ULGGH. GULP. AGHRRRR! Those would be the sounds of someone getting terminated in "The Stranglers of Bombay," an exceptionally nasty British film from 1960 that has acquired a cult reputation. From these bad lads comes our word "thug," for the original outfit was called the "Cult of Thuggee" and was operational in the 1820s. When the Brits made a film about it, they were so horrified at what they wrought, they censored it. Of course the French loved it. "The Stranglers of Bombay," almost never seen these days, is one of next weekend's offerings at the AFI's Bloody Hell film fest of British horrors from the '50s through the '70s. Guy Rolfe stars, and the director is Terence Fisher, who used a process called "Strangloscope" to record the movie. I am not making this up.

-- Stephen Hunter

At the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. Friday at 11 p.m. and Saturday at 5:05 p.m. For ticket information, call 301-495-6720 or visit


AT FIRST BLUSH, the Baltimore Museum of Art's latest contemporary acquisition looks like an information kiosk in a '70s shopping mall or a piece of utopian architecture from the set of "Logan's Run." But step inside the five-legged stainless-steel gazebo that is Danish artist Olafur Eliasson's "Flower Observatory" and cast your eyes upward, and a different scene emerges. Triangular slices of space are kaleidoscopically reflected into jagged, bristly, multifaceted blossoms by the highly polished metal chambers. Simpler petaled stars sprout at the meeting points of the steel plates, which are arranged along the lines of a complex geometric solid called a triacontahedron. Mixing sci-fi with flower power, it's psychedelia with a scientific soul.

-- Glenn Dixon

At the Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Dr. Open Wednesday-Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $5-$7; free for children. Call 410-396-7100 or visit


MOST OF OUR LEADING orchestras have their own "pops" ensembles nowadays. But the Boston Pops is still first among equals, and conductor Keith Lockhart will come south to Wolf Trap on Wednesday for an evening of Broadway show tunes with Tony Award-winning vocalist Faith Prince. The program will be drawn not only from familiar musicals ("Guys and Dolls," "Annie Get Your Gun," "Follies") but also from such relative rarities as "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever," Alan Jay Lerner's mid-'60s study of clairvoyance.

-- Tim Page

At Wolf Trap's Filene Center, 1551 Trap Rd., Vienna. Wednesday at 8 p.m. $20-$45. Call 703-218-6500 or visit