THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:
PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE
1956; DVD $19.95, UR
A dream DVD for bad-movie junkies! Arguably the Worst Movie Ever Made, it is definitely one of the most entertaining, with clueless director Ed Wood Jr. sending Swedish wrestler Tor Johnson, the dead body of Bela Lugosi, a pissed-off Vampira and his usual stable of idiots through their paces in this hopeless sci-fi-horror howler. This set includes a well-restored b&w version (plus an unfortunate “colorized” one), MST3K’s Mike Nelson in a running commentary and some neat behind-the-scenes material. Yep. So bad it’s good.
THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
1960; DVD $19.95, UR
While the DVD case says “Jack Nicholson’s Little Shop of Horrors,” that’s just a bunch of hooey. Surely by now everyone knows about this insanely cheap and effective horror-comedy, shot by director Roger “King of the B’s” Corman in a mere two DAYS starring Corman regulars Jonathan Haze as Seymour Krelboyne, Jackie Joseph as Audrey, Mel Welles as Gravis Mushnik and the incomparable Dick Miller. (Then-unknown Nicholson had a small part.) A small plant — which turns out to be a man-eater — changes the life of a skid row florist’s assistant, and the rest is history. Contains both the restored b&w version and some sort of colorized garbage.
2006; VHS Rental/DVD $29.95, PG-13
James Franco starring-vehicle about a young man fated to be a laborer in the Annapolis shipyards who gets accepted into the Naval Academy — and then the real work starts. A strong supporting cast gets sidetracked by a clunky plot involving a beautiful female officer — who teaches him boxing — but a passable 104 minutes of entertainment, nonetheless.
DANGER AFTER DARK COLLECTION
2006; DVD $29.95, UR
A trio of primo dark features from Japan, packed in a collector’s case. “Suicide Club” begins with 54 smiling girls joining hands as they jump in front of a train. From there it gets weird. The second, “Moon Child,” is a futuristic 21st-century sci-fi vampire tale with John Woo-style violence. Finally, “2LDK” is a savage comedy about two roomies whose minor squabble escalates to a duel to the death.
DOCURAMA FILM FESTIVAL, VOL. 1
2006; DVD $229.95, UR
The Docurama marquee promotes indie filmmaking and the young directors destined to set standards of the industry for the next generation. This is a collection of nine perfect and surprising titles from such directors as Tom McLoughlin, Roger Weisberg, Vanessa Roth and Stewart Bird. Highly recommended.
FAILURE TO LAUNCH
2006; DVD $29.95, PG-13
Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker share some screen chemistry, but are grounded by the dumbest plot in romantic-comedy history. He’s a grown man who lives with his parents — and they’re not crazy about it. She’s a professional, er, “date” who romances such men to give them the confidence to move on with their lives. Then she dumps them. If you can buy that, we’ve got an unpainted bridge for sale. Fun, kinda funny and light-hearted, but dumb.
IMAGINE ME & YOU
2005; VHS Rental/DVD $27.95, R
New bride Piper Perabo becomes infatuated with another woman she meets at her wedding. This would have been a clever comedy 10 years ago, but it’s sorta lame now.
MADEA’S FAMILY REUNION
2006; DVD $28.95, PG-13
If you liked “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” Tyler Perry’s surprise hit of 2005 in which he plays a larger-than-life matriarchal black woman, you’ll probably like this. The gag’s running a bit long, but there’s enough gold to mine here that the lively and talented cast — Blair Underwood, Lynn Whitfield, Henry Simmons, Maya Angelou, Cicely Tyson, etc. — has plenty to work with.
MASTERS OF HORROR: JOHN LANDIS/LUCKY MCKEE
2005; DVD $16.95 each, UR
Those great ghouls at KNB Effects had a field day with these two new outings of the Showtime series. First, John Landis co-wrote “Deer Woman,” a tale of a sexy Native American were-deer. Next, Lucky McKee goes over the top with “Sick Girl,” the tale of a shy entomologist (Angela Bettis) who falls for a sexy lesbian (pornstar Misty Mundae, under her “real” name, Erin Brown), only to have a mysterious insect she is studying join in the fun!
NOVA: THE GREAT ROBOT RACE
2006; VHS $19.95/DVD $19.95, UR
Best doc we know of on the DARPA Grand Challenge, a $2 million race to produce the first autonomous (self-guided robot) wheeled vehicle that can find its way from Point A to Point B, navigating the terrain as necessary, in the shortest time. Until the most recent trials, no one had made it more than a few hundred yards. Lots of wonderfully goofy ingenuity at work.
1987; DVD $28.95, R
Besides being one of our favorite sci-fi movies, this particular release is among the first batch of HD DVDs in the “Blu-Ray” format. Others include “The Fifth Element,” “The Terminator,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and “Underworld: Evolution.” Let the HD wars begin!
THE COMPLETE SHERLOCK HOLMES COLLECTION
2006; DVD $129.95, UR
What a day to be alive! All 14 perfect Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce tales of The Great Detective in one set! More than that, these are the same versions that were previously released individually after having been digitally reconstructed from rare 35mm master recordings. They are flawless, beautiful and with perfect sound. They are literally even better than they were when first shown in the theaters. A must-own.
2006; VHS Rental/DVD $28.95, PG-13/UR
Milla Jovovich goes slumming in this comic-booker about a subculture of genetically enhanced vampire warriors in the near future. Lots of swordplay and sexy butt-kicking a la “Aeon Flux.”
WHY WE FIGHT
2006; VHS Rental/DVD $24.95, PG-13
Without peer as the most intelligent and thought-provoking doc on America and the future of our planet we’ve ever seen. A half-century after ending WWII and establishing peace on Earth for all mankind, the United States now exists as little more than a savings-and-loan for the military industry, whose “defense contracts” prop up an economy that requires an Orwellian state of constant war in order to survive. Required viewing.
OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST
2006; DVD $24.95, UR
2006; DVD $24.95, UR
CHOK DEE: THE KICKBOXER
2005; DVD $19.95, UR
MONSTER IN THE FOREST: THE STORY OF THE CYCLOP
2005; DVD $29.95, UR
PROJECT RUNWAY: SEASON TWO
2006; DVD $39.95, UR
STRANGERS WITH CANDY: THE COMPLETE SERIES
1999; DVD $62.95, UR
A more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!