4/4/06 Edition

Fox's Eight-Film DVD Box Set Gives Us The Best Of Mel
Plus: '80s FLASHBACK with KNOTS LANDING, KONG and More!

Having grown up on the movies of Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder, I’m thrilled to report that major DVD omissions in the filmographies of both talents have been rectified this week thanks to Fox.

The superlative, eight-film anthology THE MEL BROOKS COLLECTION -- out this Tuesday -- houses Brooks’ entire output with Fox (“Young Frankenstein,” “Silent Movie,” “High Anxiety,” “History of the World Part I,” “To Be Or Not To Be” and “Robin Hood: Men In Tights”), with the addition of “The Twelve Chairs” and “Blazing Saddles,” the latter on loan from Warner Bros.

Four of the films in Fox’s collection have never been released before, while several have been upgraded from previous editions -- making this release absolutely essential for any Brooks fan.

Brooks’ early THE TWELVE CHAIRS (**½, 93 mins., G, 1970) is a surprisingly restrained adaptation of a 1920s Russian folk tale, with Brooks starring alongside Ron Moody, Dom DeLuise and Frank Langella. The movie has its admirers though I’ve never been a huge fan of the picture, which is presented in a generally satisfying 16:9 presentation on DVD here (Image's inferior 2000 DVD has been out of print for some time) alongside his later ‘70s work for Fox. Those latter, generally under-rated efforts range from the delightful 1976 SILENT MOVIE (***, 87 mins., 1976, PG) to the intermittently uproarious Hitchcock spoof HIGH ANXIETY (***, 1977, 94 mins., PG), complete with one of Brooks’ more memorable collaborations with composer John Morris (memo to those reading from various record labels: isn’t it time a proper retrospective of Brooks’ and Morris’ film music be released on CD at long last?).

Brooks’ HISTORY OF THE WORLD: PART I (**, 92 mins., 1981, R) was one of the director’s few flicks I couldn’t watch as a kid (due to its R rating), but I wasn’t missing much, as this rambling and often unfunny farce has one inspired, five-minute musicalization of the Spanish Inquisition (presumably a warm-up for Brooks’ later “Producers” musical), but precious little else to recommend it. Thankfully, Brooks returned to form in 1983's TO BE OR NOT TO BE (***, 1983, 107 mins., PG), a collaboration with wife Anne Bancroft that fueled an engaging remake of the Ernest Lubitsch early ‘40s classic.

As the ‘80s wore on, Brooks’ directing output dried up, with the mediocre “Spaceballs” followed by the even-worse “Life Stinks” -- a major stinker indeed for MGM, the latter grossing a paltry $4 million total in its domestic run.

Thankfully, Brooks reverted to at least respectable form with the generally under-rated 1993 parody ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS (**½, 104 mins., PG-13, 1993) which incredibly makes its DVD debut here for the first time in the U.S. A mix of Brooks veterans (Dick Van Patten, Dom DeLuise) works with a game assortment of younger comedians (Richard Lewis, Tracy Ullmann, and even Dave Chappelle) for this predictable, slightly overlong, but nevertheless amusing assortment of gags primarily aimed at ribbing 1991's Kevin Costner blockbuster. Even Hummie Mann’s score is decent (the love theme being surprisingly sweet), though I still wonder even now why Brooks’ relationship with John Morris terminated as abruptly as it did.

Those six films have been newly remastered by Fox for this DVD collection (“History” was previously available in a non-anamorphic DVD that’s been out of print; the new DVD is 16:9), and the good news is that the older Special Edition contents of Brooks’ classic YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (****, 102 mins., 1974, PG) have been reprieved here, with the added bonus of seeing the movie in 16:9 widescreen for the first time.

The lone disappointment in “The Mel Brooks Collection” is that BLAZING SADDLES (***½, 93 mins., 1974, R) is presented in Warner’s initial 1997 DVD release, with an early (and quite mediocre by today’s standards) DVD transfer that was markedly improved upon in the studio’s 30th Anniversary Special Edition in 2004.

With the exception of “Young Frankenstein,” supplements are sparse on the new discs: just trailers and the occasional Making Of featurette (on “To Be Or Not To Be” and “Robin Hood: Men In Tights”) pop up on the respective titles, though the Dolby Digital stereo and mono tracks are in good condition and the 16:9 transfers solid across the board (with the exception of the ancient “Blazing Saddles” transfer). Each film is contained in a slim-line case with its own packaging, and viewers should note that none of the new titles debuting in this set are available separately.

