The New Zealand International Film Festival prides itself on the breadth and depth of content it curates each year. This means they also present some truly bizarre films – so much so that the Festival has even created a dedicated section to these gems. We at The Speakeasy are hell bent on finding some of the oddest stuff out there, so in order to locate them we utilised the power of technology to create our very own Strange Gauge, which was used to scan trailers for identifiable and easily quantifiable markers of weirdness like:
- A reputable actor playing an out of character role
- Genre mashing
- General “something feels off about this” kind of vibes and bad juju
The Strange Gauge processes this information through its highly advanced proprietary algorithms and generates an indicator of oddity by converting the weirdness into steam. This is it’s first test run, but we expect it to spark a paradigm shift in the world of film promotion. Here are the picks it recommended for us:
Beware the Slenderman is the un-heartwarming documentary of two real-life little girls who were inspired by an internet-meme to stab their best friend and leave her to die in the woods. Well alright then. It’s a strange (obviously) and unsettling film and certainly worth a watch.
Have you ever wanted to see Patrick Stewart play a Neo-Nazi? Well now’s your chance folks. Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room is “a classic wrong place, wrong time set-piece that takes well-worn tropes, amps them up to 11 and then stomps on their faces.” Basically; a punk band does a gig, pisses off a bunch of skinheads (of which Patrick Stewart is the leader), gets trapped in a green room, and everything is worked out through the application of extreme violence. To find out more about what it’s like, check out our review.
Swiss Army Man debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it was described among attendees as “the one where Paul Dano rides a dead Daniel Radcliffe across the ocean using nothing more than the raw energy of the corpse’s farts.” If that description wasn’t enough to tickle your interest, the film also inspired mass walkouts at Sundance; with many film-goers baffled, offended, and confused by what must be the weirdest buddy movie of all time. This film has been selling out sessions at the NZ International Film Festival so get in quick and book a ticket before you miss your chance.
This is a Polish musical horror featuring mermaids. Does that sound strange enough? Oh wait – the mermaids are also vampires. I’m not really sure what else I can say about this. Winner of a Special Jury Award for Unique Vision & Design at Sundance this year, The Lure promises to be every bit as, um, off-beat(?) as its bat-shit crazy trailer suggests.
Nicolette Krebitz’s challenging film tells the visceral tale of a young woman drawn into a sexual relationship with a wolf. Yes, you read that right – an actual wolf, this isn’t a metaphor or anything. Need I say more? Ok, I will – the film features wolf cunnilingus… convinced yet?
This is without a doubt one of the grossest pieces of mind-fuckery masquerading as a film that I have seen. The Greasy Strangler owns its filth – it’s utterly honest to the point of purity, and Jim Hosking‘s Kafka-esque tale doesn’t once blink while presenting viewers with an “avalanche of profanity, flatulence, fetishized cellulite, nauseating food, cartoon violence and close-ups of phalluses (elephantine and microscopic both)”, as The Guardian put it. This is the sort of film best watched with a safe word. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.