In Andrei Tarkovsky's Russian-language masterpiece, a Stalker leads two men into the Zone – an alien place guarded by barbed wire and soldiers – to find the Room, a place where it is believed one's secret hopes come true. Adapted by its authors from the book Roadside Picnic, Stalker (trailer) is a beautiful, ponderous, dreamlike film – one which, though difficult to summarize, commonly ranks among the greatest films of all time.
Released four years after the first Elm Street movie, The Serpent and the Rainbow (trailer) drops Bill Pullman into the middle of 1970s Haiti to investigate cases of alleged real-life Voodoo zombification. One of Wes Craven's more religious-themed movies, with a premise loosely based on the (arguably) non-fiction book by the same name, the film gives Craven a chance to build upon a real-world mystery in applying his signature concoction of visually stylish horror, twisting storylines, and the oft-blurred line between the dream world and reality.
When friends Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell set out to turn their 1978 short Within the Woods into a full-length film on a shoestring budget, what they came up with was The Evil Dead; a nauseating film, sure, but also a thunderstorm in a bottle that managed to splice black comedy with innovative technique to make a hugely beloved cult horror mainstay. But how could anybody follow up such an apparent fluke with a sequel? Well, if you're Raimi and Campbell, you take another run at the same story, with the insanity turned up to 11, and in the process you practically invent a new genre of film.
"How did they ever make a movie of Lolita?" asked the film's notorious promotional material, as its young star peers out over the top of her cherry-red, heart-shaped glasses. An excellent question! Stanley Kubrick's 1962 take on Vladimir Nabokov's novel became an iconic film; by turns intimate, sardonic, comical, and tragic. By comparison, Adrian Lyne's 1997 version promised to be truer to the source material, but in spite of praiseworthy performances by its leads, it imploded at the box office. [more inside]
John Cameron Mitchell writes, directs, and stars as the titular Hedwig Robinson — the sarcastic, bombastic, gender-binary-stomping front(wo)man of Mitchell's award-winning off-broadway musical by the same name — as she tours the country narrating, singing, and shouting her harrowing story from the shadow of ex-lover and rock-darling Tommy Gnosis's nationwide tour. [more inside]
You wanna live forever? Space bugs and space marines duke it out when Robert Heinlein's military sci-fi classic gets the Verhoeven treatment, marrying visually rich action set-pieces to a broader satire of a culture that worships its armed forces. (Trailer) [more inside]
The unasked-for remake of Paul Verhoeven's 1987 classic, José Padilha's RoboCop reboot (trailer) aims to bring the story of a corrupt corporation and its new man/machine law enforcement hybrid into a modern context. [more inside]