This is a movie in which a guy with an old-school TV for a head meets up with a blonde chick with a mutated eye. They go on a crime spree, get sent to a prison on a half-destroyed Moon and then manages to escape with the help of a guy who has a giant golden drill instead of a penis. It’s gory, incomprehensible and the editing is lightening fast. What’s that? Yes of course, it’s a Japanese movie.
This conversation recently took place:
Me: “I didn’t think it was a bad movie, but it was so baffling that I can’t really say I appreciated it either.”
The guy that lent me this movie: “Were you sober when you watched it?”
Him: “See, that’s what you did wrong.”
What makes El Topo such an utter mindfuck is that it lures you into thinking you understand it. There are many allusions to the Bible, and the main character has more than a passing similarity to Jesus (a character the director wrote and plays himself, interestingly enough). But the analogy only works up to a point, and the rest of the movie is filled with cultism, dream images, references to Eastern mysticism and midgets with crooked feet.
The Naked Lunch
I did not watch this movie sober, and I actually fell asleep halfway through. But the fact that this movie was completely alien even to someone who was stoned out of his mind (living in The Netherlands is awesome) says a lot about it. Cronenberg has made a lot of weird movies, but none of them feature a talking typewriter in the form of a giant beetle or fantasies of homosexual rape.
Deep in the nether of this film lies a very intelligent exploration of things like dreams, identity and the subconscious mind. On the surface there are parades of frogs playing clarinet, fights between giants and more layers of dreams than Inception, which was actually inspired by this movie. Thankfully, Chris Nolan quickly realized that western audiences are a lot less open for gangs of creepy dolls and people turning into butterflies than their Japanese counterparts.
Un Chien Andalou
By far the oldest movie on this list, this 1929 surrealist short was so revolutionary for its time that Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali went to its premiere with rocks in their pockets to ward off an irate audience. The film’s beginning is still shocking to modern audiences, and it doesn’t get any more logical afterwards. It’s an experience enjoyed best when knowing least about it, so I won’t tell you any more. Oh, and both of its lead actors committed suicide, the girl by setting herself on fire. Have fun now!
Any thoughts? Weird movies we missed? Let it be known in the comments!
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