Video TapeWorm - Releases through Tuesday, July 8
By David B. King and Bill Raker
THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS
JOE STRUMMER: THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN
2008; $19.95, UR
Director Julien Temple — unabashed fan of The Clash and close friend of Strummer during his final years — brings us this punk-laced love song to one of the unsung communicators of the 20th century. Displaying Strummer as a raucous voice for change, originality and acceptance long before becoming the group’s frontman in 1977, he continued his adventures after disbanding The Clash in the mid ’80s, eventually pursuing an acting career beginning in earnest with 1987’s “Straight to Hell” (though he also appeared in 1980’s “Rude Boy” — as his own roadie!).
SOUNDSTAGE PRESENTS: SHERYL CROW LIVE
2008; $19.95, UR
We believe Crow has yet to make her “best” concert movie, but this one is pretty good. Dating back to her sold-out 2003 tour, it finds her still in the glow of her first major successes, not yet comfortable with the mantle of figurehead for female empowerment, truly just thrilled to be making music to an enraptured audience. A must-own for fans.
2007; $29.95, PG-13
This terrific spoof of “300” started life as a runaway YouTube hit. Five cowards, failing to guard a goat path during the Battle of Thermopylae, are given a second chance at glory — a secret mission armed only with one sharpened carrot and a rolling pin. With names like Demetrius the Blind, Shazaam and Testicleese, you can see where all this is headed. Lots of fun.
BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT
2008; $19.95-$34.95, PG-13
The writers of “Batman Begins” and “A History of Violence” join talents with some of the world’s top animators to bring to life six chapters of Bruce Wayne’s metamorphosis from a force of light to become the Dark Knight. Excellent work, made even better by a killer doc on the symbiotic relationships between Bats and his arch-nemeses. Absolutely first-rate.
2007; $26.95, PG-13
Bruce Boxleitner, William Katt, Walter Koenig, Veronica Hamel and Gil Gerard grab cameo checks and head for the bank. A truly wretched SciFi Channeler.
DEATH ON DEMAND
1985; $24.95, R
The latest in a quickly dying genre — the no-budget horror film about an Internet webcast in a supposedly haunted house. Nothing wrong with that! This is a fun, if over-ambitious, regional indie from Peekskill, N.Y., with a plot that includes Thanksgiving, a “hired porn star” named Velvet Luv (gorgeous Krista Grotte), geeks, jocks, vengeful ghosts and a Yeti! We love crap like this.
2008; $24.95, R
An unintentionally hilarious tale of the perils of beach volleyball described breathlessly on the jacket as a “sexy and obsessive thriller (that) will keep you hoping for more.” What more could we possibly add?
JAKE AND THE FATMAN: SEASON ONE, VOL. 1
1987; $36.95, UR
Often lampooned as representing everything that sucked about the ’80s, this is a good little PI-er from people who knew what they were doing. Joe Penny was the hunky, laid-back investigator who toils for bloated but brilliant L.A. D.A. William “You Gonna Eat That?” Conrad.
2007; $29.95, UR
A seven-part series from A&E that uses CGI and live-action recreations to explore the founding of, and life within, some of the world’s most fabled cities, including Athens (where Democracy was born), Alexandria (once home to all the world’s accumulated knowledge), Carthage, Rome and more.
2008; $29.95-$39.95, R
From Moose Jaw, Canada — and no, we’re not making that up — comes this compelling drama about a 12-year-old girl (AnnaSophia Robb), abandoned by her flighty mother (Charlize Theron), to live with her loser uncle (Nick Stahl) and abusive grandfather (Dennis Hopper). A beautifully written Sundance Festival favorite co-starring Woody Harrelson.
2008; $34.95, R
This powerful drama about the unconstitutional policies of the American military, caught between an unending war and an undraftable populace, lasted only about a weekend at theaters. We find that suspicious, because the message is so timely, and star Ryan Phillippe is excellent as the young man, happy to be picking up the pieces of his life after tours in Iraq, only to be unfairly called back to duty. Don’t miss this. With Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Timothy Olyphant.
2008; $29.95, PG-13
The latest in a seemingly endless parade of quickie movie-spoofs-by-genre. This one takes on Spider-Man, Mecha anime, Rocky, Blade, Fantastic 4, X-Men and … Scientology! The bit with Leslie Nielsen in the graveyard (“Gimme five minutes …”) will live forever.
2008; $34.95-$39.95, R/UR
An honest-to-God scary fright film, all the more so because so much of it is done with the lights on. Your basic group of kinda-ditzy young people on a Mexican vacation decides to visit a remote archeological dig deep in the jungle, only to find … Well, we won’t spoil it, but we will tell you that it’s NOT the usual “big scary guy with a knife.” A wonderfully original horror film that turns many of the standard clichés on their heads. Not to be missed.
2007; $19.95, UR
Sultry and seductive Susan Ward stars as an insane woman (or is that redu … nah, too easy) who escapes the asylum to go on a sex- and blood-fueled rampage. A wonderfully crappy exploiter with the Cast Of The Gods, including Dominique Swain, Master P, Tom Sizemore, Danny Trejo, Bai Ling, stunt-dick Ron Jeremy, Costas Mandylor, Lochlyn Munro, Cerina Vincent and C. Thomas Howell!
X: THE MAN WITH X-RAY EYES
1963; $12.95, UR
Our favorite Ray Milland movie! He’s a world famous eye-researcher who develops a drug that improves people’s eyesight. And it works so well that, given enough if it, they can see right through walls! Suffering the optical torments of the damned, he appropriately hides out in a carnival run by Don Rickles, where the very fabric of reality — and his own sanity — breaks down before his ever-penetrating gaze for director Roger Corman. A must-own.
OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST
CANNON: SEASON ONE, VOL. 1
1971; $36.95, UR
FASTLANE: THE COMPLETE SERIES
2002; $59.95, UR
I DREAM OF JEANNIE SEASONS 1-5
1965; $199.95, UR
MONK: SEASON SIX
2002; $59.95, UR
WIND AT MY BACK: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON
2000; $99.95, UR
WIRE IN THE BLOOD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON
2007; $59.95, UR
A more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!