PG-13, 1987, closed-captioned, 90 minutes, MCA Home Video, $89.95.
Legions of lampooners -- even the telephone company -- have aimed at the legendary TV show, but few with such obvious affection as Dan Aykroyd, cowriter and star of this agreeable spoof. The writing isn't all it could be, but Aykroyd acts the perfect square as Joe Friday's unflappable namesake nephew -- right down to the roots of his blue-black burr cut. Affable Tom Hanks costars as the uptight detective's hip new partner Pep Streebek, a pleasure-seeking, street-smart cop who needles Friday as they patrol L.A. in their squad car, a Yugo. Directed by cowriter Tom Mankiewicz in his feature debut, the sometimes sluggish movie finds the partners growing ever more tolerant of each other as they chase down a cult of pornographic goat worshipers. Alexandra Paul charms the fedora off Friday as The Virgin Connie Swail, the love interest. When she is captured by the goat group P.A.G.A.N. (People Against Goodness and Normalcy), Friday and Streebek come to the rescue. Yes, it is lowbrow and sophomoric -- what you'd call dumb-de-dumb-dumb fun. Rita Kempley
EAT THE PEACH
Unrated, 1987, 95 minutes, Key Video, $79.95.
Irish filmmaker Peter Ormrod directed this unassuming small-town comedy -- still playing at area theaters -- which tells the story of an eccentric entrepreneur and his far-fetched scheme for making his fortune. Set in sodden, economically depressed Ireland, its hero Vinnie (Stephen Brennan) and his friend Arthur (Eamon Morrissey) lose their jobs when a Japanese microchip plant closes down. With dim prospects, the two hatch a crazy scheme inspired by the Elvis movie "Roustabout," in which the King motorcycles up the sides of a giant wooden vat called the Wall of Death. Vinnie and Arthur throw themselves into the building of a replica. As absorbed in the project as little boys playing soldiers, the wall-builders never see the futility of their dream of drawing crowds to this great jerry-built tub in a field of cold mud. Offbeat, rain swept and pensive, "Peach" recalls such Bill Forsyth films as "Local Hero." But it is less skillfully written and a touch on the poky side. Rita Kempley
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
Unrated, 1985, 40 minutes, Home Vision, $39.95.
One of the world's most popular children's stories was written by one of the world's leading opera fans, so it may have been inevitable that "Where the Wild Things Are" would become a children's opera. The music, by Oliver Knussen, is quite sophisticated, with modern, angular melodies suited to the violent subject matter but not the sort of thing usually composed for children. And such subtleties as a quotation from the Coronation Scene of "Boris Godunov" at the point where Max crowns himself king of the Wild Things are likely to be recognized by only the brightest children. On the other hand, the monsters, designed by Maurice Sendak, are splendid, and so are the special effects, such as the jungle sprouting in Max's bedroom and his boat trip to the land of the Wild Things. A companion opera, "Higglety Pigglety Pop!," is also the work of Sendak and Knussen. It deals with the existential Angst of a Sealyham terrier named Jennie who thinks there must be more to life. Like "Wild Things," it was produced by the Glyndebourne Festival and the BBC and is sold by Home Vision for $39.95. It is less visually spectacular than "Wild Things" but offers more substance to the thoughtful viewer of any age. But for substance, Home Vision's edition of "L'Enfant et les Sortileges" is preferable to either -- or both -- of these. Joseph McLellan
R, 1987, 108 minutes, International Video Entertainment Inc., $79.95.
What this movie has is a kind of low-budget psycho-swank. Katya (Diane Lane), a young window display artist for a department store in Pittsburgh, begins assembling soft-core S&M dramas in her windows, much to the delight of area shoppers. One local man, Jack (Michael Woods), finds these exhibitions extremely provocative and begins following Katya, breaking into her loft, caressing her clothes in the closet, writing in lipstick on the mirror. You know, the usual. The movie is about how a woman artist is penalized for bringing her fantasy life out into the open. And, as such, it has a vaguely feminist slant to it. Jack terrorizes Katya by attacking not her body -- which certainly he doesn't intend to ignore -- but her imagination. He whispers into the phone that they are meant for each other, that they are just alike -- visionaries who see through the shallow lies that the rest of the world timidly turns away from. The movie was directed by Karen Arthur from a script by Susan Miller, and there's a touch of "The Eyes of Laura Mars" in it, but not enough. All in all, it's a pretty second-rate item, but Lane manages to convey an interesting quality -- in some scenes, she comes across as strikingly mature and self-possessed and, in others, like a frightened child. Hal Hinson
HAPPY NEW YEAR
PG, 1987, 86 minutes, RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video, $79.95.
Sometimes when a film is rushed into movie theaters unceremoniously, without benefit of publicity or an advertising budget, it turns out to be a little gem that was the pet project of a deposed executive or that the marketing people had trouble getting a handle on. John Avildsen's "Happy New Year" is not one of those films. It stinks. And in a way that just welds you to the sofa. Talk about riveted -- I couldn't get up to turn the thing off. It's basically a heist flick, with Peter Falk and Charles Durning, and though Durning can be taken without much pain, Falk is at his most unbearably adorable and rumpled. Never has he looked or acted more like Mister Magoo (especially in his old-man -- and old-woman -- makeup). Add to this the fruitiest of scores and you've got yourself quite a treat. Hal Hinson