by Melanie Reed
When well-done and believable, few films can be as gripping as the post-apocalyptic film, which works on us like a kind of delicious bad dream. Chronically overwhelmed by the complexity and confusion of the world, we constantly ask ourselves where it’s all going, who’s in charge, what we should do, and what happened to our dreams. Post-apocalyptic films give us the chance to imagine what starting over would be like, rebooting these questions in a land of different alternatives, where our challenges may range from fewer, clearer and simpler to harder, more obscure and more complex. Read More
by Andre Couture
This month in the fantastic world of the largest film archive known to man and Washingtonians (Scarecrow Video), we’re celebrating Earth Month by showcasing films that feature nature in an unrelenting standoff against humankind, to varying degrees. This time we’re visiting the 1981 horror classic The Evil Dead.
The story might be familiar to most of you, otherwise it’s simple to re-cap since Evil Dead has been referenced so many times and parodied. We follow a group of kids on a road trip to a lightly mentioned cabin in the woods belonging to someone renting it out for an unmentionable low price. They stay in the cabin long enough to discover an evil presence and accidentally awaken it. They must fight the evil in order to survive the coming sunrise, but this evil is almost impossible to see until it takes a body captive. Read More
by Melanie Reed
For Czech director Jan Svankmaier, the objects of daily life often play a stronger role than the characters — enlisted to serve as symbols of man’s Id. In this world of unlimited symbolism and potential animation, it’s not surprising that this auteur of stop-motion/live action animation is drawn to children’s stories like Alice, classic allegorical stories like Faust, and folktales like Little Otik (Otesanek). Read More
Body Count: 2 people
Nudity: one female body builder, one female corpse
Major protagonists: female and male
Major actors: Jennifer Lopez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vince Vaughn, Marianne Jean-Baptiste
Director: Tarsem Singh, a.k.a. Tarsem
Writer: Mark Protosevich
by John S
Day of the Triffids was adapted three times: once in 1963 as a theatrical film, and twice as a BBC TV mini-series in 1981 and 2009. And what a difference modern technology and an actual budget makes! More on that later. For now, we’re off to the Triffid races. Fasten your seat belts.
The 1963 version opens with some narration about how the world is filled with many different kinds of plants. “Some of those plants are carnivores,” our snooty narrator intones, “and ‘carnivore’ means ‘meat-eating’!”-clearly assuming those of us watching have not made it past third grade. Our story opens with our hero, Dr. Bill Mason (Howard Keel), recovering from some eye surgery that has left his face wrapped in bandages. Bad timing because a meteor shower of epic proportions is set to happen that evening-and Bill is going to miss it because his eye bandages won’t come off until the morning. Sucks to be Bill. Read More