Movies Will Be Great in '88--Or Maybe Not . . .

OK, this may take a few weeks to get through.

It definitely took us a few weeks (and then some) to put together.

Last year's Sneaks encompassed 362 titles. We thought that was a lot . This year we have managed to uncover 520 movies that are, for better or for worse, planned for release this year.

That in itself does not necessarily mean that movies will be better than ever--or that there will be more movies than ever. But for movie fans among our readers, it means that there are going to be plenty of diversions.

Keep in mind that what follows across these many pages is subject to change. We've got synopses for movies that are not yet cast; even the directors may come and go. Plots may change, too. Then there are those listings that were based on cryptic sentences supplied by producers or studios that didn't want to "tell all" (or in some cases, not tell hardly anything) about their productions.

And then there are the release dates. Distributors anguish over such things . . . and anguish again. Which is why the release schedules listed here are especially subject to change.

Of course, we also have to realize that some of these films may never see the light of the silver screen. They'll be relegated to drive-in quadruple bills, or they'll be consigned to the video format.

At any rate, what follows are a few billion dollars worth of movies. Or some may not be worth anything.


Opening Tuesday

"Reno's Kids--87 Days + 11"--Documentary about Reno Taini, former California teacher of the year (in 1982), who now teaches "last chance" kids in Daly City, Calif. Whitney Blake (actress and mom of Meredith Baxter Birney) produces/directs/writes. (Goforit!)

Opening Friday

"Braddock: Missing in Action III"--Chuck Norris returns as the Vietnam vet who escaped from a VC POW camp and lived to make sequels about it. This time he aspires to rescue his wife Kim and their son, plus a lot of Amerasian kids. Chuck's brother Aaron directs. (Cannon)

"Five Corners"--Tony Bill directs/co-produces an ensemble piece set in 1964 Bronx. Strong-willed Jodie Foster heads the cast in a story of the consciousness of youth vs. the unfolding civil rights movement and the general turbulence of the '60s. There's urban romance, too. By "Moonstruck" screenwriter John Patrick Shanley. (Cineplex Odeon)

"Guys Who Never Learn"--Comedy based on a book by Joji Abe, about a man in prison for the 12th time. Director Azumi Morisaki. With Tatsuya Fuji and Hitoshi Ueki. (Shochiku)

"Promised Land"--Robert Redford exec produces this coming-of-age tale, developed at Sundance Institute, about high school classmates and a misguided outsider who gather for a final reunion a few years later. Written/directed by Michael Hoffman. With Jason Gedrick, Kiefer Sutherland, Meg Ryan and Tracy Pollan. (Vestron)

"The Telephone"--Whoopi Goldberg is Vashti Blue, talented but eccentric unemployed San Francisco actress who shares her apartment with a pet owl and a goldfish. Her big thrill: spending time on the phone, sometimes pretending to be different characters with different voices--and not always playing straight with those on the other end. Maybe she's not playing straight with herself, either, because she's gradually losing her link with reality. Rip Torn directs. Harry Nilsson and Terry Southern co-write. With cameos by Severn Darden, Elliott Gould, John Heard and Amy Wright. (New World)

"Welcome in Vienna"--Austrian director Axel Corti continues his trilogy, "Where to and Back," about an Austrian Jewish youth's struggle for survival and, later, his quest for his identity as a man. Shot in black-and-white, this episode (Part III) follows Freddy Wolff (Gabriel Brylli), now an American soldier, back to Austria as the war draws to a close and occupation begins. Georg Stefan Troller writes, based on his own experiences. This is Austria's entry for the best foreign-language film Academy Award. (Roxy)


"Above the Law"--Steven Seagal, a newcomer who's being touted as the next Eastwood-Norris-Stallone action hero, is a former 'Nam intelligence agent-turned-tough Chicago cop. Pam Grier, Sharon Stone and quintessential bad guy Henry Silva also star. Andrew Davis directs. (Warners)

"Absolution"--Richard Burton (yes, the Richard Burton) in a 1979 production that's been shelved in a legal snit. Playwright Anthony Shaffer ("Sleuth") scripts this suspense thriller set in the tense, claustrophobic confines of an English Roman Catholic boy's school. The late Burton is Father Goddard, a priest whose autocratic manner undermines his benevolence. Elliott Kastner co-produces, Anthony Page directs. (Trans World)

"Action Jackson"--Carl Weathers, having had ample time to recuperate from Ivan Drago's fatal blow in "Rocky IV," is back as unorthodox police Sgt. Jericho (Action) Jackson. Beautiful Vanity hangs tough by his side as he takes on corrupt and murderous auto tycoon Craig T. Nelson. Joel Silver produces, Craig Baxley directs. (Lorimar)

"Alien From L.A."--Fantasy adventure about L.A. teeny-bopper Wanda Saknussemm (recall Arnie Saknussemm from "Journey to the Center of the Earth") who descends into a lost city beneath the Earth's crust, fraternizing with the wackiest bunch of characters this side of a heavy-metal video. Golan and Golus produce, Albert Pyundirects. (Cannon)

"Aloha Summer"--Set in Hawaii in the summer of '59, it's a romantic comedy about six boys of radically different cultural and economic backgrounds during a dramatic time in Hawaii's history. Tommy Lee Wallace directs Chris Makepeace, Sho Kosugi et al. (Spectrafilm)

"The American Way"--Quirky actors Dennis Hopper and Michael J. Pollard in what's dubbed a freewheeling satire on the media, TV evangelists, big business and politics. From first-time feature director Maurice Phillips. (Mirimax)

"And God Created Woman"--Roger Vadim directed Brigitte Bardot into international prominence in the 1957 French film of the same name. This time it's Rebecca De Mornay as the mercurial and free-spirited Robin Shay, who stumbles into a number of diverse and comical liaisons. Vadim again directs. Vincent Spano and Frank Langella join the fun. (Vestron)

"Around the World in 80 Ways"--Two thoughtful sons take their aging dad on a trip around the world. Las Vegas! . . . Rome!! . . . Tokyo! But here's the catch: Through the use of sound effects and props, they convince the unsuspecting old guy that they're visiting all these faraway places while all the time remaining in their own neighborhood! An Australian film. Stephen MacLean directs. (Alive)

"Anguish"--Zelda Rubinstein (the small medium in "Poltergeist") toplines a horror thriller within a horror thriller. Gruesome and deranged action on the screen sends moviegoers for the exits--to find themselves trapped as the fiendish film characters spill out from the screen to get them. Scarier than "Purple Rose of Cairo"! Bigas Luna scripts and directs. Michael Lerner and Isabel Garcia Lorca co-star. (Spectrafilm)

"Avanti Popolo"--Israel's Oscar entry for best foreign-language film last year centers on two simple soldiers stranded in the desert who meet bizarre characters as they trek to the border. Stars Salim Daw and Suhel Hadad. Writer/director/producer is Rafi Bukaee. (Film Ventures)

"The Beat"--John Savage is an idealistic English teacher at a school in what's tabbed "a hostile urban wasteland." Amidst the realities of drugs, alcohol and gang warfare, he attempts to instill in his students a sense of self-respect. Director Paul Mones. (Vestron)

"Bellman and True"--Bank-heist thriller about a father (Bernard Hill) and son (Kieran O'Brien) who become unwilling pawns in a robbery scheme. Richard Loncraine ("Brimstone and Treacle") directs. Based on the Desmond Lowden novel. (Island)

"The Belly of an Architect"--American architect Brian Dennehy is in Rome to put on a major exhibition commemorating the visionary French architect Etienne-Louis Boullee. But Dennehy's obsession with Boullee helps destroy his marriage, his family and, finally, his health. Directed/written by Peter Greenaway. Chloe Webb and Lambert Wilson also star. (Hemdale)

"Blood Screams"--Bloodier-than-thou hooded monks go on a murderous rampage in a quiet Mexican village. Glen Gebhardt directs. (Concorde)

"Born to Race"--Joseph Bottoms and Marc Singer in a death-defying car race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Among the prizes: beautiful Marla Heasley, an Italian engineer who's trying to sell her controversial auto engine. James Fargo directs. With Robert Logan. (MGM/UA)

