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Atypical Movies


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It feels nearly as if it is cheating to bring into this discussion a movie written and directed by: Edward D. Wood Jr. but I feel that: Glen or Glenda (1953) is so very atypical on so many levels that it warrants mention.

 

I find it difficult to speak of this movie because there are so many loose threads which would be good place to start but it is uncertain if any of them are truly relevant to the movie. 

 

It may be best if I say only that it has Bela Lugosi, men in drag and Satan and that it does not have intelligent dialogue, coherent plot or exceptional performances.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eMAbir7OK4

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Here's some movies I've seen over the years that I felt were 'atypical'. 

 

DARK ECHOES (1982)  So weird I cannot describe it, but there's a dead sea captain on the loose in a small village on the Yugoslavian border.  Captain Manfred Gohr has been dead 100 years and now he's REALLY angry and comes up from the watery depths in a pea coat with a thirst for revenge against descendants of the townsfolk who blamed him for a fatal boat accident.         

 

SHADOW OF ILLUSION (1970-Italian)  Must be seen to be believed; so many odd touches throughout the movie.  I like the movie a lot. 

 

THE DEVIL'S ECSTASY (1974)  Here we have an oddball adult movie filled with hardcore activity and devil worship.  It's a shame the director didn't have a bigger budget cos the movie isn't too bad.  I can't imagine what the trenchcoat crowd in '74 would have thought upon seeing this in a grindhouse theater.  Definitely atypical for an adult feature and would still be pretty weird for a 'mainstream' movie.  I saw it via an old VCX tape several years ago and it was indeed most unusual.   

 

MAG WHEELS (1978) [AKA:  'Summer School'].  The jarring shifts in tone of this low-budget 'Teen Flick' of the '70s are what make it atypical.  You get fun-lovin' scenes on the beach and just cruising around and partying but then you also get ugly fights + sexual assault/attempted rape + a truly screwed-up 'happy ending'.  View at your own risk!   

 

NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK (1941).  W. C. Fields' last starring role was in this movie which has no real plot.  I've seen it thrice.  Has a funny car chase at the end of the film, too.  Runs about 72 minutes.

 

GUN HAWK (1963)  I thought this was a very atypical Western.  In Color.  Starring Rory Calhoun.  Rory gets gangrene in this one. 

 

I concur about 'BUCKAROO BANZAI'; I saw it in the theater in 1984 with my mother.  It's not your typical 'Sci•Fi' movie, to be sure.

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I am not seeking surreal movies as such. It is only that most surreal movies are in their own way atypical.

 

The Adventures of Buckeroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984) certainly qualifies as atypical! :)

 

It is far different from low-budget science fiction movies and it is different also from parodies of such. It is truly very odd.

 

I may be me only but I have sense that there is touch of Bollywood in it. I believe that speaks well to how truly atypical it is for what is classed as science fiction.

It's been years since I have seen it--I will have to re-watch with your Bollywood comparison in mind. Thanks!

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I am sorry to say that I have not watched this movie. I did not know of its existence prior to your posting. 

 

Descriptions of it do sound as if it is very atypical of Coen Brothers movies.

 

I will have to look for it.

It's interesting, but don;t expect to be uplifted after watching it. The message seems to be "Yes, Larry Gopnik, there is a God and sometimes he just does things that suck. Go with it."

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How about Freaks (1932) by Tod Browning? Definitely atypical. If you haven't seen it, it revolves around life in a circus freak show and features the freaks as characters. There's a little person/little person/ acrobat /strong man love quadrangle,a murder plot and a bizarre revenge sequence. It was banned in Great Britain for years and recieved a very limited release in this country. It's become something of a cult classic and Ive seen references in TV shows, books and movies over the years, most recently in American Horror Story:Freakshow (which also, weirdly, references Marlene Dietrich).

 

 

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Here's some movies I've seen over the years that I felt were 'atypical'. 

 

 

I am sorry to say that I have watched only: Shadow of Illusion (1970) and: Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941). 

 

Shadow of Illusion (1970) is truly an odd movie! It is rare to find such originality in horror movie.

