9 of the Strangest Movies Ever Made

Joon Echols, Senior Staff Writer


Warning: The article below contains spoilers as well as content that is extremely graphic.



  1. Videodrome


“As the president of a trashy TV channel, Max Renn (James Woods) is desperate for new programming to attract viewers. When he happens upon ‘Videodrome,’ a TV show dedicated to gratuitous torture and punishment, Max sees a potential hit and broadcasts the show on his channel. However, after his girlfriend (Deborah Harry) auditions for the show and never returns, Max investigates the truth behind Videodrome and discovers that the graphic violence may not be as fake as he thought.”


I’m hardly sure this movie needs any introduction. A Universal Studios film, the first production of David Cronenberg; literally nicknamed the “King of Venereal Horror”, and the “Baron of Blood.” Why with a repertoire like that is there anything more I really need to say?

Probably not, but this is a review after all. This movie, like many others of its age, had no computers to generate effects and instead had to do it all by hand, and by god you can see the absolute dedication in those scenes. Whether it’s a “breathing” tv or the stomach of our protagonist turning into a VHS player, paired with the spectacular acting is so close to reality I finished watching “Videodrome” tempted to search whether or not this film was, very loosely, based on reality. 

The underlying message, as well, of the human mind being so obsessed with the consumption of, any kind of, entertainment, we would soon transcend the boundaries of what we thought physically possible. Humans are a delicate beast shown constantly in the film but what of those that transcend our “average” boundaries? Those that want more than what they can be given, a kind of ecstasy beyond what one would normally think of. 

While I may not be specifically searching for blood gore in this category, I must applaud the effort here. What’s more shocking, and ultimately “strange”, then a woman who seeks pleasure by being tortured? Who puts cigarettes out on her own skin. In the end she is revealed to be dead, and yet, she never really dies. For in this world the consciousness is not just bound to flesh. It can be manipulated, extending far beyond the physical reaches of mankind. 

I’m ashamed to say I’d never heard of David Cronenberg before now, and I simply must remedy that; by binging every one of his movies that I can get a hold of.



  1. Tetsuo: The Iron Man


“A ‘metal fetishist’ (Shin’ya Tsukamoto), driven mad by the maggots wriggling in the wound he’s made to embed metal into his flesh, runs out into the night and is accidentally rundown by a Japanese businessman (Tomorowo Taguchi) and his girlfriend (Kei Fugiwara). The pair dispose of the corpse in hopes of quietly moving on with their lives. However, the businessman soon finds that he is now plagued by a vicious curse that transforms his flesh into iron.”


It’s strange, I could end at that but not even a statement as plain and simple as that can begin to describe what I witnessed. Even while typing this my hands have begun to shake, but not from fear, rather something else that the word strange cannot even begin to scratch the surface of. This film is unusual, bizarre, abnormal, and if I keep going at this rate the paragraph would end up looking like an excerpt from the “dictionary of strange synonyms.” 

Plot-wise things aren’t so bad, at first, time passes by non-chronologically, which is to be expected, most films operate like this, but soon the lines begin to blur and as the protagonist struggles with the procession of his story we, the audience, struggle even more. If you were to ask me for a time frame I’d simply say “time is an illusion”, as an answer. 

As the lead actor is slowly transformed into a mass of metal that once resembled a human, it’s no wonder that he went mad. Yet he is not innocent to any of this; if anything, you could say he almost deserved it. 

Applause to the man responsible for this, the director, and recurring character, Shin’ya Tsukamoto. Known for his adaptations of the famous manga, “Ichi the Killer” and, another reincarnation of Godzilla, “Shin Godzilla”; two movies currently on my “must watch list”, with the new addition of the rest of the Tetsuo series.



  1. Taxidermia


“Set over three generations and beginning with Morosgovanyi Vendel, a sexually frustrated orderly during the war who relieves his tensions in the most outlandish, gross ways. The result of his liaison is Balatony Kalman, a glutton who grows up to be a champion speed eater. He produces a child, Balatony Lajoska who becomes obsessed with taxidermy.”


To be honest, I was ready to dismiss this movie purely based on description; I admit that my pettiness hated the inaccurate surnames. Thankfully though I carried on and all was revealed and cleared, and I have to say: “not bad”. 

Every film critic knows that movies have both good moments and bad, some more than others. My opinion, regarding this cinematic piece, is fairly equal. 