Through “Young Frankenstein” and “Blazing Saddles,” Brooks’ two movies met with widespread acclaim and humongous box-office returns in 1974. While one can say that Brooks’ post-1974 career had some bright spots (his Tony-winning “Producers” musical obviously being one of them), never again did the comedian-actor-filmmaker approach the zenith of his one-two cinematic punch that year.

One could point to “Saddles” and “Frankenstein” star/co-writer Gene Wilder’s decision to go off on his own and produce his own comedies as a pivotal turning point in the careers of both talents, with two of Wilder’s curious, post-Brooks projects just hitting video for the first time this week.

Wilder worked with his “Young Frankenstein” co-stars Madeline Kahn and Marty Feldman in the highly uneven THE ADVENTURE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES’ SMARTER BROTHER (**½, 1975, 91 mins., PG), with Wilder directing, writing and starring as Sigerson Holmes in a Brooks-ian, slapstick romp with a pleasant score by John Morris and amusing supporting turns from Dom DeLuise and Leo McKern. The movie, though, is all over the map, with a few big laughs off-set by long stretches of tedium that even the most-die hard Wilder fan may have a hard time overlooking.

After hitting paydirt with “Silver Streak” in ‘76, Wilder tried his hand at directing one more time with THE WORLD’S GREATEST LOVER (***, 89 mins., 1977, PG), a valentine to the silent movie era with Wilder heading west to enter a talent search for the next Rudolph Valentino. Carol Kane’s amusing performance as Wilder’s shy wife makes this humorous and even poignant film good fun, and at least it’s superior to the star’s later efforts behind the camera: the entertaining, though uneven, 1984 comedy “The Woman In Red” and less-said-the-better 1986 bomb “Haunted Honeymoon.”

Fox’s individual DVD releases of the two Wilder comedies offer both 16:9 widescreen (1.85) and full-screen transfers, plus enjoyable commentary tracks from Wilder. The star wistfully recalls working on both movies, and is particularly enlightening when he discusses how Hollywood no longer has room for the kinds of fun, warm-hearted pictures both he and Brooks turned out in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Comments like those provide an honest, bittersweet cap to a wonderful assortment of comedic gems Fox has mined this week on DVD. Bravo!

More Aisle Seat Vintage

Also worth nothing from Fox is this week’s Special Edition of the 1980 comedy NINE TO FIVE (***, 109 mins., 1980, PG), Colin Higgins’ feminine empowerment fantasy about three office workers (Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin) who decide to give obnoxious boss Dabney Coleman a taste of his own medicine.

Higgins and Patricia Resnick’s script has the feel of a sitcom from the era, with some slapstick laughs mixed into its satiric brew (gotta love the animation when Tomlin dons the Snow White outfit), but its point -- even if it’s an obvious one -- was well taken and certainly devoured by audiences, who helped the movie gross over $100 million (a large lump of cash in those days) and become one of the top hits of 1980.

Fox’s Special Edition DVD is a keeper, featuring a half-hour documentary that incorporates new interviews with all the stars and producer Bruce Gilbert; an engaging commentary track with the three leading ladies and Gilbert; a featurette remembering Higgins; 10 deleted scenes, running over 10 minutes, with additional animation from the Snow White sequence; a gag reel culled from a video tape source; a karaoke sing-along version of Parton’s theme song; and the original trailer, sporting Leroy Anderson’s vintage “Typewriter” composition. The 16:9 transfer is good, but the movie has that “plastic” look many films of its time possess. On the audio side, the “expanded” 2.0 Dolby Stereo track has the edge on the original mono mix, which is also included.

KING KONG (**½, 2005). 188 mins., PG-13, Universal. DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Post-Production Diaries (comprehensive documentary); “Skull Island: A Natural History” and “Kong’s New York, 1933" featurettes; 2.35 (16:9) Widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Digital sound.

Growing up in the ‘80s, I became a huge “King Kong” fan through repeated viewings of both the original 1933 RKO classic and its less-dignified, though still entertaining, 1976 remake. In between those decades, Kong resurfaced in a silly Rankin/Bass cartoon and an affiliated Toho Studios Japanese “Kaiju” spin-off -- not to mention his immortal battle with Godzilla in the early ‘60s.

