6 Wacky Upcoming Movies To Get Excited About
Even in this landfill of rotting Atari E.T. cartridges that is the year 2020 we're still getting new motion pictures, dammit. Yes, they may be at the drive-in, or on your TV, or (purely for the purposes of trolling Christopher Nolan) on a postage stamp-sized phone screen. And while you've probably heard a lot about the blockbuster movies that may or may not be released in the near future, as we do from time to time, we'd like to highlight some of the more unsung, offbeat, and just plain weird films that are headed your way. Such as ...
PG: Psycho Goreman -- Kids Befriend A Murderous Alien Monster
All kids dream of one day meeting, enslaving, and eventually befriending a giant purple murder creature, which is why we're getting PG: Psycho Goreman a horror comedy that basically plays like Mac & Me if Mac were a homicidal alien Cenobite from a Japanese children's show. At its core, it's basically a heartwarming family story about a brother and sister that just happens to feature intergalactic grotesqueries and more bloodshed than Mel Gibson's wet dreams.
It's also the kind of movie where a character gets straight-up transmogrified into a giant googly-eyed brain and everyone just kind of rolls with it.
Directed by Steven Kostanski (who previously helmed the '80s-inspired horror throwback The Void) PG: Psycho Goreman also manages to subtly suggest that the real monster is the family's lazy, entitled, mediocre white dude patriarch, not the seven-foot tall laser-eyed, sword-wielding extraterrestrial bodybuilder.
Jumbo -- A Woman Falls in Love With An Amusement Park Ride
Anyone who's ever gotten confused at their own horniness while riding Space Mountain (Anyone? Anyone at all?!) will likely find something of value in the new film Jumbo. It tells the story of a young French girl who gets a job working as an amusement park janitor (or sawdust artiste) only to fall in love with a possibly sentient carnival ride. While this might all sound like fan fiction written by the world's loneliest carny, it's actually an acclaimed new film that recently played the Sundance film festival.
Jumbo is the feature debut of writer-director Zoe Wittock and stars Noemie Merlant, best known as one of the the lead actresses from Portrait of a Lady on Fire, a beloved cinematic love story that didn't feature a height requirement. Whether or not the titular ride is actually alive is, apparently, left up to the audience to decide. But the question of "do inanimate objects have souls?" is reportedly explored with depth and nuance, and will likely inspire even more people to adopt life-destroying hoarding habits than the Toy Story franchise.
Willy's Wonderland -- Nicolas Cage Fights Theme Park Animatronics
While we don't know exactly what Nicolas Cage's process for selecting film roles is, we're guessing it involves force-feeding a gibbon LSD and watching it hurl lawn darts at random screenplays. In recent years, Cage has appeared in everything from the psychedelic horror trip Mandy, to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse to Pig, an upcoming prestige revenge-thriller about a "reclusive truffle hunter." But we're perhaps most excited for the promisingly bonkers Willy's Wonderland which finds Cage playing an amusement park janitor -- but instead of falling in love with one of the rides, he ends up battling an army of murderous animatronic characters.
Of course this kind of seems like a nightmarish remake of the "Itchy & Scratchy Land" episode of The Simpsons --
Although that was inspired by the movie Westworld, which itself was inspired by Michael Crichton's paranoid tour through the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. At the very least, any parent who's found themselves at the crossroads of their own sanity while enduring the abject horror of a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party will likely find some catharsis in witnessing Cage rampaging against happy-go-lucky mechanical critters.
The Last Blockbuster -- A Documentary About, Well, The Last Blockbuster
Before the days of streaming services, if you wanted to enjoy, say Turner & Hooch, you had to schlep out to an actual physical store and pay 5 bucks just to borrow a small black rectangle that contained a low quality version of the movie. And it was the most exciting thing in the world. Yeah, a lot of us miss the days of video stores -- but they're not all gone. There's even one last Blockbuster video location left, defying God and time itself with its mere stubborn existence. And it's somehow survived this goddamn pandemic. The last Blockbuster ever is even making a few extra bucks as an Airbnb rental, for couples looking to get it at the exact spot where an awkward teenager rented them Mrs. Doubtfire as children.
Now, from the director of this year's gonzo fan-made Back to the Future II remake there's a documentary all about the last Blockbuster, appropriately titled The Last Blockbuster. It features interviews with comedians like Ron Funches and Doug Benson, plus director Kevin Smith, the Kevin Bacon of pop-culture documentaries.
While we're excited to see this one, it is going to feel kind of weird to do so using a video-on-demand service.
Mandibles -- A French Comedy About a Giant Fly
There have been some truly masterful stories featuring giant insects throughout history; from Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, to Alice in Wonderland, to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (frankly, we're still reeling from the tragic death of Anty). Now we're getting a film that will hopefully be another high in the big-ass bug genre; the French comedy Mandibles starring a bunch of French people we've never heard of, but more importantly, a fly the size of a golden retriever.
The plot of the absurd comedy concerns two dum-dums who find the fly in the trunk of a car and try to figure out how to profit off of it; like a French Bill & Ted directed by David Cronenberg. If you're skeptical that this premise can sustain an entire feature length movie, don't worry, it was written and directed by Quentin Dupieux, the same guy behind Rubber, an 82-minute movie about a sentient bloodthirsty automobile tire.
The Show -- Alan Moore's Noir Mystery With Creepy Clowns and Moon Men
When we think of legendary comic writer Alan Moore, the phrase "movie lover" doesn't immediately spring to mind. But that's just because the medium has treated his body of work with all the care of a toddler playing Jenga; The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen became an overblown action movie, From Hell was turned into the story of a superpowered cop played by Johnny Depp, and Watchmen the horniest usage of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" ever filmed.
But guess what: Alan Moore does like movies. Not only is he a fan of classic directors like Jean Cocteau and Alfred Hitchcock, but he's also now a screenwriter himself. Recently, Moore collaborated on a series of short films with director Mitch Jenkins, which eventually paved the way for a new feature: The Show. And it looks ... pretty goddamn weird.
Yeah, it's apparently some kind of trippy detective story, with familiar noir elements, but also scary clowns and Moore himself as what appears to be a bedazzled mid-life crisis Mac Tonight.
At the very least, it's an Alan Moore movie Alan Moore won't hate.
Disclosure: the author of this article knows some of the folks involved with PG: Psycho Goreman.
Top Image: RLJE Films