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I believe that: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990) is very atypical. I feel that intelligent comedies are rare and this is one of the best.

 

It is atypical in that we are seeing characters in a play when they are not on stage. I do not mean by this that we see characters who are actors. This is two minor characters in: Hamlet. Their lives include what would be seen of them on stage during performance of: Hamlet. 

 

I find it wonderful that their characters are so thinly limned for: Hamlet that there are many things which they do not know of their life. One such thing is that they do not know which one of them is: Rosencrantz and which one of them is: Guildenstern. We know which is which by what they say to others but they have no realization that they are at those times within a play and so can not refer to playscript for identification.

 

I love also that Rosencrantz has epiphanies concerning scientific principles but his demonstrations of them fail so perfectly. I am sorry to say that I can not speak of them because it would spoil very wonderful moments in movie.

 

There is much more that could be said of this movie but the level of meta is so high that it is difficult to describe.

 

I can find no good source for entire movie on-line but this is playful scene:

 

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I'm glad to know you've seen SHADOW OF ILLUSION (1970), WithoutEnd.   :) It's not a widely-seen or widely known movie, to be sure, but I think it's a lot of weird fun!  William Berger's role as 'Caleb' is most unusual and Daniela Giordano has her hands full trying to fight off weird cultists and expatriate drug addicts.  Yikes! 

 

     Here's a few more flicks I think are atypical:

 

     RING OF DARKNESS (1977)  Anne Heywood deals with the Devil and has to fight off her increasingly devilish daughter who wants of control of  -?-   (I'm not exactly sure what the daughter's ultimate aims were . . . but she didn't have the best of intentions!)  Features a naked catfight at the end between Ms. Heywood -- who's all decked out in weird make-up -- and her evil daughter.  Has a good cast, too.  There's more than 1 version of this movie; the version I've seen has 1 scene missing that helps explain the plot.  I've seen stills of the scene that's missing, but apparently it was never dubbed/recorded into English.  There was a Belgian VHS release of "Ring of Darkness" (with the title being something like "De Duivelse En Maagden") with the added scene, but the fella I know who's got the tape it won't part with it.  Not that I could understand whatever dialogue may be spoken in the excised scene, but I'd like to have the video just the same so I could at least try to figure it out.  I really like the score by Stelvio Cipriani, especially over the opening dance sequence.  Great music!    

 

    THE LEGEND OF HILLBILLY JOHN (1973)  Hedges Capers fights off Old Scratch in the hill country of The Carolinas.  His job:  Defyin'!  Has a cast of familiar actors in small parts.  Definitely not for every taste and one must be patient at the beginning of the movie to figure out what's going on.  I know I didn't understand it right away.  I was confused for the first ten to fifteen minutes before I caught on to what was happening. 

 

     EQUINOX (1967)  The original amateur film that's included on the Criterion 2-Disc DVD release is worth your time.  I found it to be much better than the re-worked and lengthened 1970 theatrical release.  And it's atypical, all right!  I firmly believe Sam Raimi saw this movie before he made THE EVIL DEAD.        

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At the time of its release, I thought "The Man Who Fell to Earth" (1976) was very atypical.  In retrospect, it may now seem less so and it's harder to pinpoint what, if anything, the "science" of the movie may have anticipated. But Roeg began as an editor and I still think that it's a visually intriguing film. And the soundtrack was amazing, a really ecclectic mix of pop and experimental.

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I believe that: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990) is very atypical. I feel that intelligent comedies are rare and this is one of the best.

 

It is atypical in that we are seeing characters in a play when they are not on stage. I do not mean by this that we see characters who are actors. This is two minor characters in: Hamlet. Their lives include what would be seen of them on stage during performance of: Hamlet. 

 

I find it wonderful that their characters are so thinly limned for: Hamlet that there are many things which they do not know of their life. One such thing is that they do not know which one of them is: Rosencrantz and which one of them is: Guildenstern. We know which is which by what they say to others but they have no realization that they are at those times within a play and so can not refer to playscript for identification.

 

I love also that Rosencrantz has epiphanies concerning scientific principles but his demonstrations of them fail so perfectly. I am sorry to say that I can not speak of them because it would spoil very wonderful moments in movie.

