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VHS Video

Slapstick Comedy


National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation [VHS]

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation [VHS] Lowest new price: $1.99
Lowest used price: $0.01
List price: $6.98

Make merry as Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid and an ensemble of comedy favorites strive to gift-wrap the "perfect Christmas" for the Griswold family. The most successful of the three vacations. Year: 1989 Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid,

You know exactly what you're getting in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: another goofball, slapstick comedy of chaos and catastrophe with Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) and family. This time, there's no traveling involved: Clark and Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo) prepare for a nice Christmas with the kids (played by none other than Juliette Lewis and Roseanne star Johnny Galecki), when their home is invaded by backwoods cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his brood, along with assorted other crazy and/or stuffy relatives. Complications, of course, are inevitable. The film is preceded by National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) and National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) and followed by National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation (1997). Directed by Jeremiah Chechik, who went on to do Benny & Joon and the Sharon Stone remake of Diabolique. --Jim Emerson

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Home Alone [VHS]

Home Alone [VHS] Lowest new price: $1.98
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Brand: FOX Video

Eight-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) has become the man of the house, overnight! Accidentally left behind when his family rushes off on a Christmas vacation, Kevin gets busy decorating the house for the holidays. But he's not decking the halls with tinsel and holly. Two bumbling burglars are trying to break in, and Kevin's rigging a bewildering battery of booby traps to welcome them!

Now and forever a favorite among kids, this 1990 comedy written by John Hughes (The Breakfast Club) and directed by Chris Columbus (Mrs. Doubtfire) ushered Macaulay Culkin onto the screen as a troubled 8-year-old who doesn't comfortably mesh with his large family. He's forced to grow a little after being accidentally left behind when his folks and siblings fly off to Paris. A good-looking boy, Culkin lights up the screen during several funny sequences, the most famous of which finds him screaming for joy when he realizes he's unsupervised in his own house. A bit wooden with dialogue, the then-little star's voice could grate on the nerves (especially in long, wise-child passages of pure bromide), but he unquestionably carries the film. Billie Bird and John Candy show up as two of the interesting strangers Culkin's character meets. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are entertainingly cartoonish as thieves, but the ensuing violence once the little hero decides to keep them out of his house is over-the-top. --Tom Keogh

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Monty Python and the Holy Grail [VHS]

Monty Python and the Holy Grail [VHS] Lowest new price: $2.40
Lowest used price: $0.05
List price: $8.92

Could this be the funniest movie ever made? By any rational measure of comedy, this medieval romp from the Monty Python troupe certainly belongs on the short list of candidates. According to Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide, it's "recommended for fans only," but we say hogwash to that--you could be a complete newcomer to the Python phenomenon and still find this send-up of the Arthurian legend to be wet-your-pants hilarious. It's basically a series of sketches woven together as King Arthur's quest for the Holy Grail, with Graham Chapman as the King, Terry Gilliam as his simpleton sidekick Patsy, and the rest of the Python gang filling out a variety of outrageous roles. The comedy highlights are too numerous to mention, but once you've seen Arthur's outrageously bloody encounter with the ominous Black Knight (John Cleese), you'll know that nothing's sacred in the Python school of comedy. From holy hand grenades to killer bunnies to the absurdity of the three-headed knights who say "Ni--!," this is the kind of movie that will strike you as fantastically funny or just plain silly, but why stop there? It's all over the map, and the pace lags a bit here and there, but for every throwaway gag the Pythons have invented, there's a bit of subtle business or grand-scale insanity that's utterly inspired. The sum of this madness is a movie that's beloved by anyone with a pulse and an irreverent sense of humor. If this movie doesn't make you laugh, you're almost certainly dead. --Jeff Shannon

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How High [VHS]

How High [VHS] Lowest used price: $2.50

Two guys by the name of Silas and Jamal decided to one day smoke something magical, which eventually helps them to ace their college entrance exam.

