Anna is a writer, mom, crafter, and movie buff. Her favorites are horror movies and horror stories, thanks to some inspiring parents.
Stranger Than Strange
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and sometimes fiction is stranger than anything you could imagine. I have seen a lot of movies over the years. Some have been really great movies, some have been absolutely terrible, and some have been so completely strange that after I had finished watching the movie, I just stared at the screen in total disbelief.
Once again I am putting a movie list together. In all my searchings, and all of my movie viewing, I have come across some pretty strange movies. And when I say strange...I mean it! A few of these movies are so bizarre that they have to be seen to be believed. A few of them are actually wonderful movies. Some of them, however, are so terrible, and so strange, that they just have to be watched, if for no other reason, than to tell others about them. I know we all have seen a few of those movies. You are talking with a friend, and you bring up a movie; "You HAVE to see this movie! You will never believe it! I can't describe it, you just have to see it!"
#1: Alice (1988)
Alice is a truly strange movie. It's really hard to even describe the movie. It is based on the classic story of Alice in Wonderland. But, it really isn't the sweet, fun Disney story that we all grew up with. It's dark, disturbing and so bizarre that I don't even want to give away too much information about it. It is one of those movies that is better if you just see it for yourself.
It starts out with a little girl, in a dingy little room, and a close-up shot of a girl's mouth, as she narrates the beginning of the story. Alice was made in 1988, and released in The Netherlands in early 1989. It is a Czech movie, and the version I saw was dubbed into English. It is a stop-motion nightmarish version of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. It is definitely worth a watch, if you are a fan of strange movies, or if you are just curious. It isn't a great movie, not by a long shot, but it is worth a watch. It's so strange, I don't even think Tim Burton could have come up with something so bizarre.
Alice is too big for the door
#2: Being John Malkovich (1999)
While this movie was fairly mainstream, it was still a very odd movie. I loved this movie, partly because it was so strange. Having a little portal into another person's mind is an interesting concept, and to be in the mind of a celebrity, even if it's only for fifteen minutes, would be tempting for anyone. What would you do if you could be in the mind of any celebrity for fifteen minutes? Which celebrity would you choose if you had a choice? What would an experience like that be worth to you, even if it meant ending up alongside the New Jersey Turnpike?
I am a huge fan of both John Cusack and Cameron Diaz, and they were both great in this movie. The script was clever, fun and strange, and the acting was great. Even the office setting was weird. Imagine working in a tiny, low-ceiling office like that. Most offices are confining and claustrophobic to begin with. I can only imagine the back pain experienced by the actors after having to deal with the low ceilings of that set. Being John Malkovich is a great movie. It is another movie that you must see, not only because it is so strange, but also because it is so wonderful.
They are too big for the entire floor
#3: Big Fish (2003)
Big Fish is a heartwarming story full of fantasy and magic. It's the story of a storyteller, if that makes any sense. See, it's already strange. It is a fantastic and wonderful tale filled with unbelievable characters and amazing little adventures. The first time I saw this movie, I absolutely fell in love with it. It is really a story about a man and his father, and the journey the man goes through to learn more about the father he saw as a liar for most of his life.
The movie is as visually gorgeous as any fairy tale, and the story really is beautiful. The strange characters and even stranger tales that shape the life of the father are fantastic and engaging. So much so, that the son struggles to believe all the tales that he has been told all his life. I don't think I would believe my father either if he told me even half of what this man had told his son. Ewan McGregor is amazing in this film. It is one of Tim Burton's lighter movies, but still full of fantasy. Big Fish is a great movie. It really is. It is still one of my favorite movies to this day. Truthfully, I wish my own life were half this interesting.
#4: The City of Lost Children (1995)
The City of Lost Children is one of the strangest movies I have ever seen. Having said that, it is also a wonderful movie. This movie came to me as a recommendation from my sister. She said I had to see this movie. She is rarely wrong when it comes to recommending movies for me to watch. It is a French movie, and I recommend watching it with the subtitles. It is so much better that way. I am not sure if they ever dubbed it into English, but I am not a huge fan of dubbed movies. It ruins it, and I feel that it cheapens it a little bit. Ron Perlman (of Sons of Anarchy) stars in this movie, though his dialog in the movie is very limited.
