4 November 2013 9:00 PM, PST | Village Voice | See recent Village Voice news »

If it were the late '70s, and you were a wunderkind film artist a bit embarrassed about your zeal for space-opera kids' stuff, you went out and bagged yourself a great to class your movie up: Alec Guinness; François Truffaut; Max von Sydow done up like a disco gladiolus. That tradition is as good an explanation as any for the gorgeous, gloriously strange opening moments of 1979's The Visitor, a Euro-American science fiction horror clusterfuck too messy and weird to have hit back in the day but too inventive and accomplished to have been rotting for so long. (It's been given an HD transfer by Alamo Drafthouse.)

It opens with an alien desert under a great radiating blob of sun, as two robed, Jedi-like figures square off, space western style, one in Kenobi brown an »


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