DVD reviews: Films reissued from Alternative Tentacles

New Film Reviews (Reissues)


Terminal City Ricochet

Reissue of a cult classic 1990 film by director Zale Dalen. Starring Peter Breck, Germain Houde, Jello Biafra, Gabe Kouth. Music by Nomeansno, Jello Biafra, D.O.A., The Beatnigs. Reviewed by Bob Yunger

In a post apocalyptic police state where corporations market machines for your kitchen that turn household waste into the four food groups … meat and rock and roll music is banned in Terminal City, which is one of six livable cities left. Jello Biafra is quoted as saying that “people should watch this before every American election.” There’s a scene where some cops beat up the newspaper-delivering protagonist and then, before taking him in for torturing, blow up his van. After that they call him a terrorist. At that moment a viewer is tempted to forget the flick was made 20 years ago. The name was taken from a hockey team called the Terminal City Ricochets. There’s conspiracy, crooked cops, corrupt politics and suspense. Starring Jello Biafra of The Dead Kennedys, Terminal City Ricochet is a dystopian comedy critical of television and its collusion with government and consumerism. It’s a movie well-known in cult film circles but it’s mostly been shown only at film festivals and a few times on pay-TV. This DVD/CD combo, with the film and the movie soundtrack is available at Alternative Tentacles. [alternativetentacles.com] BY

The Widower

79 minutes, color, stereo, full screen, 1999, Not Rated, Directed by Marcus Rogers (For Those Aboot To Rock & many DOA videos)

Jello Biafra appears in this film with Nardwaur the Human Serviette who plays Milton in a story that was inspired by the surrealism of David Lynch and the creepy necrophilic persistence of Alfred Hitchcock. Trade the dead mother in Psycho for the dead wife in this movie, and switch the murder for a lingering sense of persecution and you’ve got a hint of the tension being staged here. Milton is a nerdy type who doesn’t fit in very well in society so he’s especially lucky when he finds a wife who understands him and helps him adjust. Thing is that was all a long time ago and she’s dead now. Or is she? She still talks to him. If you’re a fan of creepy kitch, sinister settings and evil antagonists and root for the underdog even if his mind has gone under, this movie is for you. Special features include an original black and white short film, a “making of the widower,” uncensored electronic press kit and a Coal “Alone, I Honeymoon” music video. The DVD case also has a CD with the soundtrack. [alternativetentacles.com] RS