May 9, 2006

Video TapeWorm: Releases through May 16

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: VOL. 92006; DVD $59.95, URWe hereby declare this The Greatest MST3K Release EVER! Why? First, it features one of the infamous “first season” offerings, “Women of the Prehistoric Planet” with John Agar and Lyle Waggoner! Second, it has our favorite Ed Wood Jr. movie, “The Sinister Urge,” a sleazy look at how pornography invariably leads to murder! And finally, there’s Ray Dennis Steckler’s acid-washed carny crap-fest, “The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!” Four discs, including two episodes hosted by Joel Hodgson. A must-own.THAT GIRL: SEASON ONE1966; DVD $39.95, URFirst full-season video release of the ABC sitcom starring plowable Marlo Thomas as an independent (if incredibly innocent) young woman making a life for herself as an actress and model in NYC. It — and her virtue — lasted five seasons. Only on television. BENNY’S VIDEO1992; DVD $29.95, URA startling and disturbing treatise on the effects of TV violence. Benny, a disturbed young man, sees a homemade video of a pig being slaughtered, sending him on an obsessive quest to film his own killings. Not for the squeamish.CLAWED: THE LEGEND OF SASQUATCH2005; DVD $24.95, RA better than usual treatment of the American Yeti, with a group of high schoolers trying to protect the mythical beast from an angry mob of adults. Also known as “The Unknown,” the acting is quite good as the script explores the spiritual nature of, um, Nature.DUMA2005; DVD $19.95, PGFamily-film auteur Carroll Ballard (“The Black Stallion,” “Fly Away Home”) brings us another exceptional “Born Free”-inspired kid drama. A 12-year-old boy living in South Africa with his parents must face releasing his beloved pet cheetah to the wild or risk losing him to poachers.GEORGE BERNARD SHAW COLLECTION2006; DVD $59.95, URA collection of six Shaw plays including “Arms and the Man” with Helena Bonham Carter, “Heartbreak House,” “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” (hint: she’s a ho), “The Millionairess,” “The Devil’s Disciple” and the inspiration for “My Fair Lady,” “Pygmalion.”HERE COME THE BRIDES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON1968; DVD $49.95, URThis gangly, aw-shucks sitcom was a delight in its day. Robert Brown, then-pop-star Bobby Sherman and David “Starsky and Hutch” Soul played the Bolt brothers, loggers in 1870. They helped arrange for 100 potential wives to be delivered to the skirt-scarce area that would someday be Seattle, thereby setting up the ultimate battle of the sexes. An innocent romantic romp lasting two too-short seasons that we wouldn’t mind seeing updated and put back on the tube. (Free vid-stuff to anyone who knows the links between this show and “Star Trek.” Write us at www.VideoTapeWorm.com using the Contact Us link.)NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: IS IT REAL? DA VINCI’S CODE2005; DVD $14.95, URTimed to take advantage of the Tom Hanks’ movie, this NG special researches the elements of Dan Brown’s bestseller: that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and had children, and that a secret society exists today to protect the bloodline. Makes more sense than most catechisms we’ve heard ...NEW POLICE STORY2004; DVD $26.95, ROften referred to as Jackie Chan’s “comeback movie,” this Chinese-filmed tale of an alcoholic police detective, redeemed by a fresh young apprentice, finds Chan in his element with lots of trademark stunts and more than the usual number of explosions. What can we say? It’s a Jackie Chan movie!THE BIG BUY: HOW TOM DELAY STOLE CONGRESS2006; DVD $19.95, UR(Former) Texas Congressman Tom DeLay, like every other politician we ever heard of, is a lying, cheating, greedy, self-righteous sub-human scumbag. Here’s a doc on how he got caught and the thousands of others who didn’t.THE PRODUCERS2005; DVD $29.95, PG-13Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick are kinda fun (though leggy Uma Thurman steals the show) in this movie version of the Broadway musical based on Mel Brooks’ 1968 classic starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. Not perfect, but a fun and lively little romp, especially if you like Will Ferrell.THE RINGER2005; DVD $29.95, PG-13Johnny Knoxville’s latest stinker. He pretends to be brain-damaged in order to fix the Special Olympics for his own gain. But when he arrives, he finds that the real athletes can all kick his butt, and are wiser in the ways of the world than he ever dreamed. Actually kinda good in spots, but the whole thing left us feeling that he was making fun of the less fortunate. (Delayed from its original April release date.)THE WHITE COUNTESS2005; VHS Rental/DVD $26.95, PG-13Ralph Fiennes and Natasha Richardson star in this, the final film from Merchant/Ivory Productions. All the masterful ingredients are here: the elegant appointments, the rich characterizations and the perfect script, just as you’d expect from the world’s greatest filmmakers. They will be missed.VANILLA/A LITTLE COMFORT2004; DVD $19.95, UROne seriously weird flick in which a young, gay photographer finds the body of the Bay Side Strangler and proceeds to turn it into an art project ... Until the ghosts of the man’s victims appear to him in erotic dreams! The second feature is a stylish gay French coming-of-age tale.WHEN A STRANGER CALLS2006; VHS Rental/DVD $28.95, PG-13The 1979 original with Carol Kane still ranks as one of the best scary-teen movies ever made, but this new one is not objectionable. A high school student (Camilla Belle) babysits at a remote house where she receives calls from an unknown source asking, “Have you checked the children lately?”OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTFUNNY GAMES1998; DVD $29.95, URHILL STREET BLUES: SEASON 21982; DVD $39.95, URHOME MOVIES: SEASON FOUR2006; DVD $34.95, URLOVE HAPPY1949; DVD $14.95, URNAPOLEON DYNAMITE: LIKE, THE BEST SPECIAL EDITION EVER!2004; DVD $26.95, PGTHE GREAT RAID2005; DVD $29.95, RTHE SEVENTH CONTINENT1989; DVD $29.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!