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Stan Helsing (R)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

I know that I should hate Stan Helsing. This is a stupid, stupid movie from the makers of the Scary Movie franchise and all of its ilk. It's all pot and dick jokes with idiotic dialogue, cheap production values and a horrific rap/rock soundtrack. But, still ... as soon as the parodies of Jason, Freddy, Pinhead, Michael Myers, Leatherface and Chucky jump on stage to perform a version of "Y.M.C.A." at a karaoke contest run by Leslie Nielsen, I had to give in and just enjoy it. The sheer absurdity of the scene made me laugh uncontrollably. And while Stan Helsing, about a slacker who learns he's the descendant of a famous monster-slayer, never really reaches those heights again, it's entertainingly mind-numbing, fairly innocuous fare sprinkled with enough laughs here and there to make it a worthwhile rental. Doobs optional. — Louis Fowler

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Nothing Like the Holidays (NR)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

As a Hispanic gentleman, I appreciate the idea that we, as a people, need our own entry into the "comically dysfunctional family gets together for the holidays for laughs, tears and revelations" sub-genre. Finally we get one in Nothing Like the Holidays, featuring the largely argumentative Puerto Rican Rodriguez family, made up of just about every Latino superstar (John Leguizamo, Alfred Molina, FreddyRodriguez) you can shake a cinnamon stick at. (Plus Debra Messing as the contractually obligated, stuck-up white woman.) It is definitely heartfelt and obviously hokey, but director Alfredo De Villa spends too much time trying to make a Tyler Perry movie, rarely injecting any originality into the proceedings. You know what would have made it better? Danny Trejo as their paid-assassin cousin Machete! Think about it ... — Louis Fowler

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Hanna D: The Girl from Vondel Park (NR)

Severin Films

In 1981, acclaimed filmmaker Uli Edel released the classic coming-of-age film Christiane F: Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo, a realistic look at a German girl's descent into heroin addiction and prostitution, set to a brilliant David Bowie soundtrack. It was only a matter of time before the Euroxploitationers got their hands on it and started churning out their own versions. The best is Rino Di Silvestro's Hanna D, which eschews the heart-wrenching drama for amped-up sleaze. Amsterdam teen Hanna lives in a broken home, prostitutes herself to support her drunk mom, injects heroin into her tongue, makes porn, ends up in a treatment center and falls in love, featured in a deliciously cheesy romantic montage. Needless to say, I loved Hanna D, and suggest D.A.R.E. cops show it in schools. Seriously. — Louis Fowler

  • Stan Helsing, Nothing Like the Holidays, Hanna D: The Girl from Vondel Park

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