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.