FIRESTARTER
1984, Park Circus, 114 min, USA, Dir: Mark L. Lester

After rocketing to fame in E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, pre-teen Drew Barrymore was tapped for the lead in this Stephen King adaptation. She plays Charlene “Charlie” McGee, a girl with pyrokinetic powers that government agency “The Shop” is eager to harness; her father (David Keith) also has psychic abilities, which he uses to protect his daughter from Shop agents. Sharing the screen with fiery special effects is a top-notch cast - including George C. Scott, Martin Sheen, Louise Fletcher, Art Carney and Heather Locklear - and an electronic score by Tangerine Dream.


THE CHEAP DETECTIVE
2011, Sony Repertory (Columbia), 92 min, USA, Dir: Robert Moore

In this follow-up to MURDER BY DEATH, Peter Falk stars as Lou Peckinpaugh, a penny-pinching private eye trying to stay ahead of the police as he tracks down his partner’s killer and some missing diamonds in 1940s San Francisco. This loving parody of film noir - and Bogart movies in particular - rounds up all sorts of usual suspects, including Ann-Margret, Eileen Brennan, Sid Caesar, Madeline Kahn, Dom DeLuise, Stockard Channing and Louise Fletcher, to play the assorted femmes fatale, fall-guys, cops and crooks peopling Neil Simon’s gag-filled screenplay.


THE LADY IN RED
1979, New World Pictures, 93 min, Dir: Lewis Teague

The "lady in red" of the title (Pamela Sue Martin) is thrust into a life on the run thanks to her relationship with notorious gangster John Dillinger (Robert Conrad) in this energetic Roger Corman production. A sharp screenplay by John Sayles, stylish direction by Lewis Teague, and a dynamite cast that includes Louise Fletcher, Christopher Lloyd and Corman stalwart Dick Miller (not to mention Robert Forster in an uncredited role) make this one of the best movies to come out of the "Roger Corman School of Filmmaking."


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