DVD Buying Guide: July ’06

Posted by Peter Hall - July 6th 2006 @ 1:16 pm

I apologize for not having this up before the first Tuesday of July, but I honestly just didn’t have time.  But, since I couldn’t even find a single title worth mentioning that was released on the 4th, no one missed anything.  Great how things work out.  And now, for the rest of July, which is a very horror-lite month, unfortunately:

July 11th:
The 4th may have been a complete bust, but the 11th isn’t a whole lot better.  There are a handful of direct-to-DVD titles: After Sundown, Butcher and Damned, two of which I couldn’t even find pictures for, if that says anything of their quality.  This Tuesday does see the release of Anchor Bay’s The Garden, which if you read my review, you’ll know I dug despite it’s later script shortcomings.  If you’re a Lance Henriksen devotee, and I know you are, it is definitely worth supporting.

On the trashier side of things there is Basic Instinct 2.  I liked Basic Instinct, but I was also 13 when I watched it and the motivation for liking it is clear.  Basic Instinct 2, well, it’s pretty obvious how bad it will be.  On the funnier side of things, there is a release of another ‘erotic’ flick on the 11th as well, but one that ironically probably isn’t even nearly as trashy as Basic Insinct 2…I’m not sure this has been done before or what, but I find it hilarious that there is an R rated version of "the most expensive" porn movie ever made, Pirates, which made the talking rounds on nerdy film blogs a while back.

There is a remastered, legit R1 release of Shogun Assassin being released as well.  If you know what Shogun Assassin is, chances are you already own it, if you don’t, this is the copy to buy – I know I will be.

And finally we have season 1 of Weeds, which is a truly great comedy series from Showtime.  Mary-Louise Parker is phenomenal in the show, as is the rest of the cast (especially Kevin Nealon).  Combine that talent with the bittersweet comedy of it all and you have one fantastic show that rises well above pothead entertainment.

July 18th:
Again, another weak week.  STDs come in the form of 7 Mummies, Zombiegeddon and Cavern, the latter of which I’m sure is just a clone of The Cave.  We do get Joe Dante’s politically juiced, tongue-impaled-in-cheek Masters of Horror episode, Homecoming.  It has a lot of the whimsy of Dante’s earlier films (Gremlins et al) and is played completely straight, even though it is about dead soldiers coming back from the grave just to vote in the next election.  It is message heavy, so "conservatives" (take that as you will) beware, you’ll hate it for its voice alone.

Peter Jackson’s ’80s Muppet madness film, Meet the Feebles, is getting a new disc.  What exactly is new about it, I’m not sure, so I wouldn’t rush out to buy it if you already own it.  I’ve actually never watched the whole thing, so maybe this will break that sin.

The 18th has some solid TV releases as well.  The first season of Amazing Stories gets the digital treatment.  I loved this show as a kid and always watch when it comes on Sci-Fi.  HBO’s fan loved, but ultimately canceled, Carnivale sees its second (and final) season released.  It is one of a handful of HBO shows I never got around to watching (even though I’ve had HBO for years), but everyone I know loved it, so it deserves a shot.

The week is dominated by Bruce Campbell’s, who has Jack of All Trades and The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. out.  The sets contain every episode of either series, which is a whole lot of Campbell goodness.  I would love to buy both, but since I am trying to save money, I’ll probably push them to the back burner.  These are two of the most underrated things Campbell has ever done and any fan of his will have the 18th marked on their calendar.

July 25th:
The last week of July is heaviest on the horror.  Two ’70s cult films see the light of day, And Now the Screaming Starts and Asylum.  The Camp Blood trilogy gets a collective release, so that’s…good?  The Final Destination series gets its own box set, dubbed the Thrill-ogy, as well as a standalone copy of Final Destination 3, which I thought was a lousy entry.

Two Asian ghost stories hit American shelves as well.  Korea’s Cello (which is boring, despite its promising cover) and Japan’s Unborn (again with an awesome cover. but haven’t seen this one yet).

The much anticipated horror documentary, Halloween: 25 Years of Terror, is finally made public as well.  Any horror nut will be at least Netflix’ing this, so get it fast before it gets put on delay.

Tales from the Crypt, a favorite of mine, has its fourth (of seven) season popping out as well.  I don’t know the whole series by heart, so I can’t vouch for how season 4 ranks in the grand scheme of the show, but hey, Tales from the Crypt is always a good watch for a horror night.

Rob Corddry’s paintball comedy, Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story, gets a DVD release after a limited theatrical run.  I’ve heard good things, so any fan of Corddry (ie. anyone who watches the Daily Show) may want this as a blind buy.

Finally, in anticipation of the movie, no doubt, Miami Vice gets a two season double pack on the relative cheap.  I haven’t watched a single episode of the show yet (though I am watching the pilot as soon as I finish this guide), but judging from the way my friend Beau absolutely raves about the show, I’ve no doubt that it is a masterpiece and am recommending it blind.  Can’t wait for Michael Mann’s big screen turn – movie of the summer, no doubt.

Worth Buying Blind (horror)
Halloween: 25 Years of Terror ($14.99)
Tales from the Crypt Season 4 ($27.99)

Worth Buying Blind (non-genre)
Weeds ($27.99)
Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story ($13.99)

Worth Buying if You’ve Seen It, Renting if you Haven’t
Shogun Assassin ($13.99)
The Garden ($17.99)
Homecoming ($12.69)
Carnivale ($64.99)
The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. ($69.99)
Jack of All Trades ($29.04)
Miami Vice ($49.99)
Amazing Stories ($34.85)

Probably Worth Renting
Unborn ($13.99)

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