Source Code: it's Minority Report meets Groundhog Day - with a trace of Inception and RoboCop; maybe a dash of Memento. Anyway, as we reach the next stop on the Mindbend Line, we present 50 movies guaranteed to baffle, bother and bewilder.
Source Code: it's Minority Report meets Groundhog Day - with a trace of Inception and RoboCop; maybe a dash of Memento. Anyway, as we reach the next stop on the Mindbend Line, we present 50 movies guaranteed to baffle, bother and bewilder.
Colter: "Am I dead?"
So, one minute you're flying missions in Afghanistan, the next you're in some other guy's body on a commuter train that's about to explode. When it does, you're in a strange cockpit being debriefed by Vera Farmiga on a flickering monitor. She says you have to keep getting blown up on the train until you catch the bomber. Who are you? Is this a test? Why does the routine only last 8 minutes? Is there such a thing as a commuter worth saving? A confused Jake Gyllenhaal has to work it all out. Fast.
Moment to send you doolally: After all this, Captain Colter is informed that even if he stops the bomber, everybody on board still dies. Bummer.
Cobb: "I have it under control."
Arthur: "I would hate to see you out of control."
Christopher Nolan's sophisticatedly surreal heist movie nail-bitingly rolled out during four concurrent dream sequences is the cinematic experience of the year. Leo DiCaprio played Cobb, the corporate raider who steals ideas while his victims sleep with help of Ellen Page's "architect", Joseph Gordon-Levitt's fixer and Tom Hardy's chameleon-like tea-leaf.
Moment to send you doolally: When Leo demonstrates his dream structures to a bewildered Ellen Page as a Paris arrondisement rears up and folds over on top of itself like a gigantic pop-up book.
Bill Lee: "Exterminate all rational thought. That is the conclusion I have come to."
Barnpot novelist William S Burrough’s ickily surreal story of the travails of a junkie were brought to the big screen by David Cronenberg. Robocop star Peter Weller played an insect exterminator whose mind gets befuddled by accidental exposure to hallucinogenic bug powder. As a result, he believes he is a secret agent whose controller (a giant bug-like alien or Mugwump) assigns him the mission of killing his wife (Judy Davis).
Moment to send you doolally: The scene where Weller discovers that Doctor Benway (Roy Scheider) is the secret head of a narcotics harvesting operation, producing a drug called "black meat" derived from the guts of giant centipedes.
Donny: "Are these the Nazis, Walter?"
Walter Sobchak: "No, Donny, these men are nihilists. There's nothing to be afraid of."
In this classic brain-number, the Coen Brothers - the kings of crazy - cast Jeff Bridges as White Russian-swilling amateur bowler The Dude. When he is beaten up by thugs who mistake him for the wheelchair bound millionaire the Big Lewbowski, the tycoon persuades him to deliver a £1m ransom for his kidnapped wife. Heavy-duty bungling ensues...
Moment to send you doolally: The dream sequence where the stoned Dude slides down the bowling alley, smiling and looking up girls skirts as Kenny Rogers' Just Dropped In plays over the scene. He also gets his bowling shoes from Saddam Hussein.
HAL: “Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.”
Stanley Kubrick’s grimly prophetic sci-fi classic followed a pair of astronauts aboard the US spaceship Discovery One as they head to Jupiter to investigate a giant object possibly millions of years old. However, the initially trusting astronauts begin to suspect that the ship’s on-board super-computer – HAL - is beginning to malfunction. It’s much worse than that – HAL’s turned into a fully cognisant killer.
Moment to send you doolally: When HAL despatches the astronauts on a spurious fault-finding mission outside the spacecraft and then clinically severs the oxygen hose serving astronaut Poole (Gary Lockwood) and chillingly casts him adrift in space to a certain death.
Krank: “Quiet! You vegetable!”
Ageing scientist Krank (Daniel Emilfork) kidnaps children to steal their dreams. However, he runs into trouble when his henchmen grab Denree (Joseph Lucien), a little boy whose adopted brother, One (Hellboy Ron Perlman), is a circus strongman. Hooking up with a gang of orphans led by Miette (Judith Vittet) One seeks out Krank to rescue his brother and exact a terrible revenge.
Moment to send you doolally: A pair of evil Siamese twin sisters prepare dinner, their four arms working perfectly in sync - one holding vegetables for another to chop while a third stirs the soup and a fourth scratches their collective itches.
