Dabide no Hoshi: Bishoujo-Gari (1979, JAP) C-100m. Scope **½ D: Norifumi Suzuki. Starring Shun Domon, Hiromi Namino, Asami Ogawa, Natsuko Yagi. Following a brutal rape by a sex maniac (before her husband’s eyes), a woman gives birth to a son. The boy must witness the horrible degradation of his mother by his father and later becomes a maniac himself; he lures women into his sophisticated torture chamber in the basement of his mansion. Controversial shocker about obsession and the burden of heritage (typically Japanese issues) is remarkable in many ways. Although it is repeatedly voyeuristic and obviously takes joy in depicting the women’s suffering, film is competently made and offers a thoughtful characterization of the main character. Bogs down a little in the second half, but worth watching for people who are not easily offended. Based on an Anime film series and a Manga by Masaaki Soto. English titles: BEAUTIFUL GIRL HUNTER, STAR OF DAVID: BEAUTY HUNTING.

Daddy Day Care (2003, USA) C-92m. ** D: Steve Carr. Starring Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin, Steve Zahn, Regina King, Kevin Nealon, Jonathan Katz, Lacey Chabert, Angelica Huston. Contrived comedy about Murphy and Garlin, who have both lost their jobs and now decide to open a kindergarten / pre-school, with the only accptable one around being Huston’s elite pre-school. Strictly-by-the-numbers fare, with my son asking half-way through when the funny scenes would come. Even Murphy is surprisingly one-note.

Dagon (2001, SPA/USA) C-98m. ** D: Stuart Gordon. Starring Ezra Godden, Francisco Rabal, Raquel Merono, Macarena Gomez, Brendan Price. Weak horror movie marks Gordon’s return to his roots, H.P. Lovecraft material, that is. This adaptation takes vacationer Godden to a Spanish coastal town, which the evil cult of the Dagon is ruling. Their specialty is scalping their victims, and Godden is about to learn more about his family history. Pace picks up in the second half of the movie, which saves it eventually. Still, quite cheap (apart from the sometimes quite startling make-up effects), and Godden is no Bruce Campbell or Bruce Abbott (who he was made to resemble, or who he tries to copy). Dedicated to actor Rabal, whose last film this was. Coproduced by Brian Yuzna.

Daikaijû Gamera (1965, JAP) B&W-78m. SCOPE ** D: Noriaki Yuasa. Starring Eiji Funakoshi, Harumi Kiritachi, Junichirô Yamashiko, Yoshiro Uchida, Michiko Sugata, Yoshiro Kitahara. Barely convincing monster movie from Japan about a giant, fire-spitting turtle, which is awakened during a plane crash in the Arctic ice and goes on a rampage in Tokyo. Basically a GOJIRA / GODZILLA rip-off with okay special effects. The concept of an angry turtle isn’t very believable, however. Also known as GAMERA, and THE GIANT MONSTER GAMERA. Edited into GAMMERA THE INVINCINBLE (1966) for the American market. Followed by nine or ten sequels until 1999.

... Dai Nemici Mi Guardo Io! (1968, ITA) C-100m. Scope ** D: Irving Jacobs (=Mario Amendola). Starring Charles Southwood, Julian Mateos, Alida Chelli, Pietro Ceccarelli, Dada Gallotti, Marco Rual, Mirko Ellis, John Heston. OK spaghetti western, competently filmed, but also unfortunately without style, suspense or plot cleverness. Loner Southwood is after three coins which lead to a hidden treasure. He gets the first one from a dying general, then the chase for the other two coins is on. Cowritten by Bruno Corbucci. Nice score by Carlo Rustichelli. Filmed in Spain. English title: THREE SILVERDOLLARS.

Daisy Town (1971, FRA/BEL) C-71m. ** D: René Goscinny, Morris. Starring (the voices of) Marcel Bozzuffi, Pierre Trabaud, Jacques Balutin. Time has not been kind to the lonesome cartoon cowboy Lucky Luke’s first feature film adventure. Story about western community of Daisy Town, which is ruled by outlaws is told in non-chalant fashion, with only sight gags seeming to count. You read the exact same story in the comic book in 15-20 minutes, so why slow down the experience? For fans. Followed by a Turkish LUCKY LUKE adaptation in 1974, two sequels (1978 and 1983), a 1983 animated TV series, an Italian 1991 remake and TV series with Terence Hill, a French TV series in 2001 and a new feature film in 2004 (LES DALTONS).

Dalle Ardenne all’Inferno (1967, ITA/FRA/GER) C-105m. Scope **½ D: Alberto De Martino. Starring Frederick Stafford, Daniela Bianchi, Curd Jürgens, John Ireland, Michel Constantin, Helmuth Schneider, Howard Ross, Adolfo Celi, Anthony Dawson, Tom Felleghy. Quite good war adventure about a group of resistance fighters and mercenaries, who plot to steal diamonds from Nazi headquarters in Holland. Some uneven plotting hampers proceedings, but generally not bad. Jürgens is good as a reasonable(!) German general. Music by Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai. English title: DIRTY HEROES.

Dama Rossa Uccide Sette Volte, La (1972, ITA/GER) C-95m. Scope **½ D: Emilio P. Miraglia. Starring Barbara Bouchet, Ugo Pagliai, Marina Malfatti, Marino Masé, Pia Giancaro, Sybil Danning, Nino Korda, Rudolf Schündler, Carla Mancini. Okay mystery with gothic elements, though a typical giallo. A large family is called to the reading of a will after the patriarch dies and from then on, the notorious Red Queen stalks and kills the relatives – seven of them according to the legend. Confusing at times, with very little continuity, so enjoying this is difficult, but some set-pieces are quite good, as is score by Bruno Nicolai. English titles: BLOOD FEAST, CRY OF A PROSTITUTE: LOVE KILLS, FEAST OF FLESH, THE RED QUEEN KILLS 7 TIMES, THE CORPSE WHICH DIDN’T WANT TO DIE.

Dance of the Dwarfs (1983, USA) C-93m. ** D: Gus Trikonis. Starring Deborah Raffin, Peter Fonda, John Amos, Carlos Palomino, Arthur ‘Turko’ Cervantes. Laughable horror adventure set in the South American jungles, but filmed quite obviously somewhere in North American woodland. Anthropologist Raffin hires boozing pilot Fonda to look for missing colleague, finds tribe of blood-thirsty dwarf-like creatures instead. Highly pretentious, although atmospheric finale compensates a little. Based on a novel by Geoffrey Household. Alternatively spelt DANCE OF THE DWARVES, and also known as JUNGLE HEAT.

Dancer in the Dark (2000, DAN/SWE/FRA/NOR/GER) C-140m. Scope *** D: Lars von Trier. Starring Björk, Cathérine Deneuve, David Morse, Peter Stormare, Udo Kier, Joel Grey, Vincent Paterson, Cara Seymour, Jean-Marc Barr, Vladan Kostic, Zeljko Ivanek, Stellan Skarsgard. Lars von Trier’s biggest eccentricity yet is a musical melodrama about a Czechoslovakian immigrant (Björk), who lives with her twelve-year-old son in a run-down trailer next to policeman/friend Morse’s house. She works in a tool factory under terrible conditions and has been saving money for an operation that will save her son’s gift of sight… at the price of her own. What keeps her alive is the hope for a better future for her son – and her love for Hollywood musicals, which she can only enjoy with her best friend Deneuve, who’ll explain to her the scenes on the big screen. She flees herself more and more into an increasingly dark dream world, which ultimately ends in a tragedy. Von Trier’s uses the same cinematic style that he began to develop in his 1994 TV miniseries RIGET and tells a story with such overblown melodramatics that the plot is sometimes very hard to take (to say nothing about the songs!). The film is almost impossible to rate and certainly will not appeal to most viewers, but von Trier’s deserves credit for constantly trying to reinvent himself and cinema in general, which he is clearly dissatisfied with. A difficult, oddly touching, brilliantly acted film that you will either hate or love. Winner of the Palme D’Or in Cannes. Björk also won the Best Actor prize. 

Dancing at Lughnasa (1998, GBR/EIR/USA) C-96m. **½ D: Pat O’Connor. Starring Meryl Streep, Michael Gambon, Catherine McCormack, Kathy Burke, Sophie Thompson, Brid Brennan, Rhys Ifans. Set in the year 1936, this drama is an Irish childhood reminiscence narrated by a now-grown-up, who was brought up by five sisters (and occasionally by his estranged father Ifans). His chaotic life is given another spin, when his uncle, confused preacher Gambon, arrives from Africa. Beautifully photographed, well-directed, but misses the mark dramatically. The main character (the boy) becomes a marginal one, and the sisters’ relationship moves to the center – not the most interesting aspect of the story. Based on Brian Friel’s play.

Dangan Runner (1996, JAP) C-83m. *** D: Sabu (=Hiroyuki Tanaka). Starring Tomorowo Taguchi, Diamond Yukai, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Sabu. Three men are chasing each other in the streets of Tokyo. A would-be thief, a drug-pushing rock star/shop assistant and a Yakuza killer. Subplot concerns the violent conflict between two clans. An ambitious, intelligent examination of a life where you have to run to survive. Production values are not high, but talent behind the camera compensates. A cult film in Japan.

Dangerous Game (1988, AUS) C-102m. **½ D: Stephen Hopkins. Starring Steven Grives, Marcus Graham, Miles Buchanan, Kathryn Walker. Grives is good as psychopathic cop who is terrorizing a group of college kids in a supermarket at night. Flashy, well-directed horror thriller actually makes something of its second-rate plot, though it could have been twenty minutes shorter. An impressive feature debut for director Hopkins (PREDATOR 2, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5).  

Dangerous Liaisons (1988, USA/GBR) C-119m. *** D : Stephen Frears. Starring Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Swoosie Kurtz, Keanu Reeves, Mildred Natwick, Uma Thurman. Second film version of Choderlos de Laclos’ novel about two scheming aristocrats (Close and Malkovich) who enjoy manipulating people while duelling themselves. Subtle script by Christopher Hampton (who used his own stage version as a blueprint) comes up with marvelous dialogues but remains stagey nonetheless. The actors, especially Pfeiffer and Close, are excellent. Also notable for a rare Uma Thurman nude scene. Oscar winner for Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction and Costumes. Previously filmed as LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES. Later versions: VALMONT (1989) by Milos Forman and CRULE INTENTIONS (1999) by Roger Kumble.

Dante’s Peak (1997, USA) C-108m. Scope *** D: Roger Donaldson. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton, Jamie Renée Smith, Jeremy Foley, Elizabeth Hoffman, Charles Hallahan. Exciting, explosive disaster movie about scientist Brosnan who is the only one who foresees that the local volcano Dante’s Peak might erupt soon. Mayor Hamilton falls in love with him. Very formulaic and quite incredible, but offers high-octane action entertainment. 

Danza Macabra (1964, ITA/FRA) B&W-89m. **½ D: Antonio Margheriti, Sergio Corbucci. Starring Barbara Steele, Georges Rivière, Margarete Robsahm, Arturo Dominici, Silvano Tranquilli, Umberto Raho. One of the best known Italian gothic chillers, this one features Rivière, who accepts a wager from none other than Edgar Allan Poe, who dares him to spend a night in his family’s haunted castle. Slowly paced, underplotted but fairly atmospheric, for fans of the genre. Good score by Riz Ortolani. Ruggero Deodato was assistant director. Remade by Margheriti in 1971 (as NELLA STRETTO MORSA DEL RAGNO). English titles: CASTLE OF BLOOD, COFFIN OF TERROR, DIMNESIONS IN DEATH, THE CASTLE OF TERROR, THE LONG NIGHT OF TERROR, TOMBS OF HORROR, and TOMBS OF TERROR.

Daredevil (2003, USA) C-103m. Scope **½ D: Mark Steven Johnson. Starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jon Favreau, Scott Terra, Ellen Pompeo, Joe Pantoliano, David Keith, Kevin Smith, Stan Lee, Kane Hodder, Mark Margolis. Slick comic-book adaptation features the title hero (Affleck), who is a lawyer by day and a vicious fighter for justice by night. After an accident as a child, which blinded him, his other senses are heightened. Well-directed, flashy fantasy thriller loses its verve in the mid-section and never recovers, also because of rather dull story about bad guys Farrell and Duncan. Good cast can’t be faulted. Written by the director and executive produced by the comic’s creator Stan Lee, who has a cameo.

Dario Argento – Master of Horror (1991, ITA) C-80m. **½ D: Lewis Coates (=Luigi Cozzi). Featuring Dario Argento, Michele Soavi, Luigi Cozzi. Documentary about leading horror director Argento covers his oeuvre between the years 1987 and 1990, discussing the films OPERA, LA CHIESA, LA SETTA and TWO EVIL EYES. Dario speaks about his obsession with making horror films, though major part of this documentary is taken by (long) video clips from these films. The special effects are also explained. Interesting for Argento devotees (all horror fans should be), others needn’t bother. The second in a line of documentaries, following LA MONDO DELL’ORRORE DI DARIO ARGENTO, directed by Michele Soavi in 1985. Third part, filmed by Cozzi in 1997, is titled MONDO DI DARIO ARGENTO 3.

Dark, The (1979, USA) C-90m. Scope D: Tobe Hooper, John ‘Bud’ Cardos. Starring William Devane, Cathy Lee Crosby, Richard Jaeckel, Biff Elliot, Keenan Wynn, Philip Michael Thomas. Poor sci-fi horror film about a human-like monster who roams L.A. streets at night, beheading his victims. Attack scenes are well-filmed but shoddy effects ruin everything. Original director Tobe Hooper was replaced by John Cardos during the production. Alternative title: THE MUTILATOR.

Dark City (1998, USA) C-100m. Scope *** D: Alex Proyas. Starring Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, Richard O'Brien, Ian Richardson, Colin Friels, Bruce Spence, William Hurt. Dark, brooding science-fiction film, from the director of THE CROW. Sewell plays an amnesiac who, stumbling through a dark city, is suspected of being a serial killer. Aliens have invaded the planet and are conducting experiments with humans, to find out about our soul. They have the gift of 'tuning', altering physical reality by their own will. Brilliantly designed urban-hell production moves at such a quick pace that it seems altogether outlandish. Story (and especially the plot) should have been more edged out. The viewer doesn't get time to ponder the going-ons. This BRAZIL-like nightmare will excite genre fans and others alike.

Dark Crystal (1982, GBR) C-92m. Scope *** D: Jim Henson, Frank Oz. Good children’s fantasy from the creators of the television series The Muppet Show. The evil Skeksis are in possession of a valuable crystal, which gives them power over the stars. If someone is able to find a missing splinter and reinsert it into the crystal, the world will become a peaceful place again. Well-produced and filmed with an eye for detail. Children will be delighted, though film is not for the very small ones. Adults may object about the slim plot. Performed by Jim Henson, Kathryn Mullen, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, many others.

Darkest Sword, The (1972, HGK) C-94m. Scope **½ D: Chien Lung. Starring Chang Ching-Ching, Chiang Ping, Ie Yuen. An evil warrior wielding a magical black sword is threatening to wipe out a village in this well-directed and stylishly photographed eastern. Unfortunately the plot never really catches fire, but still, there are many astounding sequences to hold your attention (sword-fighters defying gravity), ...and a simply lovely heroine.

Dark Half, The (1993, USA) C-122m. **½ D: George A. Romero. Starring Timothy Hutton, Amy Madi-gan, Michael Rooker, Julie Harris, Robert Joy. Horror novelist Hutton decides to announce that he has been writing under a pseudonym, but soon he has to realize that his alter ego has come to life and is killing all the people he knows. Or is Hutton just insane? Film decides too late what it wants to be, a horror movie or a thriller, and when it does, the explanation for everything is vague and unbelievable. What remains is director Romero’s feel for the genre, and this carries the film a long way. While there are some good scenes, there are also several moments where the proceedings border on ridiculousness. Romero also wrote the screenplay, based on the novel by Stephen King. This was at least King’s third novel about a troubled horror writer (after SHINING and MISERY). Incidentally, King also used a pseudonym for a long time.

Dark Knight, The (2008, USA) C-152m. SCOPE **½ D: Christopher Nolan. Starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Monique Curnen, Cillian Murphy, Eric Roberts, Anthony Michael Hall, Nathan Gamble. Sequel to Nolan’s BATMAN BEGINS (2005) follows the Caped Crusader’s continuing fight against crime in Gotham City. State attorney Harvey Dent (Eckhart) is so successful he rivals Batman (also in dating Gyllenhaal), and the Joker (Ledger), a lunatic, will do anything to make crime prevail. Big-budgeted fantasy(?) action, with large-scale action set-pieces, suffers from too much realism and a cold Batman character that is difficult to care about. Comic book adaptation usually have a different look and feel. It’S also not very entertaining. Ledger died of an accidental(?) overdose well before film’s premiere, he posthumously won an Oscar (and 31 other awards!) for his unhinged work. Score by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard.

Darkman (1990, USA) C-96m. *** D: Sam Raimi. Starring Liam Neeson, Frances McDormand, Colin Friels, Larry Drake, Dan Hicks, Ted Raimi, John Landis, William Lustig, Scott Spiegel, Bruce Campbell, Jenny Agutter, Sam Raimi, Joel and Ethan Coen. Raimi’s follow-up to EVIL DEAD II (1987) is rip-roaring mix of RE-ANIMATOR and BATMAN. Scientist Neeson is almost killed by thugs working for crook Drake and now seeks revenge as Darkman, with scorched skin and super-powers. B-movie extravanganza makes you forget plot holes with terrific score by (BATMAN-composer) Danny Elfman, a forceful performance by Neeson and Raimi’s stylish direction. Movie references range from PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and INVISIBLE MAN to Hitchcock’s VERTIGO. Bruce Campbell was originally cast for the starring role, he appears in a cameo instead (like many of Raimi’s friends). Followed by two inferior sequels.

Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981, USA) C-92m. **½ D: Frank De Felitta. Starring Charles Durning, Robert F. Lyons, Claude Earl Jones, Lane Smith, Tonya Crowe, Larry Drake. Fairly good made-for-TV chiller about retarded, harmless Drake, who’s best friends with girl Crowe. When a dog attacks her, everyone thinks he did it, especially those redneck farmer brigade led by Durning. They kill him vigilante-style, but he, or his spirit, returns and takes his revenge. Well-acted (especially by Durning) and well-scored, this could have been even better with a less predictable plot.  

Dark Star (1974, USA) C-83m. **½ D: John Carpenter. Starring Dan O'Bannon, Dre Hachich, Brian Narelle. So-so first feature film from recognized horror film director Carpenter. On the space ship 'Dark Star' a few spaced-out astronauts are on a mission to destroy unstable planets and suddenly have to contend with the bord computer and a speaking bomb which wants to blow itself up. Sci-fi satire spoofing 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY is occasionally hilarious, but also quite silly. Written by Carpenter and O'Bannon, who expanded their short film they made in college. O'Bannon would later write the screenplay to ALIEN.

Dark Water (2005, USA) C-105m. Scope **½ D: Walter Salles. Starring Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly, Tim Roth, Dougray Scott, Pete Postlethwaite, Ariel Gade. Remake of the Japanese chiller HONOGURAI MIZU NO SOKO KARA (2002) featuring Connelly, who makes her return to horror films after 20 years (Dario Argento’s PHENOMENA). She plays a single mother, who is going through a divorce and moves into a derelict apartment building with her daughter. Soon, she is troubled by water dropping from the ceiling, noise from upstairs and her daughter’s imaginary friend. Is a ghost haunting the place? Atmospheric chiller is unrelentingly brooding and downbeat, but pretty much on a par with the original.

Dark Waters (1994, ITA/GBR) C-98m. *** D: Mariano Baino. Starring Louise Salter, Venera Simmons, Mariya Kapnist, Pavel Sokolov, Valeri Bassel. After her father’s death, young Salter travels to a Crimean island to find out why he financially supported a religious convent there and tries to solve the mystery behind her own childhood. Strange, vague horror chiller is oddly hypnotic in its creation of a maelstrom of atmosphere, although the plot never really thickens. Contains relatively few effects but manages to hold your attention nevertheless. Mainly for connoisseurs of European macabre cinema, others may be put off early on. Written by Andy Banks, edited by the director. Filmed in Russia and Rome. Also known as DEAD WATERS.

Darwin’s Nightmare (2004, AUT/FRA/BEL/CDN/FIN/SWE) C-111m. *** D: Hubert Sauper. Shattering documentary about Tanzania, a poor 3rd world country in Africa, whose only economic asset, Lake Victoria, is being exploited by Europeans and Russians. The Nile perch, a predator, has killed all other species in the lake and is flown to rich countries, while the poor locals receive the fishbone. The native population can work in factory jobs, but since only the factory owners are getting rich, poverty still reigns the streets. Too hesitant, unstructured in its approach but compelling nonetheless, this film has the power to make you cry about the injustice in the world. Nominated for Best Documentary Oscar.

