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DVD for make benefit Borat

Where’s Viva?

By Brian Thomas     March 06, 2007

I’ve been browsing through the box office lists lately, and I’m finding a few surprises in the rift between fact and perception. For example, Snakes on a Plane is commonly considered to be one of last year’s big failures. But did you know that, with a total domestic take of over $34 million, it out-earned such perceived hits as Babel, United 93, Employee of the Month, The Ant Bully, An Inconvenient Truth, Pulse, The Descent and Crank? It also had a bigger opening weekend than all of these films. But due to the fact that “internet buzz” indicated that it would do much better, this modestly budgeted thriller bears the stigma of being a loser, which may account for the fact that it hasn’t done as well on the DVD charts.  

SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK 

I like!  

(O)   BORAT:Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan (Fox) Sasha Baron Cohen is hilarious as a foreign TV newsman making a documentary on the United States. Widescreen and “fullscreen” editions include deleted footage, musical infomercial and footage from the PR tour.  

NEW RELEASES

 

(O)   ALONE IN  THE NEON JUNGLE (Echo Bridge) 1988 TV movie with Suzanne Pleshette as a cop who uncovers corruption when she’s transferred to a tough section of Los Angeles.  
(O)   BEVERLY HILLS COP COLLECTION (Paramount) Eddie Murphy in all three entries in his hit action comedy franchise.  
(O)   CAPTAIN HORATIO HORNBLOWER (Warner Bros.) 1951 adventure with Gregory Peck as the upstanding seaman.  
(O)   CULT (Maverick) Coeds Rachel Miner, Taryn Manning and Joel Michaely investigate an extinct local secret society and find out it’s not so extinct. Includes commentrak.  
(O)   DEATH ROW (Starz/Anchor Bay) Documentary crew finds killer ghosts in a haunted prison. Includes commentrak, Making-Of, deleted footage, script and more. 
(O)   DECOYS: THE SECOND SEDUCTION (Sony) Those sex-crazed alien hotties are back and plaguing another college campus! With Saw’s Tobin Bell and Bina Meyer.  