 

There is much more that could be said of this movie but the level of meta is so high that it is difficult to describe.

 

I can find no good source for entire movie on-line but this is playful scene:

 

Very funny movie. And play--Stoppard is hilarious. It would be intersting to play Hamlet and R & G back to back and compare the scenes from the different characters' viewpoints.

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RING OF DARKNESS (1977)  

THE LEGEND OF HILLBILLY JOHN (1973) 

 

 

You are embarrassing me by mentioning movies which I did not know exist! :)

They sound very interesting.

 

Equinox (1967) has aired on TCM. I am sorry to say that I recorded it for later viewing and then did not find time to watch it. I know we have the DVD but I have no idea where it might be.

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At the time of its release, I thought "The Man Who Fell to Earth" (1976) was very atypical.  In retrospect, it may now seem less so and it's harder to pinpoint what, if anything, the "science" of the movie may have anticipated. But Roeg began as an editor and I still think that it's a visually intriguing film. And the soundtrack was amazing, a really ecclectic mix of pop and experimental.

 

I have long meant to watch this movie when it becomes available to me. I like Buck Henry's work at all times and I like very much David Bowie as an actor.

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Very funny movie. And play--Stoppard is hilarious. It would be intersting to play Hamlet and R & G back to back and compare the scenes from the different characters' viewpoints.

 

I am very happy to find a person who likes it! I believe that you may be the only other person on this forum who has ever watched it. I feel the amount of talent in it is astounding for movie which no person could reasonably expect to do very high box office.

 

I believe it would indeed be very interesting to watch them either consecutively or to find relevant scenes and play them side by side.

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I like that movie very much! TCM airs it with some regularity. I hesitated at first to watch it because of description but I am happy that I choose to watch it at last.

I like that while it does sort of sensationalize the "freaks", it humanizes them at the same time. The so-called freaks are the most human people in the movie (besides the clown and his girlfriend)--the other so-called "normals" are terrible people. Makes you think and I bet it was very atypical for its time.

My daughter used to play it for her friends as sort of a test I think..."Are you wierd enough to be my BFF?" and they'd talk about it. (She also got me watching "American Horror Story:Freakshow", which follows the lives of the members of a freakshow in Florida and seems to have used Freaks as some sort of jumping off point.)

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Watching R & G Are Dead, preceded by Stoppard's The Fifteen Minute Hamlet, is also an interesting comparison.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP33oxsyDKY

That was...interesting. And funny! And now I want to see R & G Are Dead immediately... ;)

In my family, we sometmes will say "It'll all end like Hamlet," instead of "It will all end in tears."

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That was...interesting. And funny! And now I want to see R & G Are Dead immediately... ;)

In my family, we sometmes will say "It'll all end like Hamlet," instead of "It will all end in tears."

 

I have a hankering to see R & G Are Dead, too. I haven't seen it in several years. But since one of my favorite scenes is the question game, the video below will tide me over until I can see it again.

 

"It will all end like Hamlet." That is funny!

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I like that while it does sort of sensationalize the "freaks", it humanizes them at the same time. The so-called freaks are the most human people in the movie (besides the clown and his girlfriend)--the other so-called "normals" are terrible people. 

 

This reminds me of: Цирк (1936). A female circus performer lives under dire threat that a man will tell that she has a negro baby. She fears she will be ostracized by those whom she has come to feel are family. The secret is at last revealed and all other performers gather around and sing lullabies in their native language because she is one of them and race is of no matter.

 

It is available with English subtitles at:

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I am serious in intention to not have this devolve into discussion of surreal movies but it is difficult to think of atypical movies and not have: Luis Buñuel come to mind.

 

I feel that: any discussion of atypical movies would be shallow if it did not include: L'Age d'Or (1930). What should one expect from teaming of: Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali? The very last adjective which one would apply is: "typical."

 

It was scandalous even in pre-code times because it challenged all social norms. It has sense of dark humor which is rarely rivaled.

 

I believe that it is very much atypical because no other filmmaker has ever been so foolish as to try to duplicate it!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzpdnuH6rjE

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