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Headsup: Ships, Whips & A Guy With a Pegleg

There’s a lot of stuff that comes out all the time, and the companies are want your attention and mostly…your coin. But, you know, it’s your coin and you have to take care where you spend it. With these posts we try to take you through recent releases so you can make up your mind. If you find the info here to be of use, do us a favor and purchase stuff from Amazon through us. Especially if you were going to buy the stuff anyway. That gives us kickbacks, which help pay for things. Like the server. And coffee. And therapy. We thank you.

Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures Blu-Ray
Titanic 3D Blu-Ray
Treasure Island Blu-Ray

[ad#longpost]”The boxed set so good you won’t give a shit that they included the fourth film,” should be the tagline for Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures. And, hilariously, a sidebar: a recent Variety sub-headline stated that the set contained “all three films.” Nice. Anyway, it’s true: the trilogy plus one is here in Blu-Ray and let’s get the main thing out of the way first: holy crap, the hi-def treatment here is frikkin’ amazing. Even Raiders, the first out of the gate and released in 1887, looks pristine. I know there was lots of moaning about this set taking so long to get out there, but if getting everything cleaned up is what took the time–it was worth it. And you know I’m a bonus fiend, so understand this: even if they didn’t release any bonuses on here at all–the hi-def treatment would be worth it. That being said, you get a more than respectable slew of bonuses. There’s close to an hour of “On Set” bits from Raiders. There’s a making-of for each of the four films (two for Raiders, one a vintage bit) which spends close to two hours on the first film, and rapidly dwindles down to a half hour for Part 4. Fine. There’s also a buffet of behind the scenes bits, covering everything from stunts to music to locations to the critters that often ruin Indy’s day. There’s also the AFI tribute to the women of the films. It is, quite literally, one of the best movie hi-def sets of the year if not the hi-def medium itself. It is just stupidly good. And yeah, it’s $65, but who the hell knows when they’ll be released individually? Consider the inclusion of the fourth disc as a bonus bit that you never have to watch and call it good. Highly highly recommended. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Okay, so there are a few naysayers about Titanic. But everybody and his brother Bob has seen it, so let me just cut to the chase about why I stand by my original five-cup review of the film. First, Cameron wanted to educate you on the ship and how the tragedy unfolded and then take you through every stage of it so you could experience it as firsthand as possible. He achieved this and, I would argue, did so with very little in the way of ham-handed exposition. He also created a scenario that served to take our heroes through every single damn stage of the accident and do so organically. That’s impressive enough–but the fact that he did so over the course of three hours that, at least on my first viewing, felt more like a regular-sized movie…all in an hour-forty? Both of those things blew me away. (And if you want an example of horror that’s not in a horror movie–if you don’t feel horrified watching people careen down the vertical deck of the ship, smashing into things the whole way down…?) So that out of the way, let’s address this: a 3D conversion that looks better than most 2D to 3D conversions that we have coming out in cinemas. Having seen it both on the big screen and here, I’m impressed as hell that so much of it still comes through on my setup at home. And even in 2D, the hi-def looks and sounds amazing. So if you’re wondering if the thing’s worth owning the answer is: why, yes. Then we get into the bonus bits, the majority of which originally appeared on the DVD set. The new stuff appears to be a quick (well, it lasts an hour but there’s a lot of ground to cover) rundown of the production all the way through the 3D update plus a feature-length new historical docu. And those are worthy as well. You also get three commentaries, one with Cameron, one with the cast & crew (heavily populated), and a third focusing on the historical side of things. There’s a slew of other bits, including deleted scenes, behind the scenes footage, the presentation Cameron did of his dive to the actual wreck site, and more. The set’s massive and worth it. If you’re wondering if you should upgrade, I say yes–and I say snag the 3D. Even if you don’t have the rig, you will at some point–and this is one you’ll be glad you had. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Like most adaptations of Treasure Island, this SyFy miniseries (broadcast originally on Sky in the UK) takes liberties with the source material. You need a young guy. You need a Long John Silver. You need pirates and you need betrayal. Oh, and an island. But yes, as good as Elijah Wood is, playing a bit against type–yes, as good as Donald Sutherland is because he’s Donald Goddamn Sutherland and yes, as much as Life on Mars fans are going to appreciate the inclusion of Philip Glenister…it’s Eddie Izzard as Silver that rocks this and makes it worth watching–for everybody. Seriously. Showing both dramatic and comedic chops all at once and doing so effortlessly, he’s the one who transcends any concerns you might have about the limitations of budget, story or anything else. Which is why it’s sort of fantastic that this Gaiam/Vivendi Blu-Ray release comes with a commentary from the director and Izzard, a making-of, interviews and more. And the audio and video are pretty choice. Izzard fans might want to consider owning–everybody else should at least give it a rental. One of the higher end SyFy offerings. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 Blu-Ray
Fringe Season 4 Blu-Ray
Sanctuary Season 4 Blu-Ray