The movie is about a scientist who kidnaps children. He uses these children in a mad experiment meant to slow his aging, by stealing their dreams. It is a very strange movie with a lot of unusual characters and even stranger scenery. It is a dark, disturbing movie, but also a heartwarming movie about a man searching for his brother. It is a violent, and often disturbing movie filled with horrific images. It is visually stunning, however, and the script is very well written and incredibly acted, even by the youngest cast members. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who is a fan of fantasy movies, dark movies or foreign horror movies.
Yes, that is the guy from Sons of Anarchy
#5: A Clockwork Orange (1971)
A cult classic, A Clockwork Orange was a movie I was told I HAD to see years and years ago. I watched it, and I have a friend who refused to watch it. The movie is very dark and very disturbing. It is not a movie for kids. It is filled with nudity, violence and terrible images. Having said that, it is really an interesting movie. It is well scripted and well shot. I am a fan of Stanley Kubrick, so I kind of knew what to expect from a movie of his. He often ventured into the darker aspects of human existence, and this movie is no different. It is hard for me to see Malcolm McDowell as anything other than Alex, even after all these years. I see his face, even now, and I still go back to A Clockwork Orange.
For those that haven't seen the movie, it is a dark movie about a young group of trouble makers in a strange, colorful, futuristic Great Britain. Young Alex, a fan of Beethoven, ends up in prison where he volunteers for a controversial experimental program that is supposed to "cure" him of his violent tendencies. The real trouble for Alex begins after he is released from prison. The sets in the movie range from the stark prison setting to the fantastic set of his family home, and what appears to be a strange, futuristic shopping mall. For fans of this movie, the characters are easily recognizable, and I have even seen people dress up like Alex on Halloween. Even Rob Zombie and The Simpsons have pulled from this movie as inspiration.
#6: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (2008)
What can I say about this movie? It is strange, and kind of wonderfully so. It is part musical, part cheesy sci-fi, part romance, part superhero movie and 100% silly. It is technically a television mini-series, but still a movie. This movie blends the varied genres into a strange and wonderful film. The movie was originally run in three episodes, but holds up well to being watched all at once, and being that it is only forty minutes long, it won't eat up much of your time in order to watch it. Having said all I have said about the movie, it is hard to believe that they packed that much into such a short amount of time.
The movie is about a wanna-be super villain, played by Neil Patrick Harris, who falls in love with a good girl (played by Felicia Day) that he met at the laundromat. I know...the premise is ridiculous, but for some reason, it works. I was told to see this movie by a friend, and at first, I thought it sounded stupid, but I am glad I gave it a chance. It is fun, the songs are catchy, and I really enjoyed the story, as ridiculous as it sounds. Rumor has it that Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and his brothers got bored during the writer's strike several years ago, and came up with the idea for this movie. I guess something good did come out of that writer's strike.
I Love NPH!!!
#7: Enter The Void (2009)
Enter The Void is a trippy, weird movie. It is really hard to describe this movie any other way than that. It is a drug-fueled romp into the darker areas of the streets of Tokyo. The movie is truly strange, but it's hard to stop watching, even when certain scenes made your eyes hurt. A lot of it made no sense the first time I watched it, but watching through it a second time, I was able to pick up details that I had missed the first time through. Sometimes, when I watch a movie, I get so sucked in to the story that I tend to miss a few details here and there.
The movie centers around Oscar, and most of the movie is seen through his own eyes, making it hard to watch at times. It made my head hurt a little bit. Oscar and his sister are struggling to survive in the seedier underworld of Tokyo. I don't want to give away too much about a movie, and this movie is no exception. I will leave it to you to see the movie and see all the strangeness for yourself. It is dark, disturbing, and very well made. There is a warning attached to this film, for those that are prone to seizures, the intense flashing lights in the movie may induce a seizure, and should not be viewed by those at risk for seizures. This is in all seriousness. The flashing lights in this movie are intense and kind of gave me a headache. For those not prone to seizures, you should check this movie out, and if you are like me, and it didn't make complete sense the first time through, watch it again.
