Tuesday, November 08, 2005

New on DVD (11/08/05)...

Some good TV this week for sci-fi fans. Aside from regular shows like The Partridge Family S2 and Remington Steele S2; we are getting The Kingdom (Lars von Triers’ well-regarded horror series set in a hospital, which was recently adapted for American TV by Stephen King; that too is available on DVD); Mystery Science Theater 3000 Set 8, featuring Phantom Planet, Monster a Go-Go, The Dead Talk Back and fan favorite Hobgoblins; and the short-lived Space Marines series Space Above & Beyond.

The Jabootu movie of the week is The Children, a forthrightly dreadful 1980 horror pic about a school bus full of kids that passes through a radioactive cloud. The youngsters become zombies with black fingernails and a compulsion to hug, although their embrace then microwaves the huggee to death. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT WOULD HAPPEN UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES!! The jaw-dropping ending involves the leads learning that the only way to stop the precocious killer is to chop their arms off (!). So if you ever wanted to see an adult hacking off the limbs of a bunch of 10 year-olds with a sword, then here’s your chance.

With Christmas approaching, the year’s big movies are starting to come out, including Batman Begins and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Both are two-disc special editions.

Old movie buffs (buy it for your parents as a stocking stuffer) will enjoy revisiting Spenser Tracy as ur-movie priest Father Flanagan, and Mickey Rooney as his number one charge, in Boy’s Town, the film that falsely taught a generation “There’s no such thing as a bad boy.”

Camp fans will probably enjoy Reefer Madness the Movie Musical, which is presumably akin to the b-movie-turned-musical Little Shop of Horrors. The original camp classic anti-drug film is also included, so you can’t really go wrong.

Aficionados of Japanese swordplay movies will want to check out The Lady Snowbird Collection (both films, which partly inspired Kill Bill!) and the 6-disc set of Lone Wolf & Cub.

Foreign film buffs will enjoy the latest Criterion releases, Pickpocket (another French crime classic) and Ugetsu, a well-regarded Japanese ghost story. Meanwhile, Kino releases three of Leni Riefenstahl’s ‘mountain movies,’ which she made as an actress before becoming a propaganda director for Hitler. The titles are SOS Iceberg, Storm Over Mount Blanc and The White Hell of Pitz Palu.


At 11:16 AM, Blogger Cullen M. M. Waters said...

"Fan favorite Hobgoblins"? That's a typo, right? No one actually likes that movie, right?

On a different note, Woohoo! on the Lone Wolf and Cub!

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

Not the movie itself, but the MST3K version is a favorite of that show's fans.

At 1:36 PM, Blogger BeckoningChasm said...

Jabootu fans would probably enjoy "Wizards of the Demon Sword" by Fred Olen Ray. No one else would enjoy it, and the fans would enjoy it for all the wrong reasons, but hey....

At 2:02 PM, Blogger Cullen M. M. Waters said...

I can accept that.

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Zack Handlen said...

Yeah, the Hobgoblins is a definite high point of the Sci-Fi era, right up there with Space Mutiny and Merlin's Shop of Wonders.

I can't imagine watching it straight up, though. Brrrrr.

At 4:34 AM, Anonymous wjl2 said...

I liked Spencer Tracey a lot, and even liked "Boys Town," though I don't think it was his best performance.

But then, I may support your argument about giving that movie to parents, since my youngest kid is 19 now.

- Bill

At 6:36 AM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

I don't think Boy's Town features Tracy's best performance, but it is a famous one, and I just like to see movies of that vintage being released. Captains Courageous is another such film coming out soon (and with a *much* worse Tracy performance), and The Champ. Frankly, I'm really waiting for the 1934 Treasure Island and the 1941 Sea Wolf, but I figure every older movie like Boys Town that comes out brings us a bit closer.


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