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May 30, 2006

Video TapeWorm: Releases through Tuesday, June 6

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:•DUMBO1941; DVD $29.95, GNow available in a special “Big Top Edition” (just another shameless revenue device; a way for the corporate ghouls at DisneyCorp to once again suck the bones of Uncle Walt), one of Der Mouse’s very best. A big-eyed, big-eared pachyderm learns to fly with the aid of a fast-talking mouse and a “magic” feather. Equal parts sad and joyous, this is the type of film that requires a single creative genius; something the modern movie-making ubermachines just can’t tolerate. A steal at any price.•F-TROOP: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON2006; DVD $39.95, URA shameless, guileless time capsule of Borscht Belt comics and baggy-pants nitwits, taking aim at the Civil War genre to hilarious ends. Ken Berry protects the residents of Fort Courage with the help of wise-guys cavalrymen Larry Storch and Forrest Tucker from the evil exploits of the Hekawi Indians: a peaceful band of blanket makers lead by Jewish jokemeister Frank Dekova, who keep up their “savage” image because it’s good for the tourist trade. Goofy as all-git-out and worth every penny. ANTONE’S HOME OF THE BLUES2004; DVD $19.95, URA tribute to Austin club owner and blues aficionado Clifford Antone, who died just two weeks ago, with performances by Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins, Pinetop Perkins and a host of other blues legends.BEYOND THE WALL OF SLEEP2004; DVD $26.95, RMovie adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft are always worth checking out. Based on Lovecraft’s classic short story of murder, inbreeding and madness atop a desolate mountain, William Sanderson stars as an asylum inmate under the care of newcomer Fountain Yount, who recognizes signs of something dark and cataclysmic in the murderous hillbilly.BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID1969; DVD $26.95, PGA two-disc Collector’s Edition of the one of the greatest movies ever made. Paul Newman and Robert Redford absolutely sparkle in this revisionist history of the Hole In The Wall Gang, with Katharine Ross as the school marm who loves them both ... but, er, never at the same time. Our favorite line, atop a cliff after Redford admits he can’t swim: “Why, you’re crazy! The fall will probably kill you!”CHARLIE CHAPLIN MUTUAL COMEDIES1916; DVD $59.95, URTwelve classic Chaplin films, lovingly restored and re-scored on two discs from the comic master’s days at Mutual Studios. Includes one of our favorites, “The Rink,” with Chaplin displaying his roller-skating skills to terrific effect. With lots of docs and archival footage from 90 years ago.FIREWALL2006; VHS Rental/DVD $28.95, PG-13OK, it’s been said before, Harrison Ford is just too old and tired to play the high-tech bank security expert who must rob his own bank in order to save his kidnapped family. But the script is good, the direction tight and the casting top-notch; a good little thriller that’s better than you’ve heard.GAY SEX IN THE 70’S2005; DVD $24.95, UREven among the rain-coated pervs like us who frequented porno houses of the ’60s, gay sex was considered “too far.” Yet here were the beginnings of the Gay Rights movement, forged by the pelvic undulations of hairy men and moaning women (though never in the same scene) who taught up-tight America that Love means never having to say, “I’m not interested.” This terrific doc journeys to 1969-1981-era NYC to meet the people who sent us rushing into the 21st century on a wave of over-the-counter lubricants.GLORY ROAD2006; VHS Rental/DVD $29.95, PGNice biodrama starring almost no one you ever heard of. Coach Don Haskins, ’60s-era Texas Western basketball coach, recruits black students, then teaches them to play a very rough, physical game in a day when players were almost always white and fouls were a rare occurrence. The highlight of the movie is their standoff against perennial powerhouse Kentucky. A great look at a time worth remembering.GODZILLA: THE ORIGINAL ANIMATED SERIES, VOL. 1 & 21978; DVD $12.95 each, URAmong hard-core Kaiju fans, this Hanna-Barbera kiddie cartoon was something of an embarrassment, but to those who grew up with “The Superfriends,” it’s a welcome sight. Godzilla and a cuddly flying reptile named Godzooky befriend a Cousteau-like research team, saving them from certain death each week. Four episodes per volume.JOHN WAYNE: JOHN FORD FILM COLLECTION1939; DVD $79.95, URJohn Ford, arguable America’s greatest director, leads John Wayne in eight of the best damned movies ever made in this 10-disc set with lots of bonus goodies. Includes “The Searchers,” “Stagecoach,” “Fort Apache,” She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” and more. A steal at this price. Also available: “The John Ford Film Collection” of non-Wayne films for $59.95.PORNSTAR PETS2006; DVD $21.95, URA wild and wacky doc on adult-film stars, focusing on their relationships with their pets. A surprisingly action-packed and revealing treatise on unconditional love amid people who are professionals at it.RUNNING SCARED2006; VHS Rental/DVD $27.95, RA graphic, edge-of-your-seat crime-drama/thriller starring Paul Walker, newcomers Alex Neuberger and Cameron Bright, a number of Czech nationals as Russian mobsters and Chazz Palminteri. The convoluted plot centers around Walker as a mobster trying to get rid of a “dirty” gun, when his son’s friend uses it to kill his abusive father, setting in motion a desperate race.STAR TREK FAN COLLECTIVE: Q2006; DVD $42.95, URA four-disc, 12-episode set of ST’s resident nasty god/spoiled child, played by John de Lancie, from “Next Generation” through “Deep Space Nine” and “Voyager.”THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA2006; VHS Rental/DVD $26.95, RA return to the days of the classic Oater with producer/director/star Tommy Lee Jones as a cowboy who hires Mexican ranch-hand Julio Cedillo, only to lose him in a mysterious shooting. Suspecting racist border-patrolman Barry Pepper, he kidnaps the cop, forces him to dig up the body and escorts them both back across the border so that Cedillo can be buried in his homeland.UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION2006; VHS Rental/DVD $28.95, RThird outing in the popular vampires-vs.-werewolves franchise starring Kate Beckinsale and lots of black leather.WEIRD WORLDS COLLECTION2006; DVD $24.95, URA three-disc box set of four standards from the bygone days of graceful winged spaceships: “The Phantom Planet,” “First Spaceship to Venus,” George Pal’s “Destination Moon” and Robert Heinlein’s spy thriller, “Project Moonbase.”OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTDOCTOR WHO: GENESIS OF THE DALEKS1975; DVD $34.95, URENTOURAGE: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON2006; DVD $39.95, URMETALMANIA 20052005; DVD $19.95, URSARAH SILVERMAN: JESUS IS MAGIC2005; DVD $26.95, URTIME TUNNEL: SEASON 1, VOL. 22002; DVD $39.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!