#8: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
This movie is heart-wrenching, beautiful and kind of weird. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet are both great in this movie. Their acting grabs you, and pulls you in and it is heartbreaking to watch this movie. The movie may be hard to follow for some, since it doesn't follow a clear linear plot line. But, considering the surreal aspects of the movie, it is virtually necessary for the type of story that is told.
The movie centers around Joel Barrish (Jim Carrey) and Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet), and their romance. When they part, Clementine opts to get a strange procedure that will erase one person, in this case Joel, from her memory. Distraught over her decision, Joel decides to have the same procedure done. A lot of the movie focuses on his memories of their relationship; some good, some bad, and some very abstract, feelings and emotions rather than memories. It is a beautiful movie. The effects are beautiful, the cinematography is amazing, and the movie as a whole is wonderful.
#9: Interstate 60: Episodes on the Road
Interstate 60:Episodes on the Road is a curious movie. I was told to watch it by my sister, once again. She told me it was strange and wonderful. She was right. It is a light, interesting movie with a strange and fascinating story. James Marsden, Michael J. Fox and Gary Oldman star in this truly creative and unique movie. It is part fantasy, part comedy, part romance, part drama, and part surreal road trip adventure, and it is all wonderful. It is quirky and delightful.
Gary Oldman plays O. W. Grant, which stands for One Wish Grant, which is what he does. He encounters people along the road of life and grants them one wish. James Marsden plays Neal Oliver, who runs into O. W. Grant and is granted one wish. He wishes for answers. This one wish sends him on a surreal adventure in pursuit of a mystery woman, and the answers to his own life's greatest questions. It is definitely worth a watch if you are a fan of slightly off-beat movies that aren't nearly as dark as some of the other movies on this list. I am so glad I was asked to watch this movie, and have watched it several times since the first time I saw it. It still manages to surprise and delight me.
#10: The Lost Room (2006)
This is another television mini-series that I have decided to include. I know...it's not technically a movie. It's my list, I'll do what I want. It appeared on the Sci-Fi Network, and while a lot that is shown on that network is hokey, at best, this was surprisingly refreshing, interesting and well made. Peter Krause (star of Six Feet Under and Parenthood) and Julianna Margulies (from ER and The Good Wife) are fantastic in The Lost Room. It is an interesting concept for a movie, or mini-series, and the writing is akin to the works of Stephen King. In fact, it was directed by Craig R. Baxley, who also directed Kingdom Hospital, a television series/ mini-series, written by King.
The Lost Room is about a police officer who discovers a very special key while working on a case. The key opens a door to a very strange motel room that is a lot more than it appears to be. Through his investigation, his daughter goes missing, and he must discover the secrets of this lost room in order to save her, and himself. He meets some strange and interesting people along the way, and discovers a lot about this mysterious room. The series is creative and intriguing. I recommend this to anyone who is a fan of Stephen King, or strange fantasy movies. it is well acted, creative and once you start watching, you have to finish, if only to find out what is really going on.
Is this the Lost Room?
#11: Neverwas (2005)
Neverwas is yet another recommendation from my sister. She is my go-to person for movie recommendations. I was struck by the heart of this story. It is part drama, part fantasy. It is a really strange, and interesting movie. I don't ever remember seeing any press or previews for this movie, which is why I never saw it until a couple years ago. It truly deserved a lot more attention that it got. Ian McKellen, Brittany Murphy, Nick Nolte, William Hurt, Jessica Lange and Alan Cumming all act in this great little movie, so I am unsure why it never received more attention, considering the acting talent.
Neverwas is about a psychiatrist who takes a job at the mental institution that his father was once a patient at. Through the course of the movie, he discovers a patient who helps him to unlock secrets of a children's book his father wrote. The children's book is a link to his father, and a piece of his own life story. The movie is fantastic, well acted and beautiful. Sir Ian McKellen is amazing in this movie, and the story is beautiful and touches the heart.