"Braddock: Missing in Action III"--Chuck Norris returns as the Vietnam vet who escaped from a VC POW camp and lived to make sequels about it. This time he aspires to rescue his wife Kim and their son, plus a lot of Amerasian kiddies. Chuck's brother Aaron directs. (Cannon)

"Bullseye"--Warm-hearted adventure about a young ranch hand's quest for recognition that leads him to rustle cattle and attempt an hazardous trek across Australia. Carl Schultz directs. (International Film)

"Business as Usual"--Drama with Glenda Jackson as manager of a Liverpool clothes boutique who's fired for defending a co-worker sexually molested by a supervisor, causing a national sensation. Also stars John Thaw and Cathy Tyson. Written/directed by Lezli-An Barrett. (Cannon)

"Call Me"--Attemping to breathe life into her romance, a young woman becomes a willing part of a cat-and-mouse chase--peppered with intensely erotic phone conversations. Sollace Mitchell directs. Patricia Charbonneau, Boyd Gaines and Patti D'Arbanville star. (Vestron)

"Cellar Dweller"--Young artist Whitney Taylor (Deborah Mullowney) arrives at the Childress Institute, home to eerie and horrific events 20 years earlier. When she discovers an old bottle of special drawing ink and uses it to illustrate a monster, the drawing comes to life--murderously. John Buechler directs. Co-stars Brian Robbins and Yvonne De Carlo. (Empire)

"Collision Course"--Pat Morita is a conservative detective from the Tokyo Police, Jay Leno a street-wise Detroit cop. Mismatched at first, the two eventually bond and tackle a mysterious caper. Lewis Teague directs. (De Laurentiis)

"Confessions of a Serial Killer"--From the mouth of a mass murderer who describes, in chilling detail, the modus operandi which he used to dispatch his hapless targets. Supposedly based on a true story. John Dwyer directs. (Concorde)

"Cop"--Once called "Blood on the Moon" (and based on that James Ellroy novel), it has James Woods as a homicide detective hellbent on stopping a killer while his own personal life is on the skids. Charles Durning is his ex-partner and best pal. Written/directed by James B. Harris, with Lesley Ann Warren, Charles Haid. (Atlantic)

"Daddy's Boys"--A gang of demented hillbilly gangsters go on a wild crime spree during the Depression--while searching for Mom!--in this gothic action comedy. Directed by Joe Minion. (Concorde)

"Demons II"--A high-rise apartment building is the site of a boisterous birthday party infiltrated by demonic spirits--which take over the celebrants' souls! Directed by Lamberto Bava, son of Italian horrormeister Mario Bava. (Taurus)

"The Drifter"--After a successful single woman enjoys a one-night stand with a young man, she realizes it could be a fatal distraction: He hounds her endlessly and threatens to destroy the relationship with her main man. Larry Brand directs Kim Delaney, Timothy Bottoms and Miles ("Me Once Tarzan") O'Keeffe. (Concorde)

"Dudes"--Offbeat director Penelope Spheeris ("The Decline of Western Civilization") helms a tale of three city-bred kids who leave Manhattan for California. But en route to the good life, the trio (Jon Cryer, Catherine Mary Stewart, Daniel Roebuck) come upon the bad life--nogoodniks and murder. (New Century/Vista)

"Eat the Rich"--A motley gang of social outcasts wage a zany if no-holds-barred class war against the London jet set. Comic Strip, a highly popular and eccentric British comedy troupe (also MTV's "The Young Ones"), are the main delicacy. Peter Richardson co-writes/directs. Stars ex-porn thesp Fiona Richmond, transsexual Lanah Pellay, ex-boxer Nosher Powell and "Motorhead' "s Lemmy. Cameos from Paul McCartney, Bill Wyman and Koo Stark. (New Line)

"El Imperio de la Fortuna" ("The Realm of Fortune")--Mexican feature about the rise of a poor town cryer who achieves wealth and fame when he nurses a badly injured golden fighting cock back to health. Arturo Riespstein writes/directs. (Azteca)

"The Expendables"--Some young, tough American soldiers face their most difficult mission in Vietnam under the orders of a rebel outcast leader in this "Dirty Dozen"-ish style war story. Director Antony Michael. (Concorde)

"Five Corners"--Tony Bill directs/co-produces an ensemble piece set in 1964 Bronx. Strong-willed Jodie Foster heads the cast in a story of the consciousness of youth vs. the unfolding civil rights movement and the general turbulence of the '60s. By "Moonstruck" screenwriter John Patrick Shanley. (Cineplex Odeon)

"Frantic"--Director Roman Polanski's mystery-thriller, with Harrison Ford as an American heart surgeon in Paris whose his wife vanishes. His search leads him into the urban underworld and an unlikely alliance with a Parisian woman (Emmanuelle Seigner). Also starring Betty Buckley and John Mahoney. (Warners)

"The Further Adventures of Tennesee Buck"--David Keith directs himself and ex-Playmate of the Year Kathy Shower in an adventure about newlyweds whose guide disappears when they're in the African wilds. Who shows up but Buck Malone (Keith), with the requisite three-day stubble, massive hunting knife and killer grin, to give the couple the time of their lives. (Trans World)

"Girl From Hunan"--Billed as the first film from China to have U.S. distribution. About a remote village in turn-of-the-century China struggling to hang on to its feudal traditions. Directed by Xie Fei and U Lan. (New Yorker)

"Hairspray"--Baltimore is "the hairdo capital of the world" and also the homebase of the one and only John Waters ("Pink Flamingos"). This time he promises an "all-talking, all dancing musical comedy extravaganza" set in 1962 Maryland, where rivalries escalate among teen celebrities on a local dance show. Stars Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono, Divine and superstar Pia Zadora. (New Line)

"Half of Heaven"--Social history, comedy and mysticism are touched upon in a yarn about a poor country girl and her ascent to the highest levels of Madrid society. Manuel Gutierrez directs. (Skouras)

"House on Carroll Street"--It's New York in the McCarthy era. Kelly McGillis is an idealistic magazine journalist who learns of a dangerous conspiracy to smuggle Nazi war criminals into the U.S. several years after WWII. Jeff Daniels is an FBI agent, Mandy Patinkin a Senate committee counsel who tries to intimidate her into becoming a government informant. Peter Yates directs. (Orion)

"The In Crowd"--Philadelphia, 1965. Against the backdrop of "Perry Parker's Dance Party," a swingin' TV show akin to "American Bandstand," we find young Del Green (Donovan Leitch, son of ethereal pop singer Donovan), a straight-A student from the sheltered suburbs who catapults into stardom. Mark Rosenthal (co-writer of "Jewel of the Nile") makes his directorial debut. (Orion)

"I Don't Give a Damn"--Hours before his recruitment into the Army, Rafi savors every moment with Nira, his new love. But when he's wounded, his bitterness threatens their relationship. Shmuel Imberman directs. This is Israel's entry for best foreign-language film for '87. (Trans World)

"I Hate Actors!"--First feature from France's Gerard Krawczyk, based on a novel by Ben Hecht. Set in Hollywood in the '40s, it's a murder-mystery/comedy, all about a series of deaths on the set of a major studio production. With a cast of veteran French performers including Jean Poiret and Bernard Blier. (Galaxy)

"The Invisible Kid"--Shy and unpopular at 17, Grover Dunn discovers a powder that renders him invisible--and changes his life. Avery Crounse writes/directs. Stars Karen Black, Jay Underwood and Chynna Philips. (Taurus)

"Julia & Julia"--Kathleen Turner and Sting in an erotic thriller about a widow with a seeming double life. In one, her husband is still alive and everything's under control. But in the second one. . . . Directed by Peter Delmonte. With Gabriel Byrne. (Cinecom)

"Killer Klowns (From Outer Space)"--Two partying college kids spy a mysterious light in the skies. When they try to find out if something's (as in extraterrestrial) landed, they come upon a circus tent--which serves as a breeding ground for (yikes!) the Killer Klowns! Next thing you know, once-peaceful Crescent Cove is crawling with vicious Bozos. Stephen Chiodo directs Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder and John Vernon as Officer Mooney. (Trans World)