Therefore, I had no problem at all with Peter Jackson remaking “King Kong” for a new generation -- especially not when you see the loving care that Jackson applied to the remake: references to Fay Wray, Marian C. Cooper and RKO Pictures pop up early on. Later in the movie, Max Steiner’s original ‘33 themes are performed by the pit orchestra as Kong is introduced to the city of New York (conducted by Howard Shore, whose original score to this version was tossed out at the last minute), while the goofy tribal dance from the Cooper-Schoedsack classic is reprised by dancers on-stage. The end credits even appear against a backdrop with the 1933 title card fonts -- elements all respectful of the filmmaking milestone that was the very first “King Kong.”

Naturally, Jackson’s movie has the benefit of new technology behind it: this is a film packed with visual delights, from the authentic recreation of Depression-era NYC, to the amazing animation and “performance” of Kong himself. Articulated to a degree by Andy Serkis (Jackson’s Gollum cohort) and marvelously rendered on-screen, this is a Kong that’s a far cry from the stilted Rick Baker suit in Dino DeLaurentiis’ 1976 remake and ranks with the most awe-inspiring technological achievements that special effects wizards have produced throughout the decades.

So, there’s no problem at all with Jackson’s new film, right? A remake respectful of its predecessor with sensational visuals ought to be something to be admired and savored for generations to come, no?

Sadly, not everything in Jackson’s sprawling, overlong, three-hour (!) opus matches its good intentions and aesthetic qualities. This is a movie that plays like the kind of “Director’s Cut” studios indulge filmmakers on DVD, bulging with superfluous details and side characters with no pay-off, and scene after scene that could have been sliced in half and been every bit as effective -- if not more so for their brevity.

Since the original movie’s premise needs little introduction, it’s best to dissect the alterations Jackson and his collaborators (writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens) have applied to this version. Here, leading man Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody) is a playwright suckered into one of director Carl Denham’s latest productions. Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) is a down-on-her-luck actress seeking a way out of the Depression, and finds the opportunity of a lifetime despite the suspicious motives of Denham himself. All three, and a crew led by captain Thomas Kretschmann, find themselves on Skull Island, a prehistoric environment teeming with dinosaurs, giant insects, wild natives and one giant ape named Kong...

One of the first things you’ll realize about Jackson’s “King Kong” is that -- after a marvelous beginning in an early ‘30s Big Apple -- the film chugs along at a snail’s pace. The journey to Skull Island finds Jackson spending minute after minute on extraneous side characters and details; unlike his “Lord of the Rings” adaptations, though, the source material here doesn’t beg for a three-hour treatment, with one especially infuriating subplot involving Jamie Bell’s young seaman and his older, wiser superior (Evan Parke). Their relationship doesn’t add anything to the finished film, and could have been jettisoned without any detriment to the central drama.

Over a third of the movie is over before Kong appears, and naturally there are several “jackpot” set-pieces, including a brontosaurus stampede and a chase with raptors (and later, a pair of T-Rexes) not far behind. Regrettably, the movie then stalls out again with sequences that run on too long: the “spider pit” scene in particular is especially bloated (and atrociously spotted with inappropriate music from a mostly subdued, ultimately forgettable James Newton Howard soundtrack). Eventually, Jackson gets Ann, Jack and Denham off the island and back to New York, but even there, every scene feels several beats off-measure: the icy jaunt through Central Park with Ann and Kong is cute but ought to be over in half the time, and even the final battle on top of the Empire State Building (which Jackson wisely refrains from being overly bloody) leaves you feeling like you’ve watched each and every fly-over of the bi-planes that eventually take Kong down.

Between the bloated running time, over-reliance on side details and minor characters, what one is left with in “King Kong” is a film where the viewer ultimately has little interest in its heroes. Watts looks fetching and is effectively emotive in her encounters with the big ape, yet her scenes with Brody’s Jack are confined to the first third of the movie -- something that detracts from any real chemistry between the two. Brody himself looks as if he could have made for a perfect “everyman” kind of hero, but the script doesn’t give him nearly enough to do. Worst of all is Jack Black’s Denham: the movie clearly didn’t want to make him into the nefarious bad guy that Charles Grodin served up in the ‘76 version, and subsequently balances out some of the character’s despicable behavior with comedic elements. Yet, he’s still unhinged, and the film ultimately doesn’t come down hard enough on him: his reading of the movie’s final line rings false because it’s still Denham in this version who’s truly responsible for the tragedy of the final act.

