Now that even dreck like ”Baby Geniuses” is available on DVD, it seems wrong that there are still a number of gotta-have titles that, for whatever reason, have yet to be released on American soil. And while some of these discs can’t even be played on standard U.S. Region 1 DVD players, there are a number of compatible imports to be found at sites like www.diabolikdvd.com or on eBay. Here’s a list of some of the most desirable discs.
Raging Bull 20th Anniversary Edition Get ready to drool, Scorsese spectators: The U.K. disc contains not only tons of tactile goodies – a 16-page booklet, postcards – but a second DVD featuring an exclusive new making-of documentary.
Once Upon a Time in America An extended, 227-minute cut of Sergio Leone’s 1984 New York City gangster epic – which, for some reason, was never released in America.
Twin Peaks: The Pilot Episode Sure, the first season was released last year, but it omitted the feature-length pilot that first posited the question: What about Bob?
Battle Royale In an overpopulated Japan, a group of high school kids is sent to a deserted island to kill one another off. It’s an unsettling post-Columbine plotline, but the 2000 cult hit ”Battle” is undeniably enthralling.
Friends boxed sets You thought EW was obsessed with all things Ross-related? Take a trip across the pond, where the first seven seasons are available. Thankfully, season 1 arrives here in the spring.
Heavenly Creatures For some hellish reason, Miramax hasn’t released this mesmerizing 1994 drama on disc here yet – despite the fact that it stars Kate Winslet and was directed by ”The Lord of the Rings”’ Peter Jackson.
The West Wing With the first three seasons hitting shelves in the U.K. on March 25, it’s safe to say that the Bartlet administration’s foreign policy has been well received.
Ring Copies of this 1998 Japanese thriller – about a video that dooms anyone who watches it – are about as elusive as the killer tape itself (though an upcoming remake might help).
Futurama Fry fans may want to go on a Bender overseas, where the first season is available, loaded with deleted scenes and a Matt Groening commentary.
Eraserhead The hair-raising 1977 art-house breakthrough is easier to find at college-campus midnight screenings than at the video store. Pretty weird – even for David Lynch.