The Tenant (1976)

Streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu | imdb | trailer

Let’s get this out of the way, I’m separating the man from his art.

(Shifts collar uncomfortably)

Ahem.

Here we have Roman Polanski’s strangest film. It’s creepy, funny, and surreal but does require a bit of patience to enjoy. However when you get towards the end… blast off for Weirdsville. The Tenant was not available for ages so this 1080p HD version is a real pleasure to see (I watched it on Hulu). Do not miss.

Available on import Blu-ray from Kaleidoscope.

Phase IV (1974)

Streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu | imdb | trailer

This might just be my favorite PG rated movie. A group of ants achieve group intelligence and launch sophisticated attacks on humans. That sounds pretty lame but trust me, this movie is trippy as hell and rewarding on many levels. It also happens to be directed by Saul Bass. Yes, THAT guy. The greatest graphic designer of all time. A man of many talents, Bass helmed one of the weirdest SF films in history too. What a stud.

Available on Blu-ray from Olive Films.

High Rise (2015)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

Social norms melt down to the darkest depths in a self-contained mega apartment complex. J.G. Ballard is my favorite author and this is an excellent adaptation of one of his more extreme novels. I’m not one to re-watch more recent movies but I’ve seen High Rise at least three times. It’s almost perfect and checks all the boxes. Watch this immediately and then check out all the other work by director Ben Wheatley.

Available on Blu-ray from Magnet.

Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (1988)

Streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu | imdb | trailer

I got grounded for sneaking in to see this back in 1988. Yes it’s a bit cheesy at times but this film is extremely dark and even more extremely violent. I personally like this better than the original Hellraiser. You get all you need to know about the story in the prologue so just dive in. It’s not the greatest transfer but it’s in 1080p HD and the flaws don’t bother me too much. What does bother me is the fact they didn’t finish this storyline and made a horrendously bad part three. Don’t let that stop you from seeing this as the plot is wrapped up satisfyingly enough by the end.

FYI – I just learned that there’s a brand new special edition out on Blu-Ray via Arrow which is pretty much guaranteed to look WAY better than the current streaming version. Also I believe the director’s audio commentary is from the old Anchor Bay disc and it is excellent.

Available on Blu-ray from Arrow.

Force Majeure (2014)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

An avalanche causes family issues. This movie is beautifully filmed, original, sometimes funny, and pretty damned thought provoking. Be warned, it is long and very deliberately paced. It also made me want to crawl out of my skin with embarrassment and sympathy for the characters. Recommended if you are patient and open minded.

Available on Blu-ray from Magnolia Pictures.

Heathers (1988)

Streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

This may be the last great 80’s movie. Heathers is a one-of-a-kind, highly stylized dark comedy starring Christian Slater and Winona Ryder. So dark that if you’ve been even remotely effected by any of the horrible violence around High Schools since 1999 you better skip this one. On the other hand if you’re a Stranger Things fan and haven’t seen this you’re doing yourself a major disservice. I love that the screenwriter wrote his own slang terms to parody and outdo what was coming out of the mouths of teenagers at the time. My favorite involves a chainsaw.

FYI – There was a TV series reboot of Heathers in 2018 but it didn’t work out, and sounds like it wasn’t very good anyway.

Available on Blu-ray from Image Entertainment.

The Nightingale (2018)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

This is a pitch black revenge film. I’ve seen a lot of on screen nastiness in my time but The Nightingale made even me cringe. The only flaw of the movie is that it is too damn long. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’ve got patience and a strong stomach.

The Nightingale is scheduled for a US Blu-ray February 2020. You can pre-order it through Diabolik DVD.