One of the joys of cinema is the sheer variety offered by the world of film. Sometimes you're watching something conventionally entertaining that has the potential to delight everybody, but occasionally you stumble across a slice of filmmaking so deliriously crazy that you're not sure whether to laugh, cry or jump to your feet and leg it out of the room faster than you can say “what the heck was that?”.
When Lottoland looks at the costs of making your own movie, it's clear that these movies don't always boast the most clout at the box office and might not break even for their makers. However, the joy of a truly bonkers movie can outweigh economic concerns – at least for those experiencing the chaos. Here are five of the most unusual films made over the course of the past decade.
ME, YOU, MADNESS
Louise Linton was once referred to as “the Trump administration’s resident supervillainess”. The wife of former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, she became notorious for her displays of crass consumerism on social media. Now, she has written a movie in which she also stars as a woman who, in her own words, is “addicted to a variety of things — mainly cocaine, champagne, excessive exercise, expensive shoes and indescribable violence”.
The movie features spider-eating, a poolside orgy, curling iron attacks and a scene in which Linton dances while caressing frozen body parts. She's a serial killer and the film is billed as a romantic comedy between her and the thief who steals her car. Linton says the film was funded by her family and friends, so it just might be the weirdest vanity project ever made.
SWISS ARMY MAN
Yes, this is the one where Daniel Radcliffe plays a farting corpse whose erection can be used as a compass. He stars alongside Paul Dano's Hank, who discovers the corpse while marooned on a desert island. At first, he bonds with the corpse, but then realises it can be used to help him get out of his predicament with its various special features, including the aforementioned erection. Directed by the filmmaking duo known as Daniels, it was a Sundance Film Festival hit in 2016 and is a surprisingly warm and delightful story.
Another festival hit which secured strong reviews when it was released last year, Swallow stars Haley Bennett as a woman who feels increasingly compelled to consume things – escalating to more and more dangerous objects. Written and directed by Carlo Mirabella-Davis, the film earned broad acclaim and even a small amount of awards buzz for Bennett's performance and the movie's portrait of domestic ennui. It has gone largely overlooked by audiences after its release was curtailed by the pandemic last year.
Essentially the opposite of Swallow, this movie focuses on a man with a fetish for, as the title suggests, rectal insertion of various objects. Director and co-writer Tyler Cornack also plays the lead role in what initially seems to be an allegory for addiction, but lacks the thematic depth to fully commit to that idea. It's an odd duck of a movie, which has a highly comedic premise and tries to amplify it by playing the movie as an arrow-straight detective tale. Mostly, it doesn't work.
THE GREASY STRANGLER
Jim Hosking is the director who has perhaps the strongest claim to be the modern day master of the midnight movie. His 2016 effort The Greasy Strangler is weirdness personified, following a strange, deadpan young man and his father. The latter just happens to be the titular serial killer, who slathers himself in grease before dealing out brutal violence and subsequently hosing himself down in a car wash. Hosking's world is a strange pantomime of oddity which undoubtedly features the most grease and oil of any modern horror film, not to mention several, weirdly-shaped prosthetic penises. If they gave out Oscars for yuckiness, Hosking would've won a hatful.