Video Tapeworm

TWIN PEEKS

SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE: THE COMPLETE TV SERIES
1955; $31.98-49.98; UR
While never given the respect it deserved, this remains a seminal TV sci-fi series on par with The Twilight Zone and One Step Beyond. Veteran actor Truman Bradley narrates each weekly outré drama inspired by cutting-edge science of the day, letting the exciting promise – or dread – of the near-future drive the action, focusing on people instead of monsters. And given that this was the dawn of the space-age, you can bet that the future was rife with thrills and wonder. Our favorite episode was “Time Is Just a Place,” about a happy American family learning about their reclusive new neighbors, who seem to have an awful lot of advanced technology – like remote controls! – at their disposal. A real treat.

SUPERCAR: THE COMPLETE SERIES
1961; $31.98-35.98; UR
Gerry Anderson – the holy master of “Fireball XL-5,” “UFO,” and “Moon 1999” – made TV history with this wildly successful “SuperMarionation” series, his second hit after the puppet Western “Four Feather Falls” in 1960. SuperCar, piloted by Mike Mercury, is an experimental vehicle that can travel in the air, in space, on land or beneath the sea, and was also quite adept at waking up Bill Raker’s Dad early on Saturday mornings when little Billy would sneak into the living room to watch it. Includes all 39 episodes plus a bundle of neat bonus goodies. It’s the marvel of the age!  (Gerry’s son, Jamie, will be in town for WonderFest, May 30-31, and will no doubt have lots of great props and stories from his parents’ many great shows.  Highly recommended.)

 

OTHER DVDs OF INTEREST

MISTER ED: THE FINAL SEASON
1966; $10.98-16.98; UR
The sixth and final season of this venerable talking-horse sitcom featured a number of movie spoofs, something quite popular at the time. Episodes like “Coldfinger,” “Spies Strike Back,” “Anybody Got a Zebra?” and “Ed the Counterspy” all celebrated the James Bond craze, but for us the final episode of the series, “Ed Goes to College” — where Ed the horse decides that he wants to be a veterinarian! — is the most memorable. Wilbur (Alan Young) finds Ed treating the neighbor animals in his barn, including (in Ed’s words) “a poor, scared chicken about to lay her first egg” … which turns out to be a rooster! Man, they just don’t make ’em like this anymore.

MORTDECAI
2015; $12.98-19.98; R
An armed gunman couldn’t have cleared out the theaters any faster than this Johnny Depp stinker. He’s the dim-witted international bon-vivant, a would-be Inspector Clouseau hot on the trail of a purloined painting that holds the key to … Sorry, we just don’t care anymore.

MUV-LUV ALTERNATIVE: TOTAL ECLIPSE 2
2012; $39.98-69.98; UR
Muv-Luv began as an adult PC game back in ’03, before being scrubbed of sex and nudity for its subsequent handheld, novel and manga versions. (OK, so maybe they left in a little sex and nudity …) The “Alternative” plotline follows an all-female squad of beautiful, young warriors clad in white spandex “enhancement suits,” who battle the invading alien BETAs in their Tactical Surface Fighters. Of course, several of the characters have large, gravity-defying breasts, providing the requisite awkwardness whenever their male counterparts enter the room. A solid mecha outing with just a bit of tease; lots of fun.

STILL ALICE
2014; $19.98-34.98; PG-13
Julianne Moore won a Best Actress Oscar for this heartbreaking drama about a brilliant college professor who develops Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Helpless and frightened as her perfect mind slowly erodes, she clings to her extended family, played by Kate Bosworth, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart and “The Following’s” Hunter Parrish and Shane McRae — a weepy, four-hanky chick-flick, if there ever was one, especially when doctors tell Moore that her children may have inherited her disease! We had to binge-watch all the “Transformers” and “Mad Max” movies to get this our of our heads.

