What do a pregnant Arnold Schwarzenegger, a pansexual soccer himbo, a horny orangutan (with a dubious grasp on consent), and an impeccably dressed mean girl played by Rose McGowan have in common? In addition to being our dream blunt rotation, they’re the kinds of cinematic heroes you’ll only find at IndieWire After Dark.
Our weekly column exploring the funkiest fringe cinema is for anyone who can’t bring themselves to sit through one more midnight screening of “Rocky Horror.” Every Friday night at 11:59 p.m. ET, we take a feature-length beat to discuss an unapologetically bold movie that we fear is falling through the cracks in the age of streaming. From boundary-pushing new works to insane misfires of yesteryear, IndieWire After Dark is an ongoing reminder that, yes, there is still something out there that you haven’t seen.
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The rise of streaming has been a mixed bag for cinephiles who like to get weird. On the one hand, it’s never been easier to access a litany of pop cultural oddities. But as we’ve learned over the past year, anything that streaming libraries give us can be just as easily taken away. That hidden gem someone is raving about today can be unceremoniously removed from all platforms faster than one can ask, “Who is David Zaslav?” So, with the state of media distribution looking more uncertain than ever before, it’s time to build a new canon of midnight movies that are worth preserving.
Our definition of a midnight movie encompasses a variety of genres, from masterful avant-garde works from arthouse directors to bloated studio disasters that make you question if a single person who worked on them had ever seen a movie. But every IndieWire After Dark selection is a film that swings for the fences and makes a sincere effort to show us something we haven’t witnessed before. Some achieved their goals and others missed gloriously, but every title embraces the idea that filmmaking is an art form that deserves to be taken to its furthest possible extremes.
Keep reading for a roundup of our midnight movie picks, ranked by how much they embody the IndieWire After Dark ethos. This list will update as we keep pushing our sanity to the limit by forcing each other to watch the strangest movies that we can’t help but love.
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