September 26, 2006

Video Tapeworm: Releases on Tuesday, Oct. 3

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:THANK YOU FOR SMOKING2005; DVD $29.95, RIn a land where Snark-edy has replaced Comedy, good satire has become a rare thing. That’s just one of the reasons we love this clever, savage stab at our nation’s culture of spin with Aaron Eckhart as a master media manipulator who unapologetically promotes the tobacco industry. There are so many great, twisted observations on modern life that we hardly know where to start, but here’s one that’s become a national mantra: “That’s the beauty of argument. If you argue correctly, you’re never wrong!” Brilliant.X-MEN: THE LAST STAND2006; DVD $29.95-39.95, PG-13This third chapter in the X-Men cinematic saga is the weakest of the bunch, largely due to a change in directors, with Brett Ratner taking over for Brian Singer. Still, lots of mutant fun; the high points include a terrific special-fx sequence in Famke Janssen’s childhood home and the clever casting of Kelsey Grammar as Dr. Hank “The Beast” McCoy. Most of the high-priced cast dies, leaving a new generation of young mutants ready to take on low budget SciFi Channel-level adventures from here on out. Lots of DVD goodies; also available in a trilogy collection for about $45.BODY DOUBLE1984; DVD $19.95, RBrian De Palma dreamed up this insanely stupid male fantasy of sex, voyeurism and murder just so that he could have Melanie Griffith and Deborah Shelton dance nekkid in front a camera. Way to go, Brian! Mankind invented couches, beer and TV just for this one movie — now with lots of DVD extras and more naughty-bits! Enjoy.GLASS HOUSE 2: THE GOOD MOTHER2006; DVD $24.95, RCheapy exploitation follow-up to the terrific Leelee Sobieski original, this one starring sexy Angie Harmon and some low-rent nobodies.HAIL MARY1985; DVD $29.95, URLong overdue DVD release of a truly awesome French flick: Jean-Luc Godard’s modern retelling of the birth of Christ. The Virgin Mary plays basketball and pumps gas while keeping taxi-driver boyfriend Joseph at arm’s length. In walks Uncle Gabriel, who tells them she’s pregnant, and the shit proceeds to hit the Gallic fan. Conservative Christians — few of whom ever saw the film — rioted in the streets of Paris. One great film.INVADER1991; DVD $9.95, RAn all-but-unknown and very entertaining low-budget sci-fier from Golan-Globus. The military incorporates software from a crashed UFO into a national defense grid. It becomes sentient, takes over the minds of troops and builds itself a six-story walking tank in order to make the world bow to America’s might. A.k.a., “The Dick Cheney Story.”LIVE FEED1994; DVD $24.95, R/URSomething of a low-rent rip-off of “Hostel” and “Saw,” this has been getting rave reviews in the gore-and-splatter mags for months. If you’re gonna do it, don’t weenie out: Get the unrated version.PLANET OF THE APES TV SERIES1974; DVD $29.95, URAll 14 big episodes of a true low-water mark in TV sci-fi on four discs. Heck, even the SciFi Channel avoids this campy piece of simian shreck starring (of course) Roddy McDowall as a sensitive ape of the 31st century. With Mark Lenard — Spock’s dad and TV’s first Romulan — as gorilla Major Urko.RETURN TO THE PLANET OF THE APES1975; DVD $19.95, URA two-disc set containing all 13 big episodes of the little-remembered 1975 Saturday morning cartoon show. Actually, this was pretty good, being closer in theme to the original book, “La Planète des Singes” (“The Monkey Planet”) by Pierre Boulle, than the movies. Unfortunately, nobody cared.SCARFACE1983; DVD $29.95, R/URA number of Brian De Palma movies are being re-released this month, but this is the only one with a “Scarface Scoreboard” to help you keep track of the number of times Al Pacino says “fuck.” (One of our favorite drinking games ... which is probably why we’ve never seen the ending.)SUPER INFRAMAN1975; DVD $19.95, URPrincess Dragon Mom sends her army of Kung Fu mutants out to take over the world. Our only hope is Professor Chang’s homemade bionic super-soldier, Inframan! One of the world’s great bad movies, the great-grand-daddy of the Power Rangers, and fodder for every adolescent boy’s dreams.THE HUMPHREY BOGART SIGNATURE COLLECTION VOL. 22006; DVD $59.95, URAnother well-chosen Bogie set, this one anchored by a three-disc “Maltese Falcon.” Sam Spade never looked better, thanks to modern remastering and two discs worth of DVD doodads (available separately for about 30 bucks, sweetheart). The others are “Across the Pacific,” “Action in the North Atlantic,” “All Through the Night” and, a personal favorite, “Passage to Marseille.”THE NORLISS TAPES1973; DVD $14.95, URA fondly remembered made-for-TV paranormal thriller from the early ’70s. The pilot for a failed series, it was a dark rip-off of “The Night Stalker” starring Roy Thinnes as a publisher in possession of the titular spooky recordings. With Angie Dickinson, Claude Akins and Blaxploitation fave Vonetta McGee.THE WOODS2006; DVD $24.95, RWe loved this sly supernatural tale from director Licky McKee about a troubled girl, sent to a boarding school teeming with teens with psychic powers. Bloody as hell with a nod to Argento’s “Suspiria” and a cameo by Bruce Campbell.VOODOO MOON2006; DVD $19.95, URIncredibly goofy ’80s-style horror film with Eric Mabius, Jeffrey Combs, big John Amos, Geoffrey Lewis, Dee Wallace and our favorite Playboy pictorial, “Buffy’s” long and lovely Charisma Carpenter. Filled with comical walking-dead, giant bikers with hearts of gold, cheezy effects, zombies, bats, psychic powers, magic, underwater Satanic rituals and much more.OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTGREATEST AMERICAN HERO: SEASONS ONE, TWO AND THREE1981; DVD $99.95, URMCLEOD’S DAUGHTERS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON1996; DVD $59.95, URPENN & TELLER: BULLSHT!: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON2005; DVD $29.95, URTHE BRADY BUNCH: THE PREMIERE EPISODES1969; DVD $12.95, URTHE LITTLE MERMAID1989; DVD $29.95, GTOM & JERRY TALES VOLUME 1: HO HO HORRORS2006; DVD $14.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at!