For the week leading up to All Hallow’s Eve, there’s a surprising dearth of new horror releases hitting DVD. Rest assured, though, titillation and scares can be found in a trio of horror comedies (Zombie Strippers, Poultrygeist, and the reissued slasher classic, Pieces). (Watch our interview with Zombie Stripper Jenna Jameson below.) For tamer fare, check out Kit Kittredge, Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D, and Disney’s CGI Tinker Bell.

1. New to DVD: Zombie Strippers Unrated Special Edition – 40%

If forty percent on the Tomatometer seems surprisingly high for a horror comedy about strippers-turned-walking dead starring former adult actress Jenna Jameson, think about this; it’s about 30 percentage points better than Saw V, and you can watch it in the safety of your own home this Halloween! Zombie Strippers is about, well, undead exotic dancers, who comprise one side of a strangely philosophical battle with their still-human counterparts when a secret government experiment is unleashed upon the unsuspecting denizens of the Rhino club.

Do zombies dance better? Are regular old strippers passé without super-human pole dancing skills and a ravenous hunger for human flesh? Find out with the Unrated Special Edition DVD, which includes a few featurettes, deleted scenes, and a commentary track by director Jay Lee and actors Joey Medina, Jenna Jameson, and Robert Englund.

Watch our exclusive one-on-one chat with Jameson below!

Next: Kit Kittredge: An American Girl

2. New to DVD: Kit Kittredge: An American Girl – 78%


Resist the urge to dismiss little miss Abigail Breslin, whose star turn in this summer’s period adventure about an intrepid Depression-era girl has put her in the running to overtake Dakota Fanning’s tween queen crown. At 78 percent on the Tomatometer and Certified Fresh, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl is one of this week’s best bets for quality flicks on DVD, so give it a try — and fellas, you don’t have to tell a soul if you enjoy it.

Based on the uber-popular children’s doll and book franchise, the film follows aspiring newspaper reporter Kit Kittredge (Breslin) as her family struggles through the Great Depression and she unravels a mysterious rash of crimes. Breslin gets class-act support from an impressive cast of grown-ups that include Julia Ormond, Stanley Tucci, Jane Krakowski, Chris O’Donnell and Joan Cusack. A digital copy and DVD-ROM with bonus content accompany the film.

Next: Journey in 3-D


3. New to DVD: Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D


Though Jules Verne’s classic sci-fi tale has been adapted before for the screen (some good, some bad), it hadn’t yet been adapted into the future of movie-watching: 3-D. Until now. Brendan Fraser stars in this loose reimagining as Trevor Anderson, a geologist who finds himself in otherworldly underground danger with his teenage nephew (Josh Hutcherson) and an Icelandic hottie (Anita Briem). In three dimensions!

Pick up the Limited Edition set for a 2-D cut and a 3-D version, which comes with four pairs of 3-D glasses.

Next: Tarantino can’t save this Hell Ride

4. New to DVD: Hell Ride – 11%


Thanks to the genre-obsessed films of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino (who produced Hell Ride), the B-movie grind house aesthetic has returned to vogue. If only replicating that grimy, gleefully vulgar sensibility consistently translated to compelling cinema. B-movie actor Larry Bishop enlists the likes of Michael Madsen, Eric Balfour, and Dennis Hopper in this gratuitous and indulgent biker movie, written, acted, directed and produced by none other than B-movie actor Larry Bishop.

Bishop also shows up on a comprehensive commentary track and making-of featurettes on the “Bikes,” the “Babes,” and the “Guys” of Hell Ride.

Next: Pledge Delta with Animal House 30th Anniversary set

5. New to DVD: Animal House 30th Anniversary Set – 89%


Did you ever wish you could live amongst the irreverent, partying brothers of Delta Tau Chi fraternity? Well, now you can take home the Delta house itself, in an all new Animal House 30th Anniversary DVD housed in the most raucous domicile of Faber College.

The collegiate gross-out comedy classic from director John Landis celebrates middle age with a 2-disc Special Edition ($19.98) and gift set package ($34.98) that include all-new special features, Scene-It trivia games, and reunion interviews with the cast and filmmakers. Drop a few more bucks for the frat house-shaped gift set, which also includes a new 98-minute documentary and a collectible yearbook.