As somebody who used to Dreamcast movies a lot, I get excited when somebody is actually cast for something and they never even occurred to me…but in hindsight (naturally) it seems so bloody obvious. And there’s just something that sparks joy in me when I hear Peter Weller as the bitter, bemused Batman of The Dark Knight Returns Part 1, out on Blu-Ray from Warner. There’s a lot to like here–there are moments lifted straight from the pages of that classic series (if they’re not verbatim then they fit exactly with the memory of them…you know how that goes). There’s the stark brutality of the story. And it’s faithful. And anywhere that the voices don’t exactly work (the Gordon is a little off for my tastes), I just hear Weller talk and I’m sold. Still, as well executed as this release is, the bonus bits are a little sparse. You get a featurette on Carrie Kelly, a featurette on Batman creator Bob Kane, a preview of Part 2 and two Batman Animated episodes…and that’s it. I’m wondering if a boxed set might be released later of both parts that will have additional features (commentary, please?) but that is pure conjecture at this point. Fans of the comic and the character will want to give this a watch, and if purchasing is your way to go–the hi-def is only $4 more than the DVD solo, so it only makes sense. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

The utterly mental nature of Fringe continues as the fifth and final season gets ready to kick off this week–and here’s the fourth season out on Blu-Ray from Warner Brothers to try and assist your preparation. It goes without saying that those who haven’t watched the show from the beginning are going to be utterly and inexorably lost if they don’t start from the beginning, but fans of the show who are/were ready to pick up from the “reboot” of the third season and see where both universes go will be interested in checking out this set. First and foremost, the hi-def audio and video are both choice, so no fears there. And all twenty-two episodes are here across four discs, so you’re getting all of that. The bonus bits seem light, though: the high point is a brief roundtable with the executive producers, actor John Noble and a pair of scientists where they discuss What It All Means. You also get a look at the Observers, a featurette about the comic book, and what the temporary cast shift meant to Season 4. There’s also a very brief gag reel. At less than $2 an episode, the price point isn’t bad…but some additional features would have made it an easier sell. The hardcore will want to own; everybody else might be fine with just renting. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

The fourth season of Sanctuary opens with a resolution of the time traveling mayhem that concluded the previous season and our fearless leader Helen making a decision that protects reality as well as lays the groundwork for additional developments. These include a very old friend, Area 51, and quite possibly the end of Sanctuary as they know it. Fans of the show and its ability to weave fictional characters in with the real world and make it, well, a nice insane smoothie will probably continue to be pleased with the show as it does more of the same and sets itself up for a new direction. The Blu-Ray release looks and sounds damn good–and sci-fi shows are one of those things where going hi-def can make sense for the right audience member. As far as bonus bits go, you get commentaries on five episodes, plus a gag reel, deleted scenes and a number of additional featurettes. At around $2.75 an episode, the price point is high enough where I’d say the hardcore will want to own–everyone else should rent and give it a trial run. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Big Bang Theory Season 5 Blu-Ray
Bored to Death Season 3 Blu-Ray
Carol Burnett Show: Carols Favorites DVD

I think I may be terribly hard on sitcoms these days. I say this because I’m confronted constantly by people whose opinions I respect who are enthralled by shows that, when I sample them, I just Don’t Get It. Which is odd, because on the surface, The Big Bang Theory–a sitcom dealing with nerds and the people who hang out with them–seems like it was made for me. However, we just don’t gel for whatever reason. But lots of people like it, it’s a bit of a ratings monster, and so CBS is very, very happy. Thus the release of the fifth season as a Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack, a TV rarity. All twenty-four episodes are here on this WB set on a total of five discs. Various and sundry relationships take the fore here as the creators are working on giving themselves some ground to build material on–and the faithful will probably be quite happy with it, as it just keeps on keeping on. The set could have done with some commentaries, but alas no: you do get some small bits, however. There’s a featurette about the show hitting its 100th episode, a season retrospective and a behind-the-scenes tour of the different departments responsible for cranking out the show. There’s also outtakes. The price point isn’t terrible–around $1.50 an episode, and that’s for both formats. Hardcore fans of the show may want to consider snagging. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

