If your like me, you find yourself frequently growing tired of redundancy in the horror market. You know what I’m talking about…..a group of teens go on a road trip, campers terrorized by woods folks, slasher has rough childhood and grows up, scientist’s secret virus gets loose..shall I go on? In any case, you might change your whole perspective by occasionally throwing on something that is far outside of mainstream and richly inventive. Now out of consideration, I could easily fill this list with ALL Asian films. Those Asian write some crazy sh*t, pretty much on a regular basis. Though I’ve kept it minimal to allow for other entries of genre films to get recognition. I’ve seen these all and they leave pretty bizarre memories. Take your pick, this is quite the eclectic collective.
FYI – As of this posting, I have made an effort to check out what others thought were weird horror films (lists that is)….and it appeared that the term weird gets lost and confused with “disturbing” (as in “Human Centipede” is more disturbing than it is weird). Though due to many of these lists including some of the same films (that really aren’t “that” weird”), I tend to believe that many haven’t seen enough “outside the box” films to make an adequate listing. I’ll also list additional selections below that would qualify for this category. I expect to add more as time goes on.
01- Society (1989)
Society manages to incorporate all sort of metaphors about fitting in, becoming a member of society, contributing to society..and so on. This was easily one of the most unassuming weird films from the late 80’s. The 3rd act brings the whole concept into play with a society that literally morphs, merges and interacts with each other on a highly bizarre organic level….crazy sh*t.
02- From Beyond (1986)
Lovecraft material is weird enough on its own, though when its brought into he film realm it can be quite bizarre to behold. “From Beyond” was one of those lost souls of a film that took decades to come onto DVD. It dips into sci-fi and horror with results that emerge out of nasty looking deformed creatures. This film managed to focus on the idea of the pineal gland (sixth sense) and its effect on the brain. But regardless, there is some quality TV here that seems like a close cousin to “The Thing”
03- Trailer Park of Terror (2008)
The director Steven Goldmann had alot of fun with this film. The movie which is based on a comic actually ends up holding its weirdness thru its very characters driven comi-like premise.Trailer Park of Terror is alot of fun to watch and a nice recipe for just sitting down to something zany and inventive. I would say, don’t dismiss this one as another b movie and really take the time to give it some viewing time.
04- Tokyo Gore Police (2008) – Tokyo Gore style films
(Meatball Machine, Vampire Girl Vs Frankenstein Girl, Mutant Girl Squad, Robo Geisha, ..etc)
Weird doesn’t mean bad. This reigning champ is wall to wall weird, but in a highly visual crazy sort of way. I often wondered how the board-meeting went in production…..”Ya, this scene coming up….its too boring…throw in an alligator penis chick, that out to fill that hole.”. I’ve also listed a few more for you to investigate on your own. These “Tokyo gore” style films are all the rave, enuff said. There is a list on our site that lists the brunt of them.
05- Bad Biology (2008)
This film is actually a must-see for its ridiculous premise that has a drug influenced penis acting on its own accord and an oversexed female who has to initiate orgasms as much as possible. This dark comedy is highly original, highly recommended, and completely absurd. It defies its weirdness at the helm of director visionary Frank Henenlotter.
06- The Toxic Avenger (1984)
A true Troma classic! No really, its probably there single highest claim to fame. Back in the 80’s when this debuted, “The Toxic Avenger” was in fact a conversation piece that usually started with…”hey man, you gotta see The Toxic Avenger, what a trip”. In summary its about the little guy becoming empowered, though he also becomes a muscle-bound toxic waste monster in the process. The usage of prop gore and dork-isms were major crow pleasers spawning a franchise of 3 more films to follow.
07- The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell (2011)
This movie was purposely kept weird. Ron Aktins creates movies that sort of evolve on their own. They are highly lewd and vulgar staying within the genre of extreme movies than anything else. This film attempts to combine some notions of the Wizard of Oz with a post apocalyptic situation. There is no science fiction here but their is alot of weird segments that are injected sometimes for impact only. Your gonna have to see a few of his films to really experience this notion.
08- Tetsuo the Iron Man (1989)
Cyber punk horror, organic, NEO-futurism robotic metallic weirdness. Tetsuo is a classic that stands alone. It’s clever use of stop motion was groundbreaking while never quite matched in other productions. Tetuso combines the elements of horror, transformation, machinery and gory bits in a film that has to be seen to appreciated. The 3rd act goes “all out” even in its toned down black and white state. The blending of organic matter and steel make for a highly visual showdown only reinforced with its cinematography and pulsating pacing.
