Scanlines

Meet the Feebles

D: Peter Jackson; with all-puppet cast.

VHS Home Video Before Kiwi filmmaker Peter Jackson (Dead Alive) learned how to pop bloody pustules on humans, he tried his hand with puppets. Meet the Feebles, a behind-the-scenes narrative involving the drug-crazed, sex-obsessed cast of a Muppet Show-like variety hour, pulls no punches while indulging the most perverse excesses of the filmmaker. Jackson's rejection of cute puppet sentimentalism in favor of a foam-rubber realization of utter moral bankruptcy makes for deviant fun with a hard edge. Parents: Don't let the saccharine cover photo create any confusion about the very adult subject matter of the film, unless of course you care to give the wee ones a harsh lesson on nature's ways, including a depiction of a cat fellating a walrus, among countless other faunal grotesqueries. -- Andrew Goldman Crusader: No Remorse

Origin Systems

CD-ROM for PC Take Ultima's three-quarter-perspective game-engine, add a Doom mentality, spectacular death throes á là Mortal Kombat, and you've got a non-stop shoot-'em-up that provides hours of bloody good fun. Remorse is indeed something you'll have to leave behind to successfully blast your way through Crusader's many deadly levels. The game requires a high-end PC to run (as do most of Origin's games), but the superb graphics, sound, and game play make this a must-own for anyone with both a Pentium and a chip on his or her shoulder. -- Bud Simons

First Knight

D: Jerry Zucker; with Sean Connery, Richard Gere, Julia Ormond, Ben Cross, Liam Cunningham.

VHS Home Video An epic measured by Hollywood's typical equation (length + little depth x big budget = bore), this latest version of Camelot brings Lancelot (Gere) center stage as he woos Guinevere (Ormond) away from the noble cuckold, King Arthur (Connery). Campy humor and melodramatic romance play amongst ample battle scenes. Here's a taste of Zucker's directorial vision: Lancelot, equipped with emotional baggage, while running to save villagers trapped inside a burning church, recalls the tragedy surrounding his parents' death (see blazing flashback due east from his head). Have your own flashback. Rent John Boorman's low-budget 1981 Excalibur and sit back for betrayal dripping with mystical sorcery. -- Stephany Baskin

Destruction Derby

Psygnosis

for Sony Playstation This game delivers exactly what the title suggests, and then some. Destruction Derby has several different tracks for use in the wrecking/racing scenario in which the objective is similar to other racing games but the resulting carnage is spectacular beyond belief. There's also the traditional bowl-of-cars contest, wherein each driver's intent is the reduction of all other autos to smoking ruin. The graphics and sound are spectacular; vehicles suffer visible damage and correspondingly reduced performance. This just might be the catharsis you need after dealing with a long drive home at the end of the day. Also available on PC CD-ROM. -- Bud Simons

Nell

D: Michael Apted; with Jodie Foster, Liam Neeson, Natasha Richardson.

VHS Home Video Dr. Lovell (Neeson) finds Nell (Foster) in the Smoky Mountains' back woods alone without a discernible language. When Dr. Olsen (Richardson) steps in to take her to the psychiatric community, a battle over Nell's fate ensues between the doctors. A predictable story full of banal dialogue limits the performances from this phenomenal cast. Realism is scrapped and replaced with egoism and voyeurism. Nell, fostered from Jodie's Egg Pictures, should have been left in the back woods with its original hermetic writer, Mark Handley, where it would have remained in its natural state. Instead, Hollywood abducted it, transforming it into a contrived work. -- Stephany Baskin

Sam & Max Hit the Road

CD-ROM for PC

LucasArts Goofy, sarcastic, buddy mystery/adventure games never go out of style, and now there's Sam and Max Hit the Road on CD-ROM. These two gumshoes are freelance police on an adventurous search for a missing Bigfoot. Most of the plot takes place at a carnival. Since this game is mostly about entertainment, the designers have hidden several games within that could, conceivably, be played for hours without missing any part of the main game.-- Nisa Sharma

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