What constitutes ‘weird’ in this context?
Let’s go with this quote from 366WeirdMovies, a site dedicated to finding these gems of weirdness:
A 1950s documentary preaching tolerance towards heterosexual transvestites is a bit offbeat.
When that same documentary hires Bela Lugosi to narrate the tale, casting him as a seemingly omniscient, godlike character named “The Scientist” who tells the story of the oppressed cross-dresser from a living room decorated with battleaxes and skulls, we’re moving into the realm of definitely peculiar.
But when Lugosi’s obscure mutterings about “the big green dragon that sits on your doorstep” and “puppy dog tales and big fat snails” segue into a dream sequence featuring bondage fantasies and a sudden appearance by Old Nick assisting at a wedding, that’s WEIRD.
So, a movie won’t be eligible for this list unless I can describe it in this specific format.
Now, since I’m talking about favorites here, Glen or Glenda (the movie above) is not going to make it. The movies have to be actually good.
Oh yeah, spoilers abound.
El ángel exterminador aka The Exterminating Angel (1962)
Having a dinner party with live sheep and a bear, where everyone is very blunt with each other, is a little offbeat.
When all the help in the house just leave without giving a reason is peculiar.
Being stuck in a room, when no one can leave or enter for unknown reasons, is weird.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Following a gang of extremely violent teenagers (in the book, they were even younger), who have their own vocabulary is offbeat.
Drinking spiked milk is peculiar.
Brainwashing the gangleader into a state where anything reminding of his previous lifestyle makes him feel sick and then pushing him into situations that remind him of it again and again is weird.
Teorema aka Theorem (1968)
Having a stranger move in with a family just by notifying them is offbeat.
That stranger seducing each member of the family in turn (including the maid and possibly the dog) is peculiar.
That seduction completely changing these people and their outlook on life is weird.
Twelve Monkies (1995)
Going back in time from a post-apocalyptic future to research the causes of that very apocalypse is offbeat.
Having to deal with the mental burden of whether you are actually time-travelling or are you just having some sort of mental breakdown is peculiar.
Finding out that it was actually your time-travelling antics that actually caused the whole affair in the first place in some sort of a time loop is weird.
Fight Club (1999)
Leaving behind your daily life to fight with people for stress relief (?) is offbeat.
Fighting against your self in front of your boss to force him to give you a severance package is peculiar.
Finding out that your partner in all of this was actually you all along is weird.
A group of subway inspectors having fun on the job is offbeat.
Having footraces with trains and a serial killer underground is peculiar.
Not being able to leave the subway system, because for you the entrance seems to be just a wall is weird.
Sita Sings the Blues (2008)
Using an ancient Hindu myth as a metaphor for your broken relationship is offbeat.
Having the main character in the myth regularly sing blues songs from the 20s is peculiar.
When the three narrators can’t actually agree on the myth and it’s meaning it becomes weird.
Holy Motors (2012)
A middle-aged man driving in a limo around town performing various tasks is offbeat.
Having that man change roles and injecting himself into the lives of various people, who all seem to know who he is, is peculiar.
I don’t even know where to begin with the weird. There’s motion-capture sex, talking limos, biting someone’s finger off to kidnap a model, and ending up shacking with a chimpanzee. It’s weird.
It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012)
Living with memory problems is offbeat.
Using those memory problems to muse on philosophy is peculiar.
The full-blown hallucinations caused by whatever neurological disease the character has are weird.
The Lobster (2015)
Single people being put into camps to find mates is offbeat.
The people who escaped this to live without love are peculiar.
The punishment for not finding a mate being turned into an animal of your choice is weird.