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Mystery/Suspense


April Fool's Day [VHS]

April Fool's Day [VHS] Lowest new price: $14.55
Lowest used price: $14.87
List price: $9.95

What looks like a standard 1980s holiday-themed slasher movie turns out to be a much more witty venture. A group of college students head out for a weekend of relaxation and April Fools' pranks at an isolated island cottage, catching the very last ferry until Monday morning. A practical joke goes awry, hostess Muffy starts tromping around in frumpy clothes and acting like she's not quite herself, and the bodies start piling up. Don't you just hate it when you're on a completely remote island and the phone goes out? All of this is done, though, with a fairly low gore content and a sly wink at the usual slasher conventions--rather than whodunit, the trick is to figure out what's in good fun and what's real bloodletting. It ain't Citizen Kane, but it's not a bad evening's enjoyment either. --Ali Davis

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Come Back Charleston Blue [VHS]

Come Back Charleston Blue [VHS] Lowest new price: $58.00
Lowest used price: $25.00
List price: $19.98

Charleston Blue is dead. That's what everyone thought when the notorious gangster was laid to rest decades ago. But now a new string of murders has hit Harlem. And what 27th Precinct detectives Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson want to know is why does a trademark blue-steel razor of Charleston Blue appear alongside each victim?


Goosebumps -The Haunted Mask [VHS]

Goosebumps -The Haunted Mask [VHS] Lowest new price: $23.50
Lowest used price: $3.88
List price: $9.98

Carly Beth is quiet and shy -- easily scared and overly trusting. She's never seen such a great Halloween mask -- really scary, really creepy, and really life-like. She has to have it -- to scare those boys who tease and humiliate her all the time! And when she does get it, the mask is every bit as weirdly spooky as she had hoped it would be. But wearing the mask seems to be causing strange things to happen to her and other people. Can the mask -- the symbol of her revenge -- be the cause of it all? What strange powers could a Halloween mask have? Unwilling to give up the mask, or to believe that it could be evil, she keeps on wearing it -- only to discover one day that she can't take the mask off. Carly Beth and the mask have become one.

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Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long [VHS]

Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long [VHS] Lowest new price: $60.00
Lowest used price: $25.00

Biopic of the boorish, Depression-era Southern demagogue Huey Long.

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Night of the Hunter [VHS]

Night of the Hunter [VHS] Lowest new price: $6.99
Lowest used price: $4.65
List price: $12.97

In the entire history of American movies, The Night of the Hunter stands out as the rarest and most exotic of specimens. It is, to say the least, a masterpiece--and not just because it was the only movie directed by flamboyant actor Charles Laughton or the only produced solo screenplay by the legendary critic James Agee (who also cowrote The African Queen). The truth is, nobody has ever made anything approaching its phantasmagoric, overheated style in which German expressionism, religious hysteria, fairy-tale fantasy (of the Grimm-est variety), and stalker movie are brought together in a furious boil. Like a nightmarish premonition of stalker movies to come, Night of the Hunter tells the suspenseful tale of a demented preacher (Robert Mitchum, in a performance that prefigures his memorable villain in Cape Fear), who torments a boy and his little sister--even marries their mixed-up mother (Shelley Winters)--because he's certain the kids know where their late bank-robber father hid a stash of stolen money. So dramatic, primal, and unforgettable are its images--the preacher's shadow looming over the children in their bedroom, the magical boat ride down a river whose banks teem with fantastic wildlife, those tattoos of LOVE and HATE on the unholy man's knuckles, the golden locks of a drowned woman waving in the current along with the indigenous plant life in her watery grave--that they're still haunting audiences (and filmmakers) today. --Jim Emerson


Animorphs - The Invasion Series, Part 1: The Invasion Begins [VHS]

Animorphs - The Invasion Series, Part 1: The Invasion Begins [VHS] Lowest new price: $13.95
Lowest used price: $2.95
List price: $9.95

For those not familiar with the popular Nickelodeon TV series and the phenomenally successful Scholastic book series by K.A. Applegate, Animorphs centers on the adventures of five teens who can morph into animals and bugs. They battle the Yeerks, a frightful mercenary alien race (slimy, sluglike, gray-green, and the size of a rat) who want to control humans by entering their ears and taking over human minds. Don't dismiss Animorphs as a sci-fi Saved by the Bell. The acting is surprisingly topnotch and the stories are fun and thrilling. Animorphs: The Invasion Series, Part 1--The Invasion Begins introduces friends and morphers Jake (Shawn Ashmore), Rachel (Brooke Nevin), Marco (Boris Cabrera), Cassie (Nadia Nascimento), and Tobias (Christopher Ralph). Three episodes from the TV series, "My Name Is Jake," parts 1 and 2, and "The Underground," reveal how the Animorphs learn to use their gift and uncover the Yeerk plan. Part of the nasty alien plot is to acquire as many human controllers (those possessed by Yeerks) as possible. And despite the darkness of story, there's a sense of humor, too: one of the human controllers is the high school principal. For ages 6 and up. --N.F. Mendoza

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Wanda Nevada [VHS]

Wanda Nevada [VHS] Lowest new price: $4.45
Lowest used price: $8.00
List price: $6.49

Peter Fonda plays a two-bit gambler who wins Brooke Shields, an orphan, in a poker game. As they try to find a fabled gold stash, Fonda and Shields are up against some vicious thieves, a vengeful Apache spirit, and even an avalanche. Henry Fonda makes a cameo appearance in this his only on-screen appearance with his son, Peter.


The Heiress [VHS]

The Heiress [VHS] Lowest new price: $4.49
Lowest used price: $3.00
List price: $14.98
Brand: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

In this 1949 dramatization of Henry James's Washington Square, Olivia de Havilland is the plain but presentable spinster who lives with her domineering father (Ralph Richardson). What she lacks in looks she makes up for in wealth, and soon finds herself the object of much attention by Montgomery Clift. At the heart of this drama is the question of his possibly mercenary agenda. De Havilland does not seem to care one way or the other, but her father cannot believe any man would love her for any reason but her wealth.

This version does not stray too far from the novel. It is a masterpiece that reveals both suppressed anger within a family and the suppression of women in the 19th century. De Havilland, all simmering desire and controlled rage, won an Oscar for best actress, and Aaron Copland copped one for best score. It is no surprise that this handsome picture was also awarded Oscars for costume design and art direction. It was remade and updated with an oddly feminist twist in 1997under the novel's original title. --Rochelle O'Gorman

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The Bourne Identity [VHS]

The Bourne Identity [VHS] Lowest new price: $2.45
Lowest used price: $0.01
List price: $11.90
Brand: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

A man is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and without memory, then races to elude assassins and recover from amnesia.

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Scooby Doo: Headless Horseman of Halloween [VHS]

Scooby Doo: Headless Horseman of Halloween [VHS] Lowest used price: $5.44
List price: $9.98

Scooby Doo: Headless Horseman of Halloween

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