A recent article in VIDEO BUSINESS magazine put down some figures to back up just how successful the DVD system has been. It seems that, just last week sometime, the billionth DVD was shipped out to a retail store. With DVD barely five years old, it has reached this lofty plateau in half the time it took VHS to do the same. In fact, DVD sales this year were up 80% over the previous year's sales. "This is a format that has truly reinvigorated our industry on both the hardware and software ends of the business and is changing the way Hollywood makes movies and the way people watch them at home," the president of Buena Vista Home Entertainment was quoted as saying in the article. Add to these figures the fact that 8.1 million DVD players sold during the first half of this year, and that projections of another 12 million will sell before the end of the year, and you can understand why that DVD section at your local store just keeps getting bigger, and the VHS one smaller.
THIS WEEK'S NOTABLE NEW RELEASES
BATTLE QUEEN 2020 represents a new, cinematic low point for Roger Corman's New Concorde/New Horizons video label. They've unleashed some real dreck in the past few years, but this Canadian-lensed, post-apocalyptic tale may well be their nadir. It's all got something to do with the bad guys of the arctic wasteland that is Earth, living off enslaved survivors by draining their pituitary fluid, and only the titular Julie Strain (pun intended) can save mankind. The best effect in the movie is Strain herself, who has to be in her '50s, but has a body that most Playmates would envy. But seeing her naked is the only reason to see this film, and even her massive investment in silicone isn't worth suffering through this.
DAGON is one of the best horror films of the past several years and is proof that director Stuart (RE-ANIMATOR) Gordon hasn't lost his touch. Check out Jason Henderson's movie review in the archives of this site, and Cinescape's chat with Gordon, coming soon elsewhere on the site, for more info, but rent it. Really!
HITCH-HIKE is a DVD "Special Edition" released from Anchor Bay which fans of Euro-trash exploitation films will want to be sure to pick up. The story is pretty much what you'd expect. A couple (Franco Nero and Corrine Clery) pick up a hitcher (LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT's David Hess) on the road and he turns out to be a psycho. The rest of the film is basically rape, violence, nudity and a surprising amount of sincere-sounding dialogue about these same topics, which make a good effort to convince the viewer that he isn't watching a crappy exploitation film. But believe me, you are.
HOOKERS IN A HAUNTED HOUSE
MAD MONSTER PARTY
TARZAN & JANE
THE TIME MACHINE is
STRAIGHT ON TILL MORNING
TRANCERS 6 / TRANCERS is a fun little double feature DVD from Full Moon. TRANCERS is a 1985 item, and probably the best film Full Moon head Charles Band ever made. The first film launched an uneven series about time traveling future cop Jack Deth and TRANCERS 6 is the latest entry in that series. Be sure to check out the review of the latter film soon elsewhere on this site, and watch for Cinescape's look at the entire TRANCERS series.
THE BARGAIN BASEMENT
Sorry, no new Easter eggs to share this week, but here's one of the Vidiot's very sporadic recommendations of retail websites which offer a unique selection of titles at tempting prices. This time, it's BIJOUFLIX.COM.
This site delivers pretty much everything you ever hoped the Internet might offer for movie geeks like ourselves. First, every month they offer free, streaming video samples from some of the films they sell. They also have an excellent online catalog of their products which tell you a great deal about each film, even offering negative information about some titles. Now that's an honest retailer. Many of the films listed on the site are available as full length, streaming videos for the incredibly paltry admission of $1.00 a viewing. This group includes titles such titles as FIRST SPACESHIP ON VENUS, WHITE ZOMBIE, HORROR HOTEL and even John Carpenter's DARK STAR. Lastly, BIJOUFLIX.COM sells VCDs of the esoteric titles in their catalogs. If you're unfamiliar with VCDs, they are essentially CD burns with video information. The picture quality isn't up to DVD standards, but it easily matches VHS and the discs can offer extra features and options such as direct scene access (which VHS can't). Most importantly, they are inexpensive to make and the site typically sells their often rare or obscure titles for around $10.00. Check out BIJOUFLIX.COM and be sure to let them know the Vidiot sent you.
It's living dead week next time as vampires, zombies, ghosts and ghouls start early preparations for the Halloween season.
Vidiocy is our weekly Video & DVD column.Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.