There is a certain aesthetic to choosing the perfect videos for holiday break repose. First, one should be able to watch the film without once having to think about the plot or the characters. Second, there should be vast dry spots in the action so that the viewer can grab snacks, beverages, or put that little precious kitten on your lap without having to pause the movie. Lastly, one must get lit during the viewing, because whether you favor Bud or bud, these films were never meant to be seen sober.
• Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970, Dir. Ted Post)--Chuck Heston makes a brief appearance in this surreal (and at times laughable) sequel. And what lies beneath this particular planet of the apes, you might ask? Crazy mixed-up mutants, who worship a big nuclear bomb and communicate through very loud telepathy, that's what! James Franciscus, another b-movie hottie, struts his stuff in a loincloth, accompanied by the lovely Nova in search of Chuck. Where is Chuck? Well, beneath the planet, silly!
• The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974, Dir. Gordon Hessler)--John Phillip Law (Barbarella, Danger: Diabolik) stars as the hot golden lead in this familiar sword-and-sorcery classic. It seems all the major religions of the world (except Christianity) have become terribly confused and only the great Muslim Sinbad and his band of outsiders can save the world from the scenery chewing villain, Koura. Beautiful and truly "special" effects by master animator Ray Harryhausen highlight an extremely droll film, with plenty of scenes worthy of bathroom breaks.
• Vertical Limit (2000, Dir. Martin Campbell)--Wait a minute... was this film Chris O'Donnell's comeback? Oops! Stealing its opening sequence from its formidable predecessor, Cliffhanger, this rock 'em, sock 'em, "we-are-bad-ass-climbers" opus about the dangers and mysteries of K2 is like a snowy soap opera aimed at the beer and board crew. Leave your brain at base camp and ride along as the cast (including Bill Paxton, Scott Glenn, and Robin Tunney) blow themselves up with nitro, get trapped in cold ice caves, and ultimately conquer nature. YES! M. LON FREE