All-American Medea: Shirley Stoler in The Honeymoon Killers By Nick Pinkerton
Multiple Maniacs: Genuine Trash By Linda Yablonsky
Anatomy of a Gag: Being There By David Cairns
The titles in this week’s festival of free Criterion films on Hulu Plus so captured the imagination of other directors that they were later remade—but of course, nothing compares to the originals. Four of them were European films that became American entertainments: Henri-Georges Clouzot’s nail-biting The Wages of Fear provided the template for William Friedkin’s action spectacle Sorcerer; Andrei Tarkovsky’s cerebral science-fiction drama Solaris became Steven Soderbergh’s George Clooney vehicle of the same name; Chris Marker’s twenty-seven-minute masterpiece of a time-travel tale La Jetée morphed into Terry Gilliam’s stylish Twelve Monkeys; and Ingmar Bergman’s Oscar-winning rape and revenge tragedy The Virgin Spring was adapted into Wes Craven’s breakthrough horror movie, The Last House on the Left. The only American-to-American do-over in our selection is The Blob, which was just as ooey-gooey in 1988 as it was in 1958—with perhaps a bit more blood. One claim to fame of Irvin S. Yeaworth’s original that didn’t make it into the remake, however, is Burt Bacharach’s jazzy, slithery theme song—check it out over the title credits below. Then watch the film in its entirety over at Hulu. And if you sign up for Hulu Plus for a monthly fee of just $7.99, you can now see more than seven hundred other Criterion films. Plus, enter the code REBOOT at checkout on Criterion.com to get a 50% discount on discs of any of these titles.