Posts Tagged 'DVD'

The Rohrbach Horror Picture Show (Part 1)

by James Christian

Need something sinister to raise your Halloween spirits? Here’s the crème-de-la-creepy from our DVD dungeon.

P1010441The Bad Seed—Rhoda Penmark is polite, tidy, obedient, the perfect 8-year-old angel. She’s also pure evil. This 1956 cult classic follows Rhoda’s ruthless antics and her increasingly frantic mother, who suspects the wide-eyed tyke of murder. The placid suburban drama rapidly escalates into mayhem. Based on a stage play, Bad Seed is a histrionic, screamy melodrama reminiscent of Tennessee Williams, complete with boozers, armchair psychoanalysis and unsavory sexual underpinnings. Some moments border on camp, but I find its sweaty, seething desperation absolutely delightful. As the pint-sized sociopath, Patty McCormack boomerangs from screeching tantrums to saccharine wheedling, manipulating every adult around her. If you like the ‘creepy kid’ subgenre, The Bad Seed is required viewing. Call Number: 3380

P1010439The Phantom of the Opera: No, not that Phatom of the Opera. The original 1925 one. If you’ve never seen a silent movie, here’s your gateway drug. Lon Chaney, Hollywood’s first horror icon, is truly ghoulish as the phantom. No darkly-handsome pretty-boy Eric here; Chaney’s incarnation is hideous, with sunken skull-like  features and snarled teeth. His bugged-out eyes—achieved with great physical discomfort by looping wire around his eyeballs—are the stuff of nightmares, even nearly a century later.  For more silent horrors, check out The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu, Vampyr, The Golem and Chaney’s own Hunchback of Notre Dame. If you’re feeling creative, watch the films on mute and add your own soundtrack. Type O Negative or Bauhaus would be ideal, but do the Monster Mash if the urge hits you. Call Number: PN1995.75 .P42 1997

Continue reading ‘The Rohrbach Horror Picture Show (Part 1)’


Brand New! Looney Tunes Golden Collection

by James Christian

P1010388Rohrbach Library just acquired a truckload of classic cartoons. Looney Tunes Golden Collection (Volumes 1-6) just hit our shelves, carrying 24 discs of animated antics from the Warner Brothers vault. The set runs the gamut of WB material, from legends like Long-Haired Hare and Duck Amuck to Hitler-thrashing WW2 shorts. Entire discs are dedicated to characters (Bugs, Daffy, Porky, Roadrunner, Tweety and Sylvester, Speedy Gonzalez and, most surprisingly, Bosco) and animators (Bob Clampett, Frank Tashlin).

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Must-See Documentaries: Weird and Wonderful World

by James Christian

Think documentary’s are boring? You’ve been watching the wrong ones. Here at Rohrbach, we have a terrific collection of documentaries on DVD and video. Here are four strange delights from the media collection:

Crumb (1994)



Art nerds and sex freaks, take note. Cartoonist R. Crumb is one of the greats of the  underground comic boom. Characters like Fritz the Cat and Mister Natural linger in the counterculture subconscious. His publication Zap Comics, peddling its mix of twisted sex, philosophy, and burnout cynicism, is revered and studied to this day. Now the unabashed weirdo finds himself under the filmmaker’s microscope. The film crackles with unsavory energy, as we hang on Crumb’s every rant and anecdote, peruse his eye-popping illustrations, and hang out with his bizarre brothers. Directed by Terry Zwigoff (Ghost World) and produced by David Lynch, Crumb is a demented, heartfelt classic of the art-doc genre. Call Number: NC1429 .C78 1998

Continue reading ‘Must-See Documentaries: Weird and Wonderful World’

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