6 Crazy-Looking Movies You've Never Heard Of (Fall 2017)
The holiday movie season is almost here, and there's a lot for everyone to be excited about. Like horror movies? IT and Leatherface got you covered. Marvel fan? You're getting a new Thor! Are you old and bigoted? Hey, check out the new Death Wish!
But here's the thing: Those movies have an army of marketing executives marching behind them. But there are WAY MORE, lesser-known moving pictures to get excited coming out later this year. And so join me on yet another adventure through impending films with little publicity but a huge amount of insanity ...
The Road Movie -- All The Best Wacky Russian Dashboard Videos, Combined
Back before this business with the White House, America used to happily stereotype Russia as that place with all the tracksuits and awesome Call Of Duty maps. Also, as newly ingrained in our internet culture, the land of clear booze was cherished for its daredevil attitude toward basic driving etiquette. This was of course evidenced by the seemingly hours' worth of dashboard camera footage capturing myriad cartoonish hijinks. Remember how I just said "hours' worth" in the last sentence you read? That's been literalized. Someone went and made a movie out of them ...
Russia: where the "last thing you see before you die" will inevitably be a truck of some sort.
What you're looking at are mere bits from the awesome trailer for The Road Movie, a soon-to-be-released film that's one big compilation of Russian road rage incidents. Described as being "as much humor as tragedy" by director Dmitry Kalashnikov, the film is a long montage of all the best that the internet has to offer. Seriously, that's what this film is, as reviews note the total absence of additional commentary and music in it. It's nothing but uninterrupted, unblinking folly. A "world's greatest" of humanity's most baffling dashcam moments, featuring such classic hits as "I'm Gonna Throw This Hammer At You" by Old Angry Guy ...
You might think he gave up his only weapon, but he has an entire quiver of hammers right out of frame.
... and "Look, Absolutely Everything's On Fire" by Satan, Probably:
"Goddammit, I want the meteor back."
Not sure I get a vote, but if we had to show aliens only one film, I feel like this should be the one. It's clearly the only way to ensure their total, unconditional surrender.
Downsizing -- Matt Damon Shrinks Himself
Everyone, on the count of three, I'd like you to say aloud what you wish (in your fucking heart) to be the first thing that greets you in Heaven. You ready?
You said "Tiny Matt Damon," didn't you? You all said that. Well guess what? You don't have to wait for that inevitable pulmonary embolism to get your wish, because the director of Nebraska and The Descendants is making a movie about precisely that. And what's more delightful and shocking is that the movie is coming out this goddamn Christmas.
Honey, I Shrunk The Academy-Award-Winning Cultural Icon!
You're gonna notice a few things from that image. Number one: All the sweaters are amazing. This is peak sweater-wearing. Number two: Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig are looking at itty people seemingly living in a hyperbaric deli tray. Based on nothing besides that one image, how badly do you already want to see this? And what if I told you that the tiny people were played by Laura Dern, Neil Patrick Harris, Maribeth Monroe, and Jason Sudeikis? Because they super are. This is all good news.
If you're wondering, the movie is about a service that offers a high-luxury life to middle-class people, just by reducing their size. It makes sense, right? The way talking Disney mice work off a cheese-and-crumb economy, smaller people require fewer resources and therefore can afford more scaled-down space. A $20 dollhouse to us gigantos is a millionaire mansion to them.
The film follows a working-class couple selling off their assets to live in "Leisure Land," a tiny housing community where a little goes a long way. While the new trailer shows some of the awesome details, ten minutes were screened at CinemaCon, showing Damon and Wiig as they undergo the shrinking process, which involves shaving off all their body hair and removing any foreign metals ...
... and then scooping them up with spatulas and jump-starting their new life of luxury dollhouses and comically oversized binge drinking.
The rest of the film remains a delightful mystery, and frankly could go in any goddamn direction. Considering the director, for all we know, the rest of the story is a sorrowful look at middle age and the struggles of marriage ... only tiny.
Strange Nature -- An "Eco-Thriller" About Scary Mutant Animals
While mutated reptiles are usually pretty chill and want nothing more than to share in our delicious Italian eateries, amphibians are a whole different story. You give Mr. Toad a Big Gulp of anomalous sludge, and you best prepare for the ensuing Frogtown apocalypse. That's just a fact. And no farther is this scientific actuality explored than in the upcoming Strange Nature, a self-described "eco-thriller" about the dangers of real-life deformed frogs. And when I say "real-life," I'm of course talking about the unexplained 1995 epidemic of people reporting mutated frogs throughout Minnesota.
Director and special effects makeup artist Jim Ojala grew up in that area, and was inspired to make a grotesque cinematic tribute speculating what would happen if such a problem extended into other wildlife. Considering that his past effects credits span everything from early Troma to a Hellboy film, I'd say he's the right man for the job. I mean, look at some of the behind-the-scenes stills from this movie:
Awwww, look at that little puppy who got into the strawberry jelly!
Tremendous. With such disgusting creature work, this films sure reminds me of The Thing, if the Antarctic horror took place in the way less habitable environment of goddamned Minnesota. According to the official website, the plot follows a woman and her child forced to fend off the spreading frogpocalypse caused by environmental damage. And don't worry, if caring for Mother Nature doesn't get you going, the POV monster chases promised in the trailer will surely splooge your disgusting horror glands.
