December SF DVD Releases  - By Steven Sawicki
Will the year go out with a whimper or a bang? Steven Sawicki holds court over the waning hours of 2000 and tells you what to stock your stuffings with...and what to watch as you ring in the new millennium. The holidays may be a season of charity and giving for many, but our resident Scrooge sees no reason to be kind to this month's DVD releases…mostly. He does manage to find enough that have been more nice than naughty to keep you up through the long winter nights…. - EL

Escaflowne Vol 2:Betrayal & Trust / The St. Francisville Experiment / Scary Movie
 Gappa the Triphibian Monsters / The Exorcist (The Version You've Never Seen) / Godzilla 2000 / Predator / End of Days/Virus / The Mummy/Tremors
/ Not To Mention...

Escaflowne Vol 2:Betrayal & Trust 
Hitomi, an ordinary girl, has found herself transported to the world of Gaea, a strange and mystical planet. And no sooner had she arrived then the battles began. Now, despite his heroic efforts, Van's been captured and is being held prisoner by the evil Empire of Zaibach.

Damn, first off, does this sound like the kind of thing that happens to an ordinary girl? And what, the planet was just waiting for her to arrive to have a war? Is that what mystical planets do? And who's this Van guy and where did he come from and why does the evil empire of Zaibach want him? How come the Altruistic empires never seem to want people?

Classic anime done in that choppy Japanese style that we've come to recognize as nothing more than a cheap knock off. You can skip it. It's a silly story anyway.

End of Days/Virus - Jamie Lee Curtis  (December 26, 2000)
The Devil takes the form of a wealthy New Yorker (Byrne) and sets out to find his preordained bride. If he can impregnate her before midnight on New Year's Eve, 1999, he will bring about Hell on Earth, or Armageddon. Or something. However, Satan never reckoned with Arnold, who's actually quite good.

Arnold takes on another big guy although this time its in a supernatural sense. The story makes no sense whatsoever so if you're someone who needs plot and context and continuity then forget it. If you can just turn your mind off for the logic holes though this is quite the nice little action film. Some good special effects and you can actually get quite caught up in the sequences, at least until they hit you with one of those holes again.

Virus is a film about a big empty boat in the Atlantic which a pirate crew stumbles on. Of course the boat isn't really empty, just sleeping and full of bad DNA. Another dumb film you can waste a couple of hours with. Pretty to watch but really hard on the brain.

The St. Francisville Experiment
As of June 2000, experts had documented two hundred twenty five haunted houses in the United States. Almost half can be found... in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Deep in the heart of the south, at the end of a long, dark road, stands a very old house... shrouded in mystery and veiled in secrets.

First off, this is the south so every bump and groan of an old house will seem like a haunting to people who marry their cousin's sisters. Secondly, who are these experts? And do they have pictures? I thought not. St. Francisville should find something else to be famous for.

Unless you've married your nephew's mother's daughter you should avoid this one like a bad slice of DNA. There's better camp films out there and if you just want to feel stupid in front of a movie rent Blair Witch.

Predator Arnold Schwarzenegger  (December 26, 2000)
The Arnold Schwarzenegger film that pits the big guy against the big alien somewhere in a South American jungle. This is actually a pretty good film with great action, super special effects, a wonderful alien. The story is pretty straight forward. Arnold must kill or be killed and he must think as well. Arnold manages to pull this off. I'd classify this as a must see. Skip the sequel though.
Godzilla 2000 Naomi Nishida  (December 26, 2000)
Everybody run, the guy in the rubber suit is back. After the fiasco of the American Godzilla this film was highly anticipated. After all it was Toho all over again. Unfortunately they somehow managed to gather every single good thing about Godzilla and decided not to use any of it. This has to be one of the dumbest, poorest shot, ill conceived, bad acted, cheap special effected films of the last century. Other than that, I liked it.
The Exorcist (The Version You've Never Seen) Ellen Burstyn  (December 26, 2000)
They are very wrong since this is exactly the version you've seen except for those 12 minutes or so of film they've spliced back in under the hand of the director. Still a scary flick and well acted. Adapted from William Peter Blatty's best-seller. A great example of what can be done with a few sets, some great actors and a couple of gallons of pea soup. Also the star vehicle for Linda Blair. I went to school with her sister, not that it got me free tickets or anything.
The Mummy/Tremors Kevin Bacon  (December 26, 2000)
The Mummy? What a piece of trash. This is the reason it's teamed up with Tremors which was one of the best SF films of the decade. While both movies have that tongue in cheek kind of feel Tremors gets it right and The Mummy just gets it stupid. Great acting in Tremors, barely acting in Mummy. Sand in Tremors, sand in The Mummy. Beefcake in The Mummy and Kevin Bacon in Tremors. An age old indestructible thing (which of course, must be destroyed due to the stupidity of the characters) in The Mummy and giant worms (which must be destroyed so everyone can survive) in Tremors. Definitely a must see though. Maybe you can find some way to record over the part with the Mummy.
Scary Movie Jon Abrahams  (December 12, 2000)
Have you seen Scream? How about Scream 2? How about I Know What You Did Last Summer? How about I Know What You had For Lunch Last Tuesday? Airplane? Smoking Gun? No? You need to get out more.

If you are in the mood for parody and comedy which comes at you faster than peas tossed by an infant then this is the flick for you. You won't like half the jokes but that's okay because the other half are downright brilliant. Of course you really do need to see the movies being parodied first or you just won't understand a lot of what happens.

Gappa the Triphibian Monsters (December 9, 2000)
World Wide Terror Abounds! On a serene paradise island, untouched by modern technology, a dark secret lies undisturbed for centuries. Until a group of scientists, sent by a greedy land developer who plans to turn the sleepy island into the largest amusement park in the world, stumble across...

How much you wanna bet they stumble across those Gappa thingys? And even if they do, how can world wide terror abound when these things have been there the whole time anyway? Damn those greedy land developers for creating world wide havoc once again. Where's the zoning board when you need them?

Do you like cheap and cheesy monster films with little plot and no story? If you do you should go rent Godzilla, and one of the old ones not one of the new ones. And what's a Triphibian anyway? Damn, doesn't anyone in Hollywood use a dictionary?

 

Not to mention... (also released in December 2000)

Astro Zombies
Reboot Volume 2
The Tenchi Universe Collection Space 1 (V.5)

The Mouse on the Moon
The Cell - New Line Platinum Series