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May 23, 2007

Video Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, May 29

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS: ONE PUNK UNDER GOD 2007; DVD $26.95, UR If you missed this savage, righteous six-part series on the Sundance Channel, here’s your chance for redemption. It seems that the son of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, the televangelists/con-artists whose empire collapsed amid sin and corruption, has his own ideas how to proselytize the masses: as a heavily pierced and tattooed punk rocker, screaming the gospel in smoke-filled rooms full of drunks and hookers. But his churchy conservative backers are losing faith in all this tolerance of gays and others they can’t make a buck on. Great stuff. THE NAKED CIVIL SERVANT 1975; DVD $19.95, UR To our knowledge, the only BBC show PBS ever yanked during Pledge Week! Quentin Crisp was struggling to live an openly gay lifestyle during pre-WWII Britain when homosexuality was against the law. His refusal to “conform” led to violence, heartbreak and, eventually, acceptance, becoming a “20th century Oscar Wilde” and international gay icon. This John Hurt bio-drama, which PBS showcased as “just some of the cutting-edge international cinema your pledge dollars make possible,” caused such a donor backlash that they pulled it from the schedule.   ABOVE THE LAW 1986; DVD $19.95, UR Don’t get this title confused with 1988’s “Above the Law,” Steven Seagal’s film debut. This is a far less ego-driven ride through Hong Kong’s mean streets with Cynthia Rothrock, Biao Yuen and (our favorite) Corey Yuen as “Bad Egg.” We’ve been told that this set has both endings: the original in which EVERYBODY dies in pools of blood, and the “Americanized” finale in which Rothrock lives, but with a bolt through her neck. BE MY BABY 2006; DVD $26.95, PG-13 René Ashton stars with Brody Hutzler, Julia Duffy and Lacey Chabert in this chick blackmail-comedy about a woman, burned by a cheating husband, who decides to turn the tables by getting married strangers drunk and then showing up on their doorsteps 12 months later, baby in tow. BIOGRAPHY: LEGENDS OF THE SILVER SCREEN 2007; DVD $44.95, UR An excellent nine-disc set from one of cable TV’s best franchises. Features home movies, screen tests, unseen footage, classic performances and commentary on and by Humphrey Bogart, Clint Eastwood, Katharine Hepburn, Betty Boop, James Dean and more! A steal at less than $5 a disc. CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER 2006; DVD $28.95, R Chow Yun Fat and Gong Li team up with the makers of “House of Flying Daggers” for an epic martial-arts action/costumer behind the walls of the Forbidden City. There’s been a lot of controversy about the use of computer-generated armies a la “Lord of the Rings,” but you’ll probably never notice, even on the HD version. DO IT FOR UNCLE MANNY 2002; DVD $19.95, UR Leggy Kari Wehrer is breathtaking in this neat little “Risky Business”-inspired comedy about two young men staying at a rich movie-producer uncle’s mansion. They borrow his Rolls and his Rolex — both of which catch the attention of sexy ho Kari, who sets her sights on the watch. Damned funny stuff with cameos by Danny Trejo and Colin Mochrie. DORM 2006; DVD $22.95, UR A savage schoolboy horror thriller from Thailand about the hidden — and some not-so-hidden — terrors at an all-boy boarding school. Unrated, but we’d give it a strong “R.” DRIVE THRU 2006; DVD $26.95, R A bored O.C. high-schooler suddenly realizes that her BFFs are being OFF’d by a crazed burger mascot, Horny The Clown! Not to be confused with Shakespeare’s “Two Gentlemen of Verona.” EATING OUT 2: SLOPPY SECONDS 2006; DVD $24.95, UR The world’s first ever gay comedy sequel with Jim Verraros returning, this time pretending to be straight to catch the attention of a hunky nude model, with the help of his two comely gal-pals, Emily Brooke Hands and Rebekah Kochan. May be better than the original. FREE ZONE 2006; DVD $29.95, UR Natalie Portman goes all “Syriana” on us in a two-X-chromosome sort of way as an ex-pat American lass in Israel who hooks up with a distaff cab driver and heads for an economic Free Zone for reasons that escape us. A chick-flick chase-flick with oily terrorists and the latest in burqa fashion. The girl needs help, y’all! HEAVY PETTING 2007; DVD $29.95, UR Special Edition re-release of the laugh-out-loud landmark sex-doc with David Byrne, Sandra Bernhard, Abbie Hoffman and a host of other ’60s and ’70s types talking about their first sexual encounters, interspersed with drop-dead funny bits from real “instructional” flicks like they used to show in school! Trust us, this is a hoot. THE BEST OF THE KIDS IN THE HALL VOL. 2 2007; DVD $9.95, UR An awesome amount of funny for very little money; you get over 90 minutes of Dave Foley and friends for under a 10-spot! Recommended. THE REAL MCCOYS: COMPLETE SEASON 1 1957; DVD $39.95, UR There are now far too many generations who have never had the pleasure of this bucolic chestnut. Walter Brennan and Richard Crenna star as irascible father and son farmers, dirt poor and always fighting, but bound by their love of family and the iron will of little Kathleen Nolan. A charmer.   Other DVDs of Interest BIG TRAIN: SEASONS 1 & 2 2000; DVD $34.95, UR RAWHIDE: THE SECOND SEASON, VOL. 1 1959; DVD $38.95, UR THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW: THE COMPLETE SERIES 1960; DVD $240.95, UR THE CLOSER: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON 2005; DVD $39.95, UR   A more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!