DARK BLOOD
2013, Cinemavault, 86 min, USA, Dir: George Sluizer

Boy (River Phoenix), a young widower with native American roots, lives in a desert in the USA contaminated by nuclear tests. In this desolate place, surrounded by katchina dolls which the indigenous population believes possess magical powers, he awaits the end of the world. His refuge is suddenly invaded by Harry and Buffy (Jonathan Pryce and Judy Davis), a couple second honeymooning in an attempt to save their marriage. When their Bentley breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Boy offers to help. But then, hoping to cross over into a better world with Buffy, he starts treating them like prisoners. When Dark Blood’s leading actor River Phoenix died suddenly ten days before the end of the shoot in 1993, the film’s insurance company became the owner of the unfinished material. Years later, director George Sluizer managed to save his footage from being destroyed. In January 2012 he decided to edit the unfinished film. The resulting work is an existentialist latter-day Western which derives much of its evocative power from the presence of its leading man, who was himself teetering on the brink of death.


SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES
1983, Disney, 95 min, USA, Dir: Jack Clayton

A strange carnival comes to a small town, bringing with it Mr. Dark (Jonathan Pryce), a sinister impresario who bewitches many of the town’s inhabitants with apparent answers to their dreams. Or is it their nightmares? Ray Bradbury adapted the screenplay from his novel.


THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN
1988, Sony Repertory, 126 min, UK, Dir: Terry Gilliam

Terry Gilliam's third fantasy film (following TIME BANDITS and BRAZIL) is yet another terrific children's film that's just as entertaining (if not more so) for adults. The mythical Baron Munchausen (John Neville) materializes after a heinous performance of his life story, and sets off with pint-sized gamine Sally (Sarah Polley) to save a city in trouble, stopping off along the way for encounters with Oliver Reed, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Uma Thurman and Robin Williams as the Moon King. "The worlds Gilliam has created here are like the ones he created in his animations for Monty Python - they have a majestic peculiarity. And you're constantly amazed by the freshness and eccentricity of what is pushed in front of your eyes." -Hal Hinson, Washington Post.


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