Issue October 9, 2007

Video TapeWorm: Releases through Tuesday, Oct. 16

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS
ICONS OF HORROR COLLECTION: SAM KATZMAN
2000; DVD $24.95, UR
If you buy only one DVD set of really crappy monster movies this Halloween, make it this one! Sam’s career spanned six decades; everything from Elvis movies to Harryhausen to the “Three Stooges.” Nothing that good here, just four entertaining-as-hell stinkers: “The Giant Claw” (1957; one of our all-time faves), “Creature with the Atom Brain” (1955; written by Curt “The Wolf Man” Siodmak), “Zombies of Mora Tau” (1957; the best swimming-dead flick we know) and “The Werewolf” (1956; an atomically-awful mad-scientist outing).

PLANET TERROR
2007; DVD $29.95, UR
The Robert Rodriguez half of the “Grindhouse” double-feature (with Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof”), and by far the most entertaining. Rose McGowan stars as stripper Cherry Darling, running for her life after a failed bio-weapon experiment turns everyone around her into flesh-eating zombies. When she loses a leg, Freddy Rodríguez replaces it with a machine gun/rocket launcher so she can blast them away — all to a killer retro soundtrack! More fun than allowed by state law.


A MIGHTY HEART
2007; DVD $29.95-39.95, R
Every time we’re prepared to write Angelina Jolie off as a stunning hack, she morphs into an actress of the first caliber. Case in point: this drama based on the true story of the widow of Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl. She waded into lawless Pakistan like a force of nature after her husband disappeared.

BELIEVERS
2007; DVD $24.95, R/UR
A killer thriller about a pair of emergency paramedics who rush to the scene after a child calls and says her mother is down. But they are quickly kidnapped by a cult, just hours away from “fulfilling their destiny”: to escape the Earth before a rain of fire. But if they are just whacko nut-jobs, then why does their science seem so sound? Is it really the end of the world?!

CRAZY LOVE
2007; DVD $26.95, PG-13
A disturbing doc on Linda and Burt Pagach. Can’t place the names? During the summer of 1959, 32-year-old (and married) Burt had an affair with 20-year-old (and single) Linda Riss. He then threw acid in her face. Sixteen years later, after scores of prison love-letters, they married and made the cover of glossy magazines.

DISPLACED
2006; DVD $24.95, R
Ian McKellen lends his voice to this film-school short project that took on a life of its own. A British soldier and a humanoid alien join forces to discover the secret behind missing spacecraft, a potential new energy source, and secret prisons on Earth. Worth checking out.

ICE SPIDERS
DVD $24.95, R
Even for the SciFi Channel, this is one stooopid movie. Retired Olympic skier Patrick Muldoon must save the world from Vanessa Williams’ giant mutant spiders at a ski resort with the help of his slalom buddies. Man, do we love crap like this!

MACGYVER: THE COMPLETE SERIES
1985; DVD $170.95, UR
Most people today know this show only as a running gag on “The Simpsons,” but it was one of the most entertaining series of the ’80s. Richard Dean Anderson starred as the reluctant secret agent who used his resourceful mind and knowledge of science to rescue people and save the day — all without the necessity of gunplay. 139 episodes on 39 discs.

MASTERS OF HORROR: TOBE HOOPER’S THE DAMNED THING
2007; DVD $14.95, UR
Many of these MOH outings have been less than fabulous, but we kinda liked this one. Based on a short story by Ambrose Bierce, with a script by Richard Christian Matheson, it’s the cautionary tale of an invisible force that drives men to murder, then tears them apart from the inside. Sean Patrick Flanery stars.

NIGHT OF LUST
1962; DVD $19.95, NC-17
One of the most infamous movies of the 20th century! Sleazy L.A. moviemaker Bob Cresse stole a copy of Jose Benazeraf’s “Le Concerto de la peur” — already a notorious noir nudie-gangster shocker in France — had it badly dubbed into English, then added even more nudity before releasing it in America as “Lust.” Featuring a legendary original free-jazz score by the immortal Chet Baker, this mix of camp, trash, high art and low morals is finally available on DVD, though don’t bother going to Blockbuster.

RETURN TO HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL
2007; DVD $27.95, UR
Straight-to-video sequel to the most recent “House,” the one with Geoffrey Rush and Famke Janssen. Only Jeffrey Combs returns this time, recreating his ghostly maniacal Dr. Vannacutt who butchers the rest of the no-name cast. Filmed in Bulgaria, if that tells you anything.

THE HOAX
2007; DVD $29.95, R
Richard Gere is amazing as Clifford Irving, the real-life writer who faked an autobiography of Howard Hughes and almost — almost — pulled off the greatest scam of the 20th century. But the same fount of BS that led him to attempt such a feat undermined his own grip on reality, until even he wasn’t sure what was real and what was a conspiracy.

THE INVISIBLE
2007; DVD $29.95, PG-13
A quick, dark teeny flick from Disney about a young man, attacked and left for dead, who finds himself between worlds. Able to move, see and hear, but unable to touch or communicate with those around him, he must find someone to solve his own murder if he is to be released. A ripoff of the much better Swedish “Den Osynlige” of 2002.

THE REAPING
2007; DVD $28.95-39.95, R
Oscar winner Hilary Swank goes slumming in this B-tale of Biblical Plagues signaling the End of Days in tiny Haven, La. Interesting, if a bit chick-flicky.

THE ULTIMATE HEROES COLLECTION
2005; DVD $39.95, PG-13
Here’s a killer Christmas present for any home with kids, teens or … well, guys! “X-Men,” “Fantastic 4,” “Daredevil” and “Elektra” for under 10 bucks a disc!

TRANSFORMERS
2007; DVD $29.95, PG-13
Anyone under the age of 50 who needs a review of this should probably go read Velocity. Losers. Shia LaBeouf BAM and Megan Fox SWOOSH-KAPOW run around frantically, trying not to get EEEAGH squooshed under the feet of giant robots from outer BOOMBOOMBOOM space in this flashy, fun, noisy PLINK ode to ’70s toys from director Michael Bay and producer Steven MOMMY! Spielberg. Scorponok was our favorite. WHHHRR-KRUNCH.

OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST
DEADLIEST CATCH: SEASON 2
2006; DVD $29.95, UR
MEDIUM: THE THIRD SEASON
2005; DVD $54.95, UR
MYTHBUSTERS: COLLECTION 2
2007; DVD $29.95, UR
THAT ’70S SHOW: SEASON 7
1998; DVD $49.95, UR

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