The Crichton Strain 

When Jurassic Park hit the scene in '93, it made Michael Crichton a household name as an author of sci-fi thrillers that easily translated to film. But in the '80s, Crichton was a Hollywood wash-up with only one B-movie film credit to his name (a movie starring Tom Selleck--which explains why his career was suspended for a decade). Nevertheless, Crichton got his start in the '70s when he wrote and directed a few films that went on to become cult classics.

- Westworld (1973)--Yul Brynner reprises his role as the King of Siam--only this time he has a six-shooter and an insatiable taste for blood! It's the same plot as Jurassic Park, but with cowboys instead of dinosaurs. Oh, the hubris of scientists! Don't you know that robots always want to kill humans? If we could only teach them how to loveÉ.

- The Andromeda Strain (1971)--An alien virus lands on earth and a crack team of scientists assemble to find a way to eradicate it. What can be more interesting than watching a bunch of scientists hunched over microscopes, giving pained looks of perplexity? The coolest thing is the "state-of-the-art" laboratory used to research the disease. It's the ultimate '70s bachelor pad, complete with nuclear bomb.

- Coma (1978)--Dr. Michael Douglas and his nurse/girlfriend work in a hospital where seemingly healthy patients fall victim to a mysterious coma. If only they could solve the mystery of this sinister plot, perhaps they could solve the mystery that is their petty relationship. Sigh. Boring as all hell, except for the few brief moments when the nurse breaks from the terrible world of hospital politics to Jazzercise.

- The First Great Train Robbery (1979)--Sean Connery plays a whore-loving conman and thief who plans on doing the impossible--stealing a shipment of gold from a locked, moving train, while dodging syphilis in Victorian England. Cheerio! MANU BERELLI

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