Today in Movie History: April 8

It’s a slow day, so we’ll start with the bomb. Sahara, based on a Clive Cussler novel and starring Matthew McConaughey at the height of his popularity, opened to scathing reviews and utter audience indifference. What was intended as an Indiana Jones-style romp soon turned into a beached whale, and the film is now regarded with the kind of sad contempt reserved for former Wall Street executives reduced to male stripping to pay their bills. It opened today in 2005.

On a better note (if that’s the word), there’s David Cronenberg’s Rabid, an early effort that reflects the director’s ongoing fascination with body horror. It features a unique take on the zombie apocalypse scenario, as well as a surprisingly decent turn by former porn star Marilyn Chambers in the lead. Though rough around the edges, you can see the emergence of Cronenberg’s unique voice that led to such later triumphs as Scanners and The Fly. It opened today in 1977.



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