Films

The weirdest horror movies ever made

Posted by
Duncan Vicat-Brown
Published
The weirdest horror movies ever made 1

The spectrum of weirdness is extremely broad, running the full gamut from ayahuasca flashbacks to that guy at work who wears a Family Guy tie and doesn’t respect your personal space. But when it comes to cinema, specifically horror, we have to draw some lines.

1. You can’t include anything self-consciously weird, with a really long title full of puns and long words; that way lies wackiness, boredom and, usually, jaw-dropping racism (looking at you, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.)

2. Anything with a Vs. and a mutated animal in it is out, as they’re essentially movie clickbait. And arthouse films are out too, mostly because it’s hard for us to make jokes about them.

3. No - a true Weird Horror Film is something that was made with the sincere intention of making something honest and good and, for better or worse, ended up suspended in the No Man’s Land between Sense and Nonsense.

Your Stone Age notions of good and bad are of no use here. These are some of the most baffling scare-flicks you could ever hope to see.

Death Bed: The Bed That Eats

The Pitch: A demon cries blood onto a bed, and it becomes a person

Why is it Weird? It is, very literally, a film about a bed that eats people. It’s a lavish four-poster bed in an otherwise empty shed in the middle of a wood. Would you have sex on that bed? Do not ever have sex on that bed. It eats people.

Is it Good? No, it is absolutely not good at all. How could you possibly think that it would be?

Weirdest Bit? Death Bed eats a man who’s wooed his date with champagne, a bucket of fried chicken and two apples(?), which it also eats. Death Bed is a just master and a canny snacker.

Where Can I Watch It? Here.

I Am Here… Now

The Pitch: Cyborg Jesus returns to Earth to gorily punish everyone who doesn’t care about the environment.

Why is it Weird? Tommy Wiseau? You are like a little baby. Meet Neil Breen, an LA real estate agent who takes The Room’s dialogue and narrative savvy and ramps up the ambition and vanity to literally biblical proportions. If anything’s going to turn the inevitable tide of global warming, it’s an alien robot Jesus who endlessly monologues, crucifies businessmen, and loves to fuck.

Is it Good? It’s about as far from good as films get, which means it is, actually, good.

Weirdest Bit? “No! No! Don’t cut off my ear! No! No! Don’t cut off my hand!” Just… mwah!

Where Can I Watch It? You gotta ask Neil especially.

Blood Harvest aka. Nightmare

The Pitch: Someone is murdering people in a remote rural town.

Why is it Weird? Tiny Tim, who you may or may not know as a light entertainer in the 1970s, has a supporting role as Marvellous Mervo, who’s a clown. He sings weird songs and has a truly nightmarish falsetto. No one else in this film is a clown, or even clown-adjacent. So, essentially what you have is a bog-standard slasher set on a farm, except there’s just this fucking… clown.

Is it Good? No, because you’re always wondering why the clown is there, which is kind of an unsettling feeling.

Weirdest Bit? Not necessarily that weird, but someone saying they have to find Mervo before he does “something silly” is still pretty great. Of course he’s doing something silly. He’s a clown.

Where Can I Watch It? Here.

Phenomena

The Pitch: A girl who can talk to insects uses her powers to solve a string of murders at a Swiss boarding school.

Why is it Weird? Dario Argento is a truly great director, but he’s made some… questionable choices. And that’s why the plot of this film hinges on someone getting grassed up by a larvae.

Is it Good? On the one hand, no. On the other, it ends with a monkey saving the day by decapitating someone. So, also, yes.

Weirdest Bit? The sudden, inexplicable blasts of hair metal that soundtrack scenes where someone is just walking slowly through a house.

Where Can I Watch It? Here.

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The Killing of Satan

The Pitch: Satan is killed.

Why is it Weird? This Filipino production about a man in a jean jacket on a quest to kill The Devil has it all: sea zombies, a snake taking a slap to the face, psychic power gurn-offs, someone’s head getting slapped all the way round, magic lasers, and someone’s face getting slapped clean off. Kind of an odd take on the physical properties of slapping in general.

Is it Good? Oh, no, no.

Weirdest Bit? A man runs into the path of an oncoming boulder, gets crushed to a fine red pulp, then yells “Mind that rock!”

Where Can I Watch It? Here.

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth

The Pitch: It’s a Hellraiser movie so - someone gross and horny is punished by demons for being gross and horny. The one’s mostly set in a club called Boiler Room, so let’s pretend it’s about the worst night of SBTRKT’s life.

Why is it Weird? A fun fact about Hellraiser movies is that, like a lot of franchise sequels, most of them were pitched as original ideas before being repackaged with a Roman numeral on the cover. That means some of the ideas in them can be… half-formed. That’s why there’s a demon with CD-Rs embedded in his head, and another one who just smokes.

Is it Good? All Hellraiser films are good, fuck you.

Weirdest Bit? If you’re wondering how it’s possible for a pillar to eat a person, wonder no longer.

Where Can I Watch It? Here.

Mystics in Bali

Pitch: An American woman in Bali falls foul of a witch and is transformed into a Penanggalan - a disembodied head that can fly, pulling a string of entrails behind it.

Why is it Weird? We’re not here to call Indonesian mythology weird. We’ll save that for the scenes of humanoid pigs, magical baby eating and women vomiting mice. Plus, it looks really funny when the disembodied head flies towards people in a distressingly on-a-string-like fashion.

Is it Good? Yes! It’s a landmark of Indonesian cinema, cheap effects notwithstanding.

Weirdest Bit? The witch casts a spell on our heroine by carving a symbol on her thigh - while presenting as a disembodied tongue.

Where Can I Watch It? Here.

Sleepaway Camp 2: Happy Campers

The Pitch: Angela is a camp counsellor, who gleefully murders basically everyone she deems badly behaved.

Why is it Weird? Sleepaway Camp is a genuinely terrifying but – in common parlance – ‘problematic’ slasher about Angela, a transgender serial killer. For the sequel, she’s had an operation that turned her into Pamela “Sister of Bruce” Springsteen, a performer of such relentless and gleeful passion that the end result is something like Friday the 13th played through a Tickle-me-Elmo.

Is it Good? Good is a relative concept. It’s definitely not boring.

Weirdest Bit? Angela drowns someone in a toilet full of shit with this send-off: “You’ve been a shitty friend and a shitty camper!”

Where Can I Watch It? Here.

Hausu

The Pitch: A schoolgirl takes her friends to visit her mysterious aunt, and one by one they’re picked off

Why is it Weird? Hausu is another film’s cheese dream. It laughs in the face of your primitive ideals of visual language, tone, and whether your body parts should stop moving after they’re detached. Death is a relative concept. Any and everything can and will kill you, and there’s no guarantee that your disembodied head won’t rise from a well and bite your best mate’s bum. By the end, you too will think that, somehow, a watermelon is the greatest gift a person can give.

Is it Good? Yep! It’s 88 minutes of gleeful visual anarchy.

Weirdest Bit? Take your pick from entire back half, but death by drowning at the hands of a sentient jar, in a pool of blood that’s come from a painting that’s been attacked by a pair of disembodied legs, probably clinches it.

Where Can I Watch It? Here.