Issue July 9, 2013

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, July 16

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

REGULAR SHOW: THE COMPLETE FIRST & SECOND SEASONS

2013; $24.98-$29.96; UR

Now available in a money-saving two-season combo pack, DVD or Blu-ray, this Cartoon Network series is a waking hallucination of cultural touchstones, plus some completely off-the-wall shit that defies description. It’s also damn funny. A badly drawn blue jay with attitude, and his best friend, a raccoon, lead regular lives as groundskeepers at a park owned by a giant lollipop. But the fun is in spotting all the razor-sharp slacker/pop-culture references: Bruce Campbell in-jokes segue into Loverboy parodies amid “Back to the Future” plotlines that end with the testicle scene from “The Crying Game” — and somehow it all makes hilarious sense! Recommended.

SOLOMON KANE

2009; $15.98; R

Solomon Kane is “Conan” author Robert E. Howard’s most overlooked anti-hero. He appeared in only about a dozen tales, yet he remains one of Howard’s most striking and mysterious characters. This movie treatment stars James Purefoy (“The Following”) as Howard’s dour Puritan hellbrand, now slashing up demonic monsters more often than evil humans as he attempts to rescue Rachel Hurd-Wood from the clutches of a devil in human form. Sadly, the film didn’t inspire a series, as fans of Howard had hoped, largely because of a ham-handed distribution arrangement that has kept people from seeing it. Not a perfect film, but a solid, dark, blood-soaked fantasy adventure steeped in the war between good and evil in all of us. We liked it.

•••

42

2013; $24.98-$35.98; PG-13

The true story of Jackie Robinson, the first black professional Major League baseball player — at a time when blacks were not allowed to use white bathrooms — and Branch Rickey, the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers who quite literally changed the color of America. Chadwick Boseman plays Robinson, No. 42, as a man constantly struggling to hold his head high as he and his family endure hatred at every turn. Harrison Ford’s Rickey, while conflicted and challenged, focuses on one simple notion: Robinson is the best man for the job. Highly recommended.

BIDDER 70

2012; $19.98; UR

We love this doc! George W. Bush set up a thinly veiled giveaway to his energy-industry cronies in 2008: thousands of acres of public land in Utah, “re-purposed” for mining in the guise of “energy exploration to make our country secure.” All it required was a simple Federal Lease Auction. And that’s where a college student named Tim DeChristopher stepped in: He bid, and won, the mineral rights before anyone knew what happened — despite not having any money to pay for them! It’s what happened next that’s fascinating.

BULLET TO THE HEAD

2012; $24.98; R

Legendary director Walter Hill was tagged to lead Sylvester Stallone’s latest film resurrection. He’s a hitman from the Big Easy who teams with an NYC cop (Sung Kang, “Fast & Furious”) to take down a sadistic killer who murdered both of their respective partners. Simply put: This is a welcome throwback to the great buddy movies of the ’80s/’90s; entertaining as hell and damn funny. And violent: an R-rated bloodbath co-starring lovely Sarah Shahi (“Fairly Legal”). Gangs of fun.

DARKEST NIGHT

2012; $24.98; UR

This all-but-unknown fright-fest from the Philippines is an edge-of-your-seat thriller starring indie-horror auteur DJ Perry and exotic hotties Issa Litton and Jill Palencia. When we tell you it’s a found-footage movie, supposedly based on real events from Malaysia, about a family besieged by supernatural terrors, you’re probably thinking, “Been there, done that,” but this little gem rocks thanks to a great cast, tight direction and good writing. There are some unfortunate technical lapses and more straight-up gore than necessary, but all in all we liked it.

EVIL DEAD

2013; $19.98-$35.98; R

An unnecessary and extremely graphic rebooting of Sam Raimi’s seminal 1981 no-budget classic cabin-in-the-woods screamer, with none of the humor. Ask for the original.

HEAVY TRAFFIC

1973; $14.98-$19.98; R

In 1972, edgy animator Ralph Bakshi shocked the world with his pornographic ode to the funny papers, “Fritz the Cat.” Looking to give his growing fanbase some insight into his work (long before the Internet became the pox that it is), he created this very odd movie about an underground animator (Joseph Kaufmann, in his last film, channeling Bakshi) trying to survive and express himself in a violent, hodge-podge urban hell. A rare combination of live action and animation unlike anything you’ve ever seen — and not for the easily offended — now available on Blu-ray.

ROOSTER TEETH: BEST OF RT SHORTS AND ANIMATED ADVENTURES

2013; $15.98-$19.98; UR

For the uninitiated: Rooster Teeth Productions are the lads behind “Red vs. Blue” and other crazy-wild videos made entirely from video-game footage. Here they offer fans a backhanded mockumentary: a goofy look at daily life around the office that plays out more like sketch comedy peppered with knowing winks to the gods of Xbox. Also includes a best-of compilation disc of fan-picked faves including “Angry Birds: The Movie” and “Siri: The Horror Movie.”

SEXUAL FREEDOM: SEX STORIES 3

2013; $21.99; UR

Doe-eyed keister-delivery-system Liza Del Sierra stars in the finale of Ovidie’s “Sex Stories” trilogy. Yes, this is porn; unapologetically empowering feminist porn, lush, evocative and extremely sensual. Ovidie plays a skeptical TV journalist doing a piece on a swingers’ commune in the quiet countryside. After a while, she comes to consider the commune as the potential next step in human evolution, challenging her mundane beliefs about how people “should” experience love. Caution: If you watch this, you won’t be able to resist buying parts 1 and 2!

WHITE FROG

2012; $19.98; UR

A passel of teen stars from “Glee,” “Teen Wolf,” “The Wizards of Waverly Place,” “The Vampire Diaries”” and “Twilight” gather together for a family drama about mental illness, death and sexual identity. Sounds like a real toe-tapper, don’t it? But we’re just being glib: It is an extremely well-done and very positive tale of the importance of friendship and family in a scary world where you just don’t seem to have a place. Recommended.

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