Issue December 10, 2008

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, Dec. 16

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS

PETTICOAT JUNCTION: THE OFFICIAL FIRST SEASON

$40.95, UR

This aw-shucks innocent bit of T&A TV was way ahead of its time. Just your basic family-friendly cornball collection of “Beverly Hillbillies” and “Green Acres” characters, livened up by three scrumptious babes a-skinny-dippin’ over the opening theme song. What more could you want — it takes place in HOOTERville for gosh-sakes! Thirty-eight goofy, lightweight episodes starring Bea Benaderet (the original voice of Betty Rubble), Western star Edgar Buchanan, Linda Henning (Betty Jo), Meredith MacRae (Billie Jo) and Lori Saunders (Booby Jo). Or was that “Bobby Jo”?

THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR

2008; $29.95, PG-13

Brendan Fraser goes to the well once too often as Rick O’Connell, dim-bulb American adventurer, armed to the teeth and a bit long of tooth after a lifetime of marriage to Maria Bello (taking over for Rachel Weisz, who wisely declined) and raising a wise-assed kid to adulthood (Luke Ford). Together they go in search of an overblown CGI crapfest co-starring Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh. It just plain sucks and has nothing whatsoever to do with the original “Mummy” — which was one helluvalotta fun.

 

AUTOMOBILES: THE CHRYSLER TURBINE/VW BEETLE

2008; $24.95 each, UR

If you’ve never caught this History Channel series on the historical, social and technological effect of some of the world’s greatest cars, here’s your chance for roadworthy redemption. “Turbine” is a fascinating look at a radical form of propulsion whose time has come and gone — or may yet power the world. And “VW” pays homage to Dr. Porsche’s magic invention, an engineering marvel of the first order that deserves far more respect.

BIOGRAPHY: HANK WILLIAMS: THE LONESOME HEART OF COUNTRY

2008; $24.95, UR

A&E’s Biography series brings a welcome look back at one of country’s Founding Fathers, who died tragically at the age of 29. With great honky-tonk music and terrific interviews from those who knew him, this is a must-own for any fan of real country music. Our own first memory of Williams was a pajama-clad trip to the Preston Drive-In where our parents watched a B&W “hoedown” movie that included Roy Acuff from the front seat, while we gamboled in the back, well asleep before the more adult “Peyton Place” came on. We miss drive-ins.

BLACK LAGOON: COMPLETE SEASON ONE

2008; $49.95, UR

This truly adult anime is a remarkable achievement: It eschews all the usual big-eyed naked nymphets in favor of a savagely comic tale of survival and adventure. A modern-day businessman is captured by ruthless pirates, becoming part of their gang after being abandoned by his company.

FAMOUS AUTHORS: OSCAR WILDE

2008; $19.95, UR

For the TV generation: Oscar Wilde was an artsy-fartsy Irish writer from the late 1800s whose works have been the foundation for, oh, maybe half of all the movies and TV shows you’ve ever seen. His devil-may-care sense of fun was reflected in his unconventional life, but it all went down the crapper after doing two years hard labor for “gross indecency with other men.” A welcome biodoc on a truly excellent fellow.

LOS ANGELES

2008; $19.95, UR

Clueless Josh Evans reluctantly takes a gig as a drug courier for Michael Madsen when he meets Anna Zilberfarb, and together they trip out on the new drug that is “more addictive than air.” With cameos by Stickey Fingaz, Michelle Phillips and Dick Van Patten.

MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIE

2008; $29.95-$39.95, PG-13

The movie musical, once moribund, is officially alive, well and living on a colorful Greek isle in this wildly wise and wonderfully wicked bit of summer fluff based on the songs of ABBA. Amanda Seyfried, about to be married, invites the three men — Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård — who may or may not be her father, while mom Meryl Streep twitters in, er, anticipation. Yeah, we could be snarky and call it a Chick Flick, but this damn thing is good, infectious fun. Enjoy.

SKINNY BITCH FITNESS: BODY

2008; $14.95, UR

What a great series! Women are encouraged, with a combination of yoga and other gentle techniques, to “transform from lazy lumps to skinny bitches.” Get the kind of body that makes other women hate you! Cool.

SPIKER

2007; $24.95, R

Your basic “giant rampaging pink-eyed albino maniac killing everyone in sight with railroad spikes” outing, co-starring the ravishing Ginger Kroll from the series “Tell Me You Love Me.” Trust us, you’ve heard all you need to know.

THE 2008 RYDER CUP: OFFICIAL HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 37TH RYDER CUP

2008; $24.95, UR

You got stuck in the traffic, wiped out by the windstorm and jack-booted by Metro parking-thugs; now see what all the fuss was about in this sports doc about Louisville’s “three days of breathtaking golf.” Puh-leeze. Golf wouldn’t be breathtaking if they used flame-throwers.

THE WEDDING DIRECTOR

2006; $29.95, UR

A popular arthouser from Italy about a film director, concerned over his daughter’s choice of husbands — and his own looming sexual scandal — who escapes to Sicily, where he joins a wild cast of characters, including a man who makes his living shooting wedding videos. But none of that begins to cover the fun that’s had along the way. Is it a comedy? A wild drama? A mystery? Damned if we know, but it’s entertaining as hell.

WILL SHAKESPEARE

1978; $29.95, UR

Tim “Dr. Frank-N-Furter” Curry may seem like an unlikely choice for lead in a biodrama about The Bard, but he’s really quite good. It seems that the young Will came from humble stock, battling not only nasty reviewers and class stratification but also the Black Plague in his bid for theatrical success. A.k.a. “Life of Shakespeare,” a six-hour Limey TV mini-series co-starring Ian McShane.

 

Other DVDs of Interest

CRIME 360: THE COMPLETE SEASON ONE

2000; $29.95, UR

GANGLAND: THE COMPLETE SEASON TWO

2006; $34.95, UR

GENERATION KILL

2008; $59.95, UR

MR. BEAN: THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION

2008; $79.95, UR

THE CHEETAH GIRLS: ONE WORLD

2008; $29.95, G

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