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Fall Movie Preview: Also in October

”Looking for Richard,” ”Twelfth Night,” and ”Trees Lounge” are also heading to theaters this fall

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Bad Moon
A werewolf, $1 million spent on special effects, and family values. That’s what director Eric Red says gives this thriller its bite. The story: Our hero, Thor, realizes the brother (Michael Pare) of the woman he loves (Mariel Hemingway) is a werewolf. ”It’s about what happens when someone you trust becomes schizo,” says Red. ”You’ll scream, but you’ll also cry.” Thor, by the way, is a German shepherd.

The Funeral
Renegade director Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant) populates his gritty Depression-era crime drama with tough guys like Christopher Walken (a last-minute replacement for Nicolas Cage) and Chris Penn. To Ferrara, however, the real thugs are those on the ratings board, which made him trim seven seconds of sexy footage to avoid an NC-17 rating. ”A group of Beverly Hills housewives telling me what’s suitable?” he grumbles. ”You gotta really f—ing find that amusing.” (Oct. 25)

Looking for Richard
”Hamlet or Othello would have been an easier choice,” says creator-star-first-time director Al Pacino of his documentary-drama about Shakespeare’s Richard III. His three-year labor of love remained unfinished until Ian McKellen’s Richard III spurred Pacino to cut 80 hours of footage down to 2. Pacino financed the film himself, though he won’t disclose the cost: ”I lost count.” (Oct. 11)

Microcosmos
Bugs have love lives too, as this up-extremely-close-and-personal look at their social interactions, a Cannes sensation, makes clear. ”We did not want to make a movie on the life of insects, but rather a ‘natural fiction’ with animal characters,” says codirector Claude Nuridsany. ”It’s a fairy tale more than a documentary.” (Oct. 11)

The Shadow Conspiracy
A presidential aide (Charlie Sheen) and a journalist (Linda Hamilton) are pursued by a killer after they uncover a plot to kill the President (Sam Waterston). But don’t expect Stallone-size battles from Rambo director George Cosmatos. ”One thing that’s refreshing is that Charlie doesn’t run with a gun,” he says. ”He tries to save himself with his wits.” Good luck. (Oct. 18)

Waiting for Guffman
Having skewered the heavy-metal milieu as a member of Spinal Tap, director-actor Christopher Guest trains his satirical sights on another weird subset of showbiz with a mockumentary about a Missouri hamlet where locals are staging a musical pageant to honor the town’s 150th birthday. The target, says costar Fred Willard: ”small-town theatrical people who take themselves very seriously.” (Oct. 25)

Trees Lounge
Considering he’s worked with actor-auteur Quentin Tarantino, it’s not surprising Steve Buscemi would decide to pursue directing himself. The former Mr. Pink also wrote Trees Lounge and stars as a Long Island barfly who loses his job and ends up driving an ice cream truck, a job Buscemi himself once had. ”We shot in the same neighborhood I used to drive in,” Buscemi says. ”It was surreal.” (Oct. 11)