"L'Ami de Mon Amie" ("Friend of a Friend")--Lea and Blanche are buddies unsatisfied with their personal relationships with men. While Lea is alone on vacation, Blanche develops a platonic relationship with Lea's boyfriend--the platonic giving way to romance. Written/directed by Eric Rohmer. (Orion Classics)

"L'Amour En Douce" ("Sweet Love")--Edouard Molinaro ("La Cage aux Folles") directs a bittersweet comedy about a man, his friends, his crumbled marriage and the call girl he's fallen for. (European Classics)

"La Passion Beatrice"--Julie Delpy is a headstrong woman who eagerly awaits the return of her father and brother from the Hundred Years War. This Bertrand Tavernier drama explores the titanic struggle between the father, embittered by war, and his strong-willed daughter. Co-stars Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu and Nils Tavernier. (Samuel Goldwyn)

"The Lawless Land"--An outlaw fights and struggles for forbidden love in a futuristic police state. Jon Hess directs. (Concorde)

"Le Caviar Rouge" ("Red Caviar")--Contemporary espionage drama involving a KBG agent (Robert Hossein)in Geneva who confronts his former partner and lover (Candice Patou). France's Hossein also writes/directs. (Galaxy)

"Let It Rock"--Barlow (Dennis Hopper), a Machiavellian rock 'n' roll promoter/manager, will stop at nothing to make his latest musical find a star--including murder. Roland Klick directs. (Concorde)

"Made in USA"--Christopher Penn and Adrian Pasdar set out to see America after they become disillusioned with the lack of opportunity in their hometown. Among the sights: Lori Singer. Ken Friedman directs. (Tri-Star)

"The Manchurian Candidate"--Reissue (after years of legal entanglements) of John Frankenheimer's acclaimed 1962 political-paranoia thriller. George Axelrod scripts, based on Richard Condon's story about former (and brainwashed) Korean POWs Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey. With Angela Lansbury as Harvey's scheming mother--who'll stop at nothing to further her husband's political career. (MGM/UA)

"Maniac Cop"--NYC citizens arm themselves after a series of mutilation murders. And the killer is a cop . . . who has risen from the grave, blood-thirsty and invincible! Directed by William Lustig. Stars Tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell, Laurene Landon and Richard Roundtree. (Shapiro/Glickenhaus)

"Melo"--The lives and loves of violinists Pierre and Marcel--the latter a renowned artist and ladies man, the former "the sensitive type"--who strike up a friendship while attending the Paris Academy of Music in the mid-'20s. Writer/director is Alain Resnais. Stars Sabine Azema, Fanny Ardant, Pierre Arditi and Andre Dussollier. (European Classics)

"Misfit Brigade"--Based on Sven Hassel's 1957 novel "Wheels of Terror." War saga stars Bruce Davison, Oliver Reed and David Carradine during the Russian campaign in '43, focusing on exploits of the 27th Panzers, one of Hitler's prisoner regiments engaged in heavy combat. Gordon Hessler directs. (Trans World)

"A Month in the Country"--Two scarred survivors of WWI come to an isolated Yorkshire village to try to uncover the past and in the process reclaim themselves. Set in 1920. Directed by Pat O'Conner. Stars Colin Firth and Kenneth Branagh. (Orion Classics)

"Moving"--Relocation high jinks with Richard Pryor as Arlo Pear, a metropolitan transportation engineer forced to uproot his family from their New Jersey suburb to Boise, Idaho, discovers the trauma of moving. Alan Metter directs. Also with Randy Quaid, Beverly Todd, and Dave Thomas. (Warners)

"The Night Before"--Talk about your bummer senior proms! High schooler Keanu Reeves reawakens the day after and realizes he's got to find his "lost" date. Well, she's not really lost. See, he sold her to a pimp in East L.A.--and now he's gotta get in there, and out, with his date in tow. Thom Eberhardt (the cultist "Night of the Comet") directs. With Lori Loughlin and Theresa Saldana. (Kings Road)

"A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon"--River Phoenix as a sexually precocious whippersnapper in Chicago, 1962. William Richert writes/directs. Also starring Ann Magnuson, Meredith Salenger and Ione Skye. (Fox)

"Nightwars"--Akin to the "Nightmare on Elm Street," two former POW prisoners endure the illusion of real bullets, real pain and real blood every time they cop a few Z's. Director David A. Prior. Stars Dan Haggerty and Brian O'Connor. (Sony/USA)

"No Hard Feelings"--Sadistic attacks on coeds baffle authorities. A school alumnus is called in to find the fiend. Charles Norton directs Kevin Bernhardt, Holaday Mason and Tim Wallace. (Triax)

"Order of the Black Eagle"--Duncan Jacks and sidekick Boon the Baboon are the world's greatest secret agent and a half. In this episode (see "Unmasking the Idol," listed further down), they return to thwart a neo-Nazi plot. Director Worth Keeter. (International Film)

"Picasso Trigger"--This vicious international crime lord's motto is "Killing is an art form"--so undercover FBI agent Travis Abilene's (Steve Bond, late of "General Hospital" heartthrobdom) quest is to bust the baddie. Seven gorgeous ex-playmates and exotic locales help flesh it out. Andy Sidaris directs. (Distributor pending).

"The Pointsman"--Psychological study of the uneasy relationship between an elegant French-speaking blonde and the ungainly operator of a remote Dutch switching station where she mistakenly disembarks. Jos Stelling directs. Stars Jim Van Der Woude and Stephanie Excoffier. (Vestron)

"Prison"--Flash back 32 years to Creedmore Prison where Charlie is zapped with 60,000 volts for a murder he didn't commit. Sharpe, Creedmore's most brutal guard, knows Forsythe is innocent but silently observes the execution. Cut to present: Sharpe, now the warden, must face the vengeful specter of Charlie. Directed by Renny Harlin. Stars Lane Smith, Viggo Mortensen and Chelsea Fields. (Empire)

"Promised Land"--Robert Redford exec produces this coming-of-age tale, developed at Sundance Institute, about high school classmates and a misguided outsider who gather for a final reunion a few years later. Written/directed by Michael Hoffman. With Jason Gedrick, Kiefer Sutherland, Meg Ryan and Tracy Pollan. (Vestron)

"Reno's Kids--87 Days + 11"--Documentary about Reno Taini, former California teacher of the year (in 1982), who now teaches "last chance" kids in Daly City, Calif. Whitney Blake (actress and mom of Meredith Baxter Birney) produces/directs/writes. (Go for It)

"Retribution"--The spirit of a vengeful murdered man posesses an aspiring artist, who learns that his dreams of violence have become a terrifying reality. Guy Magar co-writes/directs. Stars Dennis Lipscomb, Leslie Wing, Suzanne Snyder and Hoyt Axton. (Taurus)

"Sand Wars"--Hulking Lou Ferrigno stars in this post-apocalyptic actioner as a bodyguard who survives jungle warfare to save the girl he loves. Director John Jale. (Distribution pending)

"Satisfaction"--Armed only with their street smarts and raw energy, a garage rock band breaks out of social confinement to find adventure and challenge on the road to success. Directed by Joan Freeman. With Justine Bateman, Liam Neeson and Trini Alvarado. (Fox)

"Scared Stiff"--Andrew Stevens and girlfriend (Mary Page Keller) find themselves in an old Southern mansion that comes complete with nightmares and mayhem. Richard Friedman directs. (International Film)

"School Daze"--Director-star Spike Lee (the shoestring budget "She's Gotta Have It") gets some serious money for this contemporary musical comedy about the rituals of homecoming at a Southern college and the unique point of view of its black students. Stars Larry Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito and Tisha Campbell. (Columbia)

"The Serpent and the Rainbow"--Goremeister Wes Craven ("Nightmare on Elm Street") directs this nightmarish journey of a Harvard anthropologist who uncovers a deadly powder that can transform humans into zombies. Stars Bill Pullman, Cathy Tyson, Zakes Mokae and Paul Winfield. (Universal)

