Video Tapeworm

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS

LAVALANTULA
2015; $19.98; UR
No argument: This is just another one of those crappy CGI-infested SyFy channel offerings that they regurgitate and recycle ad-infinitum. In other words, our kinda movie! The obligatory bugs are giant black spiders with bellies full of volcanic magma to spew upon their hapless victims. But the best thing about this turkey is the heavy 80’s/90’s cast, including such aging lights as Steve “Police Academy” Guttenberg, Nina “Fame” Peeples, former child star Patrick “The Sandlot” Renna, and leggy blond Leslie “Police Academy” Easterbrook — people you truly want to see get eaten!

STUNG
2015; $14.98-19.98; UR
A no-budget throwback to our all-time favorite film era, those halcyon days of “Them”, “Tarantula” and “The Killer Bees”, here featuring such genre stalwarts as Lance “Aliens” Henriksen and Clifton “Pacific Rim” Collins Jr. (whose first acting gig was 1990’s “Freddy’s Nightmares” — really!). Sad-sack garden-party caterers Matt O’Leary from “Live Free Or Die Hard” and lovely Jessica “Awkward” Cook are pressed into service to save a bunch of snotty rich people after wasps gorging on illegal fertilizer grow 7-foot tall. With a hidden “Singin’ in the Rain” gag, tons of old-school practical effects, and a damed-fun “making of” reel. Our kinda movie.


 

OTHER DVDs OF INTEREST

BEFORE WE GO
2014; $9.98; PG-13
Chris “Captain America” Evans’ first-time directing gig is a mixed bag of romance, drama and light comedy costarring bodacious Alice “Star Trek Into Darkness” Eve and Emma “Significant Mother” Fitzpatrick. It’s a likeable little movie, occasionally tripping over its own feet as Chris and Alice spend time talking/flirting at a bar, then discover that they’re stuck in New York City for the night. The horror … the horror … And watch for Scott Evans, Chris’ little brother, as the concierge.

BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS
2015; $26.98; UR
Fran Kranz from “Cabin In The Woods” is having a ball in this workplace vampire comedy along with skinny-hot Emma Fitzpatrick (“The Social Network”) and Joey “Chosen” Kern. It seems he’s having a bad day: his job sucks, his girlfriend dumps him and he loses his promised promotion to his arch-rival, Pedro “The Mentalist” Pascal. Man! Could this day get any worse? Uh, how ‘bout some evil, netherworldly contagion turning the cubicles into stinking pits of undead carnage? A silly, overlooked, splatter-romp.

EVERLASTING LOVE
2014; $24.98; UR
There have already been at least seven movies with this title in the last 20 years, so why do we need another? Because this one may be the most interesting. A middle-aged schoolteacher in Spain cruises the local gay hangout where he picks up a young man named Toni — one of his own students — for sex. A dangerous relationship begins, and it soon becomes clear that there is something exceedingly dark about Toni and his friends. We won’t spoil what happens next, other than to say that this is one of the most shocking, surprising films you’ll ever see. In Spanish with subtitles.

GLASSLIP: COMPLETE COLLECTION
2014; $49.98-59.98; UR
Anime is unique in its ability to tell stories that don’t meet conventional expectations. Here, for example, we have a straight-up drama about two young people in a quiet coastal town. The girl’s family runs a glass-blowing factory where she imagines that she can see the future within the crystals, while the boy, a new transfer student, hears disembodied voices — one of whom told him to seek out the girl! Those expecting ninja battles and marauding alien overlords may be disappointed, but if your tastes run more towards immersive slice-of-life narratives about friendship, young love and finding yourself amid all the pressures of impending adulthood — with a hint of outre’ — this is worth your time.

ONE CUT, ONE LIFE
2014; $27.98; UR
Wen famed documentary filmmaker Ed Pincus (“The Axe in the Attic”) learned he had a terminal illness, he did what he was born to do: Film his own death. Famous for saying, “The personal is political,” he joined with collaborator Lucia Small to craft the most amazing film about life we can imagine — not by morbidly shocking the viewer, but by opening long-shuddered doors into what it means to be human, and particularly how much pain we cause those we love most, simply by living. Nothing like you expect.