Next: Tinker Bell’s starring debut

6. New to DVD: Tinker Bell


Follow Disney into the 21st century with this CGI-animated spin-off film starring Peter Pan’s beloved fairy BFF, Tinker Bell. In her first solo adventure, Tinker Bell (voiced by Mae Whitman, AKA George Michael Bluth’s girlfriend “Bland” Ann Veal, who reportedly beat Brittany Murphy for the role) arrives in the town of Pixie Hollow to determine her destiny, meeting plenty of A-list fairies along the way (voiced by Kristin Chenowith, Lucy Liu, America Ferrera, Anjelica Huston, and more). But what’s a Disney film without musical numbers? And will such a familiar character hold up to the liberties taken in the name of updating Tinker Bell’s legend for children of today (speaking for the first time, for example)?

Tots will likely be enraptured, as will anyone who recognizes the names Jesse McCartney (who voice acts), Katharine McPhee, and Selena Gomez (who contribute songs to the soundtrack).

Next: The lens turns on celeb photographer Annie Leibovitz.

7. New to DVD: Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens


Having shot some of the most iconic celebrity photographs in the last few decades (John Lennon on the eve of his death, Demi Moore nude and pregnant, and Miley Cyrus most recently), it’s about time photographer Annie Leibovitz got her own documentary. Shot, written, and directed by Leibovitz’s sister Barbara, Life Through a Lens follows Leibovitz at work snapping celebrities, interviewing a handful of them about their photo shoot experiences while discussing the life and career of the woman who gave Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair some of their most intimate celebrity portraits ever.

Next: Brazilian police get brutal in Elite Squad

8. New to DVD: Elite Squad – 50%


If you enjoyed 2002’s City of God, check out another crime drama set in the heart of Brazil’s most dangerous neighborhoods. Based on the nonfiction book Elite de Tropa, about Rio de Janeiro’s elite BOPE special police force, Elite Squad follows police captain Nascimento (Wagner Moura) as he struggles to find his own replacement before retiring. While critics split over the brutal, violent tale, this is precisely the type of film that finds a life on DVD.

Next: Troma flies with Poultrygeist

9. Poultrygeist


Those familiar (and amused by) the antics of Lloyd Kaufman and his merry band of indie moviemakers will thrill at the latest Troma release, a horror musical-comedy that shows what could happen when a fast-food fried chicken restaurant gets built over the burial grounds of ancient native Americans: homicidal ghost-chickens! Kaufman himself directs and makes an appearance; Ron Jeremy shows up playing a character named “Crazy Ron.” Cinephiles, skip directly to the next entry!

Next: Our Halloween slasher pick of the week!

10. Halloween Slasher Pick of the Week: Pieces


Just in time for Halloween, pick up this 1982 cult horror flick and prepare yourself for one of the most outrageous, gory, and audacious slasher films ever made! In Pieces, a killer is on the loose at a Boston college, murdering his victims with a chainsaw to build a puzzle out of pieces of flesh. Throw in a random scene of kung-fu and a finale to remember, and Pieces earns its place among the schlockiest of schlock classics. Find a wealth of production information and cast interviews on Grindhouse Releasing’s new 2-disc release.

This week’s UK releases, expect big laughs as Ben Stiller’s star-studded Hollywood satire comedy blasts onto our screens in Tropic Thunder. The sound of a big old biological clock ticking away heralds two maternally yearning movies onto our screen, Helen Hunt’s directorial debut Then She Found Me, and another directorial debut, this time for British director Joanna Hogg, with Unrelated. Finally, a horror comedy featuring the geek nirvana coupling of zombies and strippers, called unsurprisingly Zombie Strippers, crawls (albeit scantily clad) onto British screens this week. But what did the UK critics have to say?

With Judd Apatow and Will Ferrell seemingly holding a duopoly on big American comedy flicks for the past year, Ben Stiller storms into the fray with his star-studded (Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr, Steve Coogan) passion piece, Tropic Thunder, which he not only starred and directed, but also wrote and co-produced. Steve Coogan plays the director of a war movie, who unwittingly leads his cast of prima-donnas into a real life warzone. Stiller is Tugg Speedman, the earnest action star, Jack Black is drug crazed comedian Jeff Portnoy, but the big laughs belong to Robert Downey Jr as Kirk Lazarus, the method actor who undergoes skin-pigmentation surgery to replace a black actor in the fictional film within the film. UK critics were divided; most enjoyed its early laughs, but many felt the jokes ran out of steam as the movie descended into an all-action film, funnily enough, the kind of action film Tropic Thunder had spent the first half aiming its satirical barbs at. There are enough laughs and classy action to keep it Certified Fresh at 83% on the Tomatometer.