Eddie Jessup: “What's whacko about it? I'm a man in search of his true self.”
Boundary-pushing scientist Eddie Jessup (William Hurt) submits himself to a series of mind-expanding experiments by enclosing himself in a sensory-deprivation chamber and taking hallucinogenic drugs. However, his hopes of exploring different levels of human consciousness are dashed when he devolves into a simian monster.
Moment to send you doolally: The scene where Jessup – after regressing to an ape - attacks the campus security guards, is chased by a pack of wild dogs into the local zoo and kills and eats a sheep for his supper before turning back into the kindly professor.
Laughing guard:: “That's the trouble with ya New York dope fiends. Ya got a rotten attitude.”
Lovers Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto) and Marion Silver (Jennifer Connelly) fantasise about setting up a small business and spending the rest of their lives in love - their version of the American dream. They are also desperate heroin addicts, a compulsion that leads Harry to repeatedly pawn the TV of his mother (Ellen Burstyn), a TV junkie. Throw in Marlon Wayan’s druggie hustler and you have a spiral of degredation.
Moment to send you doolally: The scene where Ellen Burstyn – brimming over with weight loss pills and sedatives – realises she’s not going to appear on the promised TV show and goes into chemical meltdown.
Renton: "Thank you, your honour. With God's help I'll conquer this terrible affliction.'
The darkly comic adaptation of Irvine Welsh's novel follows the misadventures of Renton (Ewan McGregor), a wired twenty-something Edinburgh heroin junkie, and his nihilistic pals Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), Tommy (Kevin McKidd) and the psychotic Begbie (Robert Carlyle).
Moment to send you doolally: When Renton succumbs to cold turkey and dives into “The Worst Toilet in Scotland" to retrieve his "final hit," a pair of opium suppositories. The underwater world of Caledonian plumbing is rendered a serene hallucination leant added majesty by Brian Eno's ambient Deep Blue Day.
Neo: "There is no spoon?"
Trench-coated freelance hacker Thomas A Anderson (Keanu Reeves) discovers that the 1999 he knows is just a computer-generated sham designed to keep a genetically-harvested mankind docilely enslaved so that their bio-power can fuel the machines that have risen against them. It's a bit like working for Microsoft.
Moment to send you doolally: Under interrogation from Agent Smith, Neo refuses to help...and then his mouth seals itself up. Worse is to come - Smith produces a nasty robot shrimp which then burrows into Neo's body via his belly button.
Nash: "I still see things that are not here. I just choose not to acknowledge them."
The mindjacking movie for all the family, this told the story of John Nash, the mathematician who earned a Nobel Prize despite suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Russell Crowe played the number-juggler who convinced himself that a US government agent (Ed Harris) has assigned him to detect patterns in newspapers to thwart a Soviet plot.
Moment to send you doolally: The scene where Nash deludes himself he's being chased by Russian agents who actually open fire on him. OK, it's mild by mindfl*ck standards...but it is, sort of, true.
Douglas Quaid: "If I am not me, then who the hell am I?"
A mad marriage of Dutch master Paul Verhoeven and sci-fi sage Philip K Dick. It's the distant future. Mars is colonised and Arnold Schwarzenegger's Doug Quaid is haunted by nightmares about life there. This is odd as he's a building worker who lives on Earth. But Quaid becomes convinced he must get to Mars and end the despotic reign of the men in charge.
Moment to send you doolally: The scene where Martian sage Kuato (Marshall Bell) is revealed to be a small humanoid who looks a little like Patrick Moore conjoined to another man. A bit like Little & Large.
Barris: "There's only one thing we can do to thwart the plot of these albino shape-shifting lizard bitches!"
A roto-scoped Keanu Reeves (who else?) played a stoner undercover narcotics cop bizarelly assigned to carry out surveillance on himself as well as his druggie buddies - his coke dealer girlfriend (Winona Ryder), vacant acid casualty Woody Harrelson and Robert Downey Jr's motor-mouthed conspiracy theorist.
Moment to send you doolally: The movie is one long acid trip but scenes that fllck the what-the-flip switch include the one where characters are covered in hordes of marauding lice and of people turning into giant Kafkaesque cockroaches.
Trevor Reznik: "Right now I wanna sleep. I just want to sleep."
