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Teevee terrors

By Brian Thomas     February 13, 2007

© Warner Bros.

Hollywood is still doing its best to cash in on nostalgia for 1970s style horror films,providing a trip down memory lane for fans who huddled in grindhouse theaters or drive-ins to catch this new wave of explicit terrors. But most of the modern audience for these films is too young to have been born when these features were released, and many are unaware that Dawn of the Dead is a remake. In between are those Gen-X fans who were well aware of movies like Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Suspiria and Torso, but were too young to see them. These kids got their first taste of horror cinema via television, and many fans of a certain age recall fondly the most intense early fright film experiences coming from movies made for TV. Unlike the theatrical films shown on late night Creature Features shows, these weren’t old black * white gothic horrors or newer films with all the blood cut out. These movies were specifically engineered for the home viewing experience, and if they weren’t always top notch productions, many of them were more than scary enough for the kids in the audience. You may note a new name among the DVD labels on the list – Wild Eye Releasing is launching with a TV Movie Terror Collection set to resurrect many of these long unseen – but certainly not forgotten – television horror flicks from the 1970s. They plan to release a couple of these boob tube terrors every couple months in no-frills editions in order to get off the ground, and expand their line as they grow.  
In our Prize Closet this week, we have two copies of Purgatory House, courtesy of Image. In case you missed the listing, it was written by and stars 14-year old Celeste Davis as a teen caught in limbo. To enter, just send an email to which includes your name and address
DVD Shopping List, and in the subject line put the word “PURGATORY”. 


This week, our spotlight on the latest work by a cinema master.  

(O)   THE DEPARTED (Warner Bros.) Martin Scorsese’s all-star US remake of Infernal Affairs with Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen and Alec Baldwin is still playing in some theaters as the crime thriller stalks Oscars, but you can already enjoy it at home via widescreen and “fullscren” editions. Special edition includes nine deleted scenes, a feature length documentary on Scorsese, featurettes and more.  
(O)   INFERNAL AFFAIRS 2 (Dragon Dynasty/Genius) 
(O)   INFERNAL AFFAIRS 3 (Dragon Dynasty/Genius) 
(O)   INFERNAL AFFAIRS TRILOGY (Dragon Dynasty/Genius) Before you watch The Departed, you might want to check out the Andrew Lau/Alan Mak Hong Kong original, along with its sequels. 


(O)   ANDROID APOCALYPSE (Magnolia) A human criminal shackled to a malfunctioning android escapes from the machine overlords that run the world, and try to outrun the flying fighters sent to destroy them. Includes Making-Of.  
(O)   BABES IN KONG LAND (Secret Key/Koch) Girls & Gorillas sex comedy set in a world run by women who have banished their men to a forbidden zone in favor of simian love toys. Speaking of interspecies romance… 

BEAUTY & THE BEAST Complete First Season

(O)   BEAUTY & THE BEAST Complete First Season (Paramount) New York City assistant district attorney Linda Hamilton maintains an odd relationship with noble subterranean man-beast Ron Perlman through 22 adventures in this hit 1987 TV series.  
(O)   BICYCLE THIEVES (Criterion) Vittorio De Sica’s legendary 1948 classic about a desperate man’s efforts to recover his stolen bike. With interviews, featurettes and book.  
(O)   BIT PARTS (Cinema Epochs/Koch)  The latest plastic surgery horror mining the Eyes Without A Face vein. 
(O)   BLACK MASK / NEW POLICE STORY (Lionsgate) Hong Kong action twin bill.  
(O)   BUG BUSTER (Anchor Bay) 1998 horror comedy with Randy Quaid, Katherine Heigl, James Doohan and George Takei fighting killer cockroaches.  
(O)   THE BUTCHER BOY (Warner Bros.) Neil Jordan’s little seen gem of a psychological thriller about a fanciful lad in a depressed Irish village whose precocious nature is far underestimated by friends and family. With commentrak and deleted footage.  
(O)   THE COMPLETE TOXIC AVENGER (Troma) Includes all four Toxie feature films, a Making-Of on Citizen Toxie, and all 13 episodes of the Toxic Crusaders Saturday morning cartoon show. 
(O)   CRIME BUSTERS (Somerville House/Koch) 1979 Italian action comedy with Bud Spencer and Terence Hill as con men who somehow end up working for the Miami police.  
(O)   CRIME PARTNERS (Medialink) Urban action thriller about Harlem hitmen.  
(O)   DEADLY WEAPONS / DOUBLE AGENT 73 (Image) Adult film director Doris Wishman’s 1973 collaborations with over-endowed living special effect Chesty Morgan, courtesy of Something Weird Video.  
(O)   THE DEERSLAYER (Alpha) This 1920 adaptation of James Fennimore Cooper’s frontier adventure features Bela Lugosi in a supporting role.  
(O)   DEVIL’S DEN (Starz/Anchor Bay) Kelly Hu, Ken Foree and Devon Sawa invade a Satanic strip club. Includes commentrak, Making-Of, bloopers, screenplay and more. 
(O)   DICK TRACY COLLECTION (Alpha) Includes  Dick Tracy, Dick Tracy vs. Cueball, Dick Tracy’s Dilemma and Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (with Boris Karloff) in an oversize package. 
(O)   DICK TRACY Volume 1 (Alpha) Episodes from the 1950 TV series.  
(O)   DOLL FROM HELL (Media Blasters) J-horror in which a doll maker makes a life size figure of his murdered daughter to track down her killers.  
(O)   EMERGENGY! Season 3 (Universal) 22 episodes on five discs. 
(O)   EVIL ANIMALS TRIPLE FEATURE (Media Blasters) Includes Grizzly, Day of the Animals and Devil Dog
(O)   THE FLAMING URGE (Alpha) 1953 psychological thriller with Harold Lloyd Jr. as a pyromaniac.  
(O)   FRAILTY / SAW (Lionsgate) Horror double bill.  
(O)   FRATRICIDE (Koch) European crime thriller of Turkish Kurds mixed up with gangs in Germany. 
(O)   F**K (THINKFilm) Amusing documentary on most everybody’s favorite cuss, the sweariest of swear words, with Drew Carey, Billy Connolly, Janeane Garofolo, Ice-T, Ron Jeremy, Bill Maher, Alanis Morrisette, Kevin Smith, the late Hunter S. Thompson, and many more offering interview love letters to those four letters (Edited here to get past your network censors. My other choice was “*UC*”, but you might not get the idea.) Includes commentrak, extended interviews and a forking trailer gallery.  Happy Valentine’s Day! 