Daughter of Darkness (1989, USA) C-91m. *½ D: Stuart Gordon. Starring Anthony Perkins, Mia Sara, Jack Coleman, Robert Reynolds. Young American Sara, haunted by nightmares, goes to Romania to look for her lost father and discovers that he is a 200 year-old vampire. Film starts okay, then disintegrates as it becomes clear that the plot won’t go beyond its premise. Pretentious, almost offensively, and badly acted. For those who want to see Perkins play a vampire. He is the only good one in the cast. Filmed in Budapest.

Da Uomo a Uomo (1968, ITA) C-114m. Scope *** D: Giulio Petroni. Starring Lee Van Cleef, John Phillip Law, Mario Brega, Luigi Pistilli, Anthony Dawson, José Torres, Franco Balducci. Revenge western with a cult following about Law’s quest to find and kill outlaws that wiped out his family 15 years ago. Van Cleef is trying to find them, too; he spent the last 15 years in prison after being betrayed by them. A cool western, with excellent widescreen cinematography by Carlo Carlini, stylish direction, and an elaborate score by Ennio Morricone (used by Quentin Tarantino for his KILL BILL films). Major flaw: Languid plotting makes this occasionally pretentious. English titles: DEATH RIDES A HORSE, AS MAN TO MAN.

David Copperfield (1935, USA) 130m. *** D: George Cukor. Starring Freddie Bartholomew, Frank Lawton, W.C. Fields, Lionel Barrymore, Madge Evans, Roland Young, Basil Rathbone, Edna May Oliver, Maureen O’Sullivan, Elsa Lanchester. MGM’s stab at Dickens probably seemed like the real thing when it was originally released but has lost most of that reported magic over the years. Charles Dickens’ classic novel about the life of a young boy (Bartholomew) who becomes an orphan early on in life. Solid storytelling but scant stylistics (Dickens’ narrative was probably more cinematic). Produced by David O. Selznick.

David Cronenberg - I Have to Make the Word Be Flesh (1999, FRA) C-70m. **½ D: André S. Labarthe. Novelist Serge Grünberg interviewed the Canadian shock specialist David Cronenberg in January 1999, asking him some rather vague questions about his œuvre. Intermittently we see some video clips of Cronenberg's films, from SHIVERS to CRASH. All in all, an interesting insight into the mind of a cult director. It could have been a little better-structured. A must for Cronenberg's followers.

Da Vinci Code, The (2006, USA) C-167m. Scope *** D: Ron Howard. Starring Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany, Alfred Molina, Jürgen Prochnow. Blockbuster adaptation of the Dan Brown bestseller about a symbologist (Hanks), who is drawn into an adventure when he is asked to help a young woman (Tautou) find out who killed her grandfather in the Louvre and which fundamental secret the killers are trying to protect. Intriguing puzzler with historical references to Leonardo Da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton and even the Holy Grail is uneven as a movie, but well-directed and well-scored (by Hans Zimmer). Those who know the book may be more critical, but film holds up well beyond two hours. Originally premiered at 149m.

Dawn of the Dead (1978, USA) C-139m. **** D: George A. Romero. Starring David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger, Gaylen Ross, David Crawford, David Early, Richard France, Tom Savini, George A. Romero. “When there is no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth!” George Romero’s sequel to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is an apocalyptic horror masterpiece, a parable on the decline of Western civilization. A national emergency grips the country as a growing army of zombies relentlessly attacks the living. Policemen Foree and Reiniger join Emge and Ross, who intend to flee in a helicopter from the mass hysteria that is engulfing the country. Ultimately, they find themselves in a huge shopping center, which might give them temporary refuge from the flesh-eating corpses. Can they keep the living dead at bay? Influential, trendsetting horror shocker is one of the best genre films of all time. Excellent make-up and special effects by Tom Savini, good, brooding score by Goblin (featuring Dario Argento), hairraising setpieces, black humor, all presented through a thoughtful script by director Romero. The incredibly tense final thirty minutes will tie your stomach in knots! Apart from doing the music, Dario Argento also functioned as script consultant and supervised the European cut (119m.) of the film. In fact, several versions of the film are in existence. Released theatrically at 126m., complete version includes more soft-spoken plot elements, such as the refugees’ increasing disillusionment with their situation. Beware of edited prints. Coproduced by Claudio Argento. Romero completed the Dead-trilogy with DAY OF THE DEAD in 1985.

Dawn of the Dead (2004, USA) C-109m. Scope **½ D: Zack Snyder. Starring Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, Ty Burrell, Jayne Eastwood, Matt Frewer, Scott H. Reiniger, Tom Savini, Ken Foree. Adrenalin-pumped but pointless remake of the classic 1978 horror movie by George Romero. Several people find refuge in a shopping mall, after an epidemic sweeps through the country turning dead people into flesh-eating zombies. Hardly any novelties (the zombies run and there are ‘twitchers’), film lacks the original’s oppressive atmosphere totally and only seems interested in gory effects. Unexpectedly, film comes to bloody life in the final thirty minutes. Still, works only if you can disengage this movie from the memory of the original. Tom Savini, Ken Foree and Scott Reiniger of the original cast have cameos.

Dawn of the Mummy (1981, USA/EGY/ITA) C-93m. D: Frank Agrama. Starring Brenda King, Barry Sattels, George Peck, John Salvo, Ibrahim Khan. Low-budget shocker about an ancient pharao curse and its effects on present-day gravediggers. Filmed on location in Egypt but script is so bad that you’ll find your attention wandering. Fast editing doesn’t help. Only for horror fans.

Day After Tomorrow, The (2004, USA) C-124m. Scope ** D: Roland Emmerich. Starring Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum, Dash Mihok, Ian Holm, Glenn Plummer, Perry King. Rather dumb disaster thriller about a sudden global climate change, which, as predicted by scientist Quaid, will turn the Northern hemisphere into an ice desert. Quaid’s son Gyllenhaal is holed up in New York City when the disaster happens. Emmerich, who receives story and screenplay credit, makes this almost as idiotic as INDEPENDENCE DAY (1996). The special effects keep you watching, but otherwise this is very weak.

Daylight (1996, USA) C-114m. *** D: Rob Cohen. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Amy Brenneman, Viggo Mortensen, Dan Hedaya, Karen Young, Claire Bloom, Barry Newman, Stan Shaw, Colin Fox, Sage Stallone. Well-made, formulaic disaster thriller featuring Stallone as former chief of Emergency Medical Services, who starts a rescue operation when an explosion seals both ends of the tunnel under the Hudson River in New York City. Reminiscent of THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE and rather unimaginative but exciting and effective, with Stallone an assured hero.

Day of the Dead (1985, USA) C-102m. **½ D: George A. Romero. Starring Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joseph Pilato, Jarlath Conroy, Antone DiLeo, Richard Liberty, George A. Romero. Final part of Romero’s DEAD-trilogy is ambitious but suffers in comparison to the superior DAWN OF THE DEAD and from the fact that the Zombie film had run its course already. The plot concerns some survivors of the epidemic, who have found temporary refuge at an underground army bunker. Professor ‘Frankenstein’ (Liberty) wants to study the living dead, but Captain Rhodes (Pilato) intends to wipe them out. Who is going to escape? Due to a lack of funds Romero had to make compromises, and it shows in terms of plot development, but Tom Savini’s effects are as gruesome as ever. For horror buffs. Rumored sequel, titled TWILIGHT OF THE DEAD, was never made.

Day of the Dead (2008, USA) C-87m. *½ D: Steve Miner. Starring Mena Suvari, Nick Cannon, Michael Welch, AnnaLynne McCord, Stark Sands, Matt Rippy, Pat Kilbane, Ving Rhames, Ian McNeice. Loose remake of Romero’s third DEAD feature is almost completely worthless. Suvari (why?) plays an army corporal, whose hometown has been sealed off because of mysterious flu epidemic. Soon those infected turn into zombies and attack the living. Only similarities here are army presence and a ‘humane’ zombie. With a script this weak not even the effects are thrilling. Went straight to DVD.

Day of the Woman (1978, USA) C-101m. ** D: Meir Zarchi. Starring Camille Keaton, Eron Tabor, Richard Pace, Anthoy Nichols, Günther Kleemann. Beautiful writer Keaton withdraws to a house by a lake to write her first novel, but is harassed by local thugs – who think she just turned up for their pleasure. After a violent rape attack, which leaves her almost dead, she proceeds to take her revenge, in ultra-violent fashion. Despite its premise this is NOT a feminist revenge picture, this is just as mysogynist as any other exploitation film of that time. Very hard to watch at times, with echoes of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and DELIVERANCE (two movies that couldn’t be more dissimilar), this horror thriller is overly simple and unnecessarily drawn out. The outrageousness of the material sort of keeps you watching. Don’t view if in doubt, banned in many countries. A minor cult favorite, especially because of its alternative title I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. Aka I HATE YOUR GUTS, THE RAPE AND REVENGE OF JENNIFER HILL.

Days of Heaven (1978, USA) C-95m. *** D: Terrence Malick. Starring Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard, Linda Manz, Robert Wilke, Stuart Margolin. Writer-director Malick’s follow-up to his cult drama BADLANDS (1973) is similar in story and tone. A roaming young couple (Gere and Adams) find work at Shepard’s farm. When he shows some interest in Adams, Gere eggs her on to become his lover – with tragic results. An evocative film, where nature plays a major role, this was Malick’s last before directing THE THIN RED LINE in 1998. Score by Ennio Morricone makes use of the memorable theme fom ‘Carnival of the Animals’. Cinematography by Néstor Almendros (aided by Haskell Wexler) won an Oscar. Malick won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival.

Days of Wine and Roses (1962, USA) 117m. ***½ D: Blake Edwards. Starring Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Charles Bickford, Jack Klugman, Alan Hewitt, Tom Palmer, Jack Albertson. Shattering drama realistically depicts two lovers’ descent into alcoholism, which threatens to destroy their lives. Lemmon is terrific in one of his best roles, Remick his match as secretary who falls for the wrong guy. Film is so realistic it is sometimes hard to swallow, and Edwards’ treatment is not too cinematic (story was originally conceived for television), but otherwise this drama is a must. The final fifteen minutes are excellent. Henry Mancini’s score is fine, he won an Oscar for the title song.

Day the Earth Stood Still, The (2008, USA/CDN) C-104m. SCOPE **½ D: Scott Derrickson. Starring Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Bates, Jaden Smith, John Cleese, James Hong. Big-budget remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic, about astro-biologist Connelly, who is whisked away to Manhattan, where an extra-terrestrial object is calculated to impact. It turns out to be a spaceship which lands in Central Park, and its terrifying mission is slowly disclosed to her and her foster son Smith by alien-turned-human Reeves. Fast-paced CGI-adventure does provide a timely message, but it still seems hollow, maybe because most of the characters are stereotypes. Not so bad if you go along for the ride.

Day the Lord Got Busted, The (1976, USA) C-71m. ** D: Burt Topper. Starring Fabian (Fabian Forte), Nai Bonet, Tony Russel, Larry Bishop, Casey Kasem, William Bonner. Straight B-movie drama about drifter Fabian, who catches the attention of phony preacher Russel, who intends to promote him as the Son of Jesus and make him a star. However, the young man cannot escape him origins and the deadly attraction of drugs. Interesting to some degree. Original version may run longer. Aka SOUL HUSTLER.

Dazed and Confused (1993, USA) C-94m. *** D: Richard Linklater. Starring Jason London, Wiley Wiggins, Sasha Jenson, Rory Cochrane, Milla Jovovich, Marissa Ribisi, Adam Goldberg, Anthony Rapp, Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Parker Posey. Entertaining, funny period piece about a day in the life of high school grads in 1976, their attitudes, problems and friendships. Just as episodic as writer-director Linklater’s debut feature SLACKER, but also much more coherent. Amusing, realistic characterizations add to the fun. Wiggins is especially cute as one of the freshmen, who are constantly running from the seniors. Good 70s soundtrack. Linklater also co-produced the film.

Dazzle (1999, SAF) C-88m. ** D: David Lister. Starring Maxwell Caulfield, Chantelle Stander, Mia Sara, Jeff Fahey, Charlotte Savage. Harmless, inoffensive fantasy movie about a fairy who crashes into widowed writer Caulfield’s garden and becomes a (human) amnesiac. Predictable stuff, okay for kids.

Dead & Buried (1981, USA) C-94m. **½ D: Gary A. Sherman. Starring James Farentino, Melody Anderson, Jack Albertson, Dennis Redfield, Nancy Locke Hauser, Lisa Blount, Robert Englund, Bill Quinn, Michael Currie, Lisa Marie, Barry Corbin, Michael Pataki. Unusual horror film about sheriff Farentino, who has just been assigned to small town community of Potter’s Bluff and can’t believe strange series of murders that take place. Interestingly the audience is let in on more details: The villagers perform these ritualistic killings, and witchcraft and voodoo may figure in the story as well. Slow pace lessens effect, but interest is maintained. Finale is best part. Written by Dan O’Bannon (ALIEN).

Dead as a Doorman (1986, USA) C-83m. ** D: Gary Youngman. Starring Robin Cahall, Sharon Schlarth, Bruce Taylor, Bradley Whitford. Pretty unexciting thriller about writer Cahall, who tries to track down a doorman killer in downtown Atlanta. Plays like harmless TV fare, some of the writing is ambitious, though. Re-titled DOORMAN.

Dead Kids (1981, NZL) C-98m. Scope ** D: Michael Laughlin. Starring Michael Murphy, Louise Fletcher, Dan Shor, Fiona Lewis, Arthur Dignam, Dey Young, Marc McClure, Scott Brady, Charles Lane. Policeman Murphy is investigating the recent murders of teenagers and comes to the conclusion that the local lab may have something to do with it. Not a horror film, as some believe, but a barely suspenseful ‘thriller’. Some gruesome scenes can be understood as a nod to all the gory horror flicks of the early 1980s. Nothing to get excited about. Cowritten by Bill Condon (director of CANDYMAN: FAREWELL TO THE FLESH), who also has a brief role. Coproduced by David Hemmings. Aka STRANGE BEHAVIOUR.

Deadlier Than the Male (1967, GBR) C-101m. Scope **½ D: Ralph Thomas. Starring Richard Johnson, Elke Sommer, Sylva Koscina, Nigel Green, Suzanna Leigh, Steve Carlson, Virginia North, Laurence Naismith. Pretty good Bond imitation from experienced director Thomas (HOT ENOUGH FOR JUNE). Johnson comes pretty close to Sean Connery as Bulldog Drummond, a gentleman spy (originally a character from a 1930s/1940s film series). He must stop sexy but lethal duo of Sommer and Koscina, who want to kill a King from the Near East to complete an oil deal. Good-looking 60s fodder, a bit too talky compared to the James Bond movies of the time, though Sommer and Koscina are would have made great Bond girl. Cowritten by Jimmy Sangster. Some prints run 98m. Followed by one sequel, SOME GIRLS DO (1969).

Deadlock (1970, GER) C-92m. ** D: Roland Klick. Starring Mario Adorf, Anthony Dawson, Marquard Bohm, Mascha Elm Rabben, Sigurd Fitzek. Odd thriller disguised as a western, about golddigger Adorf and his involvement with two bankrobbers somewhere in Mexico. They quarrel about who is to have the loot – in THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY-style. Interesting, offbeat, but search in vain for action or suspense. A cult film in Germany. Photographed by Robert van Ackeren. See also SUPERMARKT.

Deadly Alliance (1978, USA) C-78m. *½ D: Paul S. Parco. Starring Tony De Fonte, Kathleen Arc, Mike Lloyd Gentry, Michele Marsh, Walter Prince. Forgettable actioner made on a miniscule budget about a group’s attempts to reveal a conspiracy. Some scenes are okay, but generally worthless, extremely cheap.

Deadly Blessing (1981, USA) C-104m. *** D: Wes Craven. Starring Maren Jensen, Susan Buckner, Sharon Stone, Lois Nettleton, Ernest Borgnine, Jeff East, Lisa Hartman. A young couple is menaced by a fanatic rural sect who keeps warning everybody of the ‘Incubus’. When two friends come to support Jensen after her husband died - in what seemed - an accident, they are soon stalked by a mad killer. Well-plotted, suspenseful horror thriller with some interesting remarks on religious fanatism. The score is good, Borgnine earnest as the leader of the sect. A worthy predecessor to SCREAM.

Deadly Companions (1961, USA) C-93m. Scope ** D: Sam Peckinpah. Starring Maureen O’Hara, Brian Keith, Steve Cochran, Chill Wills, Strother Martin. Unexciting, sentimental western about Keith, who accidentally kills a boy and accompanies his mother (O’Hara) through Indian territory. Two outlaws are also after them. Characters in this western drama are well-drawn, but film lacks punch. An atypical Peckinpah movie; this was his first directorial effort. Based on a novel of the same title.

Deadly Force (1983, USA) C-95m. **½ D: Paul Aaron. Starring Wings Hauser, Joyce Ingalls, Paul Shenar, Al Ruscio, Arlen Dean Snyder, Estelle Getty, Paul Benjamin, Aaron Norris. B-thriller surpasses your expectations in many ways. Hauser is quite good as an ex-cop who goes after a serial killer. Agreeable pacing, okay plot. Score is not bad either. Overall, an okay timekiller.

Deadly Sunday (1982, USA) C-83m. *½ D: Donald M. Jones. Starring Dennis Ely, Henry G. Sanders, Gyl Roland, Douglas Alexander. Pretty vile thriller about a family of four, whose stop at a diner in the middle of nowhere plunges them into a nightmare. Several sadistic criminals have taken everybody hostage there and show no mercy. Rather pointless, confusing, about in the same league as LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972).

Dead Man (1996, USA/GER/JAP) 120m. ***½ D: Jim Jarmusch. Starring Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Lance Henriksen, Michael Wincott, Iggy Pop, Jared Harris, Billy Bob Thornton, Crispin Glover, Gabriel Byrne, John Hurt, Alfred Molina, Robert Mitchum. Highly unusual, hypnotic western about Cleveland-born bookkeeper William Blake (Depp), who comes to the town of Machine to take up a job in tough businessman Mitchum’s steel mill. However, the position is no longer vacant. The same night he shoots Mitchum’s son in self-defense and has to flee. He finds a friend in an Indian (Farmer). Superbly cast and shot in glorious black and white, meditative film is not for all tastes. Those looking for an offbeat, stylish film will undoubtedly love it. Fine score by Neil Young. Film legend Robert Mitchum’s last role.

Dead Next Door (1988, USA) C-85m. *½ D: J.R. Bookwalter. Starring Pete Ferry, Bogdan Pecic, Michael Grossi, Jolie Jackunas, Robert Kokai, Floyd Ewing Jr., Scott Spiegel, J.R. Bookwalter.  Cheap splatter homemovie about a zombie epidemic and a few survivors who have formed a Zombie Squad in order to wipe out the undead. Amateurish in terms of acting and directing, much too obviously inspired by George Romero’s DEAD-trilogy (DAY OF THE DEAD in particular). The leading characters are named after horror director Sam Raimi (who co-executive produced sans credit) and special effects wizard Tom Savini. In fact, the whole budget of this one seems to have gone into special make-up effects (which are quite good, however). Running time is stretched out by closing credits which run longer than ten minutes! Only for splatter freaks.

Dead of Night (1945, GBR) 103m. ***½ D: Alberto Calvacanti, Charles Chrichton, Basil Dearden, Robert Hamer. Starring Mervyn Johns, Roland Culver, Antony Baird, Judy Kelly, Miles Malleson, Sally Ann Howes, Googie Withers, Ralph Michael, Michael Redgrave, Basil Radford, Naunton Wayne, Frederic Valk. Sublime British chiller about the gathering of six persons at a country house, five of whom narrate an eerie tale of the supernatural. The sixth, Johns, is having disquieting premonitions. The tales (based on short stories by H.G. Wells, E.F. Benson, John V. Baines and Angus MacPhail) vary in quality: Whereas the hide-and-seek story (2) and the golf incident (4) are rather juvenile and mildly amusing, the third story about a mirror reflecting a different room is intriguing and even scary. It turns out they just advertise the fifth and best of the tales (about schizophrenic ventriloquist Redgrave), which is a frame story itself. Chinese-box narrative ends in a most startling conclusion. Film is notable for its brilliant narrative and some superb acting. Highly recommended. Written by Baines and MacPhail. Photographed, among others, by Douglas Slocombe. Beware of cut versions.

Dead of Night (1974, USA/CDN/GBR) C-88m. ** D: Bob Clark. Starring John Marley, Lynn Carlin, Richard Backus, Henderson Forsythe, Anya Ormsby, Bob Clark. Backus’ family is devastated when they hear of the death of their son in Vietnam. Then he inexplicably returns home, and with him a mysterious murder spree. What is wrong with Andy? Slow-moving horror film adds a downbeat dose of realism and psychology, but almost recovers during finale. This was Tom Savini’s first make-up effects job and it foreshadows his zombie work for DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978). Director Clark made BLACK CHRISTMAS the same year. Also known as DEATHDREAM, NIGHT WALK, THE NIGHT ANDY CAME HOME, THE VETERAN, and WHISPERS.

