Inspired by Glenn Erickson's always interesting annual Movies
Not on DVD list at the entertaining DVD
Savant, we at RevolutionSF decided to put together our own
list. We contacted writers, critics, artists, and even a game
designer for their selections.
There were a few rules:
1) DVDs must NOT be available in the U.S. (Region 1). The exceptions
would be movies that are on cheapie labels and deserve a much
2) The DVDs need to be geek-related and/or something of interest
to SF Revolutionaries. All science fiction, horror, and mysteries
with supernatural elements are copacetic. Most cult films make
the grade. TV movies are fine but NOT TV series.
This list is by no means complete, but a mere sampling of what
we thought. Let us hear your thoughts and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Without further preamble, the selections.
— Rick Klaw
of Hollow Mountain (1956)
Let this be a lesson to all geeks of the world: if they don't
know you want it, they will never make it for you to consume.
I'm talking, of course, about one of Willis (King Kong)
O'Brien's later projects, The Beast of Hollow Mountain.
When cattle start disappearing on an American cattle rancher's
ranch in the foothills of Mexico, the answer comes not in the
form of bandits, but from the Cretaceous Age in the form of
a giant allosaurus. Will the annoying Mexican peasant kid get
eaten? We can only hope.
Nowadays we'd look on this as a precursor to the seminal cowboys
and dinosaurs movie, The Valley of Gwangi (1969). As
such, it's lacking O'Brien's magic touch in stop-motion animation. It was actually delivered in the film by Edward Nassour.
Don't bother checking him out. He's no Willis O'Brien. But if
we can get The Black Scorpion (1957) on VHS in the '80s,
surely then we can get this tiny, minor gem on DVD? Dino-fans
want and need a complete Willis O'Brien catalog.
— Mark Finn, author of Blood
and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard and
RevSF contributing editor
The original Bedazzled is one of the iconic British
comedy films of the '60s and the most successful pairing of
the comedy duo of Dudley Moore and Peter Cook. It's a modernized
"Faust" in which Dudley Moore is Stanley Moon, a dissatisfied
short-order cook who hopelessly pines for Margaret the waitress.
Despairing this unrequited infatuation, he incompetently attempts
suicide and is interrupted by Satan, as played sharply by Peter
Cook. In return for his soul, Satan offers Stanley seven wishes,
which he uses up on opportunities to try to satisfy his lust
for Margaret. Of course Satan twists the words so that none
of these scenarios succeed. Satan fills the time between these
episodes with acts of minor vandalism and spite, incompetently
assisted by the personification of the seven deadly sins, most
memorably Raquel Welch as Lust.
Bedazzled is a surprisingly clever comedy full of biting
wit, social satire and a great animated sequence with Stanley
as a fly on the wall. Not only is it still one of my top all-time
favorite movies, I credit it with being the first thing to start
me on the road to questioning religion.
I grinned and gritted through the awful Brendan Fraser remake
of Bedazzled (2000) clinging to the hope that it would
be enough of a success to spur a DVD release of the original.
No such luck. Nor was the death of Dudley Moore in 2002 enough.
However, there is a Non-Region 1 format version on DVD. Well
worth buying an all-region DVD player just for it.
— Martin Thomas, film reviewer geek for The Reel Deal, RevSF, and Spill
Buxom Beautease (1956)
Irving Klaw's Buxom Beautease, the lesser
known of Klaw's three Vaudeville-style feature films from the
1950s (Varietease  and Teaserama 
being the others), was the only one not to feature the famous
Bettie Page. The movie starred the legendary strippers Tempest
Storm, Lil St. Cyr, and Blaze Starr. Rachel Schteir in the excellent
Striptease: The Untold History of the Girlie Show (Oxford,
2005) asserts that "[Klaw's] movies did more to spread striptease
across the country in this era [the 1950s] than any one burlesque
short. What they did was spread striptease, drag strips, and
burlesque comedy to a provincial audience. In essence, they
were giving these audiences what they might see in Miami, Las
Vegas, or some other cosmopolitan city." The contemporary popularity
of his movies has inspired the current neo-burlesque revival
in major American cities.
