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July 10, 2007

Video Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, July 17

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS BIRDMAN AND THE GALAXY TRIO: THE COMPLETE SERIES1967; DVD $26.95, URA long overdue release of the original series spoofed in Cartoon Network’s “Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law.” A two-disc set with all 20 episodes and a Birdman doc. This short-lived series was actually two shows; alternating between Birdman one week and the Trio the next, they never appeared in any episode together.SPACE GHOST & DINO BOY: THE COMPLETE SERIES1966; DVD $26.95, URA long overdue release of the original series spoofed in Cartoon Network’s “Space Ghost Coast To Coast.” The show lasted two seasons on CBS, creating the now-familiar characters of Moltar, Brak and Zorak. Like Birdman/Galaxy Trio, Space Ghost and Dino Boy never shared an episode together, at least as far as we know. A two-disc set of 24 episodes, plus a great documentary on their original designer, Alex Toth.ACE IN THE HOLE1951; DVD $39.95, URBilly Wilder was well known as America’s most cynical film director long before he dreamed up this Kirk Douglas vehicle inspired by the true story of Floyd Collins, who died stuck in a cave amidst a media frenzy. Here Douglas plays a newspaper reporter who takes charge of rescuing a trapped man, but deliberately slows the work in order to promote his own stories. A seriously disturbing movie that nearly wrecked Wilder’s career, it is nonetheless fascinating.FACTORY GIRL2007; DVD $28.95, R/UnratedEdie Sedgwick, best known for being Andy Warhol’s muse, was the definitive pop-princess of the 1960s NY art scene. Sienna Miller stars as this beautiful, enigmatic and deeply troubled waif who falls hard into the drugs and excess of “stardom.” We recommend the unrated version; with Guy Pearce, Hayden Christensen, Jimmy Fallon, Mena Suvari and many others.GIANT GILA MONSTER/THE KILLER SHREWS2007; DVD $14.95, URA pair of director Ray Kellogg’s best from the late ’50s in one seriously cheap two-disc set. “Gila” is the better of the two with a plot about singin’, swingin’ Texas teenagers being eaten by a real Gila monster filmed really up-close. “Shrews” is much more serious, using ravenous dogs with glued-on rat fur as the savage killers who chase people up trees and eat them alive. Both have a special place in our hearts.LAST SEEN AT ANGKOR2007; DVD $24.95, URA savage and shocking thriller about a man searching for his wife who disappeared four years earlier in Cambodia. He hires a private investigator who takes him on a descent into the living hell of the international human slave-trade, looking for clues to her fate.MASTERS OF HORROR: STUART GORDON: THE BLACK CAT2007; DVD $14.95, URStuart Gordon — our vote for Cinema Horror’s True Master — co-wrote this tale inspired by the true life of Edgar Allan Poe with Jeffrey Combs (“Re-Animator”) as the tortured poet. Examines the possible causes of Poe’s madness before veering off into something altogether ghastly.MISSILE TO THE MOON1959; DVD $14.95, URAnother great culter, rescued from the cut-out bin and restored to home-vid glory! Basically a rip-off, er, “inspired by” “Cat Women of the Moon,” a pair of escaped cons hide in a rocket ship, only to become the slaves of the sadistic Moon Queen, battling giant marionette spiders and foam-rubber Rock Men. Contains both the original, restored B&W version and a colorized one for reasons that escape us.MOOGFEST 2006 LIVE2007; DVD $19.95, URDon’t know what a “Moog” is? Oh, to be so blissfully ignorant. Engineer Robert Moog (rhymes with “vogue”) invented his eponymous sound-making device, the first successful “audio synthesizer” back in the ’60s, forever changing the way music is performed. This concert doc presents Keith Emerson, Jan Hammer, Jordan Rudess and other keyboard virtuosos from the B.B. King Blues Club in NYC, paying homage to his legacy.PREMONITION2007; DVD $28.95-38.95, PG-13Chick-sci-fi has never done well, but this Sandra Bullock vehicle tries real hard. She discovers that she is living the days of her life out of order, and somewhere in the middle of the current week her husband dies in a fiery crash. Can she unravel the Fortean mystery of why and when to cheat fate?SCI-FI SINEMA2007; DVD $19.95, URSet phasers on “I’m stunned” for this unbelievably cheap five-movie offering of just-plain-bad sci-fi — our favorite kind! Starts off with a terrific ode to 1940s robot movies, “Project Valkyie” (2006), plus a “Spacemen and The Go-Go-Girls” double feature (2006) in which they save both Christmas AND Easter! There’s a Special Edition version of the fun and funny “Polymorph” (2005) and, finally, the “Bad Movie Police” version of “Humanoids From Atlantis,” where an actor turns himself in to the authorities for appearing in such a turkey!SHOWGIRLS1995; DVD $19.95, R/NC-17A “Fully Exposed Edition” of the greatest trash film ever made — and one of MGM’s top 20 all time moneymakers! Lithe, young and lovely Elizabeth Berkley comes to Vegas to dance on Kyle MacLachlan’s zipper, twitching like Gumby on acid while clever digital effects keep her nekkid breasts from harming the audience. With more female nudity than you can shake a, er, “stick” at, what the hell could they possibly add to make a “Fully Exposed” edition? A sigmoidascope? Uh, we’ll check it out more thoroughly and get back to you ...THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ALLEN GINSBERG2006; DVD $34.95, URWhile ostensibly the definitive biodoc on the visionary, radical, spiritual seeker, poet and champion of human rights, this two-disc deluxe compilation is also a perfect time-capsule of American culture beginning with the Beat Generation. With interviews and commentary by anyone who was Anyone during the last 60 years.OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTGRAFTERS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON1998; DVD $39.95, URGUNSMOKE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON1955; DVD $38.95, URSLAYERS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON1995; DVD $39.95, URTHE HILLS HAVE EYES 2 (UNRATED VERSION)2007; DVD $29.95, URTHE ROOKIES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON1972; DVD $49.95, URVOYAGERS!: THE COMPLETE SERIES1982; DVD $49.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!