September 18, 2007

Video Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, Sept. 25

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:SPIDER BABY1964; DVD $19.95, URA Special (and cheap) Edition HD director’s cut of writer-director Jack Hill’s cult horror masterpiece. Sid Haig will haunt forever as the genetically malformed and demented cannibal-son of the Merrye family, one of several children doomed to descend into sub-human barbarism as they age. Guarded lovingly by chauffeur Lon Chaney Jr., all is well until they are set upon by greedy relatives and their oily lawyer who all get their comeuppance in a grisly/comic orgy of blood — now with all manner of cool behind-the-scenes bonus features! Highly recommended.THE STENDHAL SYNDROME1996; DVD $29.95, URA two-disc Special Edition of our personal favorite Asia Argento movie. Written and directed by her father, giallo-meister Dario Argento, she plays a cop on the trail of a degenerate serial killer/rapist who discovers her secret: She suffers from the titular condition, which causes her to hallucinate in the presence of artwork. The killer then lures her into a darkened museum where she goes slowly insane while he torments her, body and soul. A wickedly debased vision of hell as only the Argentos could imagine.11:592005; DVD $19.95, URA terrific indie flick, the best we’ve ever seen in the genre of “sent back in time to fix the future.” A news reporter breaks the biggest story of his career, only to wake up in an empty field with no memory of his last 24 hours. Complex, intelligent and thoroughly entertaining.BLACK BOOK (ZWARTBOEK)2006; DVD $29.95-38.95, RA beautiful Jewish girl, her family murdered by the Nazis, joins forces with the Dutch underground. She becomes aware of a traitor in their midst while sexing-up a Nazi captain, but cannot warn the others without exposing herself. The captain learns her secret but doesn’t give her away, leading to a tangled web of passion, tragedy and revenge. An unsung masterwork by director Paul Verhoeven that’s worth your time.BUG2006; DVD $28.95, RThis latest Ashley Judd vehicle is a definite step up from her usual lame chick-flick “thrillers.” Directed by William “The Exorcist” Friedkin, she plays a waitress who escapes from her abusive ex (Harry Connick Jr.), only to find herself embroiled in the paranoid insect fantasies of her lesbian friend and a demented drifter. But are the bugs only in their heads?CREATURES FROM THE PINK LAGOON2006; DVD $29.95, URA wonderfully goofy gay ode to monster movies and melodrama, complete with musical numbers, “man-eating” zombie-queers and slobbering toxic mosquitoes.EATEN ALIVE1976; DVD $24.95, RA fully restored two-disc Special Edition of Tobe Hooper’s near-forgotten follow-up to “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Bayou hotelier Neville Brand has few repeat customers thanks to his man-eating pet crocodile, but on one particular night he’s besieged by more customers than he and his pet can stomach. Watch for Stuart Whitman, Mel Ferrer and a pre-“Freddy Krueger” Robert Englund.KNOCKED UP2007; DVD $29.95, R/URThis hit comedy isn’t as much about sex (though with sexy star Katherine Heigl, it better damn well be!) as it is about the hilarious idea that we humans are actually in control of our lives. A lucky slob beds a gorgeous drunken career gal who winds up pregnant. Despite the fact that they have absolutely nothing in common besides intertwining DNA, they try to make things work for the sake of the kid. What ensues is warm, funny and somehow wise.NEXT2007; DVD $29.95-39.95, PG-13Nicolas Cage — who we always said would make a much better waiter than an actor — stumbles through another otherwise fun movie, this one about a guy who can see two minutes into the future. Julianne Moore and sexy Jessica Biel get lost amid No-Talent Nicky’s muggings while the terrorist-inspired nuclear-disaster plot chugs along. Liked the movie, the star is a turd.NIGHT OF THE DEMONS 21994; DVD $14.95, RThe original NOTD is a fondly remembered sex-and-horror flick from 1988 about a group of largely unknown “teens” holding a Halloween party in an abandoned mortuary. If it doesn’t ring a bell, this is the one where lovely Linnea Quigley slides a lipstick into her nipple. Oh, yeah! That one! This new one is pretty much more of the same — which is a good thing! — from Aussie director Brian Trenchard-Smith.OPERA1987; DVD $14.95, URFinally available unedited and uncensored for the first time on these shores, Dario Argento’s artsy murder-and-madness maelstrom of malevolence. An opperata, raised by a psychotic fetishist, is stalked by a deranged psychopath who wants her for his own — and it’s all set to music! Possibly his most artsy creation.REEKER2005; DVD $24.95, URA fun Showtime cable-movie about your usual group of attractive college students trapped on a lonely highway by a killer — who stinks of rotting flesh! Fun stuff.RINGU 0: BÂSUDEI (RING 0: BIRTHDAY)2000; DVD $14.95, URAn unnecessary, but not unappreciated, prequel to “Ringu,” explaining how little Sadako became a vengeful murdering spirit. The best part is that the filmmakers have added to the mythology without sacrificing the mystery — and have opened doors to even more mysterious spooky-doins to come.TEKKON KINKREET2007; DVD $26.95-38.95, RA wonderful and original anime from the creators of “The Animatrix.” Powerful visuals couple with a classic tale of Good and Evil set in Treasure Town, a place where boys can fly and a smiling moon looks over an existence of both dark and light. At once savage and beautiful, this is as good a film as we’ve ever seen.THAT BEAUTIFUL SOMEWHERE2006; DVD $26.95, RA terrific Canadian tale based on rural folklore about a well-worn detective, assigned the case of a “bog body” — a corpse found in the swamps that the locals believe has the power to cure. May be hard to find but definitely worth the effort.OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTMUSIC FOR THE MOVIES: BERNARD HERRMANN1992; DVD $24.95, URMY NAME IS EARL: SEASON 22005; DVD $49.95, URTHE UNTOUCHABLES: SEASON ONE1959; DVD $79.95, URWHAT ABOUT BRIAN: THE COMPLETE SERIES2006; DVD $59.95, URWILLIE NELSON: LAST OF THE BREED2007; DVD $24.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at!