— Rick Klaw, author of Geek Confidential:
Echoes From the 21st Century and RevSF contributing editor
The Barbarians (1987)
A Conan ripoff directed by Ruggero Deodato, The Barbarians
is admittedly a very stupid and lamebrained movie. Then again,
I own Alien Vs. Predator (2004), and thus should be counted
as a guaranteed sale.
— Lee Sparks, producer-writer-actor for upcoming Austin Animation AOK feature Viva the Nam and screenwriter
for the award-winning short film Fun With Clones (2003)
The Bermuda Depths (1978)
An ABC telefilm co-produced by Rankin-Bass and Tsuburaya Productions
(the Godzilla effects people), The Bermuda Depths
starred Burl Ives, Connie Selleca, and a very cool Carl Weathers
in full "Ahab" mode. Think of it as Splash meets Moby
Dick by way of Gamera. Kaiju fans will go nuts for
the giant turtle plot, and maybe react less rabidly to the mermaid
romance ghost story elements. But never fear, Carl Weathers
wants that turtle's shell on his wall, and he'll stop at nothing
to get it.
— Lee Sparks
D'un Barjo (1992)
In his book I Am Alive and You Are Dead, Emmanuel Carrere
tells the anecdotal story of a French intellectual who, upon
meeting Philip K. Dick, insists that Ubik is one of the
five best novels ever written. Not, as Dick assumes, one of
the best SF novels ever, but one of the five best novels ever.
A bold statement, perhaps, but it does illustrate why one of
the best adaptations of a PKD work comes not out of Dick's home
country but in France.
Confessions D'un Barjo is adapted quite faithfully
from Dick's great mainstream novel Confessions of a Crap
Artist. It isn't always successful; the characters are lovably
idiosyncratic instead of downright strange, as they are in the
novel, and as a consequence one or two roles are underwritten.
However, it remains an engaging work because it actually concentrates
on character instead of situations, and even allows room for
a couple of Dickian touches, as when Barjo imagines his family
as the leads on a science fiction television show. It may not
be a classic like Blade Runner (1982), but it deserves
to be placed alongside A Scanner Darkly (2006) as how
to do a PKD movie right.
— Derek Johnson, book and film critic
Much maligned and misunderstood, the Sam Peckinpah trucker
magnum opus Convoy is basically a Western on big
wheels and for whatever reason, is a huge cult film in Denmark!
Ernest Borgnine is absolutely on FIRE. Best. Ending. Ever. "You
ever see a duck, couldn't swim?"
— Lee Sparks
The Cardinal and the Corpse (1992)
Made in the early '90s, Iain Sinclair's The Cardinal
and the Corpse featured Alan Moore, myself, legendary
guitarist and book-hunter Martin Stone, thriller writer and
Soho character Robin Cook (Derek Raymond), book-burning philosopher
John Latham, Alexander Baron (brilliant chronicler of East End
Jewish life), Emanuel Litvinoff, London man-about-town Gerry
Goldstein, the legendary book scout Driffield, cultural historian
Dr. Brian Hinton and various (now mostly deceased or scattered)
gangsters, booksellers, writers and academics, all of whom are,
in the story, searching for Flann O'Brien's alleged Sexton Blake
novel The Cardinal and the Corpse.
It isn't egocentricity that makes me want to see the movie
on film -- Ideally it would be there with the other two
films in the trilogy made by Iain Sinclair and Chris Petit during
that decade (Asylum , shot mostly in Texas and
Arizona, featuring myself, Jim Sallis and poet Ed Dorn, and
The Falconer , mostly about the self-invented maker
of Tonight Let's Make Love in London ) —
but because of its fascination with the margins of London life.