By the time the would-be heart-tugging climax arrives, I felt more exhausted than moved by the 2005 “King Kong.” This is a reverent and beautifully-made picture that nevertheless wears you down: after all the running, shooting, shaking camera and muddled characterizations, it becomes apparent that Jackson’s movie left its heart somewhere between here and Skull Island.

That all being said, Universal still serves up a DVD that’s magnificent to behold. The 16:9 transfer and 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack are each reference quality, and the second disc (in the Special Edition package) houses a pair of featurettes and -- more importantly -- additional hours of Jackson’s superlative “Production Diaries”, this time focusing on the post-production and release of his epic film. There’s no question that a great deal of time, energy and money was spent on the picture, and as these vignettes attest, Jackson truly does care about not just about his work but also with providing the viewer with an enlightening look behind at the scenes at the filmmaking process. Together with the excellent “King Kong Production Diaries” DVD package from last December (not to mention his “Lord of the Rings” and “Frighteners” Special Editions), this DVD further adds to the filmmaker’s legacy of providing rich DVD supplemental content for viewers of all ages.

Hopefully, for the inevitable re-cut of the film we’ll undoubtedly see on DVD one day, Jackson will trim his ragged, overlong beast of a theatrical cut and find the tighter, more satisfying film that possibly lurks inside.


As I wrote earlier, growing up in the ‘80s, I wasn’t the target audience for night-time soaps like “Dallas,” “Dynasty,” and KNOTS LANDING, which last week hit DVD for the first time. However, having checked out Warner’s new box set (1979-80, 13 episodes, 694 mins.) and recently watched “Desperate Housewives” copy (but not improve upon) the formula established by “Knots” for prime-time soap opera fun, I can firmly say this series is every bit as entertaining as its reputation among fans would lead you to believe.

“Knots Landing” began as a spin-off of “Dallas” but ended as the most enduring show of its entire genre, surpassing its peers in terms of number of episodes produced (13 seasons) and -- perhaps more significantly -- earning more critical kudos along the way for its comparatively “realistic” story lines than the shenanigans with J.R. and Joan Collins found elsewhere on the dial.

From what I’ve read, things on the series heated up later on (the show apparently hit its stride once William Devane joined the cast), but there’s still sufficient amusement to be found once Gary Ewing (the appropriately bland Ted Shackleford) moves to a lovely California cul-de-sac with wife Valene (Joan Van Ark, who I remembered more as a kid for her vocal performance as “Spider-Woman”). Turns out not everything in Knots Landing is as squeaky clean as you might imagine -- indeed, once neighboring Don Murray’s daughter (Karen Allen!) shows up drunk and raises hell, it’s clear Gary and Val will soon plunge head-first into the sorts of melodrama that only a glossy CBS prime-time soap from the late ‘70s and ‘80s can provide.

Jerrod Immel’s infectious, unforgettable theme music sets the viewer up perfectly in the pilot for the entertainment that the 13 first-season “Knots Landing” episodes provide: though there’s a definite “Dallas” feel to the early shows (no surprise with cameos by Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy on-hand), it’s not long before the series’ more laid back, family-oriented domestic drama falls comfortably into a formula that would remain intact until the show went off the air in 1993.

Warner’s four-disc box set offers commentary from Van Ark and Shackelford on two episodes, including the pilot, plus an interview segment with the stars reflecting on their long run on “Knots Landing.” Transfers are in good condition and the mono sound rings through loud and clear, with Immel’s mellow, jazzy score providing a perfect backing for the sometimes over-the-top, but always amusing, goings-on in Knots Landing.

Also newly available is the Sixth Season of THREE’S COMPANY (1981-82, 28 episodes, 650 minutes, Anchor Bay), which has arrived on DVD in another superlative package courtesy of Anchor Bay.

