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Ten bizarre, weird and disturbing films

Alice GB/SWITZERLAND/WEST GERMANY 1988

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Most films about Lewis Carrol’s classic are frankly dull, i.e. Tim Burton’s recent interpretation.

This film gets closer to other films in capturing the curious atmosphere of the original story, by using live actors and animation, it has surrealist overtones and the puppets by director Svankmajer are like the sock puppets you made at school.

Bad Boy Bubby Australia/Italy 1993

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A retarded 35-year old who has never been allowed out of his home, murders his parents and experiences the wider world. Many found this film repugnant, but it offers a satirical perspective on everyday life and communication, as the man replays back everything said and done to him.

Cannibal Holocaust Ruggero Deodato

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The original video nasty. It was number one on the list of banned titles by the director of prosecutions. It has a surprisingly sophisticated structure: a professor of anthroplolgy goes into the rain-forest of Brazil after a previous documentary crew went missing. He finds their footage which shows them subjecting the ‘savages’ to the most appalling treatment, raping their women, setting their homes on fire and senselessly killing snakes and other animals. The film has a genuinely authentic feel and the found footage looks disturbingly real.   

El Topo – Mexico 1971 – Alejandro Jodorowsky

Impossible to do this list without at least one film by Jodorowsky, it is perverse and unpleasantly violent. An evil gunslinger rides through the old west and has various encounters, after which he sets himself on fire. There is some lesbian stuff too, see below

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If you are great, El Topo is a great picture, if you are limited, El Topo is limited.

Even Dwarfs Started Small, 1970, Werner Herzog

Dwarfs in a prison start a revolt. see also Terror In Tinytown and Lost Highway for more dwarfs

Funny Games, 1997, Michael Haneke

Haneke’s film is disturbing precisely because it highlights our fascination with watching violence on screen and our enjoyment of watching people suffer. There is no other point to this film, it exists as a corrective to the Hollywood gloss of Tarantino and Michael Bay.

Gummo/Julien donkey boy (Harmony Korrinne)

Idiot savant and author of Kids made these films before Springbreakers. Gummo features bored teenagers having sex with retarded people and skinning cats, whilst Julien Donkeyboy has a schizophrenic youth (Ewen Bremmer) sharing his home with his equally dysfunctional uncle and his sister.

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I Spit On Your Grave

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a low-budget shocker, and another film banned on video in this county. when most films depict rape, they shy away from revealing the true enormity of the crime, worse, they eroticize it (Thelma and Louise, The Accused). This film features the most powerful rape until Irreversible or Baise Moi. It was remade a few years ago.

Tetsuo II: Bodyhammer, Japan 1991

A clerk, punishing punks who have killed his son, mutates into a metallic man with built in weaponry, this film will blow your mind.

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the incredible shrinking man

I cannot get over just how weird this film is. So there’s a couple on Honeymoon, and all of a sudden they get sprayed by somne radioactive material. A few weeks later he notices his clothes seem to big for him. His collars are loose. He goes to the doctor and his told that nothing is the matter. He keeps shrinking, and after a second visit it is confirmed that he is indeed getting smaller. soon he can swing his legs whilst sitting oin a chair. His wife no longer finds him interesting. Eventually he is small enough to live inside a dollshouse. By the time the film ends, he is so small that no one can see or hear him. It is the most powerful realisation of our fears that we will be ignored and unappreciated, even by those closet to us.

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