SOME KIND OF HATE
2015; $10.98-27.98; UR
The actual star of this violent turkey is Ronen Rubinstein (“Jamie Marks Is Dead”), a young man sent to a backwoods reform school after being bullied into an act of violence, though the ads push Grace “The Vampire Diaries” Phipps, along with Sierra “Land Of The Lost (2009)” McCormick, and Lexi Atkins from “Ted 2” as the obligatory “hot girl.” Stuck in hick-hell, he “accidentally” conjures up a vengful spirit (McCormick), intent on opening a can of whoop-ass on bullies everywhere. Not outstanding, but no one watches horror films for the Oscar moments, now do they?


 

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

A LEGO BRICKUMENTARY
2015; $23.98; G
Can you believe that Legos have been around since 1958?! Wow, it’s hard to imagine they even had plastic back then, much less imaginations. (Bill here: I’ve just slapped a wart on my young colleague Dave for his inability to appreciate any human cultural artifact predating the cellphone. He continues …) Ow! Uh, anyway, this is the first official look at the history and histrionics surrounding those knobby, colorful little choking hazards. Narrated by Jason Bateman, it’s a lively doc that includes the fans, fanatics, kids, educators and artists from around the globe who consider Lego blocks to be an indispensable part of their lives. (Bill again: Not one of whom mentions the agony of stepping on one when you first get out of bed in the morning.). A major hoot – but be warned: don’t sit down to watch it without all your Legos handy. Addictive.

CHARLIE’S FARM
2014; $19.98; UR
About as generic a horror movie as you can get without the names “Jason” or “Friday” in the title, this still provides some nice shocks and a few backwoods surprises. Like what? Well, to begin with the supposed stars include horro-vets Tara Reid, Kane Hodder, Nathan “Mad Max: Fury Road” Jones, and Bill “Halloween (2007)” Moseley, but the real stars are a quartet of attractive Aussie-exploring young people wandering the Outback in search of the site of a legendary cannibal-family massacre. And this being the movies and all … it finds them!

EASTSIDERS: SEASON 2
2015; $24.98; UR
Gay men are often portrayed on TV as flaming drama queens whose voices go up two octaves whenever additional comic emphasis is required – but not Logo TV’s “EastSiders.” Here, two seemingly happy, stable Gay men (Van Hansis and writer/director Kit Williamson) live an ordinary, average, messy life together until Kit discovers Van’s infidelities. The result? They act pretty much like any heterosexual couple might … but with better writers. The best humor comes from the millennial/”hipster” generation in all its shallow smartphone-worshiping glory. Some of the sharpest writing on the tube today.

IN THE GRAYSCALE
2015; $24.98; UR
Most Gay-themed dramas tend to focus on teens and 20-somethings, a group whose physical beauty and burgeoning sex drive guarantees a curious audience. This one from Chile looks at more mature adults, those in their 30s: married people with children, focused on providing for their families only to have everything turned upside down when long-ignored feelings surface. Latin TV star Francisco Celhay is a great choice for the architect-father who finds himself unexpectedly attracted to a local tour guide. Perceptive, engrossing and intelligent, without pandering to the youth market.

LIZ IN SEPTEMBER
2014; $22.98; UR
The play “Last Summer at Bluefish Cove” was something of a watershed event in the international Gay community, and fans immediately pressed for a movie version, which the Venezuelan film industry quickly mounted. Now available on DVD, starring drop-dead gorgeous lesbian Latina supermodel Patricia “The L Word” Velasquez as a hard-partying terminally-ill woman celebrating her (probably last) birthday in her usual way: a debauched Carribean blow-out. Goaded by her drunken friends, she attempts to seduce a new arrival, hauntingly beautiful first-time actress Eloisa Maturen. In Spanish with subtitles.

SUPERNATURAL
2014; $24.95; UR
No, not that long-running demon-hunting TV show, this is a rare Gay subtitled scifi fantasy set in a future Thailand where everything is peaceful and no one gets into trouble … as long as they don’t try to touch each other. Nicely non-linear, the plot meanders back into the past (ie, “today”) to show the chaos inherent in free expressions of sexuality, and the future, where all such notions are forbidden by law. There is, of course, a brave and vibrant underground movement secretly rousing the populace to shed their inhibitions.