"Shadows on the Wall"--Wilford Brimley in a noir ish story of a contemporary reporter investigating the notorious murder and suicide involving one of the silent screen's great Western heroes. Patrick O'Toole writes and directs. (International Film)

"She's Having a Baby"--Writer/producer/director John Hughes orchestrates this grown-up (for him) comedy about newlyweds Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern, who confront the harsh realities of imminent parenthood. (Paramount)

"Sorceress"--A stone-walled medievel village is the setting for a conflict between an inquisitor and a woman healer he accuses of heresy. But what's going on in the village is a long-practiced ritual, having to do with the grave of a martyr and mothers pathetically trying to save their sick and dying babies. From France. Director/co-writer Suzanne Schiffman. (European Classics)

"Shoot to Kill"--Sidney Poitier as a street-wise FBI agent forced to battle for survival when an escaped killer lures him to a treacherous mountain setting. Tom Berenger is a skilled trail guide who joins the situation when girlfriend Kirstie Alley becomes the madman's hostage. Roger Spottiswoode directs. (Buena Vista)

"Sister Sister"--Jennifer Jason Leigh and Judith Ivey are sisters who share a sinister secret. Eric Stoltz is the charming young man who disrupts their insulated lives when he comes to spend a few days at their decaying country mansion. Directed by Bill Condon. (New World)

"The Sisterhood"--In the post-apocalyptic future, all the women are slaves and all the men are their masters. Ah, but there's a mythical band of females who see the inequity and aspire to save womankind. Directress Kathy Santiago. Stars Lynn Holly Johnson, Chuck Wagner and Rebecca Holden. (Concorde)

" '68"--A Hungarian immigrant family struggles against Old World values and the promise of the American Dream in this very year that intensified the generation gap. Steven Kovacs writes/directs. (New World)

"Sky Pirates"--A rollicking 'round the world adventure in which the heroic try to save the world from the ultimate forces of Evil. Director Colin Eggleston. (International Film)

"Slaughterhouse Rock"--Is a tortured spirit being held captive and communicating to a young man from Alcatraz Island? He and his chums (including a "dream specialist") travel to the tourist attraction to deal with the apparition. Directed by Dimitri Logothetis. (Taurus)

"Star Slammer"--Fred Olen Ray (who cranks out low-budgeters) directs a tongue-in-cheek comedy targeted at the sci-fi/blood-and-guts audience: A young sweetie is tossed into a prison situated in deep space where she must deal with annoying, large-breasted inmates. Stars Ross Hagen, Sandy Brooke, John Carradine and Aldo Ray. (Vidmark)

"Stranded"--A band of peace-loving extra-terrestrials seek refuge from alien assassins in a remote farmhouse owned by Maureen O'Sullivan and her granddaughter ("River's Edge's" Ione Skye). Tex Fuller directs. Joe Morton ("Brother From Another Planet") co-stars. (New Line)

"Subway to the Stars"--A young musician from the poor suburbs of Rio de Janeiro follows his dreams uptown, where he falls in love--but also loses his best friend. Carlos Diegues ("Bye Bye Brazil") co-scripts/directs the French-Brazilian co-production. (FilmDallas)

"The Supergrass"--An innocent guy pretends to be a big-time drug smuggler to impress his girlfriend, but buys trouble instead when some zealous cops overhear his fabricated drug exploits. London's Comic Strip (featured in the aforementioned "Eat the Rich") again take the spotlight. Peter Richardson directs/co-scripts/co-stars. (Hemdale)

"A Tiger's Tale"--When lonely divorcee Ann-Margret falls for teen-ager C. Thomas Howell (who has a pet tiger) in this comedy, the whole town's talking. Written/produced/directed by Peter (son of Kirk) Douglas. (Atlantic)

"To Kill a Stranger"--When a woman kills a noted political leader who tries to rape and murder her, she's in big trouble with his powerful friends. Director Juan L. Moctezuma. Stars Angelica Maria, Donald Pleasence, Dean Stockwell and Aldo Ray. (Azteca)

"Travelling North"--Oldster Leo McKern falls in love with a woman (Julia Blake) many years his junior, and wants to take her away to a tropical paradise. But her daughters, appalled, launch a ferocious war against him. Directed by Carl Schultz. (Cineplex Odeon)

"The Tree of Knowledge"--Writer/director Nils Malmros follows a classroom of bright Danish kids through two school years, circa 1953, capturing their physical and psychological advancement. Starring Eva Gram Schjoldager and Jan Johansen. (Expanded)

"Trust Me"--Rocker Adam Ant heads a black-comedy cast playing an unscrupulous art dealer who conspires to kill an artist in hope that his work will significantly increase in value. Director Bobby Houston. Also stars Talia Balsam, David Packer, Joyce Van Patten, Barbara Bain, Karen Black. (Distribution pending)

"The Unbearable Lightness of Being"--Philip Kaufman's long-awaited film version of Czech author Milan Kundera's erotic novel set during the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia of 1968. Daniel Day-Lewis (the stuffy snob in "A Room With a View") is a compulsive womanizer who must debate sacrifing his freedom in the West to return to his wife in Soviet-dominated Prague. Saul Zaentz ("Amadeus") produces. (Orion)

"Unmasking the Idol"--It's Duncan Jacks and Boon again (mentioned previously): This adventure has them trying to thwart a deadly plot and also salvage millions in gold. Director Worth Keeter and stars Ian Hunter, William Hicks and C.K. Bibby all return. (International)

"Walking on Water" (tentative title)--Edward James Olmos and "La Bamba's" Lou Diamond Phillips team in a real-life drama about an inspiring East L.A. high-school math teacher and how his intense love of teaching motivated 18 inner-city students to an educational triumph. Directed by Ramon Menendez. (Warners)

"The White Girl"--Anti-drug love about a black girl from a prominent family who turns to cocaine to sooth life's ills. Friends and a love interest come to her aid. Tony Brown (who's got his own series about black America on PBS) directs. (Distribution pending)

"The Wizard of Speed and Time"--Mike Jittlov directs a madcap special-effects extravaganza satire, based on his short film, about an F/X wizard who's summoned to Hollywood to create a "tour de force." But a sinister producer has plans for sabotage. (Shapiro/Glickenhaus)

"World Gone Wild"--Fast forward to 2087 to the post-apocalyptic community of Lost Welles (like Orson?), whose existence is threatened by a militaristic cult leader trying to control the water supply. Bruce Dern leads the good guys; rock star Adam Ant goes the villainous route. Directed by Lee H. Katzin. Also stars Michael Pare and Catherine Mary Stewart. (Apollo)

"The Wrong Guys"--Five stand-up comics (Louie Anderson, Richard Lewis, Richard Belzer, Franklin Ajaye, Tim Thomerson) star in this chronicle of a reunion of the Den 7 Cub Scouts of Mayfield, Calif. It's 25 years later and the hapless guys stumble onto an escaped convict who throws a damper on their party. Danny Bilson directs. (New World)

"You Can't Hurry Love"--Contemporary rituals of falling in love set against the curious world of video dating. Writer/director Richard Martini. Stars David Packer, Scott McGinnis, Bridget Fonda and David Leisure. Cameos by Charles Grodin, Anthony Geary, Kristy McNichol, Sally Kellerman. (Lightning)

"Young Einstein"--Australian comedy star Yahoo Serious directs/stars/co-authors this interpretation of the father of the Theory of Relativity. Promises to reveal the real, down-under lowdown on the 20th Century's most eccentric genius. (Warners)


"American Gothic"--Murder and mom's apple pie on a remote island, where a planeload of young people are forced down and encounter a backwoodsy family--"Ma" Yvonne De Carlo, "Pa" Rod Steiger and their three strange, middle-age kids. John Hough directs. (Vidmark)

"Appointment With Death"--Famed Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot (Peter Ustinov returns) can't get away from murder and mayhem--even while holidaying in Palestine, circa 1937. Michael Winner directs/co-scripts from Agatha Christie's novel. With Lauren Bacall, Carrie Fisher, John Gielgud, Piper Laurie, Hayley Mills, Jenny Seagrove, David Soul. (Cannon)

