Rogue Cinema 2012 Holiday Gift Guide – By The Rogue Cinema Staff

Holiday Gift Guide (2012) – By the Rogue Cinema Staff

Well it’s that time of year again.  This year, we’re doing something we’ve never done before.  We’ve compiled a list of gift suggestions from various members of our team, to help you find some great movies and other gifts for your family, friends and acquaintances. Time’s a tickin’, so let’s get to it.

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Duane’s Suggestions:

The Three Stooges Movie – The Farrelly brothers and a stellar cast did a great job of bringing the Stooges to the modern era. This one’s a great film for the whole family. – DVD / blu-ray

Raising Hope (Seasons 1 and 2) – Raising Hope is smart, clever and very, very funny with an absolutely amazing cast. If you haven’t seen this show on FOX on Tuesdays, you need to. It’s flat out the best comedy on television right now. – Season 1 / Season 2

War of the Arrows – Set in 1636, the second Manchurian invasion of Korea rages chaos, as villages are attacked by overpowering Manchurian soldiers. The Manchurians kidnap childhood sweethearts, Ja-in and Seo-Goon on their wedding day. In an effort to save his sister, Ja-in s brother Nam-Yi sets out to defeat the enemy and save his sister and other Korean victims with only one bow. – DVDblu-ray

The Front Line – Gritty, emotional and with a level of realism unmatched in most war films, The Front Line takes us to the final days of the Korean War, where the South Koreans are fighting the North over one single hill that has gone back and forth in repeated battles, with neither side seeing the sense in fighting over it, but nonetheless, following orders.  Even in the darkness of war though, there is one small bright spot that both sides share.  A secret box, buried in a bunker on the hill that they trade letters to relatives and other food and clothing items back and forth in.  In the end, even with peace at hand, the commanders order one last battle, but will anyone survive? – DVDblu-ray

The Pete Walker Collection – If you don’t know who Pete Walker is, it’s about time you learned.  He was an independent film maker in the 70’s who made some really great films filled with hot girls, suspense and murder.  This collection of four of his films, Die Marianne, Screaming, The House of Whipcord, Schitzo and The Comeback, are a great way to get to know his work. – blu-ray

The Dictator – Whether or not you liked Sacha Baron Cohen’s previous films, Borat and Bruno, rest assured that this film resides in a whole different level of hilarity. In this one, he plays a dictator named Aladeen, who through the machinations of his uncle, is left in New York, shaved of his trademark beard, and replaced by a moronic sheepherder who happens to look exactly like him so that the uncle can sell off the country’s oil resources to other countries. This movie is absolutely hilarious, but for adults only. – DVD / blu-ray

Botched – This film has never gotten the recognition it deserves.  Ritchie Donovan is a professional thief whose luck has just run out. The only survivor from a heist that goes terribly wrong, Ritchie is forced to take the rap and is sent to Russia to steal a priceless antique cross locked in a safe on the penthouse floor of a Moscow skyscraper. Things start badly and go rapidly downhill when, during the robbery, Ritchie and his Russian accomplices are forced to take hostages because they are trapped by what they think are the police on the 13th floor, but what’s really going on is far more sinister.  This is a brilliant film and very fun horror / suspense film full of great characters, including Stephen Dorff, and the oh so beautiful Jaime Murray (H.G. Wells from Warehouse 13). – DVD

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Brian’s Suggestions: When it comes to Christmas, I don’t have wishes that are that far reaching…like world peace or feeding the children…my wishes are usually pretty self-centered and simple. So, here’s 3 things that I’d love to see under the tree on Christmas morning!