No joy in Mudville for fans of Bored to Death, as the third series is the last for the foreseeable future, though last I heard they were considering a TV movie. There is a lot of precedent for such things on detective shows, so why not? Anyway, featuring a trio of Need Coffee faves, Jason Schwartzman is a fictionalized version of show creator Jonathan Ames, a writer who decides to spend his free time as an unlicensed detective, enlisting the help of his friends George and Ray, played by Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis. Across this season’s eight episodes, Jonathan discovers his father really isn’t his father, Ray continues to have romantic drama and George opens a restaurant. Fans of the show will want to consider owning (because such things are considered votes for doing more of these things, as you well know)–but the bonus bits are nice as well: four commentaries, deleted scenes, outtakes and interviews with the creator about each episode. HBO continues to do their TV DVD releases justice. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

On one hand, I really want a complete DVD release of The Carol Burnett Show. It’s a classic bit of television that still hasn’t hit in its entirety. However, Time-Life is doing an Ultimate Collection of fifty episodes across twenty-two discs. That’s going for $200. If you, like me, are looking for something a bit more sane (at least until there’s some sort of streaming option), then Time-Life is at least releasing the first six-disc volume from the Ultimate Collection, Carol’s Favorites. It’s pretty damn stacked in its own right: sixteen uncut episodes of the show, plus the “Went With the Wind” sketch and “The Dentist” sketch as well as additional sketches, the 2004 reunion special “Let’s Bump Up the Lights,” an interview with Harvey Korman and Tim Conway among others and the bit from The Garry Moore Show in which Carol gave the Tarzan yell’s television debut. There are also featurettes on here as well…and for $30, this is actually a really sweet boxed set. Yes, eventually it’d be nice to put the bigass collection on your wish list but this is a much easier grab for folks and will probably scratch that itch. And man, this stuff is Still Funny. Highly recommended. (Click here to buy it from Time-Life.)

Delicacy Blu-Ray
Extraterrestrial DVD

In Delicacy, hitting Blu-Ray from the Cohen Media Group, Audrey Tautou plays a woman who had the life of her dreams: she had found the perfect guy for her and was deliriously happy. Then an accident took him from her and left her diminished. Having basically given up, she one day unknowingly sets in motion a chain of events that will put her in the path of Markus, a co-worker who decides to step up and try to work for love, even the unlikely kind. If that synopsis sounds like the sort of feel-good pap that you’re used to dealing with in Hollywood films, relax, the film is French. And while it is a comedy, it does have more of a real world feel. Tautou is gorgeous but naturally so–she doesn’t seem to have been grown in a vat somewhere, if you catch my meaning. And Francois Damiens is representing…well, every non-suave man everywhere. The film is worth checking out, especially for fans of Tautou or anyone who just would like a decent romantic comedy that doesn’t make your eyelashes hurt. The Blu-Ray looks quite good in hi-def and does actually come with some bonus bits: there’s a making-of featurette and an interview with Tautou. Don’t be afraid of subtitled films. They’re good for you. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Confession time again: I’ve never gotten so wasted that I woke up the next day and couldn’t remember what had gone on the night before. This must, however, be a relatively common occurrence, if films are to be believed. And indeed, normally it involves waking up next to a stranger of varying degrees of attractiveness. Again, this must happen all the time–per the movies. Here, it happens to Julio, and as he is on his way out a complication arises: an apparent alien invasion. If that wasn’t complicated enough, the stranger–a high-on-the-attracive-scale Julia–has a Wacky Neighbor and a Jealous Boyfriend waiting in the wings to add to the mayhem. More comedy than sci-fi, Extraterrestrial will work for two types of audience members, methinks: fans of foreign comedies and people who, in general, appreciate directors who can screw around with genres and don’t mind coming along for the ride. The DVD out from Entertainment One does come with a decently-sized making-of and some additional short films by the director, but for most people a rental will suffice. But those interested parties should definitely check it out. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

How to Make It In America Season 2 DVD
San Francisco 49ers: Team of the 80s DVD
Todd Barry: Super Crazy CD

