Finally, I can retire my beat-up VHS copy and watch one of David Lynch's greatest in full DVD glory. Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern star as Sailor Ripley and Lula Pace, two young lovers who must endure fierce opposition from Lula's martini-drinking Mama (real-life Dern mom Diane Ladd). They set out on a nightmarish road trip with all sorts of Wizard of Oz references and plenty of grisly accident scenes. This is Lynch at his morbid best--a film that won him Best Picture at the Cannes Film Festival--and a great showcase for a collection of offbeat actors (Crispin Glover, Jack Nance, Harry Dean Stanton). As far as I know, this is the only movie in which a character voluntarily puts cockroaches on his anus, and Willem Dafoe urinates on screen ("You're gonna hear a deep sound coming down from Bobby Peru!"). Speaking of Bobby Peru, Dafoe's creation here--a greasy creature with rotten teeth--is one of the most repugnant entities to ever grace a movie screen, and that includes Mickey Rooney. The scene in which he forces Lula to make the most disgusting of requests stands as one of Lynch's greatest and most deranged moments. The violence and sick humor might be too much for some, but lovers of Lynch will be in heaven, while haters of Lynch will find themselves very much in hell. This is back when Nicolas Cage was the best cult actor on the scene, and people still got a kick out of Crispin Glover. Ladd actually got an Oscar nomination for her over-the-top portrayal of a psycho, and this stands as one of history's hipper Oscar nods.
Special Features: David Lynch hasn't done a lot of DVD stuff in the past, but he sits down for an extensive interview that is surprisingly candid (unfortunately, there is no commentary). Other cast members, including Dern, Cage and Glover, also gather to reminisce for the documentary, which was produced exclusively for the DVD. It's nice to see this long-missing movie getting some decent DVD treatment.
The Kids burst into the '90s with their second season, which saw the return of Cabbage Head ("So listen ladies ... I don't mean for this to sound like a come-on line, but does anybody here want to have sex?") and the appearance of Drinking Dad. ("Hey, son, I bought you a puppy, but on the way home I got hungry, and I ate it. Just kidding. I wouldn't buy you a puppy!") Crushing-Your-Head-Man faces off against his archrival, Squishing-Your-Face-Guy, and Scott Thompson makes his first appearance as the Queen of England (who no longer knows her ABCs). The comedy got better--and remarkably nasty--as the troupe got more assured. I didn't realize how much I missed these guys.
Special Features: The Kids sit down for audio commentaries on two "best-of" episodes. As with the Mr. Show discs, it's great to hear a troupe sitting around and observing their stuff, because it amounts to new material. Heck, there's a whole bit about how Kevin McDonald used to masturbate in his father's shower! According to Scott, the "It's a Fact" girl grew up to be a beautiful woman, even though she wasn't necessarily a beautiful child. An Oral History: Season 2 features each Kid--and his majesty, Lorne Michaels--reminiscing about the success of the series. Trivia note: Hallowed Kids in the Hall director John Blanchard also directed for that other Canadian comedy troupe show, SCTV.
I like getting episodes of Space Ghost on DVD, but what happened to the Christmas episode? I will not be fully satisfied until I can say that the Christmas episode is safely in my collection, and the brief segment from the Volume One DVD is not enough. Guests in the television monitor for this collection include members of Metallica and Carrot Top, so there you go. Adult Swim--all that is good about the Cartoon Network--has another megahit on its hands (Aqua Teen Hunger Force), so Space Ghost has sort of become the forgotten stepchild. For absolute strangeness, get a load of the episode entitled Woody Allen's Fall Project, in which Space Ghost moments are re-enacted by live actors. It's funny, yet disturbing. There haven't been too many new episodes of Space Ghost in recent years, so it's good to have the DVDs as a fallback. I still want the damned Christmas episode, and I want it now!
Special Features: Not much here other than a bizarre pilot episode and a pencil test. For the next DVD, why not get Brak to do a commentary? That would be sweet.