Christian Bale lost so much weight he practically disappeared to play a man whose memory isn't so much playing tricks on him as torturing his every waking hour with a vicious stream of cerebral wind-ups. A year of body-sapping insomnia has reduced him to a skeletal shadow tormented by what is - and what isn't - happening. Exactly who is Ivan, his bullet-headed co-worker at sinister National Machine, and why is someone sticking post-it notes featuring stages of a game of hangman on his fridge door?
Moment to send you doolally: The barely watchable scene where a moment's inattention from Bale's shattered lathe operator results in a co-worker losing his arm. Ouch!
Nicholas: "I don't care about the money. I'm pulling back the curtain. I want to meet the wizard."
The casual boredom of investment banker Nicholas Van Orton's (Michael Douglas) life is broken by a weird gift from his wayward brother (Sean Penn) – participation in a life-altering game run by a company that clandestinely ruins him and also seems to have the power to change an implausible number of real-world events.
Moment to send you doolally: When Nicholas jumps from a building after shooting his brother and crashes through a glass roof...only to land on a inflatable mat. He comes round to find his friends and family - all alive - in the ballroom.
Tyler Durden: "It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything."
Brain-befuddling specialist David Fincher directs this classic thriller that starred Ed Norton as an IKEA-loving loser who is dazzled by his charismatic new friend, soap salesman Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). It's not surprising - Tyler advocates men deal with their pent-up frustations by beating the hell out of each other. Pretty soon, "Fight Clubs" have spread across the country...but it soon becomes apparent that Tyler wants to go much further...
Moment to send you doolally:: Ed Norton and Marla (Helena Bonham-Carter) holding hands and watching as the anti-capitalist attack gets underway with bank buildings exploding across the city.
She: "Nature is Satan's church."
Anything emerging from Lars Von Trier's warped mind is going to play havoc with good old-fashioned reason and this was no exception. Following the death of their toddler son, anguished parents Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg retire to a remote cabin in the woods to work through their grief. However, rather than a rural idyll they find themselves besieged by psychological traumas that eventually manifest themselves in raw violence.
Moment to send you doolally: Forgetting the cliterectomy (and believe us, we want to) the scene where a talking fox surreally pops out of the undergrowth and chirpily informs Willem that "chaos reigns."
Leonard Shelby: "I can't remember to forget you."
Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan made his name with this time-bending film noir, which finds assault victim Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) unable to recollect anything for more than five minutes. He figures the only way to solve the mystery of who raped and killed his wife is by tattooing clues on his body so he doesn't forget them.
Moment to send you doolally: The stunning opening sequence where we see a Polaroid photo undevelop, a bullet fly back up the barrel of a gun and corrupt cop Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) come back to life briefly "after" the sound of the shot.
Jacob Singer: "They weren't human."
In this 70s-set psychological freak-out, Vietnam veteran (Tim Robbins), who is suffering a series of horrific visions, discovers that several of his old war buddies are experiencing similar mind-blowing illusions. And so he begins to ask questions of his former employers - the army - about what really happened to his unit behind enemy lines.
Moment to send you doolally: Not a moment but a process - director Adrian Lyne used an old horror technique in which an actor is recorded waving his head around at a low frame rate, resulting in horrific fast motion when played back. The bit when the horned nasties attack Tim in the subway isn't nice, either.
Snow: "I could tell you what's happening, but I don't know if it would really tell you what's happening."
Chris Kelvin (George Clooney) - a sort of intergalactic shrink - is sent out to the Prometheus to find out what's making a group of scientists behave bizarrely. He discovers mission commander and close friend Gibrarian (Ulrich Tukar) has committed suicide, while the remaining boffins - Snow (Jeremy Davies) and Gordon (Viola Davis) - display extreme paranoia. However, little prepares him for the arrival back in his life of wife Rheya (Natasha McElhone). Firstly, he's light years from Earth and secondly, she's dead.
Moment to send you doolally: The scene where gorgeous George lays eyes on his dead wife living and breathing makes you happy for him while your blood turns to ice.
Jerry Ashton: “Hey! What you do to the world?”
Douglas Hall: “Turned it off.”
Computer scientist Douglas Hall (Craig Bierko) - his curiosity piqued by a mysterious letter from his murdered mentor - finds a portal to a parallel cyber-world that resembles 1930s Los Angeles. However, when he becomes the prime suspect in the killing, he has to act fast to discover the real meaning of this virtual reality. But everything is not what it appears.