Dead or Alive: Hanzaisha (1999, JAP) M C-105m. D: Takashi Miike. Starring Riki Takeuchi, Sho Aikawa, Renji Ishibashi, Hitoshi Ozawa, Shingo Tsurumi, Ren Osugi, Mind-numbing avantgarde action, almost as unbearable as the director’s earlier FUDOH (1996). “Story” is about mobster Takeuchi and his nemesis, cop Aikawa, who has problems of his own. Plot is unfocused, pace is a disaster; some stylistic flourishes are forgotten at ridiculous climax. Even cult movie fanatics will find it hard to enjoy this. On-screen title is D.O.A.; somebody should have reminded Miike that this also stands for Dead On Arrival.

Dead People (1973, USA) C-89m. *** D: Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz. Starring Michael Greer, Marianna Hill, Joy Bang, Anitra Ford, Royal Dano, Elisha Cook Jr. A young woman travels to Point Doom in search of her father, finds nothing but a mysterious diary in his beach house replete with bizarre wall paintings. It seems he was afraid of the returning of the Blood Moon and writes of changes on his own body. Is he still alive? Bizarre cult horror movie cannot quite escape its cheap production values, but stay with it, as story develops into an intriguing variation of zombie films. Wait till you see the rat-eating albino! Film’s slow pace actually works in favor of it. Eerie electronic score by Phillan Bishop. Directors Huyck and Katz cowrote AMERICAN GRAFFITI that same year! Also known as MESSIAH OF EVIL, REVENGE OF THE SCREAMING DEAD, THE SECOND COMING.

Dead Silence (2007, USA) C-91m. Scope ***½ D: James Wan. Starring Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valetta, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Fairman, Joan Heney, Bob Gunton, Laura Regan. Director Wan’s follow-up to his smash-hit SAW (2004) is a crackerjack horror film about a ventriloquist’s dummy, which seems to bring death to those around it. Kwanten, whose wife died mysteriously, returns to his hometown to investigate mysterious ventriloquist, who may be behind it all. Beware the Stare! Not entirely logical but atmospheric, stylish, well-directed and scary as hell! So suspenseful it creates a heightened sense of awareness in you. Superb subliminal score is reminiscent of SUSPIRIA (1977), and film’s finale is a nod to INFERNO (1980). A treat for horror fans. Like SAW (2004), this was written by Leigh Whannell, from a story by himself and director Wan. DVD version contains an alternate opening and ending.

Dead Zone, The (1983, USA) C-103m. *** D: David Cronenberg. Starring Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lom, Anthony Zerbe, Colleen Dewhurst, Martin Sheen, Nicholas Campbell. After a near-fatal accident, teacher Walken falls into a coma, only to reawaken five years later with the gift of second-sight. Is he to use it or ignore it? Soon, several serious events demand his involvement… Low-key chiller, or horror drama, rates among the best Stephen King adaptations: Fine score by Michael Kamen, excellent ensemble cast, thoughtful (though slightly disjointed) script by Jeffrey Boam (INNER SPACE, LOST BOYS). Trivia note: Starts similarly to Cronenberg’s RABID (accident with supernatural consequences) and is another example of the director’s fascination with the pathological and/or clinical.

Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (1987, USA) C-83m. *** D: Bill Couturié. Featuring the voices of Tom Berenger, Ellen Burstyn, Willem Dafoe, Robert De Niro, Brian Dennehy, Kevin Dillon, Matt Dillon, Robert Downey Jr., Michael J. Fox, Mark Harmon, John Heard, Harvey Keitel, Elizabeth McGovern, Judd Nelson, Sean Penn, Randy Quaid, Eric Roberts, John Savage, Martin Sheen, Kathleen Turner, Robin Williams. Reminiscence of the Vietnam war, made up entirely of authentic film material, with excerpts from letters from soldiers and their families, read by big names in the film biz. Likely to start you crying (if you were there), but also much too pathetic in parts, and it provides a questionable glorification of war. Anyway, this one is effectively compiled, with some truly priceless oldies on the soundtrack.

Death and the Compass (1992/1996, GBR/MEX/JAP) C/B&W-86m. ** D: Alex Cox. Starring Peter Boyle, Christopher Eccleston, Miguel Sandoval, Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., Alex Cox. Attempted art film / mystery thriller by director Cox (SID AND NANCY). Weary police commissioner Sandoval relates the story of top-notch investigator Boyle, whose biggest challenge was to capture elusive super-criminal Red Scharlach. What might have become a cult thriller a la THE ELEMENT OF CRIME (1984) remains stilted and pretentious, also due to budgetary limitations. Improves towards the finale when the sets become more fantastic. Filmed for British TV in 1992, with an original running time of 50m., film was expanded by Cox four years later (mostly by adding Sandoval’s frame narration). Based on a story by Jorge Luis Borges. Previously filmed as SPIDERWEB (a short) starring Nigel Hawthorne.

Death at a Funeral (2007, USA/GBR/GER) C-91m. **½ D: Frank Oz. Starring Matthew Macfadyen, Keeley Hawes, Andy Nyman, Even Bremner, Daisy Donovan, Alan Tudyk, Jane Asher, Kris Marshall, Rupert Graves, Peter Vaughan. Black comedy set during a funeral, where all kinds of crazy characters create crazy situations. One of the guests has accidentally taken LSD, there’s a midget claiming to be the dead man’s lover and a senile old man who hates young people. Not very funny, especially in the first half, film has some very funny scenes in the second half, but not enough.

Deathbed (2002, USA) C-83m. ** D: Danny Draven. Starring Tanya Dempsey, Brave Matthews, Meagan Mandum, Michael Sonye, Joe Estevez. Rather obvious horror film produced by Charles Band and Stuart Gordon. Dempsey and Matthews move into a loft, which used to be a warehouse in the 30s. They find an old bed in the attic, in which – as the title sequence leaves no doubt – somebody was killed. Of course, the bed exudes a deadly influence on the couple. Not badly made, some scares, but really only for horror fans.

Death Doll (1989, USA) C-85m. *½ D: Sidney Mims. Starring Andrea Walters, William Dance, Jennifer Davis. A young couple receive a strange warning from one of those clairvoyant dolls you find in amusement parks, and soon the man dies. The woman then seems to be stalked. Not completely without interest, but film is poorly written, amateurishly directed – to say nothing of the low production values. If you must – watch in fast forward.

Death Game (1996, USA) C-81m. M D: Randy Cheveldave. Starring Timothy Bottoms, Nicholas Hill, Evan Lurie, Kristina Copeland, David McCallum, Vince Murdocco. Cheap sci-fi action about several characters who travel to Old L.A., which has been devastated by a war and is controlled by megalomaniac McCallum. They are caught in a labyrinth, where they are hunted by a lethal robot. Not at all worth your time, even if you are a genre fan. Made for television, executive produced by Roger Corman.

Death House (1988, USA) C-93m. ** D: Nick Marino, John Saxon. Starring Dennis Cole, Anthony Franciosa, John Saxon, Alex Courtney, David S. Freeman, Howard George. Little-known horror thriller about Cole, who is framed for murder when his wealthy boss Franciosa catches him fooling around with his wife. In prison, he uncovers the plan of agent Saxon, who conducts gruesome experiments with death row prisoners. Interestingly mixes zombie horror with the realism of prison films, but results are far from engrossing. Uneven, with a longish plot setup. Some effects are quite potent. This was cult actor John Saxon’s only film as a director.

Death Is a Woman (1966, GBR) C-88m. *½ D: Frederic Goode. Starring Patsy Ann (Trisha) Noble, Mark Burns, Shaun Curry, William Dexter, Terrence De Marney. British – not Italian – James Bond imitation about feud among spies on Malta. A picture postcard from the mediterranean island, nothing more. There’s a distinct lack of action and the plot bcomes boring early on. A movie that deserves to be forgotten. Film’s only well-directed scene is right at the beginning. Alternative titles: LOVE IS A WOMAN, SEX IS A WOMAN.

Death on the Nile (1978, GBR) C-140m. ***½ D: John Guillermin. Starring Peter Ustinov, Jane Birkin; Louis Chiles, Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, Jon Finch, Olivia Hussey, George Kennedy, Angela Lansbury, Simon MacCorkindale, David Niven, Maggie Smith, Jack Warden, Harry Andrews, I.S. Johar, Sam Wanamaker. Formidable whodunit, set on board a cruise ship on the River Nile. Practically all passengers have a motive for killing wealthy honeymooner Chiles, who married her best friend Farrow’s lover. Belgian master sleuth Hercule Poirot (Ustinov) has a hard time cracking the case. Very-well made, with a superb cast and especially fine art direction-set decoration and costume design. Script by Anthony Shaffer. Photographed by Jack Cardiff. Score by Nino Rota. Ustinov’s debut as Agatha Christie’s ingenious detective (Albert Finney played Poirot in MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS in 1974). Followed by EVIL UNDER THE SUN (1982).

Death Proof (2007, USA) C-114m. Scope *** D: Quentin Tarantino. Starring Kurt Russell, Zoe Bell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Sysdney Poitier, Traci Thoms, Rose McGowan, Jordan Ladd, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth, Michael Parks, James Parks. After gangster movies (RESERVOIR DOGS, PULP FICTION, JACKIE BROWN) and martial arts/revenge movies (KILL BILL), Tarantino celebrates the Grindhouse features of the 1970s, particularly those featuring muscle cars and tough heroes. Russell is a stuntman, who follows two different groups of hot young women – for reasons that are quite obscure. Just what does he need his ‘death-proof’ stunt car for? By now it should have become clear that Tarantino does not want to make good movies, he is too much immersed in trying to pay homage to films he considers cool. His DEATH PROOF story is talky, overlong, anachronistic, and quite pointless. Russell’s character is inconsistent and the two plot strands are not tied up well at all. Even if the flaws are all too obvious, they also pervade the films Tarantino is paying homage to, and to be honest, the movie is fun to watch, at least for movie buffs, who will excuse the its flaws. Tarantino also scripted and  photographed the picture. Originally released in the U.S. as one half of a double feature with Robert Rodriguez’ PLANET TERROR called GRINDHOUSE. It ran about 90m. there, in Europe the movies were relased separately, with DEATH PROOF running 114m.

Death Race 2000 (1975, USA) C-80m. ** D: Paul Bartel. Starring John Carradine, Simone Griffeth, Sylvester Stallone, Louisa Moritz, Mary Woronov, Don Steele, Joyce Jameson, John Landis, Paul Bartel. In the year 2000, several racing champions compete in grueling coast-to-coast death race, where points are scored by running people over with the car. Pretty weak, but satirical black humor makes the film endurable. Based on a story by Ib Melchior. Lewis Teague (ALLIGATOR, CUJO) co-directed the second unit and was also associate editor of the film. Followed by DEATHSPORT.

Death Sentence (2007, USA) C-106m. Scope **½ D: James Wan. Starring Kevin Bacon, Garrett Hedlund, Kelly Preston, Jordan Garrett, Stuart Lafferty, Aisha Tyler, John Goodman, Matt O’Leary. Manager Bacon’s life is thrown out of tracks, when his son is killed in an armed robbery of a gas station. When it becomes clear that lack of evidence will only put the killer behind bars for several years, Bacon changes his testimony so that the guy is released and he can get his own, proper revenge. However, he hasn’t reckoned with the gang that’s behind it all. Well-paced and well-made by the director of SAW (2004), but unlikely twists and turns ultimately mark this as an action or revenge fantasy. Bacon is convincing, as expected. Good  SAW-like Charlie Clouser score. Based on Brian Garfield’s sequel novel to Death Wish, which was filmed with Charles Bronson in 1974.

Death Ship (1980, CDN/GBR) C-91m. M D: Alvin Rakoff. Starring George Kennedy, Richard Crenna, Nick Mancuso, Sally Ann Howes, Kate Reid, Saul Rubinek. When a luxury liner crashes into a mysterious ship and sinks, only a few people survive in a rescue boat. They seem to be saved when a ship approaches them, but it turns out evil powers try to corrupt captain Kennedy and several murders are the consequence. After premise is established, film goes absolutely nowhere. Idiotic, pretentious and a waste of time and celluloid. Don’t board this one.

Death Trap (1976, USA) C-91m. *** D: Tobe Hooper. Starring Neville Brand, Mel Ferrer, Carolyn Jones, Marylin Burns, William Finley, Stuart Whitman, Roberta Collins, Kyle Richards, Robert Englund. Unsettling, disturbing horror film, director Hooper’s follow-up to his masterpiece THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974). Plot deals with psychopathic hotel owner Brand, who has a pet alligator swimming in the bayou next to his house. The guests he slices up with his scythe are fed to the beast. One day worried father Ferrer drops by, looking for his lost daughter. Oppressive atmosphere, bizarre characters and some nasty scenes make this difficult to watch sometimes but Hooper’s stylistics and an electrifying score (with the director’s collaboration) make this unmissable for horror fans. Some redundant scenes, but finale is a knock-out. A matter of taste (literally!). Also known as EATEN ALIVE, HORROR HOTEL, HORROR HOTEL MASSACRE, LEGEND OF THE BAYOU, MURDER ON THE BAYOU and STARLIGHT SLAUGHTER.

Death Warmed Up (1984, NZL/AUS) C-78m. ** D: David Blyth. Starring Michael Hurst, Margaret Umbers, William Upjohn, Norelle Scott, David Weatherly, Bruno Lawrence. Quite ambitious, not-bad, but ultimately flawed horror thriller about a mad brain surgeon, who has turned most people on an unspecified island into zombies. Young Hurst, who was sort-of hypnotized by the doctor into killing his own parents, comes to the island to get his revenge. Several scenes drag interminably and film seems long despite short running time. Some found this good; judge for yourselves.

Deathwatch (2002, GBR/GER/FRA/ITA) C-94m. Scope **½ D: Michael J. Bassett. Starring Jamie Bell, Rúaidhrí Conroy, Mike Downey, Laurence Fox, Andy Serkis, Hugo Speer, Hugh O’Conor. On a WW1 battlefront several British soldiers find refuge in a German trench. Soon they find that it seems to be haunted. The minds of the men begin to crack. Dense atmosphere keeps this fairly interesting. An adequately acted, often too pretentious mixture of war and horror film, written by first-time director Bassett.

Death Weekend (1976, CDN) C-89m. ** D: William Fruet. Starring Branda Vaccaro, Don Stroud, Chuck Shamata, Richard Ayres, Kyle Edwards. Typical 70s exploitation thriller about couple Vaccaro and Shamata, who are harrassed by a group of rednecks headed by Stroud. Follows a typical plotline but features an adequate direction and an atmospheric score. Scenes of cruelty are repulsive at times. Mostly recommended to fans of 70s sleaze, others stay away (or watch STRAW DOGS). Reminiscent of the cult slasher I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. Produced by Ivan Reitman.

Death Wish (1974, USA) C-93m. *** D: Michael Winner. Starring Charles Bronson, Hope Lange, Vincent Gardenia, Steven Keats, William Redfield, Stuart Margolin, Jeff Goldblum, Olympia Dukakis, Christopher Guest. Chilling, believable thriller about an everyman (Bronson), whose wife is killed and whose daughter-in-law is raped by a brutal gang. The pacifist throws his ethics overboard and goes on a one-man rampage through the streets of N.Y.C., killing every thug in the way. Some found this morally indefensible, but film is undeniably well-made. Good score by Herbie Hancock. Some sources credit Claude Chabrol(!) as a cowriter. William Lustig (MANIAC) was among the editors. Based on the novel by Brian Garfield. Goldblum’s first film. Followed by four sequels. 

Deconstructing Harry (1997, USA) C-96m. *** D: Woody Allen. Starring Woody Allen, Richard Ben-jamin, Kirstie Alley, Billy Crystal, Judy Davis, Bob Balaban, Elisabeth Shue, Demi Moore, Robin Williams, Caroline Aaron, Eric Bogosian, Mariel Hemingway, Amy Irving, Julie Kavner, Eric Lloyd, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Stanley Tucci. Unusually frank Woody Allen film about a neurotic writer who cannot seem to come to terms with his life. When he publishes his new novel, most of his friends recognize themselves and accuse him of indiscretion. This is the frame story for amusing vignettes that Allen seems to have written in one go; the episodes in the film seem slight and unmotivated (at least to non-Allen fans), but it’s fun to see stars take funny, small roles, and Woody is just as witty as ever. A matter of taste, like most of his films, this one is very much a self-examination. At the very least it gives you an idea about the creative process inside a writer’s mind.

Deep Blue Sea (1999, USA) C-105m. Scope **½ D: Renny Harlin. Starring Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, Samuel L. Jackson, Jacqueline McKenzie, Michael Rapaport, Stellan Skarsgard, LL Cool J, Aida Turturro, Ronny Cox. Scientists working on the cure for the Alzheimer disease haven’t reckoned with the sharks they have been experimenting on, as they obviously start using their artificially enlarged brains in order to mutilate and kill. In a giant, partially flooded lab under the sea the few remaining scientists strive to reach the top level in constant fear of shark attacks. Bubble-gum movie is a cross between JAWS and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, adding some contemporary science criticism. Acceptable fare, but lacks an airtight plot.

Deep End (1971, USA/GER) C-88m. ** D: Jerzy Skolimowski. Starring Jane Asher, John Moulder-Brown, Karl Michael Vogler, Diana Dors, Louise Martini, Burt Kwouk. Coming-of-age tale set in London about shy fifteen-year-old Moulder-Brown, whose first job is being a bath house attendant. He falls in love with colleague Asher, who’s a few years older and more experienced, and he feels the first pangs of puberty. Awkward, downbeat drama doesn’t seem special, though this has cult film status in some circles. One song is by Cat Stevens.

Deep End, The (2001, USA) C-101m. Scope *** D: Scott McGehee, David Siegel. Starring Tilda Swinton, Goran Visnjic, Jonathan Tucker, Peter Donat, Josh Lucas, Raymond (J.) Barry. Thriller drama about Swinton, who is a loving mother but disapproves of her gay son’s macho lover. When she finds him dead one morning and believes that her son killed him, she gets rid of the corpse… not knowing what she is getting herself into. Low-key but moody, well-scripted by the directors, their first film after SUTURE (1993). That Lake Tahoe setting is especially nice. Based on the novel The Blank Wall by Elizabeth S. Holding, which was filmed before as THE RECKLESS MOMENT (1949).

Deep End of the Ocean, The (1999, USA) C-106m. **½ D: Ulu Grosbard. Starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Treat Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Jackson, Cory Buck, Tony Musante. A family is shattered when their little son disappears. After years of desperate search, the mother can’t believe her eyes when a little kid knocks on their door, who is no one else but their son. A typical Hollywood contrivance but ever so smoothly done. Good performances by all involved. Based on a book by Jacquelyn Mitchard.

Deep Impact (1998, USA) C-121m. Scope M D: Mimi Leder. Starring Robert Duvall, Téa Leoni, Elijah Wood, Vanessa Redgrave, Morgan Freeman, Maximilian Schell, James Cromwell, Ron Eldard, Blair Underwood. Pathetic disaster movie about a comet on collision course with the Earth. Astronaut Duvall is sent on a mission to destroy it with some atom bombs. Completely unconvincing, unrealistic storyline and lackluster direction in a film which is unspectacular until the last five minutes. The Hollywood schmaltz is simply unbearable. Incredibly scripted by two top screenwriters, Bruce Joel Rubin and Michael Tolkin. Redgrave, appearing for several minutes only, gives a chillingly good performance.

Deep Rising (1998, USA) C-106m. Scope **½ D: Stephen Sommers. Starring Treat Williams, Famke Janssen, Anthony Heald, Kevin J. O’Connor, Wes Studi, Derrick O’Connor, Jason Flemyng. Flashy, exciting, but also stupid monster horror about a group of hi-jackers who find that their latest quarry, a Titanic-like luxury liner, has recently run out of passengers. A giant octopus from the deep sea has chewed them up to the bone. How convenient that the terrorists are equipped with enough guns and ammo to fight the monster. Really stupid, but well-directed and edited. A smash for those in the mood, but overlong by at least 20 minutes (couldn’t they have cut out the dialogue completely?). At least Heald brings some gusto to his role as the megalomaniacal owner of the vessel. Sommers went on to direct the MUMMY movies.

Deep Throat (1972, USA) C-63m. *½ D: Jerry Gerard (=Gerard Damiano). Starring Linda Lovelace. Infamous porn, one of the best known of the genre, about a young woman who is dissatisfied with her (sex) life and goes to a (randy) doctor who tells her that her clitoris is in her throat! Not without a sense of humor but mostly silly. Plot dissolves into scenes of graphic (and none too aesthetic) sex. Damiano has a cameo.

Def by Temptation (1990, USA) C-95m. *** D: James Bond III. Starring James Bond III, Cynthia Bond, Samuel L. Jackson. Stylishly shot, surprisingly subdued Troma release about young priest in spe who comes to New York and finds himself seduced by a sexy woman that turns out to be a soul-eating demon. The story is perhaps not for all tastes (it’s targeted at Afro-American audiences) but the film is undeniably well-realized. Bond III also scipted and produced the picture.

