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Lowest used price: $30.00
Outside of devoted cult audiences, many Americans have yet to discover the extremely stylish, relentlessly terrifying Italian horror genre, or the films of its talented virtuoso, Dario Argento. Suspiria, part one of a still-uncompleted trilogy (the luminously empty Inferno was the second), is considered his masterpiece by Argento devotees but also doubles as a perfect starting point for those unfamiliar with the director or his genre. The convoluted plot follows an American dancer (Jessica Harper) from her arrival at a European ballet school to her discovery that it's actually a witches coven; but, really, don't worry about that too much. Argento makes narrative subservient to technique, preferring instead to assault the senses and nervous system with mood, atmosphere, illusory gore, garish set production, a menacing camera, and perhaps the creepiest score ever created for a movie. It's essentially a series of effectively unsettling set pieces--a raging storm that Harper should have taken for an omen, and a blind man attacked by his own dog are just two examples--strung together on a skeleton structure. But once you've seen it, you'll never forget it. --Dave McCoy
|Angel Dust [VHS]
Lowest new price: $38.99
Lowest used price: $35.00
After a syringe-wielding serial killer starts dispatching commuters on the Tokyo subways, the cops send crackerjack police psychologist Setsuko undercover on the trains. She meets her suspect--an old flame of hers--but soon finds herself trapped in a game of mind-control cat-and-mouse.
|A Town Like Alice [VHS]
Lowest new price: $26.88
Lowest used price: $6.53
List price: $9.99
Brand: Anchor Bay
Set against the brutal chaos of World War II, a love story begins that will take two lovers through a living nightmare of captivity, across three continents and two decades. From the steamy jungles of Malaya to the dusty and desolate outback of Australia.
Based on Nevil Shute's international bestselling novel, A Town Like Alice follows the lives of Jean Paget and Joe Harman. Meeting in Malaya—she an attractive young English captive and he a cheerful Australian POW tortured for a simple act of kindness. Separated first by their captors then by the distance of passing years, the two are finally reunited in the rugged outback of Australia—to face a challenge every bit as demanding as their wartime trials.
|I Spit on Your Grave (Collector's Edition) [VHS]
Lowest new price: $48.98
Lowest used price: $7.68
|Thomas the Tank Engine - Thomas' Trackside Tunes [VHS]
Lowest used price: $4.00
List price: $12.98
Sing along with six fun tunes all about your favorite Thomas & Friends characters. Lyrics and bouncing ball accompany six separate songs, including the rocking "Come for the Ride" and the Broadway-inspired "Accidents Will Happen." Other featured songs are "Donald's Duck," "Sir Topham Hatt," "Harold the Helicopter," and "Percy's Seaside Trip." Each song features a catchy melody with simple, repetitive lyrics that are easy to learn. The children's choir that performs the songs is quite capable, and their melodious sound is pleasing even after multiple screenings. Fast-paced vignettes of a model Thomas railway in action underscore each song's lyrics and captivate audiences three to seven years old. Also included on this 34-minute video are two Thomas stories. "Gordon and the Gremlin," narrated by Alec Baldwin, explores the possible existence of gremlins on one particularly eventful day on the railway. "Trucks," told by George Carlin, finds Sir Handel feigning illness to avoid a full day's work--a fib that carries some very serious consequences. Thomas & Friends fans will love this video and are sure to request repeated screenings. (Ages 4 to 7) --Tami Horiuchi
|Indiana Jones - Giftset (Widescreen Edition) [VHS]
Lowest new price: $7.50
Lowest used price: $11.99
As with Star Wars, the George Lucas-produced Indiana Jones trilogy was not just a plaything for kids but an act of nostalgic affection toward a lost phenomenon: the cliffhanging movie serials of the past. Episodic in structure and with fate hanging in the balance about every 10 minutes, the Jones features tapped into Lucas's extremely profitable Star Wars formula of modernizing the look and feel of an old, but popular, story model. Steven Spielberg directed all three films, which are set in the late 1930s and early '40s: the comic book-like Raiders of the Lost Ark, the spooky, Gunga Din-inspired Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and the cautious but entertaining Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Fans and critics disagree over the order of preference, some even finding the middle movie nearly repugnant in its violence. (Pro-Temple