FREEZE FRAMES

EXTREMITIES -- A would-be rapist terrorizes a woman for what seems like hours. Then she turns the tables and torments him. The first half is thuddingly effective in its own awful way; the second is a mess of weak writing and acting. The intention may have been to decry male aggression in general and rape in particular, but the result is just brutal. Written by William Mastrosimone, from his own stage play, and directed by Robert M. Young. (Rated R) THE LIBERATION OF AUSCHWITZ -- A documentary comprising some 60 minutes of footage shot by a Soviet crew soon after the notorious death camp was liberated; some of it was shown as evidence at the Nuremberg war-crimes trial. Here it's accompanied by an explanatory narration and an interview with one of the photographers. Irmgard von zur Muhlen directed this horrfying but tragically instructive record. (Not rated)

MANHUNTER -- The story deals with an appalling subject: A policeman tracks down a psychotic killer who slaughters whole families when the moon is full. The cop's methods include tracing the killer's footsteps, trying to identify with his insane mentality, and studying another mass murderer who's already behind bars. The director, Michael Mann, has a rare skill at building tension and suspense, and his atmospheric images are more unnerving and original than anything else around. But the plot's material is so harrowing, especially when it shows imminent violence against women, that even people who like Mann's punchy ``Miami Vice'' television show may find it too nasty to slog through. Other problems include some weak performances and a trite climax. (Rated R)

MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE -- Machines turn against people. One watches in stupefaction, not only at the banality of the idea, but at the vulgarity of the screenplay and the ineptitude of the filmmaking. Written and directed by shock specialist Stephen King, who has complained for years about movie versions of his stories, and now personally gives us the worst of all. (Rated R)

MY AMERICAN COUSIN -- He sweeps into Sandra's rural Canadian life in a sizzling red Cadillac, and even though he's 17 and a rascal, he instantly becomes the apple of her 12-year-old eye. The story is slim, but the 1950s mood is deliciously real, and Margaret Langrick couldn't be more perfect as the young heroine. Written and directed with modest charm by Sandy Wilson, a newcomer to watch. (Rated PG)

NO SURRENDER -- Two busloads of working-class Irish revelers, one Protestant and one Roman Catholic, show up at a seedy Liverpool pub on the same unfortunate evening. The results, compounded by incompetence and skulduggery at the pub itself, are dourly comic. Peter Smith directed this independent British production. (Not rated)

OUT OF BOUNDS -- Silly, hokey, violent thriller about an Iowa farmboy in Los Angeles, dodging bad guys and cops while trapping the thugs who killed his brother. Directed by Richard Tuggle. (Rated R) RATINGS: Films with ratings other than G may contain varying degrees of vulgar language, nudity, sex, and violence.

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