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WTF movies

Ok, let's get away from the heavy stuff for the rest of the day, shall we? I was emailing with my buddy Todd and we got on the subject of the movie Private Idaho. Which provoked Todd to ask me this question: bq. What was the most bizarre movie you've ever seen, one that made you scratch your head and go...what the fuck?? I immediately answered Doom Generation (which I actually own on DVD). He said Bad Lieutenant (which I think is WTF movie in a very creep way.) And they definitely are both WTFmovies, but in completely different ways. Which means the question is pretty much open ended and the answers should entertain for a while. So, answer already.


There's a wonderful short that ran on IFC some months ago - I wish I knew what it was called because I would go out and buy it! It's a fake documentary about rediscovered pieces of silent film by a mysterious past master which are arranged, by turns, into a love story, a gothic horror story, a comedy, etc...until the narrator starts running off the rails and gets into a bunch of conspiracy theories about how the film itself came to be lost and discovered...

It's really bizarre and funny and somehow moving.

I agree about Bad Lieutenant. Donnie Darko was another one of those, but in a good way. I think.


I still want to know what the lady in the radiator was suppose to represent - was she supposed to be the pressure release whistle or something like on an old steam boiler?

Eyes Wide Shut. Elegantly shot WTF.

Swimming Pool. Sucker punch WTF.

Fast, Cheap & Out of Control. Documentary in search of a subject WTF.

Branding myself as a troglodyte:

Anything by Federico Fellini


Leningrad Cowboys Go America

Blue Velvet

"Pearl Harbor" - As in, "WTF are those Zeros doing flying around like X-wings?"

anything with Ashley Judd - As in, "WTF were they thinking when they told her she could act?"

"Life is Beautiful" - As in, "WTF am I doing watching this horribly overrated Benigni movie?"

I could go on, but nobody wants that.

"Jacob's Ladder"- like in a mind-f@*k WTF type of way...

I think all of Greg Araki's movies rank high on the WTF Meter...


Mulholland Drive
House of 1000 Corpses

Welcome to the Dollhouse, all of my most painful childhood memories thrown back in my face and no happy ending... sob

Natural Born Killers and, although I still admire it, Dead Ringers. WTF?

That's easy! "Dead Man", starring Johnny Depp. I'm still scratching my head over it.

Oddest movie I've ever gotten through all of.

"Naked Lunch". There is no WTF movie with more F'ing Whats than that movie has. It is wrong on multiple levels.

"200 Motels". It's WTF WTF. Makes "The Wall" look like a hack buddy cop movie. Written and directed by Frank Zappa. Need I say more?

Isn't there one called agent orange - cult film kind of in the league of "The Wall". That was a serious WTF

"El Topo". Everything Jim says about "Naked Lunch" is true of this movie. The only good thing about sitting through it was that it got me to swear off ever watching another obvious WTF movie. It convinced me that no matter how wretchedly incomprehensible and pointless a movie is, some asshat critic is going to call it "brilliant".

I have watched Mulholland Drive at least a dozen times (bought the DVD), and I still say WTF repeatedly during and after the movie. I have my theories, but it still makes no sense in any connected way.

Anyway, hearing "Crying" sung so soulfully in Spanish is worth the price of admission, as are one or two other scenes that never ahem fail to get a rise out of me....

Shame or Persona, both directed by Ingmar Bergman. I found myself constantly wondering what had happened to get from the previous scene to the one that I was now watching.

Lost in Translation. Can I have a plot please?

Movern Callar. Major WTF.

Mainly because it has no plot, no conflict, no resolution: some wierd stuff happens to this loser of a chick over the course of a few days, and then the movie ends, and you just go "WTF was that?".

Also because the Scottish accents are so thick that you spend the entire movie going "WTF did she just say???" (and the DVD doesn't have subtitles as an option.)

Takashi Miike's "Visitor Q" (2002)! Nothing makes one say WTF like seeing a guy slipping and sliding on a kitchen floor an inch deep in breast milk that's being squirted everywhere by a woman wearing garbage bags.


