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By Film Threat Staff | December 25, 2007

‘Tis the season to dig into your pockets and feed your movie addiction, and if 2007 is any indication, many of the movie buffs will find themselves in the poor house after the holidays. For those looking for Chanukah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa gifts for your loved ones, Film Threat has a few suggestions in mind to please lovers of the obscure, classic, and rare, all available now on DVD…

Spider Baby: Director’s Cut
(Dark Sky Films)
The movie that’s been harder to find than a good Dane Cook movie finally comes to DVD in a restored special edition by Dark Sky Pictures. Longer than the original cut, there are some great additions including a Wolfman reference during a dinner scene, and the picture is restored from the original 35mm negative. There are also some excellent features and interviews that will please the growing fan base. It’s a must have for fans of the Jack Hill classic.

Serenity: Collector’s Edition
The acclaimed cult classic that closed up Joss Whedon’s brilliant but cancelled “Firefly” gets the edition it deserves with a two disc box set featuring loads of extras including a tour of Serenity, a look at River Tam’s psychological tests, and a wonderful commentary featuring most of the cast including Nathan Fillion, and Adam Baldwin. But mostly, there’s the wonderful closer to the series, the action packed film that ended a top notch mythos. Truly, it’s worth the double dip.

Fantastic Planet
(Accent Cinema)
Rene Laloux’ 1973 animated classic mixes surreal humor, psychedelic landscapes and power-to-the-people agitation into a startling production that still resonates with intellectual daring and artistic eccentricity. This is a much needed respite of intelligent animation, and a far cry from today’s glut of ugly, crass CGI noisefests. Available from Facets Video.

The Italian Stallion
(Cinema Epoch)
Sylvester Stallone already resurrected Rocky and is breathing new life into Rambo, but it would hilarious if he revisited the role of Stud, the well-hung bully in this infamous X-rated romp that was shot several years before Sly hit the big time. Fans of trashy 70s porn will enjoy this vintage vulgarity. Available from Cinema Epoch.

Blade Runner
(Warner Home Video)
Now that Ridley Scott has pieced together a “Final Cut” of Blade Runner (1982), this film exists in more versions than Gilliam’s Brazil. Thankfully, every form of BR from the 1992 director’s cut onward is a techno-noir treat. This Philip K. Dick adaptation about agent Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who’s hunting down pseudo-human “replicants,” appeared long before PKD became a Hollywood fad. With a thrilling futuristic design, the film is available from Warner Brothers Home Video in seven different DVD sets. The list price of the “Five-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition” is hefty ($78.92), but so are the contents and extras.

Ford at Fox – The Collection
(20th Century Fox)
Word has it that 20th Century Fox has released a DVD set of more John Ford films than we ever thought existed. Think you are a film expert? Whoa, cowboy — not so fast.

(20th Century Fox)
In a year that brought us lavish musicals like the kitschy “Hairspray” and the much ballyhooed Beatles musical “Across the Universe,” the film that brought it all down to Earth was the much acclaimed Irish musical “Once,” a story about a guy and a girl who find one another on a street and begin to connect through music. “Once” features some of the most beautiful musical numbers ever heard, and finally comes to DVD to succeed in sheer beauty where most other musicals in the past two years have failed.


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