Sequels will be the big thing during the upcoming week though there will also be room for the DVD debut of a 70’s horror classic that has never been available before.
RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER – This series, based on the popular video game, has had legs but finally comes to a conclusion. Milla Jovovich returns and takes the fight back to the Umbrella Corporation’s headquarters in Raccoon City. Having this finale take place in the city where the story began is a nice touch as is the excellent cast which includes Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) and Ali Larter(Heroes). The Corporation that caused the apocalypse tries to wipe out the remaining survivors but they didn’t bank on Alice coming back loaded for bear.
THE SPACE BETWEEN US – Science Fiction melds nicely with teen dram in this film about the first person born on Mars. At 14 he comes to Erath to find out if he can track down his father with the help of a young girl he met on-line. The film makes good use of this character as we are introduced to the future of our own planet through his eyes.
XXX: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE – Vin Diesel is back in the action franchise he abandoned after the first film(Ice Cube starred in the sequel). He is an aging “Extreme Sports” athlete who doubles as a secret agent and must save us from a nasty doomsday weapon called ‘Pandora’s Box.” Unfortunately Diesel isn’t very interesting here and his character comes off as a snarky pest who is reduced to dropping wry one-liners after dispatching enemies. The villain is much cooler as played by the ice cold Donnie Yen.
WILLARD – A bullied young man strikes back at his enemies with the help of his friends, a horde of rats, in this chiller from 1971. This is an excellent study of alienation and terror thanks to solid direction by Delbert Mann. Bruce Davison is very good as the socially awkward title character who is ordered around by his nagging mother and nasty tempered boss. His only friends are two rats his mother ordered him to poison ,which he befriended instead. He names them Socrates and Ben and these rodents turn out to be very clever, and have lots of furry friends that are more than wiling to rip up Willard’s enemies. Ernest Borgnine is on-hand as the mean boss and Elsa Lanchester (The Bride of Frankenstein) is good as Willard’s manipulative mother. If all you have seen is the remake with Crispin Glover then you need to check out this classic exercise in terror.
Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.