"Blood Sucking Freaks" is about the most fucked up movie ever made.

Requiem For A Dream

"True Stories" by David Byrne.

Every character merits having their head cut off and placed on a pike.

I'll second the vote for "Jacob's Ladder," and throw in "Repo Man" for good measure. I came out with a vague sense of disorientation...a state that was apparently all too familiar to the director as well.

I'd have to go with Videodrome...Christ it's got James Wood's stomach opening up so Debbie Harry (from Blondie) can put videotapes in it. Long live the new flesh!

Clockwork Orange. Of course it's been about 20 years since I saw it so it may make sense now. I doubt it.

Here's another vote for the Japanese movie "Visitor Q", which ends with a heartwarming family reunion after the mother stops squirting her breast milk all over the kitchen and instead goes into her secret stash of heroin to inject some in her husband so he'll relax and be able to pull his penis out of the vagina of his deceased co-worker, who tightened up on him when her rigor mortis started kicking in. And then they go outside and kill some teenage boys by sawing them in the head.

Apologies for the fact that my previous post was a bit of a spoiler. But "Visitor Q" was a movie so fucked-up even Joe Bob Briggs was floored by it.

Manos, the Hands of Fate.

I know I'll probably be massacred for this, but wtf---Fargo. For the life of me, I could not figure out why everyone thought that movie was so damn good. It was so damn awful.

Am totally with everyone about the Cronenberg movies. Dead Ringers creeped me out (was afraid to go to the gynecologist for a long time after seeing that one! YEESH!) but Crash was just too damn weird.

I have to say Eraserhead, plus the punk Suburbia.

And - the real WTF movies if ever there were any - every movie in the -sqatsi trilogy:


These are films that were made on drugs, not to mention viewed on drugs.



beginning to end WTF

Made, the godawful reteaming of Faveau & Vaughn after Swingers.

I wanted Vaughn's character dead. As a viewer you were in disbelief at this so-called friend of Favreau's character.

Oh and for those of you unlucky enough to have been subjected to it, "The Company" about dancing with Neve Campbell is the worst thing I have ever seen. Absolute torture which I couldn't express because I was on a date with a ballerina. No plot(okay no discernible plot), just endless performances.

At least Yor, Hunter from the Future had unintentional comedy going for it.

How could I forget Battle Royale? Great movie, but still that essence of WTF in it.

Marypat, I love Motorama.

And Suburbia - HATED IT. Ugh.

There is a hardcore porn remake of Suburbia titled 'Little Runaway', if memory serves. I haven't seen it yet.

It has at least some of the same bands playing in it, like D.I.

Let's see -

"Surf Nazis Must Die" - more to the point, a WDTMT, or Why Did They Make This film

"Pistol Opera" - if someone gets this film, please tell me what drugs you were on while watching it

"Suicide Club" - Boy, did that go off the rails at the end or what?

I think that's good for now....

It begins and ends with "Eraserhead". Incomprehensible, unbearable, and almost a silent movie.

Add another vote for Eraserhead.

I still think Spielberg ripped off the Eraserhead baby for the ET design. :-)

The screaming baby! MAKE IT STOP!

Angel Heart, for me.

And also, in a special way, Miracle Mile. Because I wound up watching it on HBO with absolutely no idea what it was, and so spent the first 20 minutes thinking I was watching a romantic comedy. Good movie, and even better if you watch it that way...

Another vote for Eraserhead and Mullholland Drive. In fact, I've understood very few of David Lynch's movies.

Greaser's Palace directed by Robert Downey: R.D. jr.'s father. No wonder he can't stay sober.

The Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky.
Major WTF.

Mulholland Drive, by a long shot. The totally out of the blue lesbian sex scene in the middle was surreal.

I Spit on Your Grave was fucked up, but not necessarily weird.

Takashi Miike's "Visitor Q" (2002)! Nothing makes one say WTF like seeing a guy slipping and sliding on a kitchen floor an inch deep in breast milk that's being squirted everywhere by a woman wearing garbage bags.

