All Cheerleaders Die

July 16, 2014

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, July 22

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE

2013; $9.98-$29.98; UR

Caitlin Stasey from “I, Frankenstein” is a lovely, if dark and brooding, cheerleader with a grudge against the local football star in this comic tale of high-school revenge, mystical orgasms, the undead, blood slurping and icky resurrections. The cast is amazing, led by hotties Sianoa Smit-McPhee from “Hung,” Brooke Butler from “Retribution” and soaper Amanda Grace Cooper, but the real talent here is writer/director Lucky McKee of “May” (2002). Essentially a bigger-budgeted remake of his 2001 original, this is one of the most entertaining unheard-of flicks in recent memory. Recommended.

BLUE RUIN

2013; $22.98-$29.98; R

We won’t spoil the unpredictable fun of this surprising no-budget thriller, except to say, “Remember the name Macon Blair.” He plays a dumpster-diving loser who plots a course of revenge when he hears that an old nemesis is getting out of jail. But violence begets violence — especially when you don’t do it very well — and he quickly becomes the unwanted protector of his long-estranged family. Brilliant direction, great characters, lots of surprises and a real sense of empathy for all concerned — this is why we love indie films! With Devin Ratray (Buzz from “Home Alone”), Amy “Homeland” Hargreaves and Eve “Brady Bunch” Plumb.

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GINGER SNAPS

2000; $26.98-$29.98; UR

A subversive, amusing and very entertaining no-budget indie teen-werewolf flick, now on Blu-ray with great bonus goodies. Katherine Isabelle (“Being Human”) and Emily Perkins (“Da Vinci’s Inquest”) are troubled teen sisters who have had enough of this world. But their suicide plans are interrupted by a rabid wolf, sending one girl to find a cure for her wounded sister while fangs grow and the blood-lust begins. Co-starring Jesse Moss (“Tucker & Dale vs. Evil”), written by Karen Walton and directed by John Fawcett, both of “Orphan Black,” this is one of our all-time favorite movies. A must-own.

HEAVEN IS FOR REAL

2014; $18.98-$40.98; PG-13

The wildly popular — and absolutely factual in every way, we swear it — really true tale of a little boy who has a brush with death and survives to tell his family all about workaday life in Judeo-Christian heaven. Underrated actor Greg Kinnear is at his best here as the dad who helps his son spread the word about the afterlife, with Kelly “Mary Watson” Reilly from the Sherlock Holmes movies as his wife, and first-time actor Connor Corum, who knocks it out of the park as the kid.

JUSTIN & THE KNIGHTS OF VALOR

2013; $20.98-$24.98; PG

This Spanish-made family flick has all the usual elements — state-of-the-art CGI animation, great voice talent, 3-D effects, wizards and a dragon (of sorts) — but what we really liked was its central theme about a boy who recognizes he is becoming a man and goes looking for his place in the world. He wants to be a knight, but in his world — as in ours — knights have fallen out of favor thanks to bean counters, regulation and, worst of all (ugh), lawyers! Man, can we relate. Stars the voices of Freddie Highmore, Antonio Banderas, James “Game of Thrones” Cosmo, Michael “Da Vinci’s Demons” Culkin and Tamsin “Gunievere” Egerton.

THE PERFECT HOUSE

2012; $14.98; UR

A horror anthology of sorts that starts with a too-perky real estate agent (former nudie-pornster Monique Parent) showing a home to newlyweds. Along the way, we learn several shocking tales about their little love nest’s previous owners. The best part is picking out all the great horror vets. We recognized Felissa Rose and Jonathan Tiersten from “Sleepaway Camp” and John “The Return of the Living Dead” Philbin. How many can you spot?

THE SEVERING CRIME EDGE: COMPLETE COLLECTION

2013; $44.98-$59.98; UR

A dark and unpredictable anime actioner that more ’Mericans should be aware of. Unremarkable, everyday objects may actually be “Killing Goods,” cursed to fulfill their users’ wishes, but always at a terrible price. Enter Kiri, an ordinary boy with a strange fixation for cutting hair with his “family heirloom” tools. But those old scissors are the key to a terrible destiny requiring the death of a beautiful, tortured young girl — and an evil cadre of wealthy decadents will stop at nothing to obtain them. Great, icky characters, brilliant plot twists and a disturbing pair of twins highlight this unique video-Manga.

THE SUSPECT

2013; $22.98-$29.98; UR

The perfect Korean action-movie: A top agent is abandoned in the North. His wife and child murdered, he comes into possession of a pair of eyeglasses filled with national secrets. On the run, with nothing to lose, hunted by all sides, he now has only one mission: To learn the truth behind it all at any cost. Stars SK wunderkind Yoo Gong (aka Gong Ji-Cheol), whose 2007 TV series, “The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince,” is the best-kept secret in video, but can be found at select vidstores and bookshops. A great introduction to an up-and-coming talent.

TRANSCENDENCE

2014; $16.98-$35.98; PG-13

While less than a box office blockbuster, you can’t blame the cast with talent like Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara and Morgan Freeman working for you. Yes, it had the misfortune of going up against “Her,” which mines a related techno-vein, but it was the combination of first-time director Wally Pfister and unseasoned writer Jack Paglen that ultimately led to its downfall. All that aside, there’s an awful lot to like in this tale of mankind-meets-the-singularity, the day when we can upload our minds to computers and effectively live forever. Action, great scenery, interesting plot and something to think about afterward — what more do you want?

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