09- Monsturd (2003) Retardead (2009) (4321 Productions)
Both of these films are off the hook, my favorite of the 2 is “Retardead” which takes an interesting approach to its theme. “Monsturd” is pure poop humor in the form of a massive turd creature. “Retardead” pokes fun at zombie films as an intellect serum causes massive side effects turning the town into zombies. There is a carry over of themes between the 2, but in all they are purely designed for those who enjoy weird but comedic excremental zombie films.
10- House (1986)
It started out a horror movie, and became something more. A classic example of 80s comedy horror, author Roger finds himself battling odd demons, zombies and flying monsters. The focus her is on a house that us haunted to the point of being a portal into the underworld of sorts. Sill makeup also makes for crazy character inclusions. The house intended to be somewhat scary but is more easily than anything.
Gobble Gobble… personally I find this film to be the “other Troma claim to fame. You got a nice mix of chicken horror doesn’t Troma style. Though for clarification, I thought best to include this posted IMDB synopsis:
“A former member of the Ku Klux Klan, General Lee Roy, now owns and runs a fast food chain ‘American Chicken Bunker’. His new store is located on a site that was the burial ground of Native Americans. He has leased this franchise to an African-American, Denny, and has hired a Jew-hating/chicken-loving employee, Carl Jr.; a Burkha-clad Muslim woman, Humus; a Mexican, Jose Paco Bell; a male named Arbie, who is now called ‘Daisy’ amongst others. He attends the official opening of the store amidst protests from the local community of atrocities carried out on chickens, and the Indian burial grounds’ desecration. Watch what happens when Lee Roy decides to pacify the protesters with free chicken meat”
Out of all these films, I like to recommend this one the most. It’s a true independent prodction that just takes all sort sof ideas and serves them up weird style. Try on some “firedogs”, “mimicking clowns”,”pig faced monsters” and more! It’s meant as a horror comedy, so take it all in stride. Though it also is perfect for a weird viewer experience……take my advice.
13- Phantasm (1979)
One of the all time classic horror films which sports a horror icon by the name of “Tall Man”. This film was weird all the way thru, though it earned a considerable place in cult film status and spawned a franchise. It needs to be seen to get the full effect, but it deals with a funeral home, the refuge for corpses, souls and the after life. It also manages to satisfy a certain level of science fiction with orbs that attack, a league of little trolls (or such) and a weird portal that takes you to hell or something to that nature. Angus Scrimm really is the star here who makes a well recognized presence.
14- Troll 2 (1990)
Troll 2 is recognized for being one of the worst films in horror history. That title comes with baggage. Namely alot of strange goofy things going on that make this stinker a winner in my book. You can get more on Troll 2 in our review, though its always stayed close to my heart in telling others how weird and goofy it is. Just to add weight, the film won awards for its documentary last year that details its wacky premise.
15- The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made (2005)
Bill Zebub…what were ya smoking? For the record, Bill Zebub likes to make these nut job productions on a regular basis. This one stood out above the rest for its variety of ideas incorporated tightly like a smelly can of sardines.
16- Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010)
The campiness this film delivers is so painfully obvious that it instantly makes it a “must see” kind of experience. Cutout birds attack innocent bystanders while somehow a deep message about an environmental campaign becomes the sole reason for this endeavor. It may differ in its weirdness due to poorly done cgi and b-grade cheese, but its a great inclusion if you are ready for something different and unique (used cautiously)
17 – Videodrome (1983)
This film should be on every weird list, but somehow gets forgotten. David Cronenberg (who I’m calling one of the kings of cult) has entertained us with some bizarre organic horror inclusions. There’s more than 1 that could make this list, but this seems to be the choice favorite. The film is truly a hybrid of culty horror, science fiction and mind screw mixed in 1. For a simlair inspired experience also check out “MindFlesh (2008)” noted below.
18- Arnold (1973)
I’ve included this rather obscure-to-find film in this collective, as it had a profound effect effect on me in my younger years. It’s pure horror comedy, that actually can get rather frightful at times. This corpse tends to end up in every other scene with a grim smirk on its face, while his scheming relatives plot the take over off the family fortune. There are some memorable kills in this one which reaffirms the notion of “get what’s coming to you”. Though mostly it’s just a weird 70’s film that I believe is severely underrated.