DOCTOR WHO

(O)   DOCTOR WHO: The Invasion (BBC) Patrick Troughton vs. the Cybermen. Note: episodes 1 and 4 of this 1966 series arte lost, but are here recreated using animation and the original soundtracks.  
(O)   DOCTOR WHO: The Sonataran Experiment (BBC) Tom Baker, like everyone else, did a little experimenting in the ‘70s.  
(O)   ED GEIN: THE BUTCHER OF PLAINFIELD (Lionsgate) Kane Hodder is miscast as the infamous Wisconsin ghoul. With commentrak, deleted footage and more.  
(O)   EROTIC AVENGERS / NIGHTMARE MUSEUM (Brain Damage) Sex & horror twin bill. 
(O)   EURO FIENDS FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE (Retromedia) Delayed indefinitely last May, this set of great, trashy Eurohorror now includes the altered lineup of The Faceless Monster, Satanik and The Red Headed Corpse
(O)   FAST FOOD NATION (Fox) The unpleasant truths behind America's fast food industry. Includes commentrak, cartoon shorts and more.  
(O)   FILTHY (Metropol) Sensation seeking TV newswoman is trapped by a psycho family. Includes three commentraks, Making-Of, deleted footage, bloopers, alternate ending and more.  
(O)   THE GREAT AMERICAN SNUFF FILM (Brain Damage) Snuff movies are most likely an urban myth, but this 2003 film featuring “re-enactments” of the crimes of a fictional serial killer who made an 8mm record of one of his crimes is convincing enough that several critics have taken it as fact. Includes commentrak, music video, shorts and more.  
(O)   HAWAII FIVE-O Complete First Season (Paramount) 1968 series chronicling the cases of Hawaiian police task force. Pilot and all 25 episodes, plus retrospective.  
(O)   HELL HATH NO FURY (Brain Damage) Canadian horror anthology.  
(O)   THE HITCHHIKER (The Asylum) Women on a road trip to Las Vegas pick up a psycho. Another instant knosh-off of a current film from The Asylum, who have apparently taken over the reigns for this sort of thing from the likes of Roger Corman. 
(O)   THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER / PATRIOT GAMES / CLEAR & PRESENT DANGER (Paramount) Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan triple feature.  
(O)   JESSE JAMES (Fox) 1939 feature with Tyrone Power as the famous bandit.  
(O)   KING KUNG FU (Image) 1976 action comedy in which a gorilla trained in Asian martial arts goes ape in the USA. Remarkably, this isn’t the only movie with guys in ape suits fighting kung fu.  
(O)   KISS THE GIRLS / ALONG CAME A SPIDER / DOUBLE JEOPARDY (Paramount) The Edge of Your Seat Collection. 
(O)   LET’S GO TO PRISON (Universal) Dax Shepard stole the show in Employee of the Month, and I expect he does the same in this Bob Odernkirk prison comedy starring Will Arnett. Unrated edition includes the original theatrical version, deleted footage, alternate ending and more.  
(O)   LITERARY CLASSICS COLLECTION (Warner Bros.) Includes Captain Horatio Hornblower, Billy Budd, Madame Bovary, The Three Musketeers and both the 1937 and 1952 versions of Prisoner of Zenda. Each available separately. 
(O)   THE MANITOU (Anchor Bay) In all of his career missteps, why is Tony Curtis most embarrassed by this 1978 William Girdler supernatural thriller that merges Cronenberg territory with The Exorcist? The theme of a large tumor on a woman’s back growing into the re-incarnation of an Native American evil spirit was at least novel.  
(O)   MARCUS (Polychrome/Warner Bros.) A man with a violent past tries to find his missing sister when she disappears from a Christmas gathering. With commentrak, Making-Of, deleted footage, interviews and more. 
(O)   MOONLIGHTING Season 5 (Lionsgate) Wrap-up season of the hit romantic comedy mystery series starring Cybill Shepherd and newcomer Bruce Willis. With commentraks, screen tests and more.  

NIGHT OF THE COMET

(O)
   NIGHT OF THE COMET (MGM) Teen sisters Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney are among the few survivors in the Valley when a passing comet turns the population into zombies. Lots of fun in this 1984 cult favorite, as the gals learn to fight back in style.  
(O)   NORTHERN EXPOSURE Complete Sixth Season (Universal) All 23 episodes of the final season, plus deleted footage.  
(O)   PONY TROUBLE (Brain Damage) A most unlikely title marks this horror comedy about a documentary crew hired by a toy company to film people across the country playing their hit RPG.  
(O)   REQUIEM (IFC/Genius) German flick tells the same story that inspired The Exorcism of Emily Rose, in which an epileptic girl is diagnosed by a priest as being possessed by a demon.  
(O)   REVENGE OF THE NERDS Atomic Wedgie Collection (Fox) Includes all four Nerds movies. 
(O)   SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH Complete First Season (Paramount) Melissa Joan Hart is cute as a button playing the Archie Comics knock-off of Bewitched.All 24 episodes on four discs.  
(O)   SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: Best of Steve Martin (Lionsgate) 
(O)   SOLARBABIES (MGM) Hilarious 1986 dud in which Jami Gertz and Jason Patric are orphans of the future who attempt to escape across the wasteland on rollerblades with a magical orb.  
(O)   SPIES, LIES & NAKED THIGHS (Echo Bridge) Spy spoof with Ed Begley Jr. and Harry Anderson that’s always on cable TV. 
(O)   STARGATE ATLANTIS Complete Second Season (MGM) 20 episodes on three discs, plus commentraks, featurettes and more.  
(O)   STRANGE CIRCUS (TLA) Sion Sono (Suicide Club) directs this surreal tale of an abused young woman and her hallucinations. Includes Making-Of. 
(O)   TOE TAGS (Brain Damage) Detectives find that their suspects in an apartment building murder keep getting knocked off. Includes bloopers and more.  
(O)   URBAN NINJAS (Tapeworm) Martial arts instructors become masked vigilantes when a friend is murdered.  