"Aria"--Ten innovative film makers interpret 10 different operatic arias. In Franc Roddam's visualization of Wagner's "Leibestod," two young lovers (Bridget Fonda, daughter of Peter, and California painter James Mathers) come to Vegas, drive around, make love and . . . kill themselves! Also segments by Robert Altman, Jean-Luc Godard, Derek Jarman, Charles Sturridge, Julien Temple, Bruce Beresford, Nicolas Roeg, Ken Russell and Bill Bryden. With various name stars.(Miramax)

"Babette's Feast"--France's Gabriel Axel directs/scripts, from the novella by Karen Blixen (a.k.a. Isak Dinesen). All about a mysterious woman (Stephane Audran) who arrives in a Danish coastal village and makes herself indispensable to two middle-age, devout daughters of a clergyman. Ah, but she has a secret past. (Orion Classics)

"Baby Blue"--A pair of young surfers come to California to stay with their girlfriends--and before you can say "Catch that wave!" one of the dudes is elevated to stardom, with the help of a talent agent. Director Robert Welborn. Stars Connie Stevens and Lance Sloane. (Distribution pending)

"Backfire"--Ten years after 'Nam, Jeff Fahey's disintegrating--mentally and physically--despite the attention and affection of wife Karen Allen. But wait--maybe she's not the loving wife she pretends to be. And what of laconic stranger Keith Carradine, who's ambled into town? Gilbert Cates directs. With Bernie Casey, the late Dean Paul Martin, Dinah Manoff. (Distribution pending)

"Bad Dreams"--A young woman awakens from a 15-year-coma--the sole survivor of a religious commune whose members committed mass suicide. She's understandably assigned to an in-hospital therapy group. But, how to cure those strange nightmares (which are manifesting themselves in the real world) about her past. And what of her memories of that charismatic cult leader? Gale Anne Hurd ("Aliens") produces; Andrew Fleming scripts/directs. With Jennifer Rubin, Bruce Abbott, Harris Yulin, Richard Lynch. (Fox)

"Bagdad Cafe"--When a mysterious German tourist (Marianne Sagebrecht) is abandoned by her hubby in the Nevada desert, she transforms a desolate truckstop into the hottest little night spot this side of Vegas. Percy Adlon directs. (Island)

"Bat 21"--The title is the military code name of a veteran U.S. combat pilot (Gene Hackman) who's shot down behind enemy lines in 'Nam; now it's up to a spotter plane pilot (Danny Glover) to guide him through a battalion of Viet Cong to safety. Peter Markle ("Youngblood") directs. (Tri-Star)

"Beethoven's Nephew"--A paradoxical drama about the creation of wondrous music and the tragic obsession of mad genius, as revealed in the relationship of Ludwig Van Beethoven and his nephew. Paul Morrissey directs. (FilmDallas)

"Beetle Juice"--What's a couple of homebody ghosts to do? Seems there are these pretentious, trendy human-types who've invaded their house--making it unlivable, even for the dead! Tim Burton ("Pee Wee's Big Adventure") directs Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Jeffrey Jones, Catherine O'Hara and Winona Ryder. (Warners)

"Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure"--Hey, dudes, how'd you like to have an illustrious gang of "experts"--like Napoleon, Socrates, Abe Lincoln, Genghis Khan and Joan of Arc--help you with your final high school history exam? That's what happens to buddies Keanu Reeves and Alexander Winter (their motto: "Be excellent to each other") in this comedy directed by Stephen Herek. With George Carlin playing to type--a hipster from the future. (De Laurentiis)

"Biloxi Blues"--Neil Simon scripts from his play. All about Matthew Broderick's misadventures and coming-of-age in boot camp--complete with run-ins with drill instructor Christopher Walken. Mike Nichols directs; Ray Stark produces. (Universal)

"The Blue Iguana"--Film noir ish tale of a private eye dispatched to a south-of-the-border outpost to recover $50 million in contraband cash. John Lafia writes/directs. With Dylan McDermott, Jessica Harper, James Russo, Pamela Gidley, Tovah Feldshuh, Dean Stockwell. (Paramount)

"Bright Lights, Big City"--Jay McInerney's "hot" 1984 novel, about Manhattan's drugged-out night life scene as experienced by a young researcher for a New York magazine, gets the Hollywood treatment--and cute l'il Michael J. Fox as its star! James Bridges directs. With Kiefer Sutherland, Phoebe Cates, Dianne Wiest, Swoosie Kurtz, John Houseman. (MGM/UA)

"Brothers in Arms"--Two brothers attempt a reconciliation and find themselves in a life-or-death situation. Director George Bloom III. (Distribution pending)

"Bulletproof"--Ex-L.A. cop Gary Busey is recalled by the National Security Agency and sent south of the border to break up a terrorist organization. His mission includes retrieving the gang's ace-in-the-hole super weapon--known as Thunderblast. Kapow! Action man Steve Carver ("Lone Wolf McQuade") directs. Also stars Darlanne Fluegel, Henry Silva, Rene Enriquez. (Distribution pending)

"Burnin' Love"--It's Colonial America. The situation is humorous, involving "kinky" colonists in a lampoon of the Salem witch trials. Director John Moffitt. With Patrick Cassidy, Kelly Preston, Bud Cort, David Graf, Stuart Pankin, Dave Thomas, Barbara Carrera. (Tri-Star)

"Casual Sex"--Two lifelong gal pals vacation at an exclusive health spa, where they confront the '80s-era's changing social and sexual attitudes. Ivan Reitman exec produces; Genevieve Robert directs. With Lea Thompson, Victoria Jackson, Stephen Shellen, Jerry Levine. (Universal)

"Chief Zabu"--Comedy about a small businessman trying to do big business in the shadow of nuclear politics and the aspirations of an emerging African nation. Howard Zuker and Neil Cohen direct. With Zack Norman, Allen Garfield, Alan Arbus, Ed Lauter. (International Film)

"Colors"--Set on the streets of inner city L.A., where gang members flaunt the jargon, gestures, graffiti and "colors" which distinguish "homeboys" from enemies. Sean Penn is the cocky, callous, arrogant cop; Robert Duvall is his reluctant, on-the-edge-of-retirement partner. Maria Conchita Alonso is the "homegirl" who both loves and is repulsed by the sometimes-ruthless Penn. Directed by Dennis Hopper. (Orion)

"Consuming Passions"--How to improve a formula for chocolates? A young man (Tyler Butterworth) literally stumbles upon the answer when he hits the wrong switch and--oops!--three people fall into a large vat of churning chocolate. The result is simply scrumptous! But what if someone discovers the recipe? Giles Foster directs. With Vanessa Redgrave, Jonathan Pryce, Freddie Jones, Sammi Davis. From a story by Monty Python crazies Michael Palin and Terry Jones. (Goldwyn)

"Court of the Pharaoh"--Spanish musical comedy, set in Spain in the '40s. A well-to-do family indulges its artistically inclined but inept son in staging a musical he's written. Turns out he lifted it from a work banned by the Franco government--getting everyone hauled before the local magistrate. Jose Luis Garcia Sanchez directs. (Galaxy)

"Covert Action"--When a Central American diplomat is assassinated on the steps of the U.N., a Vietnam vet/ex-CIA operative is the prime suspect. But his mentor--now a hired killer--could also have done it. And then there's that international business magnate who sidelines in crooked Latin American politics and cocaine trafficking . . . J. Christian Ingvordsen directs--and stars (using the acting pseudonym John Christian). (Shapiro/Glickenhaus)

"Criminal Law"--A successful young criminal lawyer discovers he's freed a murderer--and that he and his girlfriend are now intended victims. Martin Campbell directs Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon and Tess Harper. (Tri-Star)

"Crystalstone"--A magic stone guides two orphaned youngsters on a fantasy-laden adventure. Antonio Palaez writes/directs. (Distribution pending)

