If we’re not careful, we might fill this entire list up with films by Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike. He has over one hundred feature films to his credit, after all. Gozu is a gangster movie, but that doesn’t begin to describe it.
It’s a gangster movie where a lead character transforms into a woman and then gives birth to himself. We won’t say much more. You have to see it to believe it.
9. Total Recall
The original Total Recall beat Minority Report to its killer dreamworld-thriller premise by more than a decade. Or did it?
Total Recall is slippery, and by the end of the movie you have about a half dozen equally-believable explanations to guess from.
8. Dark City
Dark City explores concepts of identity and memory in fascinating ways. What happens when you take two people and switch their memories? How much changes, how much stays the same?
A weird, creative movie that explores a murder mystery as well as the medium of film itself. Inventive, sometimes confusing, and deeply fascinating.
6. The Tingler
This William Castle thriller may feel a little dated, but it was actually the first mainstream feature film to show the effects of LSD when Vincent Price uses the drug for a freaky experiment.
The film includes a corny, but effective sequence where Price announces that the titular monster of the film has been let loose in the theater, and a story involving a creature that lives in the human spine and creates the tingling sensation we feel when frightened.
Cheesy? Sure. But still effectively trippy years later.
The Monkees’ Head is a playful, trippy flick that follows the Monkees, a real band pretending to be a fake band playing a real band as they jump genres and push against the boundaries of the film they’re in and reality itself.
This experimental feature was written by a young Jack Nicholson and remains one of the most daring, inventive, and at times, confounding movies ever made.
Memento is sort of legendary by now. Christopher Nolan’s cult hit follows a twisty-turny thriller plot in backwards chronological order.
The movie has had an impact on other films like Irreversible, Hong Kong actioner Vengeance, and even the song Rewind by rapper Nas.
Darren Arronofsky’s Pi was his independent debut as a feature filmmaker, and it explores one of the craziest and cleverest premises in film: that the number Pi might contain the signature of God Himself.
2. Shutter Island
Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island remains one of the best and most mind-bending thrillers in recent memory.
Layering multiple alternate realities on top of one another and throwing in twist after twist, this atmospheric thrill ride is one of Scorsese’s better recent efforts.
1. Mulholland Dr.
If you don’t have time to watch all of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks TV series, Mulholland Dr. explores some of the same concepts regarding identity, dreamworlds, memory, romance and an open-ended narrative that will leave no two viewers with the same interpretation of the story.