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  • VHS TAPE

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Home Alone 2 - Lost in New York [VHS]

Home Alone 2 - Lost in New York [VHS] Lowest new price: $3.95
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Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is back! But this time he's in New York City with enough cash and credit cards to turn the Big Apple into his own playground! But Kevin won't be alone for long. The notorious Wet Bandits, Harry and Marv (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern), still smarting from their last encounter with Kevin, are bound for New York too, plotting a huge holiday heist. Kevin's ready to welcome them with a battery of booby traps the bumbling bandits will never forget!

This somewhat unpleasant 1992 sequel to the blockbuster Home Alone revisits the first film's gimmick by stranding Macaulay Culkin's character in New York City while his family ends up somewhere else. Again, the little guy meets up with colorful people on the margins of society (including a pigeon woman played by Brenda Fricker) and again he gets into a prop-heavy battle with Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. The latter sequence is even worse than the first film in terms of violence inflicted on the two villains (director Chris Columbus, who also made the first film, can't seem to emphasize the slapstick over the graphic effects of the fight). The best running joke finds a concierge (Tim Curry) at the swank hotel where Culkin is staying trying and failing to prove that the boy is on his own. --Tom Keogh

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Lost in Alaska [VHS]

Lost in Alaska [VHS] Lowest new price: $29.50
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Two volunteer firemen rescue a gold prospector from suicide. However, once they discover that the police mistakenly want them for murder, they travel with the prospector to Alaska to help chase his girl. Once they arrive, the men discover that most of the town wants the prospector dead. It's up to Abbot and Costello to keep him alive, or else San Francisco is ready to hang them for the murder.

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Happy Gilmore [VHS]

Happy Gilmore [VHS] Lowest new price: $1.97
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List price: $2.80

Heavy-metal golf with Adam Sandler, a 1996 dry run of the wild-man-athlete formula that paid off so handsomely in The Waterboy. There are some irresistibly funny sequences, although you may hate yourself for laughing at the mean-spirited slapstick. This isn't a classic golf comedy, like the Bill Murray vehicle Caddyshack, but as a hot-tempered would- be hockey player who finds an unexpected m├ętier as a power golfer, Sandler has a short-fuse shtick that's effectively deployed. He's like a punk rocker gleefully out of his element, puncturing the country-club atmosphere by using the fairway as a private mosh pit. The action gets repetitive beyond the midpoint, and a subplot involving Gilmore's lovable grandma and her problems with the IRS is dismayingly sappy. Sandler's iconoclasm is mostly window dressing; there's no conceptual or satirical daring in his kind of "outrageousness." The strong supporting cast includes Christopher McDonald as Gilmore's smug rival on the links, Julie Bowen as a perky publicist, and, in a memorable bout of fisticuffs with our hero, game-show host Bob Barker. Director Dennis Dugan (Problem Child) himself plays Doug Thompson, the golf-tour supervisor. --David Chute

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Hold That Ghost [VHS]

Hold That Ghost [VHS] Lowest new price: $18.78
Lowest used price: $2.40
List price: $14.98
Brand: MCA Universal

New VHS Tape; sealed shrink wrap (as shown) "Abbott & Costello: Hold That Ghost [VHS]" FAST shipping...(T13)

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Abbott & Costello: Meet Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde / Mov [VHS]

Abbott & Costello: Meet Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde / Mov [VHS] Lowest new price: $9.44
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OUT OF PRINT

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Ma & Pa Kettle: The Kettles on Old MacDonald's Farm [VHS]

Ma & Pa Kettle: The Kettles on Old MacDonald's Farm [VHS] Lowest new price: $3.96
Lowest used price: $1.39
List price: $7.77

"The Kettles on Old MacDonald's Farm" (1957) brings down the curtain on the likeable series as Ma & Pa (and kids) settle into new digs...and discover a young couple hiding out. And so, it's up to the Kettles to act as chaperones, along with some funny bits of business involving doing chores, a logging competition, and a pesky bear.

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