Deja Vu (2006, USA) C-126m. Scope ***½ D: Tony Scott. Starring Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Val Kilmer, Jim Caviezel, Adam Goldberg, Elden Henson, Erika Alexander, Bruce Greenwood, Matt Craven. Ultra-slick high-tech thriller about ATF agent Washington, who investigates in the aftermath of a New Orleans ferry bombing which killed more than 500 people. When he is asked to join a special unit which has the technology to look into the past by “bending” the time-continuum, they try to find out who planted the bomb. Can they catch the terrorist this way and save hundreds of lives? The catch: The past is a video-stream that delivers pictures which are exactly 4 days and 6 hours old, there is no going back beyond that (or forward). Sounds silly and unbelievable, but movie is so superbly directed and suspenseful that you are in for a terrific thrill ride if you buy into that premise with its delightful complications. Washington gives a dynamite performance. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

Delegation – Eine Utopische Reportage, Die (1970, GER/ITA/FRA) C-101m. ***½ D: Rainer Erler. Starring Walter Kohut. Astounding film about reporter Kohut, who does some research for a German TV station about a U.F.O. sighting in Canada and, thinking he is really on to something, jeopardizes his career by continuing the investigation obsessively. Interviewing witnesses and experts, Kohut comes closer and closer to revealing the truth. Most intriguingly, his story is revealed post-mortem by showing the reels of film discovered in his wrecked car. Remarkable science-fiction mockumentary caused some viewers to panic when originally broadcast. Fascinating, thought-provoking, a must-see, much too little-known. From conspiracy specialist Erler (FLEISCH, PROFESSOR COLUMBUS).

Delicatessen (1991, FRA) C-99m. ***½ D: Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Starring Pascal Benezech, Dominique Pinon, Marie-Laure Dougnac, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Karin Viard, Howard Vernon, Jean-Francois Perrier, Dominique Zardi. Grotesque, absurd black comedy set in the post-apocalyptic future, about hapless but inspiring circus artist Pinon, who takes a job as a handyman at Dreyfus’ apartment house, unaware that the butcher is hacking up the residents – and selling the flesh as meat (gulp!). Hilarious set-pieces, colorful characters, a brilliant (and touching) fantasy. A winner from start to finish. Stylish photography by Darius Khondji. A must for lovers of off-beat cinema, others may be put off by the subject matter and unusual presentation. Some prints contain a prologue by Terry Gilliam.

Delirio Caldo (1972, ITA) C-102m. *** D: Ralph Brown (=Renato Polselli). Starring Mickey Hargitay, Rita Calderoni, Raoul Traucher, Carmen Young, Christa Barrymore, Tano Cimarosa. Interesting, quite well (if unevenly) plotted psycho thriller about psychiatrist Hargitay, who’s also a sex killer cooperating with the police on his own case! Deliriously perverted giallo with good score by Gianfranco Reverberi has distracting scenes of police investigation, but subject matter is irresistible, especially for genre buffs. Convincing performances by Hargitay and the lovely Calderoni. Written by the director. Released in the U.S. at 85m. (with different scenes), restored for DVD. English titles: DEATH AT THE VILLA and DELIRIUM.

Delitto Matteotti, Il (1973, ITA) C-118m. Scope *** D: Florestano Vancini. Starring Mario Adorf, Riccardo Cucciolla, Damiano Damiani, Vittorio De Sica, Umberto Orsini, Franco Nero. Earnest historical drama set in Italy of the 1920s. Politician Matteotti (Nero) dares to speak out against Fascist party and their leader Mussollini (Adorf) in parliament. On the next day he is kidnapped and silenced. Will Mussollini stand the public outrage and the attacks of the opposition? Talky but generally well-handled drama, intensely acted, with supporting actor Adorf doing well in the leading role, as well as director Damiani in a rare acting role. English title: THE ASSASSINATION OF MATTEOTTI.

Deliverance (1972, USA) C-109m. Scope **** D: John Boorman. Starring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Ed Ramey, Billy Redden, Bill McKinney, Herbert ‘Cowboy’ Coward, James Dickey, Charley Boorman. Just before the flooding of a valley, four city guys decide to take a canoe trip down a river that leads into that valley. Little do they know of the dangers of the trip, nor do they show any respect towards the local people. The ‘duel’ with nature (and naturals) will ultimately change their lives. A fascinating, powerful action drama about human intolerance and the powers of nature. Boorman’s direction is unsensationalistic, his use of setting in the presentation of the unfolding tragedy is unmatched, except by perhaps PLATOON (1986) or THE THIN RED LINE (1998). The perfect proof that an action film can be quiet and disturbing, this is one of the best action dramas ever made (and quite possibly a major influence on the redneck/backwoods slasher movie!). ‘Dueling Banjos’ sequence, foreshadowing the plot, is unforgettable. Excellent cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond. James Dickey adapted his own novel and has a brief role at the end.

Dellamorte Dellamore (1994, ITA/FRA) C-103m. **½ D: Michele Soavi. Starring Rupert Everett, Anna Falchi, Francois Hadji-Lazaro, Mickey Knox, Fabiana Formica, Barbara Cupisti, Michele Soavi. Overly bizarre, almost satirical zombie film about cemetery keeper Everett, whose job includes sending undead people back to their graves. One day he falls in love with beautiful Falchi and finds himself in a dilemma when she is bitten by her dead husband and becomes a zombie herself. Film becomes increasingly weird and nonsensical in the final third, leaving you with director Soavi’s stylistics and Everett’s enjoyable performance. A unique cult horror film that should have been more clearly plotted. Based on a novel by Tiziano Sclavi. Good score by Manuel De Sica. Effects by Sergio Stivaletti, editing by Franco Fraticelli (two Argento regulars). English title: CEMETERY MAN.

Delusion (1991, USA) C-88m. Scope *** D: Carl Colpaert. Starring Jim Metzler, Jennifer Rubin, Kyle Secor, Jerry Orbach, Robert Constanzo. Surprisingly effective road movie thriller about computer expert Secor, who’s cheating his old firm out of a lot of money, most of which is now in the car which is taking him to Reno. In the Nevada desert he picks up a couple, who obviously had an accident. However, soon it turns out that they are not his passengers, but he is theirs! A cat and mouse game begins. Interesting characterizations, unpredictable storyline, a sleeper. Good widescreen photography, too. Written by the director and Kurt Voss.

Demented (1980, USA) C-88m. *½ D: Arthur Jeffreys, Alex Rebar. Starring Sallee Elyse, Bruce Gilchrist (=Harry Reems), Deborah Alter, Kathryn Clayton, Bryan Charles. A woman is gang-raped and enters a clinic to get over this traumatic incident. When she is released, her husband Reems tries his best to comfort her in their home. However, he has an affair with another woman and the local teen gang has planned to scare her out of her wits. A good idea? Talky, unpleasant thriller in the mold of DAY OF THE WOMAN / I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. The acting is not bad (especially that of porn star Reems), but film is worthless.

Demolition Man (1993, USA) C-110m. Scope **½ D: Marco Brambilla. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock, Nigel Hawthorne, Benjamin Bratt, Bob Gunton, Glenn Shadix, Denis Leary, Dan Cortese, Jesse Ventura, Rob Schneider. High-tech, slam-bang sci-fi action thriller about cop Stallone, who, like his nemesis Snipes, is convicted to some 50 years in deep-freeze. When Snipes escapes, Stallone is brought back to hunt him down in the futuristic world of the 20th century. Some effective action set-pieces punctuated by some silly comedy make this no-brainer an okay view. Edited by Stuart Baird.

Demon, The (1979, SAF/NED) C-94m. *½ D: Percival Rubens. Starring Jennifer Holmes, Cameron Mitchell, Craig Gardner, Zoli Marki, Peter J. Elliott. Rather inept South-African-produced slasher movie about psychic Mitchell, who is assigned to help find somebody’s missing daughter and track down mysterious killer that is roaming the streets at night. Gratuitious nudity, hardly any gore in this confusing, illogical horror film. Alternative title: MIDNIGHT CALLER.

Demoni (1985, ITA) C-88m. *½ D: Lamberto Bava. Starring Urbano Barberini, Natasha Hovey, Karl Zinny, Fiore Argento, Nicoletta Elmi, Michele Soavi, Lamberto Bava, Sergio Stivaletti. Extremely gory, appropriately titled splatter movie, one of the slimiest and ugliest of its time. At the premiere of a new horror movie a woman puts on a mask which turns her into a slimy creature. Soon everyone she bites becomes one of the ‘demoni’. Apart from the really disgusting effects this is an absolutely worthless horror film. The plot is simply stupid. Even if you watch it for the effects you will be bored. Nonetheless, this has been quite popular among gore fans. Written by Lambero Bava, Dario Argento, Franco Ferrini and Dardano Sacchetti. Roduced by Dario Argento. English title: DEMONS. Followed by DEMONI 2.

Demoni 2 (1986, ITA) C-91m. *½ D: Lamberto Bava. Starring David Edwin Keith, Nancy Brilli, Coralina Cataldi Tassoni, Asia Argento, Lamberto Bava. Sequel-cum-remake of the above features more of the same slime and slaughter (and more than enough references to Romero’s DEAD-trilogy), as the demons of the first film enter an apartment building through a TV set and bite everyone in the way. As plotless as its predecessor, and as violent. Made by the same crew as Part One. Asia Argento’s film debut. Score by Simon Boswell. English title: DEMONS 2. 

Demonia (1988, ITA) C-85m. **½ D: Lucio Fulci. Starring Brett Halsey, Meg Register, Lino Salemme, Lucio Fulci. Another surprise in Fulci’s filmography is this atmospheric horror film, made at a time when the director had lost most of his filmmaking powers and tried to compensate with buckets of gore. The story concerns a young archaeologist (Register), who is affected by a strange presence during excavations with Halsey in Sicily. Is it the ghost of a nun that was crucified there 500 years ago? Rather slow but quite well-plotted and atmospheric, to reiterate. Well-worth the purchase for Fulci’s fans. Also known as LIZA. Released in 1990.

Demonio, Il (1963, ITA/FRA) B&W-94m. **½ D: Brunello Rondi. Starring Daliah Lavi, Frank Wolff, Anna María Aveta, Tiziana Casetti. Stark drama set in rural Italy, where Lavi may or may not be rightfully accused of being a witch. She attempts to turn the head of Wolff, who wants to marry another woman. The superstitious populace, who wallow in their rites, blame everything bad on her, and soon her own family can’t protect her anymore. Interesting to watch, well-performed by Lavi, although film’s realism, using laymen actors, sometimes works in its favor, but more often not. Not really a horror film, as title may have you believe. From the director of LE TUE MANI SUL MIO CORPO (1970). The ‘spider-walk’ was referenced ten years later in THE EXORCIST. Sergio Martino was second assistant director. English title: THE DEMON.

Demon Seed (1977, USA) C-94m. Scope **** D: Donald Cammell. Starring Julie Christie, Fritz Weaver, Gerit Graham, Berry Kroeger, Lisa Lu, voice of Robert Vaughn. Terrific, brilliant science-fiction horror film – director Cammell’s second after the acclaimed PERFORMANCE (1970) – is a mix between 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and ROSEMARY’S BABY, two genre classics themselves. Scientist Weaver has created a super-computer called Proteus IV that is learning the knowledge of mankind within days and is developing emotions and a will. When Weaver refuses Proteus to study on its own, the computer (voiced by Robert Vaughn) goes on to take over the scientist’s highly-computerized house and terrorizes his wife Christie – with a plan too terrible to disclose. Shocking, highly intelligent script by Robert Jaffe and Roger O. Hirson (adapting Dean R. Koontz’s novel) and brilliantly bizarre direction and visuals make this the best of 1970s sci-fi. Julie Christie gives an outstanding performance. Excellent score by Jerry Fielding.

Demons of the Mind (1972, GBR) C-85m. *** D: Peter Sykes. Starring Shane Briant, Gillian Hills, Patrick Magee, Paul Jones, Michael Hordern, Yvonne Mitchell, Kenneth J. Warren, Robert Hardy. Engrossing Hammer production about a psychotic count and his two children, whom he keeps locked up in his castle. There are rumors of a demon in the woods among the rural population, which they are trying to exorcise with pagan rituals. Excellent score (by Harry Robertson), good direction by Sykes, one of Hammer’s best films of the early 1970s. Written by Christopher Wicking. Alternative titles: BLOOD EVIL, BLOOD WILL HAVE BLOOD, NIGHTMARE OF TERROR.

Demon Wind (1990, USA) C-97m. **½ D: Charles Phillip Moore. Starring Eric Larson, Francine Lapensee, Bobby Johnson. Although this horror movie seems like a dumb EVIL DEAD imitation at the beginning, with a group of teenagers visiting a haunted house, it improves when the undead finally attack and the devil himself shows up. Some interesting twists toward the end almost earn it a good rating, though the acting isn’t always seamless. The director also wrote the screenplay.

Denise Calls Up (1996, USA) C-80m. *** D: Hal Salwen. Starring Tim Daly, Caroleen Feeney, Dan Gunther, Dana Wheller-Nicholson, Liev Schreiber, Aida Turturro. Funny examination of the lives of telephone addicts, who never seem to have the time to meet in person. Simple plot is perhaps too slight but several clever and hilarious scenes make it fun to watch. Don’t miss the hospital scene!

Denn Sie Kennen Kein Erbarmen – Der Italowestern (2006, GER/FRA) C-87m. *** D: Hans-Jürgen Panitz, Peter Dollinger. Featuring interviews with Franco Nero, Tomas Milian, Pierre Brice, Gianni Garko, Damiano Damiani, Sergio Sollima, Sergio Leone, Sergio Corbucci, Lars Bloch, Robert Hossein. Interesting documentary on the spaghetti westerns of the 1960s and 1970s examines the beginnings of the genre, Leone’s work and its influence, as well as other notable examples. A must for fans, although this is clearly incomplete (no mention of Hilton, Fulci, Carnimeo, other less important directors, no cross-references). Highlights: Rare interview footage of Sergio Leone and Sergio Corbucci (both dead since 1989 and 1990, respectively), Sollima’s vivid memories. Made for German/French TV channel arte.

Dentist, The (1996, USA) C-91m. ** D: Brian Yuzna. Starring Corbin Bernsen, Linda Hoffman, Michael Stadvec, Ken Foree, Tony Noakes, Mark Ruffalo, Brian Yuzna. Super-rich dentist Bernsen starts losing his temper when he suspects his wife of cheating on him with a pool cleaner. Guess how his patients must suffer for it. Grisly horror movie with a scary, unhinged performance by Bernsen. Remains a little too oppressive, though, and is definitely not recommended to the faint at heart. Followed by a sequel! Cowritten by Stuart Gordon, produced by Pierre David.

Dentist II, The (1998, USA) C-99m. *½ D: Brian Yuzna. Starring Corbin Bernsen, Jillian McWhirter, Linda Hoffman, Jim Antonio, Wendy Robie, Susanne Wright, Jeff Doucette, Clint Howard. Straight horror film about psychopathic dentist Bernsen, who escapes from psychotherapy and moves into little town of Paradise, where he opens his practise when the old doctor dies. Ugly shocker has almost no plot afer premise is established, but Bernsen brings some conviction to his role, which is better defined than those of other films' killers. Don't watch this if you are scared of going to the dentist's. Produced by Pierre David.

Derailed (2005, USA) C-107m. Scope **½ D: Mikael Hafström. Starring Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston, Vincent Cassel, Giancarlo Esposito, Xzibit, RZA, Tom Conti. Thriller about family father Owen, who meets beautiful stranger Aniston on a train one day and hesitantly begins an affair. When they want to spend their first night together, they are interrupted by a mugger (Cassel), who rapes Aniston and starts to blackmail Owen. Watchable concoction from a novel by James Siegel. Far-fetched and mean-spirited occasionally, but not bad.

Deranged (1974, CDN/USA) C-82m. **½ D: Alan Ormsby, Jeff Gillen. Starring Roberts Blossom, Cosette Lee, Leslie Carlson, Robert Warner, Marcia Diamond. Unusual horror film aspiring to be a true-crime semi-documentary. When fifty-something Blossom’s mother dies, she leaves him with a hatred for women. His obsessive love for her ultimately drives him to bring her back home from the cemetery – and keep her fresh. Bizarre, uneven account of a man’s horrible obsession has alternately chilling, oddly touching sequences and humoresque scenes that do not work. Difficult to watch, definitely not for the squeamish. Might have worked better with a less conventional direction. Reportedly inspired by the same case that served as a basis for PSYCHO (1960) and THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974). Early credit for make-up artist Tom Savini. Aka DERANGED: CONFESSIONS OF A NECROPHILIAC.

Descent, The (2005, GBR) C-99m. Scope ** D: Neil Marshall. Starring Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder, MyAnna Buring, Nora-Jane Noone, Oliver Milburne. A year after losing her husband and daughter in a freak accident, Macdonald teams up with her girlfriend-clique again to go on an adventure tour through a subterranean cave system. When they are cut off from the exit, they must search for a way out – and find hideous cannibalistic creatures instead. Highly touted horror shocker takes long to establish its premise and even longer for the monsters to show up. The action is well-filmed, and gorehounds will get their share of blood and gore; what’s missing is the ability to make the viewer care about the characters and this hurts the movie considerably. And what is the point of it all? Written by director Marshall (DOG SOLDIERS).

Desparate Trail, The (1994, USA) C-93m. ** D: P.J. Pesce. Starring Sam Elliot, Craig Sheffer, Linda Fiorentino, Frank Whaley, John Furlong, P. J. Pesce. Embittered marshal Elliot is after outlaws Fiorentino and Sheffer in this oddly unimaginative TV western. Corny dialogue, annoying score, unimaginative script make this one seem phony and unconvincing. Scenes of violence seem totally out of place. Nevertheless sure to satisfy conservative audiences who expect to be ‘entertained’, as well as fans of its stars.

Desperado (1995, USA) C-104m. **½ D: Robert Rodriguez. Starring Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Joaquim de Almeida, Cheech Marin, Steve Buscemi, Carlos Gomez, Quentin Tarantino, Tito Larriva, Danny Trejo. Set some time after EL MARIACHI (1992), Rodriguez’ second feature treads very much the same paths. The mariachi (now Banderas, who’s hot like never before) returns to the town where it all happened to get his revenge on the local gangland boss. He befriends sexy, voluptuous Hayek along the way. Polished, stylish thriller has almost no plot, but, as cult movies like this go, isn’t really in need of one as overall coolness prevails. Excellent editing by the director, glossy photography by Guillermo Navarro. Followed by ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO (2003).

Des Pissenlits Par la Racine (1963, FRA/ITA) 84m. **½ D : Georges Lautner. Starring Michel Serrault, Maurice Biraud, Louis de Funès, Mireille Darc, Francis Blanche, Darry Cowl, Guy Grosso, Venantino Venantini. Farcical black comedy about stoic musician Serrault, his irate cousin de Funès, and an ex-convict called Pommes-Chips, who quarrel about femme fatale Darc and a lottery ticket which might turn them into millionairs. Some amusing bits in this dated French comedy, a slight disappointment considering the involvement of great actors Serrault and de Funès. Based on a novel by Clarence Weff. French version is said to run 95m. Also known as SALAD BY THE ROOTS.

Detective, Un (1969, ITA) C-90m. ** D: Romolo Guerrieri. Starring Franco Nero, Florinda Bolkan, Adolfo Celi, Delia Boccardo, Laura Antonelli. Nero plays a Mike Hammer-style investigator, who uses his fists more than his wits to find out who murdered a kinky gigolo. Several characters complicate the proceedings, but unless you dig the period flavor, you will be bored. Based on the novel Macchie di Belletto (The Make-Up Stain) by Ludovico Dentice. Original version may run 103m. English titles: RING OF DEATH, DETECTIVE BELLI.

Deux Anglaises (1971, FRA) C-132m. ***½ D: Francois Truffaut. Starring Jean-Pierre Léaud. Near-brilliant love drama about naive young Frenchman Léaud and his relationship with two Welsh sisters over a period of ten years. Neither of the three can quite decide if they are in love. Low-key, sensitive film is beautifully made (kudos to cinematographer Nestor Almendros) and shows how little actors sometimes need to contribute. An exercise in high-brow film-making, by one of the great directors of the 20th century. Haunting, mesmerizing, masterful, a must for demanding viewers.

Deux Hommes dans Manhattan (1959, FRA) 84m. **½ D : Jean-Pierre Melville. Starring Jean-Pierre Melville, Pierre Grasset, Jean Darcante, Christiane Eudes, Ginger Hall. Cold, aloof drama about journalist Melville and photographer Grasset, who embark on a nightly odyssey through Manhattan, searching for a missing U.N. diplomat and the truth about his disappearance. Writer-director Melville acts indifferently, which is a major liability. Atmospheric, jazzy score and location-filming among film’s assets. Mainly for Melville scholars, others may be put off by typically cold (French) approach to subject matter. Can be seen perhaps as the flip-side of ‘American-abroad’ thrillers.

