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|Quatermass & The Pit [VHS]
Lowest new price: $59.95
Lowest used price: $14.95
List price: $14.98
We have met the enemy, and it is us: when a Martian spacecraft with a terrifying link to the origins of humanity is unearthed beneath a London tube station, only the esteemed Professor Bernard Quatermass (a very British--and possibly mad--precursor to Mulder and Scully) can save London's suddenly murderous population from itself. One of the most intelligently paranoid science fiction films ever produced, this pessimistic masterpiece functions as a dark flip side to the relatively optimistic alien-induced evolution theory presented in the later 2001: A Space Odyssey. Nigel Kneale's brilliant script (which posits a surprisingly plausible, otherworldly rationale for the existence of the supernatural) was later appropriated by acknowledged fan John Carpenter for his underrated Prince of Darkness. In addition to boasting a flawless widescreen print, this marvelous tape also features a hilariously overdone original U.S. trailer ("Women will be defiled by the invaders from outer space!" it erroneously shrieks). A must-see for horror and science fiction aficionados. This film is also known as Five Million Years to Earth. --Andrew Wright
|Blade Runner - The Director's Cut [VHS]
Lowest new price: $26.01
Lowest used price: $9.56
List price: $14.95
VHS in very good condition light wear to holder.
|Enter the Dragon [VHS]
Lowest new price: $9.63
Lowest used price: $3.98
List price: $13.62
The last film completed by Bruce Lee before his untimely death, Enter the Dragon was his entrée into Hollywood. The American-Hong Kong coproduction, shot in Asia by American director Robert Clouse, stars Lee as a British agent sent to infiltrate the criminal empire of bloodthirsty Asian crime lord Han (Shih Kien) through his annual international martial arts tournament. Lee spends his days taking on tournament combatants and nights breaking into the heavily guarded underground fortress, kicking the living tar out of anyone who stands in his way. The mix of kung fu fighting (choreographed by Lee himself) and James Bond intrigue (the plot has more than a passing resemblance to Dr. No) is pulpy by any standard, but the generous budget and talented cast of world-class martial artists puts this film in a category well above Lee's earlier Hong Kong productions. Unfortunately he's off the screen for large chunks of time as American maverick competitors (and champion martial artists) John Saxon and Jim Kelly take center stage, but once the fighting starts Lee takes over. The tournament setting provides an ample display of martial arts mastery of many styles and climaxes with a huge free-for-all, but the highlight is Lee's brutal one-on-one with the claw-fisted Han in the dynamic hall-of-mirrors battle. Lee narrows his eyes and tenses into a wiry force of sinew, speed, and ruthless determination. --Sean Axmaker
|My Man [VHS]
Lowest new price: $31.96
Lowest used price: $14.90
List price: $31.96
Bertrand Blier, the French filmmaker who's made a profession out of aggressive but darkly poetic political incorrectness since 1973's scandalous Going Places, relates the story of a disconcertingly happy hooker in My Man. Marie, played by Blier's current muse, tiny, intense Anouk Grinberg, plies her trade in a Parisian passageway, where she revels in her spidery power to seduce and satisfy any passing male. Marie's unfettered sexuality combines with her equally strong motherly instincts (the oldest and most reliably shocking of Blier's themes) when she finds the scruffy, smelly Jeannot (Gérard Lanvin) sleeping in the hall. She takes him in, and makes him her pimp--a "nice pimp," she says, who will remember her birthday.
My Man suffers from Blier's congenital third-act problems, when the action goes wildly surreal. But his theatrically stylized language--elevated, elegant, impeccably measured--is a pleasure even in translation. --Dave Kehr
|Vera Cruz (Widescreen Edition) [VHS]
Lowest used price: $9.94
Vera Cruz is a 1954 American Western theatrical film starring Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster, and featuring Denise Darcel, Sara Montiel, Cesar Romero, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson and Jack Elam. The movie was directed by Robert Aldrich from a story by Borden Chase. The picture's amoral characters and cynical attitude toward violence (including a scene where Lancaster's character threatens to murder child hostages) were considered shocking at the time and influenced future Westerns such as The Magnificent Seven, The Professionals, Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch, and the films of Sergio Leone, which often featured supporting cast members from Vera Cruz in similar roles.
