Issue August 27, 2013

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, Sept. 3

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

IDLE HANDS

1999; $10.98-$19.98; R

A legendary over-the-top teen horror-comedy about a shiftless slacker whose right hand is taken over by the devil, causing all sorts of comically horrible things to happen to friends and family. Yeah, it kinda fizzles a bit near the end but still has some unforgettable moments, including a rousing performance of The Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated.” Stars a young Devon Sawa, Seth Green with a glass bottle sticking out of his head, Elden Henson keeping his head on straight with duct tape, Vivica A. Fox, and 17-year-old Jessica Alba in her undies. Now on Blu-ray!

SHARKNADO

2013; $9.98; UR

The SciFi Channel’s supplier of bad CGI films, “The Asylum,” has outdone itself with this exceptionally stupid and, yes, entertaining tale of West Coast super-storms that suck thousands of sharks into the sky so they can rain down on — and devour — unsuspecting, and probably unpaid, extras. There’s also a plot involving hot bikini-waitress Cassie Scerbo, boss Ian Ziering, “actress” Tara Reid and John Heard, slumming, though it never gets in the way of the story. Too asinine to take seriously, this has become something of a cause celebre among bad movie fans, even making a late, unplanned release to theaters. Yes, it’s that bad. We loved every minute.

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BLANDINGS, SERIES 1

2013; $27.99-$39.99; UR

Timothy Spall (Harry Potter’s “Wormtongue”) is sublime in this laugh-out-loud Limey series based on the Blanding’s Castle stories of P.G. Wodehouse. He’s the eccentric earl of the castle, a crumbling pile that should long ago have been pulled down — but such things simply aren’t done. Jennifer “Ab Fab” Saunders is his angry, evil sister, Lady Connie, who hates everything about him, especially his beloved pig, The Empress. A roundup of Britain’s best (including Mark Williams, hysterical as the butler) completes the cast in high style, with scripts deftly written by Guy “Poirot” Andrews. A new classic for the ages as only the Brits can do it.

COCKNEYS VS. ZOMBIES

2012; $17.98-$24.98; R

A trio of McGuires are desperate to keep their grandfather in a crumbling east London nursing home, so they hire a pair of dim-bulb “experts” to help them rob a bank. Meanwhile, at a nearby construction site, diggers break open a long-sealed vault full of bloodthirsty zombies. Don’t you hate it when that happens? But it’s all played for gore-covered laughs in a Guy-Ritchie-meets-“Shaun of the Dead” sort of way, with a cameo by Honor Blackman. Lively and fun, don’t miss it.

DA VINCI’S DEMONS — THE COMPLETE 1ST SEASON

2013; $34.98; UR

We really liked the idea of this Starz series: Explore the (unknown) life of Leonardo da Vinci as a dashing young man. Lots of ecclesiastical intrigue, swordplay, nude models, sexual conquests and other assorted, shallow ratings-fodder compete with deep thoughts and brilliant insights as hunky Tom Riley and leggy Laura Haddock bump uglies and explore a world that’s simply not ready for his amazing gifts. Consider this: You might also be a genius in the making, just too stupid to recognize it. Gangs of fun.

FROM UP ON POPPY HILL

2011; $21.98; PG

Hayao Miyazaki, who charmed the world with “Spirited Away,” brings another completely original, brilliant, hand-drawn coming-of-age animated drama to the screen. A pair of young innocents, timidly awash in the thrill of first love, circa 1963 Tokyo, join together to save their crumbling high-school clubhouse from the Olympics wrecking ball. With English voices by Sarah Bolger and Anton Yelchin, this is less ethereal and more reality-based than some previous works — and it’s not in the same league as his masterpiece, “Princess Mononoke” — but satisfying.

NOW YOU SEE ME

2013; $24.98; PG-13

We never saw a caper movie with more entertainment potential: Four attractive, charismatic magicians — Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Dave Franco — appear to magically rob banks and billionaires of tons of cash while on stage, blowing the money out for the audience to share. What’s up with that? Cops Mark Ruffalo and Mélanie Laurent are stumped, so they bring in Morgan Freeman to ’splain it all. We forget what Michael Caine is doing, but it’s all clever and upbeat for a while. The ending sucked. You want magic? Watch “The Prestige.”

SOMM

2012; $22.98; UR

A lighthearted, almost comic look at one of the world’s most secretive and exclusive organizations, The Court of Master Sommeliers. Ever wonder who declares a wine as “good” — considering that they all basically taste like fruity rat piss gone bad? Well, the Court does, and to join it you must pass their brutal Master Sommelier Exam, just as the four wine-geeks at the heart of this doc are attempting to do. For a laugh, check out the fake reviews on rottentomatoes.com, all written in pretentious wine-speak. We liked it.

THE ICEMAN

2012; $14.98; R

Lexington lad Michael “General Zod” Shannon plays real-life mafia contract killer Richard Kuklinski, a subhuman monster responsible for the violent deaths of at least 100 people — though no one in his otherwise quiet household suspected a thing! Shannon is outstanding in this brutal film that quite literally doesn’t pull any punches, as are Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta and even David “Friends” Schwimmer. But a special mention should go out to youngsters McKaley Miller (“Hart of Dixie”) and Megan Sherrill as his very believable daughters. A minor masterpiece that deserves a larger audience.

THE LORDS OF SALEM

2013; $18.98-$26.98; R

Horror-obsessed rocker Rob Zombie’s latest chiller stars Sheri Moon Zombie as a Salem radio DJ who receives a mysterious, haunted “record” (i.e., a pre-CD physical sound recording medium made of vinyl). Listening to it evokes violent visions of the witch-hunt era. The message is clear: The lords are returning for revenge, intending to plunge our world into insanity, chaos and blood-soaked darkness.

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