SKIN DEEP (1989) (Media) $89.95. 102 minutes. * * 1/2 John Ritter, Alyson Reed, Vincent Gardenia, Julianne Phillips. In his great sex comedies, Blake Edwards has a knack for finding the subtext to the brilliant joke and making the audience see more than what's on the screen. This raunchy outing lives up to its title, with Edwards content to skim across the surface of good, bad and
indifferent jokes about a philanderer who keeps saying yes to women who can't say no. Many beautiful women and lots of skin, but not much depth.
WARM NIGHTS ON A SLOW MOVING TRAIN (1989) (Prism) $79.95. 90 minutes. * * Wendy Hughes, Colin Friels. Australian Hughes has Ava Gardner's sensuality and Maggie Smith's timing. This film, in which she plays a whore impersonating different kinds of women so she can snare different kinds of johns, is a vehicle for what Hughes can do - namely everything. She's a female Peter Sellers. That said, it must be added that this is one peculiar picture. While it may be a successful sampler of Hughes' talents, it's a failed sampler of political debauchery and sexual politics. Director Bob Ellis addresses many subjects, engaging none.
BEVERLY HILLS VAMP (1988) (Vidmark) $79.95. 90 minutes. Britt Ekland, Eddie Deezen. Three young men are lured to the mansion of a Beverly Hills vampire and her coven of assistants. One manages to escape, but when he returns to rescue his buddies, he finds they're having too much fun to leave.
DEMONS IN THE GARDEN (1982) (Connoisseur) $79.95. 100 minutes. Angela Molina, Ana Belen, Encarna Paso, Imanol Arias. Manuel Gutierrez Aragon directed this drama of deceit and hypocrisy in a wealthy family near the end of the Spanish Civil War.
DREAM A LITTLE DREAM (1989) (Vestron) $89.98. 114 minutes. * Corey Feldman, Corey Haim, Jason Robards, Piper Laurie, Meredith Salenger. There are some movies so incoherent you wonder what drugs their makers were on. And then there are other movies so incoherent you wonder what planet their makers were on. With Dream a Little Dream, it's abundantly clear that director Marc Rocco parked his brains on the planet Corey. His film stars the Coreys - Feldman and Haim - those teen heartthrobs with jerky smirks and forelocks matted with mousse. The film succeeds only as an inventory of Coreyness and wastes co- stars Robards and Laurie.
EDGE OF SANITY (1989) (Virgin Vision) $89.95. 85 minutes. Anthony Perkins, Glynis Barber, David Lodge. A retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with Perkins as the respectable doctor whose experiments change him into a sadistic monster. Also available in an unrated 86-minute version.
LETHAL PURSUIT (1988) (Southgate) $79.95. 95 minutes. Mitzi Kapture, John Stuart Wildman, Blake Bahner. Thriller about a woman on the run in the California desert, fleeing from a ruthless hit man.
MOONTRAP (1989) (SGE) $89.95. 92 minutes. Walter Koenig, Bruce Campbell, Lee Lombardi. Koenig, best known as Mr. Chekov on TV's Star Trek, treks out on his own as an astronaut on a routine mission to the moon sometime in the future. He's the only person who can stop an army of robots bent on destroying Earth.
PERSONAL EXEMPTIONS (1988) (Southgate) $79.95. 91 minutes. Nanette Fabray, John Cotton, Julie Bond, Chuck Rose. Comedy about an obsessive IRS agent so involved with her work that she's unaware of her family's questionable activities.
UNDER THE SUN OF SATAN (1987) (Connoisseur) $79.95. 98 minutes. Gerard Depardieu, Sandrine Bonnaire. Maurice Pialat's controversial religious allegory about a young priest in 1920s France who is drawn to a wanton young girl. Although it was named Best Film at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival, director Pialat was booed by a angry crowd when he accepted the award.
WIZARDS OF THE LOST KINGDOM II (1980) (Media) $79.95. 80 minutes. David Carradine, Bobby Jacoby, Lana Clarkson. Fantasy adventure about the leader of a trio of warriors who try to prepare a young boy for his battle against evil sorcerers.
APPASSIONATA (1974) (Media) $59.95. 100 minutes. Ornella Muti, Eleonora Giorgi, Valentina Cortese, Gabriele Ferzetti. Gian Luigi Calderone directed this sexually tinged tale of a precocious teen who schemes to have her mother
put in an asylum so that her best friend can seduce her father.
BREAK OF HEARTS (1935) (Turner) $19.98. 80 minutes. Katherine Hepburn, Charles Boyer. An early role for Hepburn as a struggling composer whose marriage to a famous conductor is strained by adultery.
DAVID AND BATHESHEBA (1952) (CBS/Fox) $39.98. 116 minutes. * * Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward. Dopey biblical epic with plenty of big-screen pizazz but not much style or substance.
DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS (1954) (CBS/Fox) $39.98. 101 minutes. * * * Susan Hayward, Jay Jackson, Anne Bancroft, Victor Mature. Pious big- screen spectacular, a sequel to The Robe, with Emperor Caligula going nuts trying to find the garment Christ was buried in. Victor's got it.
THE EGYPTIAN (1954) (CBS/Fox) $39.98. 139 minutes. Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, Peter Ustinov, John Carradine. Biblical epic of lovers enduring hardships and exile.
THE ENCHANTED COTTAGE (1945) (Turner) $19.98. 78 minutes. * * * Robert Young, Dorothy McGuire. Two lonely people meet at the seashore and find sanctuary in each other's arms. Well-handled version of Arthur Pinero's play.
FIGHTING FATHER DUNNE (1948) (Turner) $19.98. 93 minutes. Pat O'Brien, Darryl Hickman. The characters made familiar in Boys Town return as Father Pat struggles to save more wayward boys.
GREETINGS (1968) (Vidmark) $79.95. 88 minutes. Robert De Niro, Jonathan Warden, Gerrit Graham. One of De Niro's early roles was in this dated New York-based production about a group of young men trying ingenious methods to
evade the draft.
HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949) (Turner) $19.98. 87 minutes. Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh, Wendell Corey. Christmas-season romance with a veteran courting a war widow, much to the disapproval of her current boyfriend.
THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1935) (Turner) $19.98. 96 minutes. Preston Foster, Basil Rathbone. A common blacksmith devotes his life to attaining power and wealth after his wife and children are slain.
SODOM AND GOMORRAH (1963) (CBS/Fox) $39.98. 148 minutes. * * * Stewart Granger, Pier Angeli, Anouk Aimee, Rosanna Podestra. Big-screen epic about how immorality leads the inhabitants of two ancient cities to destruction, and it doesn't do much for Lot's wife either.
THE STORY OF VERNON AND IRENE CASTLE (1939) (Turner) $19.98. 93 minutes. Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edna May Oliver. The last of the Astaire-Rogers musicals made for RKO presents the real-life story of a popular dancing team of the 1920s.
FRANK, LIZA AND SAMMY: THE ULTIMATE EVENT (1989) (Kodak) $29.95. 104 minutes. They are, of course, Sinatra, Minnelli and Davis Jr., performing together for the first time in years. Songs include "The Candy Man," "All That Jazz" and "Mack the Knife."
RADICAL ELK STRATEGIES (1989) (Stoney-Wolf) $49.95. 60 minutes. Montana hunter Mike Lapinski explains the unusual confrontational technique he uses when hunting elk with bow and arrow. To order, call 800-237-7583.
STRETCH & FLEX (1989) (Parade) $19.95. 30 minutes. Denise Austin, star of Getting Fit With Denise Austin on cable TV's ESPN, is the host of this low- impact exercise video set to new-age music.
CUNNING CONTENDERS: AMERICAN WOMEN'S WRESTLING FEDERATION, VOL. 2 (Media) $29.95. 58 minutes. Wrestling action and interviews with the likes of Devious Diva, Tornado Red, Flame the Dragon Lady and Rock Candy.
HOLLYWOOD ON HORSES (1989) (First Run) $19.95. 70 minutes. Hollywood's horse lovers show off their stables and favorite mounts in this video hosted by Tab Hunter. Among the stars Hunter visits: Patrick Swayze, Bo Derek, William Shatner, Jill Ireland, Robert Wagner and Roddy McDowall.
VIRGIN VISION has announced two sets of price reductions. Now $19.95: The Climb ('87), Consuming Passions ('88), Kidnapped ('86), Lady in White (* * '88), Man Ouside ('88) and Patti Rocks (* * * '88). Now $14.95: Far East (* * '82), House of Death ('81), Midnight Spares (* '82) and Next of Kin (* '82).
WARNER HOME VIDEO has announced price reductions to $19.98 on: Altered States (* * * '80), A Clockwork Orange (* * * * '71), Creepshow (* * '82), Cujo (* '83), The Curse of Frankenstein (* * '57), The Exorcist (* * * * '73), Exorcist II: The Heretic (* * * '77), Gremlins (* * * '84), Horror of Dracula (* * '58), It Lives Again (* '78), It's Alive (* '74), It's Alive II: Island of the Alive ('87), Little Shop of Horrors (* * * '86), Maximum Overdrive (* '86), The Mummy (* * '59), Return of the Living Dead: Part II (* '88), A Return to Salem's Lot ('87), Salem's Lot: The Movie (* * * '79), The Shining (* * * '80) and Twilight Zone - The Movie (* * * '83).
COMING NEXT WEEK
Ted Danson and Isabella Rossellini find love in COUSINS, Robert De Niro shines as a troubled Vietnam veteran in JACKNIFE, and an orphaned brontosaur finds adventure in THE LAND BEFORE TIME.
* * * * Excellent
* * * Good
* * Fair
(Videos with no stars were not reviewed by The Inquirer.)