video vault

by Mark Burger

DVD Pick of the week: Long Pigs (R2 Films)

LONG PIGS (R2 Films): This low-budget mock documentary about the life and times of a modern-day serial killer marks a little triumph for the duo of writer/producer/directors Chris Power and Nathan Hynes (writer/producer/directors), as well as for leading man Anthony Alviano, who gives a memorable performance as the killer in question.

Power and Hynes, using their real names, play documentary filmmakers who chronicle the day-to-day existence of Anthony McAlister (Alviano), a seemingly mild-mannered fellow who spends his days stalking and killing his victims, disposing of the gruesome evidence by eating his victims. (One of his ambitions is to write a cookbook about his unusual culinary habits!) With nary a wink or nod toward the audience, Long Pigs plays it absolutely straight, yet with a subtle sense of the absurd that also pokes fun at the notion of celebrity and the “objectivity” of documentary filmmaking. The scenes of Anthony preparing his meals are enough to turn anyone into a vegetarian, even though it’s obvious he’s eating animal meat. The low-key approach proves a completely effective one, although the squeamish are forewarned.

This is one satire that cuts close to the bone (pun intended), being both outrageous and unsettling in equal measure. There are a few slow moments, but all told this is an auspicious, audacious, sometimes nasty little number that is sure to find cult favor. Also available directly from

