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Under the Radar DVDs: 2012’s oddest of the odd

Dennis King Published: December 24, 2012

Each week sees literally scores of new releases on DVD. Big-bucks advertising and studio clout propel sales of the most high-profile DVDs. But the oddball releases that fly under the radar are often the most fun. Those bottom-of-the-list releases have been spotlighted during 2012 in the “Under-the-Radar DVD Release of the Week.”

This week, here are 10 of the oddest of the odd DVD releases from the past year:


           “Attack of the Vegan Zombies!” – A worthy counterpart of the kitschy zaniness of 1978’s “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!” this micro-budgeted horror spoof features zombies with a lust for wine-infused blood rather than human flesh.

“Beware the Gonzo” – Hunter S. Thompson meets “Revenge of the Nerds” in this smart but snarky teen-angst comedy.

“The Sidelong Glances of a Pigeon Kicker” – A provocatively titled movie that pretends to be a long-lost hipster gem from 1970, this is really just an overblown hodgepodge of cultural clichés in service of on snotty, self-indulgent central character.

“Anatomy of a Bigfoot Hoax” – Our unending fascination with the possibility of something big, hairy and mysterious lurking in the dark woods led to a hokey swindle in 2008 that became national news and spawned this clunky, self-serving documentary.

“Groucho Marx in the Mikado” – It’s not generally known that Groucho Marx, that king of comic chaos, had an absolute passion for the precise, Victorian-era comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan. In fact, a self-proclaimed highlight of Groucho’s long career came when he played the role of Ko-Ko in “The Mikado,” a 1960 Bell Telephone Hour TV production.

“Some Guy Who Kills People” – With its blunt, eponymous title, its impressive cast and the producing clout of John Landis, this subversive action flick slyly defies its slasher-comedy pedigree and rolls out as a surprisingly entertaining combination of humor, gore and heart.

“Get the Gringo” – After his recent history of tawdry personal troubles and terrible publicity, Mel Gibson’s movie career is at its lowest ebb. So with this gritty, aggressively sordid, direct-to-DVD action flick, the Oscar-winning actor appears to be returning to his grungy “Mad Max” roots.

“Strippers Vs. Werewolves” – Some movies manage to skate by on a titillating title alone – think “Hobo With a Shotgun” – and this micro-budgeted British horror spoof is definitely one of those pictures that promises more than it delivers.

“Snowmageddon” – “White Christmas” gets a quirky, kitschy, Syfy Channel spin in this gimmicky disaster fantasy that’s a mash-up of holiday horror, disaster, fantasy and adventure conventions that takes place on an Alaska Christmas eve beset by mysterious natural catastrophes.

“Age of the Hobbits” – A classic example of a tick hitching a ride on the back of a big dog, this cheeky and primitive B-movie has absolutely nothing to do with J.R.R. Tolkien or with Peter Jackson’s huge franchise startup. But it apparently sneaks through a legal loophole to imply association with the Tolkien universe.

- Dennis King


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