Moment to send you doolally: When Hall – while outside the Virtual Reality system – randomly stops his car and discovers the buildings around him are wireframe models. He realises his 1990s world is really the virtual reality.
GERTY: "I hope life on Earth is everything you remember it to be."
This poignant debut from Duncan Jones (David Bowie Jr) is a fine psychological sci-fi thriller boasting an unearthly performance from Sam Rockwell as the contracted lunar miner counting down the minutes until he's reunited with his wife and daughter back on terra firma. However, a moon buggy accident while on a routine inspection sets in motion a terrifying series of events suggesting that all is not what it might be...
Moment to send you doolally: When Sam ventures to the crashed lunar rover to recover the body at the wheel...only to discover it's him.
Teddy Daniels: "We gotta get off this rock, Chuck."
Mind-altering drugs, infanticide and a sinister psychiatric hospital are thrown into a heady psychological brew in Martin Scorsese’s switch-backing thriller. Leonardo DiCaprio is the US marshal despatched to the daunting Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a missing child killer (Emily Mortimer) from a high-security clinic. What you see is certainly not what you get as what initially kicks off as a straightforward police procedural unnervingly slips into a nightmare world of hallucinations, manic schizophrenia and terrible delusion.
Moment to send you doolally: When little Leo bizarrely scrambles down a sea cliff and discovers Patricia Clarkson living in a cave.
"Ladies and gentlemen, you can go mad on the road. That is precisely what this film is all about."
Yank barn-cake Frank Zappa – the unofficial cultural attache to the Czech Republic – foisted this unholy mess charting a musician on the road on an ungrateful public in the early 70s. A meandering mess, it featured Ringo Starr as Larry the Dwarf and Keith Moon, The Who’s drummer, dressed as a nun.
Moment to send you doolally: The bizarre animated sequence where – to the accompaniment of female choir and the London Symphony Orchestra – a girl sings of preparing broth, munchkins and a cartoon character meets a devil in the bathroom.
A: “You're raving! I'm tired, leave me alone!”
Director Alan Resnais’ uber-baffling mind-bender followed matinee idol-style Giorgio Albertazzi’s X, who drifts around an elaborate French chateau until he runs into the beautiful Y (Delphine Seyrig). He insists they met the year before when they hatched a plan to hook up behind the back of her husband M (Sascha Pitoeff). She denies any knowledge and audiences are left with the quandary is X casting a spell or breaking one? Is he, in fact, death? Dunno.
Moment to send you doolally: The series of elegant zombie-like chateau guests that impassively drift past in eerily perfect synchronicity.
Caden: "I will be dying and so will you, and so will everyone here. That's what I want to explore."
Middle-aged Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) rues his many failed relationships and is convinced he is dying. Stuck for a reason for living, he wangles a grant to stage a play in a giant warehouse...and constructs a model of New York in an attempt to recreate his life. Director Charlie Kaufman pursues his obsession with stories within stories in this art house head-scratcher.
Moment to send you doolally:When an increasingly irrational Caden lets an actress take over his role as director of the play and takes her previous job as the cleaning lady for his estranged wife.
Alex: “Nice place you got here. Who's your decorator? Darth Vader?”
Dennis Quaid plays Alex Gardner, a young off-the-rails yet gifted psychic who is taught by a doctor (Max von Sydow) to actually enter other peoples' dreams Inception-style and even participate in them. However, another mind-reader is being groomed to enter the troubled dreams of the US President with not such honourable intentions.
Moment to send you doolally: Alex is haunted by a “snakeman” who was once the bogeyman of one of his patients, a young boy plagued with nightmares.
Barbara Stanwyck played the wealthy woman trapped in a miserable marriage and subsequently terrorised by recurring dreams regarding her jealous, blind husband (Hayden Rorke), a scientist who supposedly burned to death in a laboratory fire. She tries to convince her attorney (Robert Taylor) that the nightmares are real.
Moment to send you doolally: The scene when – tortured by terrifying visions – she marries a mysterious dark stranger in a church full of creepy mannequins as Rorke looks on from under a twisting candlelabra.
Pink: “Is there anybody out there?
Pink Floyd’s rock’n’roll grumpy boots Roger Waters’ miserable tale of alienation and paternal loss starred Saint Bob Geldof as Pink, a troubled youngster oppressed by his mother, mourning his missing dad and crushed by the educational straitjacket of school. Getting even more cheesed off, he becomes a rock star and entertains thoughts of becoming a neo-Nazi dictator.
