Something Weird (1967)
By: Michael Helms on August 8, 2005  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Siren Visual Entertainment (Australia). All Regions, PAL. 4:3. English 2.0. 80 minutes
The Movie
Director: Herschell Gordon Lewis
Starring: Tony McCabe, Elizabeth Lee, William Brooker, Mudite Arums, Ted Hell, Lawrence J. Aberwood, Stan Dale, Ione,
Screenplay: James F.Hurley
Music:Edward J. Petan
Tagline:A Boiling, Bizarre Tale Of A Mad Love That Crashes Through The Supernatural!
Country: USA
The weirdness gets going immediately as two pairs of feet run down a tunnel. As the male feet turn towards the high heeled ones they're caught in a freeze frame to let some credits roll.

An assault of some sort seems to be occurring as a jazz bass run coupled with strange sound effects fills the soundtrack. The woman is strangled and slowly falls to the ground as her face changes colour. More credits before the strangler walks away. Cut to a karate demonstration and then a couple getting passionate enough for the woman to exclaim, "Alex, you're electric". Next shot has a man working on a power pole on a roof who is electrified and falls. Rushing to his aid another guy ends up copping an electrified wire to the face which severely burns him. As an ambulance takes Cronin Mitchell, electrical engineer, to hospital narration kicks in to explain about experimentation with E.S.P by the Russians and how the Americans are now attempting to harness it in order to defend the country. By this stage the camera is firmly locked in on a view of the sky. Cut to Cronin writhing on a bed as coloured lighting flashes. Doctors discuss their new patient who is horribly scarred but possesses a fantastic sense of E.S.P which he demonstrates by discussing a nurse's sex life. She tells him a freak like himself should've died. He looks at himself in the mirror and cries.

After being released from hospital Cronin Mitchell takes up a new career as a fortune teller, providing glimpses of the future at $2.00 a reading. Wearing shades and a black handkerchief he predicts, "Something will happen." On old lady, obviously played by a young woman turns up and makes small objects disappear. She reveals herself as a witch and offers to restore his face in return for him becoming her lover. She freezes him and fixes his face. That night in a restaurant he attempts to pick up but can't read the mind of his attempted lay. Instead she picks him up and behind closed doors turns into the original crone with lips painted on her knees (!!?). A guy with a flamethrower burns a woman's face. Meanwhile the Feds hire a playboy and ESP expert with karate prowess by the name of Dr. Alex Jordan to track Cronin Mitchell and his new partner across the country. Cops in Jefferson, Wisconsin are talking about a baffling series of murders when their chief decides to bring in Cronin to help out. Everyone meets at the police station where Cronin demonstrates his powers of ESP artwork. Cronin completes further number guessing tests to the amazement of his hosts when Dr. Alex pulls out a new aid to psychic police work, LSD, which he urges Cronin to take. The Chief invites Cronin to a dinner party at his house where more amazing psychic shenanigans are inevitably wheeled out. Cronin conducts a communication with the dead with the warning that, "Levitation may occur". A priest at the soiree nabs Cronin to exorcise the poltergeist from his church. Cronin ponders whether to drop the acid while Dr. Alex develops the hots for witch Ellen. Alex is attacked in his bed by his sheets as witches cackle booms around the room. Cronin eventually drops the acid and things go red and even crazier. The true killer is revealed but lives are lost during a final chase through a wrecker's yard staged in a manner highly reminiscent of Blood Feast. Ellen survives to perpetuate the scenario ensuring that Dr. A gets his way at a price.
Described in its advertising as being shot in startling colour the only thing about the look of Something Weird that might floor you is its cheapness. While the print used is not without damage it's never completely distracting.
A jazz bass loops it's way through this flick only giving way to crazy guitar effects that don't really come to the fore until, naturally enough, the all too short acid taking sequence (check out that extra which really doesn't have much to do with the film). Dialogue is adequate but so off the wall that you're going to have to keep your finger on the rewind arrow to believe what you've heard.
Extra Features
While it wears Special Edition on the main menu it's not. Without a commentary we get trailers for the H.G.Lewis films The Adventures Of Lucky Pierre, Something Weird, Boinnng!, The Alley Tramp, & Blast-Off Girls, and the two ten minute shorts A Hot Night At The Go-Go Lounge and the Something Weird Music Clip.
The Verdict
Cheaper than Blood Feast without all the nastiness, instead we get karate action, ESP and possessed bed sheets! Something Weird indeed lives up to it's title and is compelling in a what the Hell is going to happen next sense. Great trash and an idiosyncratic product of it's time that no one is ever likely to remake, it's recommend for that reason alone. A mind-boggling trash classic.
Movie Score
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