The Video Dead (1987)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

I am a bit biased about this film, as my first experience was in at a revival screening just a few years ago. Seeing a previously missed, good older movie, on celluloid is one of favorite things in life. That means that I like this silly horror movie a little more than I should. I found it to be very amusing from start to finish. I laughed out loud multiple times, and not at unintentionally funny scenes. The Video Dead also has some effective makeup FX and low-budget set pieces. Give it a try, but keep your expectations low.

Available on Blu-ray from Shout Factory (bundled with Terror Vision – which is also a lot of fun).

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Memories (1995)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

I am super picky about anime. Something about the genre usually turns me off, with the exception of films like Barefoot Gen, Ninja Scroll, Perfect Blue and a small handful of others. I just added Memories to that short list. It’s an anthology of Katsuhiro Otomo stories directed by three anime heavyweights: Kōji Morimoto (The Animatrix), Tensai Okamura (Ninja Scroll / Ghost in a Shell), and Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira). The whole film is very cohesive and filled with detailed, and psychedelic sci-fi animation. Do you happen to live where weed is legal? Bonus for you.

Available on domestic Blu-ray but it’s out of print / selling for $$$.

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Mom and Dad (2017)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

I’m picky about horror comedies, but this is a good one. Nicholas Cage does his thing as dad without slipping into Wicker Man level ridiculousness, and Selma Blair is the perfect choice as mom. The pace is pretty relentless, and the end ramps up the crazy even further. The filmmakers have done an admirable job at keeping the movie effective, and not as silly as it could have easily become in lesser hands.

Available on Blu-ray from Momentum.

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Maps to the Stars (2014)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

This is one of the least-typical films by David Cronenberg, but it’s a solid one for sure. Maps to the Stars is an entertaining dark comedy / satire of Hollywood that spins off in an unpredictable direction. I admire the originality here, and Mia Wasikowska is excellent. The only blemish is the use of some unnecessary CG. That is unfortunate but forgivable. Maybe you won’t even notice.

Blu-ray available from Universal.

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Orgazmo (1997)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

No, not the Umberto Lenzi movie! I saw this in the theater back when it came out, and loved it instantly. Orgazmo may be my favorite comedy of the ’90s. Get ready to for everyone to get way bummed out when Ron Jeremy shows up (the things we didn’t know back in 1997), but otherwise… good times. Intoxicants recommended.

Blu-ray available from Universal.

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The Happiness of the Katakuris (2001)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

There are only three musicals I like: Marat/Sade, Greaser’s Palace, and this.

Blu-ray available from Arrow.

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Parents (1989)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

A young boy begins to realize his 1950s-ideal parents are cannibals. Parents is a high-quality, funny, dark, weird film, with a great soundtrack. It also features Randy Quaid before he lost his damn mind. This is 100% Certified Anomalous Cinema here folks.

Blu-ray available from Vestron.

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The Ninth Configuration (1980)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | no trailer available

The Exorcist book author William Peter Blatty only directed two movies, but both this, and The Exorcist III, are weird little gems. Well, I think weird doesn’t quite cover The Ninth Configuration. Totally unhinged would be closer to the mark. This is about a military insane asylum, but it takes a little patience to get to where the film goes truly mad. It’s worth the wait, as it has one of the more memorable hallucination sequences I’ve ever seen. Fans of Joe Spinell will enjoy his moments in the film as well. His character wasn’t in the book or script, so his dialog is all improvised. Thank you to Hen’s Tooth for restoring this unique work of cinema and for making it available on Amazon Prime.

Available on Blu-ray from Hen’s Tooth Video.

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The Beach Bum (2019)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

I wish Hulu was showing an HD version of Julien Donkey-Boy, but this will do in the meantime. Harmony Korine sells enough paintings to never have to make a film again. That means he made this his way, and couldn’t care less what we think. I respect that. This movie is dumb, but I laughed a lot. Harmony was smart enough to hire a kick ass cinematographer, so while I was laughing I was marveling at the saturated colors and composition. Yep. I liked The Beach Bum.

Available on Blu-ray from Universal.

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Becoming Bond (2017)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

This is a very entertaining Hulu original documentary on George Lazenby. It’s a funny look at his becoming James Bond for one film in spite of having zero acting experience. This is NOT a PG rated Bond film, so watch it without the kids around.

FYI – In case you think Lazenby is a one-hit wonder, check out the excellent giallo Who Saw Her Die? It’s available on Blu-ray from Arrow or streaming rental from YouTube or Apple TV.

Not available on Blu-ray.

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