The mystique of certain parts of this story can either be ignored or fully embraced. We have a baby otherwise healthy but born with a pig’s tail, that is quickly severed. We get no explanation whatsoever, which greatly bothers me, but compared to other parts later on, where that same child is grown, enjoying, with his wife, a decently calm life, awaiting the birth of his son, it is a delightful touch of empathy, compared to what happens after.

A few years flash by and the “new” child has grown up. All seems calm at first only to quickly be revealed that his father has grown so fat, which his diet of strictly candy bars, unopened, hasn’t helped; that not only does his skin spill over the side of the reclining chair he sits in, the man is no longer able to move. What’s worse is he doesn’t even seem to care that his own son not only has to empty the “bed-ridden” man’s bedpan, but that he supplies everything for said man, such as housing and a constant food supply to someone who neither acknowledges nor respects him.

After reading this, if you thought that was bad, imagine what happened before it and after; I hate to say that what I described isn’t even the end yet. There’s still much more misery to be had from the unfortunate souls of this story.

This movie isn’t “strange”, far from it in fact, this story is simply grotesque.



  1. Rubber


“A car tire comes to life with the power to make people explode and goes on a murderous rampage through the Californian dessert.”


The mental hardships I had to go through for this movie was, and still is, a losing battle. Part of me wants to cut this short and give the basic “yes or no” answer expected of me, but, unfortunately, I can’t. So here I present to you the b-movie to outdo all others: “Rubber”.

The plot is exactly as the summary describes, nothing more or less; alright there is a little bit more that should be told. Films thrive on substance and plot however while this one somewhat does, it also has a satiric narrative on the essence of the movie; which is its audience. For, as awful as this movie is, it does have a point. Any film, no matter high-budget or student-made, is based on those who watch it.

Even a movie within a movie knows that. The minute the “film” ends, theirs not ours, the lead actor suddenly departs from any perceived characteristics into, what could be, a completely new person. Compared to the character he “played”, the professionalism of such a sudden change in tone is similar to a-list actors from a big budget produced Hollywood film. Cinematography, visual effects, and editing is very well done but when such great aspects are designated to a movie like “Rubber”, the payoff is not the same. 

I grew bored of it rather quickly and thus while I suppose the concept is “strange” , nothing else after that is.



  1. Gummo


“Teen friends Tummler (Nick Sutton) and Solomon (Jacob Reynolds) navigate the ruins of a tiny, tornado-ravaged town in Ohio that is populated by the deformed, disturbed and perverted. When not gunning down stray cats for a few bucks, the boys pass their time getting stoned on household inhalants. Elsewhere, the mute Bunny Boy (Jacob Sewell) dons rabbit ears and is bullied by kids half his age, and sisters Dot (Chloe Sevigny) and Helen (Carisa Glucksman) dodge a pedophile.”


There’s a very odd tone playing in this film. Something both awkward and normal, yet completely surreal to those who watch it. 

Like “Napoleon Dynamite”, “Gummo” is a movie heavily laced with stretched and unbreakable silence. However not every one of these moments are uncomfortable, but in fact the opposite; as good friends will know silence doesn’t always need to be filled. 

The best of friends are ones that support each other through thick and thin, now whether that means executing cats in gruesome ways together, and selling the bodies to a local deli, or paying a caregiver to have sex with his charge, who is mentally disabled, the two lead actors are almost always together. Yet their friendship is not the only one to take note of here. While the strangeness of it all, somewhat clouds all other actions or even judgment of the film, there are genuinely “nice” and “decent” parts that restore just a sliver of hope that this cinematic piece just might be “ok” overall.

That moment, for me, is the story of three sisters, two older and one younger, who spend what little time we see of them on-screen enjoying each others company, by laughing and living their best lives together,  and if their attention is not towards each other, it’s directed to their beloved pet cat “Foot Foot.” Now if we just choose to ignore the casual discussion of drowning Foot Foot’s babies once they’re born, what we have here is a picture perfect family.

However if you find the treatment of these animals downright disturbing, you might be shocked to think there might be something that I find far worse than this. In my opinion, even though I would usually agree the animal death is far more tragic than the human one, I think the worst of certain experiences is how normalized they are or expected to be treated as just another problem that can be quickly brushed off one’s shoulder.

Fair warning to those who continue; this next part truly and utterly disturbed me, and that’s saying something from the person that watched “The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)” and thought “I’ve seen worse.”