THE COBBLER
2013; $13.98-34.98; PG-13
Adam Sandler might be listed as the star of this flick, but his role is arguably more of a clever, extended cameo. The plot is driven by a magical machine that alters shoes, allowing anyone who wears them to “become” their owner — the wearer can literally walk into and out of other peoples lives. “Sandler” uses this power to save his neighborhood from all manner of baddies. Guests include Ellen Barkin, Steve Buscemi, Dustin Hoffman, Dascha “Orange Is The New Black” Polanco, Method Man and stunning waif, Elena Kampouris from “American Odyssey.” A fun and earthy little Jewish fantasy-thriller that’s worth checking out

WHITE RABBIT
2013; $21.98; UR
Nick “Boyhood” Krause plays the troubled highschooler slowly losing his mind, the result of a brutal father (truly scary Sam “True Blood” Trammel) and unrelenting bullying at school. And while Nick is terrific, his co-star, North Carolina cutie Britt Robertson from “Under The Dome,” “Ask Me Anything,” and the upcoming “Tomorrowland,” steals every scene she’s in. A very dark walk into the soul of everyday insanity with an ending you’ll be talking about for days. Don’t miss this.

 

*** More Recommended Videos for our On-Line Readers, Only!

CHAMPS

2015; $19.98-22.98; UR

Pro boxing has recently been dubbed “The Poor Man’s Sport”, as its history has been dominated by athletes raised in poverty. This doc reinforces that notion through three of the most successful and charismatic boxers of recent history: Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Bernard Hopkins. Each has overcome a disadvantage of birth to become infinitely successful, but more importantly, they have each illuminated a path for other impoverished youth to follow, away from the dead-end existence of crime and drugs. Be prepared to have your opinion of boxing and boxers knocked flat.

ICETASTROPHE

2014; $19.98; UR

Aka, “Christmas Icetastrophe”, this SyFy Channel stinker is … well, “SyFy Channel stinker” pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it? Some nonsense about an asteroid that splits in two, causing the instant flash-freeze of everything in sight, except for a tropical zone in the center. The Earth is saved by incredibly good looking actors lead by Victor Webster and Jennifer Spence, both from “Continuum”, along with Richard “The 100” Harmon, adorable former child star Tiera Skovbye, and Boti “CSI Miami” Bliss.

POWER: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

2015; $19.98-59.98; UR

Too many people confuse this with the far inferior Terrence Howard vehicle, “Empire”, which is a shame because while that is a hammy Afrocentric soaper, this is a clever and all-too-real drama about a man with one foot in each of two worlds. On one hand, Omari Hardwick (“Being Mary Jane”) is the respected – even loved – owner of NYC’s hottest nightclub, catering to an elite clientele. But on the other he is a rising drug kingpin, riding this wave of money and power while fending off the old-school baddies who have run the trade for decades. With Naturi “The Playboy Club” Naughton as his wife and executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson as his nemesis.

SAGRADA: THE MYSTERY OF CREATION

2012; $27.98; UR

Our leather-bedecked, editor, Mistress Laura, severely punishes us if we drag our feet in the production of this weekly video opus (and we deserve her lashings, yes we do), but the foot-dragging Spanish clearly need a dash of her tender mercies. Consider the La Sagrada Familia basilica, an architectural marvel unlike anything else on the planet, and considered by many to be the 8th Wonder Of The World. Or it will be if it ever gets finished. Hey, cut ‘em some slack; they’ve only been at it for 125 years! This doc takes us into the all-consuming toil of thousands of craftsmen, artisans and backers who have dedicated their lives and fortunes to a church they will never pray in. Fascinating.

SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY

1971; $24.95; UR

A 2-disc Blu-Ray Collector’s Edition of the Jesse Franco tits-and-blood revenge smoker, not seen in theaters since its drive-in run of the early 70’s. Soledad Miranda/Susan Korda plays the wife of a dedicated researcher who decides to screw and dissect the members of the committee that defunded her husband’s research, leading to his suicide. Pretty high-concept for a cheezy nudie flick, huh? Oh, yeah, she famously wears a short red cape while doing in the docs. Nice. Watch for Franco, himself, and Ewa Stromberg from “Vampyrs Lesbos” as two of the victims. Comes complete with a CD of the great soundtrack.

