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Mystery/Suspense


Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer [VHS]

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer [VHS] Lowest new price: $21.39
Lowest used price: $9.98
List price: $21.39

VHS

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Samurai Jack - The Premiere Movie [VHS]

Samurai Jack - The Premiere Movie [VHS] Lowest new price: $14.99
Lowest used price: $1.49
List price: $24.95

The graphically inventive feature that introduced the Cartoon Network series owes as much to the cartoons of UPA and Chuck Jones as it does to anime. The title character is a prince whose family has fought the evil demon Aku for control of their fanciful Asian kingdom for ages. During an intense battle, Jack is hurled into a future city ruled by Aku and his henchmen-robots. After aiding some talking dogs, Jack vows to continue his struggle against Aku and return to own time. The angular, minimal visuals are effective and eclectic: Aku's face is modeled on Sri Lankan demon masks, and the characters move in ways that fit their stylized designs. Unfortunately, the writing falls short of the visuals--the talking dogs would feel more at home in a "Ren and Stimpy" cartoon than in this imaginative adventure. Unrated. Suitable for ages 8 and older: cartoon violence. --Charles Solomon


Jaws [VHS]

Jaws [VHS] Lowest new price: $16.00
Lowest used price: $9.95
List price: $19.98
Brand: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

In the vastly overrated 1998 book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, author Peter Biskind puts the blame for Hollywood's blockbuster mentality at least partially on Steven Spielberg's box-office success with this adaptation of Peter Benchley's bestselling novel. But you can't blame Spielberg for making a terrific movie, which Jaws definitely is. The story of a Long Island town whose summer tourist business is suddenly threatened by great-white-shark attacks on humans bypasses the potboiler trappings of Benchley's book and goes straight for the jugular with beautifully crafted, crowd-pleasing sequences of action and suspense supported by a trio of terrific performances by Roy Scheider (as the local sheriff), Richard Dreyfuss (as a shark specialist), and particularly Robert Shaw (as the old fisherman who offers to hunt the shark down). The sequences on Shaw's boat--as the three of them realize that in fact the shark is hunting them--are what entertaining moviemaking is all about. --Marshall Fine

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Cobra [VHS]

Cobra [VHS] Lowest new price: $6.00
Lowest used price: $2.00
List price: $9.94

Sylveter Stallone creates another electrifying American hero in the Rocky/Rambo mold: Cobretti the cop, a fearless dispenser of justice out to stop a gang of serial killers. Year: 1986

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Stand By Me [VHS]

Stand By Me [VHS] Lowest new price: $6.79
Lowest used price: $4.78
List price: $9.95

A sleeper hit when released in 1986, Stand by Me is based on Stephen King's novella "The Body" (from the book Different Seasons); but it's more about the joys and pains of boyhood friendship than a morbid fascination with corpses. It's about four boys ages 12 and 13 (Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell) who take an overnight hike through the woods near their Oregon town to find the body of a boy who's been missing for days. Their journey includes a variety of scary adventures (including a ferocious junkyard dog, a swamp full of leeches, and a treacherous leap from a train trestle), but it's also a time for personal revelations, quiet interludes, and the raucous comradeship of best friends. Set in the 1950s, the movie indulges an overabundance of anachronistic profanity and a kind of idealistic, golden-toned nostalgia (it's told in flashback as a story written by Wheaton's character as an adult, played by Richard Dreyfuss). But it's delightfully entertaining from start to finish, thanks to the rapport among its young cast members and the timeless, universal themes of friendship, family, and the building of character and self-esteem. Kiefer Sutherland makes a memorable teenage villain, and look closely for John Cusack in a flashback scene as Wheaton's now-deceased and dearly missed brother. A genuine crowd-pleaser, this heartfelt movie led director Rob Reiner to even greater success with his next film, The Princess Bride. --Jeff Shannon

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets [VHS]

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets [VHS] Lowest new price: $2.79
Lowest used price: $1.00

The next installment in the Harry Potter series finds young wizard Harry Potter (DANIEL RADCLIFFE) and his friends Ron Weasley (RUPERT GRINT) and Hermione Granger (EMMA WATSON) facing new challenges during their second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as they try to uncover a dark force that is terrorizing the school.

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Cry in the Night [VHS]

Cry in the Night [VHS] Lowest used price: $4.49

Was it the perfect marriage... or the perfect opportunity for murder? Some secrets are dying to be told in A CRY IN THE NIGHT, based on the best selling novel by Mary Higgins Clark. Jenny (Carol Clark, The Cradle Will Fall) thinks she's found happiness when she marries Erich, (Perry King, Switch) a handsome, internationally-acclaimed artist. But once she moves into his impressive country estate, her storybook life suddenly turns grim. Haunted by surreal nightmares, stunned by her ex-husband's death and devastated by the loss of her newborn child, Jenny turns to Erich for comfort, only to learn he suspects that she's behind the recent plague of mysterious deaths. With her sanity in question and her innocence on the line, Jenny must now stay one step ahead of the police who want her convicted, a husband who wants her committed, and a killer who wants her dead, in this taut psychological thriller. Color/Approx. 99 Mins.


The Letter [VHS]

The Letter [VHS] Lowest new price: $7.48
Lowest used price: $2.50
List price: $7.48

In the opening sequence of The Letter, director William Wyler delivers a primer on film directing: at a rubber plantation, in the tropical funk of a Malaysian night, the heavy stillness is suddenly broken by shots... and a woman with a gun, descending a staircase. She is the wife of the plantation owner, and the dead man is, ahem, not her husband. Holding the gun so securely is Bette Davis, in one of her greatest performances (her acting of a big revelation, late in the film, is still an astounding piece of emotional fluency). The story is taken from one of those sturdy Somerset Maugham tales that has proved itself in many versions, but this is the keeper; it was nominated for seven OscarsĀ®, including best picture, director, and actress, winning none. Wyler's impeccable direction, and Davis's take-no-prisoners approach to an "unsympathetic" character, make for a completely satisfying picture. --Robert Horton


Witch Hunt [VHS]

Witch Hunt [VHS] Lowest new price: $125.29
Lowest used price: $24.99
List price: $9.98

Follow-up to ' 'Cast A Deadly Spell' ' - the only private detective not to practice black magic in Hollywood is up against the murder of a multi-millionaire, an extreme political agenda, and some of the sleekest, darkest dames that black magic can conjure up.

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Christmas Coal Mine Miracle [VHS]

Christmas Coal Mine Miracle [VHS] Lowest new price: $13.99
Lowest used price: $18.68
List price: $6.98

Tragedy strikes a small mining community one fateful Christmas Eve in 1951 when a series of explosions strike a mine nototious for its unsafe conditions. The miners and their families work desperately to rescue the trapped men before an even larger, more deadly explosion can occur. Starring Mitchell Ryan and Kurt Russell with Melissa Gilbert, THE CHRISTMAS COAL MINE MIRACLE is gripping social commentary as well as suspenseful drama. Though not the usual holiday fare, it is a tale the whole family will find engrossing, moving and, ultimately, inspiring.


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