Police Academy: The Complete Collection

Warner Home Video, $59.92

Outside of the Ernest series, no franchise has ever clubbed a decent idea to death. And, no, Freddy and Jason don't count, since Halloween almost justifies its annual geriatric bloodletting—quite like Police Academy. Now we can celebrate one of the '80s' finest slapstick gems—and six increasingly unbearable sequels—in one half-day suicide session (on DVD April 6). Unlike, say, UHF, where "Weird Al" Yankovic merrily employed his DVD's special features to belittle the flick's groaner sight gags, there's no revisionist irony here, save for where-is- he-now comic Michael Winslow half-joking via commentary track, "I sure could use a job right about now."

Each ensuing dud contains a mercifully brief—and astoundingly surreal—retrospective featurette. In No. 3, Back in Training, the pro­ducers favorably compare the caliber of stunt work to that of a low-budget Bond film. In No. 6, City Under Siege, director Peter (ahem) Bonerz—not visibly stoned at all—delineates his visual homages to The Third Man, Saboteur, and Mon Oncle. One factoid the featurettes fail to mention: Nos. 4 through 7 all have places of dishonor in IMDb.com's user-voted list of the worst 100 movies of all time.

At least you can scrounge the later disasters for juicy, ohmigod cameos, including David Spade as a smart-ass skateboarding recruit; Hellboy himself, Ron Perlman, as a weepy Russian mafioso; and a fetching Sharon Stone as Steve Guttenberg's final love interest (he left after No. 4). A surprising majority of the principal cast shows up to reminisce on the original (unsurprising exception: Sex and the City's Kim Cattrall), most of whom made it through all seven films. You'll be hard-pressed to make it through three without a lot of booze. Or maybe that's the point in watching.

Andrew Bonazelli

THERE'S LITTLE POINT to the extras on Kill Bill Vol. 1, mainly because there's only a behind-the-scenes featurette and no Q.T. commentary. Also out April 13, Timeline's even worse; Tokyo Godfathers looks great as anime but doesn't amount to much as story; and John Sayles provides a chat track to his Casa de Los Babys (which also features Daryl Hannah in a considerably more nurturing role than in Kill Bill). MGM adds to its Ingmar Bergman series with Hour of the Wolf and Shame. No less foreign, but a lot funnier: Check out the 1973 French comedy The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob.



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