For fans that missed out on the original release of “Hey Vern! It’s Ernest!” Mill Creek Entertainment offers up an eighties oddity that entertained me when I was but a wee four year old lad on Saturday mornings. “Hey Vern! It’s Ernest” is a show in the tradition of “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” that is—well—pretty much like Pee Wee’s Playhouse, except where Pee Wee Herman is a man child with a bunch of colorful friends, Vern, as played by Jim Varney, is kind of a Southern blue collared man prone to changing characters at the drop of a hat and getting in to all kinds of wacky misadventures. Varney immortalized the character of Ernest in the eighties, and he became something of an underdog hero in the late eighties to early nineties starring in various films and ad campaigns. “Hey Vern!” had a brief run as opposed to “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” but shares the same wonky attitude and surreal comedy that can be appreciated by cult audiences alike.
Severin films feeds the appetites of action movie buffs once again with their second part of “Kung Fu Trailers of Fury.” The region free Blu-Ray comes packed with over two hours over kung fu movie trailers that also delves in to comedy, animation, and drama, even. There are thirty five trailers total that skim over the massive landscape of Asian cinema, and fans will be very pleased to indulge in an uncut look at some of the best and most noteworthy films in the sub-genre. While the trailers aren’t all at even volume, with most of them presenting louder or softer volume as a whole, the trailers are offered in their original aspect ratios.
The beautiful but deadly Cynthia Rothrock is back with another of Full Moon’s great compilations entitled “Fists of Fury.” At a little over a hundred minutes, “Fists of Fury” features clips to a ton of famous and infamous martial arts films that tackle all kinds of topics far and wide. There’s “Female Fighters,” the funny but awkward “Brucesploitation,” and “Deadliest Weapons,” movies with some of the most unusual and dead weapons in all of action cinema.
This Halloween from Apple Press comes Steven Jay Schneider’s ultimate compilations of “101 Movies to See” in paperback form and ready to own. For folks unfamiliar, Steven Jay Schneider is the man responsible for the 1001 Movies to See Before You Die, and he’s broken up the movies in to various genres and sub-genres of film. With a slew of contributors writing very insightful and interesting capsule reviews, Mr. Schneider edits every review breaking them up in to periods of film. Every book follows the particular points of the century from films from the 1900’s, and the 1910’s right down to the 2000’s, where the books typically end. At over four hundred pages, the “101 Movies to See…” work as small guide books that teach aspiring movies buffs where to start in particular genres, and whether or not you like or hate the specific titles the books recommend, you can at least be satisfied that you’ve seen an essential piece of cinema.
Even without the hilarious small edits and cuts made by “Everything is Terrible!,” their film comprised of clips and long montages of bizarre footage from news reports is so funny and bizarre, it warrants watching twice, and heavy analyses. When we look back at the VHS generation, we can look back at “Everything is Terrible! The Movie” and either remember that the generation was not all peaches and cream, or was maybe even better than we remember. It’s tough to believe that so much of the unusual, silly, and over the top infomercials and instructional videos were paid for, and made for the utmost sincerity of selling us something or teaching us something.
“Snow Honeys” is less a snow bound bit of stag porn and more a lot of short vignettes set to the frame work of Kara Lott and Ken Starbuck introducing various segments. They’re not all consistent with the opening narration of the couple at a ski lounge, but it’s fun to watch the pair struggle through their introductions. Whether it’s the cold or the exhaustion, their first segment introduction is poorly edited together and seems to have been accomplished with multiple, perhaps dozens, of takes.
From Mill Creek Entertainment comes a twelve movie pack of some of the most interesting titles out there for purchase. Every year, there’s a new set with these movies, but as I always say: These packs are good for horror fans starting a collection and looking to get more for their bucks. “Don’t Answer the Phone” is the 1980 thriller about a Vietnam veteran taunting a radio show host as he describes his violent experiences with women and begins stalking her.
Not many movie critics earn the privilege to put out a book about one hundred of some of the best worst movies ever made. But author Phil Hall’s film knowledge dwarfs so many other alleged film critics that it’s only obvious Hall should release a book about anti-classics after years of his celebrated “The Bootleg Files” online.
“The Greatest Bad Movies Of All Time” from author Phil Hall brings together a hundred of arguably the worst and most bafflingly awful films ever brought to the mainstream, and it’s quite the excellent read. Author Phil Hall is gladly very unique in his choices, and I found two particular entries to be stand outs.
Author Phil Hall writes about the utter mess that was “Beyond the Sea,” the Kevin Spacey vanity project about Bobby Darin’s life. I fondly remember anxiously awaiting to see it, and being so embarrassed for the man.