Wednesday, October 26, 2005

New on DVD this week (10/26/05)...

TV set of the Week is the sadly short-lived American Gothic, a Deep South-based horror series characterized by a brilliant kid performance from the then young Lucas Black. Black plays Caleb Temple, whose sister is now a ghost, and whose maybe-father is the town’s Sheriff (Gary Cole), who may also be the devil. Genre fans will want to watch for the episode guest starring Bruce Campbell. The show was produced by Shaun Cassidy (yes, that Shaun Cassidy), who now is doing ABC’s Invasion. That show, by the way, features a very Gary Cole-like sinister sheriff.

Other TV sets this week include 3rd Rock from the Sun S2; Alias S4; Bewitched S2; The Doris Day Show S2; Hart to Hart S1; In Living Color S4; Kids in the Hall S3; L Word S2; Little House on the Prairie S9; The Munsters S2; Point Pleasant Complete Series; Tales from the Crypt S2 and Tripping the Rift S1.

Several films vie for DVD of the Week, so I’ll go with Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park, since it’s raised such an enthusiastic fuss over at the Jabootu message board. In this 1978 made-for-TV flick, rock band Kiss must battle an insane scientist working in an amusement park who is planning to take over the world with robots. Really. Man, those where the glory days of network TV, when something like that would get on the air.

ABBA the Movie is a sure hit for kitsch fans, following the band on one of their big tours and featuring performances of several of their 8,000 hit songs. $14

Bird with the Crystal Plumage. I’m not a big fan of Euro horror, but this is one of the field’s classics, and none other than Tim “Video Watchdog” Lucas gave this 2-disc DVD set a rave review at his blog. Under $20.

Blackbird the Pirate will delight camp fans with the legendarily over-the-top turn by the tres hammy Robert Newton in the titular role.

Boo! is a recent flick revolving around some college students who probably should have stayed away from that haunted hospital. Some folks like it, apparently.

Cannibal Holocaust is a infamously gross jungle picture, and definitely not my bag. Again, though, mileage varies, and once more Tim Lucas gave the DVD a big thumb’s up. Here's another review. Under $20

Convoy will please those partial to ‘70s schlock, in this Sam Peckinpah (!) directed flick starring Kris Kristofferson, Ernest Borgnine and Ali MacGraw, that was, yes, inspired by the hit song. $10

Day of the Triffids is the classic (if not entirely good) ‘60s killer plant movie, which has inspired any number of zombie movies. This will have to hold us until the far superior ‘80s British TV mini-series comes out. $10

Dead & Buried is a putitively gross living dead movie starring Jack Albertson in his last role. The economically priced DVD is a steal for $10, featuring as it does three separate commentaries. (!)

Deathless Devil / Tarkan vs. the Vikings is a double bill DVD from the fine folks at Mondo Macabre, and features wacky Turkish movies.

Devil Dog: Hound of Hell is a fondly remembered post-Omen TV movie featuring Richard Crenna as a husband and father attempting to save his loved ones from their demonic pooch. It doesn’t get any better than this. (Well, OK, yes it does. But still.)

Effects is an ‘80s slasher movie set on a horror movie set.

The Flesh Eaters is a ‘60s horror movie about people stranded on an island who learn of an ex-Nazi scientist who has created tiny flesh eating organisms. This was quite gross for the time and freaked out a lot of kids during it’s early TV runs, including me. The Dark Sky DVD transfer is supposed to be extremely good. Under $15 Here's a DVD review.

Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror is, I think, the first (dubbed) Paul Naschy werewolf movie to play in the states. I saw it in a drive-in when I was like ten, on a triple bill with Horror of Dracula and The Embalmer. While the film does feature a werewolf and some vampires, Frankenstein (not to mention his monster) is nowhere to be seen.

Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster. A horribly goofy movie, but it’s worth it just to have that Save the Earth theme song. Under $10

House of Wax. Paris Hilton takes a bolt to the head, and all the air leaks out. $20

Invasion: Earth. TV mini-series starring Fred Ward. Under $20

Kill! Samurai stuff from Criterion. ‘Nuff said. $20

Le Samourai Not a samurai movie, but a classic French gangster movie by Jean Paul-Melville starring Alan Deloin. This Criterion release is well worth $20.

The Legendary Jerry Lewis Collection A very affordable ten-film boxed set featuring the post-Martin stuff. The Nutty Professor, The Ladies' Man, The Delicate Delinquent, Cinderfella, The Bell Boy, The Errand Boy, The Patsy, The Disorderly Orderly, The Family Jewels, The Stooge. $40.

Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 3 Some are calling this the best set yet, which is saying something. Animation buffs are especially thrilled that more of the early, black and white cartoons are featured. Still not enough Foghorn Leghorn, though. $45.

Nail Gun Massacre. I think that title really about explains it, don’t you?

Rated R: Republicans in Hollywood. Documentary on what it’s like being a Republican (albeit, I would assume, mostly liberal ones) in the Hollywood community.

Rebel Samurai: Four Japanese Samurai films in this Criterion box set. The films are available separately, too. $70

Seven Deaths in the Cat’s Eye. Euro horror. DVD review here.

Strip Nude for Your Killer. More Euro horror. DVD review here.

Terror Beneath the Sea. Goofy Japanese sci-fier about a mad scientist turning people into obedient gillmen. He controls them with a machine, and the control is a dial that you can turn to either ‘work’ or ‘fight.’ Stars Sonny Chiba. (!) $10 DVD review here.

Tom & Jerry Spotlight Collection #2 Another set of the older, better T&J cartoons. $20

Two Evil Eyes Two short films, one by Dario Argento and the other by George Romero. $10

Wages of Fear Classic suspense flick about ferrying a truckload of nitro across a bad jungle road. Remade as Sorcerer. A Criterion release. $20

Wizard of Oz 3-Disc Set. Supposedly a knock-out special edition. $35

Zombi Dawn of the Dead. Dario Argento recut Romero’s film for its Italian release. Here is that version. $10


At 1:04 PM, Blogger baby copernicus said...

I'm waiting for the ultimate Jerry Lewis collection featuring The Clown That Cried.

"...and all the air leaks out."

Ken, you card! If there were such thing as a cyber high-five, you'd be getting one.

At 1:10 PM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

Really? Making a joke about Paris Hilton made me feel dirty, as if I'd just tripped a midget.

But hey, if it generated a cheap laugh, it was worth it! Of else you were being sarca... oh. Very funny.

At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to point out that Kill! is one of the films in the Rebel Samurai 4-pack.

At 4:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The episodes on the 3rd Rock From the Sun set are syndicated cuts. The Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection is a must have (that is, assuming the unwatchable Chuck Jones episodes are in short supply), but since the first set was censored, I'd recommend reading the reviews before I buy.

Finally, Netflix describes Rated R as a "deft documentary talk[ing] to some of the less-publicized "righties" -- including Pat Sajak, Drew Carey, Patricia Heaton and Ben Stein."

My only question is, since when is Ben Stein a less publicized righty?

At 10:11 AM, Blogger BeckoningChasm said...

Boy, that Blackbird the Pirate is one heck of a film.


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