“Upon his death, Arnold marries his lover, Karen, in spite of his widow, and leaves deathtraps accompanied by audiotapes and his preserved and articulate corpse for those who cared only for his money.”
19- Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
Appropriately weird, this highly regarded film claims its trippy story and visuals behind the dying thoughts of a a soldier. While we never get the full reveal till the end, its the movie itself that keeps us guessing and wondering how and why things are occurring and what purpose they serve to the direction. Many know this film as a total mind screw…but of course one that deserves its spot as a film of high achievement.
20- Begotten (1990)
A pure black and white film by E. Elias Merhige has long been a study point for film students. It has gained momentum in the “disturbing category” but it’s also noted for just being “really” out there. It uses its horror elements in weird ways that are blanketed by its lack of “apparent” plot. So for instance, there is much that runs into each other fueling a highly weird visual interpretation. You should at least see this once to check off your bucket list. Here is its stated plotline…
“This gory and entirely visual film tells the surreal tale of the death and rebirth of gods”
21- Visions of Suffering (2006)
(also check out Nails (2003) Gvozdi)
Andrey Iskanov makes some pretty bizarre films. Though I confess to loving the sh*t of these creations as well. Mind trip films with impressive editing…well it’s just what the viewer needs who is bored of the “Scream-style” derivatives. Recommended for sure.
22- Tourist Trap (1979)
Mannequins that come to life, an old split personality road side attraction caretaker….AND he possesses a form of advanced telekinesis? “Tourist Trap” while one of my 70’s film favorites is quite the bizarre nightmarish experience. It took me many years later to pull the pieces together (see my review of “Tourist Trap), though when I originally watched this film, I…lets just say its freaking trippy as all hell.
23- 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964)
Technically not marketed as a Horror film, though it can be quite unnerving once you spend some quality time with this traveling freak show. “7 Faces of Dr. Lao” contained plenty of horror-based creatures such as “Medusa”, an abominable snowman and a human faced snake. You have to see this one as its nothing like you’ve seen before. The kicker? it stars Tony Randall….(who plays all the characters). The movie was meant as a comedy but comes off rather bizarre and surreal at times. Definitelt an odd inclusion for its time.
24- Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977)
A film that seems to relish in its simple motive. To sum it up quick…a demon cries on a bed thus creating a cannibalistic bed that eats just about everything that is laid upon it. While the story itself might sound a bit boring, “Death Bed” has a few worthwhile qualities that allude from its 70’s era.
25 – Hellraiser 6: Hellseeker (2002) (and various Hellraiser Franchise entries)
I didn’t want to single out 1 film, though this one seemed a good choice to start with. As Hellraiser fans already know, the series of releases keep getting weirder and weirder with a variety of strange inclusions and story premises along the way. Pinhead has taken on the role of a “Twilight Zone” kind-of entity with his Cenobites inflicting damage to those in need. Many films of the franchise which began to get stranger after #3, have seem inspired by the “Jacob’s Ladder” approach….”Hellraiser: Hellseeker” being one that I found closest.
“A shady businessman attempts to piece together the details of the car crash that killed his wife and rendered him an amnesiac– and left him in possession of a sinister puzzle box that summons monsters”
Special Extra Mention:
Slaughtered Vomit Dolls (2006)
While these “Vomit Gore Trilogy” films are reserved more for the “extreme films” category, they are truly “weird ass sh*t” movies that go beyond a normal cinematic experience. I’m NOT recommending you see this one regardless. enuff said.
Truly bizarre, a class A cult film that induces horror thru its unsettling pace. David Lynch seems to add the horror element in many of his films..though they dont always classify into a straight horror mold (do they?)
Got a few worth mentioning?…we know they are out there. We come across weird film projects all the time. Add your selections in the comment section below and if they qualify we’ll add them!
Lisa and the Devil (1974)
Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
Night of the Lepus (1972)
Attack of the Killer Refrigerator (1990)
Galaxy of Terror (1981)
Home Sick (2007)
Black Sheep (2006)
Visitor Q (2001)
Mystics in Bali (1981)
Top 25 Weirdest Horror Movies I’ve Ever Seen