DVD Article

Video at a Glance

A guide to new and notable releases, including ''Border Shootout,'' ''Crazy People,'' and ''Tusks''

Graded video reviews the week of September 14, 1990

In Border Shootout, naive deputy battles lynch-happy cattle barons, with ancient Glenn Ford rising above it all like Mount Rushmore. This inept oater (based on an early Elmore Leonard novel) was made for cable but has gone straight to video instead. It's easy to see why. Forget this chintzy, wooden flick and rent Stagecoach instead. D-

Comic Book Collector, an ambitious effort to cover comic-book history, trivia, and collecting tips, winds up being superficial, confusing (two dates are cited for the debut of The Yellow Kid), and careless (Superman's nemesis is captioned Lex ''Luther'' rather than ''Luthor''). Also, the advice given to collectors is unlikely to satisfy experienced or even beginning fans, e.g., ''Shop around.'' The narration is by Frank Gorshin, whose credentials consist of having played the Riddler on TV's Batman. D

A repetitive, lightweight satire, with Dudley Moore as a burned out advertising exec who comes up with the demented inspiration of creating ''totally honest'' ad campaigns. In truth, the ads aren't honest at all — they're just blatant about the way they're conning you. All told, Crazy People is less a diatribe against advertising than an unintentional celebration of it. D-

In Impulse, an insultingly shoddy film, Theresa Russell plays an undercover vice cop who keeps donning rear-zipper miniskirts in order to catch a drug dealer. She's set up as both a sexpot victim and an avenging Dirty Harriet. The two pulp poses undercut each other, and Russell ends up looking ridiculous. F

In Tusks, elephant lover Lucy Gutteridge is taken hostage by evil ivory poacher John Rhys-Davies until ranger Andrew Stevens comes to the rescue. For a standard action potboiler (with an unfortunate whites-know-best subtext), this gets the complexities of the African conservation issue across surprisingly well. And coscripter Rhys-Davies has written himself a good, meaty villain's role. Nice wildlife footage too. C+

In Twisted Obsession, lurking behind that rotten title is a murky but fairly compelling European thriller, one that aspires to Polanski-style perversity. Jeff Goldblum is an American screenwriter going paranoid in Paris; nymphet Liza Walker threatens to send him off the deep end completely. Broodingly filmed and well acted, the movie exudes mystery without the substance to back it up — it's interesting, but it's not very good. C-

The latest in a series of tapes that combine workouts and travelogues features three 18-minute tours of different scenic British Columbia routes, for viewing while riding a stationary cycle. In Videocycle: British Columbia each tour includes warm-up, cool-down, and exercise segments as well as periodic pulse-checks for monitoring heartbeat. Routes cover valley, mountain, and urban terrain, with minimal narration. Designed to relieve tedium, this nicely photographed tape makes working out picturesque. B-

Originally posted Sep 14, 1990 Published in issue #31 Sep 14, 1990 Order article reprints
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