It may not be the most successful low-priced video release of the Christmas season, but it will certainly be the bloodiest: Carolco Home Video has announced plans to release the Arnold Schwarzenegger future shocker "Total Recall" on tape this November priced at $24.95. Although "Total Recall" was rumored to be a candidate for the low-priced treatment, industry watchers recently predicted that the movie would get the rental-market treatment -- in part because the film's R rating and notorious violence could keep it off the shelves of the mass merchandisers whose support is necessary to sell cassettes in blockbuster numbers.
That market's tolerance for R-rated entertainment will be tested this fall: "Total Recall's" big competition for grown-up video dollars, "Pretty Woman," also carries an R rating. The result could be delays at the discount store this Christmas, as under-age violence-video shoppers are asked to produce proof of age at the cash register. If mass merchandisers balk at the prospect of promoting tales of whoring on Rodeo Drive and a bloody rampage on Mars, then both films could meet the same fate as two R-rated predecessors in the low-priced market -- "Good Morning, Vietnam" and "Lethal Weapon 2," both of which failed to meet their respective studios' expectations on tape.
Carolco is projecting sales of 3.5 million units for "Total Recall," which at present has no sponsor or rebate partner involved in its promotion. Carolco parent Live Entertainment is well positioned to prevail if children's entertainment does end up carrying the video day this fall -- its low-priced release of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is widely expected to be the biggest seller of the season. See Jane Spell
She's ba-ack. Jane Fonda returns to the video fitness market next month with "Jane Fonda's Lean Routine," the 12th title in her 5.5 million-unit series of video workouts. With a total running time of approximately 75 minutes, the $29.98 tape is structured for viewers to sweat along in 20-, 40- or 60-minute segments of "low impact/high energy" aerobic routines designed for a variety of fitness levels. According to Warner Home Video, the distributor, "Lean Routine" is the first Fonda fat-fighter to focus on the dietary side of weight loss through "innovative one-on-one segments on nutrition, fat-burning and weight control." It's also the first with an acronymatic title: Low-impact/high energy Every fitness level Aerobic interval training Nutritional program which puts the lean in the routine. Perhaps Fonda's acronymic impulse was left over from her big-screen stint as a reading teacher in "Stanley & Iris," also due on tape next month ($89.95 from MGM/UA).
Happy Anniversary James Dean fans will mark the 35th anniversary of his death this month. But that's not the anniversary Warner Home Video is commemorating with the "James Dean 35th Anniversary Collection," scheduled to arrive in stores this week. Rather than run the risk of appearing morbid, Warner is accentuating the positive by "commemorating the 35th anniversary of Dean's meteoric rise to stardom." The five-cassette collection includes newly remastered video editions of Dean's three films -- "East of Eden," "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Giant" -- as well as the home video debut of "Forever James Dean," Ara Chekmayan's 1988 television documentary, which has been rounded out on tape to include the original trailers for all three films. The boxed set goes for $99.92; purchased separately, "Forever James Dean" and the double-cassette "Giant" are $29.98 each, and "East of Eden" and "Rebel" are priced at $19.98. Videogradable Most people's idea of recycling a videocassette is probably limited to taping over what was on the tape before. But the folks at MCA/Universal Home Video have proven that there's more to recycling than rewinding. They've come up with an environmentally sound video package, including reclaimed tape stock and a recycled-board cardboard sleeve with an aqueous acrylic coating instead of the usual plastic. The occasion is the video release of "Help Save Planet Earth: Easy Ways to Make a Difference," a 71-minute made-for-video guide in stores this week. MCA/Universal will donate a portion of the proceeds from the $14.95 tape to the American Oceans Campaign, whose founder and president, Ted Danson, serves as the tape's host.