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The Extreme Shopping Guide for January 2004

William S. Burroughs: Commissioner of Sewers DVD

There’s always room for anybody’s shelf for some of Uncle Bill…and hey, now there’s some worthy DVD entries to consider when seeking that beat giftage. First up, Screen Edge brings you William S. Burroughs: Comissioner of Sewers, a disc heavy with footage of Uncle Bill’s live readings, film appearances, his artwork, and more. Maybe not the best introduction, but for the existing fan, it’s a no-brainer. Then we’ve also got Naked Lunch, getting its due from Criterion, as it should. Director Cronenberg is on board with a perfect performance by Peter Weller as Burroughs stand-in Bill Lee and the thing is weird as seven hells. To help you through it, you’ve got a commentary from Cronenberg and Weller, a new docu, an illustrated essay cover the effects, stills, a gallery of marking materials, some audio recordings of Uncle Bill reading bits from the novel, and more. For the fan on your list, go for a twofer and win their love forever. Just flee if they want the stuff rubbed on their lips.

Let’s face it, you thought this was a cool show as a kid. And mayhap there’s someone you need to buy for who still does. If so, you’ve got a pretty good selection of DVD titles to choose from, and yeah, the cheese is still fresh after all these years. Granted, no season boxed sets yet, but you can make a pretty solid showing nonetheless. The Ultimate Collection of the series, released by Universal, has eighteen episodes across six discs. So it’s your best bet for getting the series on DVD. All three TV movies that followed are available as well. First up, you get Returns and Trial (featuring guest appearances from a very frightening Thor and Daredevil, respectively) on this release from Anchor Bay. It’s got a huge amount of feaures, including a docu on Ferrigno and his bodybuilding career, interviews with Ferrigno and Stan Lee, and the entire Trial script on DVD-ROM. Not bad. And lastly, the series comes to a close in the final TV movie, Death, in a release from Fox.

What’s that? They did a feature film of The Hulk? Huh. Must’ve missed that.

Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft franchise took to the stars and hooked even more people. It’s been rather successful. And the alien races are so cool, it was only a matter of time before somebody cranked out some action figures. Toycom has stepped up and done so quite well. You get a representative figure of each of the three major races. The humans have the Firebat who comes with a visor that closes, a detachable fuel backpack, and plenty of articulation for aiming his wrist-mounted flamethrowers. You’ve also got a Hydralisk, one of the nasty Zerg, who articulates all over the place–including its two jaws. And lastly there’s Tassadar, one of the Protoss, who comes with a wicked-looking sword and this crazy ponytail/dread thing that reaches to his ankles. Wild. Any of them would be a great gift, but get on board now because the packages say “Series One” for a reason.

If you’ve got somebody on your shopping list who’s either already working out a bit or perhaps wants to but can’t seem to get motivated–we recommend getting them some of Karen Voight’s videos. Voight has twenty years experience under her belt teaching fitness, has created twenty-five videos on the subject, has written a book and, well…I mean look at her on the cover art for these things: she’s in great shape, she’s got to know something about getting there and staying there. With Energy Sprint you’re going for a combo of strength training and cardio work on a step bench. If better-defined, better-looking muscles are on the list of todos, then Great Weighted Workout is in order. All you need is a half-hour tops and along with some light weights, Voight will show you how to use it all to its maximum impact. Half & Half is exactly what it purports to be, half strength conditioning and half cardio. All the Voight DVDs are easy to navigate and are easy to mixup with short segments. Click here to go to her site and purchase both the DVDs and any gear you might be lacking.

We’re big fans of Law & Order here, and it’s hard to imagine that they’ll ever run out of episodes of all the many flavors. However–for those people that like their crime television on DVD, while they’re waiting for the second seasons of everything to hit, back up a bit and see what’s come before. First up, Anchor Bay is providing the complete first season of Michael Mann’s Crime Story starring Dennis Farina, with twenty episodes and the pilot on five discs. This gem from the 80s features a battle against organized crime in the 60s and brings that patented Mann intensity to the small screen. Also we’ve got the first three seasons of Homicide from A&E, with commentaries, interviews and commercials for the show. Between the two sets, you’re looking at thirty-three episodes with more on the way, so if you need to gift somebody with TV crime dramas, start now lest they get behind. Buy Season 1 & 2 of the show here and Season 3 here.

Oh sure, you may not recognize the titles, but the serious Cary Grant fan on your list certainly will. Fox presents these four titles, reaching from 1934 all the way to 1957 and putting Grant in situations both comedic and maudlin. There’s not much in the way of features, but the Grant fan won’t mind–they’ll just be pleased as hell to see them on DVD. They’re recent releases, so snag all four of them before someone else beats you to it. Buy Born to be Bad, I Was a Male War Bride, Kiss Them For Me, People Will Talk.

The fan of the show on your list of giftage is going to be feeling the pangs, seeing as how the show is about to vacate the air waves–and something tells me that Joey alone isn’t going to be enough to slake the thirst of the faithful. But never fear–you can come to rescue and earn major points by snagging the boxed sets from Warner Brothers. Sure, they have all the episodes from the seasons shown here, but the bonus bits are actually fairly choice. You get commentary on key episodes, virtual tours of the set with commentary from key players on later sets, trivia challenges, and a docu. And hey, if you really want to become their best friend in a hurry, get all five sets together. What a deal. Otherwise, buy them separately: Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 5.


  • ZA: Thanks for the comment. But bear in mind Starcraft is basically Warcraft with aliens, hence the phrase “Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft franchise took to the stars…” You are correct, however, in that I could have named the game in the description. However, this is also a shopping guide that’s almost three years old, so I’m too goddamn lazy to edit it. But thanks for playing. :)