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Love is in the air!
Valentine’s Day will see some couples celebrating their love with dinner dates at expensive restaurants, roses, maybe a horse-drawn carriage ride through a park. Most couples aren’t able to afford that sort of thing in this troubling economic environment, so why not try for take-out and Netflix and chill?
There are loads of rom-coms to choose from. However, it can’t be denied how weird and disturbing the romances depicted in them are. For starters, Overboard (1987) and While You Were Sleeping (1995) both have people taking advantage of others with brain injuries. And let’s not overlook Fifty Shades franchise, we’re underneath the vanilla kink and chiselled good-looks of Christian Grey is a sociopathic predator—who the hell makes their own key to someone’s home?
With that in mind, Hysteria presents the 10 weirder romantic films; from the absurd to those not hiding their disturbing qualities.
10. Warm Bodies (2013)
The zombie apocalypse may have taken many loved ones, but that doesn’t mean love can’t blossom. R (Nicholas Hoult) is a zombie who falls for human Julie (Teresa Palmer). After eating Julie’s boyfriend, R’s attraction grows stronger and he begins to show signs of humanity. For a film about rotting zombie’s, it’s a warm and fresh rom-com.
9. Wild At Heart (1990)
Sailor (Nicolas Cage) and Lula (Laura Dern) are star-crossed lovers reunited after Sailor is imprisoned for killing a man in self-defense. Upon release, the couple run away together, only to be hunted by various people hired by Lula’s psychotic mother (Diane Ladd). Directed by David Lynch, but once you get past the over-the-top violence and weird monologues (a favourite is one about cockroaches in underpants), it’s a surprisingly touching film.
8. Spring (2014)
Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) escapes to Italy following the death of his mother. There, he meets Louise (Nadia Hilker), whom he falls in love with. What begins as something like the walking-and-talking romance of Before Sunrise soon turns to body horror when Louise reveals her true form. Surprisingly, that doesn’t stop Evan’s pursuit, and the two spend more time in each other’s company.
7. Joe Vs The Volcano (1990)
Before Sleepless In Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan first joined together in the strange and dark Joe Vs The Volcano. Hanks plays Joe, a man whose life is empty until he learns he has a terminal disease, something he’s overjoyed with. He decides to jump into a volcano to appease the gods. On the way, he falls in love with one of the three characters Meg Ryan plays. Initially a box-office flop, the film has developed a cult-following for its strangeness.
6. The Love Witch (2016)
As Flannery O’Connor once said, a good man is hard to find. Elaine is a beautiful witch who uses magic to make men fall in love with her. But when they became too clingy, her lovers die under mysterious circumstances. Directed by Anne Biller, the film is presented in a campy 1960s technicolour style with lots of feminist theory within, being simultaneously retro and modern.
5. She Killed In Ecstasy (1971)
A trashy horror by Spanish exploitation master Jesus Franco. After Dr Johnson (Fred Williams) is rejected by the medical board for immorality, he loses his mind and commits suicide. As revenge, his beautiful wife (Soledad Miranda) seeks vengeance by seducing each of the doctors and murdering them in the throes of love-making. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
4. Natural Born Killers (1994)
Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis fall in love and express it by hitting the road and murdering whoever they feel like, becoming infamous outlaws thanks to the media sensationalising their killing spree. Based on a story by Quentin Tarantino.
3. True Romance (1993)
Basically, a less nihilistic Natural Born Killers. It’s even written by Quentin Tarantino. If your date is put off by a title like Natural Born Killers, True Romance should fool them into some lust-filled violence.
2. Audition (1999)
If you thought dating was rough, you’ll think again after seeing Takashi Miike’s torture porn. After being widowed, a filmmaker gets the creepy idea to hold auditions to find a new wife. His pick is Asami, whose devotion crosses the border of psychopathy by several miles.
1. Tammy And The T-Rex (1994)
Starring very young actors Denise Richards and Paul Walker, Tammy And The T-Rex is the most bizarre film I’ve ever seen. Richards and Walker are a young couple in love, but Walker is killed. A mad scientist steals his body and puts it in the body of a robotic t-rex. Dino-Walker takes revenge on bullies and finds his true love. The tone shifts wildly from romantic comedy to horrifying gore, but you’ll never be bored. It’s hard to find it on streaming sites, but hopefully you can watch it on the tube.