Not only are the marginalised poets and artists featured,
usually as themselves, but people like Tony Lambrianou, famous
for his part in the Jack the Hat murder by East End gangsters
and the last surviving (he's now dead) witness to what even
then was a dying culture. Nowadays Yardie drug gangs are the
most prominent professional crooks in the East End and the old
cockney gangsters have moved away, usually into slightly more
respectable lives. The movie is what people sometimes call "faction"
in that it imposes a semi-fictional plot on a real world setting,
including the bookshops of Charing Cross Road, the pubs of Whitechapel
and so on.
Sinclair is a master of this kind of creativity, both in his
books and his films, and in some ways The Cardinal and
the Corpse is a far more satisfying and "connected"
fantasy than some of the better straight SF and fantasy films
produced in recent years. It captures much of the urban "noir"
feel of London just before the heritage industry tore down everything
but the facades, cleaned it up and made the once dangerous areas
of Notting Hill in the West and Whitechapel in the East into
imitations of themselves, safe enough for tourists to visit
and, eventually. for middle class non-Londoners to move into,
so that the neighborhoods I knew as a boy and where I lived
most of my life became some of the most expensive real estate
in the city.
Without nostalgia, but with an angry sympathy for the dispossessed,
the marginalised and the people he calls "the reforgotten,"
Sinclair uses invention and fantasy to give a highly accurate
picture of a world that is now hardly a memory any longer but
more of a fable.
— Michael Moorcock, legendary author of nearly
100 books, whose latest novel is
Vengeance of Rome, the final volume of the Pyat Quartet
Darktown Strutters (Get Down and Boogie)
Louisville Cross, a Colonel Sanders clone and owner of a chain
of BBQ joints that offer free watermelon with every order, has
invented a "Negro-making machine" so as to expand his customer
base, and is kidnapping people to use a test subjects. Meanwhile,
a black female biker gang, the Darktown Strutters, clad in day-glo
polyester and feathered helmets, comes to a Hanna-Barbera version
of Watts to search for one of the missing, their leader's mother.
Part sci-fi, part musical, part WTF, Darktown Strutters,
directed by William Whitney and written by George (Miami
Blues) Armitage, treats racism as a whacky joke and incorporates
every known stereotype, including racist cops, Klansmen, a minstrel
show, a vast cotton plantation with servants who resemble Aunt
Jemima and Uncle Ben, and the Dramatics singing "I Can't Get
Over You" in a prison cell. Hands down, the weirdest, most un-PC
Blaxploitation flick ever made.
— Lucius Shepard, award-winning author of With Christmas in Honduras: Man, Myths, and Miscreants in Modern Central America.
Rides A Horse (Da uomo a uomo) aka As Man to Man (1967)
The iconic spaghetti western stars Lee Van
Cleef (which is about as distinguishing a characteristic as
saying "this western has horses in it"). The real appeal is
hunky young John Phillip Law, who is such a wooden and incompetent
actor that his only worthwhile movies are the ones where he
still looks good. Which would be this one, Diabolik(1968),
Barbarella (1968), and on a good day maybe Attack
Force Z (1982).
— Lee Sparks
Flash Gordon (1980)
The 1980 colorful tongue-in-cheek spectacle Flash Gordon
with the Queen soundtrack deserves the Special Edition treatment!
— Lee Sparks
Update: Done! (No need to thank us.)
Forbidden World (1982)
A colorful, lurid, action-packed and gory-as-hell Alien
(1979) ripoff produced by Roger Corman, Forbidden World
is loaded with blood, nudity, spaceships, and Fox (Repo Man)
Harris to boot! SPOILER: the only movie ever to feature a monster
being killed by being force-fed a cancerous tumor that was cut
out of its owner without anesthesia. WOW! Wake the kids!
— Lee Sparks
From Beyond (1986)
"Something's . . . coming!" Well, no, not really, not yet.
