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March 31, 2010

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Video TapeWorm (not fake)

New, encore and low-price DVD releases on Tuesday, April 6

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

THE GRADUATE

1967; $19.95, R

One of the most entertaining films ever made, now on cheap Blu-Ray. A young Dustin Hoffman, newly sprung from college and tired of being his parent’s Golden Child, strikes back by having an affair with Anne Bancroft, wife of his dad’s boss — until, that is, he falls in love with her daughter, the ethereal Katharine Ross! Directed by Mike Nichols, co-starring William Daniels and co-writer Buck Henry, it’s all woven together by one of the greatest soundtracks of all time courtesy of Simon and Garfunkel. Simply a must-own disc.

 

THE LAST WALTZ

1978; $19.95, PG

While we’re big fans of the four-DVD boxed set of this, arguably the greatest concert film ever made, this new, cheap Blu-Ray version is breathtaking. Focusing on the final performance of The Band, it features “a few friends” — Robbie Robertson, Ringo Starr, Muddy Waters, Ron Wood, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison and more — all captured by Martin Scorsese. Without peer as the most intimate, uplifting, moving and inspiring piece of musical history every committed to film. Buy it.

•••

 

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

1984; $16.95, R

The last (and cheapest) Blu-Ray version of this horror classic to be released before the new incarnation — with Jackie Earle Haley as Freddie Krueger — arrives in theaters on April 30. With yummy Heather Langenkamp, Ginsu-enhanced Robert Englund and the screen debut of Johnny Depp.

 

BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL — NEW ORLEANS

2009; $14.95, R

Simply awful title for a damn good actioner starring (ugh) Nicolas Cage. No-Talent Nickie is in his element here as the drugged-out detective in modern-day New Orleans chasing after ... Well, it doesn’t really matter, but it involves Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Fairuza Balk, Jennifer Coolidge, Vondie Curtis Hall and Brad Dourif. The real star, however, is uber-director Werner Herzog who makes it all a gritty, visceral roller-coaster of fun. Great stuff.

 

DOLAN’S CADILLAC

2009; $12.95-14.95, R

A truly wicked updating of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” with Emmanuelle Vaugier as witness to a brutal murder by wonderfully over-the-top baddie Christian Slater. When she is killed, her hubby, Wes Bentley, infiltrates Slater’s gang, seeking revenge. You’ll never look at an old Caddie the same way again.

 

HARLEM ARIA

1999; $17.95, R

Damon Wayans gives an incredible performance in this unknown film that made quite an impression at the 1999 Toronto International Film Fest, though it only recently found a distributor. Kinda hokey at times, but Wayans’ “slightly retarded thug who dreams of singing opera” raises it above. Worth checking out.

 

HIGH PLAINS INVADERS

2009; $14.95, UR

Simply ridiculous CGI crap from the SciFi Channel. Old West Injun-fighter James “Spike” Marsters is about to be hanged when a giant metal spider ambles into town. From there it gets weird as Marsters and crew battle an army of mining metal monstrosities from a massive hovering spaceship. We love crap like this!

 

HOUSEWIVES FROM ANOTHER WORLD

2010; $14.95, UR

“Scixploitation.” If the word is unfamiliar to you, then you need to watch more late-night cable porn, because it is all the rage. In this example, body-snatching aliens take over a bevy of beautiful women — including stunning 2007 Penthouse Pet of the Year Heather Vandeven, professional nude-squirmer Christine Nguyen and red-headed hooter-holder Rebecca Love — to protect their homeworld by screwing men and women until ... Well, until the end of the movie.

 

LOINS OF PUNJAB PRESENTS

2007; $24.95, UR

A little Tisch/NYU film school project that just keeps rolling along thanks to a terrific script and the inherent comic elements of Indian culture. Seven strangers compete in a “Deli Idol” contest in a little New Jersey town, and the low-rent results are more entertaining than any multi-million-dollar comedy from Hollywood of the last decade. We liked it.

 

SEX GALAXY

2008; $17.95, UR

You gotta give the makers of this silly soft-core release credit: They’re eco-friendly. Billed as “the world’s first ‘green’ movie, made of 100% recycled content,” it’s a silly mishmash of scenes from movies you probably never heard of, with porn superstars doing wacky, moaning voice-overs! Truly without redemption, but very entertaining as future astronauts from an overpopulated Earth where sex has been outlawed go in search of a fabled galaxy of carnality ... For purely scientific reasons, of course.

 

THE COLLECTOR

2009; $15.95, R

Fans of the “Saw” franchise (who really should seek counseling) are probably lining up at vidstores right now, waiting for this release from Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, who wrote the last three “Saw” films. Rumored to be something of a prequel to “Saw,” an insane criminal called “The Collector” escapes to create elaborate traps to test the unwary.

 

THE ICONS OF SUSPENSE COLLECTION PRESENTS HAMMER FILMS

2009; $24.95

This six-disc set of Hammer’s lesser-known wonders is full of good — if not famous — offerings such as the Val Guest psychodrama “Stop Me Before I Kill!” (1960) and a sexy Kerwin Matthews vehicle, “Maniac” (1963). But the best reason to buy it is the very rare “Never Take Candy From a Stranger” (1960), a shocking and infamous chiller about the lovable old child molester next door. It’s a minor masterpiece.

 

THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY

$99.95, PG-13

First full-set Blu-Ray release of The Greatest Trilogy Ever Made from Peter Jackson, whose new version of “The Hobbit” is scheduled for a 2012 release. No one should need more information than that.

 

YESTERDAY WAS A LIE

2008; $22.95, PG

This unique, b&w neo-noir distaff thriller is a wonder to behold. Kipleigh Brown stars as an intelligent, hard-drinking woman on the trail of a mysterious genius. But as events grow increasingly surreal, cosmological portents and half-remembered scenes from her childhood lead her to a reality-shattering conclusion. We chafed at its PG limitations, but otherwise this is highly recommended.

 

A More Complete Listing and Free Vids at www.videotapeworm.com