Tuesday, November 22, 2005

New on DVD (11/22/05)...

The big DVD news of the week, of course—the year, really—is the long-yearned for arrival of the original King Kong. There are a number of options. The two-disc set is available by itself, and features a movie-length documentary by Peter Jackson, commentaries, and a whole bunch o’ crap.

You can also buy a four-disc set that adds in Son of Kong and (the real) Mighty Joe Young as well. Finally, there’s a Collector’s Tin set featuring Kong along with 10 reproduction vintage poster cards, a reproduction of the opening night theatrical program for the movie, etc.

Finally, and I don’t know how long these will last, but Best Buy has an exclusive set featuring the Collector’s Tin along with Son of Kong and Mighty Joe Young. They are the only ones, apparently, to offer this exact combination. You can find it on their website, or in their stores.

As well, other Kong related stuff (like the bad cartoon show) started coming out last week, several other such items come out today (see below) and more (the Toho Kong movies and Konga) are due out soon. It’s Kongapolooza!

With the holiday coming, and with TV box sets still being the hottest DVD market, you can expect plenty more such sets to come out between now and Christmas. This week sees The Andy Griffith Show S4; The Astro Boy Collection; CSI Miami S3; Dark Shadows Set 21; Extreme Makeover: Home Edition; Golden Girls S3; Home Improvement S3; King of the Hill S5; Leave it to Beaver S1; Naked City Set 2; Seinfeld S5; and (separately) Seinfeld S6;

Alien vs. Predator – Unrated Collector’s edition. In other words, probably like a light R version rather than the theatrical PG one. (It’s ‘unrated’ because it wasn’t submitted to the MPAA be rated.) Did anyone really like this enough to double dip? Apparently they think so. Anyway, it’s a two-disc set with commentaries, etc.

Batman vs. Dracula: The Animated Movie (!). I don’t really like the new The Batman cartoon (I adore the older Animated Series), which this ties into, but whatever.

The Exterminator: Sleazy ‘70s revenge-ploitation flick, with a notable cast; Christopher George, Samantha Egger, Steve James and Roger “The Paper Chase” (!) Ginty. Punks cripple Ginty’s pal from Viet Nam, and he’s out to kill the miscreants in the grossest fashions he can. This was a pretty controversial film at the time, with Roger Ebert really beating on it. He gave it zero stars and called it, “a sick example of the almost unbelievable descent into gruesome savagery in American movies…just a sadistic exercise in moronic violence, supported by a laughable plot…a small, unclean exercise in shame.” It’s hard to imagine him writing anything like that anymore.

House by the River: Kino, a classics’ house second only to Criterion, releases this Fritz Lang noir.

House of Seven Corpses: ‘70s horror with John Ireland and John Carradine.

The Jane Mansfield Story: Telepic with Loni Anderson (!) as Mansfield, and a young Arnold Schwarzenegger (!!) as her muscle builder husband Mickey Hargitay. I’ve dreamed for years that this featured Arnold recreating the ending of Hargitay’s Bloody Pit of Horror, but probably not. What a missed opportunity.

The Dino De Horrendous 1976 King Kong redo is out this week (wonder why?) in a new remastered edition.

Kong: King of Atlantis, is an absolutely insane sounding animated movie, and threatens to actually be a worse Kong cartoon film than The Mighty Kong.

The Last Days of Pompeii is an early disaster epic made by the director of the original King Kong.

The Mad Bomber is a cop thriller directed by Bert I. Gordon and starring Chuck Connors, Neville Brand and Vince Edwards. That’s some cheese right there.

Ran, one of the greatest movies of the last thirty years, is out on disc yet again, this time in a purportedly great Criterion edition. I’ve already bought this twice, and may end up getting it again.

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is a sure bet for old movie buffs, starring Shirley Temple, Gloria Stuart, Jack Haley, Randolph Scott and William Demarest.

Scarlet Street is classic noir starring Edward G. Robinson and out in a reportedly spiffing new edition by Kino. Ignore all the cheap public domain editions of this film!

The Shirley Temple Collection #2 includes the previously mentioned Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, along with Baby Takes a Bow and Bright Eyes.

Skeleton Man is a DTV no doubt craptacular monster flick starring Michael Rooker (seriously, that guy deserves better) and Casper Van Dien (seriously, he doesn’t).

Cheapie Public Domain house Alpha is putting out a three-disc Sons of Kong set today, rounding up several of their previous releases, including The Ape, Bela Lugosi meets a Brooklyn Gorilla, The Ape Man, Bride of the Gorilla, The Savage Girl, Law of the Jungle, White Pongo and Nabonga. Not the best presentations to be sure, but the casual fan will certainly get his money’s worth.


At 9:43 PM, Blogger Marty McKee said...

That print of THE EXTERMINATOR might be the same uncut version previously released by Anchor Bay. I think the stuff with Chris George and Samantha Eggar is lame, but the rest of it is pure '80s sleaze and shouldn't be missed if you're into that stuff. I'd like to see this with all the gore put back in, if that's what this disc is.

I'm too lazy to check Ebert's review of CHAOS, but I'll bet it's close.

At 6:49 AM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

How dare you! Who can anything with Christopher George be 'lame'?! The accussation is outragreous. This is the man who starred in Dixie Dynamite, Grizzly, Days of the Animals, Pieces, Mortuary...

OK, never mind.

By the way, did you know there was a sequal to The Exterminator? I didn't.

At 10:04 PM, Blogger Tim Lehnerer said...

Humorously enough, here's a quote from Ebert's review of WOLF CREEK, out on Christmas Day 2005:

There is a role for violence in film, but what the hell is the purpose of this sadistic celebration of pain and cruelty? The theaters are crowded right now with wonderful, thrilling, funny, warm-hearted, dramatic, artistic, inspiring, entertaining movies. If anyone you know says this is the one they want to see, my advice is: Don't know that person no more.


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