Moment to send you doolally: Cartoonist Gerald Scarfe’s animated sequence featuring schoolchildren being fed into a sausage machine.
Joel: "Constantly talking isn't necessarily communicating."
Smitten Joel (Jim Carrey) is stunned to find his girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) has had her memories of their rollercoaster relationship erased. Out of desperation, he contracts the inventor of the mind-rubbing process, Dr. Howard Mierzwaik (Tom Wilkinson), to have Clementine deleted from his own memory banks. But as Joel's memories progressively disappear, he begins to rediscover their earlier spark.
Moment to send you doolally: In a movie choc-full of weirdness, the scene where Joel and Clementine walk past a fence post that disappears behind them piece by piece as the memory is erased.
Carmen: "Ofelia! Magic does not exist. Not for you, me or anyone else."
Faced with the upheaval of moving home to the north of Spain (plus an abusive fascist officer stepfather and the pall of evil surrounding General Franco's victory in 1944), the young Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) escapes into a grimly imaginary world of creatures and demons which co-exist at her new mountain home.
Moment to send you doolally: The scene where the grotesque child-eating Pale Man is awoken by Ofelia and gets his revenge by stuffing his face with two of her fairy friends (apparently actor Doug Jones bit into condoms filled with blood).
The Red Queen: "I love a warm pig belly for my aching feet."
Tim Burton's inspired mash-up of the original Alice in Wonderland and follow-up Through The Looking Glass perfectly served Lewis Caroll's off-kilter fairy tale. Immersive 3D plus Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter and a roll call of Brit voice talent from Babs Windsor to Matt Lucas provide an eerie treat but it is Helena Bonham Carter’s execution-obsessed Red Queen that steals the off-kilter show.
Moment to send you doolally: The jittery Mad Hatter’s tea party attended by Babs Windsor’s Dormouse and Paul Whitehouse as the March Hare takes place with an air of nervous terror to the accompaniment of clinking china.
The Katakuris family run what is probably Japan's most unsuccessful B&B and it gets worse when their first guest sticks a knife in his neck. Burying the body down the road, they return to welcome their next guests - a sexually-addicted sumo wrestler and his pliant schoolgirl chick. While all this is going on, Shizue Katakuri is being romanced by a conman who claims to be the bastard son of our own good queen.
Moment to send you doolally: A renegade from Jurassic Park leaps out of a soup dish to yank the tonsils out of a screaming diner...and that's just the opening titles.
Craig Schwartz: "Do you know what a metaphysical can of worms this portal is?"
John Cusack stars as Craig Schwartz, a puppeteer who stumbles upon a portal into the brain of the distinguished actor. This is obviously disconcerting for both Craig and Mr Malkovich (gamely playing himself). But Craig's scheming colleague (Catherine Keener) is happy to play them both. With Cameron Diaz as Craig's pet-obsessed wife and Charlie Sheen enjoying himself as himself, it's a mind-bending mix of funny peculiar and funny ha-ha.
Moment to send you doolally: The introductory scene where Schwartz discovers a small door behind a filing cabinet and finds himself in the mind of Malkovich, able to observe and sense whatever Malkovich does for fifteen minutes before he is ejected and dropped into a ditch next to the New Jersey Turnpike.
Dr Alex Brulov: "Good night and sweet dreams... which we'll analyze at breakfast."
Hitchcock's mesmerising psychological drama stars Gregory Peck as the psychiatrist who arrives at Green Manors mental asylum suffering from paranoia and amnesia. Ingrid Berman plays ice-cold shrink Dr Constance Petersen who joins forces with him to find out if he's a killer...or not. Hitch effortlessly weaves a tale of mystery and romance with a cracking supporting cast and there's the bonus of a dream sequence crafted by surreal artistic genius Salvador Dali.
Moment to send you doolally: Dali's dream sequence freaked out viewers with its psychoanalytic symbols - eyes, curtains, scissors, playing cards (some of them blank), a man with no face, a man falling off a building, a man hiding behind a chimney dropping a wheel, and wings.
Mr. X: "Well Henry, what do you know?"
Henry Spencer: "Oh, I don't know much of anything."
