March 1, 2007

Video Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, March 6

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS: EURO FIENDS FROM THE GRAVE 1971; DVD $19.95, UR A splendidly sexy Spaghetti Horror trio from the drive-in era. First the incomparable Barbara Steele does double duty as both acid-washed predator and gorgeous prey in “The Faceless Monster.” Then a horribly scarred female scientist kills to discover the cruel secret of regenerating human tissue in “Satanik” (actually, more of a thriller than actual horror, but still fun in a “Danger: Diabolik” sorta way). And finally, booze-addled artist Farley Granger finds inspiration in a haunted mannequin in “The Red-Headed Corpse.” Gangs of fun! THE MANITOU 1978; DVD $14.95, PG For our money, Louisvillian William Girdler’s best — and last — movie, even if he did have to leave home to make it. Susan Strasberg has a nasty tumor growing on her neck — the fetus of a reincarnated Native American demon! It’s up to fake mystic Tony Curtis, Michael “Singing Rock” Ansara, Stella Stevens, Ann Sothern, Burgess Meredith and Jeannette Nolan to save the world from this uppity, 400-year-old wigwam boogity. And watch for the cameo by Charlie “Channel 41’s Fright Night Fearmonger” Kissinger as an anesthesiologist. A PERFECT FAKE 2004; DVD $19.95, UR One seriously disturbing Canadian doc on the ever-expanding world of men who have given up on conventional love-and-sex roles to pursue gratification through various sexual surrogates, including custom-made, expensive-as-hell, perfectly-formed life-size female love-dolls. AUDREY HEPBURN COLLECTION 1954; DVD $24.95, UR If you are a true movie fan, then this is the Mother Lode! Three of the splendid Ms. Hepburn’s best, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Roman Holiday” and “Sabrina” on DVD for about $8 each. What a time to be alive. BILLY BUDD 1962; DVD $19.95, UR Part of a Warner Bros.’ Literary Classics Collection, this deadly serious Herman Melville tale of an 18-year-old, pressed into service in the British Navy of the 1700s, marks the screen debut of Terence Stamp — General Zod from “Superman II,” the voice of Jor-El from TV’s “Smallville” and Bernadette from “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, “ among many others. BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN 2006; DVD $29.95, R This wildly over-hyped summer phenom from Sacha Baron Cohen isn’t really all that funny, but it has its moments, especially when ambushing stuffed-shirt politicos and over-painted celebs with racist remarks during the most oh-so-proper social situations. A TV personality, purportedly from Kazakhstan, comes to America, only to fall in lust with Pamela Anderson. DEATH ROW 2006; DVD $19.95, UR Brain-dead horror flick from the SciFi Channel starring Jake Busey (need we say more?), with cameos by Stacy Keach and Danny Trejo. DECOYS: THE SECOND SEDUCTION 2006; DVD $24.95, R The original “Decoys” was a spot-on perfect mix of horror, sex and alien monsters with terrific boobs. Being a sequel, the sag-factor is a bit evident but the plot’s the same: alien squids disguise themselves as gorgeous, icy coeds in order to mate, leaving their hapless partners frozen dead to the ground. Damned fine film. ED GEIN: THE BUTCHER OF PLAINFIELD 2006; DVD $26.95, R There have been at least 16 movies — including “Psycho,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and Louisville’s own William Girdler original, “Three on a Meathook” — inspired by the exploits of America’s most famous serial killer. We suggest any of the others. FAST FOOD NATION 2006; DVD $27.95, R A comic dramatization of real events from America’s fast-food industry, inspired by the best-selling book of the same name. A series of interconnecting tales beginning with Greg Kinnear as the marketing VP who discovers that his burgers are, quite literally, full of shit, only to realize that it’s vitally important to the taste, profitability and public expectations of his product! A savagely funny flick that kinda sneaks up on you — but you’ll still never eat at McDonald’s again. HAWAII FIVE-O: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON 1968; DVD $49.95, UR Yes! Long overdue first video release of this seminal Jack Lord evil-in-paradise cop-show. Lord will always be remembered as Steve McGarrett, head of the elite crime-busting organization that included James MacArthur as “Danno” Williams and a host of the ’60s best actors and writers. Seven discs, 24 episodes, the two-hour pilot, commentaries and retrospective featurettes make this a love letter to the series’ many fans. Enjoy. MASTERPIECE THEATRE: DRACULA 2006; DVD $19.95, UR Not the scariest Drac ever, but a welcome artsy public TV interpretation of the Bram Stoker neck-biter. MOONLIGHTING: SEASON FIVE: THE FINAL SEASON 1989; DVD $29.95, UR By the fifth season, the romance between Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis had crested and fallen into a bitter — yet funny — cycle, with Maggie pregnant, allowing second-tier characters such as Allyce “Agnes” Beasley and Curtis “Viola” Armstrong to come to the fore. A spark this hot couldn’t burn forever, but the writing stayed crisp all season, from “Womb with a View” right until the final episode, “Lunar Eclipse.” Some of the best TV ever made. NIGHT OF THE COMET 1984; DVD $14.95, PG-13 One of our favorite guilty pleasures, now available for cheap. A passing comet irradiates the Earth and zombifies everyone except cute, uzi-toting, teenage cheerleaders lead by Catherine Mary Stewart (rowwwrrr!). So what do they do? They go shopping at the mall, of course! No, we’re not making this up. Darn good silly sci-fi with cute little Kelli Maroney as the sub-deb sister and big scary Mary Woronov as the sub-human scientist. STRANGE CIRCUS 2005; DVD $24.95, UR A teenage girl in Japan is forced to watch her parents have sex, leaving her psychologically scarred. Or is she just a character in a novel? Whatever, she’s fascinating in this surreal and hallucinatory shocker from the always-out-there “Danger After Dark” series. WOMAN IS THE FUTURE OF MAN 2006; DVD $29.95, UR A Korean look at the effect that women and remembrance have on the male animal. A pair of Korean men, separated for years, come together to toast old times, reminisce — and talk about the girl they both once loved, the fantasy-shrouded Sunhwa. Then they go looking for her. Other DVDs of Interest PETER PAN PLATINUM EDITION 1953; DVD $29.95, G SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON 1996; DVD $38.95, UR SOUTH PARK: THE COMPLETE NINTH SEASON 1997; DVD $49.95, UR THE LOOP: SEASON 1 2006; DVD $19.95, UR A more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!