1971, Warner Bros., 98 min, USA, Dir: Boris Sagal

Whiskey-drinking, WOODSTOCK-watching scientist Charlton Heston faces the possible extinction of mankind, while bug-eyed Anthony Zerbe and his legions of soul-brother vampires prowl the night, in this whacked-out adaptation of Richard Matheson’s classic novel I Am Legend. Here, Heston remade himself as an über-cool 1970s action star, who cruises the plague-ridden streets of L.A. in a convertible Mustang.

1956, Paramount, 80 min, USA, Dir: Don Siegel

Director Don Siegel (DIRTY HARRY) and screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring adapted Jack Finney’s novel into a brilliant, utterly compelling sci-fi story of a Southern California small town overtaken by alien seedpods, which mutate into emotionless doppelgangers of the human inhabitants. Still one of the most frightening movies ever made and a paranoiac’s delight, the picture has been credited as a metaphor for the Red Scare. Kevin McCarthy is excellent as the returning-from-a-trip doctor who gradually realizes the insidious changes going on right under his nose. The exceptional supporting cast includes Dana Wynter, Carolyn Jones (Morticia of TV’s "The Addams Family"), King Donovan, Larry Gates and a cameo by a young Sam Peckinpah (!).

2001, Artistic License, 91 min, USA, Dir: Cory McAbee

In an alternate version of the Old West, space travel is the norm and interplanetary trader Samuel Curtis sets off on a journey through the solar system, unaware that his old enemy Professor Hess is hot on his trail. Shooting on gorgeous 35mm black-and-white film, writer, director and star Cory McAbee creates an utterly unique and ambitious blend of genres: part science fiction, part Western, and part musical, THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT is as unclassifiable as it is entertaining.

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