Something Weird (1967)

You know, if Herschell Gordon Lewis only made his nudie movies or just the gore, he’d be celebrated still, but for my money, the real good Lewis movies are the ones that almost frighten you by their incoherence or ability to fully create a world that is unlike any we will ever live in, like how She-Devils on Wheels gives us a reality — in 1968 — where female bikers are the alpha predator of all creation. Or the nihilistic mind blast that’s Just for the Hell of It which ends with a character saying, “Who cares man” when everyone he knows is dead.

Then there’s Something Weird.

Everything starts when Cronin Mitchell tries to help a man who has fallen from an electrical pole and gets rewarded with a face full of electricity which burns his face off. He wants to die — and why wouldn’t he — but he’s also gained ESP thanks to all that pure energy blasting him right in the brain.

At this point, most people would step back, see that their work is good and then finish the movie. But Lewis is a trickster god who felt the need for more, more, more.

Mitchell has become a bandaged hermit who gives psychic readings when the Bible of the Witches ends up in his hands, followed by a literal witch who promises that he can have his face back if he agrees to be her lover. Now he’s handsome again, but a slave to the sorceress.

She becomes his assistant Ellen and now Mitchell is hunting serial killers along with a karate chopping government agent who is in love with Ellen because he has no idea that she really looks like the cartoonist witch but hey, maybe love is blind. To find this elusive killer, it’s going to take some LSD.

But before that, Mitchell levitates for an audience and then finds a ghost inside a church. These side stories just pad the 80 minutes of running time but honestly, I’d pay whatever money is needed for more adventures of Mitchell being weird.

Anyways, Jordan can’t deal with the fact that he can’t have Ellen, so he goes nutzoid and attacks her. She escapes and demands that her psychic slave murder the government agent, so Mitchell psychically attacks him with several blue blankets which somehow the misogynistic loverboy escapes and what is this movie?

Then this whole thing goes proto-giallo as Mitchell takes the LSD and discovers that the cop that’s been leading them through the case is the killer, but the trip he’s on leads directly into a bullet between the eyes and our hero is dead.

The movie keeps going.

So now Jordan can be with Ellen and sees her, but at that moment he sees the witch and runs into traffic and burns his face off, which she heals but…

Time is a flat circle.

This is a movie that obsesses me. Like I can’t stop thinking about it. Who was it for? Why was it made? Yeah, Lewis was in it to make money, but who would pay to see this (me)?

All these Film Twitter kids writing about how movies stick in their head for life and how things are fever dreams and they’ve never had the moment where you randomly put on this movie and are not ready for its power. About as perfect a movie that’s filled with imperfections can be.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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