September 01, 2007

Notes from a DVD Geek

by Jeremy Lassen

Hello everyone. I recently got back from the San Diego Comicon, where I saw all kinds of crazy stuff, including amputee booth models, and way too much CosPlay to contemplate.  Because of this recent over-exposure to all things anime, I feel compelled to tell you about some anime that has made its way to the Borderlands DVD shelves.

First up is "Burst Angel".  This just-released genre-bender mixes sci-fi, action, comedy, and a touch of spaghetti Western into an over-the-top girls-with-guns confection.  The first two volumes/8 episodes of this one are on DVD now.

Another strange anime series that has been getting talked up is the noir/sf series “The Big O”;  (no, the title is not referring to what you think its referring to).  It’s about a futuristic city with 40’s retro styling, whose entire population has lost their memories.  The city is ruled by the police force, and there are giant robots that kind of sit around and don’t really do much.  The title refers to said giant robots.  Think of this as a weird mix of "Dark City" and "Batman The Animated Series," without Batman.  It’s interesting stuff that was apparently shown on the Cartoon Network.  But who has time for cable?  There are now two giant 4-dvd sets available, each containing a 13-episode season.  This is exactly the kind of weird mix of styles and genres that anime does really well.

Moving away from anime, but still speaking of retro;  Media Blasters just released a triple feature box set of Toho Studios movies . . . it’s a nice mix of Giant Monster ("Varan the Unbelievable"), alien invasion ("The Mysterians") and SF/horror ("Matango!"), all from the studio that created "Godzilla".  I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating -- "Matango!, or Attack of the Mushroom People" is a really chilling movie based on a William Hope Hodgson story.  Be sure to check it out.

Another retro cult classic (1969) from Japan that’s just hit DVD is a movie that has the greatest title ever: "The Horrors of Malformed Men".  This one is directed by Teruo Ishii, and follows a man who escapes from an asylum, seeking his doppelganger.  He eventually ends up on an island filled with mad scientists and monstrous things.

Also retro, but completely different . . . the original gothic/vampire soap opera, "Dark Shadows," is being released in a sequential manner . . . "Dark Shadows - The Beginning Episodes" collects up the first 35 episodes of this classic vampire series.   Remember . . .  without "Dark Shadows," there could be no "Buffy"!

Another box set worth mentioning is only worth mentioning because it’s a box set.  These aren’t good movies by any stretch of the imagination.  But if you put two bad movies in a box set and slap a cheap price on them, suddenly it’s a bargain.  Plus . . . you know . . . these bad movies have zombies, mad scientists and girls with guns.  "Resident Evil," and "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" are now available in one box set, at one low price, making it an irresistible bargain -- just in time for the theatrical release of  yet another bad movie:  "Resident Evil: Extinction".

And finally . . . the ultimate in Sci-Fi cheese.  100 Sci-Fi movies, all in one box set!  That’s right!  100 movies for 1 low price.  You may think that these are probably going to be silly low-budget garbage movies, and you’d be right!  Except there are 100 of them!  You may have seen earlier box sets with similar titles. . . "Sci-Fi Classics: 8 Movie Pack" or "Sci-Fi classics: 50 Movie Pack".  But now, Mil Creek Entertainment has packaged up 100!!! Movies!  All in one box!!  (Shhhh, Jeremy, stop yelling. - ed.) The list of movies includes such "classics" as "Frozen Alive," "Alien Contamination," "The Return of Dr. Mabuse," "They," "She Gods Of Shark Reef," and many others.  Get it while you can, because I can’t image this box set will be available for long.

No comments:

Post a Comment