With Suzanne Somers gone and Jenilee Harrison only providing a serviceable fill-in for Chrissy Snow, the producers wisely added smarter, sexier Priscilla Barnes to the mix as Terri Alden, new roommate to John Ritter’s Jack and Joyce DeWitt’s Janet. Barnes was a superb addition to the show, eschewing the “dumb blonde” stereotype and enhancing the series’ 28 sixth-season episodes, which seem a lot more energetic and focused than the previous year. Whether that’s due to the off-set issues involving Somers having cleared up, or Barnes providing more robust comedic opportunities than Harrison’s character afforded, it’s easy to see from Anchor Bay’s four-disc DVD set why fans regard the sixth year of “Three’s Company” as one of the best.

As with Anchor Bay’s previous DVD box sets, the 28 sixth-season episodes are presented in uncut, satisfying transfers with commentary on the premiere episode from series director Dave Powers. Excerpts from a Polish dubbed episode are on-hand, along with a vintage 1982 one-hour clip special, “The Best of Three’s Company,” which nabbed Lucille Ball as host for a standard retrospective we rarely see on network TV these days. Liner notes from producer George Sunga put the finishing touches on another stellar sitcom package for “Three’s Company” fans.

Comedy is a subjective business, and that statement is made particularly true by Paramount’s release this week of THE ANDY MILONAKIS SHOW: The Complete First Season (2005, 160 mins.; Paramount).

Milonakis acts like a teenager on this series of comedic bits (you can’t even call them sketches) that are, keep in mind, aimed at teenagers. This MTV2 show is an acquired taste to be sure, and a little of the half-hour series tends to go a long way: whether he’s insulting elderly folks, causing havoc as he interviews pedestrians, or meeting celebs like Snoop Dogg and the Black Eyed Peas, Milonakis displays a poker face as he acts like an idiot in an effort to get laughs any way he can. To be fair, I laughed a bit here and there (especially in bits involving John Stamos and Rob Schneider), but taken as a whole this is the kind of show you absolutely need to sample before considering a purchase...or perhaps even a rental.

Paramount’s two-disc set includes the first season’s eight episodes in full-screen transfers with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. Extras are ample, including unaired “skits,” extended scenes, outtakes, interviews, and commentary from the cast and critic Richard Huff, who hated the show and was invited to participate in the DVD. Go figure!

The Latest Horrors & Monsters on DVD

Last year I interviewed John Landis about his career, and the veteran filmmaker proudly boasted about the cable-DVD anthology series “Masters of Horror,” which he was directing an episode of.

Produced for DVD but initially shown on cable’s Showtime network, the “Masters of Horror” anthology recruited a mind-blowing roster of genre veterans to direct episodes with no boundaries in terms of violence, sex...or, regrettably, poor scripts.

Last week Anchor Bay released two episodes from the series on DVD in excellent, individual presentations with supplements to spare -- Stuart Gordon’s DREAMS IN THE WITCH HOUSE (55 mins.) and John Carpenter’s CIGARETTE BURNS (59 mins.), a pair of episodes that show the inherent issues that plagued most series installments.

Gordon’s “Dreams in the Witch House” is an adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story and offers a fiendish plot augmented by a healthy dose of gore (including a murdered baby), but the Dennis Paoli-Stuart Gordon script never really makes you empathize with what its lead graduate student character (Ezra Godden) is going through. It’s hackneyed horror like many of Gordon’s bombastic productions, but if you’re a fan of the latter, you’ll find “Witch House” to provide a degree of amusement.

Carpenter’s “Cigarette Burns,” meanwhile, is an original story by Drew McWeeny (better known as Aint It Cool News correspondent “Moriarty”) and Scott Swan, about a legendary lost movie that caused its viewers to enter into a homicidal rage, and one theater programmer’s efforts to track it down. Less outlandish than Gordon’s effort, “Cigarette Burns” almost plays like a remake of “The Ninth Gate,” with a familiar plot off-set by strong direction from Carpenter and music by Carpenter’s son, Cody, that pays homage to his father’s efforts. Still, you can’t help but feel a major sense of “deja vu” as the episode plays itself out.

Despite my mixed thoughts on the episodes (and apparently other entries in the series by Tobe Hooper among others are far worse!), Anchor Bay has done a sensational job with the DVDs. Multiple commentaries, numerous Making Of featurettes, actor and director profiles (including a superb look at Carpenter’s career), stellar 1.77 (16:9) transfers and 5.1 Dolby Digital sound make for excellent DVDs that are also affordable (under $15 in most outlets)...provided you feel the content is of sufficient interest.

