Tom Doty Times Columnist
September 6, 2013
The best of everything hit the shelves this week, with engrossing dramas sharing space with smart horror movies and entertainingly stupid science fiction.
“Sharknado” — Forget everything you know about weather and sharks and you will be in the right frame of mind to enjoy this SyFy Channel romp that blends “Jaws” with “The Perfect Storm.” Aunty Em never saw a storm like this one.
“The Lords of Salem” — Rob Zombie delivers an original and smart horror yarn that avoids easy slash-and-kill scare scenes. His reward was that the film pretty much went to straight to video. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying his most mature horror flick yet. The story finds DJ falling under the spell of a coven of witches who want her playlist to include hits that will bring back their fallen members. Creepy and chockful of excellent, and seldom seen, performers like Meg Foster, Dee Wallace and Bruce Davison.
“The Iceman” — If you saw HBO’s excellent documentary of the same name, then you know the story of a mob hit man who commuted from the New Jersey suburbs, where he quietly led a secret and normal family life. This dramatized version of the story chillingly brings that story to life. Michael Shannon (“Take Shelter”) is very good as the guy who charms his wife with flowers before heading to the city to dismember his latest target. The cast is rounded out by Winona Ryder, as the unknowing wife, as well as appearances by James Franco, Chris Evans and Ray Liotta.
“The Shield: Complete Series” — The excellent FX Channel drama finally hits DVD in a complete series package that retails about 60 bucks. It’s a steal and tells the whole seven-season story of a corrupt band of cops whose loyalties are tested under the careful scrutiny of a departmental investigation. The series is anchored by Michael Chiklis’ portrayal of the group’s intimidating leader, but it is Walton Goggins’ portrayal of a brutal wingman with an unexpected attack of conscience that steals the show.