Jane Fonda stars in the campy psychedelic romp from director Roger Vadim

‘Barbarella’ – Sexy space camp on Hulu

Barbarella (1968), a campy psychedelic romp produced by Italian Dino de Laurentiis, directed by French eroticist Roger Vadim, adapted from a risqué French comic strip by American satirist Terry Southern, and featuring an international cast, was Buck Rogers reworked as a sex kitten in space for the 1960s culture of free love and pop art. […]

Barry Sullivan stars in Mario Bava's Italian sci-fi horror cult film

Mario Bava’s ‘Planet of the Vampires’ on FilmStruck

Despite the title Mario Bava’s funky 1965 sci-fantasy thriller Planet of the Vampires (Italy, 1965), there are no bloodsuckers to be seen, merely an unseen force that kills the astronauts (led by a craggy Barry Sullivan) that land on a primeval otherworldly planet of jagged rocks, bubbling lakes of lava mud, and purple skies. If […]

Amy Adams in 'Arrival,' directed by Denis Villeneuve

‘Arrival’ – First contact on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Arrival (2016) is the most cerebral of first contact films, a science fiction drama about communicating across cultures and across species and even across time without a common language, while failing to communicate within our own world. It is a film that looks out beyond our galaxy and inward to our own souls, to challenge […]

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Who would have predicted that the second revival of the Planet of the Apes series would be so smart, so moving, so… human? Whatever your feelings on the 1969 original, at the time a startlingly unique film built on a warped-mirror fantasy premise, the sequels were exercises in diminishing ambition and the ridiculous 2001 Tim […]

Kevin McCarthy stars in Don Siegel's 1956 'Invasion of the Body Snatcher'

‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ – the original pod people on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) – The original version of the oft-filmed science fiction horror is still the most insidious alien invasion film ever made. This is an invasion from within. Small town family doctor Kevin McCarthy returns to his small California coastal community from an out-of-town trip to find everything just a bit […]

Ray Milland stars in Roger Corman's science fiction horror

Roger Corman’s ‘X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes’ on Amazon Prime

Roger Corman and Ray Milland followed up their first collaboration, the Edgar Allan Poe adaptation The Premature Burial, with X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963), a science fiction thriller by way of a Greek tragedy. Milland is Dr. James Xavier, who experiments with a formula that will the human eye to see beyond […]

Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, and Frank in Richard Kelly's cult movie of teen confusion

‘Donnie Darko’ – Life’s a mystery on Netflix

Donnie Darko (2001) – Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) is an otherwise normal rebellious, angry kid who slumps and frumps his way through the confusion of his life. He just happens to have a little more confusion than the most of us, much of it caused by visitations from a demonic looking six-foot rabbit named Frank […]

Ethan Hawks stars in the adaptation of Robert Heinlein's All You Zombies from the Spierig Brothers

‘Predestination’ – Ethan Hawke in a time travel twister on Amazon Prime

Predestination (2015) is a generic title for a perversely clever time travel tale but you can understand why The Spierig Brothers, the screen credit for filmmaking team Michael and Peter Spierig, didn’t go with the title of the famous Robert Heinlein short story they adapted. “—All You Zombies—” would give audiences the wrong idea. There […]

Anne Hathaway stars in the giant monster movie twist by Nacho Vigalondo

‘Colossal’ – Giant monster hangover on Hulu

Colossal (2017) is the oddest and most inventive film to come out of the new wave of giant monster movies. It stars Anne Hathaway as Gloria, an out-of-work writer turned reckless party girl and black-out drunk who is kicked out of the Manhattan apartment she shares with her exasperated boyfriend (Dan Stevens) and returns to […]