Woman In The Dunes1964, Directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara
Plot: Niki Junpei (Okada) is an entomologist on an expedition to collect insects in some sand dunes. When Junpei misses the last bus out of town, the locals offer to allow him to stay in town for the night. They send him down a rope-latter, into a house at the bottom of a sand-pit, owned by a widow (Kishida). The widow has been tasked with digging sand to be sold to other cities, and with preventing the sands from destroying her house (if her house is destroyed, the other houses in the village will be threatened). When Niki tries to leave the next morning, the rope-ladder is gone, and villagers inform him that he will now be assisting the widow in her endless duties. Eventually, Junpei falls in love with the widow, and resigns himself to his fate…
Weird Moments: Niki comes up with a way to siphon water from sand; Niki gets a chance to escape, but doesn’t (granted, the widow is carrying his child by that point); Honestly, the plot is the primary weird-thing here… and everywhere on this list, pretty much.
Last Year at Marienbad1961, Directed by Alain Resnais
Plot: In an elite setting, at a chateau, a man asks a woman a question. She says, “No.”, and they continue to talk, almost as if she said yes. A second man approaches, and the conversation ends in a weird way. This conversation is repeated over and over again, but in different places in the chateau, and utilizing different camera angles each time. The men also play games, like Nim. There are also ambiguous voice-overs, and random tracking-shots down corridors.
Weird Moments: The whole thing is one big weird moment!
Faust1994, Directed by Jan Svankmajer
Plot: Using a mixture of live-action and clay-mation, “Faust” is based somewhat on the story of “Faustus”, with some hints of Goethe, Chris Marlowe, Franz Kafka, Absurdism, and Modernism. Basically, a man sells his soul to the devil… for some reason (it really isn’t clear why he does in this movie).
Weird Moments: Everyman (Cepek) drills a hole in a full-size doll, and has sex with it; Everyman finds an egg, shell and all, baked into a loaf of bread; Upon opening it, all Hell breaks loose.
Uzumaki2000, Directed by Higuchinsky
Plot: Somethings very wrong in the town of Kurouzu! It’s inhabitants begin a collective obsession with coils, swirls, and twirls. Before long, they begin to turn into said coils, swirls and twirls!…
Weird Moments: Shuichi’s father crawls into a washing-machine, in order to get a “POV” shot for his collection of spirals; Katayama begins moving like a snail, and only comes to school when it rains; Various students begin growing shells in their flesh; Kirie’s mother cuts off her hair and finger-tips, due to her fear of the spirals; A millipede informs Kirie’s mother, via a hallucination, that there is a spiral, deep inside her ear (she ends up killing herself); Clouds begin spiraling into whirls; Kirie’s dad impales himself in the eye with a drill; “Snail-people” are found inside of a tunnel; Sekino’s body becomes “devoured” by swirls; Shuichi becomes one big spiral.
Heavy Traffic1973, Directed by Ralph Bakshi
Plot-Preface: Michael Corleone (Kaufmann; and no, it’s not the same character as the one in “The Godfather”) is the son of a struggling mafioso and a repressed, Jewish house-wife, who finds solace in making, reading, and watching cartoons. He’s playing pinball when we first see him, which then abruptly switches from live action to animation.
Actual Plot: Mike routinely visits a bar, which has a bar-tender named Carole. He gets free drinks from her, under the condition that he gives Shorty – a legless regular at the bar – samples of his art from time to time. Through a sequence of events, Mike hooks up with Carole, which engenders the racist-fury of his father, as well as his father’s envy regarding Shorty. Mike then moves out of his house, and tries to get work. He finally gets the opportunity to pitch a movie-idea to a movie-mogul, however, the story is so bizarre, that the mogul has a heart-attack. Ultimately, they are forced into the arena of crime to pay the bills. Mike is ultimately, killed…and the film returns to live-action. The real Mike sees the real Carole, and follows her. Then they fight. And then they dance. The end.
Weird Moments: Snowflake, the nympho-transvestite, gets beat up by a drunk; The bullet that kills Mike enters his head in slow-motion; Mike’s movie-pitch (Wikipedia states the pitch better than I could: “In the distant future following a nuclear war, the world is covered with garbage. Most of humanity has been either destroyed or mutated, though the men are still horny, and apparently horny enough that they don’t care what they hump. A pile of garbage comes to life, as a result of a man humping it, and is worshiped as a religious figure, becoming known as ‘Mother Pile.’ The last living human female, Wanda The Last, becomes a sort of side-show attraction and tours the land with her duck-billed mutant manager, Warren. One night, God speaks to Warren, asking Warren to let Him have sex with Wanda. Warren obliges, and Wanda gives birth to the new ‘Messiah.’ Throughout His son’s life, Mother Pile searches for him, and although she crucified many men, not one of them gave her his location. Meanwhile, God gives His son lessons of ‘The Truth.’ The story ends after the son spends roughly three months meditating in a cave. After a shout of ‘I’ve got the Truth, Pop!,’ he shoots God in the head, who in turn topples over and crushes Mother Pile. The Messiah then comes out of the cave, looks over at God’s corpse, and says that the truth he received was that God had been conning them the whole time.”).