Deuxième Souffle, Le (1966, FRA/ITA) B&W-150m. ** D: Jean-Pierre Melville. Starring Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Marcel Bozzuffi,

Long, uneventful misfire from a master director. Ventura, a criminal with a reputation, breaks out of prison and joins a gang of fellow gangsters who intend to rob a platinum transport. However, they haven’t reckoned with inspector Meurisse’s cleverness. Overlong dissection of a criminal’s return to his breeding ground, without so much as an emotional stir from anybody. There’s not even any music.  It’s understandable that around 30 minutes were cut from original version for some showings. Melville’s immediate follow-up, LE SAMOURAI (1967), is infinitely better. Based on a novel by José Giovanni (a former criminal, hence the ultra-realism). English title: THE SECOND BREATH.

Devil in the Flesh (1998, USA) C-91m. M D: Steve Cohen. Starring Rose McGowan, Alex MacArthur, Phil Morris, Robert Silver, Peg Shirley, Wendy Robie. Starlet McGowan exploits her fame achieved in Wes Craven's SCREAM, playing a teenager who may have something to do with the death of her mother and her mum's lover, who was also her teacher. She moves to her granny's house and falls in love with her new (tattoed) poetry teacher MacArthur. Guess what happens. No psychological depth whatsoever, no twists (excepting the ending) and very little continuity. The sex scenes seem forced, in order to make this one an adult film. You've seen this one a thousand times before (Teenage-girl-falls-in-love-with-her-sexy-teacher-and-goes-mad-cause-she-can't-have-him-killing-a-few-people-along-the-way-because-she’s got the ... see title).

Devil Rides Out, The (1968, GBR) C-95m. *** D: Terence Fisher. Starring Christopher Lee, Charles Gray, Nike Arrighi, Patrick Mower, Sarah Lawson, Paul Eddington. Exciting horror about Lee’s efforts to protect a friend from the influence of devil-worshippers. Sometimes incoherent, and thus a little pretentious, but suspenseful and taut. Pales, however, in comparison to ROSEMARY’S BABY, which was made the same year. Richard Matheson adapted Dennis Wheatley’s classic novel. U.S. title: THE DEVIL’S BRIDE.

Devil’s Advocate, The (1997, USA) C-144m. Scope **½ D: Taylor Hackford. Starring Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Jeffrey Jones, Judith Ivey, Connie Nielsen, Craig T. Nelson. Keanu Reeves plays a brilliant lawyer who has never lost a case in his life. Soon he is hired by Pacino, for whose lawfirm he wins every single case (while completely neglecting his wife) until a murder case really puts his loyalty to the test. Does Pacino have supernatural powers, or is he the Devil himself? Rather predictable thriller drama with only a handful of really good scenes. Pacino is terrific as usual, but this adaptation of Andrew Neiderman’s novel is unsatisfying and not always credible. Big complaint: Film suggests that sex is evil (smoking, too). The finale in Pacino’s penthouse is reminiscent of the climax in Dario Argento’s INFERNO. Special effects by Rick Baker.

Devil’s Own, The (1997, USA) C-110m. **½ D: Alan J. Pakula. Starring Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt, Margaret Colin, Ruben Blades, Treat Williams, George Hearn, Mitchell Ryan, Natascha McElhone, Simon Jones. Pitt plays a determined IRA terrorist, who comes to the U.S. to buy weapons for his war, and is put up by straight-arrow cop Ford, who thinks he only wants to find a job. Thriller drama carries the stamp of a major filmmaker and is well-acted, but the material is only so-so and never hits bull’s-eye. Perhaps the characters should have been better fleshed out. Pakula’s last film.

Devil’s Rejects, The (2005, USA) C-109m. *½ D: Rob Zombie. Starring Sig Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe, Ken Foree, Matthew McGrory, Leslie Easterbrook, Geoffrey Lewis, Priscilla Barnes, Dave Sheridan, Danny Trejo, P.J. Soles, Michael Berryman, Kane Hodder, Steve Railsback. Sequel to HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES (2003) offers more of the same TCM mayhem as the murderous family of the first movie go on the run from a rabid police officer in the late 1970s. Writer-director Zombie has a way of imitating Quentin Tarantino’s 70s style, but this movie falls apart even earlier than the first one, becoming tasteless, sadistic and degrading without having any entertainment value. Almost unwatchable, an anti-movie, recommended only to fans of Charles Manson and sadomasochists.

Devil Wears Prada, The (2006, USA) C-109m. Scope **½ D: David Franklin. Starring Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Simon Baker, Adrian Grenier, Tracie Thoms, Rich Sommer, Gisèle Bündchen. Comedy about naïve Hathaway who applies for a job at a leading fashion magazine and gets it despite obviously not being suited for it. Streep, the editor-in-chief, can be a real devil, as the title goes, but the young girl is determined and tries to adapt to her boss’s demands. No surprises in this adaptation of Lauren Weisberger’s novel (she had the real Vogue editor in mind), Streep is the whole show here.

Devonsville Terror, The (1983, USA) C-82m. M D: Ulli Lommel. Starring Suzanna Love, Robert Walker Jr., Donald Pleasence, Paul Willson, Mary Walden. Dreadful concoction about witch burnings 300 years ago and mad doctor Pleasance, who tries to make some women confess to witchcraft in modern-day New England. Talky drama, with the (poor) effects confined to the finale. A waste of time, only the score has some merit.

Diable par la Queue, Le (1968, FRA/ITA) C-94m. ** D: Philippe De Broca. Starring Yves Montand, Madeleine Renaud, Maria Schell, Jean Rochefort, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Clotilde Joano, Claude Piéplu, Tanya Lopert, Marthe Keller, Philippe De Broca. Impoverished aristocratic family changes their castle into a hotel, and with the help of the local gas station attendant, this turns into a lucrative business… until criminal Montand is among the “victims”. Mild farcical comedy features only a handful of laughs, despite excellent cast. A disappointment from the director of LE TRIBULATIONS D’UN CHINOIS EN CHINE (1965). Playful score by Georges Delerue. English title: THE DEVIL BY THE TAIL.

Diabólica Malicia (1972, SPA/ITA/GER/GBR/USA) C-96m. *** D: Andrea Bianchi, James Kelley. Starring Mark Lester, Britt Ekland, Hardy Krüger, Lilli Palmer, Harry Andrews, Conchita Montes. Intriguing psycho drama is essentially a giallo with its intricate storyline. Ekland has married widower Krüger and must contend with his 12-year-old son, who has been expelled from school for abnormal behavior. The boy is a troubled soul but starts manipulating Ekland beyond anything you could ever imagine. Whose side will Krüger be on? Another unique, baffling puzzler from the early 70s, with a ravishing Ekland and nice Spanish locations. Beautiful score by Stelvio Cipriani. Also known as NIGHT CHILD, WHAT THE PEEPER SAW, CHILD OF THE NIGHT, and NIGHT HAIR CHILD.

Diabolik (1967, ITA/FRA) C-100m. *** D: Mario Bava. Starring John Phillip Law, Marisa Mell, Michel Piccoli, Adolfo Celi, Terry-Thomas, Claudio Gora. Super-criminal Diabolik (Law) is baffling the authorities with his crimes, especially police inspector Piccoli, who is hot on the cunning man’s trail. However, he and his sexy sidekick Eva (Mell) keep eluding the police. Only Mario Bava could have succeeded with an adaptation of the Italian comic strip: Stylish, tongue-in-cheek actioner, lushly photographed by Antonio Rinaldi, underscored by a typically sixties Ennio Morricone score and filmed at some incredibly hip sets. Costumes are great, too. One of many highlights: The bizarrely shot scene in the hippie bar. Also known as: DANGER: DIABOLIK. Original running time: 105m. Shot in 1,85:1 Panoramica.

Diaboliquement Votre (1967, FRA/ITA/GER) C-91m. *½ D: Julien Duvivier. Starring Alain Delon, Senta Berger, Sergio Fantoni, Peter Mosbacher, Claude Piéplu. After losing his memory in a near-fatal car crash Delon is taken care of by his wife and a friend of theirs, who is also a doctor. Soon Delon has doubts whether the two aren’t just play-acting. Rather predictable psycho thriller with no twists and no suspense. Delon should be anxious and suspicious, but he’s cynical and indifferent instead. Duvivier’s last film was photographed Henri Decaë. Based on Manie de la Pérsecution by Louis C. Thomas.

Diamonds Are Forever (1971, GBR) C-120m. Scope *** D: Guy Hamilton. Starring Sean Connery, Jill St.John, Charles Gray, Lana Wood, Jimmy Dean, Bruce Cabot, Bruce Glover, Putter Smith, Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell, Desmond Llewelyn, Leonard Barr, Laurence Naismith. Loosely plotted, episodic James Bond adventure about the secret agent’s continuing battle against Ernst Blofeld, played this time by Charles Gray. The villain is gathering diamonds from South Africa for an evil plan. Certainly not as good as its predecessor ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE but sparked by good ideas and the presence of Connery, who plays 007 for the (officially) last time. Most of the action is set in Las Vegas. Title song by Shirley Bassey. This was the seventh Bond film, followed by LIVE AND LET DIE.

Diary of the Dead (2007, USA) C-91m. **½ D: George A. Romero. Starring Michelle Morgan, Joshua Close, Shawn Roberts, Amy Ciupak Lalonde, Joe Dinicol, Scott Wentworth, George A. Romero. Fifth DEAD movie takes a new spin on the zombie formula, as a film crew provide POV shots of the epidemic spreading around them. Romero makes use of and criticizes the reality-TV craze and internet-based video blogs, but his script is undermined by second-rate performances and episodic structure. Still, maintains interest and a fair amount of suspense. Some potent gore effects. Features voice cameos of none other than Wes Craven, Quentin Tarantino, Stephen King, Guillermo del Toro, and Simon Pegg! Followed by another sequel in 2009.

Diavoli della Guerra, I (1969, ITA/SPA) C-99m. Scope D: Bitto Albertini. Starring Guy Madison, Claudio Biava, Venantino Venantini, Anthony Steel, Pascale Petit, Raf Baldassarre, John Ireland. Undistinguished war drama about the unusual friendship between Venantini, a German hauptmann, and U.S. soldier Madison during World War Two. Uneven, poorly plotted yarn is rightfully forgotten. Only interest springs from Stelvio Cipriani’s score and an alleged (but unlikely) co-writer credit for French auteur Jean-Pierre Mocky. Aka WAR DEVILS.

Diavolo a Sette Facce, Il (1971, ITA) C-90m Scope **½ D: Osvaldo Civirani. Starring Carroll Baker, George Hilton, Stephen Boyd, Lucretia Love, Luciano Pigozzi (Alan Collins), Franco Ressel, Daniele Vargas. Quite good giallo set in Amsterdam about troubled Baker, who turns to her lawyer Boyd and his macho partner Hilton when she is followed and harassed by thugs. It turns out that her sister was involved in a diamond robbery… can the womanizers shed light on the mystery? Interesting casting of Boyd, elaborate score by Stelvio Cipriani, medium plot. English title: THE DEVIL HAS SEVEN FACES.

Dick (1999, CDN/USA) C-95m. **½ D: Andrew Fleming. Starring Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams, Dan Hedaya, Will Ferrell, Bill McCulloch, Teri Garr, Saul Rubinek. Satire about two teenage airheads (Dunst and Williams), who accidentally befriend President Nixon and become his “secret advisors”. Who could have known that it was them who got the Watergate scandal going? Quite amusing, but also annoying (the girls giggle all the time) and not that terribly interesting (at least for those, who don’t remember the real events). Good 70s design, well-acted, but not director Fleming’s best.

Die and Let Live (2006, USA) C-74m. ** D: Justin Channell. Starring Josh Lively, Zane Crosby, Sarah Bauer, Ashley Goddard, Jordna Hess, Lloyd Kaufman, Justin Channell. Ultra-low-budget zombie horror comedy set in somebody’s house and backyard, about a group of teens who want to make a party and get harassed by the flesh-eating undead. Not bad by C-movie standards, with some good special make-up effects and an engaging performance by Crosby. The ska punk soundtrack is also fun. Watch at a party with some beers. Edited by the director.

Die Another Day (2002, USA/GBR) C-132m. Scope **½ D: Lee Tamahori. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Toby Stephens, Rosmund Pike, Rick Yune, Judi Dench, John Cleese, Michael Madsen, Will Yun Lee, Kenneth Tsang, Samantha Bond, Madonna. An aging Bond (Brosnan) finds a tough enemy in the son of a North Korean general. Ultimately, he threatens to use a powerful ray gun in space to scorch the Earth. A sexy NFA agent (Berry) lends Bond a hand in the operation. Fairly well-directed and edited thriller is good in the first half, but (somewhat muddled, complicated) story is drowned out by gigantic action set-pieces. Still, one of the better later Bonds, with fine art direction and production design. This was the 20th film in the series (and a little reminiscent of the 7th, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER).

Die Hard (1988, USA) C-131m. Scope ***½ D: John McTiernan. Starring Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov, Robert Davi. Outstanding, violent action thriller, a highlight of the 1980s. On Christmas Eve, cop Willis intends to pick up his soon-to-be ex-wife Bedelia from a high-rise office building. Just then, a group of high-tech terrorists storm the skyscraper and take everyone hostage. Can Willis use his experience and wits to outsmart the criminals? First half is not always on-target, even occasionally stupid, but final thirty minutes are sensational. Film meant Willis’ major breakthrough and was followed by two sequels. Based on Roderick Thorp’s novel Nothing Lasts Forever. Well-photographed by Jan de Bont (SPEED). Director McTiernan went on to make THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (1990).

Die Hard 2 (1990, USA) C-124m. Scope *** D: Renny Harlin. Starring Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, William Atherton, Reginald VelJohnson, Franco Nero, William Sadler, John Amos, Dennis Franz, Art Evans, Robert Patrick, John Leguizamo, Vondie Curtis-Hall. Exciting DIE HARD sequel, set one year later, pits weary cop Willis against some well-organised airport terrorists, who try to free South American colonel Nero, who is about to land. Less original that the first film but no less exciting. Based on the novel 58 minutes by Walter Wager. Followed by DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE (1995).

Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995, USA) C-131m. Scope *** D: John McTiernan. Starring Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons, Samuel L. Jackson, Graham Greene, Colleen Camp, Larry Bryggman. Fast-paced, exciting sequel to DIE HARD (1988) and DIE HARD 2 (1990), about down-and-out cop Willis, who is picked by mad bomber Irons to fulfil mad-cap tasks in the middle of Manhattan, because he holds a very personal grudge against him (and for another reason specified later). Willis teams up with store owner Jackson to avert disaster. Plot is almost comic-bookish in its lunacy, but at this pace it does not matter. Entertaining popcorn movie with stars in great form.

Die Screaming, Marianne (1971, GBR) C-99m. *½ D: Pete Walker. Starring Susan George, Barry Evans, Christopher Sanford, Judy Huxtable, Leo Genn. So-called ‘thriller’ about beautiful George, whose father has a villa in Portugal. She might be the inheritor of her late mother’s fortune, so some sleazy characters pick her up in England and intend to sell her to her father and rival-sister. Absolutely uninteresting, doesn’t even have any nude scenes (despite director Walker’s reputation). George, who starred that same year in Sam Peckinpah’s STRAW DOGS, gives a remarkably dull performance. Also known as DIE, BEAUTIFUL MARIANNE.

Die Sister, Die! (1972, USA) C-82m. ** D: Randall Hood. Starring Jack Ging, Edith Atwater, Antoinette Bower, Kent Smith. Standard thriller about Ging, who hires a nurse to take care of his demented sister. What he really intends to do, however, is kill her. The nurse is about to get a lesson in family history. Some interesting horror elements fail to enliven tired plot. Not bad, but far from exciting. Also known as THE COMPANION.

Digging To China (1998, USA) C-99m. *** D: Timothy Hutton. Starring Evan Rachel Wood, Kevin Bacon, Mary Stuart Masterson, Marian Seldes, Cathy Moriarty. Heart-warming drama, set in the 1960s, about a 10 year-old girl (Wood) growing up in a shabby motel, whose mother is always drunk and sister keeps having a different lover each day. Her friendship with a mentally retarded man (Bacon), who comes to live at the motel for a few days, gives them both new hope for a better future. Good drama with winning performances fortunately doesn't resort to kitsch. Good use of oldies on the soundtrack.

Dillinger è Morto (1968, ITA) C-95m. *** D: Marco Ferreri. Starring Michel Piccoli, Anita Pallenberg, Annie Girardot. Husband Piccoli comes home from work one evening, cooks dinner, reads in a newspaper about Dillinger’s death - and goes off-the-wall. Surreal, strangely fascinating drama is pretty senseless but nevertheless compelling, even hypnotic. An artistic triumph for writer-director Ferreri, whose use of the soundtrack also contributes a lot.

Dîner de Cons, Le (1998, FRA) C-80m. Scope **½ D: Francis Veber. Starring Thierry Lhermitte, Jacques Villeret, Francis Huster, Daniel Prévost, Alexandra Vandernoot. French farce by comedy expert Veber about a publisher, who invites a chubby, eccentric chance acquaintance to a traditional dinner, where friends keep bringing idiots in order to amuse themselves. However, they never reach the dinner place and Lhermitte is actually taught a lesson he will never forget. Comedy seems like a stage play but is occasionally hilarious. This was actually photographed by Luciano Tovoli (SUSPIRIA). English title: THE DINNER GAME.

Dinosaur (2000, USA) C-82m. *** D: Eric Leighton, Ralph Zondag. Starring (the voices of) D.B. Sweeney, Alfre Woodard, Ossie Davis, Max Casella, Hayden Panettiere, Joan Plowright. Animated feature from Disney set in the time of the dinosaurs about a dino who is raised by a family of lemurs and must flee for his life when a meteorite shower destroys their island. They join a band of dinosaurs looking for a mystical nesting place. Quite dramatic tale, told with very little comic relief packs a wallop in its action scenes (of which there are aplenty). It’s a certain lack of story that keep this from soaring to classic Disney spheres. Excellent score by James Newton Howard.

Dio Perdona… Io No! (1967, ITA) C-99m. Scope D: Giuseppe Colizzi. Starring Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, Frank Wolff, Gina Rovere, José Manuel Martin. Below-standard spaghetti western about several characters trying to find a hidden treasure is notable in so far only, as it was Hill and Spencer’s first film together. No slapstick, but also no excitement. English title: GOD FORGIVES, I DON’T.

Dio, Sei Proprio un Padreterno! (1973, ITA/FRA) C-85m. ** D: Michele Lupo. Starring Lee Van Cleef, Tony Lo Bianco, Edwige Fenech, Jean Rochefort, Fausto Tozzi, Mario Erpichini, Jess Hahn, Adolfo Lastretti, Silvano Tranquilli, Romano Puppo, Robert Hundar (=Claudio Hundari), Tom Felleghy, Goffredo Unger. Action comedy with the emphasis on action, about gangster Van Cleef who is sent to prison and becomes friends with small-time crook Lo Bianco, with whom he plans to escape. Buddy movie without serious plot. Score by Riz Ortolani is most interesting thing. Photography by Aldo Tonti and Joe d’Amato. Uncut print runs 97m. Also known as ESCAPE FROM DEATH ROW, FRANK AND TONY, MEAN FRANK AND CRAZY TONY, and POWER KILL.

Direktoren for det Hele (2006, DAN/SWE/ICE/ITA/FRA/ NOR/FIN/GER) C-99m. ** D: Lars von Trier. Starring Jens Albinus, Peter Gantzler, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, Benedikt Erlingsson, Iben Hjejle, Jean-Marc Barr, Sofie Grabol. Comedy experiment from enfant terrible Lars von Trier (ANITCHRIST) about an unemployed actor who is hired by a friend to play the (non-existant) boss of his company. He has to negotiate deals and handle neurotic employees. All this is filmed Dogma-style, even with off-commentary by von Trier himself (a la RIGET), but apart from a few amusing situations, not much is to be had from this. See it as an experiment. English title: THE BOSS OF IT ALL.

Dirty Dancing (1987, USA) C-96m. **½ D: Emile Ardolino. Starring Jennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes, Jack Weston, Emile Ardolino. In the summer of 1963, seventeen-year-old Grey goes to a holiday camp with her parents, little dreaming that she will meet and fall in love with a dance pro (Swayze) and have the ‘time of her life’. Sort of a cult classic for dance-freaks, this romantic drama is well-paced but throws all credibility overboard early on. You can actually have a good time if you buy into it, however. Oscar winner for Best Song.

Dirty Game, The (1965, FRA/ITA/GER/USA) B&W-107m. **½ D: Christian-Jacque, Werner Klingler, Carlo Lizzani, Terence Young. Starring Henry Fonda, Robert Ryan, Vittorio Gassman, Annie Girardot, Bourvil, Robert Hossein, Peter van Eyck, Maria Grazia Buccella, Mario Adorf, Klaus Kinski. European spy thriller divided into three stories, made in the wake of the James Bond movies. The first one stars Fonda as a spy who manages to escape to West Berlin one rainy night and has a secret to disclose to general Ryan. The second story is set in Africa and features Bourvil as an unlikely super agent even cooler than Bond. The third one has Gassman trying to find out who kidnapped an importnt scientist. First one (directed by Young) is the best, most atmospheric, the other two undermine the fun a bit (it should have been shot in color). For buffs. French original title: LA GUERRE SECRETE. Also known as THE SECRET AGENTS, THE DIRTY AGENTS.

