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The Last Exorcism (PG-13)


Criminally underappreciated in its theatrical run — though mega-successful, considering its tiny budget — The Last Exorcism was done a terrible disservice by Lionsgate's marketing team, which flat-out created images that aren't in the movie to go on posters to make it seem like a head-spinning horror film. It was a horror film, in fact, but in a more religio-political sense. The excellent Patrick Fabian plays a Marjoe-esque evangelist who has changed his mind about performing fake exorcisms for rural hicks for money, after reading about several children dying at the hands of other "exorcists" who've gotten too, um, enthusiastic. To put a nail in his own coffin, he invites a camera crew to one such "exorcism" and discovers a backwoods tragedy on par with Jesus Camp. Aside from a silly bailout ending, the rest is pseudo-doc brilliance. — Justin Strout


Cronos (R)

The Criterion Collection

While Mexican director Guillermo del Toro is a household name now thanks to genre classics such as Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth, few people have seen his outstanding 1993 debut film Cronos. In a moving, beautifully humanistic take on modern vampire mythos (now fully restored thanks to Criterion), aging antique dealer Jesus (Federico Lapp) comes into possession of a device that gives him his youthfulness back, but, of course, it comes with a price. Aided by his young granddaughter, he tries to discover the secret of this diabolical fountain of youth, which is also coveted by local elderly germophobe industrialist De la Guardia and his crude, brutish nephew Angel (Ron Perlman). Cronos succeeds so wonderfully because it's more of a study on aging and loss than a straight horror film, displaying a maturity rarely seen in many modern horror movies. — Louis Fowler


Legends of the Superheroes (NR)

Warner Archive

Hanna-Barbera was never really any good at cartoons, so when the company tried its hand at live-action programming, you were guaranteed that the results would be brutal. Some of the notably hilarious misfires included KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park, The Beasts Are in the Streets and this 1978 on-screen evisceration of your favorite DC Comics superstars. Two episodes were filmed with Adam West and Burt Ward reprising their roles as Batman and Robin, respectively. The first episode, "The Challenge," finds them, along with Green Lantern, The Flash, Hawkman and Shazam, facing off against villains Solomon Grundy, the Riddler and the Weather Wizard. Even better, Episode Two forgoes plot altogether and puts on a roast hosted by Ed McMahon. Oh, and your jaw will drop at the introduction of Ghetto Man, an ultra-un-PC hero, even for that time. — Louis Fowler

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