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July 26, 1979 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-07-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 6--Thursday, July 26, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Bond, bats, and beast a bore

By CHRISTOPHER POTTER
It's a gloomy comment on the state
of this summer's movies that the most
outstanding film currently playing in
Ann Arbor was actually released last
summer. Terrence Malick's Days of
Heaven is a film so surpassingly
brilliant that it stands as living
testimony to the level of art that cinema
can rise to when a filmmaker is given
the freedom to shape his own creation
as he chooses.
Which is precisely the ironic reason

it's been so difficult to find Day. of
Heaven showing anywhere other than
the East and West Coasts. Malick's film
about Texas sharecroppers during
World War I is just too good-it's such
an incredibly textured sorcerer's work
that its aghast parent company,
Paramount, has kept it virtually hidden
in the back recesses of its movie vaults,
as a family might closet a mongoloid
child.
Beset by economic panic over how to
exhibit a film that asks people to think

("That's not entertainment, dam-
mit!"), the studio's ultimate decision
seems to have been to show Days of
Heaven rarely, if at all. The film is
currently, miraculously on display at
the State Theatre, but don't bet a nickel
it'll still be there at the end of the week.
If you value good movies at all, you owe
it to yourself to catch this uncom-
promising but richly accessible work of
genius, beside which most other sum-
mer film entries stand exposed as
avaricious, derivative mutants. All
power to the dollar.
SPEAKING OF mutants, this
season's copycat agenda is
clear-comedy is out, monsters are in.
For the first time in its long, mostly
dubious history, the horror movie has
suddenly been granted a measure of

Certainly no such comparisons would
be sufficient to justify Prophecy, a
celluloid malformation beside which
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken would
assume Bergmanesque proportions. I
watched it surrounded by a howling,
yellowing mob of pre-eight-year-olds
who never shut up once the entire film,
and I didn't mind a bit.
JOHN FRANKENHEIMER'S
cretinous tale about mutating animals
running amok in northern Maine
breaks ground, at least, as the first
horror movie with an ecological con-
science, declaring that through en-
vironmental polution our corporate
gluttons are not only destroying our
natural resources but creating ten-foot
people-eating monsters as well. (Did
Nader ever miss the boat on that one).

WEDNESDAY IS
"BARGAIN DAY"
$1.50 UNTIL 5:30

MON, TUE, THUR, FRI 17:30-4:
SAT, SUN, WED
1:30-3:30-5:30-7:30-9:30
DUTO! UC
M R! N "a

THE EA2l

ER ESCAPEE
ILL...

The FIRSTCertified
Crazy Person's Comedy
PETER ALAN
FALK ARKIN
(UPPER LEVEL)
SHOWS DAILY AT
1:15-3:40-7:20-9:50

WITH BATS only rarely pictured in the film, 'Nightwing' relies mostly on
dialogue and precarious situations like this one to provide its horror. It
doesn't work.

SHOWS DAILY AT
1-10. S.7-3135-1-9A

frJVVD ILY 'I
1:00-3:30-7:00-9:35
"LEW b a .cwk~r. . we"Opa. .. re
. scroodw end atan.of fn." Gene

SHOWS DAILY AT
1:00-3:30-7:00-9:35

Grade-A respectability; unfortunately,
the cult's new upper-middle-class garb
does little to camouflage its poverty-
pocket roots.
Part of the problem lies in the fact
that the genre's initial summer of-
fering, Alien, is so awesomely,
terrifyingly well-done that any sub-
sequent entry pales beside it; it's a
handicap that besets the just-released
Dracula, which will be examined in
deptha few days hence.
Reopens August 1-5:
POWER CENTER

It's hard to believe a director as
astute as Franenheimer could produce
a piece of work every bit as artistically
incompetent as it is thematically so.
Perhaps he sabotaged it deliberately,
realizing the film's only deliverance ly
in the salvation of high camp; if so, he
succeeded like a pro; Prophecy nestles
proud on the pantheon of kitsch won-
derments, destined perhaps to be men-
tioned in the same awed breath with At-
tack of the Crab Monsters or Plan Nine
From Outer Space. It may someday
prove a trivialist's badge of honor just
to have actually seen Prophecy, an
achievement to rank with the discovery
of such recent lost icons as The Em-
balmers, God Told Me To and the
original ending of The Exorcist Part II.
Also, no such immortality awaits
Nightwing, an equally, unsuccessful
monster movie but for entirely dif-
ferent reasons: Instead of too much kit-

ONL'
En

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