Issue September 3, 2013

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, Sept. 10

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

2013; $79.98; PG-13

This second outing of J.J. Abrams’ rebooted franchise is designed to (1) immerse you in his new Star Fleet culture, where much of the future drama will take place, (2) introduce his new Klingons, and (3) dazzle you with how cleverly he can slip in story elements from the best STNG movies without your realizing it. Frankly, if you need a review of this, then you should log on to Amazon and buy a life. The rest of us know that it’s probably the greatest Trekkie adventure ever made. Just buy it — oh, and check out the awesome Blu-ray 3-D Combo Pack Limited Edition Gift Set with a real, neat-o working Starfleet Phaser! We are such geeks.

THE FLY

1958; $19.98; UR

The unforgettable classic horror hit from the ’50s about a scientist (“Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea”’s David “Al” Hedison) who dabbles in matter transfer and gets his genes spliced with a housefly. The bug gets big, the man gets bugged, and Vincent Price tries valiantly to maintain a straight face while asking Al to be a man and just (snigger) put the insect aside. Get it? “Insect-aside!” What are we, alone here? Written by James “Shogun” Clavell, who denies it to this day, this is the classic of classics and an absolute must-own, finally on Blu-ray. Helllp meee, helllllp meeeee!

•••

AN AMERICAN HIPPIE IN ISRAEL

1972; $29.98; R

This legendary once-lost film, now available on Blu-ray, is terrible, possibly the worst movie ever made, but it is simply too far-out to miss. Originally recorded in Hebrew, it’s the earnest tale of a shaggy young man who flees society with a handful of others, looking for an uninhabited island where they can start the world anew. To say it doesn’t go well is an understatement (and involves sharks), but along the way we get Hebrew singing, topless dancing, armed mimes, circumcised penises, free love, anti-war prayers and counter-culture nonsense out the wazoo. Could only have been made in the ’70s. Enjoy.

FRANKENSTEINS ARMY

2013; $24.98; R

This bloody little WWII cyborg stinker excels by doing things old-school. All the special effects are “practical”: live, in-the-camera, on-the-set, without a damn CGI computer-generated anything to spoil the fun. It stars “Hellboy”’s Karel Roden as the crazed scientist who, using Viktor Frankenstein’s infamous journal, stitches together still-quivering bits of former Nazis and whatever functioning artillery he can find to create monstrous, ghastly super-soldiers. The movie’s only downside: It’s done in “found-footage” style — but the monsters more than make up for it. Don’t miss it.

HOMELAND: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

2012; $42.98-$69.98; UR

The first season won six Emmies, so they had to come out swinging for this second one. Former Marine Damian Lewis is now a congressman and Claire Danes is on the outs — officially, at least — with the CIA, yet they come together (snigger) once again when terrorists pop up. But can you trust your lover when no one in the world is who they claim? Incredibly suspenseful; the equal of any of the Euro dramas we’re always pimping.

HORNY DIVER: TIGHT SHELLFISH

1985; $19.98; UR

If you’re of an age where you have used the phrase “hairy clam” to describe what you ate on a date, then you’ll love this truly obscure “Pink” film from Japan. It’s of the “diver” genre, stuffed with scores of flawless, historically accurate topless young women who once dived for seafood and tourist dollars in Japanese coastal villages. Lots of soft-core canoodling, a wacky real estate plot and a stud hired to woo the divers into selling their land combine for a fun 70 minutes of homemade man-handling. Enjoy.

LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED

2013; $21.98; R

Mature Nordic babe Trine Dyrholm has just been dumped by her longtime hubby after surviving cancer. Pierce Brosnan is a lonely widower with lots of regrets who acts like a complete jackass while at their children’s wedding in Italy — which isn’t going very well, anyway, as the would-be bride and groom are having their own problems. Yeah, it’s a big old chick flick, but between the gorgeous cast, the breathtaking seaside villas, a smattering of nudity and an emphasis on entertainment rather than weepy catharsis, this is very watchable. Good date flick.

MADONNA: MDNA WORLD TOUR

2013; $24.95; UR

The aging Material Girl may no longer be able to shake it Like A Virgin, but she can still pack a stadium and proves it in this compilation of her 2012 tour involving 80 venues in 29 countries. A full two hours of Madge, scores of dancers and hundreds of costumes, culminating in a $350 million allowance cha-ching for little Lourdes, Rocco, Mercy and David Banda Mwale.

SISTERS & BROTHERS

2011; $15.98; R

The late Cory Monteith of “Glee” stars in this drama-comedy along with a number of other TV faces including Dustin Milligan (“Call Me Fitz”), Amanda Crew (“Suits”), Gabrielle Miller (“Call Me Fitz”), Benjamin Ratner (“Eureka”) and Kacey Rohl (“The Killing”). It’s something of an anthology, four tales of siblings dealing with each other, their shared parents, extended families and the world in general. More drama than comedy, but as a whole, well-written with surprising depth.

WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE: THE COMPLETE SERIES: SPECIAL EDITION

2013; $26.98-$29.98; UR

It was 1958 when Steve McQueen made his TV debut in this classic Western series. He’s Josh Randall, a complex and surprisingly tender-hearted bounty hunter who used his “mare’s leg” — a sawed-off shotgun! — to protect the innocent and, if necessary, bring down the bad guy. The list of guest stars goes on forever — spotting them is part of the fun — as does the roster of legendary writers and directors. Now available for the first time in a complete set with all the bonus goodies an Oater fan could dream of. Highly recommended.

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