June 19, 2007

Video TapeWorm: Releases through Tuesday, June 26

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:BLACK SNAKE MOAN2007; DVD $29.95-39.95, RWe hereby proclaim this THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER MADE! Samuel L. Jackson stars as a tired soul, a former blues musician who has lost his way until he encounters nasty nympho Christina Ricci, whose wantonness is leading her to eventual misery and despair. So he chains her to a radiator. Yow! She spends much of the movie in nothing but a cropped shirt, white cotton panties and a big iron chain — the wardrobe people are friggin’ geniuses! — while she and Jackson fight to discover why they were placed on this earth. And did we mention the killer soundtrack? A shamelessly exploitive tale of redemption and music that’s 100 percent entertaining from first frame to roll credits.CULT CAMP CLASSICS VOLUMES 1-42007; DVD $29.95ea, URA welcome new line of cult classics — three discs per set. The best two are Volume 1: SciFi with “Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman” (1958), “The Giant Behemoth” and one of our all-time guilty pleasures, “Queen of Outer Space” with Zsa Zsa Gabor; and Volume 2: Women In Peril containing “The Big Cube” (1968), “Caged” (1950; the original “good girl in a women’s prison” flick) and “Trog” (1969), the hilariously bad final big-screen appearance of Joan Crawford! Also available: Volume 3: Terrorized Travelers and Volume 4: Historical Epics. All are highly recommended.BALLET FOR BOYS WITH RICHARD GLASSTONE2001; DVD $19.95, URFor those of you expecting a bunch of childish homo-puns about little boys being light in their loafers, piss off! A serious training course on basic ballet moves and exercises aimed at the most uncoordinated, self-conscious people on the planet. We wear leggings because they feel good, OK?BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON2006; DVD $26.95, RA killer spoof of mad-slasher movies with a real eye for fun. In a world where all the great movie boogiemen are real, a pretty student filmmaker focuses her camera on a serial-killer-wannabe, hoping to turn him into the Next Big Thing. But she forgot that every knife-wielding maniac has to have a virginal teen to carve up — and she’s on the menu!DEAD SILENCE2007; DVD $29.95-39.95, RA better-than-it-has-to-be horror/mad-slasher film, raised above its low-rent roots by Donnie Wahlberg, slumming as a police detective trying to uncover the truth behind a murder supposedly linked to a dead ventriloquist and her evil, “living” dummies. Lots of tongues get ripped out as the murderous sins of the townspeople are uncovered.HAUNTED FOREST2007; DVD $26.95, RA very entertaining classic haunter with ecological overtones, done on a budget but with loads of heart by enthusiastic young performers. A beautiful spirit, locked in a desolate tree for 200 years, seeks vengeance, luring a young man and his friends to her via his dreams. Lots of fun.LA JETEE/SANS SOLEIL2005; DVD $39.95, URChris Marker, nom de plume of Professor Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve, is one of the most daring filmmakers of modern times, and these two films represent the cutting edge in sci-fi storytelling. The first is a tale of time travel, told in still images. Yeah, it is artsy-fartsy, but amazing nonetheless. The second is a travelogue of sorts through Africa and Japan, with musings on the nature of time and memory. Again, potentially pretentious as only the French can be, but amazing.MONKEY PRESENTS: MOBY DICK2005; DVD $14.95, URHow can we pass up a title like that? From the kids’-vid-series, Melville’s tale of the Great White Whale told with sock puppets and construction paper. If it weren’t so damned earnest, it could be an MST3K skit!MY DEAR TOM MIX1991; DVD $29.95, URSpanish-language tale of a bored young woman, unmarried and lost in her own fantasy world of movies and tall tales. When a band of marauding cutthroats plague her small town, she writes to legendary Western hero Tom Mix, “The King of the Cowboys,” for help.NOEIN, VOL. 42007; DVD $19.95, URWe’ve been meaning to mention this incredible anime series for some time; it is far and away one of our favorites. Inspired by quantum physics, it posits that there are billions of versions of everyone in alternate universes. A young girl finds herself caught between two of them in an intradimensional battle where past/future/alternate versions of herself and everyone she knows interact. Well-drawn with a killer soundtrack. Worth your time.THE SPAGHETTI WEST: AN IFC ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY2005; DVD $26.95, URSergio Leone, Ennio Morricone, Clint Eastwood and many others highlight this too-short doc on Italian-made Westerns. A bit heavy on commentary, but still chock full of classic scenes.THE STONE MERCHANT2006; DVD $26.95, RA searing damnation of the politics of terrorism in Europe, where they tend to look the other way on human rights, hoping that the terrorists will find “other targets” (read “us”). A drama, it contains footage of actual Somali executions by stoning, a suspected thief having his hand cut off and much more. Italian-made, starring F. Murray Abraham with Harvey Keitel and Jane March.THE WHISTLER2006; DVD $19.95, URA good, old-fashioned no-budget story of retribution from beyond the grave as a band of nogoodniks terrorize a quiet little town until confronted by a giant simpleton committed to protecting his one true love with his very life. And then some.UNCLE P2005; DVD $19.95, PG“Master P” (Percy Miller) from hiphop.com stars in this vanity vehicle about a millionaire hip-hop fashionista (himself) who becomes guardian to his poor sister’s three kids. It’s somewhere between last year’s “Are We There Yet?” and the old TV sitcom “Silver Spoons.”WHO CAN KILL A CHILD?1976; DVD $19.95, URFinally! A decent release of this powerful yet rarely seen horror film from Spain. It begins with a seven-minute newsreel about the worldwide taboo of killing children before settling into its real story. And what a story! English tourists travel to a seemingly deserted island. All is silent. Then the children appear. Quiet. Smiling. With the blood of their parents on their hands! We suggest you hang on, it’s quite a ride.OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTDOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER: BEST OF SEASONS 1, 2 AND 32007; DVD $34.95, URGOMER PYLE, U.S.M.C.: SECOND SEASON1964; DVD $38.95, URRENO 911!: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON2003; DVD $26.95, URTHE NEW ADVENTURES OF BATMAN: THE COMPLETE SERIES1977; DVD $26.95, URTHE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN1966; DVD $26.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!