Dirty Harry (1971, USA) C-102m. Scope *** D: Don Siegel. Starring Clint Eastwood, Harry Guardino, Reni Santoni, John Vernon, Andrew Robinson, Don Siegel. An action classic that set the tone for many 70s thrillers: Eastwood plays a battle-hardened cop, whose violent methods differ greatly from those endorsed by his superiors. When a psychopathic serial killer goes on a rampage in San Francisco, Eastwood embarks on a revenge chase, intending to catch and kill the madman. Riveting, tense, well-filmed cop thriller takes a few unlikely twists too many, but stands today as one of the most successful and influential pulp films of its era. Exceptional score by Lalo Schifrin. Followed by four sequels, starting with MAGNUM FORCE.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988, USA) C-110m. **½ D: Frank Oz. Starring Steve Martin, Michael Caine, Glenne Headley, Anton Rodgers, Barbara Harris, Ian McDiarmid, Dana Ivey. Two fraudulent ladykillers meet on the French riviera and try to outdo each other: Caine is the „noble“ gentleman who only goes for rich single women, Martin a fast-talking American, who tries to make fast money with stories about his sick grandmother. Some terrific work by Martin makes this a must for his fans and there is enough going on to keep you involved but the mediocre plot prevents this comedy from being a scream.

Disorderly Orderly, The (1964, USA) C-90m. **½ D: Frank Tashlin. Starring Jerry Lewis, Glenda Farrell, Everett Sloane, Karen Sharpe, Kathleen Freeman, Del Moore, Milton Frome. One of Jerry’s best-loved films is episodic comedy about the title character, a male nurse, who gets from one slapstick situation into the next. There’s a romantic subplot, too, involving nurse Farrell. Lewis also executive produced this one.

District 9 (2009, USA/NZL) C-112m. *** D: Neill Blomkamp. Starring Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, Nathalie Bollt, Sylvaine Strike, Vanessa Heywood. Impressive science-fiction action drama shot in semi-documentarian style, set 20 years after an alien invasion in South Africa, where more than a million prawn-like, 7-foot-tall aliens live in slums around Johannisburg, South Africa. Naive government officer Copley is in charge of relocating them – when riots make this necessary – but after an unfortunate incident, he finds himself compelled to defend their cause. Tense, breathtakingly filmed sci-fi is totally original, but also relies heavily on coincidence and ‘impossible missions’ in its plot. Also stands as a powerful statement on apartheid issues. Based on director Blomkamp’s short film ALIVE IN JOBURG (2005). Produced by Peter Jackson. Nominated for 4 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Disturbing Behavior (1998, USA) C-83m. ** D : David Nutter. Starring Natassia Maltke, Tobias Mehler, Nick Stahl, Steve Railsback, Chris Owens, Katharine Isabelle, James Marsden, William Sadler. Chiller set in a high school in a picture-perfect American town, where more and more misfits suddenly turn into harmless pupils. Is it a conspiracy? Or are they conducting human experiments? Quite good technically, with a good score and soundtrack, but plot is so clichéd and derivative (INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS meets STRANGE KIDS) you won’t spot any novelties. Not too mean-spirited, watchable thanks to the short running time.

Dites-Lui Que Je L’Aime (1977, FRA) C-106m. *** D: Claude Miller. Starring Gérard Depardieu, Miou-Miou, Claude Piéplu, Jacques Denis, Dominique Laffin. Psycho drama about Depardieu’s obsessive love for a woman who is already married and has recently born a child. Miou-Miou is his neighbor, who takes an interest in him but has to realize that there is only one woman in his life. Well-directed, well-scored and especially well-acted study of the destructiveness of love, but extremely unsettling and difficult to watch. For demanding movie-goers only. Not as fascinating as Miller’s MORTELLE RANDONNEE but compelling and believable, adapted from a novel by Patricia Highsmith. English title: THIS SWEET SICKNESS.

Dito nella Piaga, Il (1969, ITA) C-98m. **½ D: Tonino Ricci. Starring George Hilton, Klaus Kinski, Ray Saunders, Betsy Dell, Ugo Adinolfi. Earnest WW2 action drama about outlaw G.I. Kinski, who is forced to run for his life, when Germans attack just before his execution. He is joined by black soldier Saunders and American general Hilton. Together, they manage to reach a quiet village. Solidly filmed drama is less thrilling (or comprehensible) in its truncated 77m. video version titled THE LIBERATORS. Score by Riz Ortolani. Also known as SALT IN THE WOUND and THE DIRTY TWO.

Diva (1981, FRA) C-123m. **½ D: Jean-Jacques Beneix. Starring Wilhelmia Wiggins Fernandez, Frederic Andrei, Richard Bohringer, Thuy Ann Luu, Dominique Pinon. Romantic thriller filled with 80s images starts well but soon abandons plot and wallows in its cool style. A postman, who has just secretly recorded a concert of his favorite opera singer, comes in possession of a tape which proves that the chief of police is a criminal. He is then chased by several people. Has the reputation of a cult film (and is certainly well-made), but today it seems ridiculous in its style. First-time director Beneix adapted a novel.    

Django (1966, ITA/SPA) C-87m. **½ D: Sergio Corbucci. Starring Franco Nero, Eduardo Fajaro, José Bódalo, Loredana Nusciak, Ángel Álvarez. European western that – despite being an imitation of Leone’s DOLLARI films – became influential in its own right and spawned a lot of imitations with the title character named Django. Here, Nero plays the “man with no name”, who fights for himself while manipulating two rivalling bands of revolutionaries. Violent, generally not bad, but clearly inferior in timing and dramaturgy to the Leone classics. Story and screenplay by brothers Bruno and Sergio Corbucci (IL GRANDE SILENZIO). Followed by a sequel in 1987.

Django 2: Il Grande Ritorno (1987, ITA) C-97m. ** D: Ted Archer (=Nello Rossati). Starring Franco Nero, Christopher Connelly, Licinia Lentini, Donald Pleasence, William Berger. Official DJANGO (1966) sequel no longer resembles a western: Nero has become a monk, living his life in peace and quiet. One day, a former lover arrives, claiming that Django’s daughter was kidnapped by villain Connelly. Django then goes after that man and becomes a slave. Pretty violent action/revenge movie remains watchable thanks to Nero’s committed performance. English title: DJANGO STRIKES AGAIN.

Django - Ein Sarg voll Blut (1968, ITA/GER) C-92m. Scope **½ D: Anthony Ascott (=Giuliano Carmineo). Starring George Hilton, Loni von Friedl, Horst Frank, Walter Barnes, Giorgio Sammartino. Django and his partner Bully come to a small village looking for a judge who could tell them the whereabouts of a young lady who may know something about a treasure worth $500,000. Above-average spaghetti western, ambitiously directed and written, but still just a cut above the rest. Lots of shoot-outs will satisfy genre fans.

Dobutsu Takarajima (1971, JAP) C-79m. **½ D: Hiroshi Ikeda. Starring (the voices of) Minori Matsushima, Sôko Tenchi, Asao Koike, Kousei Tomita, Hitoshi Takagi. Loosely adapted from R.L. Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island, this Japanese children’s anime is nice for kids, okay for adults. Jim receives a treasure map from Long John Silver and joins some pirates in the search for the legendary island. Quite violent, full of action, but plot is too often interrupted by silly comedy. Hayao Miyazaki was key animator and story consultant on this. His girl heroine is one fierce chick. English title: ANIMAL TREASURE ISLAND.

Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze (1975, USA) C-112m. **½ D: Michael Anderson. Starring Ron Ely, Paul Gleason, William Lucking, Michael Miller, Eldon Quick, Darrell Zwerling, Paul Wexler, Pamela Hensley, Michael Berryman. Juvenile, often ridiculous and pathetic super-hero adventure about the title character (Ely) and his quest to find out truth behind his father’s sudden death. Enjoyable on a certain no-brain level, mainly for kids. Produced and cowritten by George Pal (his last work before his death), based on Kenneth Robeson’s novel.

Docteur Petiot (1991, FRA) C-101m. *** D: Christian de Chalonge. Starring Michel Serrault. Chilling fact-based thriller about French physician Docteur Petiot who killed 27 people during World War Two, all of whom were trying to escape from the threat of the Nazis. Serrault’s top performance (he also co-produced the film), bizarre, eerie sound effects and good photography are the assets of this engrossing period-piece.

Docteur Popaul (1972, FRA/ITA) C-101m. **½ D: Claude Chabrol. Starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Mia Farrow, Laura Antonelli, Daniel Ivernel. Belmondo is fine as young lady-killing doctor, who marries an ugly duckling (Farrow) in order to inherit her father’s clinic. His sensuous sister-in-law (Antonelli), however, makes it difficult for him to stay faithful. Sometimes delightfully mean-spirited farce suffers from slowly paced plot (by Paul Gégauff) and the director’s indifferent handling. Based on the novel Meurtre a Loisir by Hubert Montheilet English titles: HIGH HEELS and SCOUNDREL IN WHITE.

Doctor Dolittle (1967, USA) C-152m. Scope **½ D: Richard Fleischer. Starring Rex Harrison, Samantha Eggar, Anthony Newley, Richard Attenborough, Peter Bull. Heavy-handed adaptation of the beloved children’s tales by Hugh Lofting, about doctor Harrison, whose conversion to a veterinarian is told in indifferent fashion. Episodic plot also concerns Eggar’s infatuation with the animal doctor. Sometimes funny, certainly well-designed and colorfully shot (by Robert Surtees), but it lacks esprit and appealing characters. An okay view, a slight disappointment, given these epic dimensions. It was nominated for nine Oscars, winning two (Special Effects, Best Song). Remade in 1998.

Doctor Sleep (2002, GBR) C-104m. Scope ** D: Nick Willing. Starring Goran Visnjic, Shirley Henderson, Paddy Considine, Miranda Otto, Corin Redgrave, Fiona Shaw, Colin Farrell. So-so thriller about psychologist Visnjic, who is asked by inspector Woodward to help her track down a serial killer that is abducting little girls. Some interesting directorial touches, but plot is clichéd and overly cruel at times. A downbeat film, to be sure, but genre fans might want to check it out anyway. Based on the book by Madison Smartt Bell. Score by Simon Boswell. Alternative title: HYPNOTIC.

Document of the Dead (1989, USA) C-85m. **½ D: Roy Frumkes. Featuring George A. Romero, Tom Savini, Richard P. Rubinstein, Ken Foree, David Emge, Scott Reiniger, Michael Gornick. Documentary about horror filmmaker George A. Romero, made over a period of ten years by director Frumkes. Brief (and inadequate) comment is made on Romero’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and MARTIN. The largest part of this documentary is dedicated to the making of the zombie classic DAWN OF THE DEAD, featuring behind-the-scenes interviews with special effects maestro Tom Savini, producer Richard Rubinstein (among others) and, most interestingly, Romero himself. Frumkes returns to Romero in 1989, taking a look at the filming process in TWO EVIL EYES. A must for Romero buffs (his TV commercial ‘The Calgon Story’ is stunning!) and those interested in independent filmmaking, others needn’t bother.

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004, USA/GER) C-92m. Scope *** D: Rawson Marshall Thurber. Starring Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor, Ben Stiller, Rip Torn, Justin Long, Stephen Root, Joel Moore, Chris Williams. Missi Pyle, Jason Bateman, Hank Azaria, William Shatner, Daivd Hasselhoff. Raucously funny sports comedy made in the vein of OLD SCHOOL (2003), which also starred Vaughn. In order not to lose his gym to villain Stiller (who looks hilarious), Vaughn and his friends compete in a dodgeball tournament in Las Vegas to win the money needed to keep it. Totally predictable, but funny and entertaining with lots of star cameos.

Dogma (1999, USA) C-128m. Scope **½ D: Kevin Smith. Starring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman, Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, Jason Lee, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, George Carlin, Alanis Morissette, Janeane Garofalo, Bud Cort. No-holds-barred religious satire about two fallen angels (Damon and Affleck), who’ve found a way to return to Paradise, which, however, would destroy the world. Fiorentino goes on an odyssey to stop the gun-toting youngsters and collects some truly offbeat characters along the way. Director Smith’s large compendium of bizarre, absurd, sometimes hilarious ideas, doesn’t quite gel in this movie. The dramatic flow is hindered at times, the climax is also not very satisfying and rather confusing. Still, very much in the same stance as Smith’s earlier independent films. Mewes has the film’s funniest lines, as a sex-obsessed, foul-mouthed and constantly stoned SLACKER.

Dolce Casa degli Orrori, La (1989, ITA) C-80m. *½ D: Lucio Fulci. Starring Jean-Christophe Brétigniere, Cinzia Monreale, Lubka Lenzi, Lino Salemme. One of several films director Fulci made back-to-back in the late 80s, this chiller deals with two children, who seem to have devilish powers, which they use against everybody when their parents are killed brutally by a burglar. Pretty pointless, pretentious and absurd. Avoid. English title: THE SWEET HOUSE OF HORRORS.

Dolce Corpo di Deborah, Il (1969, ITA/FRA) C-92m. Scope **½ D: Romolo Guerrieri. Starring Carroll Baker, Jean Sorel, Ida Galli, Luigi Pistilli, Michel Bardinet, George Hilton. Newly-wed couple Baker and Sorel travel to the husband’s hometown, where old memories of his deceased ex-girlfriend are awakened. There’s strange Pistilli, who claims Sorel drove her to suicide. Will this puzzle eventually destroy their relationship? Mystery drama is deliberately paced and uneven, but maintains your interest, especially if you are devoted to such ‘gialli’. Marvelous score by Nora Orlandi (though it disappears in the second half). Some interesting directorial touches, too. Script by Ernesto Gastaldi. English titles: THE BODY, THE SWEET BODY OF DEBORAH.

$ (1971, USA) C-121m. *** D: Richard Brooks. Starring Warren Beatty, Goldie Hawn, Gert Fröbe, Robert Webber, Scott Brady, Arthur Brauss, Robert Stiles, Wolfgang Kieling. Bank heist movie with a first-rate cast. Beatty is an American security specialist working for Fröbe’s bank in Hamburg, Germany, who has set his sights on several safe deposit boxes used by criminals. Starts a bit confusing, but develops into a neat caper. Some people consider this top-notch. Score by Quincy Jones contains one truly classic theme. Written by the director. Also known as DOLLARS, THE HEIST.

Dolls (1987, USA/ITA) C-77m. *½ D: Stuart Gordon. Starring Ian Patrick Williams, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Carrie Lorraine, Guy Rolfe, Hilary Mason, Bunty Bailey, Cassie Stuart, Stephen Lee. Big come-down for the director of RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND. Strange horror/fairy-tale mix about a group of people who choose the wrong house to spend the night in. Dollmaker Rolfe and his wife Mason (DON’T LOOK NOW) seem kind, but their little dolls prove to be murderous demons. Film tries hard to be atmospheric but script is illogical and the dialogues stupid. Child actress Lorraine’s lines are especially silly. No seven year-old behaves that way. John Buechler’s special effects are okay. Filmed in Italy.

Dolores Claiborne (1995, USA) C-131m. Scope ***½ D: Taylor Hackford. Starring Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judy Parfitt, Christopher Plummer, David Strathairn, Eric Bogosian, John C. Reilly, Ellen Muth, Bob Gunton. Exceptional, chilling psycho drama, based on the novel by Stephen King. Journalist Leigh learns that her estranged mother (Bates) has been framed for murder and travels to her former home on a spry New England island. She finds herself confronted with an embittered elderly woman, who may hold the key to what both of them have become. The house reverberates with echoes of a half-forgotten, half-repressed past. Masterfully told, with impeccable flashbacks, emotionally exhausting, one of the best Stephen King adaptations. Unfortunately ignored at the Academy Awards (and everywhere else, too). Fine score by Danny Elfman.

Domino (2005, USA/FRA) C-127m. Scope *** D: Tony Scott. Starring Keira Knightley, Mickey Rourke, Edgar Ramirez, Rizwan Abbasi, Delroy Lindo, Mo’Nique, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green, Macy Gray, Dabney Coleman, Lucy Liu, Jacqueline Bisset, Dale Dickey, Christopher Walken, Mena Suvari, Tom Waits. Flashy, Tarantino-style thriller about real-life bounty hunter Domino Harvey (Knightley), daughter of actor Laurence Harvey, whose unusual childhood made her a rebel and ultimately brought her to become a professional bounty hunter, usually working in a team with Rourke and Ramirez. In flashbacks she tells the story of a $100 million robbery and her involvement in it. Stylish, video-clip style editing camouflage that there is very little plot and character development, but film’s cult appeal makes it enjoyable. In fact, it seems to take its inspiration from earlier cult films like PULP FICTION, NATURAL BORN KILLERS or the Tony Scott-directed TRUE ROMANCE. The real Domino died of an accidental overdose just months before film’s premiere. Scripted by Richard Kelly (DONNIE DARKO).

Don Juan DeMarco (1995, USA) C-97m. *** D: Jeremy Leven. Starring Marlon Brando, Johnny Depp, Faye Dunaway, Geraldine Pailhas, Bob Dishy, Rachel Ticotin, Talisa Soto, Richard Sarafian, Tresa Hughes, Franc Luz. Enticing film about twenty-one year-old Depp, who believes he is Don Juan, the world’s greatest lover, impersonified, and is entrusted to psychiatrist Brando, to whom he relates his upbringing and adventures. Beautifully filmed, well-cast film is good and could have been great, had the plot been more fleshed out. Pretty nonsensical and whimsical at times, but made believable by a fine cast.

Donna della Domenica, La (1976, ITA/FRA) C-105m. *** D: Luigi Comencini. Starring Jacqueline Bisset, Marcello Mastroianni, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Aldo Reggiani, Pino Caruso, Lina Volonghi. Satirical crime drama about the murder of a lawyer and subsequent investigation by commissario Mastroianni. Frustrated wife Bisset may have done it with homosexual friend Trintignant, but it turns out that there are more suspects and Mastroianni doesn’t have a clue. This adaptation of Franco Lucentini and Carlo Frutti’s novel lacks suspense but makes interesting observations of Italian bourgeois society. Good ensemble keeps things bubbling. Good score by Ennio Morricone. Photographed by Luciano Tovoli. Also known as THE SUNDAY WOMAN.

Donna del Lago, La (1965, ITA) B&W-82m. ***½ D: Luigi Bazzoni, Franco Rossellini. Starring Peter Baldwin, Salvo Randone, Valentina Cortese, Pia Lindström, Piero Anchisi, Philippe Leroy, Virna Lisi. Existential mystery drama, sometimes labeled an early giallo, about a troubled writer (Baldwin), who returns to a lakeside community to write a novel, but secretly he wishes to see a woman again. When he learns that she has killed herself, he does some research and finds himself in the middle of a family scandal. Moody, almost dream-like psycho drama with a haunting score (by Renzo Rossellini) unfolds beautifully, with voice-over narration a particular treat. Rare but a must-see. Script by the co-directors, the composer, and Giulio Questi, based on the novel by Giovanni Comisso. English titles: THE LADY OF THE LAKE, THE POSSESSED.

Donnie Brasco (1997, USA) C-126m. Scope ***½ D: Mike Newell. Starring Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, James Russo, Anne Heche, Zeljko Ivanek, Gerry Becker. Pacino is superb as small-time crook and loser, who helps Depp, an undercover agent working for the FBI, to get along in N.Y.C. mafia circles. Depp himself has problems with his family because he’s never at home. Fine, well-paced drama with Depp the wrong choice for a family father. He seems miscast, whereas Pacino is perfect in an award-caliber performance. Realistic drama with good characterizations could have been a little more entertaining.

Donnie Darko (2001, USA) C-113m. Scope *** D: Richard Kelly. Starring Jack Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daveigh Chase, Mary McDonnell, Patrick Swayze, Drew Barrymore, Katharine Ross. Unusual, very (too?) mysterious movie about troubled teenager Donnie Darko (Gyllenhaal), who is in psychiatric treatment. His imaginary(?) friend, a (scary) giant rabbit sends him sleepwalking nearly every night and predicts the end of the world in 28 days. How and why is this supposed to happen? Movie raises countless questions and creates an eerie atmosphere. Writer-director Kelly has fashioned a confusing, much-discussed Lynchian story that requires multiple viewing. Astounding, if not completely satisfying, a cult hit. Countless references to other cult movies make it even more interesting for buffs. Barrymore also executive produced.

