Blue Velvet

Loving “bad movies” is a rite of passage for almost any cinephile. For some, however, that fascination with “badness” eventually transforms into an investigation of the ineffable. It’s not what’s bad that retains interest, but what’s, well, weird. This was the journey that led to the creation of 366 Weird Movies, a site that aims to compile what its curators think to be the 366 best weird movies.

What makes a weird movie? That’s tough to say, but here’s how the site puts it:

Most of the movies selected are both weird and good. Sometimes, if a movie is very weird, it will make the list ahead of a better movie. Sometimes, if a movie is very good, it does not have to be quite as weird. The key determinant is that each movie gives me that I-know-it-when-I-see-it feeling; a film that makes my skin crawl, my jaw drop, or just causes me to mutter to myself, “Now that’s weird….”

We are very cautious in certifying a movie as weird—we may consider and review 4 or 5 movies for every one we decide to put on the List. But just because a movie does not make the List on the first ballot doesn’t mean it’s forever out of contention. From time to time, we’ll reconsider and promote movies that we once thought borderline to the exalted ranks of the Weirdest Movies Ever Made.

So far, the site has compiled 266 different films, giving each a generous breakdown of its plot, background, vision, and all-around weirdness. You’ll see some familiar faces on the list—including cult classics like Blue Velvet, Evil Dead 2, and Brazil—but much of it consists of lesser known curiosities, relics from the ’60s and ’70s that probably never even got a DVD release. That said, each entry links to an Amazon page where you can get the film in some kind of format.

Budding cinephiles might find it a refreshing alternative to the classics that permeate every other “best of” list. Honestly, you’ll probably get a more well-rounded education; the movies here run the gamut from high-brow to exploitation, with multiple genres, styles, and decades represented. If it gets one more person to watch Steven Soderbergh’s mindfucking Schizopolis, it is a force for good.