Colossus of New York

August 10, 2011

Video TapeWorm

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

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

ELVIRA’S MOVIE MACABRE: THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE/THE MANSTER

2011; $14.95, UR

Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson has relaunched her syndicated late-night horror-host shtick and is putting her best double features out on DVD. This is one of our favorites. “Brain” is the quintessential bad movie: A sleazy scientist goes looking for curvaceous female body-donors when his girlfriend is decapitated in an auto accident — and he saves her head! And what can we say about “The Manster”? An infamous Japanese/American co-production in which a crazed scientist injects a man with a Jekyll-Hyde serum that causes him to split into two beings — but not before growing an extra head! Wonderfully awful or awfully wonderful? You tell us.

THE COLOSSUS OF NEW YORK

1958; $24.95, UR

Never before available on video, this creaky brain-flick from the late ’50s has been nearly forgotten but is as timely today as it was half a century ago. Brilliant scientist Otto Kruger loses his Nobel Peace Prize-winning son (Ross Martin) to a truck accident, but saves his brain, encasing it in an 8-foot-tall android/robot body. But a mind without a soul is a monster, and this one goes on a killing spree at the United Nations before ... well, you’ll just have to see the rest yourself. A must-own for any cult-movie fan.

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BREATH

2007; $26.95, UR

Director Kim Ki-duk returns with this powerful tale set on death row. Chen Chang (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) is a doomed man, alone in his silent cell until a young wife, Ji-a Park, volunteering at the prison, enters his life. She soon learns that her husband is having an affair, making her vulnerable and alone. Chen is also vulnerable and alone. Man, this doesn’t sound artsy-fartsy at all, does it?

CAMPBELL’S KINGDOM

1957; $19.95, UR

The long-awaited DVD-release of a great old film. Dirk Bogarde stars as a limey who goes to Canada to inherit his grandfather’s landholdings. Among them is an old mining town that considered his grandfather a pariah because he blocked the hydroelectric dam that would have saved the town (the old man thought there was oil in the valley). A sprawling, colorful adventure-drama like they just don’t make anymore.

DAMN! IS THE PRICE OF FAME TOO DAMN HIGH

2011; $19.95, UR

Jimmy McMillan got his required 15 minutes of fame during the 2010 New York gubernatorial debates; a video of his antics went viral on YouTube, making him an overnight sensation. This doc catches up with Jimmy, founder of the Rent Is 2 Damn High Party, private investigator, former stripper, ’70s soul singer and general gnat in the government’s ear.

JOHN CARPENTER’S THE WARD

2010; $24.95-$29.95, R

John Carpenter returns to form in this tale of a beautiful young woman (Amber Heard), trapped in a 1960s mental institution and terrorized by a malevolent spirit who cannot be seen. But she is not the only one being tormented. Carpenter’s directorial prowess aside, this is one of the best casts he’s ever put together, including doe-eyed Danielle Panabaker, Lyndsy Fonseca from “Kick-Ass,” and young Sydney Sweeney.

MAYA

2010; $24.95, UR

When a young actress is offered a role as a mental patient, she has herself committed to a psychiatric ward for research, but it weakens her already tenuous mental state. A dark and provocative Hebrew-language drama from Israel.

PRIEST

2010; $30.95-$45.95, PG-13/UR

Big-budget ass-kicking-priest-battles-slimy-vampires comic-booker. Paul Bettany plays a former holy man/soldier in a future-world of misery and corporate rule after centuries of war with unholy bloodsuckers. When his niece, pretty little Lily Collins (Phil’s kid), is abducted by the evil ones, her boyfriend asks Bettany to save her. Despite the church’s objections, he gathers his troops (including the amazing Maggie Q) for a slo-mo battle royale. A visually stunning and state-of-the-art reason to butter popcorn.

SOMETHING BORROWED

2011; $28.95-$35.95, PG-13

A big-ol’ fluffy chick-flick with Ginnifer Goodwin, Colin Egglesfield, Kate Hudson and John Krasinski. Lots of secret longings, missed appointments, chance meetings and sly glances slosh against uterine walls until the entire audience is awash in estrogen, leaving the theater-goers spent and sweaty. Or something like that. Co-stars Sparkling Repartee, On-Skreen Kemistree and Zexu Al-Tension.

THE CONSPIRATOR

2011; $29.95, PG-13

Did you know that a woman was charged in the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln? It’s true. Her name was Mary Surratt, and she owned the boarding house where John Wilkes Booth and others met to plan their attack. Robert Redford directs this historical drama, focusing on her trial — and the part her son may have played in the murder — and her lawyer, played by James McAvoy. Robin Wright is perfect, as always, as Mary, with great support from Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson, Evan Rachel Wood and a host of others. Movies don’t get any better than this, folks.

THE KILLING

1956; $29.95, UR

When discussing the many great movies of Stanley Kubrick, too many people overlook this little gem, one of the best noir thrillers ever made. A gang of debased men, led by Sterling Hayden, plan a complex and deadly racetrack robbery. But fate has a wicked sense of humor, and a dark destiny is in store for those involved. Written by pulp master Jim Thompson, and co-starring Jay C. Flippen, Timothy Carey, Marie Windsor and Elisha Cook Jr., this is a phenomenal movie, now on Blu-ray with all the usual Criterion goodies.

THE LOST BOYS: THE THIRST

2010; $19.95, R

For those who are keeping score, this is the third in the series, although the second and third have little to do with the original, which made stars out of Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman and Alex Winter. These last two films are fully the property of Corey Feldman, reprising his “Edgar Frog” role as a loser/vampire hunter. Co-stars Tanit Phoenix, who is pretty hot. Ask for the original.

 

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