Angel’s Egg1985, Directed by Mamoru Oshii
Plot: A girl (Hyodo) is the keeper of a mysterious egg in a post-apocalyptic world. She collects strange fossils and artifacts in a dead-city. Then, a man (Nezu) walks into town with a cross-shaped weapon on his back. In the mean-time, apparitions of coelacanths (a type of fish) appear within the town, and the statues of people [in the town] come alive, and begin to hunt the massive fish. The man then tells her a story, and waits for her to sleep. He then breaks her egg. Filled with anguish, the girl drowns. The end.
Weird Moments: The fish, of course; The statues hunting the fish with spears; Air-bubbles coming from her lungs during her death in the water become eggs.
Fando y Lis1967, Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky
Plot: The plot is divided into four acts (NOTE: There are SO many weird moments in this one, that most of the plot is going to be in the “Weird Moments” section!):
Act I: Fando and Lis, a paraplegic embark on their journey to the mythical city of Tar. They begin in a desolate city. A group of aristocrats have a party in the midst of this desolation. Fando gets paid for something, but he throws away his money, picks up Lis, and leaves the city.
Act II: The couple finds a dead-end, but they find their way to a marsh. They have a falling-out, but go their separate ways, although they find each other and leave shortly afterward.
Act III: Lis and Fando come across various characters in the desert.
Act IV: Fando once again grows weary of Lis. They get into a scuffle over various things, and Fando ends up killing Lis. Fando lives unhappily ever after…
Weird Moments: Where to begin? Lis is lured by a puppeteer (Jodorowsky) in a flash-back; The duo is guided out of the dead-end by the Pope; Old ladies play a card-game, with the winner being able to suck fruit-juice out of a young-man’s mouth; Fando runs-and gets ambushed by-into a gang of women armed with bowling-balls; Fando’s father comes to life, and puts Fando in his tomb; The couple paint each-others’ names on the walls of a room; They throw buckets of blood on the walls and on each other; A father and son begging for blood; Towns-people cannibalize parts of Lis’ skin after she dies; Fando gets covered in ivy, while sleeping next to Lis’s grave.
Tetsuo: Iron Man1989, Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto
Plot: A simple businessman and his girlfriend accidentally run-over a man who loves metal a bit too much (Tsukamoto), and they cover up the crime. Needless to say, that was the wrong thing to do…and they pay for their actions, with a vengeance.
Weird Moments: Every once in a while, a TV-screen pops up with a man inside of it who giggles like Alvin the Chipmunk; The girlfriend grows a 7- or 8-foot-long metal penis. A lady in the subway goes bat-crap insane after touching what looks like a seagull corpse covered in metal, and attacks the businessman; A diode comes out of the businessman’s cheek, and he pops it like a zit; A TV-screen that pops up randomly, showing the couple making love; The fetishist shoves a piece of rebar into his knee-cap; Pictures of what appears to be Jesse Owens are posted all-over the fetishists’ “lair”; The couple have “hugging-sex”, where they just hug each other while they make “O-faces”.
Gozu2003, Directed by Takashi Miike
Plot: Yakuza member, Minami, is looking for his brother, Ozaki. The plot is somewhat of a mess, structurally, but it parallels the episodic quests of Greek mythology.
Weird Moments: A very small dog is believed to be a “Yakuza attack-dog”; That very same dog is beaten to death; An innkeeper sells her breast-milk…straight from the tap, if you will; Minami awakens to find a man with the head of a cow in his room; This “minotaur” proceeds to lick him in the face, covering Minami in gooey saliva; A yakuza boss uses a ladle to stimulate his anus…
Vase de Noces1974, Directed by Thierry Zeno
Plot: A farmer – who may or may not be the last man on Earth – lives on a farm in Belgium and falls in love with a big sow. After bonding with her in some very strange ways, he decides to consummate the relationship. Consequently, the very unlucky pig gives birth to a litter of human/pig baby/piglet-hybrids. He attempts to feed them all, but they only seem to want their mother’s attention. The [most stereotypical] farmer [in the world] becomes jealous and feels unwanted, so he kills all of the “hybrids”. When the sow hears of this, she commits suicide by drowning in a small pool of mud. The farmer-overcome with sadness (or because of the fact he JUST SCREWED A PIG), buries her, and even tries to bury himself along-side her. When this fails, he becomes furious, wrecks his house, and commits suicide via hanging.
Weird Moments: The farmer drinks tea made out of his own excrement; He fastens the heads of dolls to the heads of pigeons; He beheads a chicken for no good reason; The “couple” roll in the mud together, in order to bond; He collects strange materials in jars (which he destroys at the end of the movie).