One of the boys, described in the first section, is last seen, to us that is, casually bathing in a tub filled with brown water eating spaghetti, milk, and a chocolate bar, that fell in the disgusting pool, while his mother washes his hair. It may not sound too bad but let me tell you this, I absolutely hated this scene with a burning passion. The absolute silence and minimal sound present was almost filled with the sound of my own person throwing up what I had for dinner that day. 

Don’t watch this scene before or after eating; it’d ruin whatever appetite you may have had. While I’m glad to report this movie served its purpose and is truly deserving of the title “strange”, I am merely unsettled and greatly alarmed; hereafter its end. 



  1. Funky Forest: The First Contact


“An outrageous collection of surreal stories largely revolving around Guitar Brother, his randy older sibling, and their portly Caucasian brother.”

How to describe a movie that is undefinable? I’m not quite sure myself. What I will try to do is follow the algorithm that I’ve been given, by “Funky Forest: The First Contact”. Why not start at the very end; my review is: “eccentric, peculiar, outlandish, and more!” 

Although the film is set, majorly, in live-action film, there is a short complimentary moment of classic 2-D animation; live-action animation is such a rarity nowadays it’s almost refreshing to see it again, even if the subject matter itself was odd, to put it lightly.

Which, consequently is connected to the following segment, is the importance of self-expression through dance. Multiple characters in this film are seen dancing to their heart’s content; now whether this is a “forced” action, or simply for fun, both tell a story. The subject of it? No idea, but what I can say is that whatever their purpose may have been, I was thoroughly enchanted. Congrats to them for semi succeeding.

Our “play” starts in a variety of places jumping from hot springs to a cozy home, but after a brief intermission, which I greatly needed as my attention span had begun to wane, the new “main location” is of a school. Normal at first the students/”new” cast inside the classroom are a mix of high schoolers, preschoolers, and what I suspect is at least two adults beyond the age of necessary schooling.

Within this segment are perhaps the most “interesting” and creative creatures that any body horror fanatic would absolutely adore. While I would be willing to change my judgment of this film, which isn’t exactly too high up or positive, based on these monstrosities alone; the lack of information, despite that being a common theme here, unfortunately prompts me to continue being dismissive. 

The continuous theme of jumping around from plot-to-plot has a few elements that stay constant. Of the new and old cast are the Mole Brothers, two brothers that host a wacky nonsensical tv show, and Guitar Brother; even though “brother”, singular, is used these segments revolve around the three brothers from the description. Besides the recurring characters are the “main” plots of Alien Piko-Riko, an alien of mysterious intent switching from kidnapping others to begging for help to save their dying planet, and, the highly anticipated, Singles Picnic; a matchmaking event all the men of this film have been planning since the very beginning.

I’ve also discovered, somehow, this movie was popular enough to be cleared for a sequel; titled The Warped Forest. Unlike previous excitement at the idea of continuing on this adventure, I will not be watching, nor engaging with, this continuation. I genuinely thought there were some good parts here and there, closer to the end I even started to devise a scrambled “plot” from the discord. However in the end I’m not sure I can endorse or even recommend this. Don’t waste your time on this movie, watch something else.



  1. Eraserhead


“Henry (John Nance) resides alone in a bleak apartment surrounded by industrial gloom. When he discovers that an earlier fling with Mary X (Charlotte Stewart) left her pregnant, he marries the expectant mother and has her move in with him. Things take a decidedly strange turn when the couple’s baby turns out to be a bizarre lizard-like creature that won’t stop wailing. Other characters, including a disfigured lady who lives inside a radiator, inhabit the building and add to Henry’s troubles.”


I fell asleep while watching this. The review should end here right? I mean what’s a more honest review than being so disinterested by something that you collapse from such boredom?

That being said, despite my “physical” complaint “mentally there’s much to think about. The cinematography is good as is the visual effects; especially for a film made in 1977, when movies released in black-and-white were a creative choice rather than the only available option. It works quite well like that in my opinion, I don’t believe the movie would be as good nor as surrealist. 

Plus the mental anguish of single parenthood really solidifies that. Despite trying to be a good father, struggling every turn of the way, the stress of it all can, and will, always overtake even the most calm person alive. So when strange figures and apparitions begin to appear, I hardly blame the protagonist for lashing out the way he did. 

Although it’s important to note, stabbing your offspring in the chest is not a good, or legal way, to vent one’s feelings.