NOT ON DVD CORNER

We welcome the input of Maniacs who want to share input on this section, where we highlight a different genre feature that has yet to come to digital disc format – just send your suggestions to DVD Shopping List in an email identified with “NOT ON DVD” in the subject line.  

(O)   VIVA VARIETY Complete Series (Paramount/Comedy Central) With Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Robert Ben Garant and Michael Ian Black yucking it up in their theatrical release Reno 911!: Miami, it’s about time they released their terrific Emmy nominated 1997 Comedy Central series in which they star as the hosts of the American recreation of an allegedly hit European variety TV show. The strange circus acts and a lot of great bands (including Kinney’s Cake Like) performed straight, but the cast was hilarious.  

 

Be sure to check back next week—and every week—for Mania’s DVD Shopping List! And don’t forget Anime Avalanche every Monday!

DVD Shopping List (© 2007 Brian Thomas) is our weekly DVD column. Brian Thomas is the author of the massive book VideoHound’s Dragon: Asian Action & Cult Flicks, available now! 

Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at DVD Shopping List.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 8 of 8
1 
CaptSmith 3/6/2007 7:17:40 AM
OMG - HAWAII FIVE-O Complete First Season??? Book 'em Dan-o! (I just had to be the first to post that)
smegforbrain 3/6/2007 10:01:33 AM
"But did you know that ... it out-earned such perceived hits" Snakes was a wide release, while several of the movies you listed were limited release films. Which means it's almost silly to compare them. So, are you looking at the average per screen, among other things, to actually see how poorly Snakes really did?
bjjdenver 3/6/2007 11:16:58 AM
The Manitou, saw it as a kid in the '70s and it was creepy then, I'll definitely have to check it out again so I can see if my parents had me drugged up back then. Borat was great, can't wait for Bruno.
lister 3/6/2007 12:11:35 PM
I was just thinking this weekend how much I'd like to get Viva Variety on disc. And with the Manitou, this is a great week for me. It's not *that* great. But I loved it as a kid and that's good enough for me! The scene with the hospital floor that goes all icy still gives me the chills.
nax37 3/7/2007 7:34:54 AM
Has anyone bought the Borat DVD? My disc looks like a bootleg. Just a plain silver disc with "Borat" written in what looks like a Sharpie. When I first opened it, I thought I was ripped off, but then realized it's probably part of the joke. Is that right? Are they all like this?
gamera23 3/7/2007 11:07:36 AM
Yes, nax37, it's part of the gag. Actually, the 'R' is backward and the DVD logo is "Demorez", with the slogan: "Is Life? No. Demorez." underneath. Also, rather than the standard practice of reproducing the sleeve art on the keepcase insert cover, all the copy is in "Kazakhese", which out to cause a little confusion at Blockbuster. Inside, an insert tells you about "More movie discs available from u s & a".
gamera23 3/7/2007 11:28:11 AM
To smegforbrain: Yes, some of those flicks were on fewer screens, and some were in theaters longer (BABEL, given legs by Oscar buzz, just surpassed SNAKES's take last weekend). But THE ANT BULLY and EMPLOYEE were on almost as many screens and made about $6M less. GARFIELD 2 was in about the same number of screens as those two, made about the same ($28M), but the public thinks of it (and SNAKES) as a big bomb - which in turn, seems to have an effect on how the DVD fares. You're right tho, a lot of factors go into the perception. Everyone went to see the 1998 GODZILLA, making it a financial hit, but just about everyone was in some way disappointed. Thus, most people tag it as a flop, which is likely why there hasn't been a sequel. Despite this, it has done well on DVD, so go figure. _BT
Jarik05 3/8/2007 10:24:48 AM
I liked Snakes on a Plane.....
1 

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