Lowest used price: $18.65
List price: $14.99
Italian horror maestro Dario Argento made his name by turning homicide into modern art with a cinematic flourish, but with Phenomena he takes his stylish mayhem in new directions. The film opens with the dreamy grace of a fairy tale: a young girl wandering the green meadows of Switzerland and discovering a gingerbread house, wherein lives a monster more modern than mythic, a psychopathic maniac who plunges the picture into a lush nightmare. Jennifer (Jennifer Connelly in her first starring role), a gifted young girl at a Swiss school, has a psychic link to the insect world and develops a connection with the killer through midnight sleepwalks. With the help of a lonely, wheelchair-bound entomologist (genre stalwart Donald Pleasence, who inflects his sonorous tenor with a gentle Scottish burr) she turns telekinetic detective, which only draws her closer to the killer's lair. The densely plotted story becomes muddled at times (this is the busiest film in Argento's oeuvre) but the lyrical cinematography and gorgeous nocturnal imagery--dreamy sleepwalks, nightmarish murders, hideous horrors that emerge in the dark of night--take on a poetic elegance not seen in his previous work, providing the tale with a kind of dream logic. This is a slasher film reborn as an exquisitely grim fantasy: Jennifer in Argentoland. --Sean Axmaker
|The Alamo: Original Uncut Version [VHS]
Lowest new price: $8.50
Lowest used price: $5.99
John Wayne produces, directs and stars in this "bigger than life" (Life) chronicle of one ofthe most remarkable events in American history. At the Alamoa crumbling adobe mission185 exceptional men joined together in a sacred pact: they would stand firm against an army of 7,000 and willingly give their lives for freedom. Filmed entirely in Texas, only a few miles from the site of the actual battle, The Alamo is a visually stunning and historically accurate celebration of courage and honor. Co-starring Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey and Chill Wills, and garnering seven Oscar(r) nominations*, it is a "truly memorable movie spectacle" (Leonard Maltin). *1960: Picture, Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Sound (winner), Editing, Score and Song
John Wayne drew on what he learned from John Ford, Howard Hawks, and practically everyone who directed him during his long career when he made his own directorial debut on this labor of love. The Alamo is a sprawling, unabashedly patriotic epic of the sacrifice made by 187 men defending the Alamo from Santa Ana's bigger and better equipped army. Wayne stars as Col. Davy Crockett, the straight-talking, fun-loving frontiersman turned senator, with Laurence Harvey as the stiff, by-the-book Col. William Travis and Ricahrd Widmark as the legendary Jim Bowie who bristles under Travis's military protocol. The mix of regular army soldiers, Texican irregulars, scouts, and civilians makes for a volatile melting pot, but they all come together in a time of crisis in this metaphor for Wayne's heroic vision of America. Wayne spared no expense in this, one the last of the old fashion Westerns, re-creating the Alamo in exacting detail and corralling a cast of Western icons and old friends, including Richard Boone, Chill Wills (who earned an Oscar nomination), Hank Worden, Denver Pyle, Ken Curtis, and Olive Carey, in addition to teen heartthrob Frankie Avalon and Wayne's son Pat. Even old pal and spiritual godfather John Ford lent a hand shooting second-unit footage. Wayne is no Ford, but despite himself (and a talky script), he delivers an entertaining film full of intriguing characters and excellent action scenes, earning the film an Oscar nomination for Best Picture in 1960. Remember the Alamo! --Sean Axmaker
- Chicago Daily News "A diamond-hard, 'rough-hewn' masterpiece!"
Lowest new price: $14.49
Lowest used price: $4.76
List price: $14.49
International superstar Takeshi Kitano combines cool violence and powerful emotions to reinvent the gangster-film genre in his explosive and award-winning thriller, FIREWORKS.
A hard-boiled ex-cop, haunted by a troubled past and pushed to the edge by the shooting of his partner, confronts his demons in a ruthless quest for justice and redemption.
Hailed by critics around the world as one of the best films of the year, FIREWORKS combines visual poetry and heart-stopping action, marking Kitano as one of the most accomplished and exciting filmmakers working today.
|The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser [VHS]
Lowest new price: $4.71
Lowest used price: $8.77
List price: $4.71
|Spirits of the Dead [VHS]
Lowest used price: $7.88
Metzengerstein Directing his then wife and brother-in-law, Jane and Peter Fonda, Roger Vadim adapts this Poe story about a medieval woman who takes a liking to her cousin. When he doesn't respond in kind she sets his stable ablaze. Running into t
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