After winning the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in As Good As It Gets, Helen Hunt has struggled to regain her form with middling roles in middling films, but she turns her hand to directing for Then She Found Me Out. Hunt plays April Epner, a thirty something wife, with a biological clock ticking away, who is dumped by her husband, only to fall into the arms of housewives’ favourite Colin Firth‘s character Frank. Bette Midler plays the role of Hunt’s mother with gusto, but dodgy cinematography and a dull script caused the critics to dismiss the movie, though not to dismiss Helen Hunt’s future career as a director. Critics all agree that Hunt shows enough promise behind the camera, to go on to prove that she can do better next time round. Then She Found Me currently stands a middling 51% on the Tomatometer.

British director Joanna Hogg earned her directorial spurs helming classic British television staples such as Eastenders and Casualty, but her first feature Unrelated has been heralded by the UK critics for its assured and classy direction. This enigmatic drama centres on British holidaymaker Anna (Kathryn Worth), who escapes an unhappy marriage, and finds solace in the company of younger holidaymakers, whilst lamenting her decision to not have children of her own. The critics lauded Hogg for her ability to make a British movie unburdened with the sensibilities usually de-rigueur in most British rom-coms. Definitely a name for the future, Unrelated is currently at an impressive 85% on the Tomatometer.

Zombie Strippers provided an excuse for most publications to publish pictures of the scantily clad, self proclaimed Queen Of Porn, Jenna Jameson this week, but despite the flesh on show, and schlocky premise of stripping zombies, the movie itself has been widely derided by the UK critics for it’s cheap production values, hammy acting, and poor scriptwriting. There are some laughs to be had in the outrageous premise, but not enough to keep it afloat. Camp and gory sexploitation flick Zombie Strippers reviews are as rotten as the zombie strippers rotten flesh, and it currently stands at 40% on the Tomatometer.

Also worth checking out this week

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time – An imaginative and thoughtfully engaging anime film with a highly effective visual design. This coming-of-age comedy drama has mad inventiveness to spare. 87% on the Tomatometer.

The Chaser — A frantic and taut Korean serial killer thriller. One classy, if bloody and messy, gut wrencher of a movie. 82% on the Tomatometer.

Linha De Passe – A gritty portrayal of modern day family life in Sau Paolo, with vividly drawn characters and an uncompromising resolution. 73% on the Tomatometer.

Quote of the Week

“Watching the Korean film The Chaser is like chewing diamonds — you know there’s something of value in there but mostly it’s just a mess of pain and blood.”

Wendy Ide, The Times.

Former adult star Jenna Jameson is branching out into mainstream fare with a starring role in Zombie Strippers — as, you guessed it, a zombie stripper — and we’ve got a batch of new photos from the pic, which also stars Nightmare on Elm Street icon Robert Englund.

Many of you already know the name Jenna Jameson, and so do we…from guest-starring on Celebrity Apprentice to support her boyfriend, UFC fighter Tito Ortiz, of course! But really, the adult film starlet has been making forays into mainstream entertainment for years: an appearance in Howard Stern’s Private Parts, vocal contributions to the Grand Theft Auto video game, and her autobiography How To Make Love Like A Porn Star, which spent six weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

Jenna Jameson

Jenna Jameson in Zombie Strippers. Click for more!

Now Jameson stars alongside Robert Englund in a gore-filled horror comedy that asks the question: is it so bad to be a rotting, flesh-eating zombie when your exotic dancing skills multiply tenfold?

Zombie Strippers (rated R for strong violence and gore, sexuality/nudity and language) is a parable set in an alternate world, where George W. Bush is in his fourth consecutive term in office and morally dubious establishments like strip clubs have been forced underground. When a zombie outbreak starts taking over the Rhino Club, star dancer Kat (Jameson) becomes the alpha zombie stripper whose undead shows are the most popular act in town. But is conforming to the new norm and becoming a zombie stripper the path to enlightenment for the club’s youngest dancers?

Zombie Strippers

Roxy Saint gives Robert Englund a very special lapdance.

Zombie Strippers opens in select cities on April 18 and also stars Robert Englund, musician Roxy Saint, and also features an appearance by Tito Ortiz. Check out the photo gallery here!


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