"Da"--Playwright Martin Sheen returns to his Irish homeland to attend his father's (Barnard Hughes) funeral, when who should show but "Da" (the father) himself--at least in Sheen's mind and memory. The bittersweet study in reconciliation is scripted by Hugh Leonard, based on his Broadway play (for which Hughes won a Tony). Matt Clark directs. (FilmDallas)

"Dancing in the Forest"--Dark love triangle about a young American laborer in a foreign country who works a farm where family secrets are as dense as the nearby forest. Mark Roper directs. (Triax)

"Dark Age"--A monster crocodile, revered by aborigines, creates a panic in Australia's Gulf Territory--sending hunters reaching for their guns. But, could it be that the croc only chows down on those with "bad" spirits? Arch Nicholson directs. (Hemdale)

"Dark Tower"--Sci-fi thriller about an unseen force that unleashes terror in an office complex. Ken Blackwell directs Michael Moriarty, Jenny Agutter, Theodore Bikel, Kevin McCarthy, Anne Lockhart and Carol Lynley. (Spectrafilm)

"Dead Heat"--Treat Williams and Joe Piscopo are cops with a problem. See, one of 'em's dead (Williams)--but with the help of a "resurrection table," he's reactivited and returned to life. But he's only got 12 hours to team with his partner to catch his murderers--before he deteriorates completely! Terry Black (brother of Shane "Lethal Weapon" Black) scripts. Mark Goldblatt directs. With Darren McGavin, Lindsay Frost and (boo, hiss) Vincent Price. (New World)

"Dead Man Walking"--Good-guy mercenary Wings Hauser goes after baddie Brion James to rescue an industrialist's daughter. The title refers to Hauser's condition--see, it's the near future, and a deadly virus has wreaked havoc on the world--creating desolate wastelands and "plague zones" where the diseased are imprisoned. Those who aren't diseased--like Hauser--have short life spans. Gregory Brown produces/directs. (Discovery)

"The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years"--Penelope Spheeris directs a follow-up to her 1980 study of the punk rock scene, with a mix of interviews and concert excerpts. With the wit/wisdom/music of Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Poison, Megadeth and more. In other words, bring earplugs! (New Line)

"Destiny"--Romantic suspense-thriller, set in WWII, in which fateful circumstances pit William Hurt against Timothy Hutton. Gregory Nava directs; Anna Thomas produces/co-scripts (they teamed for "El Norte"). With Stockard Channing. (Columbia)

"D.O.A."--Dennis Quaid is a college professor trying to clear himself of a crime he didn't commit. But time is short--he's been poisoned by a slow acting toxin. Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel (of the original "Max Headroom" video) direct this remake of the 1949 film noir classic that starred Edmond O'Brien. (It was also remade in 1969 as "Color Me Dead," starring Tom Tryon.) With Meg Ryan, Daniel Stern, Charlotte Rampling. (Buena Vista)

"Dixie Lanes"--Period comedy--with poignancy--in which WWII vet Hoyt Axton returns to small town America where he has difficulty finding forgiveness for his pre-war, moonshining days. Dan Cato directs. With Karen Black, Art Hindle, John Vernon, Ruth Buzzi, Pamela Springsteen (Bruce's sis) and Moses Gunn. (Miramax)

"Doin' Time on Planet Earth"--Charles Matthau (son of Walter) directs what's tabbed a "hilarious but low-key farce" about a young man from a small town who learns he's also an extraterrestrial. With Matt Adler, Candice Azzara, Hugh Gillin, Timothy Patrick Murphy, Hugh O'Brien, Martha Scott. (Cannon)

"Dominick and Eugene"--Tom Hulce is the brain-damaged fraternal twin of Ray Liotta, who's a med student and his brother's caretaker. Jamie Lee Curtis is the woman who comes between them. Robert Young directs. (Orion)

"Dracula's Widow"--Sylvia Kristel of "Emmanuelle" notoriety in a campy horror tale, set in the modern-day, involving her search for her long lost mate. Christopher Coppola (no relation to Francis) directs Josef Sommer and Lenny Von Dohlen. (De Laurentiis)

"Dreamers"--Kelly McGillis and John Shea in a drama set at the end of World War II, involving pioneering Zionists who arrive in Palestine to make their dream of a Utopian-like community a reality. Uri Barbash directs. (Tri-Star)

"18 Again"-- Another comedy about an old guy who switches places with a young guy, this time 91-year-old George Burns, whose mind ends up "inside" the body of his grandson (Charlie Schlatter). The result: One hot frat rat (who inspires his frat brothers to wear bow ties and drink dry martinis). Meanwhile, Burns' new youthful soul teaches him some harsh realities about his old self. Paul Flaherty directs. With Anita Morris, Tony Roberts. (New World)

"El Sur"--About a young girl's love for her father, from the blind adoration of childhood through the more reserved, awkward affection of adolescence. Spain's Victor Erice directs. (New Yorker)

"El Ultimo Tunel"--Mexico's Servando Gonzalez writes/directs a story about a father and son who come to terms during the building of a railroad track through Indian territory. (Azteca)

"Emmanuelle 5"--Wow, this girl/series is relentless. This time, the soft-core heroine (Monique Gabrielle) visits the sexy climes of Paris, St. Tropez and Vegas. Steve Barnett directs. (Concorde)

"Escape From the Hanoi Hilton"--About a soldier caught in a web of deceit--and the most torturous (literally) of 'Nam's POW camps. With William Steis, Robert Patrick and Lydie Denier. No, this isn't a sequel to last year's "Hanoi Hilton." (Concorde)

"Fever"--About a cop, drug money, his restless young wife and her lover. A murder. And hitmen in search of the missing drug money, culminating with a chase across the moonlit desert. Australia's Craif Lahiff directs Gary Sweet, Bill Hunter and Mary Regan. (Distribution pending)

"Flagrant Desire"--A beautiful young woman drowns in a lake amid the countryside of the celebrated wine country of Bordeaux. Sam Waterston is the American investigator who learns the death was not accidental. In doing so, he also falls passionately in love with Marisa Berenson. Claude Faraldo writes/directs. With Lauren Hutton. (Hemdale)

"The Fox and the Hound"--Reissue of Disney's 1981 animated tale about the friendship between a li'l hound dog pup and frisky fox, and how it changes as the two natural enemies grow to adulthood. With musical interludes. (Buena Vista)

"Freeway"--Life in the fast lane gets bloody when the freeways are stalked by a killer with a car phone, who calls a top-rated L.A. radio talk show to announce the identity of his victims--and let listeners hear the gunshots. Francis Delia directs. With Darlanne Fluegel, James Russo, Richard Belzer, Billy Drago, Clint Howard and Steve Franken. (New World)

"Funny Farm"--How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm when they're from the Big Apple? Manhattan urbanites Chevy Chase and Madolyn Smith try to make it in Smalltown (actually, a place called Redbud), U.S.A. George Roy Hill directs from a script by Jeffrey Boam ("The Lost Boys," "Innerspace"). (Warners)

"Futuropolis"--This collection of animated sci-fi tales is said to pay homage to "the best elements of Buck Rogers, Firesign Theater, the Jetsons, Popeye and the Wizard of Oz." (Expanded)

"The Gods Must Be Crazy: II"--The further adventures of N!Xau, the endearing African bushman, as he encounters still more of the so-called civilized world. It now entails a high-powered female lawyer from NYC, a game preserve ecologist, bumbling bad guys and inept soldiers. Complicating matters: two of N!Xau's children have gotten lost looking for an elephant. Jamie Uys again writes/directs.(Weintraub)

"Going Bananas"--Children's comedy with David Mendenhall (of TV's "General Hospital") as a senator's son on safari with guardian Dom DeLuise, guide Jimmie Walker and a talking chimp named Bonzo. When Bonzo is sold off as a circus attraction, it's rescue-time. Boaz Davidson directs. (Cannon)

"Grotesque"--Vicious punks brutally slaughter a family, only to be gruesomely mutilated by "a horrible man-thing." Ewwww! Joe Tornetore directs Linda Blair and Tab Hunter. (Concorde)

