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March 26, 2013

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Video TapeWorm — for real!

New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, April 2

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

JOHN DIES AT THE END

2012; $14.98-$29.98; R

Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes are Dave and John, the unlikely would-be saviors of our world after a rampantly addictive drug causes its victims to transcend time and dimensions — creating a portal for shadowy otherworldly invaders! Wonderful low-rent nonsense from Don Coscarelli, the man behind such greats as “Bubba Ho-Tep” and “Phantasm”; co-stars Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown, our bud Daniel Roebuck, and Doug Jones (the faun in “Pan’s Labrinth,” and Dr. Sapien from “Hellboy,” out of makeup here). Whatever else you do this week, do NOT miss this flick!

MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE: PHASE ONE: AVENGERS ASSEMBLED

2012; $149.98-$218.98; PG-13

A 10-disc Blu-ray boxed set containing “Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Thor,” “Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2,” and “The Incredible Hulk” — many of the films in both standard and 3-D versions — plus one disc of insane bonus goodies, all packaged in a cool SHIELD briefcase. A fanboy’s wet dream. What more could you possibly want to know? Go buy it, man!

•••

BORGEN — SEASON 1

2010; $44.95; UR

What does Stephen King watch when he turns on the TV? This amazing drama series from Denmark! With the press-corps desperate to feed a relentless 24-hour news machine, an idealistic female prime minister (Sidse Babett Knudsen) comes into office almost accidentally, unprepared for the ruthless machinations that come at her from every side. Incredibly well written — and with occasional Nordic blonde nudity — the action takes place on an immense scale where nothing can be taken at face value, yet ultimately it always lands on the PM’s doorstep, her every action under the microscope of a smokin’-hot newswoman (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen). Makes “West Wing” look like a day-care center; don’t wait for the inevitable lame American rip-off.

DIRK GENTLY

2010; $34.98; UR

Hands down, the most fun we’ve had in front of the tube in many a moon. The guy with the vaguely autoerotic name is played by Limey Stephen Mangan, owner of the Holistic Detective Agency, who bases his investigations on the perfectly correct notion that everything in the universe is connected to everything else. From the inspired works of the late Douglas Adams (“Hitchhiker’s Guide”), the unflappable Dirk goes about solving some of the most baffling crimes in the most bizarre ways imaginable. A truly cracked, wildly lovable and thoroughly entertaining bit of brilliant nonsense from the master. Four pitifully short hours on two discs that you’ll treasure always.

FREELOADERS

2013; $19.98; R

This silly little indie has a massive cult following, thanks in part to it being produced by the goons at Broken Lizard. A bunch of lazy jerks live free in the mansion of a famous rocker — until he decides to sell the place. Rather than move out they develop ever-crazier schemes to make sure it never sells. With Olivia Munn, Jane Seymour, Jay Chandrasekhar, Dave Foley, Natalie Morales, the incomparable Garrett Morris, and a host of others.

H2O: JUST ADD WATER

2006; $19.98-$24.98; UR

This tweeny sensation from Oz is an example of just how good TV can be. A trio of spunky, winsome and very different young women (Cariba Heine, Phoebe Tonkin and Claire Holt; the latter two now on “Vampire Diaries”) are unexpectedly turned into mermaids by a mystical cave. This creates a powerful bond between the three that is a perfect metaphor for the changes that they are experiencing in their lives. Just for fun, they also obtain magical powers over water, which often saves them in times of danger. But beyond the fetching innocence of the leads, the writing on this series is first-rate, with equal parts shy romance, adventure, mysticism, laughter, tears and fun. Available in single-season or complete series packaging; timeless, empowering and highly recommended.

HELLO DOLLY!

1969; $16.98-$24.98; G

This is the classic Oscar winning Barbra Streisand/Walter Matthau version, now given the full Blu-ray treatment. Considered by many to be America’s last great movie musical, it tells the tale of a flamboyant professional matchmaker who invades the home of a rich man, supposedly to find him a wife (though she clearly has plans of her own). With co-stars Michael Crawford, Tommy Tune and the incomparable Louis Armstrong; younger filmgoers will recognize this as the flick that spawned “WALL-E”’s love of singing and dancing. A must-own.

LUV

2013; $16.98-$19.98; R

An exceptionally good, very adult drama told from the point-of-view of an 11-year-old boy. The child, played by Michael Rainey Jr., gets to spend the day with his once-thuggish uncle (Common), a man he idolizes despite warnings from others that he is still no good. Over the course of the day, he is put in physical danger and exposed to drugs — pretty heady stuff and the reason for the “R” rating. Co-stars Danny Glover, Dennis Haysbert, Charles S. Dutton and Lonette McKee.

STITCHES

2012; $26.98; R

This truly twisted no-budget funny-as-hell horror/slasher flick stars English personality Ross Noble as a terribly unfunny clown who, in the movie’s intro, is killed at a kid’s birthday party. By the kids. Years later they plan an even more outrageous outing, which PO’s the clown’s ghost, causing him to rise from the grave to seek twisted intestinal balloon-animal revenge. And did we mention this is funny as hell? Stars Tommy Knight, who all Whovians will recognize as Luke Smith from “The Sara Jane Adventures.”

THE BIBLE: THE EPIC MINISERIES

2013; $34.98; UR

This, the History Channel’s latest long-form offering (after striking gold with “The Hatfields and McCoys”), stars Roma Downey in a 10-part reinactment of Christian mythology from Genesis through Revelations. With lots of SciFi Channel-ish special effects and low-rent guest stars including Diogo Morgado (as JC), Darwin Shaw and Keith David as the narrator, this series quite literally preaches to the choir: a heartfelt telling, but hardly inspiring unless you are already enraptured by the material.

A more complete listing and free vids at videotapeworm.com.