Surreal, Psychedelic & Mind-Bending films

by frabbit8 | created - 18 Apr 2013 | updated - 4 weeks ago | Public

A selection of films, famed for their decision to throw convention out of the window. This list pays homage to the great surrealist films from the history of cinema.

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1. Hausu (1977)

Not Rated | 88 min | Comedy, Horror

A schoolgirl and six of her classmates travel to her aunt's country home, which tries to devour the girls in bizarre ways.

Director: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi | Stars: Kimiko Ikegami, Miki Jinbo, Kumiko Ohba, Ai Matsubara

Votes: 15,572

Director Nobuhiko Ôbayashi once described 'House' as a horror story played through the mind and imagination of a child. Featuring a demonic cat, a killer piano and often being described as an episode of Scooby Doo on drugs, 'House' is most deserving of its reputation as one of the great surrealist films ever made.

2. Un Chien Andalou (1929)

Not Rated | 16 min | Short, Fantasy, Horror

Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí present 17 minutes of bizarre, surreal imagery.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí

Votes: 40,621

The birth of surrealist cinema.

3. L'Age d'Or (1930)

63 min | Comedy, Drama

A surrealist tale of a man and a woman who are passionately in love with each other, but their attempts to consummate that passion are constantly thwarted by their families, the Church, and bourgeois society.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Gaston Modot, Lya Lys, Caridad de Laberdesque, Max Ernst

Votes: 11,081 | Gross: $0.03M

4. The Exterminating Angel (1962)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy

The guests at an upper-class dinner party find themselves unable to leave.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Silvia Pinal, Jacqueline Andere, Enrique Rambal, José Baviera

Votes: 23,877

5. Neco z Alenky (1988)

Not Rated | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

A surrealistic revision of Alice in Wonderland.

Director: Jan Svankmajer | Stars: Kristýna Kohoutová, Camilla Power

Votes: 9,935

6. Spalovac mrtvol (1969)

95 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Set in World War II, a demented cremator believes cremation relieves earthly suffering and sets out to save the world.

Director: Juraj Herz | Stars: Rudolf Hrusínský, Vlasta Chramostová, Jana Stehnová, Milos Vognic

Votes: 5,521

7. Daisies (1966)

74 min | Comedy

Two girls try to understand the meaning of the world and their life.

Director: Vera Chytilová | Stars: Ivana Karbanová, Jitka Cerhová, Marie Cesková, Jirina Myskova

Votes: 7,764

8. The Holy Mountain (1973)

R | 114 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

In a corrupt, greed-fueled world, a powerful alchemist leads a Christ-like character and seven materialistic figures to the Holy Mountain, where they hope to achieve enlightenment.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky | Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Horacio Salinas, Zamira Saunders, Juan Ferrara

Votes: 29,882 | Gross: $0.06M

9. El Topo (1970)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama, Western

A mysterious black-clad gunfighter wanders a mystical Western landscape encountering multiple bizarre characters.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky | Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Brontis Jodorowsky, José Legarreta, Alfonso Arau

Votes: 22,084

10. Brazil (1985)

R | 132 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

88 Metascore

A bureaucrat, in a retro-future world, tries to correct an administrative error and becomes an enemy of the state.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond

Votes: 171,172 | Gross: $9.93M

11. Eraserhead (1977)

Not Rated | 89 min | Horror

87 Metascore

Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph, Jeanne Bates

Votes: 86,868 | Gross: $7.00M

12. Wild Strawberries (1957)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Romance

After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand

Votes: 80,380

13. Solaris (1971)

PG | 167 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

A psychologist is sent to a station orbiting a distant planet in order to discover what has caused the crew to go insane.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Natalya Bondarchuk, Donatas Banionis, Jüri Järvet, Vladislav Dvorzhetskiy

Votes: 66,911

14. Videodrome (1983)

R | 87 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

60 Metascore

When he acquires a different kind of show for his station, a sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a terrifying new reality.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: James Woods, Debbie Harry, Sonja Smits, Peter Dvorsky

Votes: 72,226 | Gross: $2.12M

15. The Seventh Seal (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy

A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe

Votes: 137,704

16. Brand Upon the Brain! A Remembrance in 12 Chapters (2006)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

79 Metascore

Returned home to his long-estranged mother upon a request from her deathbed, a man raised by his parents in an orphanage has to confront the childhood memories that have long haunted him.

Director: Guy Maddin | Stars: Gretchen Krich, Sullivan Brown, Maya Lawson, Katherine E. Scharhon

Votes: 3,122 | Gross: $0.23M

17. Naked Lunch (1991)

R | 115 min | Drama

67 Metascore

After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, an exterminator accidentally kills his wife, and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in a port town in North Africa.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands

Votes: 41,642 | Gross: $2.54M

18. Blue Velvet (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

76 Metascore

The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern

Votes: 157,297 | Gross: $8.55M

19. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

PG | 102 min | Comedy

93 Metascore

A surreal, virtually plotless series of dreams centered around six middle-class people and their consistently interrupted attempts to have a meal together.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Fernando Rey, Delphine Seyrig, Paul Frankeur, Bulle Ogier

Votes: 32,397 | Gross: $0.20M

20. (1963)

Not Rated | 138 min | Drama

A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale, Sandra Milo

Votes: 96,624 | Gross: $0.05M

21. La Jetée (1962)

Not Rated | 28 min | Short, Drama, Romance

The story of a man forced to explore his memories in the wake of World War III's devastation, told through still images.