   GREEN FOR DANGER Criterion) 1946 murder mystery classic set amid the London blitz, plus commentrak, interview and essay.  
(O)   GUN CRAZY: REQUIEM FOR A BODYGUARD (Media Blasters) This episode of the Japanese DTV thriller series echoes back to Sonny Chiba’s Bodyguard Kiba
(O)   HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN / HERCULES PRISONER OF EVIL (Retromedia) Italian peplum double feature from the early 1960s.  
(O)   HOOTENANNY A GO-GO (Alpha) Obscure 1964 musical (AKA Once Upon A Coffee House) presents a lot of  music and comedy performers in a squares vs. beatniks plot. See Joan Rivers when she was in the folk trio Jim, Jake & Joan!With commentrak and featurette.  
(O)   THE KOMMISSAR X COLLECTION (Retromedia) Germany’s foremost contribution to the swingin’ ‘6os spy mania was this film series starring Tony Kendall. Includes Kiss Kiss Kill Kill, Death is Nimble Death is Quick and So Darling So Deadly. Hopefully Retromedia will follow up with the other three Kommissar X movies on a second volume. 
(O)   THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS (Koch) 1973 UK TV miniseries version.  
(O)   THE LOST ZEPPELIN (Alpha) 1929 adventure about an airship exploratory mission to the North Pole.  
(O)   MANEATERS ARE LOOSE (Wild Eye) 1978 TV movie in which a nutjob animal trainer sets his tigers loose in a California town.  
(O)   MAN IN THE ATTIC (Alpha) 1953 Jack the Ripper thriller staring Jack Palance.  
(O)   MARIE ANTOINETTE (Sony) Kirsten Dunst stars in Sofia Coppola’s grandly experimental new wave view of the Queen of France. Includes deleted footage and Making-Of featurettes. 
(O)   MASTERS OF HORROR: Pelts (Anchor Bay) Dario Argento kicks off season 2 with this tale of a fur coat with attitude. Includes commentrak, featurettes, screenplay and more. 
(O)   MEN BEHAVING BADLY Complete Series (Shout Factory) All 22 episodes of the US sitcom with Ron Eldard, Rob Schneider and Justine Bateman.
(O)   MR. MOTO COLLECTION Volume 2 (Fox) Peter Lorre as the Japanese sleuth in Mr. Moto in Danger Island, Mr. Moto’s Gamble, Mr. Moto’s Last Warning and Think Fast Mr. Moto, plus the bonus 1965 revival attempt The Return of Mr. Moto with Henry Silva. 
(O)   MYSTIC CIRCLE MURDER (Alpha) 1938 thriller exposing séance rackets.  
(O)   PERFORMANCE (Warner Bros.) 1970 cult film oddity in which gangster James Fox gets lost in rock star Mick Jagger’s house. Includes new and vintage featurettes.  
(O)   THE PHANTOM (Alpha) 1931 Poverty Row old dark house horror.  


