Issue June 19, 2007

Video TapeWorm: Releases through Tuesday, June 26

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:
BLACK SNAKE MOAN

2007; DVD $29.95-39.95, R
We hereby proclaim this THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER MADE! Samuel L. Jackson stars as a tired soul, a former blues musician who has lost his way until he encounters nasty nympho Christina Ricci, whose wantonness is leading her to eventual misery and despair. So he chains her to a radiator. Yow! She spends much of the movie in nothing but a cropped shirt, white cotton panties and a big iron chain — the wardrobe people are friggin’ geniuses! — while she and Jackson fight to discover why they were placed on this earth. And did we mention the killer soundtrack? A shamelessly exploitive tale of redemption and music that’s 100 percent entertaining from first frame to roll credits.

CULT CAMP CLASSICS VOLUMES 1-4
2007; DVD $29.95ea, UR
A welcome new line of cult classics — three discs per set. The best two are Volume 1: SciFi with “Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman” (1958), “The Giant Behemoth” and one of our all-time guilty pleasures, “Queen of Outer Space” with Zsa Zsa Gabor; and Volume 2: Women In Peril containing “The Big Cube” (1968), “Caged” (1950; the original “good girl in a women’s prison” flick) and “Trog” (1969), the hilariously bad final big-screen appearance of Joan Crawford! Also available: Volume 3: Terrorized Travelers and Volume 4: Historical Epics. All are highly recommended.


BALLET FOR BOYS WITH RICHARD GLASSTONE
2001; DVD $19.95, UR

For those of you expecting a bunch of childish homo-puns about little boys being light in their loafers, piss off! A serious training course on basic ballet moves and exercises aimed at the most uncoordinated, self-conscious people on the planet. We wear leggings because they feel good, OK?

BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON
2006; DVD $26.95, R

A killer spoof of mad-slasher movies with a real eye for fun. In a world where all the great movie boogiemen are real, a pretty student filmmaker focuses her camera on a serial-killer-wannabe, hoping to turn him into the Next Big Thing. But she forgot that every knife-wielding maniac has to have a virginal teen to carve up — and she’s on the menu!

DEAD SILENCE
2007; DVD $29.95-39.95, R

A better-than-it-has-to-be horror/mad-slasher film, raised above its low-rent roots by Donnie Wahlberg, slumming as a police detective trying to uncover the truth behind a murder supposedly linked to a dead ventriloquist and her evil, “living” dummies. Lots of tongues get ripped out as the murderous sins of the townspeople are uncovered.

HAUNTED FOREST
2007; DVD $26.95, R

A very entertaining classic haunter with ecological overtones, done on a budget but with loads of heart by enthusiastic young performers. A beautiful spirit, locked in a desolate tree for 200 years, seeks vengeance, luring a young man and his friends to her via his dreams. Lots of fun.


LA JETEE/SANS SOLEIL
2005; DVD $39.95, UR

Chris Marker, nom de plume of Professor Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve, is one of the most daring filmmakers of modern times, and these two films represent the cutting edge in sci-fi storytelling. The first is a tale of time travel, told in still images. Yeah, it is artsy-fartsy, but amazing nonetheless. The second is a travelogue of sorts through Africa and Japan, with musings on the nature of time and memory. Again, potentially pretentious as only the French can be, but amazing.


MONKEY PRESENTS: MOBY DICK
2005; DVD $14.95, UR

How can we pass up a title like that? From the kids’-vid-series, Melville’s tale of the Great White Whale told with sock puppets and construction paper. If it weren’t so damned earnest, it could be an MST3K skit!


MY DEAR TOM MIX
1991; DVD $29.95, UR

Spanish-language tale of a bored young woman, unmarried and lost in her own fantasy world of movies and tall tales. When a band of marauding cutthroats plague her small town, she writes to legendary Western hero Tom Mix, “The King of the Cowboys,” for help.

NOEIN, VOL. 4
2007; DVD $19.95, UR

We’ve been meaning to mention this incredible anime series for some time; it is far and away one of our favorites. Inspired by quantum physics, it posits that there are billions of versions of everyone in alternate universes. A young girl finds herself caught between two of them in an intradimensional battle where past/future/alternate versions of herself and everyone she knows interact. Well-drawn with a killer soundtrack. Worth your time.


THE SPAGHETTI WEST: AN IFC ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY
2005; DVD $26.95, UR

Sergio Leone, Ennio Morricone, Clint Eastwood and many others highlight this too-short doc on Italian-made Westerns. A bit heavy on commentary, but still chock full of classic scenes.


THE STONE MERCHANT
2006; DVD $26.95, R

A searing damnation of the politics of terrorism in Europe, where they tend to look the other way on human rights, hoping that the terrorists will find “other targets” (read “us”). A drama, it contains footage of actual Somali executions by stoning, a suspected thief having his hand cut off and much more. Italian-made, starring F. Murray Abraham with Harvey Keitel and Jane March.


THE WHISTLER
2006; DVD $19.95, UR

A good, old-fashioned no-budget story of retribution from beyond the grave as a band of nogoodniks terrorize a quiet little town until confronted by a giant simpleton committed to protecting his one true love with his very life. And then some.

UNCLE P
2005; DVD $19.95, PG

“Master P” (Percy Miller) from hiphop.com stars in this vanity vehicle about a millionaire hip-hop fashionista (himself) who becomes guardian to his poor sister’s three kids. It’s somewhere between last year’s “Are We There Yet?” and the old TV sitcom “Silver Spoons.”


WHO CAN KILL A CHILD?
1976; DVD $19.95, UR

Finally! A decent release of this powerful yet rarely seen horror film from Spain. It begins with a seven-minute newsreel about the worldwide taboo of killing children before settling into its real story. And what a story! English tourists travel to a seemingly deserted island. All is silent. Then the children appear. Quiet. Smiling. With the blood of their parents on their hands! We suggest you hang on, it’s quite a ride.

OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST
DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER: BEST OF SEASONS 1, 2 AND 3
2007; DVD $34.95, UR
GOMER PYLE, U.S.M.C.: SECOND SEASON
1964; DVD $38.95, UR
RENO 911!: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON
2003; DVD $26.95, UR
THE NEW ADVENTURES OF BATMAN: THE COMPLETE SERIES
1977; DVD $26.95, UR
THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN
1966; DVD $26.95, UR

A more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!