October 24, 2006

The Video TapeWorm: Releases through Tuesday, Oct. 31

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:BLACK VENUS1983; DVD $29.95, URJosephine Jacqueline Jones, a former Miss Bahamas, made Black-porno history in this, the first Afrocentric soft-sex-flick ever to receive international acclaim. For the first time on DVD, the uncut 95-minute tail, er, tale of Sapphic lust and carnal degradation in the Victorian era co-starring Monique Gabrielle (“Chained Heat”) and Mandy Rice-Davies, whose real-life teenie weanie adventures scandalized the British government.THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES1973; DVD $29.95, URComfy-looking Georgina Spelvin stars with protracted Harry Reems in this classic of classics from the Golden Age of Drive-In Porn, now available for the first time through “legit” sources. (And, if we can believe the advertised running length, it’s uncut!) Spelvin, originally hired to make sandwiches on the set — really! — is a 30-something virgin, bored with life, who commits suicide. Heaven won’t touch her, too pure for hell, so she’s sent back to Earth for “lessons” on how to be lustful enough for damnation. A fond memory of rag-top Chevys and warm nights at the Theat-Air-X.CANNIBAL FEROX1981; DVD $24.95, URBetter known as “Make Them Die Slowly,” this is the original jungle-bound dismember-fest that set the stage for today’s “Saw”/“Hostel” franchises. Once banned in England as a “Video Nasty,” it’s now available in a widescreen Director’s Cut so you can enjoy every testicle-munching minute.GEORGE BURNS: THE TV SPECIALS COLLECTION2006; DVD $39.95, URNearly forgotten today, George Burns’ all-too-infrequent TV specials are some of our favorite phosphor-dot memories from the ’70s and ’80s. A total of nine specials, nearly 100 guests and thousands of laughs. What a steal! Say goodnight, Gracy.HAMLET1964; DVD $29.95, PGShakespeare’s brooding tale of the Great Dane has been filmed more than 100 times for screens large and small, but this version, based on a translation into Russian by novelist Boris Pasternak, is oft heralded as the finest. Malevolence seems to scuttle from every black-and-white inch of this beautifully sculpted grimoire; even the music by Dmitri Shostakovich seems alive and lurking. In Russian with subtitles. Now, see!, wouldn’t you rather watch porn?HUNGRY FOR MONSTERS2003; DVD $29.95, URA fabulous and truly frightening doc about a teenage girl, the victim of overzealous therapists and social workers who convince her that she has “repressed memories” of being molested by her father. Before it’s over her entire family and much of the town has been accused of — or convicted of! — rape, murder and ritual Satanic crimes that never happened.I DRINK YOUR BLOOD1971; DVD $24.95, URA new, unrated and uncut Director’s Deluxe edition of a great old Drive-In shocker. LSD-addicted hippies get rabies from bad meat pies and go on a murderous, cannibalistic rampage. Often paired with the equally grotesque “I Eat Your Flesh,” this toured America’s heartland, getting trimmed to “local standards” by every podunk theater along the way. Nice to see it back together again.JULES VERNE’S THE FABULOUS JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH1977; DVD $19.95, GNOT the wonderfully boring Pat Boone/James Mason dirt-trek with Gertrude the Duck, this is its cheap-o 1977 Spanish remake. Explorers try to slog to the center of the world via caves — and for some reason there’s a giant ape on the box art! Sheesh.KEEPING UP WITH THE STEINS2006; DVD $29.95, PG-13Oy! It’s an all-Jewish Bar Mitzvah comedy it is, with Jami Gertz, Daryl Hannah, Jeremy Piven (“Entourage”), Garry Marshall, Doris Roberts, Richard Benjamin and so many more it’ll make your head spin! And with Neil Diamond, no less! Such a nice boy.MARTIN & LEWIS COLLECTION — VOL. 12006; DVD $49.95, URA four-star collection of Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis offerings that run from the highs — like “That’s My Boy” and “The Caddy” with Dean singing “That’s Amore” — to the dim-witted “Scared Stiff” — each terrific in its own way. A time-capsule of comedy and song including “Sailor Beware,” “My Friend Irma,” “My Friend Irma Goes West,” “The Stooge” and “Jumping Jacks.”MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III2006; DVD $29.95, RIn our humble opinion: the best of the series. Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt, retired super-spy, settling down to start a family with Michelle Monaghan, only to be blindsided by the truly evil Philip Seymour Hoffman. With Keri Russell as a short-lived, but amazingly beautiful, cherrybomb. Also available in an Ultimate Missions set of all three films for $99.95.TALES OF THE RAT FINK2006; DVD $19.95, URA long overdue — and animated! — biodoc on acclaimed artist and custom car freak, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. The man who single-handedly re-engineered American culture to the T-shirt-clad, gearhead-friendly world it is today. With scores of great guest-voices including John Goodman, Ann-Margret, Jay Leno and Brian Wilson. Tons of screaming fun!TARZAN COLLECTION STARRING JOHNNY WEISSMULLER, THE VOL. 22006; DVD $39.95, URJohnny Weissmuller’s final six (of 12) adventures as Lord of the Jungle on three discs are actually some of his best. While less romantic than in his Jane-bound days, these follow the books a bit more closely with WWII adventures (“Tarzan Triumphs,” “Tarzan’s Desert Mystery”) before heading off to fantastic lands in “Tarzan and the Amazons,” “And the Leopard Woman” and “And the Huntress,” then going completely off the deep end in his final Tarzan-er, “Tarzan and the Mermaids” in 1948. Highly recommended; as is Volume 1.THE DEVIL’S RAIN1975; DVD $14.95, PGA fresh new pressing of one of our favorite Guilty Pleasures. The irrepressible Ernest Borgnine gathered neighbors William Shatner, Tom Skerritt, Eddie Albert, Keenan Wynn, Ida Lupino and John Travolta — in his film debut! — for this silly romp through devil-worshiping that culminates in a 15-minute scene where everyone melts into colorful puddles of goo. A real treat featuring Church of Satan founder Anton Lavey. Really!OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTBAYWATCH: SEASON 22006; DVD $34.95, URDYLAN SPEAKS2006; DVD $9.95, URHARD ROCK TREASURES2005; DVD $24.95, URLEGEND OF THE DRAGON2005; DVD $19.95, URTALES FROM THE CRYPT: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON2006; DVD $39.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!