“I don’t get it!”: The strangest movies ever made
There are some films the world simply isn’t supposed to understand. Your aunt and uncle might have conceded, “We didn’t really understand it,” after seeing Ride Along, and that’s fine.
Some people just aren’t interested in weird films that don’t give them steak and potatoes simplicity in which the bad guy gets his comeuppance and the good guy gets the girl and all those other cosytropes your aunt & uncle usually like in their movies. But since you’re not your aunt & uncle and you like films that are far-out, strange, and possibly subtitled, here’s our ranking of the eleven weirdest films that would definitely blow their minds.
11. Holy Motors
Leo Carax’s (Tokyo!) film is an all out explosion of things to see and to not totally get. Denis LaVant (Boy meets Girl) plays ten characters in the film and he also walks around naked – it was a French / German co-production after all – for a portion of the movie. Worth a watch, especially if you’ve got a couple of hours spare and feel like getting totally bamboozled by something that involves a surprise guest appearance by Australian pop star Kylie.
10. Wise Blood
As it was made by Hollywood stalwart John Houston (Key Largo), you might be inclined to think this would just be a run-of-the-mill film about a guy having blood that can do sudoku – but it’s really, really not.
Brad Dourif (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest) stars as a homeless preacher who arrives in a new town and for reasons not best explained in the film, proceeds to do terrible things to himself in acts of biblical self hatred. Then it ends. It’s basically very weird and also very depressing.
9. The Holy Mountain
Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s film might make you feel like you’ve just flipped the channel and wound up landing straight into one of your high school physics teacher’s late 60s acid flashbacks, but that’s not totally a bad thing.
Like El Topo – Jodorowsky’s film before it – it’s not one of those “Oh, I do hope George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer get back together” kind of affairs and to fully enjoy it, you should give up any hope of what you’re watching making sense to you and just enjoy the oddness of it all (a bit like going to a high school physics class).
“If you don’t follow the rules Billy, bad things happen.” This cautionary line from Society could also be said to its director, Brian Yuzna (The Dentist).
While probably not the weirdest film on this list, Society did star a man called Billy Warlock (Halloween II) and the far-out special effects were provided by Screaming Mad George, so we can only imagine it was a low-key set where the actors sat in quiet contemplation thinking deeply about the many layers that the script was surely hiding – probably in the character who has a face in his butt.
7. Under the Skin
Scarlett Johansson (Avengers: Infinity War) plays an alien who crash lands in Scotland and goes on to pick up random men from the rainy streets of Glasgow so she can devour them in a pool of black tar in her secret sexy lair back home. What’s not to understand?
Apparently a lot of cinema goers thought Under the Skin was just too strange for them, while hardcore cinema fans praised director Jonathan Glazer’s bravery and Johansson’s brilliant performance. Why this didn’t win Oscar gold we’ve got no idea.
6. Trash Humpers
Harmony Korine‘s (Spring Breakers) film doesn’t care if you don’t get it and if you say you do, you’re probably lying anyway.
The film is dreamlike and largely shot on worn out VHS and even though Trash Humpers is essentially just people in old men masks going around humping piles of trash, it does have some moments when you feel like you’re watching a good Harmony Korine film and not just watching some young guys in old men masks humping bags of garbage.
5. Conspirators of Pleasure
If you’ve seen any of Jan Svankmajer’s (Lesson Faust) previous stop-animation films, that’ll set you up nicely to be baffled and confused by his first attempt at a live-action feature. The film is about . . . we’re not totally sure. It features a lot of crazy shit and nobody you’d recognize and while these might not sound like glowing endorsements, the film’s still worth a watch if you like your cinema very European and very weird.
Kevin Smith‘s (Clerks) story of a podcaster who winds up being kidnapped by an old man who slowly turns him into a walrus is one we’ve probably all heard a million times before – right guys? But Smith’s film doesn’t hold back when it comes to laying on the strange.
At times Tusk feels like a more fun version of The Human Centipede, but we don’t suppose you could get a less fun version of The Human Centipede. In the end, it even manages to tug at the viewers’ hearts strings a little, even if it didn’t manage to tug at the purse strings of the general public very much upon its initial release.
3. Un Chien Andalou
Luis Buñuel‘s (Belle De Jour) 1929 art house film pretty much paved the way for every other director on this list to go out and say, “Hell, I can make something weird as well!”
Buñuel directed Un Chien Andalou but also worked closely with artist Salvador Dali to make this bizarre but utterly memorable slice of cinema history. If you have a fear of seeing your eyeball cut open with a razor blade, this film will probably kill you outright with just one clean swipe of a moment.
2. Altered States
Ken Russell‘s (Tommy) film will still be remembered by many people as one of those terrifying late night movies that made it into the VHS home collections of many twisted individuals. Forty years later, you’ll still not be ready for it. It’s far-out crazy in a way that only a film about a guy in 1980 trying to alter his states with LSD and high-end special effects could be.
David Lynch‘s (Twin Peaks) first feature film isn’t weird. It’s the whole world and every other film that’s been made that are weird and Eraserhead is the normal one. Or maybe not.
Lynch’s film is as harrowing and memorable as it is strange and unnerving, and it certainly isn’t one of those beginning, middle, and end flicks that all the normies love. You’ll be questioning what you’ve seen after watching it for a long time and dreaming of doing a karaoke duet with the Lady in the Radiator for years to come.