Director: Chris Marker | Stars: Étienne Becker, Jean Négroni, Hélène Chatelain, Davos Hanich

Votes: 25,476

22. The American Astronaut (2001)

Not Rated | 91 min | Musical, Comedy, Sci-Fi

51 Metascore

Samuel Curtis, an interplanetary trader, sets forth through a rustic and remote solar system, unaware that his old friend Professor Hess is trying to kill him.

Director: Cory McAbee | Stars: Cory McAbee, Rocco Sisto, Gregory Russell Cook, Annie Golden

Votes: 2,831 | Gross: $0.04M

23. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

R | 118 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

41 Metascore

An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire, Michael Lee Gogin

Votes: 237,136 | Gross: $10.68M

24. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)

NC-17 | 124 min | Crime, Drama

62 Metascore

The wife of an abusive criminal finds solace in the arms of a kind regular guest in her husband's restaurant.

Director: Peter Greenaway | Stars: Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren, Alan Howard

Votes: 30,808 | Gross: $7.72M

25. Dreams (1990)

PG | 119 min | Drama, Fantasy

A collection of tales based upon the actual dreams of director Akira Kurosawa.

Directors: Akira Kurosawa, Ishirô Honda | Stars: Akira Terao, Mitsuko Baishô, Toshie Negishi, Mieko Harada

Votes: 20,957 | Gross: $1.96M

26. Beauty and the Beast (1946)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

92 Metascore

A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément | Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély, Nane Germon

Votes: 21,688 | Gross: $0.30M

27. Oldeuboi (2003)

R | 120 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

74 Metascore

After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, Dae-han Ji

Votes: 440,021 | Gross: $0.71M

28. Being John Malkovich (1999)

R | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

90 Metascore

A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich.

Director: Spike Jonze | Stars: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, John Malkovich

Votes: 282,789 | Gross: $22.86M

29. The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | 85 min | Horror

71 Metascore

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker

Votes: 164,954 | Gross: $2.40M

30. Pi (1998)

R | 84 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

72 Metascore

A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman, Pamela Hart

Votes: 157,992 | Gross: $3.22M

31. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

Not Rated | 95 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo, Del Negro

Votes: 45,109

32. The Grandmother (1970)

Not Rated | 34 min | Short, Horror

A young boy plants some strange seeds and they grow into a grandmother.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Dorothy McGinnis, Richard White, Virginia Maitland, Robert Chadwick

Votes: 5,514

33. Inland Empire (2006)

R | 180 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

72 Metascore

As an actress starts to adopt the persona of her character in a film, her world starts to become nightmarish and surreal.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Justin Theroux, Karolina Gruszka

Votes: 48,256 | Gross: $0.75M

34. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Not Rated | 67 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover

Votes: 47,984

35. Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

Not Rated | 117 min | Drama, Horror, War

In World War II Italy, four fascist libertines round up nine adolescent boys and girls and subject them to one hundred and twenty days of physical, mental and sexual torture.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini | Stars: Paolo Bonacelli, Laura Betti, Giorgio Cataldi, Umberto Paolo Quintavalle

Votes: 46,412

36. Lost Highway (1997)

R | 134 min | Mystery, Thriller

52 Metascore

After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for the murder of his wife and sent to prison, where he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic and begins leading a new life.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, John Roselius, Louis Eppolito

Votes: 114,859 | Gross: $3.80M

37. Akira (1988)

R | 124 min | Animation, Action, Drama

A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop.

Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo | Stars: Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Tesshô Genda

Votes: 132,243 | Gross: $0.55M

38. Darkness Light Darkness (1989)

Not Rated | 8 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

A human body gradually reconstructs itself as its various component parts crowd themselves into a small room and eventually, after much experimentation, sort out which part goes where.

Director: Jan Svankmajer

Votes: 3,753

39. Apocalypse Now (1979)

R | 147 min | Drama, War

94 Metascore

During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest

Votes: 528,856 | Gross: $83.47M

40. Come and See (1985)

Not Rated | 142 min | Drama, War

After finding an old rifle, a young boy joins the Soviet resistance movement against ruthless German forces and experiences the horrors of World War II.

Director: Elem Klimov | Stars: Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Laucevicius, Vladas Bagdonas

Votes: 40,509

41. Memento (2000)

R | 113 min | Mystery, Thriller

80 Metascore

A man with short-term memory loss attempts to track down his wife's murderer.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior

Votes: 999,714 | Gross: $25.54M

42. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Musical

58 Metascore

A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

Director: Jim Sharman | Stars: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien

Votes: 119,018 | Gross: $139.88M

43. Otesánek (2000)

132 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

74 Metascore

When a childless couple learn that they cannot have children, it causes great distress. To ease his wife's pain, the man finds a piece of root in the backyard and chops it and varnishes it into the shape of a child. However the woman takes the root as her baby and starts to pretend that it is real. When the root takes life they seem to have gained a child; but its appetite is much greater than a ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Svankmajer | Stars: Veronika Zilková, Jan Hartl, Jaroslava Kretschmerová, Pavel Nový

Votes: 5,387 | Gross: $0.12M

44. Delicatessen (1991)

R | 99 min | Comedy, Crime