Don’t Answer the Phone! (1980, USA) C-95m. *½ D: Robert Hammer. Starring James Westmoreland (=Rad Fulton), Ben Frank, Flo Gerrish, Nicholas Worth. Tiresome slasher movie, a TAXI DRIVER wanna-be, about a deranged vietnam vet, who poses as a photographer and strangles young women. Most of the film is boring police routine, so don’t expect to be entertained. Bizarre score is more unnerving than effective. Also known as THE HOLLYWOOD STRANGLER.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (1973, USA) C-74m. ** D: John Newland. Starring Kim Darby, Jim Hutton, Barbara Anderson, William Demarest, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., Lesley Woods. Made-for-TV horror movie about a young couple who move into the wife’s grandmother’s mansion only to discover that it is haunted by small creatures. Some creepy moments, but mostly unconvincing, technically on TV (sub-)standard.

Don’t Look Now (1973, GBR) C-110m. *** D: Nicholas Roeg. Starring Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie, Hilary Mason, Clelia Matania, Massimo Serato. After the fatal accident of their daughter, restaurator Sutherland and his wife Christie travel to Venice to forget. Once there a blind medium tells Christie that she has seen their dead daughter. Strange things start to happen, not all of which make sense, culminating in an electrifying climax. Cryptic mystery, not always on top of the material, but good art direction and unusual, symbolic direction make it a memorable experience. Based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier.

Don’t Make Waves (1967, USA) C-97m. Scope ***½ D: Alexander Mackendrick. Starring Tony Curtis, Claudia Cardinale, Robert Webber, Joanna Barnes, Sharon Tate, David Draper, Jim Backus. Delightful comedy from the director of THE LADYKILLERS (1955) and A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA (1965). Curtis plays a tourist, who comes to Malibu beach and loses his car and personal belongings in a freak accident involving beautiful Cardinale. The Italian takes him in, but Curtis soon has to cope with jealous lover Webber. In the meantime, he falls in love with ravishing beach bunny Tate. Swiftly paced, funny satire on Californian beach life and the beach movies of the 50s and 60s climaxes in hilarious, over-the-top finale. This lightweight, lively time-capsule was director Mackendrick’s final film. Lush cinematography by Philip H. Lathrop. Based on the novel Muscle Beach by Ira Wallach.

Don’t Raise the Bridge, Lower the River (1968, GBR) C-99m. ** D: Jerry Paris. Starring Jerry Lewis, Terry-Thomas, Jacqueline Pearce, Bernard Cribbins, Patricia Routledge. Latter-day Lewis vehicle has him in London of the Swinging Sixties, with a wife who is dissatisfied because he cares only for his business. Less frantic performance by Lewis results in fewer laughs. Scripted by Max Wilk, based on his novel.

Don’t Say a Word (2001, USA) C-113m. Scope **½ D: Gary Fleder. Starring Michael Douglas, Sean Bean, Brittany Murphy, Skye McCole Bartusiak, Guy Torry, Jennifer Esposito, Victor Argo, Famke Janssen, Oliver Platt. Thriller about psychiatrist Douglas, whose daughter is kidnapped and who is forced by the kidnappers to unlock the secret of mental patient Murphy – within ten hours. It may all have to do with a diamond heist performed ten years earlier. Well-paced, convincingly acted, but plot relies too much on incidents and thus seems contrived. Esposito’s role is especially thankless. Adapted from a novel by Andrew Klavan.

Doomwatch (1972, GBR) C-92m. *** D: Peter Sasdy. Starring Ian Bannen, Judy Geeson, John Paul, Simon Oates, Jean Trend, George Sanders. Serious, compelling drama about Dr. Bannen’s investigation of a small British island, which is rumored to be contaminated by chemical waste. And just what are the inhabitants trying to cover up? Bannen is convincing as the man who slowly uncovers the mystery, score is appropriately dramatic. An interesting thriller drama that somehow sits between the genres horror, science-fiction, mystery, thriller and drama (and comfortably at that). One of the best films by Peter Sasdy, one of Hammer’s main directors. A follow-up to a British TV-series.

Doppelgänger (1969, GBR) C-101m. *** D: Robert Parrish. Starring Roy Thinnes, Ian Hendry, Patrick Wymark, Lynn Loring, Loni von Friedl, Herbert Lom. Stylish British science-fiction outing about a sensational discovery, a planet that rotates around the sun on exactly the same orbit as the Earth, only it can never be seen by telescopes because it is exactly opposite and the sun is blocking it from view. Two astronauts embark on a mission to explore the planet. Rather slowly paced, but well-produced, suspenseful, with an interesting twist towards the end. Fine score by Barry Grey. Also known as JOURNEY TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE SUN.

Dopperugengâ (2003, JAP) C-106m. ** D: Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Starring Kôji Yakusho, Hiromi Nagasaku, Yusuke Santamaria, Masahiro Toda, Hitomi Sato. Psycho drama (not a horror film) about scientist Yakusho, who hears of the appearance of somebody’s Doppelgänger and is more than troubled when his own turns up, as legend has it that when you see it you will die. While working on a robot wheelchair that disabled people can operate with their will-power, the scientist must come to terms with his alter ego, an often unconventional, uninhibited darker side of his. Interesting, even intellectual examination of inner demons unfortunately becomes very strange towards the end and reaches an unsatisfying conclusion. Cowritten and co-edited by the director. For some of the Doppelgänger scenes it expands into widescreen format using the split-screen technique. English title: DOPPELGÄNGER.

Dorian (2001, CDN/GBR) C-89m. **½ D: Allan A. Goldstein. Starring Malcolm McDowell, Ethan Erickson, Victoria Sanchez, Ron Lea, Jennifer Nitsch. Fair modernization of the Oscar Wilde classic with the title character (Erickson) becoming a fashion model, guided into his demise by towering manager McDowell. Quite interesting, though never really exciting. McDowell is devilishly good and carries the whole picture. Also known as PACT WITH THE DEVIL.

Dorian Gray (1970, GBR/ITA/GER) C-95m. ** D: Massimo Dallamano. Starring Helmut Berger, Richard Todd, Herbert Lom, Marie Liljedahl, Margaret Lee, Isa Miranda. Strangely appealing film version of Oscar Wilde’s famous novel about handsome Berger and his picture painted by Todd, which ages instead of him. Trashy time-capsule, wonderfully scored by Peppino de Luca and Carlos Pes. Too slow-moving and in love with itself (like the title character) but worth watching for fans of pseudo-art films of the early 1970s. Coproduced by Samuel Z. Arkoff. Also known as THE SECRET OF DORIAN GRAY and DAS BILDNIS DES DORIAN GRAY.

Dossiers de l’Inspecteur Lavardin, Les: Diable en Ville, Le (1988, FRA) C-92m. ** D: Christian de Chalonge. Starring Jean Poiret, Bruno Cremer. Slow-moving, only partly interesting Lavardin mystery about a factory owner (Cremer), one of whose workers gets killed the day before a major strike. Interesting touches (clearly by Claude Chabrol, who cowrote the screenplay) lose validity due to bad pacing by director de Chalonge, who fouled up MALEVIL eight years earlier. Produced for French TV.

Dossiers de l’Inspecteur Lavardin, Les: Escargot Noir, L’ (1988, FRA/SUI/ITA) C-90m. *** D: Claude Chabrol. Starring Jean Poiret, Stéphane Audran. Fine entry into the Lavardin series has inspector Poiret investigate mysterious serial killings in a small town, where a black snail is left with every victim. Though deliberately paced and mildly entertaining at the beginning, it neatly builds suspense, and Poiret is excellent in the lead role.

Dossiers de l’Inspecteur Lavardin, Les: Maux Croises (1988, FRA/ITA/SUI/BEL/POR) C-94m. **½ D: Claude Chabrol. Starring Jean Poiret, Caroline Beaune, Jacques Brunet, Rosine Cadoret, Riccardo Cucciolla. Inspector Lavardin (Poiret) comes incognito to an Italian resort in order to find out more about a businessman who may be involved in illegal transactions. When this man’s wife, a respected mystery writer, is found murdered, Lavardin has to change his objective. Another strand of action involves some candidates for a quiz show. Quite complex entry in the Lavardin series is made fun by Poiret’s delightful sardonic performance, but Chabrol (who cowrote the screenplay) is generally below his standard here.

Dos Veces Judas (1969, SPA/ITA) C-92m. Scope D: Nando Cicero. Starring Klaus Kinski, Antonio Sabato, Cristina Galbó, Narciso Ibanez Menta. Talky, boring attempt at a spaghetti western drama, with Kinski and Sabato playing two brothers who are at odds with each other. Hardly any action. Italian title: DUE VOLTE GIUDA. English titles: SHOOT TWICE, TWICE A JUDAS and THEY WERE CALLED GRAVEYARD.

Dottoressa Ci Sta Con Colonello, La (1980, ITA) C-78m. ** D: Michele Massimo Tarantini. Starring Nadia Cassini, Lino Banfi, Alvaro Vitali, Malisa Longo. Low-brow sex comedy about colonel Banfi, who thinks he’s sexually inadequate, especially after seeing his latest recruit’s giant member. He has the hots for a sexy doctor and dreams of a transplantation. Some funny scenes. Fourth film in a series of DOTTORESSA/SOLDATESSA sex comedies set in the army.

Double Jeopardy (1999, USA) C-105m. Scope **½ D: Bruce Beresford. Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Ashley Judd, Bruce Greenwood, Annabeth Gish, Roma Maffia, Davenia McFadden. Thriller about a woman (Judd) who is framed for and convicted of the murder of her husband. When she learns that he is still alive, she sets out to find and kill him, since she can’t be tried for the same crime twice according to federal law. Interesting but entirely unrealistic script seems extremely contrived, taking only the most convenient and obvious twists and turns. Still, fast-paced and entertaining enough to make for an okay view.

Double Vie de Véronique, La (1991, FRA/POL) C-97m. **½ D: Krzystof Kieslowski. Starring Irène Jacob, Wladyslaw Kowalski, Guillaume de Tonquedec, Philippe Volter. Enigmatic drama about two women, one French, one Polish (both played by Jacob), whose souls seem to be somehow intertwined. Well-directed, meditative film shows how subtly a life can be affected by another. In that sense, humans are like marionettes on a string. Some stunning sequences, but overall, film does not sustain feature length. English title: THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE.

Double Vision (2002, HGK/TIW) C-113m. Scope *** D : Chen Kuo-Fu. Starring Tony Leung Ka Fai, David Morse, Rene Liu, Leon Dai, Yang Kuei-Mei, Lung Sihung. It’s cop culture clash a la BLACK RAIN (1990) when FBI agent Morse is called to Taipeh to investigate mysterious deaths, which may be the work of a serial killer – or even a supernatural force! It turns out that victims are sent through the (Taoist) five hells one by one to give the killer immortality. Interesting, thoughtful script (cowritten by the director) makes this above-average of its type. Original title: SHUANG TONG.

Doulos, Le (1961, FRA/ITA) 108m. **½ D: Jean-Pierre Melville. Starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Serge Reggiani, Jean Desailly, René Lefèvre, Fabienne Dali, Monique Hennessy, Michel Piccoli, Dominique Zardi. Following his release from prison, Reggiani plans his next coup. When it goes wrong, he blames fellow thug Belmondo, who has a special relationship with the cops. But did he really betray him? A minor film by a great director: Sluggish pace, less-than-intriguing plot almost overshadowed by technical finesse (especially direction, photography, score). Most interesting for Melville adepts. Also notable for early involvement of Volker Schlöndorff (assistant to Melville) and Betrand Tavernier (advertiser). The director scripted from Pierre Lesou’s novel. English title: THE FINGER MAN.

Down by Law (1986, USA/GER) 107m. ** D: Jim Jarmusch. Starring Tom Waits, John Lurie, Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Ellen Barkin. Jarmusch’s follow-up to STRANGER THAN PARADISE (and third film) is an anti-movie with a narrative that is barely there. Three losers wind up in a Lousiana prison cell and plot to escape. Sort-of a road movie drama with time to waste, typically quirky stuff, but you’re not sure there’s a deeper meaning this time. For Jarmusch fans. Excellent black-and-white photography by Robby Müller.

Down to You (2000, USA) C-91m. ** D: Kris Isaacson. Starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Julia Stiles, Selma Blair, Shawn Hatosy, Zak Orth, Ashton Kutcher, Henry Winkler. Not-bad romantic comedy about picture-perfect couple who both narrate their love story and try to find out why it didn’t work out in the end. Pretty kitschy and clichéd, but fans of such teen romances should get their share. Written by the director.

Dracula (1958, GBR) C-82m. *** D: Terence Fisher. Starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling, Carol Marsh, John Van Eyssen. Classic Hammer chiller, loosely based on Bram Stoker’s vampire novel, casts Lee in his star-making role as Count Dracula, who thirsts for human blood. Cushing, as Dr. Van Helsing, and Gough are his adversaries in 19th century England. Well-made horror film boasts impressive camerawork and lighting, stylish direction and a dramatic score. It’s too bad that the script (by Jimmy Sangster) is only so-so. Followed by seven sequels, starting with THE BRIDES OF DRACULA (1960).

Dracula (1979, USA/GBR) C-109m. Scope *** D: John Badham. Starring Frank Langella, Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasence, Kate Nelligan, Trevor Eve, Tony Haygarth. Estimable attempt at filming Bram Stoker’s famous novel about vampiric count and his quest in early 20th century England. Usually not counted among the better DRACULA versions, but cast is game and production (by Walter Mirisch) is handsome. Try and catch it in widescreen. Well-photographed by Gilbert Taylor, nice score by John Williams.

Dracula (1992, USA) C-127m. ***½ D: Francis Ford Coppola. Starring Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Richard E. Grant, Cary Elwes, Bill Campbell, Sadie Frost, Tom Waits, Monica Bellucci. Exciting, enticing, quite possibly the ultimate Dracula adaptation: In substitution of the crazy Renfield, Jonathan Harker (Reeves) must travel to Transsylvania to complete real estate deal with a sinister count, who – as it becomes clear – has denounced God and lived in the shadows for centuries. In turn-of-the-century London the vampire finds the likeness of his lost love in Harker’s fiancée Ryder, but also meets fierce opposition in professor Van Helsing (Hopkins). Beautiful, superbly directed horror drama with forceful performances, especially by the scenery-chewing Oldman. Deliberately paced, a bit episodic but a must. Fine photography by Michael Ballhaus. Oscar winner for Best Costumes, Best Make Up, Best Effects. Often also referred to as BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA.

Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972, GBR) C-100m. ** D: Alan Gibson. Starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Stephanie Beacham, Michael Coles, Christopher Neame, Caroline Munro. Seventh installment in the Hammer series, a follow-up to SCARS OF DRACULA. This time the setting is modern-day London, where the evil count (Lee) is opposed by a descendant of Prof. Van Helsing (Cushing). Dracula has found new victims in the pot-smoking friends of Van Helsing’s daughter. Nice story idea, competently filmed but also very weakly plotted. The Dracula formula has finally run out of steam. Followed by THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA, the last film of the series. Alternative title: DRACULA TODAY.

Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995, USA/FRA) C-90m. ** D: Mel Brooks. Starring Leslie Nielsen, Peter MacNicol, Steven Weber, Amy Yasbeck, Lysette Anthony, Harvey Korman, Mel Brooks, Anne Bancroft. Mel Brooks spoofs the hundreds of existing Dracula movies in this rather lame parody. Plot sticks close to the original Bram Stoker novel, but there are too few really funny scenes to make this work. Film comes a little untimely, three years after Francis Ford Coppola’s mega-success and almost thirty years after Roman Polanski’s brilliant parody THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS. Remains watchable thanks to compact running time and nice production design. Cowritten and produced by director Brooks.

Dracula Père et Fils (1976, FRA) C-96m. **½ D: Eduard Molinaro. Starring Christopher Lee, Bernard Menez, Marie-Hélène Breillat, Barnard Alane, Catherine Breillat, Raymond Bussières, Gérard Jugnot, Dominique Zardi. Old Dracula (Lee) has fathered a son and two hundred years later they are forced to leave their Transsylvanian home. They travel to modern-day France, where Drac becomes a vampire actor(!) and his son still struggles with his aversion toward sucking blood. Amusing spoof, with a great self-ironic performance by Lee, but laughs peter out in final third. Based on the novel by Claude Klotz. English title: DRACULA AND SON.

Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966, GBR) C-90m. Scope **½ D: Terence Fisher. Starring Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Andrew Keir, Francis Matthews, Suzan Farmer, Philip Latham. After BRIDES OF DRACULA (1960), Hammer’s second sequel to DRACULA (1958) revives the count in his castle to kill some American tourists. Vampire horror sticks relatively close to its source, there’s even the fly-eating Renfield character. Good photography, dramatic score, but plot is less thrilling and poorly paced. And the ending disappoints. For Drac’s (Lee’s) fans. Followed by DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM HIS GRAVE (1968).

Dracula’s Dog (1978, USA) C-83m. *½ D: Albert Band. Starring Michael Pataki, Reggie Nalder, José Ferrer, Jan Shutan, Libby Chase. One of Dracula’s disciples (Nalder) is awakened by accident along with his vampiric dog(!). They both go in search of Dracula’s only relative, who just happens to be living in the L.A. area. Laugh-out-loud material is presented in dead-serious manner with hardly any potent horror scenes. Boring, unexciting for humans, great action for dogs (my Retriever couldn’t get his eyes of the screen). Nalder would again be cast as vampire in Tobe Hooper’s SALEM’S LOT (1979). Effects by Stan Winston. Also known as ZOLTAN, HOUND OF DRACULA.

Dracula 2000 (2000, USA) C-99m. Scope **½ D: Patrick Lussier. Starring Gerard Butler, Christopher Plummer, Jonny Lee Miller, Justine Waddell, Jennifer Esposito, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Sean Patrick Thomas. In London of the year 2000 a group of thieves steal what is antiques dealer Van Helsing’s most prized possession: a coffin with Dracula’s remains. Naturally, the demonic count is revived and goes after Van Helsing’s daughter (Waddell), who has a telepathic tie to the vampire. Razzle-dazzle special effects, impressive photography (by Peter Pau) only partially redeem poor plot. Still, it’s good to see Dracula with more verve than ever (even if Butler was a slight casting choice). Coproduced by Wes Craven, hence the alternative title: WES CRAVEN PRESENTS DRACULA 2000.

Dracula Vs. Frankenstein (1971, USA) C-90m. *½ D: Al Adamson. Starring J. Carrol Naish, Lon Chaney Jr., Anthony Eisley, Regina Carrol, Russ Tamblyn, John ‘Bud’ Cardos. Unintentionally funny monster horror trash about Dr. Frankenstein’s attempts to create a new monster. Dracula shows up too. Trash value earns this half a star for B-movie freaks. Aka THE BLOOD SEEKERS, BLOOD OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE REVENGE OF DRACULA and SATAN’S BLOODY FREAKS, to name only the more colorful titles.

Drag Me to Hell (2009, USA) C-99m. SCOPE **½ D: Sam Raimi. Starring Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao, David Paymer, Sam Raimi. Raimi’s return to the horror genre about bank clerk Lohman, who thinks refusing an old woman an extension on her loan payment will get her the much desired promotion to assistant manager. The old woman turns out to be a gypsy who puts a curse on her that will eventually drag her to hell. Is there a way of getting rid of the curse? Some typical slapstick gruesomeness in this, but the plot should have been less slapdash, and neither Lohman nor Long can make you believe in it. Okay suspense score by Christopher Young. Rated PG-13!

Dragon Fist (1979, HGK) C-92m. Scope ** D: Lo Wei. Starring Jackie Chan, Nora Miao, James Tien, Yam Sai-Kun. Another one of director Lo Wei’s attempts at turning Jackie Chan into Bruce Lee’s successor is crudely plotted old-school kung fu movie about Jackie’s intention to avenge the death of his master, and an intrigue spun by the evil Wai clan which nearly foils his plan. Absence of silly slapstick, some good scenes involving Jackie make it watchable, but plotting is amateurish (if admittedly ambitious). For fans. Also known as IN EAGLE DRAGON FIST.

Dragon Flies, The (1975, AUS/HGK) C-103m. Scope ** D: Brian Trenchard-Smith. Starring Jimmy Wang-Yu, George Lazenby, Ros Spiers, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rebecca Gilling, Samo Hung. Hong Kong cop Wang-Yu travels to Sydney to try and nail crime lord Lazenby. Lots of action, little plot, but generally OK. Interesting for its cast, as well as its location. The attempt at fashioning an ENTER THE DRAGON-clone (see Samo Hung's cameo at the beginning of the film) with a James Bond feel fails because the star lacks the charisma of Bruce Lee and the plotting is lame. Aka THE MAN FROM HONG KONG.

Dragonfly (2002, USA) C-104m. **½ D: Tom Shadyac. Starring Kevin Costner, Susanna Thompson, Joe Morton, Ron Rifkin, Kathy Bates, Matt Craven. Mystery thriller about Chicago emergency room doctor Costner, whose wife has died in a tragic accident in Venezuela. While trying to get over this loss, he starts receiving signals and messages, which seem to be from her. What is she trying to tell him? Well-made, suspenseful, even exciting thriller that builds to a wildly improbable climax, which identifies it as just another one of those contrived Hollywood movies that are technically faultless.

