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Death Hunt

August 14, 2013

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, Aug. 20

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

DEATH HUNT

1981; $14.98-$19.98; R

Action stalwarts Charles Bronson and Lee Marvin turned this run-of-the-mill actioner, based on a true story, into a perennial ’80s favorite. Bronson plays an anti-social trapper, forced to kill a man in self-defense at his isolated mountain cabin. Canadian Mounty Marvin arrives not long after, leading an armed posse, believing that Bronson is a bloodthirsty killer. They fire first, but Bronson kills several of the men before escaping into the frozen Yukon wilderness with the remainder, now whipped to a fever pitch, close behind. Great stuff, now on Blu-ray.

X-RAY/SCHIZOID

2013; $18.98-$26.98; R

Two of our favorite cheesecake films of the ’80s. “X-Ray” is better known as “Hospital Massacre,” a maniac-slasher romp set in a dark hospital starring arguably the most beautiful naked woman ever to grace both Playboy and “Hee-Haw,” the voluptuous Barbi Benton. She looks amazing in a backless hospital gown. Yow! The second finds Klaus Kinski (always a sign of insanity) and ravishing Marianna Hill — who adorned many a movie and TV show back in the ’60s and ’70s, including “Star Trek” — as an advice columnist who receives murderous letters and occasionally shows her remarkable boobs. Enjoy.

•••

AMOUR

2012; $24.98; PG-13

This subtitled French drama is an emotional powerhouse, with Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant as an elderly married couple whose refined, dignified life is shattered when the wife suffers a stroke. And as her condition worsens, their relationship becomes impossible, and their head-strong daughter’s insistence on a caregiver only makes matters worse. Sounds like a light-hearted lark, huh? Imagine it as a vampire movie with the stroke standing in for Dracula, and you may come to see the world in a new light. A master’s class in writing, acting and directing.

DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’: EVERYMAN’S JOURNEY

2012; $11.98-$29.98; UR

A biodoc on Arnel Pineda and the legendary rock group Journey, retelling how his YouTube video landed the Filipino singer a gig as frontman on their world tour, replacing Steve Perry (via Steve Augeri, Jeff Scott Soto and Jeremey Hunsicker — the latter of which was also found on YouTube). Pineda’s vocals here are extraordinary, channeling Perry’s stratospheric tenor and, if anything, enriching it with a sneaky Latin sensitivity that guitarist Neal Schon seems to enjoy playing to. Yeah, we’re fans.

EPIC

2013; $24.98; PG

One of the best of the recent crop of animated woodsy toons, with an original story, exceptional visuals and a wry, whimsical style that really sets it apart. With less emphasis on goofy humor, it behaves more like an action film for older kids, with M.K. (Amanda Seyfried) discovering a secret world of forest guardians when she goes to live with her rather cold dad, Jason Sudeikis. Their queen (Beyoncé) tasks her with saving their world — and ours — which leads to a colorful and exciting forest adventure where everyone learns a valuable lesson. What more could you want? From the folks behind “Ice Age.”

FLOATING CITY

2012; $22.98-$29.98; UR

An engaging tale that parallels the history of Hong Kong and its acquisition by China from Britain, with the mysterious origins of an Anglo-faced child (Aaron Kwok), one of seven siblings from a poor fishing community. His life is a humiliating trek to find a place in the world, starting with an entry-level job at the Imperial East India Company, then attending night school, making friends in ever-higher social strata, and finally educating his mother (Josie Ho/Nina Paw) so that she, too, can have a better life. We liked it.

HITTING THE CYCLE

2012; $22.98-$24.98; UR

This starring vehicle for longtime B-actor J. Richey Nash is a solid, entertaining little drama about a pro-baseballer, his career abruptly over due to a painful injury, coming home to heal the emotional wounds of his past. But the best thing about it is co-star Courtney Henggeler, better known as Missy Cooper, Sheldon’s stacked and statuesque sister from “The Big Bang Theory.” She really shines; worth your time.

NO ONE LIVES

2012; $17.98; R

Adelaide Clemens from “The Great Gatsby” and Luke Evans from “Immortals” lead an exceptionally good-looking cast in this unexpected, exciting, funny gang-and-hostage outing from the director of “Versus.” A rich couple is kidnapped on the highway by a gang of brutes and held in a lonely, abandoned house. Seen it? Not like this, you ain’t! We wouldn’t dream of spoiling what happens next. Highly recommended, especially for terror fans who don’t mind a little blood.

NO PLACE ON EARTH

2012; $24.98-$29.98; PG-13

If there are two things we love, it’s documentaries and caves, so this surprising entry about the Ukraine’s largest cave system really piqued our interest. Now the kicker: The cave was used by desperate Jews hiding from the Nazis, spending almost a year and half in complete darkness, making it the longest uninterrupted underground human survival in recorded history. A good tale, nicely told.

RAPTURE-PALOOZA

2013; $16.98; R

This wacky tale of post-apocalyptic life in the ’burbs is too much fun! Sexy Anna Kendrick (“Twilight”) is one of those left behind after the Rapture, living the good life with boyfriend John Francis Daley (“Bones”) amid showers of blood, lawn-mowing zombies, stoned ghosts and talking bugs. Then a horny Anti-Christ, Craig Robinson (“The Office”), puts the moves on her. Nicely dry, sarcastic and politically incorrect at every turn. We loved it.

SCARY MOVIE 5

2012; $26.98; PG-13/UR

The latest low-rent star-studded hodgepodge of instant movie-jokes, pratfalls and other assorted nonsense, this one starring Ashley Tisdale and Simon Rex as new parents bringing their baby home for the first time. But “something” seems to have arrived along with their little bundle of poop, so they set up cameras and bring in “experts” to help them out. You know this isn’t going to end well, don’t you?

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

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