How to Make It In America‘s second (and final) season hits with eight episodes across two discs from HBO. The show is about two friends trying to break into the fashion business with their new line of gear: CRISP. As they’re trying to get ahead, Luis Guzman (who should at least have a cameo, if not recurring role, in everything) plays a cousin who’s trying to push an energy drink and leave his criminal past behind him. Smart and fairly focused, it’s a good watch for anyone who would appreciate a good show set in New York City that doesn’t involve having ridiculous amounts of sex and shoes. And now, because it got canned, it’s not a very big time investment. The set here comes with some behind the scenes footage, a featurette about young entrepreneurs and three audio commentaries, so it’s not bare bones. People wanting to run with a show might want to give it a spin as a rental–replay factor is what holds me back from saying purchase–and the $3/episode price point doesn’t make it any easier a sell. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

From the NFL Dynasty Collection, Vivendi has San Francisco 49ers: The Team of the 80s out on DVD. Basically taking you through the years that Coach Bill Walsh set the team up for four Super Bowls and seven divisional titles, and running down the things that Walsh brought to the table that made such success possible. Apart from the main content, you get two bonus Games of the Week: the 1981 NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl XVI. As a person who doesn’t really understand football (the one with the puck, I think) what I can say, based on the material presented, is that the die hard fan will probably want to give this a rental–but only the strictly, truly hardcore will need to own. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

The interesting thing about Todd Barry–and what took me a little bit to put my finger on while listening to his new CD, Super Crazy–is his delivery. It’s laid back like something out of Steven Wright’s wheelhouse but rather than being bored yet bemused sounding…he sounds like a subversive NPR announcer. And that’s all for the better when he’s talking about the self-deprecating nature of his own career, odd things having to do with language and rating the jokes told to him by nurses. It’s not a high energy comedy album–because that’s not really his bag, but it does have a lot of good solid chuckles in store. If you’re unfamiliar with his stuff, you can sample it on Spotify. Both CD and MP3 are the same price. (Click here to buy the CD from Amazon. Click here to buy the MP3 from Amazon.)

Art of Rap DVD
Etta James: Live at Montreux Blu-Ray

I just recently caught the Idris Elba-hosted special “How Hip Hop Changed the World,” and that’s one thing. I actually appreciated the “argument” for how the genre had done so and it makes a lot of sense. But like I said, that’s one thing. Ice-T directing a docu in which he goes around, talking to damn near everybody in regards to the genre–that’s something else entirely. Is there a bit of history? Yes, and a bit of backstage info and a bit of this and that. But while it’s promoted as an overview of the art, it’s mostly a chance for fans to see a lot of the major figures out from behind a mic–and it’s a fascinating watch from that perspective. It’s Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, out on DVD from Vivendi. Any fan of the genre will want to check this out (a rental before perhaps owning is the best strategy, I would think) and the good news you actually do get some bonus bits: a producer commentary, a making-of, outtakes and a commentary from Ice-T himself. Nice. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

As I said before, Etta James was a badass. And if the previous CD release of Live at Montreux performances didn’t do it for you, then add some video to the equation. Eagle Rock has now released Live at Montreux 1993, which would have been cool enough on its own–because that’s eleven tracks with “I Just Wanna Make Love to You” and “Why I Sing the Blues” among them. But because they can, Eagle Rock has thrown in twelve tracks from five additional Montreux appearances, going back to 1975. Video quality varies a bit because we’re talking about differing sources and years and whatnot, but the fact that we have this for posterity is pretty awesome. You get over two and a half hours of live concert music from the lady herself and that’s definitely worthwhile. Any self-respecting music fan will at least rent, but James fans will want to own. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Another Life DVD
At Home With the Georgians DVD
Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady DVD

Another Life is being re-released to DVD by BFS at a more economical price point (under $15 as I write this). A true crime story set in a time when if you weren’t happy with your marriage and you wanted to seek love and adventure elsewhere…well, you were stuck. Of course, if something were to happen to the distant and unimpressive husband…that would be terrible, wouldn’t it? That’s the setup, and of interest is the cast–with Nick Moran (Lock Stock) as the husband and Ioan Gruffudd (Hornblower) as the lover with Natasha Little caught in the middle. Also on board? Fave Tom Wilkinson. Fans of true crime, Edwardian drama or–and perhaps most importantly, since they make the material transcend–the cast should definitely give this a rental. There’s really nothing in the way of bonus bits, so a rental is going to work for most anybody. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Things that have always been a hit in the Walls household are documentaries that look back at British history and occasionally recreate the stories told there. So At Home With the Georgians, out on DVD from BFS Entertainment, is a bit of a no-brainer. The concept is that the Georgians (the people living during that era, not denizens of either the state or the country) had a particular relationship with the concept of owning a home and also those homes once they were able to get hold of one. This is presented through the use of letters and documents from the time and situations are recreating using actors. Would a serious historian enjoy this? Probably not…but for the armchair historian, a three-part mini-series along these lines is quite sufficient and entertaining. Still, the price point ($10 an episode) is mighty steep. If this is your thing, then rent it where possible. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

