- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 16, 2002

Fans of Stuart Gordon's 1985 cult sci-fi fave will want to pounce posthaste on Elite Entertainment's new double-disc Re-Animator: Millennium Edition ($29.95, www.elite-entertainment.com). It's our

Video pick of the week

Based on a series of relatively obscure HP Lovecraft stories, the film focuses on some grisly fun and games unfolding at the Miskatonic, Mass., med-school morgue, where precocious mad scientist Herbert West (an entertainingly over-the-top Jeffrey Combs) is perfecting a secret serum to re-animate the dead. In returning this long-withdrawn winner to video store shelves, in remastered, widescreen form, Elite answers virtually everything you ever wanted to know about "Re-Animator" but were (understandably) afraid to ask, with more than six count 'em six hours of bonus material.

Disc One contains a pristine print of the film itself, with two optional audio tracks one with director Gordon, the other with producer Brian Yuzna, accompanied by cast members Mr. Combs, Robert Sampson, Barbara Crampton and Bruce Abbott. Disc Two offers new video interviews with Mr. Gordon and Mr. Yuzna together, plus solo Q&A's with screenwriter Dennis Paoli, composer Richard Band, and Fangoria magazine editor Tony Timpone, an early champion of the film.

That's not to mention 16 extended scenes, a deleted scene, a theatrical trailer, TV spots, a photo gallery and more. Whether you're a longtime admirer of, or a newcomer to, this witty, briskly paced excursion into subversive sci-fi, you won't be disappointed with Elite's elaborate labor of love.

Meanwhile, Mr. Combs returns, this time as a dangerous shrink, in Jeremy Kasten's terror tale from 2001 The Attic Expeditions, co-starring rocker Alice Cooper and "Austin Powers" regular Seth Green, due next month from First Look Home Entertainment (priced for rental VHS, also available on DVD).

Dramatic developments

Dramas dominate the upcoming video A-list, led by a pair of recent theatrical releases with heavy Oscar credits: Lions Gate Entertainment ushers in director Marc Forster's gritty Deep South-set drama "Monster's Ball," starring Best Actress Oscar winner Halle Berry, Billy Bob Thornton, Heath Ledger, Peter Boyle and Sean Combs (the artist formerly known as Puff Daddy), excellent here as a repentant death-row inmate. New Line Home Video, meanwhile, unveils Best Actor nominee Sean Penn in I Am Sam, co-starring Michelle Pfeiffer.

Warner Home Video sets a June date for the French-set period drama The Affair of the Necklace, starring Hilary Swank. In indie developments, New Yorker Video debuts L.I.E., a deservedly acclaimed drama about a teen (Paul Franklin Dano) who drifts into a dangerous liaison with a mysterious older man (brilliantly played by Brian Cox). All four titles will be priced for rental VHS and also available on DVD.

Video verite

In documentary developments, Goldhil Video releases The Korean War in Color ($29.95 DVD, www.kpitv.com), a detailed look at that conflict in 1950-1953 that includes rare, only recently declassified footage, along with exclusive home movies made by soldiers at the front and a segment on Marilyn Monroe in Korea, among many other extras.

Docurama presents World Trade Center: A Modern Marvel ($24.98 DVD) a detailed history originally aired on The History Channel and completed just months before September 11.

Phan mail

Dear Phantom: I'm searching for three movies on tape or DVD: a drama called The Group, with Joan Hackett and Hal Holbrook; a horror film called The Terror of Dr. Hichcock, with Barbara Steele; and an adventure film about some young bikers called The Loners.

Temple Looper, South Pasadena, Calif.

"The Group" is available ($15.99 VHS) from Movies Unlimited (800/4-MOVIES, www.moviesunlimited.com), while Sinister Cinema (541/773-6860, www.sinistercinema.com) carries "The Terror of Dr. Hichcock" ($16.95 VHS). "The Loners," formerly available on the now-defunct VidAmerica label, is no longer in distribution. Online auction sites such as EBay.com would be your best bet for that one.

Send your video comments and queries to Phantom of the Movies, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington 20002 or e-mail us at: [email protected] Check out our Web site at www.videoscopemag.com.

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