This is one of those weeks where not much new and exciting is coming out on DVD, as far as fantasy films go. The big ticket items are titles that have been seen before: some are simply re-issues; others are dressed up in brand new packaging.
The classic thriller THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME (filmed on many of the same sets, and with some of the same stars, from the 1933 KING KONG) comes out in a DVD two-pack with AND THEN THERE WERE NONE. The story – about a mad hunter on an isolated island who chooses human prey – has to be seen to be believed, and the film has a wonderful weird kink about it (Count Zaroff, the afore-mentioned mad hunter, clearly thinks that beautiful Fay Wray is the kewpie doll he wins – and gets to have his way wiht – after a successful hunt). Although old-fashioned, the film stirs up some interesting ideas and feelings about our attitude toward violence in general and hunting in particular. The film’s hero, in the process of going from the hunter to the hunted, expresses regret about the animals he killed in the past, but it is the very skills he aquired in these hunts that allow him to prevail. And there’s a really mean and nasty moment wherein he dispatches Zaroff’s native assistant by breaking his back over his knee – the brutality is all the more jarring for inviting the audience to cheer along.
The description of THE ULTIMATE STAR TREK DVD COLLECTION (no image available, unfortuantely) sounds like a parody you would read in The Onion, but it is apparently real: a 212-disc set that includes the five live-action television shows and the ten features films. The movies are all in two-disc special collector’s editions; the television shows come in box set complete editions, all with varying numbers of bonus features. About the only Trek show not inlcuded in the “ultimate” collection is, perhaps not coincidentally, being released on DVD for the first time, simultaneously. STAR TREK: THE ANIMATED SERIES, that strange ’70s artifact that used the cast from the original live-action show to voice cartoon versions of their old characters, also hits store shelves. NOTE: Although, technically, the DVD set was scheduled to become go on sale today, last time I checked at Amazon.Com, it was listed as “not available,” suggesting that pre-sale orders pre-empted its actual arrival. Hopefully, some more sets will become available soon.)
ICE AGE: THE MELTDOWN gets reissued in a Blu-Ray DVD edition. It is also available in widescreen and full screen editions, plus a two-pack combo with the original ICE AGE.
ALSO THIS WEEK
STARGATE is back on DVD, this time in a THX edition. OTHER TITLES: Dark Shadows – Bloopers and Treasures; a drive-in double bill of Blood of the Vampire/The Hellfire Club; Devil Times Five (with Leif Garret); H6 – Diary of a Serial Killer; Slayer (with Casper Van Dien); UKM – Ultimate Killing Machine; Wedding Slashers (with Richard Lynch); We’re Going to Eat You (an Asian variation on cannibalistic zombie flicks); a double bill of Topper Returns/Nancy Drew Reporter.