The Walking Dead Season 2 Limited Edition Blu Ray – Yes, I’m a huge fan of The Walking Dead, it’s a TV show that I just don’t miss. But, it’s also a show that you can rewatch and enjoy just as much the second, third and even fourth times…so, why not get the blu rays? And, if you’re going to get them, then get this cool set featuring the zombie that Andrea killed in the RV in season 2. After all, zombies are cool, but owning your own zombie head…it doesn’t get cooler than that!!! – blu-ray

James Bond 50th Anniversary Special Edition Blu Ray – As a nerd, I’m also a huge James Bond fan. I’ve seen every movie, in the theatre, since Moonraker. But, this cool blu-ray set, collects every James Bond movie from Dr. No thru Quantum Of Solace…and even leaves a space for you to buy the latest, Skyfall and have yourself every Bond movie ever made….that’s 23 movies guys, that’s a full weekend of shaken and not stirred fun!! – blu-ray

Star Trek Bathrobe – So, you’re going to spend the weekend watching all the cool movies that you got for Christmas, you’ll need something to wear, so why not this excellent Star Trek bathrobe? It’ warm, it’s comfortable and it looks just like Kirk’s tunic from the original series…what could be better than hanging out, watching movies and wearing a Star Trek bathrobe….well….NOTHING! – Robes

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Cary’s Suggestions:

The Cinema of Jean Rollin – Admittedly, this box set may be for a very small niche group of horror connoisseurs, but for the cult horror film fanatic with everything, this could be the perfect Christmas gift. The Cinema of Jean Rollin is a collection of 10 of Rollin’s trademark horror films, including several of his classic vampire films along with the wonderful oddity The Iron Rose, the dreamlike The Demoniacs, and his most successful international film, The Living Dead Girl. Kino Lorber has remastered each uncut film in high definition and packed them with special features, including fantastic collector’s booklets. There’s nothing quite like a Rollin film! – DVD / blu-ray

The Phantom of the Opera (1925/1929) – For silent cinema fans, The Phantom of the Opera has always been problematic. The original silent version from 1925 is a fantastic film, but a complete version has been hard to come by, while the shortened "talkie" version from 1929 gutted the original version, reordering several sequences and dropping some characters but adding sound effects, music, and speaking sequences. Worst of all, true fans had to purchase multiple copies of the DVD in order to get the best presentation of each version, with the 1925 version from Milestone Video being out of print and rather expensive. Fortunately, this Blu-Ray was released late last year and includes both the 1925 and 1929 versions in the best quality possible. Phantom fans can finally rejoice…but keep those old Image and Milestone editions as the new Blu-Ray may have nice versions of the film, but it has no special features. Just for the record, this is the release that finally forced me to convert to Blu-Ray. – blu-ray

Nightmare (Uncut 30th Anniversary Edition) – I remember the original VHS version of Nightmare (AKA Nightmares in a Damaged Brain) and I was amazed at the amount of sleaze it packed into a mere 90 minutes. Almost as legendary as the sex and violence was its status as being lost in limbo, unable to be released in DVD format. Sleaze fans have tracked this film for years, frustrated at the inability to obtain a copy on DVD and tired of paying exorbitant amounts for a VHS copy. Nightmare’s odyssey to DVD is almost as entertaining as the film itself, but finally Code Red has released a 2-disc package with three different versions of the film along with a host of extras. If you love cheap slasher movies or late seventies/early eighties Italian sleaze, it’s hard to beat this film. – DVD

The Phantom Carriage – A little-known Swedish film from 1920, The Phantom Carriage (Swedish title Korkarlen; U.S. alternate title Thy Soul Shall Bear Witness) was the first international Swedish hit and effectively launched the career of Victor Sjostrom (later Anglicized to Victor Seastrom). Seastrom became a major silent film director, directing the acclaimed Lon Chaney vehicle He Who Gets Slapped (1924) as well as two Lilian Gish vehicles, The Scarlet Letter (1926) and The Wind (1927). While a nice copy of The Phantom Carriage, along with some terrific extras, has been available for a while, none other than Criterion decided to give The Phantom Carriage the deluxe treatment, releasing their version of the film late in 2011. The Phantom Carriage is a wonderful story with what were groundbreaking special effects at the time and still has the capacity to entertain nearly a century later. – DVD / blu-ray

