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|The Shining [VHS]
Lowest new price: $5.29
Lowest used price: $2.00
A married couple with a small son are employed to look after a resort hotel high in the Colorado mountains. As a result, they are the sole occupants during the long winter. The hotel manager warns them not to accept the job because of a tragedy that occurred during the winter of 1970. Based on the book by Stephen King.
Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is less an adaptation of Stephen King's bestselling horror novel than a complete reimagining of it from the inside out. In King's book, the Overlook Hotel is a haunted place that takes possession of its off-season caretaker and provokes him to murderous rage against his wife and young son. Kubrick's movie is an existential Road Runner cartoon (his steadicam scurrying through the hotel's labyrinthine hallways), in which the cavernously empty spaces inside the Overlook mirror the emptiness in the soul of the blocked writer, who's settled in for a long winter's hibernation. As many have pointed out, King's protagonist goes mad, but Kubrick's Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) is Looney Tunes from the moment we meet him--all arching eyebrows and mischievous grin. (Both Nicholson and Shelley Duvall reach new levels of hysteria in their performances, driven to extremes by the director's fanatical demands for take after take after take.) The Shining is terrifying--but not in the way fans of the novel might expect. When it was redone as a TV miniseries (reportedly because of King's dissatisfaction with the Kubrick film), the famous topiary-animal attack (which was deemed impossible to film in 1980) was there--but the deeper horror was lost. Kubrick's The Shining gets under your skin and chills your bones; it stays with you, inhabits you, haunts you. And there's no place to hide... --Jim Emerson
|The Fall of the House of Usher [VHS]
Lowest new price: $3.59
Lowest used price: $2.54
List price: $6.99
Amazon.com Review: Vincent Price brings a theatrical flourish to the role of Roderick Usher, a brooding nobleman haunted by the dry rot of madness in his family tree. This being Poe, there's a history of family madness and melancholia, a premature burial, and a sense of doom hanging over this gloomy, crumbling mansion. Roger Corman sold stingy AIP pictures on the concept by claiming "The house is the monster," or so goes the oft-told story. True or not, Corman (with the help of his brilliant art director Daniel Haller and legendary cinematographer Floyd Crosby) creates an exaggerated sense of isolation and claustrophobia with the sunless forest and funereal fog that holds the house and its inhabitants prisoner in a land of the dead. It doesn't quite look real (some of the effects are downright phony, notably the apocalyptic climax), and none of the costars can hold a candle to Price's elegant, haunted performance (often speaking in no more than a stage whisper), but it's a triumph of expressionism on a budget. Shot in rich, vivid color and CinemaScope, from a literate script by genre master Richard Matheson, this is stylish gothic horror in a melancholy key. It was such a success that Corman reunited his core group of collaborators for the follow-up The Pit and the Pendulum the very next year. Corman's "Poe Cycle" was born. MGM's widescreen disc also features commentary by director-producer Corman, his first-ever such contribution. --Sean Axmaker
|Wild Orchids (Silent) [VHS]
Lowest new price: $14.27
Lowest used price: $6.00
Original movie from 1929.
|The Kettles in the Ozarks [VHS]
Lowest new price: $2.00
Lowest used price: $2.00
List price: $9.48
Craving a change of scene. Ma Kettle (Marjorie Main) takes her brood of kids to visit Pa's brother Uncle Sedge (Arthur Hunnicutt) on his Ozarks farm in Mournful Hollow. Sedge turns out to be allergic to work as Pa. Ma's just in time, because the farm's in the red, and Sedge needs help.
|North by Northwest - Special Edition [VHS]
Lowest new price: $2.20
Lowest used price: $1.99
2000, North by Northwest, Special Edition, Turner Entertainment, 136 minutes, plus 41 minutes of Special Features.
|Scooby-Doo's Greatest Mysteries [VHS]
Lowest new price: $3.94
Lowest used price: $1.24
List price: $5.99
Munch a Scooby snack! Scooby fans have spoken! 4 of Scooby-Doo's most popular mysteries -- selected by the fans themselves -- are now available for the first time ever on this all-new video. Watch as Scooby-doo gets into a mixed-up mystery when he unexpectedly meets the seaweed-covered ghost of Captain Cutler in A CLUE FOR SCOOBY DOO! Next, see the seafaring sleuths collide with a mystery ship and try to uncover clues from a vanished crew in HASSLE IN THE CASTLE! Then, follow Scooby-Doo and the mystery gang as they outwit a bank robber in JEEPERS, IT'S THE CREEPER! and finally, see them take to the stage to crack some crazy capers in THE BACKSTAGE RAGE. Now, you get 109 minutes of non-stop action all on this one collectible Scooby video! Plus, The Powerpuff Girls bonus 'toon and groovy Scooby-Doo extra footage!
