Issue July 17, 2007

Video Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, July 24

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS
A BIT OF FRY & LAURIE: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION … EVERY BIT!
2007; DVD $79.95, UR
Fans of “V For Vendetta” and TV’s “House” — and that’s a lot of people! — will love this clever, savage Limey sketch-comedy series starring Stephen Fry (Natalie Portman’s gay boss from “V”) and Hugh “Dr. House” Laurie. All four seasons, stretching from 1987 to 1995, filled to the brim with “pimholes,” “lesbotic tendencies,” “securing an encutment,” “inter-oral, extra-nasal respiratory relaxant therapy” and “fusking cloff prunkers” who “frangilate another’s slimp” while “smuctating them avially” — without dripping!

THE HOST (GWOEMUL)
2006; DVD $26.95-39.95, R
A magnificent return to the theater of the lost “big, ugly Oriental monster” genre, this one from Korea. Goes a bit overboard with anti-American rhetoric (a common Korean sentiment), but the Monster makes up for it: a huge, google-eyed, slimy, icky fish/eel/lizard thingie whose mouth was obviously inspired by “Tremors,” running along riverbanks, gobbling up people before swinging away on his prehensile tail! A great, funny, dysfunctional family ode to horror, courage and self-sacrifice that ranked as one of our favorite movies of 2006. Go buy it!


HARD BOILED
1992; DVD $24.95, UR
The two-disc Ultimate Edition of John Woo’s amazing and influential crime masterpiece. When Chow Yun-Fat’s partner is killed, he joins fellow crazed-cop Tony Leung in a violent, bloody pogrom to rid the world of the smugglers responsible. The penultimate Hong Kong action movie, now with all the DVD trimmings.

LAND OF THE GIANTS: THE COMPLETE SERIES
2005; DVD $199.95, UR
Wow! A terrific nine-disc set of all 51 classic TV-sci-fi episodes, plus some of the best swag ever swug! Includes a keychain, crew patch, comic book, trading cards and more! Cool!

MOBY DICK
1956; DVD $14.95, UR
Pay attention, there’ll be a test at the end. Gregory Peck goes perfectly insane as the whaling captain, obsessively pursuing the Great White Whale at the expense of his crew in this perfect telling of the Herman Melville tale directed by John Huston from a script by Ray Bradbury. Part of a massive DVD release of “Cliff’s Notes” versions of literary classics; many terrific titles to choose from, each with a copy of the “Cliff’s Notes” to help you get through high school.

SHADOW PUPPETS
2007; DVD $26.95, UR
A good little made-for-cable B-film that nobody saw but us. Jolene Blalock (“Star Trek: Enterprise”), James Marsters (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Tony Todd (“Candyman”) and three others wake up in a locked asylum with no memory, few clothes and no idea why a seemingly supernatural force is out to kill them, one by one. We liked it.

SLOW BURN
2004; DVD $27.95, R
Usually when a movie sits for several years before being released straight to video, it’s because it’s a total piece of crap. Which is why we’re so happy to showcase this sexy, stylish thriller with Ray Liotta and hot-and-nasty Jolene “Star Trek Enterprise” Blalock caught in a noir-ish maze over the murder of Mekhi Phifer with the help of mysterious stranger LL Cool J. Well worth your time.

SUSPENSE: THE LOST EPISODES COLLECTION, VOL. 1
2007; DVD $39.95, UR
“Suspense” was one of the best written, most exciting live-broadcast mystery shows from the early ’50s, considered lost until someone recently found and restored the crude Kinescope masters. Now available, 30 episodes starring some of the world’s greatest actors with scripts by William Faulkner, Gore Vidal, Roald Dahl and more.

THE ADVENTURES OF JUAN QUIN QUIN
1987; DVD $24.95, UR
A clever and exciting tale from Cuba that took far too long to make it to American DVD. The titular Juan, a poor farmer during the Cuban Revolution, survives by his wits, becoming a bull fighter, coffee planter, circus performer — even stand-in for Christ — as he ekes out a living and learns to become a revolutionary.

THE CHAMBERMAID
2007; DVD $29.95, R
While listed as a “horror-thriller,” this silly howler — aka “Lovesick: Sick Love” — is an entertaining straight-to-vid Limey C-film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Fiona Horsey (fabulous in “Penetration Angst”), Paul Conway, William Rowsey and Jessica Barnes star in a tale of love, lust, murder and infidelity — with just a bit of skin — that you can’t help but laugh at.

THE CONTRACT
2006; DVD $29.95, R
There have been so many movies with this title recently it’s hard to keep them straight. This is the one with John Cusack running through the woods with his son, trying to escape the men of assassin Morgan Freeman, who Cusack just fished out of a river. A fun stinker.

THE FRANKIE AND ANNETTE COLLECTION
1963; DVD $39.95, UR
All eight Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello flicks — including, of course, their phenomenal beach movies — in a terrific boxed set. Features the original “Beach Party,” “Beach Blanket Bingo,” “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini,” “Bikini Beach,” race car flicks “Fireball 500” and “Thunder Alley,” “Muscle Beach Party” and “Ski Party.”

THE NUMBER 23
2007; DVD $28.95, R
Jim Carrey and Virginia Madsen star in this maddening Fortean misfire. A fabulous idea — that the universe/some-cosmic-conspiracy controls our lives and gives us clues if we are crazed enough to notice — becomes bogged down in tedious minutiae and navel-grazing psycho-babble-philosophy. But what do we know? Maybe God is telling you the Meaning of Life through this movie, and the rest of us are just here to populate the scene.

ZODIAC
2007; DVD $29.95, R
Jake Gyllenhaal is the best thing about this well done, if overlong, drama based on the true serial-killer slayings in ’70s California. A fanatical puzzle-worker, he unravels the cryptic clues sent to newspaperman Robert Downey Jr., confounding and assisting desperate police inspectors Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Edwards. With a great script and a tangible air of menace throughout, this only needed a better editing job to make it one of the year’s best.

OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: THE COMPLETE EPIC SERIES
1978; DVD $59.95, UR
BENSON: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
1979; DVD $29.95, UR
PAUL BOWLES: THE COMPLETE OUTSIDER
1994; DVD $24.95, UR
RENAISSANCE
2006; DVD $29.95, R
TALES FROM THE CRYPT: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON
1989; DVD $39.95, UR
THE WOODY WOODPECKER AND FRIENDS CLASSIC CARTOON COLLECTION
2005; DVD $39.95, UR

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