of Doom people, on the other hand, believe that film to be the most disarmingly creative and emotionally effective of the trio.) One thing's for sure: Harrison Ford's swaggering, two-fisted, self-effacing performance worked like a charm, and the art of cracking bullwhips was probably never quite the iconic activity it soon became after Raiders. Supporting players and costars were very much a part of the series, too--Karen Allen, Sean Connery (as Indie's dad), Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan, Amrish Puri, Denholm Elliot, River Phoenix, and John Rhys-Davies among them. Years have passed since the last film (another is supposedly in the works), but emerging film buffs can have the same fun their predecessors did picking out numerous references to Hollywood classics and B-movies of the past. --Tom Keogh
|House on Sorority Row [Blu-ray] (widescreen, remastered)
Lowest new price: $33.80
Lowest used price: $12.75
List price: $29.95
Flirtatious young sorority sisters who are days away from graduation set out to throw one last decadent celebration. Unbeknownst to them, the strict matron of their house hides a horrendous secret thought long buried. A gruesome accident is witnessed by a hideous fiend, hidden within the once nurturing dwelling, which triggers a rampage of death and destruction. Before the end, the peril faced by this sisterhood will push them to the brink of annihilation. And rivers of blood will drown all who enter...The House On Sorority Row. Now see the cult classic in a 2 disc set, with a recent brand new HD master with additional color correction and the pre credit sequence re-color timed to director Mark Rossman's approval, to make this the final definite version!
|Picnic (Widescreen) [VHS]
Lowest new price: $7.90
Lowest used price: $2.26
List price: $7.90
VHS TAPE musical
|The Nightmare Before Christmas - Special Edition (Widescreen) [VHS]
Lowest new price: $9.95
Lowest used price: $3.94
Enter an extraordinary world filled with magic and wonder -- where every holiday has its own special land ... and imaginative, one-of-a-kind characters! THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS tells the heartfelt tale of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, and all things that go bump in the night. Bored with the same old tricks and treats, he yearns for something more, and soon stumbles upon the glorious magic of Christmas Town! Jack decides to bring this joyful holiday back to Halloween Town. But as his dream to fill Santa's shoes unravels, it's up to Sally, the rag doll who loves him, to stitch things back together. This critically acclaimed movie milestone captured the heart and imagination of audiences everywhere with its Academy Award(R)-nominated stop-motion effects, engaging Grammy(R)-nominated music, and the genius of Tim Burton (BATMAN, PLANET OF THE APES). THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHIRSTMAS -- a delightful treat the whole family will enjoy!
|John Carpenter's The Thing [VHS]
Lowest used price: $20.00
Brand: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Director John Carpenter and special makeup effects master Rob Bottin teamed up for this 1982 remake of the 1951 science fiction classic The Thing from Another World, and the result is a mixed blessing. It's got moments of highly effective terror and spine-tingling suspense, but it's mostly a showcase for some of the goriest and most horrifically grotesque makeup effects ever created for a movie. With such highlights as a dog that splits open and blossoms into something indescribably gruesome, this is the kind of movie for die-hard horror fans and anyone who slows down to stare at fatal traffic accidents. On those terms, however, it's hard not to be impressed by the movie's wild and wacky freak show. It all begins when scientists at an arctic research station discover an alien spacecraft under the thick ice, and thaw out the alien body found aboard. What they don't know is that the alien can assume any human form, and before long the scientists can't tell who's real and who's a deadly alien threat. Kurt Russell leads the battle against the terrifying intruder, and the supporting cast includes Richard Masur, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffat, and Wilford Brimley. They're all playing standard characters who are neglected by the mechanistic screenplay (based on the classic sci-fi story "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell), but Carpenter's emphasis is clearly on the gross-out effects and escalating tension. If you've got the stomach for it (and let's face it, there's a big audience for eerie gore), this is a thrill ride you won't want to miss. --Jeff Shannon
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