Dragon Gate Inn (1966, TIW) C-111m. **½ D: King Hu. Starring Shang Kuan, Chun Shih, Bai Ying, Jian Tsao, Hsu Feng. Taiwanese martial arts classic about a family clan, whose head has been executed and who must flee to title place. However, they are not safe from an evil minister’s clutches. Plot is too often slow, talky (not to mention confusing), but film should be viewed for King Hu’s forceful direction and excellent editing. Owes a bit to the spaghetti westerns of that time (or is it the other way round?). Climactic fight best part. Remade in 1992. Also known as DRAGON INN, and LONG MEN KE ZHEN.

Dragonheart (1996, USA) C-103m. *** D: Rob Cohen. Starring Dennis Quaid, David Thewlis, Dina Meyer, Julie Christie, Pete Postlethwaite, Jason Isaacs, Brian Thompson, Lee Oakes, Wolf Christian, Terry O'Neill, voice of Sean Connery. Enjoyable fantasy film about a knight (Quaid), who sets out to kill dragons, because one of them has given half of his heart to a king who has become cruel. Unknowingly, this knight befriends the creature (voice by Sean Connery), and they decide to battle the king. Stunning effects, nice score, a good but not great film. It lacks the intended epic scope, since the setting is not clearly defined.

Dragon Lord (1982, HGK) C-92m. Scope D: Jackie Chan. Starring Jackie Chan, Chen Hui-Min, Sidney Yim, Wong In-Sik, Mars. Unfunny, nearly plotless action comedy, a do-it-yourself-project for superstar Chan, who also directed and cowrote the screenplay. He plays a young fighter (what else?) who is competing with his friend for the love of a beautiful girl. By coincidence they stumble upon smugglers who illegally deal with antiquities. Only for the Jackie Chan cult. Produced by Golden Harvest.

Dragons Forever (1988, HGK) C-89m. ** D: Samo Hung. Starring Jackie Chan, Samo Hung, Deannie Yip, Yuen Biao, Pauline Yeung. Jackie Chan is a lawyer hired by a dubious organisation who switches sides when he starts romanticising the woman who is accusing them of poisoning her lake. A large part of the plot (strictly speaking the subplot) is devoted to romance and comedy, which are both absolutely dreadful. The action scenes are explosive, though. Fans are recommended to fast forward to the finale. Leonard Maltin has rated this ***½!!! Also known as CYCLONE Z.

Dragon Squad (1973, HGK) C-91m. Scope ** D: John Binner, Wang Yu. Starring Wang Yu. Four diverse characters unite to battle a ruthless crime syndicate. Predictable but routinely made kung fu action set in the 1920s. Overly melodramatic score makes it fun on a trash level. Aka: FOUR REAL FRIENDS.

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993, USA) C-120m. Scope **½ D: Rob Cohen. Starring Jason Scott Lee, Lauren Holly, Robert Wagner, Michael Learned, Nancy Kwan, Kay Tong Lim, Sterling Macer, Ric Young, Sven-Ole Thorson. Screen-bio about the life and times of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, from his days in Hong Kong to his early death in 1973. Jason Scott Lee impersonates Bruce Lee very well (the film is generally well-cast), but American viewpoint is sometimes unbearable: Several times it is suggested that Lee was an American, his romance with his later wife (Holly), whose novel Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew this is based on, is unbearably corny at times. Those who accept such a Hollywood treatment will find the film entertaining. Still, it’s especially disappointing that there is hardly any background information given about his films. 

Dreamcatcher (2003, USA) C-134m. Scope *** D: Lawrence Kasdan. Starring Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Damian Lewis, Timothy Olyphant, Tom Sizemore, Donnie Wahlberg, Jonathan Kasdan. Well-made Stephen King adaptation about four childhood friends, who reunite every year at a remote cabin in the woods to reminisce about a special friend they had, who gave them a special psychic gift. Now it seems they are in need of that, for something sinister is roaming the woods and infecting people and animals alike. Intriguing, well-directed horror film is unfortunately undermined by silly (and unbelievable) subplot concerning involvement of the army (with top-billed Freeman). Still, never boring, recommended to King fans and horror aficionados in general. Fine cinematography by John Seale, good score by James Hewton Howard. Written by director Kasdan and William Goldman.

Dream Demon (1988, GBR) C-89m. **½ D: Harley Cokeliss. Starring Jemma Redgrave, Kathleen Wilhoite, Timothy Spall, Jimmy Nail, Mark Greenstreet, Susan Fleetwood. Rather potent, terror-filled splatter horror that draws its inspiration from new classics such as NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984) or HELLRAISER (1987) without being innovative. Virginal Redgrave is harassed by reporters just before her marriage to a celebrity and starts having nightmares of the gory kind. A woman who tries to help her is also drawn into them. Technically apt, but rather meaningless, alas. Worth seeking out for gorehounds.

Dreamers, The (2003, GBR/FRA/ITA) C-115m. *** D: Bernardo Bertolucci. Starring Michael Pitt, Eva Green, Louis Garrel, Anna Chancellor, Robin Renucci, Jean-Pierre Léaud. Erotic drama set in 1968 Paris, where inexperienced American student Pitt makes the acquaintance of sexually liberated twins Green and Garrel. Set against the backdrop of the student protests and the closing of the Cinémateque Francaise, film is irresistible to film buffs, with lots of references from classic 30s cinema to 1960s Nouvelle Vague. Plot is slight, though. Explicit sex scenes (with sensational Green) earned this an NC-17 rating. Written by Gilbert Adair.

Dreamscape (1984, USA) C-99m. *** D: Joseph Ruben. Starring Dennis Quaid, Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, Eddie Albert, Kate Capshaw, George Wendt. Science-fiction thriller about a young man (Quaid) gifted with telekinetic powers, who is hired by von Sydow’s company to participate in an experiment to enter people’s dreams. It works and Plummer, an influential man in Washington, D.C., persuades the President, who keeps having terrible nightmares, to let someone enter his dreams and find the cause for the nightmares. In truth, he has other plans. Neither credible, nor very logical, film’s assets are a swift pace, good performances and fine effects. There are also some potent horror scenes. Written by director Ruben, Chuck Russell (THE BLOB) and David Loughery. Score by Maurice Jarre.

Drei Räuber, Die (2007, GER) C-75m. *** D: Hayo Freitag. Starring (the voices of) Joachim Król, Bela B. Felsenheimer, Charly Hübner, Katharina Thalbach, Elena Kreil. Adaptation of the children’s book by Tomi Ungerer (who also narrates) about a poor little orphan girl, who is kidnapped by three robbers, when she should have been brought to the orphanage run by cruel Thalbach. Maybe a bit nasty and dark for little children, but design – at times reminiscent of Tim Burton – is a treat. English title: THE THREE ROBBERS.

23 (1998, GER) C-99m. **½ D: Hans-Christian Schmid. Starring August Diehl, Fabian Busch, Dieter Landuris, Jan-Gregor Kremp, Stephan Kampwirth, Peter Fitz, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Hanns Zischler. Intriguing drama, based on a true story, about paranoid young computer expert Karl Koch, who is convinced after having read the book Illuminatus that the world is ruled by a secret society which is responsible for many conspiracies and catastrophes. Koch becomes obsessed with the number 23, which he believes is the code of the "Illuminated". The film recounts his story, his spying for the KGB and his self-destructive drug addiction. Well-acted and quite fascinating (the real Karl Koch died on 23rd of May under mysterious circumstances!), however, the ragged story-telling not only undermines the film's credibility but also deprives it of any serious point. Still, oddly captivating, a movie with cult possibilities.

Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965, USA) C-88m. Scope ** D: Norman Taurog. Starring Vincent Price, Frankie Avalon, Dwayne Hickman, Susan Hart, Jack Mullaney, Fred Clark, Milton Frome. Absolutely demented, incredibly silly (and perhaps unique) slapstick comedy. Mad scientist Dr. Goldfoot (Price) has invented title device, which produces gorgeous bikini girls he can command via remote control. His aim is to gain world domination. Interesting set-pieces and Taurog’s feeling for slapstick hardly make this watchable. A real curio. Price gleefully recreates his torture role from PIT AND THE PENDULUM (1961) – including the pendulum! – in mad-cap haunted castle finale. Followed by SPIE VENGONO DAL SEMIFREDDO (aka DR. GOLDFOOT AND THE GIRL BOMBS) – directed by Mario Bava!

Dr. M (1990, GER/FRA/ITA) C-116m. **½ D: Claude Chabrol. Starring Alan Bates, Jennifer Beals, Jan Niklas, Hanns Zischler, Benoît Regent, Peter Fitz, Andrew McCarthy, Wolfgang Preiss, Isolde Barth. Chabrol treads science-fiction territory in this thriller set in near-future Berlin, where more and more people commit suicide. A strange holiday company, along with its owner, media czar Bates, is all too obviously responsible. Policeman Niklas attempts to unveil a conspiracy. Certainly interesting but could have used a dose of surrealism, which would have made this fascinating. Unfortunately, Chabrol’s direction remains too conventional. Based on the novel Mabuse, der Spieler by Norbert Jacques, which was previously filmed by Fritz Lang in 1922. Released in the U.S. as CLUB EXTINCTION.

Dr. M Schlägt zu (1973, GER/SPA) C-79m. M D: Jess Frank (=Jess Franco). Starring Jack Taylor, Fred Williams, Eva Garden, Ewa Stroemberg, Friedrich Joloff, Siegfried Lowitz, Rocha. Atrocious screenplay downs this German-Spanish coproduction, in which some mad scientists are after a secret formula. Or something like that. Score by Rolf Kühn is not bad, though. Franco appears unbilled as the chief of police.

Dr. No (1962, GBR) C-110m. ***½ D: Terence Young. Starring Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Joseph Wiseman, Jack Lord, Bernard Lee, Anthony Dawson, Lois Maxwell, Peter Burton, Martine Beswick. The film that started it all: The first James Bond movie holds up today as fine, colorful entertainment. Ian Fleming’s Secret Agent 007, convincingly portrayed by Sean Connery, is called to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of a government official. It may have something to do with an encoding device that an evil crime lord is trying to bring to his fortress island. Exciting action adventure contains all of the classic Bond ingredients: An exotic setting, a suspenseful plot, a potent villain (Wiseman) and a beautiful Bond girl (Andress). This is one of the best films in the series, topped only, perhaps, by ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE (1969). Classic score by John Barry and Monty Norman, fine production design by Ken Adam. Followed by FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963).

Drôle de Paroissien, Un (1963, FRA) 83m. **½ D: Jean-Pierre Mocky. Starring Bourvil, Francis Blanche, Jean Poiret, Jean Yonnel, Jean Tissier, Jean-Pierre Mocky. Typically irreverent Mocky comedy about a family of social parasites, who are threatened with eviction, until religious son Bourvil comes up with the idea to rob offertory boxes in all the churches of Paris! Mad-cap farce is quite enjoyable, Poiret a stand-out. One dream sequence is in color. Based on the novel Deo Gratias by Michel Sevin. English title: THANK HEAVEN FOR SMALL FAVORS.

Drowning Mona (2000, USA) C-95m. ** D: Nick Gomez. Starring Danny DeVito, Bette Midler, Neve Campbell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Affleck, William Fichtner, Marcus Thomas, Peter Dobson, Mark Pellegrino. Lame farcical comedy set entirely in a small town, where all the characters know each other. When Midler dies in a planned car accident, sheriff DeVito is baffled to find so many suspects among her relatives. Who tried to get rid of her? In flashbacks, we are told the story of her life and death. Not funny enough, nor fluently plotted, a disappointment. Only the cast maintains a marginal interest. 

Dr. Phibes Rises Again! (1972, GBR) C-89m. *½ D: Robert Fuest. Starring Vincent Price, Robert Quarry, Valli Kemp, Fiona Lewis, Peter Jeffrey, Peter Cushing, Bery Reid, Terry-Thomas, Hugh Griffith. Silly, pointless sequel to THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES. Price, reprising his role from the original film, attempts to resurrect his dead wife in Egypt. Not worth your time, unless you want to check out that cast. Price is pretty ridiculous (he speaks without moving his lips). Cowritten by the director.

Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964, GBR) 94m. ***½ D: Stanley Kubrick. Starring Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Slim Pickens, Keenan Wynn, Peter Bull, James Earl Jones. Classic satire on the absurdity of war about ‘hairy’ situation brought about by crazy general Jack D. Ripper, who singlehandedly launches an atomic attack against the Soviet Union, because he thinks they poisoned his drinking water. Sellers is brilliant and unforgettable in three roles, including the title character’s. Film must have seemed especially scathing when it originally came out and has lost most of its impact over the years, but some set pieces are just hilarious. At the very least it will convince you of how easily something can go fatally wrong. Jones’ film debut. Based on the novel Red Alert by Peter George. Original running time (allegedly) 102m.

Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965, GBR) C-98m. Scope *** D: Freddie Francis. Starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Donald Sutherland, Michael Gough, Bernard Lee. A mysterious stranger (Cushing) tells the fortunes of the five men sitting with him in a train compartment. Atmospheric, well-made horror chiller with many intelligent ideas. Well-acted, a stylish gem.

Dr. Wai and the Scripture With No Words (1996, HGK) C-91m. Scope *** D: Ching Siu-Tung. Starring Jet Li, Rosamunde Kwan, Billy Chow, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Johnny Kong. Enjoyable, captivating action adventure by genre master Ching about Indiana Jones-like scientist Dr. Wai (Jet Li), who goes in search of a missing scripture, which harnesses supernatural powers. Naturally, he is not the only one after the precious scroll. Great action set-pieces, imaginative effects and direction, perfect for fans. Done with the same zest as Ching’s SWORDSMAN series.

Drunken Master in the Tiger’s Eye (1978, HGK) C-89m. Scope **½ D: Yuen Wo-Ping. Starring Jackie Chan, Hsiao-Tien, Huang Cheng-Li. Chan isn’t taking his martial arts education seriously, so his father sends him to his uncle, a ‘drunken master’. He teaches Jackie how to fight - and drink. This is a kung-fu film with comic bits that actually work! Above-average eastern suffers from an indifferent script (written by the director). Followed by a sequel. Aka DRUNKEN MASTER. Originally 106m.  

Duck Tales: Treasure of the Golden Sun (1987, USA) C-125m. **½ D: none credited. Starring (the voices of) Alan Young, Tony Anselmo, Jim Cummings, Joan Gerber, Chuck McCann, Terence McGovern. DuckTales movie comprised of the first five episodes of the long-running Disney TV series. Huey, Dewey and Louie must spend some time with Uncle Scrooge and find out an antique ship model might lead them to a treasure. Two competitors, Flintheart Glomgold and El Capitán have joined forces to win the race to the gold. Fast-paced adventure still grows tiresome after a while, as there is not much coherence. For fans.

DuckTales: the Movie – Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990, USA) C-74m. **½ D: Gaetan Brizzi, Paul Brizzi, Bob Hathcock, Clive Pallant, Mathias Marcos Rodric, Vincent Woodcock. Starring (the voices of) Alan Young, Rip Taylor, Christopher Lloyd, Russi Taylor. Big-screen adaptation of Disney’s TV series, produced by their television animation department. Scrooge McDuck and his nephews go to Egypt to find a legendary treasure, discover magical lamp with genie inside. Retains the fast-pace of the TV episodes, but mostly to negative effect. Plot seems rushed and underdeveloped. Still, a cute adventure movie for kids and fans of the Disney ducks.

Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000, USA) C-83m. ** D: Danny Leiner. Starring Ashton Kutcher, Seann William Scott, Jennifer Garner, Marla Sokoloff, Kristy Swanson, David Herman, Brent Spiner. Low-brow comedy in the vein of the AMERICAN PIE films, about two stoned pals, who don’t remember anything from last night and incredibly get involved in the search for an extra-terrestrial device! Funny scenes outweighed soon by general silliness.

Due Facce del Dollaro, Le (1968, ITA/FRA) C-94m. Scope ** D: Roberto B. Montero. Starring Monty Greenwood, Jacques Herlin, Gérard Herter, Gabriella Giorgelli. Four disparate characters try to steal gold from a Fort. Spaghetti western in the heist tradition is nothing special but maintains suspense. Morricone imitation score is not bad either.

Duel (1971, USA) C-90m. *** D: Steven Spielberg. Starring Dennis Weaver, Tim Herbert, Charles Peel, Eddie Firestone. Suspenseful second feature (made for television) of renowned director Spielberg about conservative, pedantic businessman Weaver, driving through the middle of nowhere, who encounters a dirty, ugly truck, which begins terrorizing him. Well-directed thriller, from a short story by Richard Matheson. Jim Fargo (THE ENFORCER) was assistant director.

Duellists, The (1977, GBR) C-95m. *** D: Ridley Scott. Starring Keith Carradine, Harvey Keitel, Alber Finney, Edward Fox, Cristina Raines, Robert Stephens, Tom Conti, Pete Postlethwaite, narrated by Stacy Keach. Impressively designed and photographed drama based on Joseph Conrad’s novel The Duel. Around the year 1800 Napoleonic soldier Carradine is challenged to a duel by roughneck Keitel for almost nothing at all. This feud continues over the years and leads to several duels between the two gentlemen. Ridley Scott’s first feature film is difficult to enjoy, but you’ll marvel at the images, which seem to come directly of some painter’s canvas. Won the Best First Work award at Cannes.

Duel of the Iron Fist (1971, HGK) C-95m. Scope ** D: Chang Cheh. Starring David Chiang, Ti Lung, Wang Chung, Chen Kuan Tai. After a one-year absence, young fighter Ti returns to his home and must learn that one of his former friends has taken over the martial arts club and turned his girlfriend into a prostitute. He swears revenge and gets help from an ambiguous character, Chiang. Earnest action drama set in the early 20th century features knife fights galore, whose excitement doesn’t quite match the bare-knuckle fights of other easterns. Film also takes a few unlikely twists in the second half. Interesting for buffs; others stay away, especially from edited U.S. print, which ends in the middle of the final fight! Aka THE DUEL and DUEL OF THE SHAOLIN FIST.

2099 - Dopo la Caduta di New York (1983, ITA/FRA) C-89m. ** D: Martin Dolman (=Sergio Martino). Starring Michael Sopkiw, Valentine Monnier, Edmund Purdom, George Eastman. ‘Flash’ Sopkiw goes into post-apocalyptic Manhattan to retrieve the last fertile woman on the devastated planet. He meets mutants, replicants and talking apes(!) on his way. Under-produced, derivative science-fiction remains fairly entertaining, although (or because?) it’s very trashy. A lot of action throughout. Eastman appears as ‘Big Ape’! Released in the U.S. as AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK. 

Dukes of Hazzard, The (2005, USA) C-106m. Scope *** D: Jay Chandrasekhar. Starring Johnny Knoxville, Sean William Scott, Jessica Simpson, Burt Reynolds, Joe Don Baker, James Roday, Steve Lemme, Willie Nelson, Jay Chandrasekhar, Nikki Griffin, Barry Corbin. The 70s TV series makes it to the big screen in this fast, loud, funny action comedy. Knoxville and Scott play the Duke cousins, who find out that hot-shot Reynolds is planning some evil things in Hazzard County. And yes, there’s a race coming up, for which Reynolds has hired racing star Roday. Plot is second-rate, but this does not matter when the laughs are there and the action delivers. Scott (of the AMERICAN PIE films) gives another engaging performance.

Dumbo (1941, USA) C-64m. *** D: Ben Sharpsteen. Still-charming animated Disney classic about the elephant baby with giant ears, who lives through quite a lot of suffering until he understands that being different has its advantages, too. Dumbo doesn’t say a word, which mutes the effects of this relatively short movie sometimes, but it is one of Disney’s holy cows today, so why quibble? Oscar winner for Best Score.

Dummy (2003, USA) C-91m. *** D: Greg Pritikin. Starring Adrien Brody, Milla Jovovich, Illeana Douglas, Vera Farmiga, Jessica Walter, Ron Leibman, Jared Harris. Charming tale from American suburbia about Brody, who discovers his penchant for ventriloquism, quits his job and tries to learn the art. Along the way he falls in love with his unemployment counsellor Farmiga. Jovovich is also fun as Brody’s iconoclastic but aimless friend. Likable performances and warm-hearted script make this a winner. Written by the director.

Dust Devil (1992, GBR/SAF) C-104m. *** D: Richard Stanley. Starring Robert Burke, Chelsea Field, Zakes Mokae, John Matshikiza, Rufus Swart, William Hootkins, Marianne Sägebrecht. Atmospheric horror about a demon trapped inside a human body, who murders ‘lost souls’ in order to re-enter the spiritual realm he has come from. Field, fleeing from an unhappy marriage, turns out to be tougher than the rest of his victims. Dark, well-photographed horror film set in the Namibian desert is deliberately paced and vague but also engrossing and at times even fascinating. Burke is charismatic as the title creature. Not for every taste, but cult movie fans should find this enigmatic, stylish film interesting. Fine score by Simon Boswell. Originally released at 87m., then issued in a 104m. ‘final cut’, which inserts deleted scenes and was supervised by director Stanley. Some versions may run even longer.