1983)

Dir- David Cronenberg
James Woods plays a pirate TV director who is fascinated by a series of bizarre telecasts that portray scenes of death and torture. He searches out the so-called snuff programs and discovers an even more unexpected situation. Before David Cronenberg weirded out with Naked Lunch, his most whacked and bizarre film was this 1982 cult hit. The so-called Videodrome is first thought to come from an unknown foreign country. The program features scenes of Sadomasochism, torture, and bizarre sexual images. The video is discovered to be an elaborate plot by a secret organization to rid the population of the scum, who are turned on by it; it seems that watching Videodrome causes deadly brain tumors. The film boasts elaborate special effects and the work of makeup master Rick Baker, as with all Cronenberg films this one boasts many creepy scenes and very graphic violence. Just think what type of stuff we get today, and one must wonder if we are not one step away from Videodrome and thanks to the Deep Web we may very well have it.