Island of Lost Souls – For fans of classic sci-fi and horror, one of the most frustrating non-releases has been the original 1932 version of Island of Lost Souls, which up until 2011 had never been released to home video in any format. But the wait is finally over, and the original film is now part of the Criterion library. Highly controversial upon its initial release (Charles Laughton refers to man acting like God, much like the censored scene in 1931’s Frankenstein ), it has been banned and censored in many locales, most famously Great Britain, where a cut version that was rated ‘X’ was finally released in 1958 (the film is now released on DVD uncut with a PG rating in England). The film itself is a marvel and Criterion again packs in the special features which includes some truly odd featurettes, including one about the connection between the film and the band Devo. Who knew the guys from Devo were such DEVO-ted fans of the film? – DVD / blu-ray

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Danny’s Suggestions:

Tremors 1-4 DVD Attack Pack – How many times have any of us bought a movie and then later got another movie from the series? The various DVDs never match. Well, Tremors has to be one of the few movie series that was never run into the ground so horribly. – DVD

50 or 100 Film Millcreek Sets – The horror and sci-fi sets won’t be ever thought of as Criterion collector editions. Plenty of the movies on each set will be unknown to you, though you may recognize many that you picked up at dollar stores over the years. – 50 Packs / 100 Packs

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Misty’s Suggestions:

Roku – A Roku – (I think this works) It’s a streaming player that connects to your television (including older models), you connect it to your internet and then you can watch things from Netflix and Amazon Instant to Crackle to shows from Korea. There’s a ton of channels (and quite a few are free!) so I’m never without movies or shows to watch. You do have to have an account for things like Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc. to implement them. But it’s the best purchase I ever made. – Roku

A Subscription to Fandor – Fandor is a subscription service that features movies from around the world, classics, obscure, avant-garde, etc. I’ve found some amazing short films on there and that alone was worth it for me. – http://www.fandor.com

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Phil’s Suggestions:

The Alien Quadrilogy DVD Set (2003 – 20th Century Fox) – Although this amazing 9 disc DVD set came out almost 10 years ago at a very high price ($99), it’s now very affordable and still an incredible look at one the most successful sci-fi film franchises of all time. There are two versions of each of the first four “Alien” films (the theatrical version and the special director’s cut) as well as complete pre- and post-production information on each film. Everyone who is interviewed here pulls no punches and bares their soul about the troubled paths some of these movies have had. An absolute must for any true sci-fi fan! – DVD

The Three Stooges – The Ultimate Collection (Columbia Pictures) – If you grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, then The Three Stooges were your babysitter. What better way to revisit your childhood then by watching every (and I mean every) short these classic comedians ever made? This 17 disc (!) collection begins with their first short (1934’s Women Haters, which is actually spoken in rhyme!) and concludes with 1959’s Sappy Bull Fighters. You get every single Curly, Shemp, and Joe Besser short that the trio made. There are also amazing extras such as several of the Stooge movies, Stooge cartoons and shorts that feature Shemp, Joe Besser and Curly Joe DeRita! If you are a confirmed Stoogaphile (or know someone who is), then this collection is nirvana indeed. Calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard! – DVD

Monsters in the Movies – 100 Years of Cinematic Nightmares – By John Landis (DK Publishing) – An acknowledged cinephile, this is director Landis’ love letter to fantastic movies. It’s scope is literally breathtaking. He tackles every fantastic film subject and presents incredible images from over 100 years of sci-fi, horror and fantasy flicks. Though light on text (although Landis’ humor shines through very clearly), the book contains hundreds and hundreds of pictures from famous and not so famous monster films. This book is a complete joy and fills me with so much wonder that every time I open it, I feel like I’m 10 again and reading Famous Monsters magazine for the first time. A most incredible book. – Book

Hammer Glamour – Classic Images from the Archive of Hammer Films By Marcus Hearn (Titan Books) – Time stands still in Hearn’s homage to the women who made Hammer Films famous. From Ursula Andress to Raquel Welch, Hearn interviews many of the Hammer women and finds out what really happened behind the scenes of these classic films. He pulls no punches and tells the good and the bad. He also presents stunning photos of these beautiful ladies. This is a loving and fine tribute to the Hammer way of making movies. It’s a wonderful time capsule. – Book