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September 12, 2006

Video TapeWorm: Releases through Tuesday, Sept. 19

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKSELVIRA’S MOVIE MACABRE2006; DVD $9.95 singles/$14.95 doubles, ROh, for the days of the TV horror-host! From Cassandra “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark” Peterson’s collection of late-night super-schlocky, grade-Z features — and we’re not talking about her now-sagging décolletage — we find “Dracula’s Great Love” with Paul Naschy, “Doomsday Machine,” “Werewolf of Washington,” “Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks,” “Legacy of Blood” and “The Devil’s Wedding Night.” Available as singles or big ol’ matched pairs. Just like Elvira, herself.THE BORIS KARLOFF COLLECTION2006; DVD $29.95, URThere have been so many Karloff collections in the last two years it’s very easy to get confused. Frankly some of them suck, but this one is a definite keeper. A three-disc set of five films, and worth the price for the inclusion of “Tower of London” (with Vincent Price) and “The Black Castle” alone. The remaining three are carefully chosen dark dramas highlighting Karloff’s power and incredible range: “The Climax,” “Night Key” and an obscure historical costumer, “The Strange Door.”BAD BRAINS: LIVE AT CBGB 19821982; DVD $16.95, URThis is something of a time capsule for music fans of a certain bent. Hosted by CBGB, the 1982 Hardcore Festival featured more than four hours of stage performance by Bad Brains, the legendary American band at the peak of their power and creativity. Now available on DVD, these rare recordings capture the raw, unbridled intensity of Bad Brains as they unleash a visceral tsunami of sight and sound over a period of three days. BOB AND TOM RADIO: THE COMEDY TOUR2006; DVD $14.95, URIf you don’t know who Bob & Tom are, then go read Velocity, loser. The rest of us loyal WQMF listeners know that this is their first nationally released live-event disk from the Paramount Theatre in Anderson, Ind., featuring a who’s who of top standup talent including Mike Armstrong, Greg Hahn, Drew Hastings, the oft put-upon Bob Zany and many others.BOB NEWHART: BUTTON DOWN CONCERT2006; DVD $19.95, URFrom his 1995 tour, this is the perfect Bob Newhart performance. Part classic stand-up (or more often, sit-down-and-talk-on-the-phone-up), it’s peppered with hilariously candid tales about his long career and the many ridiculous situations he had to talk his way out of while on the road. If you’re a Newhart fan, this is pure gold.GREASE1978; DVD $19.95, PGYes, yet ANOTHER release of the great-grandpappy of Big Dumb Movies. Called the Rockin’ Rydell Edition, it’s raunchier than you remember, with John Travolta romancing Olivia Newton-John while Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, Didi Conn and about a thousand other people shake their butts and sing about cars and haircuts. “Wella wella wella, OOOF, tell me more, tell me more!” OK. Lots of neat new featurettes and a sing-along book for the hopeless.HARD CANDY2006; DVD $27.95, RA savage and disorienting psycho-thriller about an “innocent” 14-year-old girl who entices and entraps a photographer over the Internet. After he tells her that they can be friends but it can never go past that, she goes to his house where things escalate into a deadly game of manipulation. An instant classic; our highest recommendation.LEFT IN DARKNESS2006; DVD $19.95, URWow. Amazing horror/thriller about a young woman whose miserable existence ends in an act of carnal violence, leaving her soul stranded between Heaven and Hell. A savage and intelligent indie look at the very nature of what we call “horror” and its place in the world.MARIUS AND JEANNETTE1997; DVD $29.95, URImpossible to categorize, but its intentions are clear: This is a movie about people, life and the occasional pain and hilarity that makes it all bearable. Of course it’s French! A pair of 40-somethings fall in love despite all the emotional baggage that goes with being a 40-something.MISTER ROBERTS1955; DVD $19.95, URFans of Henry Fonda already know that there’s a collection of his best movies out this week for about $40, but for our money this is the best of the bunch. Jack Lemmon steals the show from screen legends Fonda and James Cagney as Ensign Pulver in this comic tale of life aboard a decaying Navy cargo ship far from “the action” of WWII. “Captain, it is I, Ensign Pulver, and I just threw your stinkin’ palm tree overboard!” If you don’t own this flick, then why the hell would do you even HAVE a TV?STAY ALIVE2006; DVD $29.95, PG-13A dumb-as-hell dead-teenager flick from the “if you die in the video game you die in real life” genre. With Frankie “Malcolm in the Middle” Muniz and a host of other teen-TV faces. Based on/inspired by the vidgame “Fatal Frame.”STICK IT2006; DVD $29.95, PG-13A “Bring It On” for the gymnastics world with Jeff Bridges teaching Missy Peregrym how to turn her life around on the pommel-horse.STRANGE FRUIT2005; DVD $29.95, URThe immortal Billie Holiday once sang, “Southern trees bear a strange fruit. Blood on the leaves and blood at the root.” That’s on the mind of a gay black attorney as he returns to his little Louisiana hometown after a childhood friend is murdered outside a bar.THE PROPOSITION2005; DVD $26.95, URA rough and bloody Australian Western in the “Outlaw Josey Wales” mold about a man given the chance to rescue his little brother from the noose if he can enter the lair of a murderous outlaw and bring him to justice within nine days.WAKING UP WALLY: THE WALTER GRETZKY STORY2005; DVD $26.95, URDocudrama about hockey great Wayne Gretzky’s dad, Walter, who suffered a stroke so severe that it caused his memory to be all but erased. A touching, painful and ultimately uplifting movie about the redemptive power of family.OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST8TH & OCEAN: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON2006; DVD $38.95, URBOB NEWHART: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON1972; DVD $29.95, UREDGAR ALLAN POE’S TALES OF MYSTERY & IMAGINATION1995; DVD $49.95, URROAR: THE COMPLETE SERIES1997; DVD $39.95, URTHE CHRIS ROCK SHOW: SEASON TWO1997; DVD $19.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!