Actually, that woman (Uchida Shungicu) is a friend of mine. She's a Japanese semi-undergound manga artist and, er, quite the character. I hope to publish some of her work via Fantagraphics next year. She's one of the most charismatic individuals I've ever met and her early manga (before it became totally self-absorbed) is really excellent.
But she does love to shock people these days.

"Repo Man."

I mean, I loved it, but... WTF?

(Of course, I feel that way about every Harry Dean Stanton movie.)

okay can't remember the title but it was the only movie I ever stopped watching (yes even the newer Star Wars movies I kept going with).

So with no title, here is the plot (as much as I can remember before the stop button). Dad possibly gets out of jail, he's scottish and goes to Hollywood searching for his daughter's killer and it had all these back and forth in time bits....weird.

Anyway, wtf moment: dad at party in hollywood, standing at end of swimming pool, you see him walk around the swimming pool and shot the host...then he's back at the swimming pool again and he was just imagining it.

(sorry for the long post, one of those days)


And Jased, you're thinking of The Limey, starring Terence Stamp.

@Jased, do you mean The Limey with Terence Stamp and Peter Fonda? I actually liked that one!

Beat me by a sec Sir Parrott!

First WTF movie: Babes in Toyland

Biggest WTF movie: Dr. Caligari

Most recent WTF movie: Ichi the Killer

The Naked Lunch and Wild At Heart.

Gregg Arakki movies are always perennial WTF movies though.

hmm. Eraserhead, as mentioned... Liquid Sky, for sure. I was never able to really figure that movie out. Probably helps to see it sober, of course...

And Runaway Train. Wow, was that a good flick.. but, WTF?

"Lost Highway"

I didn't bother watching the whole thing.

I have a finely tuned sense of what absurdist art can be, and David Lynch fails miserably... In my opinion his existance is proof that you can be completely non commerical and still untalented, but I guess everyone knew that.

"Doom Generation" wasn't bad. I wouldn't call that a WTF, but then I remember seeing (the plays) "Zoo Story" and "The American Dream" at age 8 and thinking I undstood what I was seeing, so I'm impossible to spook.

"pi" is a WTF. Not bad, but a WTF.

I liked "VideoDrome" but it disturbed the HELL out of me - especially the image of the man at the end, broken and suicidal.
Jacob's Ladder is also one of the cool but WAY to dark for Josh movies.

I nominate The Reflecting Skin, with Viggo before he became the King. Any movie that begins with kids blowing up a toad in some chick's face is seriously WTF. I loved it.

Was Wild At Heart the one with Sherilyn Fenn crawling on the ground looking for her ear? I'll second that.

I was going to say What's Eating Gilbert Grape and Prospero's Books.

yes!!!!!! Doom Generation for sure, I loved that. Then I thought of Motel Hell. Used to always be on tv, just bad, but fun.

Yes the Limey that was it! Thank you both for working that one out.

"man bites dog". fake french dicumentary where they follow a serial killer around, and participate in a rape. sucked.

tommy, saw it as a child, seemed disturbing.

saw some bizarre animated movie as a child, "fantastic planet"?

Wax: the Discovery of Televsion among the Bees

When we walked out of the theater someone looked at there watch and said "It's only 9 PM". Three people turned around and said "That was ONLY 2 hours?"

I know that I felt asleep twice and didn't lose the plot. Literally a hypnotic film.

and a very strange website: http://fusionanomaly.net/waxorthediscoveryoftelevisionamongthebees.html

To Kill A Mockingbird.

Just kidding...., ok, From Noon till Three. Charles Bronson. Jill Ireland. Extreme WTF?

Prospero's Books - nothing like a stuff up of Shakespeare to make you say "WTF?"

"Eye of the Beholder," where we overheard others asking after the movie "WTF was that?"

And "Bliss," a highly-acclaimed Australian film from the 80s that had my friends and I saying "Whatever they're smoking down under, we want some."

Good call on Eye of the Beholder. I think that's one of the all time WTF movies in that "what the fuck was that about?" sense.