Weird. Just plain weird. David Lynch's surreal directorial debut starred John Nance as Henry, a young man who discovers he has fathered a monstrous baby. A work of extraordinary imagination, its nightmarish tone and bleak atmosphere contributed to it being regarded as the most sheerly bizarre film ever made.
Moment to send you doolally: The Lady in the Radiator scene feature a woman with grotesquely distended cheeks who appears in Henry's radiator, first doing a dance routine on a stage in which she shuffles and stomps on foetal creatures that fall from above, and then later singing a song that goes "In Heaven, everything is fine/ You've got your good things, and I've got mine."
Nancy: "Whatever you do don't fall asleep."
Of course the genre that flourishes most effectively when you're out of your head - or think you're out of you're head - is horror. In Wes Craven's fiendish shocker, a group of fresh-faced Elm Street-dwelling teenagers will die if they fall asleep, stalked and killed by Mr Scissorhands Freddie Krueger in their dreams...and then in reality.
Moment to send you doolally: The scene where Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) and Glen (Johnny Depp) attempt to snare Freddie ends in Glen fatally dozing off while listening to Radio KRGR (geddit?), being sucked into his bed and spewed out in a fountain of gore and bone.
Wizard of Oz: "You, my friend, are a victim of disorganized thinking."
It may have been the campest kids film ever...but the Wizard of Oz packed a deliriously dreamlike punch. Judy Garland played Dorothy, a spirited Kansas girl who gets more adventure than she ever dreamed of when a twister whisks her away to the magical land of Oz.
Moment to send you doolally: Slightly sinister for a kiddiwink classic is the scene where the Wicked Witch despatches her eerie squadron of flying monkeys to capture Dorothy and her trusty terrier Toto.
David: "Even in my dreams, I'm an idiot who knows he's about to wake up to reality."
The dippy presence of Scientologist Tom Cruise always brings a certain otherworldliness but throw into the mix a remake of Alejandro Amenabar's Spanish puzzler Open Your Eyes and you have a real conundrum. Tom plays a self-satisfied playboy charged with murder and obliged to make sense of all that has happened by relaying his surreal experiences to a psychiatrist (Kurt Russell).
Moment to send you doolally: During the subliminal imagery in the Times Square sequence an image of Katie Holmes is seen on a rubber tyre, the same picture that once graced Rolling Stone magazine.
Narrator: "You won't see any nutcracker on the screen. There's nothing left of him but the title."
Far be it for Uncle Walt to mess with your mind, but this packed a surrealist kick. So much so that American rumour-mongers maintained the Disney animators were spaced out on LSD when they sketched the strikingly visual interpretation of classical musical themes. In fact, following its 1969 re-release - it first came out in 1941 - the movie proved such a hit among dope-heads seeking a hallucinogenic experience that conservative groups picketed theatres.
Moment to send you doolally: During Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker a cluster of tiny mushrooms, dressed in long robes and coolie hats resembling Chinese (plus one little mushroom always out-of-step), perform the Chinese Dance.
John: "Nothing is Beatle-proof!"
Although the Fab Four were reluctant to get involved in another film after Help!, they did make a brief appearance in this day-glo story of the undersea paradise of Pepperland which is attacked by music-hating Blue Meanies who imprison Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in a bubble and drain the country of all colour. Like Wales.
Moment to send you doolally: When John Lennon (for it is he) defeats the Blue Meanie's evil Glove...by warbling All You Need Is Love.
Raoul Duke: "Holy Jesus. What are these goddamn animals?"
Maverick director Terry Gilliam proves to be the perfect choice to steer this surreal adaptation of Hunter S Thompson's cult book about a drug-fuelled trip to Las Vegas in 1971. A shaven-headed Johnny Depp plays the gonzo hack who is accompanised to Sin City by his psychopathic lawyer (Benicio Del Toro). Propelled by by a cocktail of drugs and adrenalin, it's a mindbending vacation which sees the stoned duo careering into Cameron Diaz and Christina Ricci.
Moment to send you doolally: After dropping a tab of "Sunshine Acid", Duke (Depp) hallucinates that a Las Vegas hotel clerk is a moray eel and his fellow bar patrons are hideous lizards in the depths of an orgy.
Byron: "And here a contradiction in terms: an intelligent woman!"
A collection of barking cinema would never be complete without at least one entry from the British King of Crazy Ken Russell.
