Monthly Archives: April 1989


Unpleasant and highly derivative, this postapocalyptic bone cruncher (1989), directed by former Kurosawa assistant Albert Pyun and written (after a fashion) by Kitty Chambers, tries very hard to work up a Road Warrior atmosphere in American settings, but the foreign accents tend to run so thick that even with the North Carolina locations (a sign reading Lumberton seems left over from Blue Velvet), the precise location of this Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus special appears to be nowhere. With Deborah Richter, Vincent Klyn, and Dayle Haddon. R, 86 min. (JR) Read more


This second featureafter The Escape Artistof Black Stallion cinematographer Caleb Deschanel stars Aidan Quinn as an early-19th-century American slave trader who becomes shipwrecked and finds himself alone on a desert island with only a dog for company. The first part of the story is a sort of reductive version of Robinson Crusoe, made somewhat contrived by the arch conceit (and coincidence) of the hero being named Crusoe; then a group of natives turn up in a boat, Crusoe saves one of them (Ade Sapara) from a sacrificial death, and most of the remainder of the plot becomes a humanistic allegory a la The Defiant Ones about interracial understanding. The settings are beautiful, but this is pretty simpleminded stuff, and the fact that dialogue is kept to a minimum doesn’t hold back the banality very much. (JR) Read more

The Collector


Perhaps the most interesting element of John Fowles’s novel is its alternation between two narrators — the shy and eccentric butterfly collector who kidnaps a young woman to add to his collection, and the woman herself. By jettisoning this structure, this 1965 film has precious little to hold one’s interest, apart from Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar as the leads; Stanley Mann and John Kohn’s script adaptation is relatively flat-footed, and William Wyler’s direction is as academic as ever. 119 min. (JR) Read more