May 29, 2007

Video Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, June 5

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS: BIG BAD WOLF 2007; DVD $24.95, UR An appropriately no-budgeted yet damned-funny indie horror film that dares to pay homage (read “steal from”) the original “American Werewolf in London.” The beast is part Hannibal Lecter and part Henny Youngman as it cracks jokes and makes horrible puns while cracking skulls among your basic, garden variety “oversexed college students nekkid in a mountain cabin.” With hilarious cameos by AWIL’s David Naughton; one of the most entertaining movies we’ve seen in a coon’s age! GHIDORAH: THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER 1964; DVD $19.95, UR One of our favorite Godzilla foes gets the royal treatment. Recut and re-re-re-released under a dozen titles over the years, this two-disc version contains the complete original subtitled Japanese version (“San daikaijû: Chikyu saidai no kessen”) and its seven-minute shorter original American cousin, plus audio commentary and a terrific Japanese trailer never before seen in America. In future outings, “King” Ghidorah was always the pawn of evil alien controllers, but was so popular that he often appeared on unrelated Japanese TV shows during the late ’60s. Also available: Ghidorah in “Invasion of Astro-Monster” (“Godzilla vs. Monster Zero”).   A NIGHT WITH LOU REED 1983; DVD $14.95, UR What we wouldn’t have given to have seen Lou live in 1983 at the Bottom Line in NYC. At the peak of his most personal creative period, finally free of the Velvet Underground stigma, he slammed into the music scene like a great Welsh tidal wave of dark and anxious talent. Oft considered the best-recorded performance from his “Walk On The Wild Side” days — now for cheap! ALI’S 65 2006; DVD $25.95, UR A terrific, action-filled doc on Muhammad Ali from ESPN, covering not only his success in the ring, but the staggering social and cultural changes that were going on around him at the time. Includes his 1975 Joe Frazier bout and his 1960 Olympic gold medal match. Also available, “Ali’s Dozen” for $19.95. FIRED! 2006; DVD $24.95, UR A popular indie comic-doc, told in first-person by actress Annabelle Gurwitch, after being fired by Woody Allen, that becomes a treatise on down-sizing in American business. With great “how I got canned” funnybits by the likes of Tim Allen, Andy Dick, Anne Meara, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Silverman and a host of others. GHOSTS OF ABU GHRAIB 2007; DVD $24.95, UR A big hit from HBO Documentary Films about the life, loves and atrocities at the infamous — OUR infamous — Iraqi prison. A classic case of how brutal everyday folk will become, given the opportunity and no hint of reprisal. HOGAN’S HEROES: THE COMPLETE SERIES 2007; DVD $149.95, UR The dumbest idea for a sitcom we ever heard: “German World War II POWs conduct comic espionage and sabotage” (OK, so “Are You Smarter Than A Fourth Grader” is dumber, but it’s not a sitcom), yet it ranks as one of the funniest, best written and most entertaining shows ever broadcast. All 168 episodes from six seasons on 27 discs. HOW TO EAT YOUR WATERMELON IN WHITE COMPANY AND ENJOY IT 2005; DVD $19.95, UR An exceptional biodoc on an exceptional man, Melvin Van Peebles, creator and star of the immortal “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song,” which ushered in Blaxploitation, ’fros and “stickin’ it to da Man.” Along the way he ferried atom bombs for the Air Force, wrote novels in France, was nominated for three Tony Awards, was in a “Jaws” sequel, sang and worked as a Wall Street options trader! RED MERCURY 2007; DVD $19.95, R Stockard Channing, Ron Silver, Peter Postlethwaite and David “Hellraiser” Bradley star in this low-budget indie thriller about three British-born Muslim extremists who hold a restaurant hostage with a bomb. How come we never see films about Jehovah’s Witness extremists? B’Nai B’rith bombers? Seventh-Day Adventist insurgents? THE HENRY ROLLINS SHOW: SEASON 1 2006; DVD $22.95, UR If you’ve never seen this IFC Channel series starring music pioneer/punk philosopher/poet Rollins — who started his career by jumping onto the stage at a Black Flag concert and was invited to join the band! — you’re really missing a treat. An outspoken and highly erudite critic-at-large, his show features amazing musical guests, often performing in spontaneous jams. Twenty episodes of one of the best shows on the tube. THE MESSENGERS 2007; DVD $28.95-38.95, PG-13 A fun little haunter about spooks that can only be seen by kids starring Kristen Stewart, Dylan McDermott and Penelope Ann Miller. Won’t change your life, but a fun 84 minutes on the couch for all but the wee-ones. THE PRISONER OR: HOW I PLANNED TO KILL TONY BLAIR 2007; DVD $26.95, PG-13 A disturbing animated documentary, a spin-off of “Gunner Palace,” tells the true story of Yunnis Abbas, an Iraqi journalist and Saddam torture-victim, who is arrested by U.S. forces, imprisoned and “interrogated” — by us this time — in Abu Ghraib for nine months before being released without explanation. Your tax dollars at work. THE SERGIO LEONE ANTHOLOGY 1967; DVD $89.95, R Wow! An eight-disc box containing two-disc sets of “A Fistful of Dollars,” “For a Few Dollars More,” “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” and — a rare treat for Leone fans — the original “Duck, You Sucker” that was shortened and retitled “A Fistful of Dynamite” for its American release. Also available for $26.98 each. VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA 1961; DVD $19.95, PG Well, we guess it was inevitable: a “Global Warming Edition” of this old sci-fi chestnut, timed to take advantage of the end of the world. We deserve our fate. Before Richard Baseheart and David Hedison stumbled back and forth across the bridge of the Seaview on TV, they saw Walter Pidgeon and Peter Lorre stumble back and forth across the bridge of the Seaview on the big screen. The Van Allen radiation belt blows up, Barbara Eden blows bubbles and Frankie Avalon blows a mean trumpet while the rest of the cast ... well, just blows.   OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST CHIPS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON 1977; DVD $39.95, UR LARRY THE CABLE GUY: MORNING CONSTITUTIONS 2007; DVD $19.95, UR MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: THE SECOND TV SEASON 1966; DVD $49.95, UR NORBIT 2007; DVD $29.95-39.95, PG-13 THE COSBY SHOW: SEASON 4 1987; DVD $24.95, UR THE FALL GUY SEASON ONE 2005; DVD $59.95, UR THE OUTER LIMITS 1963; DVD $29.95, UR   A more complete listing and free vids at!