Ian McKellen always looks the same
#12: The Nines (2007)
What can you say about a movie where Ryan Reynolds, Melissa McCarthy and Hope Davis each play three separate characters that end up being intertwined? It is strange to say the very least. The movie is interesting in a way I can't really describe, partly because I don't have any words to describe it, and partly because I don't want to give away any specific details to ruin the movie for anyone looking to watch it. It is a movie that must be seen in order to fully understand. I can't really say more than that.
Ryan Reynolds plays three separate characters, one is an actor who plays a television cop, another is a head of a television show, and the third is a video game designer. All three characters are connected in some way. Melissa McCarty actually plays herself in the second vignette of the three. She is delightful in this movie, as she is in most things she does. As I said, in order to understand the movie, you must see it. And look for the nines...
#13: Riding The Bullet (2004)
For those who know me, you know I had to include at least one Stephen King movie in the list somewhere. I just had to. I read the story before I saw the movie, so I knew the basic plot of the movie beforehand. The story appeared in the collection Everything's Eventual, for those that are interested in reading the original story. It was a good story, and a good movie. It is a clever and interesting story, and the acting is decent.
Riding The Bullet is about a young man who learns that his mother is dying. He decides to hitchhike across the country in order to get there. I am guessing the story was written back when that practice was a little more common. He encounters some interesting people along the way. Hitchhiking is dangerous, and he discovers just how dangerous after he is picked up by a very strange man who offers him an even stranger proposal. Johnathan Jackson (General Hospital) stars as the young man and David Arquette (from the Scream movies) stars as George Staub, the mysterious stranger. The movie is interesting and definitely worth a watch. What does it mean to "Ride the Bullet"? I will let you find that out for yourself.
#14: Santa Claus (1959)
There have been many, many movies made about Santa Claus. Some of these have been great, heartwarming, family movies, and others have been strange, offensive or even violent. This movie...well, this movie is something else entirely. What that is, I'm not really sure. This movie was made in 1959 in Mexico, and is all in Spanish. I saw it dubbed into English, which, I think, added to the strangeness of the film. The movie is in full, blaring technicolor, and the story, well...you should just see it for yourself. I hate to give away any details about this movie, but I know that I have to give at least some information. It may be hard to find, but it is worth it to find this movie and watch it, at least to just believe what I tell you here. This movie has to be seen to be believed.
In this movie, Santa lives in a castle in the clouds, and has some interesting equipment which he uses to keep an eye on the children of the world. He doesn't have elves, either. He has what appear to be cast-offs from the 'It's A Small World' ride at Disney. Santa has to deliver toys to all the good children in the world, all while battling the Devil and his evil minion, Pitch. Yes, Santa battles the Devil. And even better than that, guess who helps Santa with not only all the magic of Christmas, but also in his battle against the Devil? Merlin, of course. Who else would it be? Merlin creates magics that aid Santa in all he does. Why? Who knows...the movie is disturbing, ridiculous, and pretty bad. It is intended as a children's movie, but I think any kid would be scared silly after watching this movie. The Nightmare Before Christmas is way less scary than this.
#15: Welcome To The Dollhouse (1995)
I remember the first time I saw this movie. It was many, many years ago, with my sister. We were at my grandmother's house, watching it on her satellite dish (one of those big, old ones) on a channel that my grandmother didn't actually get. We had to keep hitting a button every so often in order to remove the box that kept blocking the picture. I guess that is part of what I love about this movie; the memory that is attached to it. The movie itself is a strange coming of age story, but it is so much more. It is quirky, fun, and even a little uncomfortable at times. Heather Matarazzo is excellent in this movie as the quirky outcast, Dawn Wiener.
Dawn is an awkward seventh-grader who struggles with all sorts of typical issues. She is the ignored middle child with a super-smart older brother and an adorably cute little sister. She is all but ignored by her parents. Dawn even goes so far as to cut the heads off her sister's dolls in an attempt to get attention. That should tell you a lot about the movie. This movie is very funny, very clever and so much fun. It really is. The strangeness of the movie is offset by the clever script and great acting. It didn't win a Sundance Award for nothing.
