DVD Buying Guide: April ’07

Posted by Peter Hall - April 8th 2007 @ 6:59 pm

Damn, what a crappy month for retail.  There are very few releases I can happily recommend, fewer still that will end up being worth going back to year after year and even fewer yet that are horror.

However, there is a landmark release this month: Planet Earth.  The best nature series ever filmed.  This DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-Ray release isn’t that bullshit version Discovery Channel has been peddling.  Fuck that thing!  Fuck Sigourney Weaver!  David Attenborough is one of the coolest muthafuckas on the planet, you do not substitue him for boring, lifeless, joyless narration from Weaver just because she once played a woman who gave a damn about nature in Gorillas in the Mist.  That’s bullshit and it ruined the series in one fell sweep.

And now I’m angry again, remembering how pissed off I was the first time I tuned in to Discovery to re-watch everything I’d already fallen in love with from the BBC, only to be slapped in the face with a pack of lies.  On to this month’s relatively crappy selection:

April 3rd:

Attack of the Gryphon is a Sci-Fi channel premiere, so you know exactly what to expect, but the only reason it garners a mention is because it stars Amber Benson from Buffy.  Close to that on shelves will be the remake of Black Christmas, which starred a few attractive faces, but bombed critically and commercially as it should have.

There is a box set of Italian legend Mario Bava, which contains 5 films: Black Sunday, Black Sabbath, The Girl Who Knew Too Much, Knives of the Avenger, and Kill, Baby, Kill.

Something the Sci-Fi channel did right does come out and that is the thoroughly entertaining Lost Room miniseries.  Read my review here, but to the point; this is something you should be buying – it is cheap – or, at the least, renting.

Attack of the Gryphon DVD Black Christmas DVD Mario Bava Box Set
The Lost Room Miniseries DVD

April 10th:

I don’t know what Blood Flood is, but the cover looked like a bad horror movie and looked like it had an Elvira rip-off hostess.  Tartan release another in its line of Asian Extreme films, Cinderella.  Again, I know nothing about it, and Tartan does hit and miss with its releases, but the label has clout in my book, so it may be worth a rent.

That Gamebox 1.0 movie is supposed to come out on DVD this month, but Amazon doesn’t list it.  If you are insane enough to lust for the movie, Netflix is probably your best bet.

Phantasm III – never seen it, but hey, Coscarelli is a champ in my book.

I’ve heard very good things about the Danish Slaughter Night.  I know Twitch recommends it, which is enough endorsement for me to probably buy it blind.

The winner of the week, however, isn’t Scrubs Season 5.  It isn’t the desperately awaited Twin Peaks Season 2.  But…dun, dun, dun….Stinger!  Yes, the sequel to Tail Sting, about giant mutant scorpions on a Submarine.  Expect a review soon afterward.

Blood Flood DVD Cinderella Horror Movie Gamebox 1.0
Phantasm III Scrubs Season Five DVD Slaughter Night
Twin Peaks Season 2 DVD Stinger DVD

April 17th:

Alien Invasion Arizona: I’m not sure whether it took a lot of balls to so blatantly rip off the Predator or a lot of balls to say you’re making a movie titled Alien Invasion Arizona.  Sci-Fi, here we come.  You better believe Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep stars Charlie O’Connell and, uh, Charlie O’Connell!

Come the third Tuesday in April, I’d honestly recommend giving Turistas (review) a chance.  Odds are solid you’ll not agree with me, but Turistas is one of the Hollywooders I expected swiftly to be junk, but was surprised when it was, well, less junkier than expected.

The best thing John Landis has done in years, Family also happens to be one of the best hours Masters of Horror was lucky to squeeze out of its pedigree of directors.

Forest Whitaker has two flicks coming out this Tues.: The Marsh, a ghoster, and The Last King of Scotland, for which he won Best Actor.  Speaking of good movies, La Haine gets the Criterion Collection treatment.

And finally, Venture Bros. Season Two: AKA our DVD art is cooler than yours.

Alien Invasion Arizona Rips off Predator Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep Turistas
John Landis: Family Marsh DVD The Last King of Scotland DVD
La Haine Venture Bros. Season Two DVD

April 24th:

Only one horror release this week, The Last Supper, and boy does it sound like a doozey: Cannibalistic plastic surgeon develops a craving for eating his patients flesh – hell’s yeah!

I started to watch Deja Vu on the flight back from Frankfurt to Dulles and thought to myself, "Hey, this isn’t nearly as bad as I expected."  And then I fell asleep for the last hour of it.  That was probably more so due to the fact that I had just eaten and the seats in business class go horizontal, but when I woke I realized I really didn’t care enough to rewind it.

Night at the Museum made a ton of money at the box office and for a good reason.  It is a hoot.  It has great gags, great effects and great imagination.

The Queen got a lot of buzz around Oscar time, including many nominations and a surprisingly hot Helen Mirren on the red carpet.  Stephen Frears killed it with Dirty, Pretty Things so I’ll take the director at his word and see The Queen soon.

Finally, Planet Earth.  If there was ever a disc you needed to own, it is this set.  If you’re on a budget, you might as well not eat for a week and buy this instead.  It is that damned good.  It is available on every standard def/hi-def platform, so you needn’t worry how to pick it up, just that you must pick it up.

Please, please, please.  If you only ever take one of my recommendations, it is that you purchase Planet Earth and watch it with the BBC’s original running time and David Attenborough’s narration.  It shames all other nature productions, rendering them useless by comparison.

The LAst Supper DVD Deja Vu Night at the Museum
The Queen Planet Earth

Worth Buying Blind:
Planet Earth
The Lost Room

Definitely Worth Renting, If Not Buying:
La Haine
Twin Peaks Season 2
The Queen
The Last King of Scotland

Probably Worth Renting:
Slaughter Night
The Last Supper
Mario Bava Box Set

comments are closed
  1. R.J. Sayer
    April 9th, 2007 | 12:26 pm | #1

    Doesn’t the original PHANTASM come out the same day as III?

    and i think the Bava set deserves a little more credit.

  2. April 9th, 2007 | 3:19 pm | #2

    Yeah, it does. I had thought that was the case, but when I went to look for the original Phantasm disc, all that turned up was III. And then today I saw reviews of all 3 Coscarelli discs at AICN. I’ll make the change once I get the chance.

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