They're four kids who have next to nothing in common; they have no visible means of support, parents, or responsibilities; they travel as much as they want, wherever they want; they have a dog whom they've addicted to a treat--and they use the dog to do anything they deem too dangerous to do themselves. Oh, and they regularly take the law into their own hands, trespassing and breaking and entering whenever it suits them. This is a kids show?
Looking back, it's sometimes tough to figure out what really made Scooby-Doo so popular, and the four episodes included here--chosen by a Warner Bros. Online poll--don't really go that far in explaining the phenomenon. Hassle in the Castle, the first episode, has virtually no plot (the gang is out boating in the fog when they run aground on a haunted island); in A Clue for Scooby Doo, the fivesome sinks a husband-and-wife pirating scam; The Backstage Rage is a step up, and involves the gang's foiling a puppeteer's counterfeit operation. The last episode, Jeepers, It's the Creeper, asks more questions than it answers--it opens with the gang headed out to their school dance, and no other students ever show up.
It's hard to believe that any collection of fan favorites wouldn't include any of Scooby and the crew's classic team-ups (with Batman and Robin, Laurel and Hardy, etc.). With all the other Scooby compilations available, this one has dubious claim to the title Greatest Mysteries. --Randy Silver
|Creature from the Black Lagoon [VHS]
Lowest new price: $6.95
Lowest used price: $4.87
Jack Arnold's horror classic The Creature from the Black Lagoon spawned not one but two iconic images: the web-footed humanoid gill-man with a hankering for women and the leggy, luscious Julia Adams, the object of his desire, swimming the lagoon in
Jack Arnold's horror classic The Creature from the Black Lagoon spawned not one but two iconic images: the web-footed humanoid gill-man with a hankering for women and the leggy, luscious Julia Adams, the object of his desire, swimming the lagoon in a luminous white bathing suit. Not since King Kong has the "beauty and the beast" theme been portrayed in such sexually charged (though chaste) terms. Arnold turns an effectively B-movie plot--a small expedition up a remote Amazon river captures a prehistoric amphibian man, who escapes to wreak havoc on the team and kidnap his bathing beauty--into a moody, stylish, low-budget feature. The jungle exteriors turn from exotic to treacherous when the creature blocks their passage and strands them in the wilds. Much of the film is shot underwater, where the murky dark is animated by shimmering shards of sunlight, creating images both lovely and alien (the studio-built sets of the creature's underground lair are far less naturalistic, but serve their purpose). As with most of Arnold's '50s genre films, he's saddled with a less than magnetic leading man (in this case the colorless but stalwart Richard Carlson) and a conventional script, but he overcomes such limitations by creating a vivid and sympathetic monster (helped immeasurably by a marvelous suit of scales and fins) and establishing a mood thick with atmosphere. The film was originally shot in 3-D. --Sean Axmaker
|The Flintstones - Wacky Inventions [VHS]
Lowest new price: $24.98
Lowest used price: $2.00
List price: $24.98
Cartoon featuring the Flintstones showing off all their wacky stone-age inventions.
|The John Wayne Larger than Life Collection: The Fighting Kentuckian / Dark Command / In Old California / Wake of the Red Witch / The Fighting Seabees / Flying Tigers / Sands of Iwo Jima / Rio Grande [VHS]
Lowest new price: $12.01
Lowest used price: $11.89
The John Wayne Larger than Life Collection is a set of eight movies on VHS, each in a box sleeve, and all eight in a large box sleeve. Four are marked 'mastered from the original film negative.' Titles include: The Fighting Kentuckian, 1949; Dark Command, 1940; In Old California, 1942; Wake of the Red Witch, 1948; The Fighting Seabees, 1944; Flying Tigers, 1942; Sands of Iwo Jima, 1949; and Rio Grande, 1950. Themes include naval, war, the Western frontier, California's gold rush, the Old West, thriller, action, and romance.
John Wayne's career spanned from 1926, at 14, to 1976.
|Scooby-Doo - Scooby-Doo and a Mummy Too [VHS]
Lowest new price: $9.88
Lowest used price: $2.92
List price: $6.93
Classic Scooby-Doo: Scooby-Doo and a Mummy Too (Cartoon Network)
“What a Night for a Knight” After an archaeologist disappears, Scooby and the gang uncover clues to solve a mystery of forged paintings, ghost knights and spooky museums in the very first Scooby-Doo episode.
“Scooby-Doo and a Mummy Too” Jinkies! It’s the curse of the 2,000 year old mummy! Join Scooby and the gang as they solve the mystery of the forbidden pyramid.
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