Prospero's Books and A Man, His Wife, Her Lover, and a Thief. Or soemthing like that. Peter Greenaway movies, both of them.

Man Bites Dog
Very Bad Things

All this time and noone mentioned Brazil?

I figured that it would be somewhere near the top of the comments, or WTF am I missing?


the dark backwards.

Oh, I almost forgot. Boxing Helena.

Let me see if I've got this straight---he's so obsessed with her that he amputates her legs and arms to put her on a pedestal, like she's the Venus de Milo.

This is the movie that bankrupted Kim Basinger. For once, the woman showed she actually had some gray matter by running away from this thing.


Forbidden Zone. Directed by Richard Elfman, Danny's brother. WTF from beginnig to end.

Pi -- an excellent movie, but very WTF in that "what was that, I think I missed something, now what does that mean, is that what I think it is?" kind of way.

It's a tie.

Un Chien Andalou by Dalí & Buñuel (Any Pixies fan should own this movie).
Begotten by E. Elias Merhige.

Both complete WTF movies that make Lynch look like a freaking kid's show director.

Woody Allen's "Interiors".

Allen does Bergman.

"Barton Fink"

I remember watching that and when it ended thinking: "I need to watch it again -- I know I missed something."

"Liquid Sky" very low budget and too wierd to describe without giving away the surprises. Punk music - starts with a rape scene, so be warned.

There was another movie I was about to mention, but it suddenly slipped my mind.

How about a WTF music thread.
I nominate early Laurie Anderson "Big Science", "America 1-5", "Oh Superman", "Let x=x", "Walk the dog".

I don't think Brazil was WTF -- well, except the ending. But there were good reasons it was confused, as in someone other than Gilliam chose the original ending.

I can still remember the fight over the desk... and I wonder if something like that will happen when my company tries to cram three building's worth of people and stuff into one building.

i can't quite remember the title, something like "The Cook, the Thief and the Wife". cannabilism, sex and food. i think that covers the movie quite well.

also "Behind the Green Door" - yeah it's a porno but there WERE trying to give it a plot, i just cdn't figure it out.

oh and "Ghost Dog" (again think that's its name, with Forest Whittaker) was so F'ed up that many movie houses played the reels out of sequence and NO ONE COMPLAINED.

Barton Fink isn't WTF; it's about writer's block. All the seemingly odd bits actually connect and make sense by the end.

It's not clear to me, either, in the case of many of the cites, that surrealism qualifies as a "WTF?," but it's a subjective call, after all. One person's "I didn't understand that" is another person's art.

But if you want an odd experience, trying being paid as part of your junior-editor-for-a-large-publishing-house job to read manuscripts for consideration of making a novelization, and that's how you encountered Dead Ringers (though not David Cronnenberg, by any means). I had to give a plot summary of that to an editorial meeting. You want WTF? moments?

Six-String Samurai or Redneck Zombies. Let's see...a Buddy Holly lookalike with a guitar and sword wandering a post-apocalyptic world on a quest to get to Vegas or chemically-mutated, flesh-chomping good-ole boys...I can't decide.

I thought Six-String Samurai was great. But then, I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic movies.

I think I need to add Desperate Teenage Lovedolls and Christina, Princesse de l'Érotisme (a.k.a. "A Virgin Among the Living Dead") to the list. The first is an extremely amateur '80s SoCal youth-culture flick, and the second is a surrealist zombie softcore-nudie flick that doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Hey Michele, are you going to pick any of the movies out of this thread (that you haven't seen already) and watch them and post reviews to your blog? That would be awesome.

Also, I would give my left nut to be half as cool as Toren Smith.

Also also, I've heard that My Ass Is Bleeding might be a good addition to the list, but (unlike "Visitor Q", "Desperate Teenage Lovedolls", and "Christina, Princesse de l'Érotisme"), I haven't personally seen "My Ass Is Bleeding" so I'm just going by other people's word on this one.