Patrick Zampetti on May 05, 2020:
Jabroni on January 27, 2020:
I agree with whoever put Jodorowsky "The Holy Mountain" aka la montage sacre, banned in a couple counties changed my life when I bought a VHS copy on ebay
Strange Movie Watcher on March 31, 2019:
Jerzy Skolimowski's The Shout
King on December 02, 2018:
What about the devils
Name on July 22, 2018:
A movie i like that doesnt seem to have any mention on here is Holy Mountain by Jodorosky. Also check out Zardoz, Naked Lunch, Altered States, Visitor Q, Brazil, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension, Rubber, Tideland, Mulholland Dr., Black Moon, and Valerie And Her Week of Wonders.
Terra on June 13, 2017:
thank you for your lists. Do you think you could do a list of less known alien movies? Ever time I see them they always have the same common ones listed.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on March 10, 2012:
mvaivata-- Well, I hope that you enjoy them!! Thank you for reading!!
mvaivata on March 09, 2012:
I've seen a handful of these, have been itching to see some others, and am excited to watch some that I've not heard of. Thank you for sharing this hub -- I'll certainly be adding most of these to my "to watch" list.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on January 19, 2012:
James-- I love movies that keep you guessing. So many movies these days are so predictable, that I find myself bored, having figured out the whole plot less than halfway through the movie.
James on January 19, 2012:
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a great movie!! As is Memento if you like the whole got ya guessin' the whole way through.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on January 11, 2012:
IJR112-- The Fountain? Can't say that I have. I will have to check it out.
tschaunerb-- So do I!!
tschaunerb from Medicine Hat on January 10, 2012:
I guess i watch a lot of strange movies because i have seen many of these. Good Hubbing Tho, thx.
IJR112 on November 03, 2011:
Have you seen The Fountain? I thought that was the strangest movie I had ever seen.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on October 12, 2011:
Ardie-- I know what you mean about strange movies making you feel more normal. I am also preparing a list of movies to watch and books to read for the long, cold winter months.
Sondra from Neverland on October 12, 2011:
Hello Anna Marie :) Thanks fr the reviews. I love strange movies, they make me feel a little more normal. I havent seen any of these yet because Im not much of a TV/movie watcher - but I will add them to my que for the cold winter months that are right around the corner.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on October 12, 2011:
Heather-- Great meeting someone else who is a fan of Dollhouse!! Not many people have even heard of the movie. I will be on the lookout for "Dogtooth". You have me intrigued!!
Heather from Arizona on October 12, 2011:
I love Dollhouse! Haven't seen Alice, but speaking of weird foreign movies, I recently watched "Dogtooth" on netflix streaming and it was a trip.
Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on October 11, 2011:
SubRon-- I really can't give away too much about any of the movies that I review. I hate to give away too much information, because I know I would hate having a movie ruined for me. I hated AI as well. It was an interesting concept, but the movie made me mad, as well. Thanks for being such a loyal reader!!
James W. Nelson from eastern North Dakota on October 11, 2011:
Anna Marie, I love your reviews, and your reviews have told me all I want to know about any of these movies, except one, the last one: "Welcome to the Dollhouse" I guess, if I had a significant other and she wanted to watch these movies, I would do it, for her, and probably enjoy them. The only movie I've seen is "A Clockwork Orange." And back when it was recently out. It finally came to my little town. I couldn't believe that little town would show (X-rated, right?) an X-rated movie, but they did and I went, but only for that reason, that it was X-rated.
One movie you don't have here is "Artificial Intelligence" I hated that movie! But I couldn't stop watching it. I know you know what I mean. I hated how the so-called humans treated those poor robots. And that stupid robot kid that was "adopted" to a human family, how they just dumped him when they got a real kid. I hated that movie, Anna, and I really, "really" hated the ending!
But, great hub, Anna, you never let me down!