It's like Jaws, but if the shark was a frog. What's not to fucking love?
Lowlife -- Pulp Fiction, But With A Lucha Libre Mask
Now that he's two films away from no longer giving a shit, someone is gonna have to be this generation's gritty Tarantino director. While my money has and will always be on a Ron Howard renaissance of violent nihilism, it's probably time to seek out some other contenders.
Ryan Prows is one such challenger, as his new film Lowlife has been heavily described as being "Tarantino-esque" by critics who have witnessed its limited screenings. While I can't personally make a judgement on that (also, comparing directors to their closest tonal processors seems dumb), there's certainly a face-value uniqueness to Lowlife's trailer. See if you can spot which faces in particular have such value ...
"It's gonna be a maze when it's done."
That's right, all of them. All of the faces are amazing, and offer the wide gamut of odd scubwad. You got your lucha mask sociopath, your retired porn producer mustache ... everything all the way to happy Nazi face. Look how happy that man is to have a swastika on his face. It's as if the Fuhrer himself whispered good-natured nothings into every breeze that passed his Nazi ears.
In case you care about the plot, the film follows a series of interweaving vignettes featuring such colorful characters as a rogue ICE agent and the failed son of a legendary luchador named El Monstruo. This man never removes his mask and is hilariously prone to blackout bouts of serious violence. According to critics, his rage sequences often start with a high-pitched whine before cutting to him surrounded by punished corpses, like he's Jason Voorhees on a Robitussin bender.
It's violence, definitely. Stupid, mean-spirited violence that includes but isn't limited to sex slavery and skull-imploding. If that sort of thing gets your foot in the door, then I highly suggest giving this macabre bastard a whirl.
Woodshock -- Kirsten Dunst + Grief + Psychedelic Drugs
That Kirsten Dunst is a strange egg. She's humped around with Spider-Man and took part in a folksy vehicular homicide in Fargo, but always has time to do the really weird movies in between -- your Melancholias and such. I bet she's really into sculpture welding in real life.
Woodshock is the latter, weirdo type of vehicle. Coming out later this month, the movie apparently took years to make, and is the first film by Kate and Laura Mulleavy, who happen to be fashion designers. On paper, that sounds just ... just the worst. But if you're like me and enjoy watching a good art film every now and then, the trailer is simply aces. Just pure beautiful nonsense.
It's like if Enya had a night terror.
Look at that trippy shit. It's the type of dark ambient artistry you'll instantly regret taking acid to. I love it.
Coming from studio A24 (Ex Machina, Enemy, Under The Skin, The Rover, Room, The Witch, Green Room, The Lobster, Moonlight, It Comes At Night, THE LIST GROWS EVERY YEAR), the movie is apparently about a young woman in severe mourning who turns to a strong cannabinoid substance to ease her emotional pain. Her grief is then visualized in psychedelic woodsy sequences, as if Bob Ross painted on mescaline.
"Now we're going to paint a happy little tree and some pine cone testicles that unceasingly scream with incomprehensible horror of Hell."
Just to level with you, I have no idea if this film has a coherent plot. For all I know, it might be the Slytherin love child of Lars von Trier and Terrence Malick. If that's not your particular bag, then you might want to hold off on this one. But for the rest of you brave soldiers looking for some kind of woodland grief Fantasia, it's time to get the hell in line.
Slice -- Chance The Rapper Plays A Werewolf Delivery Man
OK guys, this movie has more mystique around it than Magneto's junk. It is a puzzle of a film, supposedly coming out this year, but only evidenced by a single clip of footage tweeted by Chance the Rapper. Behold all the visual evidence that this movie exists:
THAT'S IT! That's the whole damn clip! It then cuts to an A24 logo (which you have probably realized I have a major hard-on for at this point), and we're left wondering what the fuck we just saw. Well, I did a little more digging, and found Exhibit B to be this radical goddamn poster:
Look, it can't be worse than the last time we had a rapper leaning against a motorcycle on the poster.
So now we know two things: 1) It's called Slice, and 2) Chance the Rapper plays a motorcycle delivery person. We also know that it's directed by Chance's music video collaborator Austin Vesely, was shot in Chicago, and features How Did This Get Made's Paul Scheer. That's all awesome, but so far it's not quite enough to wag your tits at -- but we're also not done by a long shot. It turns out that back in 2015, Vesely gave an interview about the early concept for a movie based on a George Saunders novella. In that interview, he described a character named Dax Lycander, a Chinese food deliveryman who lives in an alternate universe where "supernatural elements" are "accepted as reality." Such elements include things like ghosts who are "basically part of the fabric of the government" and melonfucking werewolves. Chance the Rapper was named to be playing Dax -- who, by the way, is a werewolf himself.
Oh, and somehow the weirdest part of all: The director described it as a "plot-driven" story inspired by Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia, only "goofier." What the goddamn hell is this movie, guys. It has werewolves and ghosts, but is also story-focused and silly. Is this a Harry Potter spinoff? Why are we getting so little information about it? How is the world not talking exclusively about this? I don't care what terrible news is happening in the world when you read this, if #ChanceTheMysteryWerewolf isn't trending on Twitter, then I've lost all faith in this country.
If you're Chance the Rapper or Paul Scheer, please tell David what the hell this movie is about on his Twitter.
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