June 13, 2006

Video TapeWorm: Releases through Tuesday, June 20

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:EQUINOX1970; DVD $39.95, UROur buddy Dennis Muren, the eight-time Oscar-winning special effects/stop-action master of “Star Wars,” “Jurassic Park” and a hundred other great films, created this no-budget homage to creature-features some 35 years ago as a student film project — and it still holds up! Four friends are attacked by a demon after finding the dreaded Necronomicon. Oooooh. With help from effects artists Jim Danforth and David Stipes, plus Forrest J. Ackerman’s voice on tape. From the Criterion Collection.SYRIANA2005; VHS Rental/DVD $28.95, RIt seems odd that The Most Important Movie Of 2005 should star George Clooney, but there it is. Writer/director and Louisville native Stephen Gaghan (“Traffic”) leads George, Christopher Plummer, Jeffrey Wright, Matt Damon, William Hurt and a host of others across war-ravaged landscapes, into secret boardrooms to backrooms and restrooms, and into the arms of terrorists in this no-holds-barred tale of murder, theft and torture, all in the name of putting gasoline in your SUV. As taut and savage a political thriller as you’ll ever see.CHARLIE CHAN COLLECTION, VOL. 12006; DVD $59.95, URA group of dumb-but-noisy PC assholes got Charlie Chan movies kicked off the Fox Movie Channel several years ago for being “racist.” Amazing. But that opened the doors for Fox to release this great set of five classics to DVD: “Charlie Chan In London” (1934), “In Paris” (1935), “In Egypt” (1935) and “In Shanghai” (1935), along with the rare Spanish-language Chan from 1931, “Eran Trece.” Includes a butt-load of bonus features; a real treasure for those of us who love the famous sleuth. EIGHT BELOW2006; VHS Rental/DVD $29.95, PGFun and frosty adventure about an Antarctic researcher, forced to abandon his eight loyal sled dogs to the certain death of a six-month Antarctic winter. Their intertwined tales of rescue and survival are both true and inspirational. And thank God the dogs couldn’t talk, as one clueless Disney exec wanted! With Paul Walker, Bruce Greenwood, Moon Bloodgood and Jason Biggs.KRYPTO THE SUPERDOG VOL. 1: COSMIC CANINE2006; DVD $14.95, URA Cartoon Network take on the short-lived but much-beloved comic-book adventures of (Super) Man’s Best Friend.LOIS & CLARK: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON1993; DVD $59.95, URThe latest release of Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain’s romantic/comic Superman series.LOOK UP IN THE SKY: THE AMAZING STORY OF SUPERMAN2006; DVD $14.95, URA fast-paced doc — or an ad for the new “Superman Returns” movie; your choice — telling of the many facets of the Ka-El/Clark Kent/Superman legend from comic books to cartoons to TV to movies, video games and more.MINOTAUR2005; DVD $26.95, RA small step up from the usual crappy CGI fare of the SciFi Channel — and the monster is wicked scary! (Thanks to some nice puppet work in the close-ups.) In an Iron Age kingdom, horror vet Tony Todd rules with an iron fist, sacrificing young people and anyone who opposes him to the mutated bull-like monster living in a labyrinth beneath his castle. Big names Tom Hardy, Michelle Van Der Water, Lex Shrapnel and Rutger Hauer must fight the demon to save their lives and free their people.NIGHT WATCH2004; VHS Rental/DVD $27.95, RIf you only see one Russian sci-fi-horror flick this week, make it this one! In the first part of a planned trilogy based on the best-selling novels of Sergei Lukyanenko, an epic standoff between good and evil has reached a tipping point with the world’s Dark Others — vampires, witches and shape-shifters — set free upon the human world in a Matrix-style apocalypse of sight and sound that’ll blow your butt away! A visual and intellectual masterpiece; our highest recommendation.PETULIA1968; DVD $19.95, RPossibly the best movie about life and love in the ’60s ever made. Directed by Richard Lester (“A Hard Day’s Night”), it’s a tale of love and culture told in non-linear fashion between newly divorced George C. Scott and the free-spirited, but unhappily married Julie Christie, during the Summer of Love in San Francisco. A fabulous romance about two very real people during a time of social change.SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, VOL. 31996; DVD $26.95, URLatest offering from the WB’s animated DC Comics Classic Collection series (not to be confused with the vintage Max Fleischer-era cartoons or the mid-’80s “Superfriends”-era series).THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERBOY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON1988; DVD $39.95, URThe all-but-forgotten live-action syndicated series from the ’80s finds young Clark Kent, a mild-mannered (and Urkel-clumsy) journalism student at Shuster University, fighting off evil real-estate developers (or is that redundant?) and a host of other mainly terrestrial baddies when not skateboarding with his buds or hanging out at the gym. Good production values and a sense of fun make this worth checking out.THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN: SEASONS 1-42006; DVD $119.95, URThe first four seasons from the venerable ’50s live-action TV show with George Reeves as the Man of Steel. Includes the feature-length “Superman and the Mole Men” plus a host of bonus materials. By far the best version of the “original” show available.THE HILLS HAVE EYES2006; VHS Rental/DVD $29.95, RWes Craven’s 1977 low-budget horro-splatter masterpiece is a thing of perverse beauty in its pitting of a tribe of mutant, cannibalistic killers against the white-bread conformity of the American middle-class family on vacation. Its radiation-sickened miscreants represented the evil that Man has unleashed upon the world, finally catching up with us. This new remake is just a bunch of scary people terrorizing some people for your enjoyment. We weren’t impressed and WE’RE SICK OF FUCKING REMAKES! Ask for the original.THE OMEN1976; DVD $26.95, RGregory Peck and Lee Remick bring an air of sophistication to this, the first of the original series. The graphic violence is used sparingly for effect, but it still contains the greatest decapitation scene in the history of cinema. Watch for cameos by Patrick “Dr. Who” Troughton and Leo “Help!” McKern. If all the studios can come up with are retreads of great old films like this, then what-say we just stay out of the theaters? WE’RE SICK OF FUCKING REMAKES!OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTAUSTIN CITY LIMITS MUSIC FESTIVAL 20052006; DVD $24.95, URBLOSSOMS OF FIRE2000; DVD $29.95, URGRAM PARSONS: FALLEN ANGEL2004; DVD $19.95, URKORN: LIVE ON THE OTHER SIDE2005; DVD $19.95, RA more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!