Ahead of the release of the bizarre black comedy ‘The Lobster’, let’s have a look down the lane of the weirdest movies of all time. (Some movies may contain explicit content).
10. Being John Malkovich (1999)
Spike Jonze’s ‘Being John Malkovich‘ is possibly as insanely dark a comedy can get, but that weirdness is arguably the reason why it’s so memorable.
It centres around an awkward employee working on the 7½th floor of a skyscraper who finds a magic hole in the wall that transports you inside actor John Malkovich’s head. And that’s just the start of it, as this film gets so much weirder than you can possibly imagine, taking the idea of being someone else to disturbingly uncomfortable levels, although always providing a thought-provoking and still entertaining watch.
9. Stretch (2014)
To be honest, I still have no idea what this film is. ‘Stretch‘ combines dark comedy, romance, psychological drama, horror and all other sorts of genres to make a madly exhausting but surprisingly enthralling film.
Following a limo driver on a night gone completely wrong, Stretch features a totally messed-up and psychedelic story that’s at times almost impossible to truly follow. It’s still an entertaining watch, but it will just confuse you beyond belief with its weird antics.
Most of that bizarreness stems from Chris Pine’s performance as a mysterious multi-millionaire, where he basically plays a combination of Jordan Belfort from The Wolf Of Wall Street, Braveheart and Tyler Durden from Fight Club. It’s just so weird.
8. Crank (2006)
The premise of ‘Crank‘ is that Jason Statham has been injected with a lethal substance by an enemy, and so can only stay alive by getting constant adrenaline boosts in all sorts of insane ways.
To be honest, the film itself isn’t very good, but the one thing that makes it worth watching is that it’s 88 minutes of Jason Statham basically losing his head. Throughout, he deliberately gets into random fights, uses a defibrillator on himself, attaches his tongue to a running car engine, and even jumps out of a helicopter. Yeah.
7. After Hours (1985)
Here’s a Martin Scorsese movie you’ve never heard of: ‘After Hours‘, the story of one man’s journey to get home during a night out in New York City.
Sounds simple, right? Wrong. A possible inspiration for Stretch, After Hours is one of the most exhausting and mind-boggling black comedies you’ll ever see. As this man attempts to get home, he gets caught up in the mob, gets mistaken for a burglar and victimised by a local neigbourhood watch group and even encased in papier mâché. Don’t ask, just watch it.
6. Spirited Away (千と千尋の神隠し) (2001)
We all know that Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki have their own way when it comes to making films. They like them to be really weird.
And whilst Ghibli have produced countless bizarre movies over the last three decades, it’s Spirited Away that is definitely their weirdest, but that may be why it’s received the incredible critical and fan acclaim that it has over the last fifteen years. It’s the story of a young girl who, while moving house, unfortunately finds her parents transformed into pigs, and herself forced into slavery for a witch in a world of spirits. And that’s nothing in comparison to what goes on later.
Spirited Away doesn’t have the delightful charm of some of the more family-friendly Ghibli films, and is at times painfully disturbing and unwatchable if you really think about it, but it’s still an engrossing and hugely impressive film all the same, albeit hugely odd.
5. Wrong (2012)
It’s all in the title. Quentin Dupieux’s ‘Wrong‘ is a massively unorthodox black comedy about a man who loses his dog, and subsequently begins to lose his mind for some reason.
In reality, the film isn’t particularly good, nor is it very interesting, but it’s worth a watch just to say you’ve done it. Along with this man’s search for a dog, this movie also delves into a totally surreal plot revolving around the man’s office, where it rains inside and nobody notices, as well as a woman who mistakes him for her own partner who is actually him but is someone else pretending to be him.
It’s pretty hard to explain, so just watch it for something that you’ve definitely never seen before.
4. Un Chien Andalou (1929)
Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí’s experimental short film is an absolute landmark in cinematic history, and something that all film fans need to watch at some time in their life.
Unfortunately, it’s completely insane. Starting with a shot of a woman with her eye held open, a man slicing it with a razor, and then the fluid coming out, the movie has literally no plot at all, moving randomly onto other weird images including ants emerging from a man’s hand, and a guy riding a bike in nun’s clothes.
Weirdly, however, it’s an absolutely brilliant watch. There’s definitely nothing more surreal than this, and although it may be quite a challenging watch, at only 20 minutes long, why not give it a go?
3. Mulholland Drive (2001)
David Lynch, the master of the bizarre, probably hit his high with 2001’s ‘Mulholland Drive‘, starring Naomi Watts and Laura Harring.
Actually, the first part of the film isn’t that mad. There is the odd thing here and there that unsettles you, but it follows a relatively conventional plot, until an unexpected and abrupt turn into the insane in the latter stages which basically feels like a bad dream you once had, and never wanted to remember.
Ultimately, Mulholland Drive is a hugely disturbing and totally incomprehensible film (it’s been analysed for over a decade now, and nobody knows what it’s about, not even Lynch himself), but it is also spectacularly engrossing and brilliantly unorthodox.
2. Suspiria (1977)
An English-language B-movie horror flick directed by Italian Dario Argento set in a German ballet school centring around an American girl’s harrowing experiences. Yes, ‘Suspiria‘ is weird.
It’s basically about a girl who gets accepted to a prestigious ballet school, and then, after witnessing some bizarre happenings, attempts to escape, only to meet a whole conspiracy around the school controlled by witches.
This film is the complete definition of crazy, with its overpowering and haunting score disturbing you right to the core, its various horror scenes including falling into a pool of barbed wire and glow worms falling from the ceiling, and the ridiculously dated special effects all coming together to make a clinically insane but surprisingly fun film to watch.
1. Rubber (2010)
Yeah. This film, again directed by Quentin Dupieux, is about a tyre, named Robert, that comes to life and goes on a killing spree.
Featuring laughably bad special effects, ‘Rubber‘ is actually one of the most unique films ever made, and despite its complete surreality, it’s oddly brilliant.
As well as watching Robert the tyre murdering people with the power of his mind, you’ll also get to see the story of some bystanders on a hill watching the events unfold through binoculars as if it were a film, occasionally interjecting to give their opinion, or just die for some reason or other.
And this explanation doesn’t tell the half of it, because Rubber really is the weirdest film of all time.