13TEEN (North American Motion Pictures):This serial-killer thriller is essentially a threehander,with Amanda Brown, John lansh andMarc Huvstadt in the leading roles — and oneis not who he or she seems. Originally titled ForSale by Owner, this is structured like a play butnot bad at all, with neat camera angles addingsome expanse. First-time writer/producer/directorPritesh Chheda (who also plays a small role)may be a talent to watch. Rated R.BLIND DATE (e1 entertainment): Not to beconfused with the Blake edwards comedy, thisAmerican remake of a film by Theo van Gogh(to whom the film is dedicated) stars PatriciaClarkson and stanley Tucci as a couple who pretendthat each date they have is their first, dueto a prior tragedy. Tucci (who also directed) andClarkson are the whole show, but too often thissmacks of an experimental theater piece, andthe morbid ending leaves a bad aftertaste.“DOG: THE BOUNTY HUNTER — CRIMEIS ON THE RUN” (A&e Home entertainment):A selection of eight episodes ($19.95 retail)from the 2009-’10 season of the popular A&ereality series tracing the cases tackled by reallifebounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman, previouslyunreleased on DVD.“HOW THE EARTH WAS MADE”: THECOMPLETE SEASON TWO (A&e Homeentertainment): A four-DVD boxed set ($39.95retail) that includes all 13 episodes from the2009-’10 season of the self-explanatory A&edocumentary series that visits such relevantlocales as Mount everest, Death Valley, theGrand Canyon and others.IT CAME FROM KUCHAR (IndiePix):Jennifer M kroot directed this wildly entertainingdocumentary about twin brothers Georgeand Mike kuchar, pioneers of New York City’sunderground film movement, whose work hasinfluenced such cinematic successors as JohnWaters, Atom egoyam, Wayne Wang and others.sweetly awe inspiring and jaw-droppinglyfunny in equal measure.“LIFE AFTER PEOPLE”: THE COMPLETESEASON TWO (A&e Home entertainment):All 10 episodes from the 2010 season of theHistory Channel series that examines varioustheories regarding what earth would be likewithout people. (less noisy, I would think.) TheDVD boxed set retails for $29.95, the Blu-rayboxed set for $39.95.LIFETIME ORIGINAL MOVIES (A&eHome entertainment): A selection of filmsoriginally broadcast on the lifetime cablenetwork: Molly shannon and steven Weberin the romantic comedy More of Me (2007);Jennie Garth and Andrea Bowen in theaward-winning AIDs drama Girl, Positive (also’07); kaley Cuoco in To Be Fat Like Me (also’07); Charles s Dutton directs and stars in the2008 biographical drama Racing for Time; andthe award-winning true-crime drama The TwoMrs. Kissels (also ’08) starring Robin Tunney,John stamos and Anson Mount. each DVDretails for $14.95.MOTHERHOOD (National entertainmentMedia): A day in the life of Uma Thurman, asa successful but perennially harried bloggerwho tries to remain sane while taking care ofher children. More irritating than ingratiating;screwball comedy is not Thurman’s forte. As herhusband and best friend, Anthony edwards andMinnie Driver are wasted. Jodie Foster drops byin a quick cameo as herself. Rated PG-13. *’“PARANORMAL COPS”: THECOMPLETE SEASON ONE (A&e Homeentertainment): “Who ya gonna call?” Thistwo-DVD boxed set ($19.95) retail includes allsix episodes from the 2010 season of the A&eTelevision Network reality series following themembers of the CPD (Chicago ParanormalDetectives) as they bust ghosts in the Windy City.PRODIGY: AN UNAUTHORIZED STORYON TIGER WOODS (Infinity entertainmentGroup): The title tells all in this documentarytracing the meteoric career of professional golfereldrick “Tiger” Woods, up to and includingthe recent charges of adultery, which ended hismarriage. less salacious than one might expectand pretty by-the-numbers, but not bad. **’“RED VS. BLUE: THE BLOOD GULCHCHRONICLES” (Flatiron Film Company/NewVideo): A six-DVD boxed set ($59.95 retail) of all100 episodes from the first five seasons of thepopular, award-winning internet comedy seriesabout two hapless armies who continuallyfight a war they don’t understand in the distantfuture. Also available is “Red vs. Blue season 7:Recreation,” which retails for $19.95.THE ROSEMARY WELLS COLLECTION(scholastic storybook Treasures): A two-DVDboxed set ($19.95) retail featuring eight storiesby acclaimed children’s author Rosemary Wells,including “Max’s Christmas,” narrated by JennyAgutter and Rex Robbins; “Noisy Nora,” narrated byMary Beth Hurt; and “Voyage to the Bunny Planet,”narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal. each DVD (fourstories each) also retails separately for $14.95.RUNAWAY (e1 entertainment): Aaronstanford (also a producer) headlines this bleak,brooding, award-winning psychological dramaas a young man who flees home after a familytragedy with his kid brother (Zack savage) intow, desperately seeking to avoid confrontinghis past. But there’s a twist at the end…. A noteworthysupporting cast includes Terry kinney,Melissa leo and adorable Robin Tunney. SANCTUARY”: THE COMPLETESECOND SEASON (e1 entertainment):Amanda Tapping and her scientific teamreturn to investigate the strange and mysteriousspecies that secretly live among us, in all13 episodes from the 2009-’10 season of theaward-winning syfy Channel series. The DVDboxed set retails for $44.98, the Blu-ray boxedset for $49.98. In addition, e1 is releasing“sanctuary: The Complete First season” on Bluray($49.98 retail).“SECRETS OF THE GREAT BARRIERREEF” (smithsonian Networks/Infinityentertainment Group): The title tells all in thisdocumentary ($9.98 retail) that explores thenatural splendors of the 1,200-mile Great BarrierReef in Australia.“THE VIRGINIAN”: THE COMPLETEFIRST SEASON (Timeless Media Group): Oneof the best-loved prime-time Westerns makesits DVD debut, with all 30 episodes from the1962-’63 season of the 90-minute NBC-TVseries, based on Owen Wister’s classic 1902novel and starring James Drury as the title character.The regular cast includes Doug McClure,Pippa scott, Gary Clarke and the great lee JCobb. First-season guest stars include George Cscott, Bradford Dillman, Hugh O’Brian, ColleenDewhurst, edward Asner, Ricardo Montalban,Jack Warden, Aldo Ray, Dolores Hart, Barrysullivan and others. This 10-DVD boxed setretails for $79.98.