Everyone has watched a movie at some point in their life that, by the time the credits roll, you’ll have muttered to yourself “what the f*ck am I watching?” at least once. Sometimes it’s a good thing, sometime’s not so good, and sometimes we just can’t comprehend what’s going on in the mind of the filmmakers.
These films encapsulate one of those wtf feelings and had audiences saying it even before the credits scroll by and the lights go up. Not an extensive list, but these are all based on personal experience with the film and consensus among viewers. There will be SPOILERS all over the place, so read at your own risk if you haven’t seen any of these films. Most can be found easily on streaming though for the ones that catch interest.
My first experience with Hausu was both one of the best ways to experience it and the worst way. It’s 2010, I’m in high school, and my family went out for sushi one night. Long story short, food poisoning rears its ugly head and young Ross falls asleep with a queasy stomach along with the IFC channel in the background.
I woke up at two that morning, puking my guts out and running a fever. When I went back to bed, An old Japanese film was playing on the TV. I witnessed a woman’s decapitated head rise from a well to bite another woman square on the ass. For the longest time, I wasn’t sure if this was food poisoning or if it was somehow completely real. I didn’t know what the hell I had watched.
Later I discovered it was Hausu, a movie featuring seven schoolgirls as they go to visit the main character’s aunt in rural Japan. (Stefon voice) This house has it all: a hungry piano, watermelon, cannibal light fixtures, and giant floating heads. A woman fights a f*cking cat.
WTF Factor- Weird, but artistic slapstick comedy.
Seeing this movie on opening night in a packed theater (in the Bible Belt at that) is quite possibly the worst mistake I have ever made in my life, and I own Eragon on DVD. There’s honestly just nothing to describe experiencing this movie for the first time while a grandmother drags her 12-year-old grandson out because he told her it’s just a cartoon movie. It was not.
There’s honestly no describing this movie. There’s a grocery store scene featuring sentient food re-enacting the D-Day landing scene in Saving Private Ryan. That was in the first twenty minutes. That’s where the rollercoaster starts going up, escalating until the film ends with a massive food orgy and taking a quick turn into meta territory.
WTF-Factor: Disbelief, horror, awestruck wonder as to how this happened.
Not the Jeremy Renner Tag, this was directed by Sion Sono, a writer-director from Japan who’s made some of the most twisted yet hilarious films. Tag opens by taking the Ghost Ship opening with the snapped wire, changing it to two buses of teenagers on the highway, and it’s a bloody, ridiculous mess.
This one is more of a frantic, weird action horror than anything, with plenty of slapstick gags and terrifying abominations the main character has to go through in all kinds of different places.
WTF-Factor: It’s a fun time but damn, it’s weird.
Another on the list that just has to be seen to believe. Married scientists working in genetic hybrid work make a little demon baby out of, surprise, one of their DNA mixed with who knows what else. The bigger surprise, things go bad. The thing they make grows quickly and adapts to almost anything that happens to it (growing a stinger and gills) oh, and it bangs Adrien Brody’s character. Then Sara Polley’s character kills it after it impregnates her.
What. The. F*ck. It’s a decent movie, surprisingly with ruminations on what playing god gets you, but holy shit is it something else.
WTF-Factor: May activate Fight-or-flight response.
Sorry To Bother You
At no point in Sorry To Bother You will you know what’s going to happen next. Even if you think you know what’s going to happen next, you’re wrong and it’s going to go much further than you would ever imagine.
The trailers for this movie were wild, yet still barely gave anything away. Just Lakeith Stanfield as a telemarketer scaling his way up the ranks in any way he can. Until he scales too far and uncovers the second weirdest thing Armie Hammer’s been credited for. Everything in this movie goes by dream logic, anything can happen. Even if that thing is full-frontal horse-person nudity.
WTF-Factor: Surreal and fantastical, but an amazing film.
Swiss Army Man
The best thing about the Harry Potter films is that they gave Daniel Radcliffe the kind of money that lets him pick and choose any project he wants. Weird was just the latest, but that one was expected to be well, weird. Swiss Army Man though was just so impossibly ridiculous of an idea it’s a wonder how it ever happened.
The film opens with Paul Dano stranded on a beach when Daniel Radcliffe’s corpse washes up on the beach. Whether by Dano’s own slowly dissolving sanity or by some magical realism, Radcliffe’s corpse becomes the ultimate survival tool while also giving him someone to talk to.
It’s like Cast Away but if Wilson was a decomposing, gas-filled corpse.
WTF-Factor: Oddly uplifting in a way, but from start to end WTF is prevalent.
This might be cheating and probably deserves its own page on the batshit insane history of what this movie went through, but it becomes “Why the f*ck” instead. As in why the f*ck did anyone let this see the light of day. That question will come to mind multiple times during this blight on cinema.
Seriously, this movie has both Hilary and Haylie Duff, Charlie Sheen, Eva Longoria, Christopher Lloyd, and Ed Asner of all people. The CGI and animation are top-notch for 1978, which would be awesome if it hadn’t been released in 2012. The actors are all just cashing their checks and saying lines (other than Wayne Brady and Christopher Lloyd) and the lip-syncing on characters is atrociously out of time. Just so everyone knows, this movie had a $65 million budget. It made back $73000. A combined amount of people spent $73k to watch this flaming nightmare of a film.
WTF-Factor: The whole “apocalypse 2012” thing was predicting this movie. There is no reason for it to exist, and it should be mocked for centuries to come for daring to do so.
There are plenty of others that can be listed, whether it’s the good or bad kind of WTF. These are some of the more immediate examples that spring to mind and spark conversation, but it’s just scratching the surface and there’s sure to be a lot more in the future. Some might be subjective or divisive, but some movies like the above truly unite us all in saying “what the f*ck” did I just watch?”