BFS Entertainment is also re-releasing Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady…a twelve-part TV series based upon the journal and biography of Edith Blackwell Holden, with each episode covering a month in her life in 1906. And again, for anyone who has an interest in the recreation of this period of British history, it’s worth checking out. Pippa Guard leads the cast as Holden and carries the show well, though it’s worth remarking that Anthony Daniels is here in non-android form, for anyone wanting to check out more of his work. At about $3/episode, the price is high but not insane (and better than buying the out of print version new–egad). Sadly, like the previous release, there’s nothing in the way of bonus bits, which would have made this an easier sale. Rent it if piques your interest and then judge for yourself what shelf space it needs to take from you. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Criminal Justice Complete Set DVD
Criminal Minds Season 7 DVD

BFS Entertainment is releasing both series of Criminal Justice as a Complete Set, with all ten episodes from both across four discs. The setup is that each series (originally broadcast five nights in a row) would trace a single case through the justice system. The first series had Ben Whishaw (increasingly showing up everywhere–for example, he’s the new Q) being accused of murder after a drug-filled romp of a night where he woke up and couldn’t remember what happened–just that there was a body in the house. That series also had the late great Pete Postlethwaite as an inmate and Bill Paterson (Law & Order UK) as a cop. Then second series follows a woman who stabbed her husband. The woman in question is played by Maxine Peake (Hollow Crown) and the husband is Matthew Macfadyen (Spooks). These shows will appeal to anybody who appreciates crime dramas on television, as they’re well executed and eminently watchable. As with most BFS releases, you don’t get anything in the way of bonuses sadly, and because they are bringing you the shows that most won’t, the price point is about $3.50 an episode. That being said, you can get this Complete Set now for the price of what just a single series used to cost. Rent it first to see if it bears owning, but fans of the genre will want to check it out regardless. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Paramount has the seventh season of Criminal Minds out on DVD, with all twenty-three episodes here across six discs. The season kicks off with a member of the team that the team never expected to see again turning up and then goes on from there. As is normal for these shows you have small arcs that occur in the background for the characters so we can assume that they are actually human beings–at least enough to not get too much in the way of the actual crimes and the solving of them. They also throw some guest stars into the mix to keep things moving, such as René Auberjonois, Robert Englund and Tricia Helfer. For bonus bits, you do get more than most Paramount boxed sets get: deleted scenes, a gag reel and some featurettes. Two episodes also come with commentaries and six episodes have behind-the-scenes mini-docus included. Fans of the show who need to catch up might want to rent this–and at around $1.50 an episode the price point isn’t bad–but replay factor is the thing here. If you feel the need to revisit this multiple times, then it might be worth having on your shelf. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Arachnophobia Blu-Ray
ATM Blu-Ray
Bait 3D Blu-Ray

There’s just something so heartwarming about the subgenre I call “When Animals Attack.” Yes, there was the heyday that brought us everything from Night of the Lepus to Food of the Goods, but it’s rare that in recent years you get something that’s outside of the SyFy (and thus utterly ludicrous) jurisdiction. Enter Arachnophobia, the 1990 spider attack flick that’s hitting Blu-Ray from Hollywood. Jeff Daniels as the local doctor investigating the recent spike in fatalities and John Goodman as the exterminator are both standouts in the film that is much beloved because it’s just a good time. Which is again, something a lot of horror films have forgotten how to be. Those wanting a hi-def return to the film will be pleased with the audio and video quality here, though the features are fairly sparse: a production featurette, a featurette about Frank Marshall’s directorial debut and a bit about shooting in Venezuela are it…and they’re all tiny things. Hardcore fans will want this–but bear in mind the DVD is about half the price if hi-def isn’t something you require. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

