Monday, October 03, 2005

On DVD this week (10/04/05)...

Time to open your wallets. (All quoted prices are rounded off, based on Web availablity; check DVD Price for the best deals.) It’s an especially rich week for box sets.

The TV show of the week is the long-awaited appearance of the complete 20 episode run of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, the only good thing likely to come out of the show’s currently running ‘remake.’ Apparently they didn’t bother doing much either to clean up the show’s appearance or in way of extras, but still and essential purchase. $30.

Another must buy (or at least rental) is the first season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which is sort of the anti-matter version of Jabootu’s favorite TV show, The Hitchhiker. You’ll get over 11 viewing material for a nifty $30.

Other shows this week include Bob Newhart Show S2; Butterflies S2 (Britcom); Drawn Together S1; Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1981); Stargate SG-1 S8, and Wild Palms (Oliver Stone mini-series).

The movie selection of the week is The Val Lewton Collection, featuring nine of classic horror films from producer Lewton, and directed by the likes of Robert Wise and Jacques Tourneur. These include Cat People, Curse of the Cat People, Isle of the Dead, I Walked with a Zombie, Body Snatcher, Bedlam, The Leopard Man, The Ghost Ship and The Seventh Victim. The films are also available separately (some on double feature DVDs), but why bother? For less than $45 bucks—check Amazon, and with free shipping to boot—you get nine movies and a slew of extras as well.

Aside from the Hitchcock TV show box set mentioned above, this week also provides, for under $90, the Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection, collecting 14 of the Master’s most notable films: Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt, Rope, Rear Window, The Trouble with Harry, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds, Marnie, Torn Curtain, Topaz, Frenzy and Family Plot. These are great individual discs, but the same ones previously released before. Therefore, anyone who’s bought some of them earlier—I own five of them—is out of luck. Great set, though.

Alien Apocalypse stars Bruce Campbell, and that will be enough for many people to know. $8.

Babes of the Night collects four previously available Full Moon soft-core horror schlock films; The Huntress, Forbidden Zone: Alien Abduction, Cemetery High and The Occultist. $20.

The Best of Abbott & Costello 4 is another cheap set of Bud and Lou’s filmography. $20 or less will get you Abbot and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops, Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, The World of Abbot and Costello (compilation movie), Abbott and Costello Meet Jerry Seinfeld (TV tribute), Abbott and Costello Meet the Monsters (documentary).

Billion Dollar Brain is the third and last (until some TV films in the ‘90s, anyway) of the Michael Caine Harry Palmer spy movies. It’s a pretty hilarious flick about an insane right-wing Texas millionaire (Ed Begley) plotting to start WWIII, and was directed in a predictably hallucinogenic style by Ken Russell. This killed the series, but The Ipcress File and Funeral in Berlin are well worth searching out.

Body Parts is another ‘80s slasher flick. $10.

Bounty Huntress, Bounty Huntress II and Body Huntress: Undercover are apparently three soft-core action flicks, only one of which features a bounty huntress. Each runs about $6-7.

Casket of Death is another set collecting previously released Full Moon movies. This one features Vampire Journal, Killjoy, Witchhouse and The Horrible Dr. Bones. $20.

The middling Disney classic Cinderella reaches DVD today on a spiffy two-disc set. Under $20.

The computer run amok classic Demon Seed impregnates shelves today. Under $15.

The campy Hammer misfire Dracula A.D. 1972 rises from the grave. Under $15.

The ‘80s The Fly and The Fly II are now available on 2-disc special edition sets, which are supposedly pretty fabulous. $15.

The Fog also receives another, remastered edition $10.

If you ever wanted to see a made for TV reinterpretation of Journey to the Center of the Earth starring Kathy Ireland and Emo Philips (really) and directed by Albert Pyun, here’s your chance! $10.

The top-notch suspenser The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, starring a young Jodie Foster and a somewhat older Martin Sheen moves in for about $10.

Longhair of Death isn’t about hippies, but is a standard Euro-horror flick about a revenge-seeking witch, starring Barbara Steele. $10.

The Man with Nine Lives is one of those seldom seen Boris Karloff/Columbia Mad Scientist films, and thus highly recommended. $10.

The Man with the Screaming Brain is Bruce Campbell’s latest attempt to force a cult movie. $10.

Monster High is a jokey ‘80s monster/comedy crapfest. Should that be your bag. $10.

Mortuary Academy is another horror-tinged comedy, but stars Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov. $10.

The New Kids is an ur-‘80s psycho JD flick starring James Spader, Eric Stoltz and Lori Laughlin. From the director of Friday the 13th. $10.

Ranking high on this week’s must-buy list is Night of the Lepus, the infamous Killer Giant Bunny movie. Actually, it’s a generic, boring Killer Whatzit movie, only about Giant Killer Bunnies. I mean…damn. Stars Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh and DeForest Kelly (!). $15.

Private Parts
is another authentic cult classic black comedy directed by Paul Bartel. You can’t go wrong there. Under $15.

Rites of Frankenstein is another Jess Franco film. Be warned. Under $15.

Robot Jox is the live-action Giant Robot flick from Stuart Gordon. $10.

Sci-Fi Horror brings together Full Moon’s Kraa! the Sea Monster, Killer Eye, Murdercycle and Zarkorr the Invader. $20.

Slab of Horror similarly collects Castle Freak, Retro Puppet Master, Sideshow and Creepazoids, the last of which stars Linnea Quigley and thus, presumably, her breasts. $20.

The Spiral Staircase is an old-school suspenser of the Had She But Known variety. $10.

A Stranger is Watching is another ‘80s psycho flick. $10.

Torture Garden is one of those Amicus ‘70s horror anthology deals, starring Peter Cushing, Denholm Elliot, Jack Palance and a hilariously overacting Burgess Meredith. Not great, but worth a look.

The Tunnel is a West German film about some folks attempting to escape from East Germany during the Cold War. Odd how this didn’t get the friendly buzz that pro-Communist stuff like El Postino, Good Bye, Lenin! and Motorcycle Diaries received. Definitely worth a rental. $20. See with East/West for a good double bill.

Cult classic The Warriors is out via a “Ultimate Director’s Cut.” Under $15.

The Witch is more Euro gothic horror. $10.


At 12:51 PM, Anonymous TV's Grady said...

*clicks bottles together*

Warriors, come out to PLAY-AY-YEE!!!
Warriors, come out to PLAY-AY-YEE!!!
Warriors, come out to PLAY-AY-YEE!!!

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Marty McKee said...

I can attest to the fact that, indeed, Linnea's boobs are displayed in CREEPOZOIDS, which sucks otherwise.

At 8:30 PM, Blogger BeckoningChasm said...

Does this mean that the Kolchak set has crappy looking video? That hurts, if true.

Oh, and it's Jacques Tourneur, by the way. Go ahead and change it so I look deranged.

At 6:15 AM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

BC--It's my plan to make all my correspondents look mad.


But yeah, the advance word on the Kolchak set is that it looks about as good as the Columbia VHS tapes. Hopefully that's wrong, but I doubt it.

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