The Company of Wolves (1984); Neil Jordan, director.

Before Neil Jordan was scaring us with close-ups of Jaye Davidson’s schlong, he burst on the scene with this fantasia of dark fairy tales. The trailer doesn’t quite show how this movie is more of a riff on the insidious nature of horror stories. It blends the fantasy world of grieving young girl and a reality that may just have some fantasy in it. (Hey, I say if Angela Landsbury is giving you red hooded jackets to wear, it is a smart bet that wolves are coming to kill you.)

Little Otik (2001); Jan Svankmajer, director.

If I’m going to suggest Barta’s Pied Piper, then I have to mention this. If we lived in Central Europe we’d know all about this fairy tale about the parents who give birth to a tree stump. I’ll be honest, though, I thought this just came fresh from Svankmajer’s whacked-out mind when I first saw this.

Using far less animation that his other features, this surreal movie is set mostly in an old apartment building and uses that physical space not just for maximum horror potential, but for comedy as well. This one would probably make a killer double feature with Roman Polanski’s The Tenant.

Hanna (2011), Joe Wright, director.

Okay, this one is kinda directed more at me. Hanna, still so new you can probably buy it at the Wal-Mart at full price, was actually a box office success. And yet it bounced right off me. I basically shooed the movie away after I saw it, thinking it silly. (I never could get past the fact that the camera went upside-down for no good reason during the bunker escape scene.)

Now that time has passed I’m beginning to realize that it may actually be a great film. Part of my problem, I think, is that I took it too literally and didn’t approach it as a fable. And all the signs are there! From a prominently placed Grimm’s book to an Act 3 conclusion that is a veritable explosion of fairy tales. If you, like I, were focused more on the ass-kicking and the girls’ friendship, maybe it makes sense to take a look at this one again.

Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964); Gordon Douglas, director.

Frank, Sammy & Dino rob from the rich and give to the poor. And sing “My Kind of Town.” And cross paths with an old Bing Crosby and a young Peter Falk. This movie is 100 times better than the original Ocean’s 11, I swear.

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