THE BRIDGE: SEASON 2

2013; $44.98-49.98; UR

The terrific Danish/Swedish cop drama, which spawned countless remakes around the globe, enters its second season with no loss of momentum. Focusing on the area around a bridge at the Denmark-Swedish border, international concerns generate very private crimes: some big, some small, but each demonstrating how culture affects human nature. The two central inspectors, played by Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia, lead teams of investigators into some of the most inhuman situations imaginable, beginning this season with a runaway tanker with no crew, only five kids, all drugged and chained and clearly left for dead. Great TV.

THE DANCE GOODBYE

2015; $17.98-24.98; UR

As former musicians (please give generously) this doc on the short careers of professional dancers couldn’t help but strike a chord (snigger). When the body of Merrill Ashley, once principal dancer at the New York Ballet, could no longer repair the constant physical abuse her career demanded, she became a teacher, traveling the world to help others achieve their goals – and to educate them on career-shortening practices she wished she had known about. But this experience extends beyond dance, suggesting that each of us has a built-in limit, and by passing on this knowledge to each new generation, every performer and every profession can grow and improve.

THE DROWNSMAN

2014; $14.98-26.98; UR

This latest “supernatural serial killer” incarnation features hardworking horro-vet Ry Barrett as the titular evil, a demon who hides in water. But the real driving force of the film is a collection of very attractive young Canadian women, lead by stunning Syfy-er Michelle “Ascension” Mylett, valiantly rescued by a bevy of her best buds. Or would be rescued, if any of them had a clue. These include first-time actress Caroline Palmer, smokin’ French walk-on Gemma Bird Matheson, and blonde airhead Clare Bastable. Fun.

THE LEGACY

2014; $49.98; UR

Growing up in the unconstrained 60’s, we were attracted to this subtitled Danish series from the producers of “Borgen” (highly recommended). Four adult siblings from a fabulously wealthy family come together to bury their mother, a world-renowned artist who embodied the hedonism of the free-love decade. Not surprisingly, the three of they are shocked to learn that mom left the family mansion, Grønnegaard Manor, to Signe, the sister who had been put up for adoption as a child. Apparently, Mom didn’t think the other three took the right lessons from her life of freedom and love. A brilliantly written and addictive drama.

THESE FINAL HOURS

2013; $14.98-29.98; UR

Actress Sarah Snook, who blew us away as The Unmarried Woman in “Predestination” (highly recommended) co-stars in this end-of-the-world drama behind Nathan “Snakes On A Plane” Phillips. He is James, a young man who simply wants to party with his buds until the Apocalypse comes … in about 12 hours! But in our opinion, little Angourie Rice steals the show as the frightened waif desperate to find her father, interrupting everyone’s debauchery. A good little lost-Earth drama/thriller with a moral, as only the Aussies can do it.

VAMPYROS LESBOS

1971; $24.95; UR 

Jessie Frano/Jesús Franco/Franco Manera’s most famous nudie-horror flick, now available in a Blu-Ray 2-disc Collector’s set. Breathtaking Soledad Miranda/Susan Korda and Ewa Strömberg from “She Kills In Ecstasy” are vampire and prey in this breakthrough film, one of the first to demonstrate the mechanics of lesbian sex to the suburban masses. (Apparently it has something to do with ripping out the jugular vein with your teeth.) A stylish, dreamlike, and oft-copied ode to Dracula, lawyers, nude sunbathing, nookie-nibbling,, snatch-lapping, muff diving and other spectator sports – now with extra pubic hair and an entire disc of special features! Ah, the smell of it.

WOLFCOP

2015; $12.99-29.97; UR

Yep, he’s a cop who gets bitten by a werewolf, and it’s just as stupid and entertaining as it sounds. How stupid? Well, first off, his name is Lou Garou (get it?: “Loup-garou”). Filmed in Canada for roughly $1.98, it has the look and smell of one of those 80’s howlers we all love to poke fun at, with more than a few nods to Michael J. Fox’s “Teen Wolf.” Co-stars lovely Sarah “True Justice” Lind, and equally, er, “fetching”, Amy Matysio from 2012’s, “Vampire Dog.” A perfect afternoon on the couch … if you’re allowed on the couch.

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