New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, Dec. 11

Dec 5, 2012 at 6:00 am



1995; $29.98; UR

This short-lived Limey TV horror anthology has never been seen in the United States in any form but has been on every horror-hound’s wish list for more than a decade. Now available: all five — count ’em, five! — big supernatural shockers featuring Britain’s best actors, writers and directors. Our favorite tale is “The Man Who Didn’t Believe in Ghosts” about a paranormal debunker (Peter Egan, The Marquess of Flintshire from “Downton Abbey”) who moves his family into “just another haunted house,” only to find something beyond his experience. Very entertaining.


2002; $34.98-$49.98; UR

If you were a kid with cable back in the ’90s, you know that this was initially shown weekday mornings on TNT, a heavily edited, badly dubbed Japanese import from the guys behind “Ultraman.” And by the time it had moved to late weekend nights, Ultraman had actually “returned” to the show, appearing as a guest star in many episodes, saving the Earth from evil aliens from a distant star. Finally available in as complete a form as we’ll probably ever see — in the original Japanese with subtitles, no less — our vote for the best “suitmation” series ever made. Six discs (lacking at least one episode that was pulled as being “insensitive”), 19 hours of intergalactic fun.



1979; $27.98-$29.98; R

This provocative and adventurous, er, adventure has been absent from video shelves for some time due to its legendary imagery and bogus NC-17 rating. But now you can own this glorious and savage hyper-romantic desert swashbuckler on Blu-ray, with Michael Caine chasing “depraved Arab slave trader” Peter Ustinov(!) across the burning sands to rescue skinny-dipping supermodel wife, Beverly “Boy Howdy!” Johnson, with help from Rex Harrison, William Holden and Omar Sharif. The all-new interview with Johnson, detailing the film’s notorious history and long road to restoration, is worth the price alone.


2012; $19.98-$29.98; UR

We loved this wonderfully inventive zombie apocalypse comedy anthology from Korea. A Buddhist robot becomes sentient, despite the efforts of a repairman sent to “fix” it; a young boy zombie examines his new “life”; and (best of all), O. Henry’s famous “The Christmas Gift” is rewritten for the undead-Internet age. Highly recommended.


1981; $19.98; UR

More silly named naughtiness from those ’80s pervs at Nikkatso Pictures. Ignore the title, this is about a beautiful young girl about to be bound into an arranged marriage, whose hobby is making “penis prints” — a truly uplifting art project! She wants to have 100 of them before she takes her vows, so her days are spent chasing random men around Japan, trying to get them to drop their pants. But the 100th man has a price. Truly warped as only Nikkatso could do it.


2012; $24.98-$49.98; PG

If you don’t know what to expect from an “Ice Age” film by now, we can’t help you. Prehistoric pals Manny, Diego and Sid are caught in a planet-wide disaster triggered by our old acorn-chasing friend, the Scrat. Of course it’s all just an excuse to teach comic family lessons, this time with crazed pirate-critters and Sid’s irascible grandma. Not the best of the series, but gangs of fun for all ages.


1998; $14.99; PG-13

Victor Hugo’s classic tale has been filmed now some 25 times in every format imaginable: from narrative drama to opera to musical to animated comedy, many starring some of the world’s great talents. This two-plus-hour straight-up drama — considered by many to be the definitive dramatic interpretation — features Liam Neeson as Jean Valjean, with Uma Thurman as the prostitute, Claire Danes as her child, and Geoffrey Rush (who steals the movie) as the obsessed Javert.


2012; $34.95; UR

This anthropological adventure from The History Channel is all about our favorite damn smelly apes: humanity. Beginning with our first experiments in Mesopotamian socialization and ending with Christopher Columbus’ trek to the New World, it shows that our basic goals haven’t changed one bit, only our technology. And our savagery. Twelve damn entertaining episodes.


2012; $24.98; R

“Family Guy”’s Seth MacFarlane crashes onto the big screen in this truly warped, vulgar — and damn funny — tale of a grown man (Mark Wahlberg), saddled with the fulfillment of a childhood wish: a real, live teddy bear best friend. No act of perversion or social outrage is out of bounds as MacFarlane lets this experiment run wild, and he wisely makes “Ted” and Wahlberg the best of buds; just two dudes, the natural outgrowth of a childhood friendship, but one that leaves the man unable to truly become an adult. Not for the easily offended, but a godsend for the rest of us.