"Ground Zero"--Contemporary thriller about one man vs. the Australian and British secret services, in an attempt to uncover a cover-up about the effects of British nuclear testing in Australia. Michael Pattinson and Bruce Myles direct. With Colin Friels, Jack Thompson, Donald Pleasence. (Avenue)

"Hanna's War"--About Israel's best-known heroine (referred to as the Israeli Joan of Arc), Hanna Senesh, who migrated to Israel from her Hungarian homeland and later parachuted into Europe to help rescue Jews during World War II before being captured and executed. The longtime pet project of writer/director Menahem Golan stars Ellen Burstyn, Maruschka Detmers (as Hanna), Anthony Andrews, Donald Pleasence, David Warner, Denholm Elliott. (Cannon)

"Hazing in Hell"--A fraternity hell week really goes awry when a former pledge comes back from the dead to avenge past wrongs. Paul Ziller directs. With no cast announced, how can it be ready for spring release? "That's simple," the production company told us. "We aren't making 'Citizen Kane.' " (Shapiro/Glickenhaus)

"High Season"--Jacqueline Bisset, James Fox and Irene Papas in a romantic/bittersweet comedy that examines the contradictions (that is, the good and the bad) of tourism. Also examines the contradictions (funny and sad) of a band of residents--especially the foreigners--of a coastal Greek village. Clare Peploe (former Bernardo Bertolucci assistant) produces/directs/co-writes. (Hemdale)

"Hot to Trot"--In the spirit of Francis the Talking Mule and Mr. Ed comes--yes!--another chattering horsie. This one hangs out with an insecure stockbroker (Bob Goldthwait) and together they learn about themselves, success and even love. Michael Dinner directs. With Virginia Madsen, Jim Metzler, Dabney Coleman, Cindy Pickett. (Warners)

"I Was a Teenage Vampire"--In this genre take-off, the title character lucks out and with the help of an eccentric sage acquires knowledge, wisdom and even gets the girl of his dream. (No word on her blood type.) Jimmy Huston directs. With Robert Sean Leonard, Cheryl Pollak, Cecilia Peck, Rene Auberjonois, David Warner. (Kings Road)

"If We Knew Then . . ."--Ski vacation for four bunnies turns out to be a tell-all about their thoughts on life, men and each other. A comedy directed by Frank Harris, starring Liz Torrez, Deanna Lund, Kari Michaelson, Linden Chiles and Jane Wald. (International Film)

"Illegally Yours"--Screwball comedy with Rob Lowe as the unassuming type, getting caught up in murder to help clear Colleen Camp, who's accused of a dastardly crime. Peter Bogdanovich produces/directs. With Kenneth Mars, Harry Carey Jr., Kim Myers. (De Laurentiis)

"In a Shallow Grave"--His face and hands grotesquely scarred--as a result of Guadalcanal--a WWII vet returns home to Virginia to try to resume life anew. Ken Bowser writes/directs the drama. With Michael Biehn and Patrick Dempsey. (Skouras)

"Jilted"--All about the relationships--including love affairs--of five people at a small resort on an island off the coast of Australia's Queensland. Aussie Bill Bennett writes/directs. (Distribution pending)

"Johnny Be Good"--Anthony Michael Hall is possibly the best high school quarterback in the country, dealing with hordes of unscrupulous college recruiters. A comedy about learning the value of friendship, family and education. Veteran film editor Bud Smith makes his directing debut. With Robert Downey Jr., Paul Gleason, Seymour Cassel, Howard Cosell (playing himself), Jim McMahon (playing himself) and newcomer Uma Thurman. Jeff Buhai and Steve Zacharias--who let loose the script for "Revenge of the Nerds"--exec produce/write. (Orion)

"Judgment in Berlin"--Leo Penn, veteran TV director, directs son Sean, Martin Sheen and Sam Wanamaker in a fact-based drama about three East Berliners who hijack a plane to the West and are later tried by an American judge. (New Line)

"The Killing Affair"--David Saperstein--author of the story that became "Cocoon"--scripts and makes his directorial start with this drama, circa 1943, about an Appalachian woman's three-day life-and-death struggle with her husband's killer. With Kathy Baker, Peter Weller, John Glover. (Hemdale)

"The Kitchen Toto"--Drama set in Kenya in the early '50s--at the time of the Mau-Mau uprising--about a young native (Edwin Mahinda) who works as a "kitchen toto" (servant) for the local white police chief, his wife and family. Harry Hook writes/directs. (Cannon)

"The Kulies"--The title refers to a prehistoric tribe whose members are at war with a more primitive tribe (which practices cannibalism). The dilemma: Beela the cave woman loves Yvor the cave man from the opposing tribe! Argentina's Efrain Tobalina directs. With Michelle Smith, Francis Coady and Argentine sex symbol Susana Traverso (which means the loincloths will be teensy). (Global Holdings)

"Lady In White"--Ghost story/thriller set in a small town, circa 1962. It's All Hallow's Eve and the friends of a 10-year-old boy lock him in the school's cloak room. While locked inside, he sees the apparition of a little girl who was killed there 10 years earlier. In his quest to find the girl's killer, he is threatened and pursued by the murderer himself. Frank LaLoggia writes/directs/composes/produces. Stars Lukas Haas, Len Cariou, Alex Rocco, Katherine Helmond. (Distribution pending)

"Leader of the Band"--Steve Landesberg plays a hapless musician who leads a ragtag high school marching band in its misbegotten journey to the state championship. Nessa Hyams (TV's "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," and sister of director Peter Hyams) directs. (New Century/Vista)

"L'Ete en Pente Douce" ("Downhill Summer") (tentative title)--Steamy potboiler set in the French provinces, where the arrival of a beautiful woman and her ne'er do well boyfriend upsets the balance of power in the town. France's Gerard Krawczyk directs. With Pauline Lafont and Jacques Villeret. (Galaxy)

"Lethal Pursuit"--A sexy rock 'n' roller (Mitzi Kapture) returns to her small desert hometown where she renews her romance with her old sweetheart--not knowing that he's a psychotic killer. Don Jones directs. (Shapiro/Glickenhaus)

"The Lighthorsemen"--Set in the Mideast in 1917, this war saga picks up where "Gallipoli" left off, focusing on an Australian cavalry fighting force as it singlehandedly takes on German-occupied Beersheba. Simon Wincer directs. (Cinecom)

"Little Nikita"--River Phoenix learns that his parents are Russian agents. Should he tell FBI man Sidney Poitier? A drama about choosing between love of country and love of family. Richard Benjamin directs; Bo Goldman scripts. (Columbia)

"Lo que Importa es Vivir" ("Living Is What Matters")--About a weird romantic triangle between a young adventurer, a frustrated housewife and her retarded husband. Mexico's Luis Alcoriz writes/directs. (Azteca)

"Lurkers"--Roberta Findlay directs this supernatural thriller about a New York cellist (Christine Moore) plagued by demonic nightmares that threaten her sanity, her life and, no doubt, her ability to stay on key. (Crown)

"The Magic Toyshop"--When her parents are killed, a young girl goes to live with her eccentric uncle (Tom Bell of "Wish You Were Here") who runs a toyshop. It's in this setting--depicted as near-surreal (complete with his offbeat friends)--that she experiences her coming-of-age. David Wheatly (who's done TV movies in Britain) directs. (Skouras)

"Maria de mi Corazon"--Fantasy and reality collide for a young girl who is inadvertently incarcerated in a sanitorium. Jaime Humberto Hermosillo writes-directs, from a story by Colombia's revered Gabriel Garcia Marquez. (Azteca)

"Mariana, Mariana"--About a child's sexual awakening when he falls in love with the mother of his best friend. Mexico's Alberto Issac directs Pedro Armendariz Jr., Elizabeth Aguilar, Saby Kamalich and Luis Mario Aguilar. (Azteca)

"Masquerade"--Rob Lowe, Meg Tilly, Kim Cattrall and Doug Savant in a tale of betrayal and murder, set at a seaside summer playground of the idle rich. Bob Swaim directs. (MGM/UA)

"Messenger of Death"--Charles Bronson is a Denver police detective on the trail of a serial killer linked to a century-old cult of Mormon avengers known as "unholy angels." Longtime Bronson collaborator J. Lee Thompson directs. (Cannon)