The Black Hole. A Disney WTF movie. Took my (at the time) small children to see it and had to cover their eyes when Anthony Perkins got torn up by the robot and then this weird scene of them going through the black hole and it was hell and the evil guy got trapped in the robot and WTF???

Turned me off Disney.

Imperial Keeper

I think the film that both Tom and Hen are referring to is "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover". Just about anything by Greenaway is WTF; "The Cook..." is relatively accessable, compared to "Drowning by Numbers".

I thought the film of "A Clockwork Orange" was quite straightforward; it made the book (which I had previously given up on, because I couldn't understand NadSat) a lot clearer.

Brazil is basically Orwell's 1984, done by the Pythons with a happy ending (yes, even the director's version). So not a WTF movie for me.

No-one's mentioned Altered States, yet.

"Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael." I was an impressionable teenage boy and would have watched anything with Winona Rider in it. But that movie was possibly the biggest waste of two hours of my life. Well, there were those hours I had to sit in the Charlotte airport after missing my plane out of Greensboro -- but you don't want to hear about that.

Mad Max; Beyond the Thunderdome. http://www.transparencynow.com/maxintro.htm

Waterworld. http://movieweb.com/movies/film.php?1366

Dances With Wolves. http://www.suntimes.com/ebert/ebert_reviews/1990/11/576465.html

Man Hunter, by Micheal Mann; prequel to Silence of the lambs. http://www.manhunter.net/gallery.html

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; (or, for that matter anything with Johnny Depp, except Pirates, that was a kid movie and they are generally WTF for a reason). http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/movies/f/fear_loathing.html

Last House on the Left; earns the title WTF in the category of horror except that its too really creepy and almost no special FX. http://www.angelfire.com/ks/krug/

Special FX WTF in Suspiria for the reason that people actually think its worth cult status. http://www.imagesjournal.com/issue05/infocus/suspiria.htm

fuck, I don't know how I forgot:


where Japanese rock band Guitar Wolf has to fight an army of zombies from outer space.

if you like WTF movies then this one kicks ass. Warning, contains BRUTALITY OF SCREEN.

I'll probably get banned for this, but Buckaroo Banzai is a WTF for me.

Doesn't stop me from watching it....

Damn Joshua, I thought I was the only one who remembered "Liquid Sky." It was the first movie to jump into my mind when I saw the topic. What added to the WTF factor was that it was double billed with "Diva" a cool, albeit, French, new wave film.

Damn Joshua, I thought I was the only one who remembered "Liquid Sky." It was the first movie to jump into my mind when I saw the topic. What added to the WTF factor was that it was double billed with "Diva" a cool, albeit, French, new wave film.

Igby Goes Down. Total WTF movie. But in a good way, I think...if there is such a thing, that is.

Damn, I can't believe no one's mentioned "Head" starring the Monkees yet. WTF?

Anyone ever see Phantom of the Paradise? Major WTF. Paul Williams stars, nuff said.

I thought Caligula was pretty WTF.

And to the person that referenced Two Lane Blacktop...not only was JT the star, but my main man Dennis Wilson (Beach Boys) co-starred as 'the mechanic'. I don't know that it qualifies as a WTF in my book, but I can understand if you think so...

Jeff Anderson at combustiblecelloid.com had this to say about it "there's no mistaking that it's not only a classic cult movie, but an American masterpiece."

"Until the End of the World" (Bis ans Ende der Welt) - Characters meander aimlessly across the globe for two hours, hinting at never resolved international intrigue, only to spend the last 45 minutes of the movie in a massive, subterranean laboratory in the Australian Outback. Only good moment, "I'm the Bear! The Bounty Bear! Searching... searching... searching..."

Of course: Eraserhead, wormbaby, WTF.

Begotten, Holy Mountain, Blood Freak (not Bloodsucking Freaks--Blood Freak is a completely different movie).

Donnie Darko.
And I know I'll get yelled at for this, but Memento.
I have a serious issue with this movie and if anyone can answer a question about it for me, I'd really like to ask someone who knows this movie pretty well. I won't ask it here, because it will spoil the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it.