All horror movies are weird, when you think about it. How often do you really find yourself fighting a psycho in a hockey mask when you go camping? Or worrying about whether your local hospital will suddenly start spitting out zombies? Not that often. Even so, some horror movies look like documentaries compared with some of the genre’s weirder entries. You want a possessed bed? Evil snow? Sentient human waste? Then you’re in luck. Here are 10 of the strangest horror movies ever made, for anyone feeling brave or bored enough to give them a try. Don’t say we didn’t warn you, though.
|1. Death Bed: The Bed That Eats – Immortalized in a Patton Oswalt routine, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats offers everything its title promises. There’s a bed, and it eats people who sleep on it. Period. Released in 1977 by writer/director/producer George Barry — who is apparently a one-man operation for gems like this one — the film tells the story of a bed possessed by a demon that kills and eats anyone who tries to sleep or make love on it. The production values are, to put it kindly, not very good, but the final product is just crazy enough to be watchable. Just sit on a couch when you do.
|2. Tourist Trap – The 1970s and 1980s were kind of a golden era for weird American horror. The genre was still considered an illegitimate offshoot of “real” filmmaking, and it took game-changers like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Halloween to start convincing people that horror was more than just goofy shocks. That was a tough fight, too, because movies like Tourist Trap were nothing but goofy shocks for 90 minutes at a time. And make no mistake: This is a weird movie. It’s all about a group of friends who stumble upon an old man who owns a run-down museum full of mannequins and wax figures that he — wait for it — controls telepathically. He picks the kids off and turns them into plastic monsters to fill up his collection. Creepy, darkly humorous, and definitely worth your time.
|3. Teeth – Mitchell Lichtenstein’s slightly campy, definitely uncomfortable horror movie deals with a teenage girl cursed with vagina dentata. It is every bit as awkward and weird as it sounds — it’s not uncommon for the horror to happen just out of frame, only for a severed organ to fall with a thump to the ground — and its unevenness keeps it from working as a thriller or a comedy. It’s not straight enough to be scary, and it’s not nearly funny or smart enough to play as a satire. It’s just off-putting.
|4. Cannibal! The Musical – Before they got going with South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone did what all college students do: They made a musical about cannibalism in the days of gold prospecting. Originally titledAlferd Packer: The Musical and retitled Cannibal! The Musicalwhen it was picked up for distribution, the horror-comedy tells the tale of Alferd Packer, a prospector involved in a cannibalism incident in the winter of 1873 on a journey from Utah to Colorado. The movie is hilarious and bizarre in equal measure, veering from upbeat songs to moments of absurd gore with a glee that Parker and Stone would later bring to their landmark animated series. Watch it for the experience, but don’t be surprised if you start humming the songs. (Photo above courtesy of Troma.)
|5. The Baby – Now this is one for the books. Released in 1973, the film revolves around a social worker who starts working for a family whose patriarch is a mentally impaired man in his 20s who still crawls around and acts like a baby. The man is also regularly abused and sexually assaulted by his mother and sisters (and ababysitter). It’s a psychological thriller with a bizarre execution, and it’s the kind of insane flick that fell through the cracks of the world and drifted through grindhouses and cable stations in the years after its debut. The ending is the perfect capper to a twisted story. It’s a horror movie, yes, but more than anything it’s just crazy.
|6. Monsturd – Monsturd is a haunting examination of man’s own inhumanity in a postmodern age. Kidding! It’s about a killer made of poop. It’s a real movie, too. You can buy it and everything. Released in 2003 to an unsuspecting world, Monsturd is about a serial killer who escapes his pursuers by hiding in a sewer, only to fall into a pool of chemicals that turns him into a monster that’s half-man, half-feces. Understandably unhappy about his new form, the Monsturd throws himself into a rage-fueled killing spree. Does Monsturd come up through toilets to get people? Watch and find out! Or don’t. Actually, just don’t. It’s boring, badly acted, and impossible to watch without being dangerously drunk. Just enjoy the premise and move on.
|7. Night of the Lepus – If you know your Latin, you know that “lepus” means “hare.” That’s right: This is a horror movie about giant killer rabbits. Based on the comedy-horror novel The Year of the Angry Rabbit, the film loses any hint of satire or social commentary and goes right for awful scares and laughable effects. The mutant rabbits that do the killing are played by real rabbits set against miniature sets or by humans in rabbit costumes, which makes the film about as scary as an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba! and twice as surreal. All silly, no scary, and weird as can be.
|8. House – This Japanese horror flick from 1977 has a considerable cult following and even earned a recent remastering as part of the Criterion Collection. But don’t be fooled: It’s deeply, bravely weird. It will break your brain. The plot very loosely deals with a young girl who travels with a few of her classmates to her aunt’s home, only to find herself doing supernatural battle with a sentient house that wants to kill them. That description actually sounds somewhat normal (ish) until you see the actual movie. It’s a masterpiece of WTFery that can never be topped.
|9. Mystics in Bali – Cheap, Indonesian, and not at all worried about making sense,Mystics of Bali is in the running for weirdest of the weird. The story follows a woman who heads to Bali to investigate the locals and their history of witchcraft; yada yada yada, she befriends a demon queen and transforms into a variety of animals before eventually terrorizing the village as a severed head on a stump of organs. You know, as one does when one goes to Bali. The film’s straightforward presentation of twisted images and gore make it a surrealist’s dream come true, and it relies more on sheer bizarre ideas than typical shocks and scares. Not for the faint, but a must for the curious.
|10. One Eyed Monster – Featuring Ron Jeremy and his member as the horror film’s star, this picture is about ten people who travel into the mountains of North Carolina to shoot a porn movie. During a scene break early in filming Ron Jeremy gets hit by a shooting star and in the following scene his penis, now possessed by a sex-hungry alien, detaches itself, leaving Ron for dead. The remaining cast and crew theorize about the murdering penis’ vulnerability after climax, ‘when it is limp, and at its weakest’. They hatch a plan to lure the penis into a neuro-tactile simulator and then circumcise it with an ax during its ‘refractory period’.