Eccentric cinema thrives on pictorial surplus, the indulgent storyline, and a contempt for the customary, all resting upon the sagging shoulders of extravagant skill. This is no trash cinema, with its cheesy topics, uninvited camp, and joyful ineptitude. Instead, eccentricity might show itself as a dizzy disregard for the stuff of genre and style, or in the pursuit of ungainly ideas that consign a filmmaker to the status of outsider. Often the eccentric surfaces early in a career, before the artist has lost the exuberance of youth or succumbed to the timidity of the marketplace.
Eccentric Cinema recoups a dozen delirious films, including curios of creation by notable directors like Brian De Palma, John Boorman, George Romero, and Nicolas Roeg, and by others whose careers were more defined by difference, such as Curtis Harrington, Bill Gunn, and Robert Downey. Like a Noah's Ark of oddities, our series has two of each: a pair of Westerns in which heroism has gone south; two postapocalyptic tales where virility prevails; dual vampiric accounts that suck, differently; a brace of psychological breakdowns involving mawkish men with issues; a duet of rock musicals that strike discord with their delivery; and a twosome of fantasies about that elusive thing called love, one with a mermaid, the other with a monomaniac. Genre meltdowns, faulty parables, self-detonating critiques: these films may not be trash cinema, but they are definitely worth recycling.