In a villa by a Swiss lake, literary history was made when a drug-fuelled chat between poets Lord Byron and Percy Shelly threw up the inspiration for Frankenstein and Dracula. Ken references gothic art - including Henry Fuseli’s painting The Nightmare - in which a demon sits on the chest of a dreaming woman - but it was Julian Sands who stole the show with a performance of rank awfulness.
Moment to send you doolally: Well, basically the whole film. Once choice moment is the ill-advised seance around a skull which provoke a series of group hallucinations: Mary Shelley is tortured by images of her miscarried child and Percy Shelley indulges in his darkest fantasy of a woman with eyes in her breasts.
Kurtzmann: "It's been confusion from the word go!"
There's nothing remotely dreamy about this nightmarish vision of the future from satirical fantasist Terry Gilliam. Jonathan Price played the mild-mannered bureaucratic drone who is chucked out of his comfort zone when a bug (literally) gets in the system, an innocent man is killed, and he's given the job of working out what went wrong.
Moment to send you doolally: The disturbing scene where Sam (Pryce) runs to his mother, who is attending the funeral of a friend who died of excessive cosmetic surgery. Bizarrely, she looks like his lover and - growing younger-looking all the time - is being fawned over by a gang of juvenile admirers.
Aaron: "Are you hungry? I haven't eaten since later this afternoon."
Director, writer and star Shane Carruth's beguiling backyard sci-fi thriller follows two bored computer bods working after hours in a suburban garage stumble upon an invention which can feasibly let them do what they want…but then they have to face the consequences. A sort of Memento for maths geeks, this is a shining example of a tiny budget hitched to a big idea beating Hollywood at its own game.
Moment to send you doolally: When Aaron (Carruth) heads back in time to confront a gunman - and is hailed a hero.
Frank: "I can do anything I want. And so can you."
An impenetrable favourite with cults everywhere, renegade film-maker Richard Kelly's bold debut was social satire as seen through the skewed viewpoint of troubled Virginian teen Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal). When a giant - possibly imaginary - grotesque bunny rescues him from certain death, the creature draws him into a surreal world which leads him to question his sanity.
Moment to send you doolally: It doesn't get much weirder than the scene where Frank - the giant rabbit - lures Donnie out of his house (as an aero engine is plunging earthwards) and tells him that in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds, the world will end.
Man with the Long Hair: "They say that dreams are only real as long as they last. Couldn't you say the same thing about life?"
A mature student (Wiley Wiggins) floats in and out of a series of philosophical discussions and ethereal experiences, engaging a random series of characters in existential chat before glumly heading off to the next encounter. It's a bit of headscratcher what he's up to...until it's revealed it's not a bad acid trip but a particularly lucid dream.
Moment to send you doolally: The discussion of the dwarf in film during the "holy moment". Sample of the script: "God is this table"
Christof: "We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented."
Director Peter Weir's prophetic sci-fi gem was a well-timed warning about the horrors of Big Brother. Jim Carrey was the dream choice to play Truman Burbank, the unsuspecting subject of a reality TV show where his everday life is tracked via hundreds of hidden cameras. However, when he falls in love with an extra (Natascha McElhone) instead of the studio's intended love interest, his artificial world begins to unravel.
Moment to send you doolally:. The scene where he twigs all is not well...but can't get out of town because all the traffic conspires to block him. It works so well because everyone has, at some time, hit a traffic jam and figured they were the centre of the universe, but in Truman's case, it was true.
Brian O'Blivion: "The television screen is the retina of the mind's eye."
In David Cronenberg's gut-churning satire on media control, James Woods plays the CEO of a sordid Canadian cable station who stumbles open a broadcast from the Far East featuring extreme torture and violence. Debbie Harry pops up as a sadomasochistic psychiatrist and Leslie Carson suffers a particularly nasty death when cancerous tumours appear to pop through his skin.
Moment to send you doolally: The scene where Woods is watching TV when a fissure - resembling the slot for a video tape or something naughtier - gapes opens in his chest.
Dr Heiter: "Feed Her!"
In depraved Dutch director Tom Six’s scarcely imaginable horror, two American tourists break down and find themselves waking up in a makeshift basement hopsital alongside a Japanese man. The two girls and their Oriental room-mate are the raw materials for an experiment by a warped German bones who plans to join them together surgically via their gastric systems to form a “human centipede."
Moment to send you doolally: When you realise this is the first part of a trilogy.