"Midnight Crossing"--Mystery thriller set on a sailboat cruising the Caribbean, with Faye Dunaway as a woman blinded by glaucoma, Daniel J. Travanti as her executive husband and a plot involving money taken out of Cuba just before Castro's takeover. Roger Holtzberg makes his directorial debut. With Kim Cattrall, John Laughlin, Ned Beatty. (Vestron)

"The Milagro Beanfield War"--Robert Redford directs this long-in-the-making fantasy-dramedy about a lone native New Mexican who stands up to greedy developers who control local water and threaten to destroy a traditional way of life. Moctesuma Esparza co-produces with Redford; David S. Ward ("The Sting") adapted from John Nichols' novel. With Ruben Blades, Richard Bradford, Sonia Braga, Julie Carmen, James Gammon, Melanie Griffith, John Heard, Carlos Riquelme, Daniel Stern, Chick Vennera, Christopher Walken. (Universal)

"Miracle Mile"--Romantic thriller set in the City of Angels as it waits for nuclear annihilation. Two young lovers attempt to out-run the devastation. Steve De Jarnett directs Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham. (Tri-Star)

"Mr. Christmas Dinner"--Anthony Perkins directs, Pat Proft ("Police Academy," "Bachelor Party") scripts a black comedy about a 300-pounder (Joe Alaskey) who is startled when a beautiful blonde (Donna Dixon) accepts his marriage proposal. But before anyone says "I do," he's got to first survive Christmas dinner with her backwoods family--who consider him less of a man than a meal! (New Line)

"Mr. North"--Robert Mitchum stars in a role originally meant for the late John Huston--who exec produced/co-scripted with Janet Roach (Oscar winner for "Prizzi's Honor"). Directed by Danny Huston (son of John), this adaptation of Thornton Wilder's novel "Theophilus North" is about a young man (Anthony Edwards), mistaken as a "healer," who changes the lives of those he encounters at the wealthy Newport, R.I., summer community in 1926. Also stars Anjelica Huston, Mary Stuart Masterson, Virginia Madsen, Lauren Bacall, Tammy Grimes, Harry Dean Stanton, David Warner. (Distribution pending)

"The Moderns"--Set in Paris, ca. 1926, quintessential era of les artistes-- including those bohemian Americans who flocked to Europe to be a part of the new awakening. Alan Rudolph directs a film about "the art of the '20s, the art of living as though there were no tomorrow." With Keith Carradine, Genevieve Bujold, Geraldine Chaplin, Linda Fiorentino, Wallace Shawn, Kevin J. O'Connor, John Lone. (Alive)

"Moon Over Parador"--The gang that gave us "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" reunites--with a kind of "Down and Out in Central America." Richard Dreyfuss is an actor-turned-unlikely-dictator caught up in the misadventures of a country on the verge of revolution. Paul Mazursky directs. With Raul Julia and Sonia Braga. (Universal)

"Mortuary Academy"--Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov, the homicidal team in "Eating Raoul," this time portray the dean and instructor of an embalming school. Michael Schroeder directs. (Landmark)

"Motherland"--Set during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, amidst the bloody realities of war, where a tank soldier and an Afghan rebel leader struggle to find a common humanity within their divergent cultures. William Mastrosimone scripts from his play. Kevin Reynolds ("Fandango") directs. With Steven Bauer, Jason Patric, George Dzundza. (Columbia)

"Murder One"--Henry ("E.T.") Thomas is taken for a murderous ride with his older brothers and their black inmate friend in this retelling of the real-life Isaac brothers murder spree in 1973 throughout the Eastern U.S., culminating in the slaying of six members of a Georgia farm family. Graeme Campbell directs. (Miramax)

"Murphy's Fault"--Action-comedy about an aspiring writer who inadvertently leads local police to a large car theft gang. Robert Smawley directs.(Triax)

"Mutiny in Space"--Reb Brown and John Phillip Law battle it out on a galactic ship. David Winters writes/directs. With James Ryan. (Action International)

"The Nest"--A biological experiment goes haywire when meat-eating roaches invade an island community. Quick, the Raid! Terence H. Winkless directs. With Robert Lansing and Lisa Langlois. (Concorde)

"A New Life"--Alan Alda writes/directs/stars with Ann-Margret in a saga of life after divorce (from each other). He's a businessman; she's a teacher of the deaf. The film charts their adventures/misadventures in the singles world, complete with blind dates and awkward romantic moments. Martin Bregman produces. With Hal Linden, Veronica Hamel, John Shea, Mary Kay Place. (Paramount)

"Night Falls"--Comedic horror story about some college grad students--one of whom falls for a succubus (that's a femme witch who uses her sexuality as a come-on). Director Eric Troy Nicoleisen. Stars Audrey Landers (Judy's sis), Brian Patrick Clarke, Bill Erwin, Ruth Buzzi. (Distribution pending)

"Nightfall"--Isaac Asimov's award-winning 1941 short story (set on the planet Lagash--where it is always daylight--just prior to civilization's impending collapse) is directed by Peter Meyersberg. With David Birney, Sarah Douglas, Andra Mylian, Alexis Kanner. (Concorde)

"Off Limits"--Saigon, 1968. Willem Dafoe and Gregory Hines are plainclothes military investigators assigned to a case involving the murders of Vietnamese prostitutes. When their evidence points to a high-ranking officer, they become the targets. Christopher Crowe directs. With Fred Ward, Amanda Pays, Scott Glenn. (Fox)

"Operation: Take No Prisoners"--When a scientist makes a startling discovery, he and his family are hunted by the heads of both the CIA and KGB. Tom Shaw directs. (Film Ventures/Independent Network)

"Out Cold"--John Lithgow and Teri Garr go on the run after the refrigeration death of Garr's hubby (and Lithgow's butcher shop partner) Bruce McGill. With Randy Quaid as the private eye hot on their cold trail. Malcolm Mowbray directs the black comedy. (Tri-Star)

"Pascali's Island"--James Dearden (who wrote "Fatal Attraction") writes/directs this drama set on an Aegean island during the decline of the Ottoman Empire, as the fates of three individuals--from different backgrounds--become inextricably intertwined. Ben Kingsley, Charles Dance, Helen Mirren star. (Avenue)

"Pass the Ammo"--Satiric comedy about a corrupt TV evangelist (Tim Curry) whose sinful ways are exposed when a young couple tries to recoup money the not-so-reverent Reverend and his wife bilked from their family. Believe it or don't, this project was shooting before the Jim Bakker scandal broke. David Beaird ("My Chauffeur") directs. With Bill Paxton (the crazed marine of "Aliens"), Linda Kozlowski (Crocodile Dundee's girlfriend), Annie Potts. (New Century/Vista)

"The Penitent"--Love triangle in a small New Mexico village during the 40 days of Lent w

Imperfections Los Angeles Times Sunday January 24, 1988 Home Edition Calendar Page 95 Calendar Desk 3 inches; 80 words Type of Material: Correction Pat H. Broeske and David Pecchia report that they found some mistakes among the 500-plus entries in their epic "Sneaks '88" article last week. For starters, Martin Brest is producing/directing--but not writing--"Midnight Run." The screenwriter is George Gallo. Also, actress Dianne Hull's name was misspelled in the listing for "The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking." "Out of the Dark" and "Bulletproof" are both CineTel releases (as opposed to distribution pending). And "Crystalstone," "Meatballs IV" and "Leprechaun" will be distributed by TMS Pictures. Imperfections Los Angeles Times Sunday January 31, 1988 Home Edition Calendar Page 95 Calendar Desk 2 inches; 56 words Type of Material: Correction Irene Walzer of Trans World Entertainment was disappointed that two of her company's movies were somehow deprived of their proper listing spots in Calendar's recent "Sneaks '88" extravaganza. "Full Moon in Blue Water," starring Gene Hackman, Teri Garr and Burgess Meredith, was missing from the Labor Day through Christmas section, as was "Hardcover," starring Jenny Wright and Clayton Rohner.
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