Maybe you’ve noticed: in the past few months, the Vroman’s DVD selection has grown at a blinding rate.
Or, maybe you haven’t.
Either way, it’s important that you know before you do something silly, like buying your movies online. If you do that, Vroman’s loses money, which means I lose money.
Which means that in a few weeks, I look like this:
So, in the spirit of saving my meal ticket, here are some suggestions you might not have considered.
Island of Lost Souls (1935)
A sailor who looks like a werewolf. An actress credited simply as “The Panther Woman”. Charles Laughton with awkward facial hair. Bela Lugosi shouting to an army of hideous man-beasts: “Vhat is the law?! Vhat is the law?!”
These are some unforgettable images from this horror classic. The pacing is brisk, the acting solid, and the makeup so good it made me cringe. H.G. Wells would be proud (it’s based on his 1896 novel The Island of Dr. Moreau).
If I were to say it’s a classic, I’d be lying. If I were to say it stands the test of time, I’d be lying again. Yet, strangely, there is much to love about this film.
It’s slow getting off the ground, but the second half of the story sticks like the memory of your last kidney stone: the sparkling future it portrays is rendered in chilling pastel tones (a description I never thought I’d use.)
The Morlocks are monstrous hairy blue people. The vapid, illiterate Eloi look what happened when the kids from “Village of the Damned” grew up. And somewhere in the middle is Rod Taylor, the square-jawed hero from the nineteenth century who almost soils himself when he discovers that no one reads anymore.
Bonus: The flat but wonderful performance of Yvette Mimieux, Taylor’s disturbingly attractive love interest.
The Great Escape (1963)
American films of the early 1960s were, in a word, terrible.
Just my opinion.
However, as with everything, there are many, many exceptions. My favorite of these is “The Great Escape”, a grand WW2 adventure about some guys who decide to bust out of a POW camp.
I can say little about this film that hasn’t already been said about the Holy Bible:
1) It is old.
2) It is partly fact, largely fiction.
3) It is definitely, undeniably great.
But unlike the Bible, it’s underrated. So grab a copy. You won’t be disappointed.
Barton Fink (1991)
The lasting image I have from this film is John Goodman firing a shotgun down a burning hotel hallway. After multiple viewings, I’m still not sure why this happened.
I was under the impression that this film was about a writer who comes from New York to Hollywood to write a wrestling picture. But I guess somehow, somewhere, something went terribly wrong.
Like most Coen Brothers films, “Fink” is beautifully crafted, funny, and disturbing. Unlike most, it won the Palm d’Or at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival.
A unique and worthwhile film, a film that probably won’t be made into a TV show anytime soon.
The Cove (2009)
Blood-spattered, dolphin chopping mayhem! Dolphin flesh in your child’s lunchmeat! Is no one safe? Is nothing sacred?
This is why this film is so entertaining.
Starring the guy who trained Flipper in the 1960s (or rather, the dolphin actor who played Flipper), “Cove” is a documentary, activist spy tale, and indictment of the Japanese fishing industry all rolled into one big sushi roll of gore.
Also hilariously ironic: the Japanese are portrayed as heartless killers for their slaughter of the dolphins, yet little mention is made of the equally cruel U.S. factory farming industry.
Bloody buckets of fun for the whole family!
NOTE: Not all of these DVDs are available online, but they are all available in the store. If you would like to have one shipped to you, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.