It's been two decades since Stuart Gordon, the once-upon-a-time
enfant terrible of Chicago's notorious Organic Theater
Company, breach-birthed this super-sanguinated semi-sequel to
his cunningly comic mindwarper Re-Animator (1985). But
only Re-Animator, declared "one of the great trash pictures
of 1985" by no less than Roger Ebert, has seen its indie-cred
explode in the interim. From Beyond, released
one year later, employed much the same cast and crew, with Gordon
as director, co-scripter/producer Brian Yuzna, and stars Jeffrey
Combs and Barbara Crampton all returning to battle Carl Buechler's
super-gooey, interdimensional monstrosities.
As the S&M-loving, pineal-gland-obsessed medical maniac Dr.Edward
"Freak-a-Leek" Pretorious, Ted Sorel comes off as a giddy melding
of Bride of Frankenstein's Ernest Thesinger and Robert
Mapplethorpe (a compliment to be sure), while steely-geekster
Combs, as the twitchy voice of histrionic semi-restraint, is
nearly as entertaining to watch than an Arnold Stang/Colin Clive
Bare-Knuckled Jell-O-Brand Death Match.
— Marc Savlov, Austin
Chronicle film critic
Update: It's here! (No thanks necessary. Seriously.)
Galaxy of Terror (1986)
Jim Cameron art direction! Erin (Happy Days) Moran squished
and exploded by slimy alien tentacles! Some bimbo raped by a
giant rubber caterpillar while screaming like those girls in
Blow Out (1981)! Sid Haig! Ray "Mr. Hand" Walston! Grace
(Twin Peaks) Zabriskie! Some dude named Robert Englund!
Impenetrable ending! This one might not have it all, but it
has some of it!
— Lee Sparks
Married A Witch (1942)
Rene Clair's directing career began in France in 1924 with
Paris qui dort, a satire with a science fiction theme.
He continued to develop his surrealistic comic style in a series
of movies now considered masterpieces. During World War II,
Clair left France and came to Hollywood, where he made six films.
One of these was 1942's delightful I Married A Witch.
The movie stars Frederic March and Veronica Lake breaking away
from their serious work for rare comedic turns as, respectively,
a Puritan (and his descendants) and the witch he burns at the
stake, who vows revenge. It is a delightful romantic comedy,
with great performances by March, Lake, and a young Susan Hayward.
— Peggy Hailey, RevolutionSF books editor
Island of Lost Souls (1933)
By many accounts one of the finest horror films ever made,
Island of Lost Souls is definitely the
best ever film rendition of the H.G. Wells novel The Island
of Dr. Moreau. Charles Laughton stars as the good doctor,
and gives a tremendously subtle and bizarre performance. See
the scene where he is revealing his evil plot to Parker, the
hero, and in the middle of his mad scientist speech, decides
to lie down on his side on a hospital gurney that is there,
cross his legs and fold his hands. All the while he continues
his monologue. There are all sorts of genius acting choices
in his performance, and he moves quickly from the jolly to distraught.
Laughton is worth the price of admission, but then you've
also got Bela Lugosi as Speaker of the Law — "No more
House of Pain." "What is the law?" "Not to go on all fours,
that is the law." Also in the crowd of beasts look carefully
beneath the makeup for Alan Ladd, Randolph Scott, and Buster
Crabbe (who played Flash Gordon).
— Jeffrey Ford, Edgar award-winning author
of The Girl in the Glass
(It Came) Without Warning (1980)
How can a movie with Jack Palance, Martin Landau, Larry Storch
and David Caruso, not to mention a big ugly alien, not be on
DVD? Its absence is intolerable, and I am tired of my cruddy
Greek VHS bootleg! (It Came) Without Warning is
basically a dry-run for Predator (1987), only with skinny
American teenagers and old drunk character actors instead of
Arnold Schwarzenegger. The same guy plays the monster in both
— Lee Sparks
Click here for L through Z!