Film and TV

DVDs & Blu-Rays: The Divide, More Roger Corman and Mega Box Sets

The Divide stars Michael Biehn, Lauren German and Milo Ventimigla; Xavier Gens directs.

Two words will sell horror fans on The Divide: Michael Biehn. The actor has a rabid cult following and after his performance in The Divide, it's easy to see why. Biehn plays Mickey, a building superintendent. When a nuclear attack hits New York, several people make it into the basement seeking shelter. But as building super, Mickey thinks he's in charge. We're not sure about that, but we do know he's crazy. Of course, after a few days trapped in the basement and unsure of what's left of the world outside, everyone is a little crazy. Okay, we take that back, a lot crazy. Sex and/or violence becomes the answer to every question. Rosanna Arquette takes care of the sex part (she has a whole Madonna/whore thing going on), and Biehn takes care of the violence (both as aggressor and victim).

Lauren German turns in a good performance as Eva, acting as the group's conscience and hero. Courtney B. Vance and Milo Ventimiglia turn in good performances as unbalanced members of the group trying to survive.

The New York Times called The Divide "filthy, horrific torture porn," which to some people isn't necessarily a bad thing.

There are very, very few extras on the DVD version, just audio commentary with Gens, Biehn, Michael Eklund and Milo Ventimigila, and the theatrical trailer.


Roger Corman fans will be happy to see a box set from the director: Roger Corman's Cult Classics: The Nurses Collection (Candy Stripe Nurses, Private Duty Nurses, Night Call Nurses, Young Nurses). It's nurses in every kind of cheesy, sexy situation imaginable. And yes, each of the four films is as cheesy as you remember.

Other box sets out this week include two 50 Movies collections from Mill Creek Entertainment that should be of special interest to classic film fans. There's Timeless Family Classics, with A Farewell to Arms with Gary Cooper, Oliver Twist with Dickie Moore, and A Star Is Born with Janet Gaynor. The collection also has a sprinkling of important silent films, including The General starring Buster Keaton, The Iron Mask with Douglas Fairbanks, The Lost World with Wallace Beery and The Kid with Charlie Chaplin.

There's Nifty Fifties, a time when lots of today's Hollywood legends were making their first films. The set includes The Last Time I Saw Paris with Elizabeth Taylor, The Mark of the Hawk with Sidney Poitier and The Snows of Kilimanjaro with Gregory Peck. There's also The Man with the Golden Arm with Frank Sinatra, and Home Town Story with Marilyn Monroe. Other titles feature Lon Chaney Jr., Robert Wagner, Boris Karloff and Warren Beatty.

None of the films have been remastered or significantly restored and each collection has just 12 discs holding all 50 films, so screen quality is uneven at best. Mill Creek has previously released several other 50 Movies collections, among them Westerns, sci-fi, horror, mysteries and musicals, with lots of films appearing in more than one collection.

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Olivia Flores Alvarez