There’s nothing wrong with trying to shoot a film that basically takes place in one place. You save a ton in location costs and you’re probably going to save a lot on actors, too. Since you can only fit so many people into a single space, right? That’s why you see a lot of films recently like Buried and Brake and whatnot. However, in ATM, our three heroes are trapped in an ATM enclosure by a mysterious killer and have to figure out how to get out, get help and/or not get killed. Maybe it’s the Mysterious Hooded FigureTM in the mix that doesn’t work. Maybe it’s the fact that there’s still a World Out There that somebody could make a break for…maybe it’s the increasing series of “Oh, man, what?” incidents that occur. But it’s just not that tense an experience IMO. That all being said, this IFC release looks and sounds pretty damn good in hi-def (although it doesn’t need hi-def, let’s face it) but comes with just a tiny behind the scenes bit as its sole bonus. Rent it if you need something to fill time, but not sure who would need to own this. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

When shark movies and 3D collide! But in reality, from the get-go, the premise of Bait 3D shows some promise: a tsunami smashes into a town and leaves a group of people stranded in a now submerged supermarket. The giant wave also brought with it some hungry sharks–so our survivors how to figure out how to get to safety and/or kill the giant predators before they wind up as chum. A few steps above how SyFy would handle the same setup, this at least takes a novel situation and has some fun with it. It doesn’t exactly redefine the When Sharks Attack subgenre, but it’s not meant to. The main thing one can say about the Blu-Ray release is that the 3D is actually pretty effective, which along with the hi-def video and audio makes for a good home video horror experience. Alas, some extra bonus bits would have helped–a storyboard gallery is all you have on this Anchor Bay release. As it stands, a rental will do for most everybody. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Dead Season DVD
Girls Gone Dead DVD
Victim Blu-Ray

When escaping from a zombie apocalypse to an island haven, make sure you’ve got the right island. That’s when happens when fellow survivors Elvis and Tweeter (yes) make it to an island only to find it ruled by a hardcore leader and his followers. And What Must They Do To Survive? Okay, a “riveting new spin” on zombies? Not quite. But a decent flick of the level that you’d have been pleased to rent from the corner rental place back in the day? Sure. It has everything you wanted from those films: zombies, violence, gore and hey, why not…nudity. So. The bonus bits are an audio commentary, a making-of and some outtakes. That being said, having seen this once, only the hardcore for the genre or completists are going to then want to own. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

I believe I’ve stated this before: as much fun as it is to partake in a film that subverts expectations and successfully throws you for a pleasant loop…sometimes it’s good to take in a film that comes right out and Tells You what it is. And when your film is called Girls Gone Dead, is available in an “Unrated and Exposed” edition and dutifully has young ladies wearing very little on the cover…well, hey, thanks for the headsup. The great thing is you can pretty much guess the plot based on what I’ve told you with some help from the cover–a not-at-all-veiled version of Girls Gone Wild plus a Spring Break bash run into issues with a mystery killer. About the only thing you might get wrong is you might think zombies are in the mix based on the title. But that coupled with the fact that you’ve got appearances from the likes of Linnea Quigley and Ron Jeremy tell you about all that you need to know: and thankfully, the film won’t take itself too seriously in the process. Also bonus: Jerry Lawler as sheriff. And those who find that amusing might be squarely in the demographic for this. Bonus materials are fairly extensive but hit and miss: some behind-the-scenes bits, a making-of, commercial spots for the GGW parody, blooper reel, deleted and extended scenes, interviews (including Lawler) and a commentary. Slasher genre fiends will want to give it a rental. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Certain actors win a place in your heart and you just want them to succeed. After Michael Biehn kicked so much ass in Terminator and Aliens, I think I’m not in the minority when I say we haven’t seen enough of him. Enter The Victim, where he’s co-written, directed and starred in his own grindhouse flick. Playing opposite him is his wife, Jennifer Blanc, as a woman on the run from cops who want to cover up Something Bad that just happened. Biehn plays the loner in the middle of nowhere who finds himself caught in the middle. Once you say “grindhouse,” then my hope is the stage is set for you. You need a certain amount of plot, mayhem and sex and most fans of the genre are good. And the movie provides. The Anchor Bay Blu-Ray also looks and sounds good enough–again, the genre doesn’t exactly want or need pristine quality–and comes with some bonus bits: commentary with Biehn and Blanc and a behind-the-scenes featurette. Does it startlingly redefine the genre? No, but it’s not meant to. It does show that Biehn knows what he’s doing. So now we can see more of him, yes? (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)