My one and only critique to give, now that I’m really sitting down and taking time to ponder my feelings, instead of going with the original line of reasoning: “this movie was boring because it took too long to get anywhere”; is “Eraserhead’s” central plot of the fear of fatherhood is so well played out that it almost feels like a form of in-depth therapy. Minus the “end”, a fever-dream state of chaos, disarray, and no real resolution, every little thing about “Eraserhead” I thoroughly liked; even the “unfortunate” byproduct, my nap, was enjoyable. 

Even if strange isn’t typically used as a compliment, I’m choosing to treat it like one. What a strange movie.



  1. Dogtooth


“A controlling, manipulative father (Christos Stergioglou) locks his three adult offspring in a state of perpetual childhood by keeping them prisoner within the sprawling family compound. The children are bored to tears in spite of distractions like Christina (Anna Kalaitzidou), an employee of their father’s who makes regular visits to sexually service the son (Hristos Passalis). Increasingly curious about the outside world, the older daughter (Aggeliki Papoulia) hatches a plan to escape.”


As the list goes on things continue to get weirder and weirder, it sounds derogatory but I swear, at the end of the day, it’s a good thing, a compliment even. 

While I do find the concept of “Dogtooth” “exciting”, especially since the director is the award-winning Yorgos Lanthimos, whose work I admire; this piece just isn’t as good as the others. Perhaps it’s the execution of it which leads to such disappointments. 

The characters are often sporadic in what they do, wherein you think the secrets of their character have finally been unlocked only for that notion to completely turn on its head, making anything kind of twist they enact not surprising but verily expected. The fact that someone bashes the side of their face-in with a lift weight then serenely climbs into a car trunk never to be seen again, goodness for all the build-up of a “grand” escape, it really can’t be called grand at all.

I’m all for open-endings, some of the best movies out there have them, but when you try so hard to have one, the end result is something forced down the throats of all who watch it. Which is the very unfortunate case for this film. 

To give my honest, genuine, and true opinion; I was greatly disturbed by this movie. More so than any of the films posted in my previous article, on the list of: “10 Horror Movies So Disturbing, You Might Not Be Able To Finish Them,” and yes that includes “The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)”. To be frank, this entire list of: “9 of the Strangest Movies Ever Made,” should have been switched with the other one. It definitely would’ve been far more fitting.

Strange does not even begin to encompass the feelings that this movie provides, maybe disgust, the only better descriptive word I can think of off the top of my head, and yet even then that feels too mundane; too plain and simple to be right.

“Dogtooth” is absolutely repulsive, yet, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I recommend watching it. If nothing more than to experience the disturbance for yourself.



  1. Black Moon


“A host of bizarre characters dominate a tale about a girl (Cathryn Harrison) on the run from warring forces in a futuristic country.”


These movies I review just keep getting stranger and stranger; don’t worry about  reading on folks, the consensus has been set.

I mean a civil-type-war set in an unknown timeline revolving around, what seems to be, the clash of men against women isn’t completely unbelievable. Incidents like this happen often enough to be considered “usual” and sometimes “normal”, the involvement of guns and general items of serious warfare, not so much. It does add a bit of realism to an otherwise unintelligible series of strange happenings/events. 

Now that I think about it, that seems to be the main plot/conflict of “Black Moon”. More often than not anyone of the same gender is received well than those of the opposite. Even a mother quickly dismisses her son rather than a genuine stranger on the basis of her being a woman. The first interaction we see of the main character is her getting shot at by men for no primer reason. Another example of this conflict, you say? A group of soldiers mercilessly harass and assault a naked and dirty individual, the soldiers are women and the individual, is a man; it’s never stated why they are doing this, nor why a single soul never bats an eye at this. Simply another part of being in this world. 

In the younger generations there are a few instances where both sides mingle in glee and carefree fun. A small horde of children run around and through the countryside taking no notice of the violence which befalls their surroundings. They are just children, with no reason to worry about the state of the world just yet. A nice sentiment the kids of our modern age should be influenced by as well. Let’s not forget about the ones who, inadvertently, teach them this rule. 

A brother and sister pair who are the main examples in these children’s lives. In a world of such disorder they are the perfect example of acceptance brought by difference. 

There’s a lesson to be learned within this. That figments of imagination can be a minor prospect to the greater trials of reality. Lies and falsehoods do hold truth from which satire can be the best example of how to, respectfully and outwardly, without physically saying it, judge a society.