THE 10TH KINGDOM
2000; $22.98; UR
Once the furor of Y2K had died down, TV producers looked to a simpler past for ideas, such as this well-remembered 9-episode miniseries starring Dianne Wiest (“Life in Pieces”) as an evil queen trying to take over magical lands ruled by Snow White (Camryn Manheim), Cinderella (Ann-Margret, as hot as ever), and Little Red Riding Hood. Scott “The Carrie Diaries” Cohen as The Wolf had all the best lines, and breathtaking Kimberly Williams-Paisley (crazy Gretchen from “Two and a Half Men”) drew in we simpleminded male viewers. With John Larroquette, Ed “Modern Family” O’Neill as “Relish, the Troll King”, and Rutger Hauer as the requisite Huntsman. Now available in a 15th Anniversary Blu–Ray set with all the trimmings.

THE FINAL GIRLS
2015; 22.95
A high-concept horro-com with a better cast than most. Taissa Farmiga from “American Horror Story” gathers a bunch of friends to watch her late actor-mom’s 80’s slasher-film at the local theater – and get literally sucked into the screen! To survive the dead-teenager mayhem within they must bond with all the characters in the film (including her then-young mom, sparkling blonde Malin “Children’s Hospital” Akerman), and follow all the tried-and-true 80’s slasher movie “rules.” Watch for Alexander “Vikings” Ludwig, Nina “The Vampire Diaries” Dobrev, Alia “Arrested Development” Shawkat, and Angela “CSI: Cyber” Trimbur, among many others.

THE GOLDEN CANE WARRIOR
2014; $17.98; UR
Just to prove their Kung Fu is the equal of any, this Indonesian Martial Arts tale harkens back to the heady days of the Shaw Brothers. The titular stick is a holy weapon which when coupled with the proper secret technique will vanquish any foe. And the only person who can teach this technique is the great Master Cempaka (a rare female role). But when her four candidate-students are betrayed, the only hope for our world lies in a legendary hidden warrior, the White Dragon. Yeah, the plot is a fevered mess, but done with great respect for the genre and over-the-top visuals. Not perfect, but fun.

THE GREAT AMERICAN DREAM MACHINE
1971; $27.95; UR
Finally available on DVD, this seminal, if short-lived and wildly subversive PBS music/comic-sketch series which set the stage for the more successful (if politically castrated) Saturday Night Live. Never heard of it? Not surprising, since TGADM so viciously lampooned network TV, American culture, and the deliberate dumbing-down of our populace to make them better consumers, that corporations threatened to pull their PBS funding if the show wasn’t halted. Clearly the best thing that Chevy Chase ever did, with Marshall Efron (now a cartoon voice-artist), and Ken Shapiro (famous for directing “The Groove Tube” and “Modern Problems”). Required viewing and a must-own.

THE LAST SEASON
2014; $24.98; UR
A documentary about dying mushroom pickers … No, wait! Come back! Two of the most interesting people imaginable, one a 75-year old former Special Forces sniper slipping into dementia after years of alcohol abuse, the other a middle-aged Cambodian Freedom Fighter who lost his home and family to the Khmer Rouge, meet each year in an Oregon tent city to hunt the elusive and renowned matsutake mushroom. Now old friends, they prepare for their final season together. Sounds morbid? Not on your life! A quiet, knowing, damned funny and hopeful look at the universality of human culture and all of our best and worst traits. Truly inspired and unique.

THE STORY OF WOMEN AND POWER
2015; $22.98; UR
From the British miniseries, “Suffragettes Forever! The Story of Women and Power”, we take a surprising and very entertaining look at the struggle of Britain’s women, whose fight for equality became far more violent than their American counterparts’. From a land where family homes and farms could historically be taken away and sold once a husband died, British women had a much longer and more difficult struggle than those in the US, giving birth to some of the strongest – and most militant – personalities ever seen in a public arena. Lots of lively true tales of power, intrigue, skullduggery, promises, lies and war in all its various forms. Crazy good.

TIGER HOUSE
2015; $16.98-24.98; R
This little home-invasion drama hasn’t gotten a lot of love, which is surprising considering it stars lovely Kaya Scodelario of “Skins” and the “Maze Runner” films, along with Ed “The Transporter Refueled” Skrein and Dougray “Hemlock Grove” Scott. To be honest, the plot has some of the dumbest holes we’ve ever seen, and Kaya goes from being screaming victim to adrenelan-feuled butt-kicker – then, oddly, back again — in rapid succession, but it still makes more sense than “Gone Girl” — and that piece of crap was nominated for a freakin’ Oscar! Entertaining.


 

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