2012; $19.98-$34.98; PG-13

OK, right up front: We didn’t like this Jeremy Renner reboot. Yes, it has all the trademark Bourne elements: Parkour-like chase scenes, high-tech savagery, near-superhuman abilities thanks to experimental drugs — even most of the actors (who supposedly met their end in the third Bourne movie) have returned. And that’s what’s wrong. This isn’t another Bourne movie, it’s an imitation Bourne movie, with all the frantic camera work and exotic locales, but none of the empathy or depth that Matt Damon brought to the role. Go back and watch the first three flicks (available in a multi-pack for about $17) to see what me mean.


2012; $9.98-$14.98; UR

All the wee-ones in our neighborhood hang around our doorstep, knowing that eventually we’ll have more “Thomas The Tank Engine” vids for them. This latest one really tickled their funny bones: The engines all get themselves into sticky/slippery jams — just doin’ what comes naturally and havin’ some fun — and must learn how to get out of them without causing even more trouble. If that’s not a universal theme of childhood, we don’t know what is. OK, you little buggers, come and get it!

A more complete listing and free vids at videotapeworm.com.



More recommended videos for our online readers, only!


2011; $12.98-$24.98; PG

The SyFy Channel really isn’t trying anymore, is it? This less-than-scientific world-ender has all the logic of a Japanese Saturday morning kiddy show, with none of the cool special effects. A comet hits the sun, magnetizing Mercury (huh?), sending it spiraling out of orbit toward Earth (again: huh?). Lots of lame CGI effects indicate that our planet is doomed as Kirk Acevedo (“Fringe”) and Diane Farr (“Californication”) — who never appear in the same scene together — jabber pseudo-scientific bullshit by radio while people get sucked into the sky. Pitiful ... Ahh, hell! Who are we kidding? We LOVE crap like this! Enjoy.


2012; $26.98; UR

This fun little no-budget shocker is a loving ode to Detroit iron, topless horror babes and other cheap thrills. Brian Kolodziej plays an unemployed young man without wheels who takes day work at a car wash just to make ends meet. And that’s where he spies the rusted old van that just happens to be the tool of a psycho-killer terrorizing the city. It’s up to him and “Swami Ted” (who is not wrapped too tight) to stop the madness. Fun.


1999; $24.98-$29.98; R

An unemployed “aspiring writer” (hey, ain’t we all?) shadows strangers at random in the streets of London, stumbling into a world of petty crime and elaborate double, triple and fourple-crosses. This is an early effort by the director of “Memento,” so it’s chock-o’-block full of maddening brilliance and now available in a Blu-ray Criterion release.


2012; $14.98-$29.98; UR

It’s a no-holds-barred fight to the death inside The Killing Chamber for captured international assassins in this waaay over the top Bangkok-filmed actioner. Stars Johnny Messner (Lance Baldwin from “The O.C.”) and Chia Hui Liu (Abbott from “The Man With The Iron Fists”). Frantic fight fun.


1990; $267.98-$370.98; UR

Prolific action-TV mogul Bruce Geller already had several notches in his belt — including “Mannix” and “Rawhide” — when he dreamed up this stylish and masterful James Bond-inspired spy series. Besides being an exceptional writer, his greatest skill was finding the perfect cast, and MI had one of the all time best with Peter Graves, Barbara Bain, Greg Morris (in a groundbreaking role for a black actor in 1966), Peter Lupus and, later, Leonard Nimoy. Speaking of Nimoy, watch for sets and extras from “Star Trek” — they show up regularly since both shows were filmed at the same studio. Seven superb seasons on 55 discs. Definitely worth the price.


2009; $18.98; UR

John Turturro takes us on a puppet tour of his maternal homeland. We’re being facetious, of course: This is a progressive doc on Sicily’s Day of the Dead and its associated puppet theater traditions, unique in the world. There’s something almost magical in all this that you have to see to really appreciate. Truly mesmerizing, highly recommended.


2012; $19.98-$21.98; UR

Dramedy about five young black gay graduates of Brown University who gather in NYC to celebrate their one-year anniversary in high style. But a combination of drugs, alcohol and sex — both repressed and over-indulged — threatens their friendship and their lives.


2012; $22.98-$29.98; R

With a cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Melissa Leo and Tracy Morgan, how can this be anything but a major hoot? Well, the story may seem like a bit of a downer, with Eisenberg playing a talented musician whose career may be scuttled by his drug-addled mom, but that’s just a launching point for this truly unique absurdist comedy. Morgan plays the pivotal drug dealer (natch); worth a look.