   POLICE STORY 2 (Dragon Dynasty/Genius) 1988 sequel to Jackie Chan’s action classic has his intrepid supercop tracking down a mad bomber. Special edition includes commentrak by Bey Logan and Brett Ratner, outtakes, featurettes and more.  
(O)   THE PUNISHER / RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD (Lionsgate) Odd action twin bill. 
(O)   RENO 911: Reno’s Most Wanted Uncensored (Comedy Central/Paramount) Best-Of collection of episodes.  
(O)   RESERVOIR DOGS / THE BAD LIEUTENANT (Lionsgate) Odd crime double feature.  
(O)   SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS (Weinstein/Genius) Confidence man Billy Bob Thornton teaches nebbish Jon Heder and other dependable comic actors how to be assertive dicks until he takes things too far, leading to a predictable (though farfetched) revenge-of-the-nerds style finale. Rated widescreen and “fullscreen” editions, plus unrated editions with commentrak, Making-Of and alternate ending.  
(O)   SHARK KILL (Wild Eye) 1976 TV movie Jaws knock-off. 
(O)   SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM (Genius) A detective finds his client dead and his investigation takes him to a “gat aversion therapy” camp.  
(O)   SLAUGHTER IN THE SNOW (AnimEigo) Samurai action sequel to The Fearless Avenger
(O)   SMILES & SPECTACLES: A HAROLD LLOYD TREASURY (Passport) 5-disc set holds 22 silent shorts, plus the sound features The Milky Way and The Sin of Harold Diddlebock.  
(O)   STEVE MARTIN WILD & CRAZY COLLECTION (Universal) Includes The Jerk, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid and The Lonely Guy
(O)   SUPER EL INVENCIBLE / SUPERZAN EL NINO DEL ESPACIO (BCI Eclipse) Mexican wrestler double feature, but no English subtitles.  
(O)   SUPER FUZZ (Somerville House/Koch) Terence Hill as a cop who gains super powers in this 1981 Italian action comedy (AKA Super Snoper). 
(O)   10.5 / CATEGORY 6: DAY OF DESTRUCTION (Lionsgate) TV movie and sequel about the world being overcome by earthquakes, huge storms, and other natural disasters, though much of the destruction takes place offscreen while the likes of Kim Delaney and Nancy McKeon emote.  
(O)   TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE NEXT GENERATION (Sony) Matthew McConaughey and Leatherface menace Renee Zellweger.  
(O)   TOM HANKS COMEDY FAVORITES COLLECTION (Universal) Includes The Money Pit, The ‘Burbs and Dragnet
(O)   TOTAL DESTRUCTION (Image) 2002 Japanese action with detectives chasing crooks in a small town.  
(O)   VIRGIN IN HOLLYWOOD / PROTECT YOUR DAUGHTER (Alpha) 1930s exploitation roadshow twin bill.  
(O)   WHISPERS FROM A SHALLOW GRAVE (Tempe) True crime thriller about the search for a missing model.  


   ZOOM: ACADEMY FOR SUPERHEROES (Sony) Tim Allen is a former superhero who lost all his powers. Government agents Rip Torn and Chevy Chase coerce him into training a bunch of kids to be superheroes.  




(O)   THE DEPARTED (Warner Bros.) DVD combo includes nine deleted scenes, a feature length documentary on Scorsese, featurettes and more.


(O)   LADDER 49 (Buena Vista) 
(O)   THE MARINE (Fox)

(O)   PHONE BOOTH (Fox) Includes commentrak.

(O)   PLANET OF THE APES (Fox) 2001 version. Includes Tim Burton commentrak.

(O)   REIGN OF FIRE (Buena Vista) 
(O)   THE SENTINEL (Fox) Includes commentrak, deleted scenes, alternate ending, Making-Of featurettes and more.



(O)   THE DEPARTED (Warner Bros.) DVD combo includes nine deleted scenes, a feature length documentary on Scorsese, featurettes and more.  


(O)   THE MONSTER SQUAD (Paramount) Fred Dekker’s 1987 family horror comedy in which a gang of horror fan kids try to keep Dracula and his famous monster assistants from taking over the world. A cult favorite, no plans for DVD release have been announced, though its appearance on Monsters HD is a promising sign. You can find a petition here

And 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.


Showing items 1 - 7 of 7
MercurialHyperbole 2/13/2007 10:13:08 AM
Nice call on Monster Squad. I have been waiting to see that again for years. "Wolfman's got nards"
Boombatty 2/13/2007 10:21:54 AM
I myself have been dying for Phantasm 2 to come to DVD. They have 1 & 4 and now are releasing the subpar 3 but not the best in the series, 2.
phillipej 2/13/2007 11:02:35 AM
Another film not released on DVD that I would like to see released is Scavenger Hunt. Call me crazy, but I liked that movie...
jppintar326 2/13/2007 2:25:24 PM
I vaguely remember "Monster Squad" when it was on TV. I remember there was a funny scene about the guys trying to find a virgin female and they couldn't use the teenage girl even though she thought he "doesn't count." Very funny. I am running out and buying "The Departed" to add to my Martin Scorsesee collection. I hope this is finally his year.
GentlemenDeath 2/13/2007 4:45:38 PM
Monster Squad was one of my fav movies as a kid and i completly forgot about it until now so thanks for finding that. I've been trying to find Phantasm one for the longest time and still having problems getting it. i heard that they are remakin that one too, anyone heard any news about that one? As for DVD's that havent come out yet, i have been wanting a special edition of stanley kubricks film's The Shinning and A Clockwork Orange and im very curious why they havent came out with special editoins of those films. u know that there is stuff to put onto those movies too!
Boombatty 2/13/2007 5:22:27 PM
Phantasm 1 is getting rerelease with 3 in April 07. Phantasm 4 is still around but no 2 :(
tiredjay 2/13/2007 6:35:50 PM
Lionsgate acquired the rights to Monster Squad and is releasing it later this year.


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