2001 MANIACS (*½, 2005, 87 mins., R; Lions Gate): Remember back in the ‘80s when you’d routinely see one cheapo, direct-to-video horror effort after another on the rack of your local video store haunt? You’d probably hang out with your high school pals and nab the one with the creepiest or silliest cover, take it home, and then feel let down that the content wasn’t up to the packaging. That’s the sort of nostalgic let down you may experience should you rent this “remake” of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ “Two Thousand Maniacs,” re-christened “2001 Maniacs” and offering the gleeful sight of Robert Englund, complete with Confederate eyepatch, on the front cover. Alas, little else in this would-be horror offering is as inspired, with director Tim Sullivan doing an appropriately lifeless job attempting to juggle the requisite gore (and there’s a good amount) and comedic interludes. Lions Gate’s DVD is packed with extras, including two commentaries, deleted/extended scenes, a Making Of featurette, 5.1 Dolby Digital sound and a decent 1.78 (16:9) transfer. Speaking of the deleted scenes, what does it tell you that John Landis’ original opening apparently wasn’t good enough for this movie, necessitating that the director’s role be re-filmed with an over-the-top Peter Stomare? Maniacal, to say the least!

New From Sony

I didn’t think the much-reviled 1998 Emmerich-Devlin version of GODZILLA would ever see another re-issue on DVD, but that’s the case this week with Sony’s “Monster Edition” of the silly but generally mis-understood monster epic.

Yes, I remain one of the few backers of the 1998 “Godzilla” (***, 139 mins., PG-13), which in no way approximates the good, clean fun of watching men in rubber suits and listening to hilariously bad, dubbed dialogue that we all watched growing up on the Creature Double Feature. Emmerich and Devlin might have failed to deliver on their intended promises with “Godzilla,” yet the movie is still entertaining in spots and isn’t nearly as awful as most kaiju fans would lead you to believe.

In fact, this tongue-in-cheek sci-fi epic has a lot of good things going for it: terrific effects and creature design by Patrick Tatopolous, a rousing score by David Arnold, amusing performances by Jean Reno and Hark Azaria, and a slam-bang final half-hour with a dynamite climax on the Brooklyn Bridge. (I’ll even be the first to admit I felt more for Godzilla’s demise than I did watching Kong fall from the Empire State at the end of Peter Jackson’s version!). Sure, there are plenty of things that fail to click, like an over-abundance of characters played for laughs; a Jurassic Park-inspired succession of mini-Godzillas; and a D.O.A. female lead provided by Maria Pitillo, who vanished off the face of the Earth shortly the movie’s release. That being said, as sheer monster movie mania goes, the American “Godzilla” is entertaining in its own way, and worthy of a reevaluation...perhaps if it didn’t have “Godzilla” in its title the movie wouldn’t have been scolded the way it was by kaiju fans around the world.

Sony’s new DVD offers three episodes from the “Animated Series” spin-off (which continues the story line, this time with one of the baby-Godzillas, having been raised by the good guys, now fighting for truth, justice and the American way); a lame “All Time Best of Godzilla” fight scenes montage that’s basically just a 10-minute ad for other Sony Godzilla DVDs; and a production art gallery.

While the DVD reprises most of the supplements from Sony’s still-solid 1998 original DVD, it leaves off the amusing theatrical trailers, which contain specially-shot footage not included in the movie. The 16:9 transfer and 5.1 Dolby Digital sound are still effective, but there’s little incentive to pick up this package if you own the original DVD.

Sony has also issued a pair of DVDs from the Godzilla Animated Series: MONSTER MAYHEM and MUTANT MADNESS, each offering three episodes from the show (“What Dreams May Come,” “Bird of Paradise,” and “Deadloch” on “Monster Mayhem” and “S.C.A.L.E.,” “The Twister,” and “Where Is Thy Sting” on “Mutant Madness”). Curiously, two of the episodes (one from each DVD) are among the three episodes included in the “Monster Edition” of the ‘98 film, with another show (“Monster Wars Part I”) from a previously released “Animated Series” DVD rounding out that “special feature.”

NEXT TIME: NARNIA! Don't forget to drop in on the official Aisle Seat Message Boards, direct any emails to the link above and we'll catch you then. Cheers everyone!

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