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Sunday, December 8, 1991 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Video Watch

Straight-To-Video Releases Include `Going Under'

Along with the usual sequels and action movies, this month's collection of straight-to-video releases includes a big-budget Warner Bros. comedy originally scheduled for theatrical showings 18 months ago.

"Going Under," which was called "Dive!" when Warner first announced it in the summer of 1990, ultimately bypassed theaters altogether, but it turns up Wednesday as a $90 Warner Home Video cassette. A broad 81-minute service comedy in the style of "Hot Shots," it's about a nuclear submarine that's so poorly built that the military-industrial complex would rather see it sink than be inspected.

The noteworthy cast includes Bill Pullman, Bud Cort, Michael Winslow, Roddy McDowall, Richard Masur, Billy Barty and a couple of Oscar nominees, Ned Beatty and Robert Vaughn. The special effects were created by Fantasy II, which worked on "The Abyss" and "The Terminator."

Also new this week from Warner is "Born to Ride," a $93 cassette starring John ("Full House") Stamos as a rebel biker who joins the Army to avoid a prison term and ends up a hero in pre-World War II Spain. Directed by Graham Baker ("Alien Nation") and co-starring John Stockwell and Teri Polo, this one did play theaters in a few cities last spring, but not in Seattle.

There's a bumper crop of direct-to-video sequels this month. Already in the stores is "Vice Academy Part III," an R-rated $80 tape from Prism Entertainment. Ginger Lynn Allen, who appeared in the first two installments, is the star.

Still to come: "Critters 3: You Are What You Eat" (Wednesday), a $90 New Line Home Video tape in which the series' star, Don Opper, once more contends with the prickly creatures; "Delta Force 3" (Dec. 18), a follow-up to the 1986 and 1990 Chuck Norris vehicles in which Norris does not appear; and "Alligator II: The Mutation" (Dec. 18) another $90 cassette from New Line Home Video.

This sequel to John Sayles' campy 1980 script about an alligator terrorizing Chicago was not written by Sayles, nor does it include anyone from the original cast. Directed by Jon Hess, it stars Steve Railsback as a land developer and Joseph Bologna, Woody Brown and Brock Peters as policemen investigating the crimes of an alligator that dines on contaminated animal corpses in the sewer.

Also bypassing theaters this month:

"A Matter of Degrees" (in stores now). Drama with Arye Gross as a college student who's having second thoughts about graduating and becoming a yuppie. The soundtrack includes music by the Pixies and Dream Syndicate; John Doe and John F. Kennedy Jr. turn up in cameo roles. (Prism Entertainment, $90.)

"Presumed Guilty" (in stores now). Thriller about vigilantes trying to frame an innocent man, starring Jack Vogel and Holly Floria. (A.I.P. Home Video, $80.)

"Night of the Kickfighters" (in stores now). Kickboxing champion Andy Bauman battles a terrorist gang over a secret weapon. (A.I.P. Home Video, $90.)

"Dead Silence: The Movie About Making Movies" (Wednesday). Harrison Ellenshaw, a special-effects genius who often works for Disney, directed this R-rated 1990 film starring Joseph Scott and Craig Fleming. It's about a would-be filmmaker who gets mixed up with the mob. (SVS Triumph, $80.)

"Victimless Crimes" (Wednesday). An R-rated 1990 thriller about an art gallery that specializes in bad art, burglary, fencing and insurance fraud. Craig Bierko and Debra Sandlund are the leading actors. (SVS Triumph, $80.)

"Uncaged" (Wednesday). Suspense drama about Sunset Strip prostitutes who band together to stop a homicidal pimp; with Leslie Bega and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. (Columbia TriStar Home Video, $80.)

"The Closer" (Thursday). An R-rated melodrama starring Danny Aiello as a millionaire salesman who spends Thanksgiving playing psychological games with a would-be successor played by Michael Pare. (Academy Entertainment, $90.)

"Love or Money" (Dec. 18). Romantic comedy about a couple of ambitious New York real-estate hustlers, starring Timothy Daly and Haviland Morris. (Hemdale Home Video, $80.)

"Fire, Ice and Dynamite" (Dec. 18). Roger Moore, no longer playing James Bond, is the star of this 1990 movie about a financier who fakes his death and forces his three children into competing for his fortune. (Vestron Video, $90.)

"An African Dream" (Dec. 18). Racial drama set in South Africa at the turn of the century. (Hemdale Home Video, $80.)

"Pyrates" (Dec. 18). A 1991 comedy starring Kevin Bacon and Kyra Segwick as a passionate young couple. (Vestron Video, $90.)

"Inside Out" (Dec. 18). Theatrically released in a few cities five years ago, this R-rated film stars Elliott Gould as an agoraphobic gambler who is afraid to go out of his New York apartment. (Hemdale Home Video, $80.)

"The Perfect Bride" (Dec. 19). An American thriller starring Sammi Davis, the British actress ("The Rainbow") who has recently been turning up in American movies ("Horseplayer") and television series ("Homefront"). She plays a devious, destructive nurse who is engaged to Kelly Preston's unsuspecting brother.( Media Home Entertainment, $90.)

"Deadly Surveillance" (Dec. 19). Michael Ironside, who recently turned up as the hammy heavy in "Highlander 2," stars in this 1991 thriller about a detective, his ex-partner and the drug dealer they're both pursuing - for different reasons. (Republic Pictures Home Video, $90.)

"Ring of Fire" (Dec. 26). R-rated martial-arts drama starring Don Wilson ("Bloodfist") and Eric Lee ("Steel Justice"). (Imperial Entertainment Corp., $90.)

"Victims of Love" (Dec. 26). A racy romantic-triangle drama starring JoBeth Williams as a psychiatrist who falls for an English professor (Pierce Brosnan) and Virginia Madsen as one of her patients. (Academy Entertainment, $90.)

Video Watch by John Hartl appears Sundays in Arts & Entertainment. You can get more video information by calling the Seattle Times' 24-hour free service Infoline. Call 464-2000 from any touch-tone telephone and when instructed, enter the category number 0911 to reach the Video Hotline. You may replay all information by pressing "R" (7); back up to previous information by pressing "B" (2); and jump over over current information by pressing "J" (5). ----------------------------------

NEW VIDEOS IN STORES THIS WEEK

Wednesday - "Dear Mr. Gable," Matty Rich's "Straight Out of Brooklyn," "Critters 3: You Are What They Eat," Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," Phoebe Cates in "Drop Dead Fred," Bill Pullman in "Going Under," Kim Novak in "Kiss Me Stupid," Patty Duke in "Billie," Clark Gable in "Across the Wide Missouri," Lana Turner in "Betrayed," Lauren Bacall in "Designing Woman," Lucille Ball in "Forever Darling," Doris Day in "The Glass Bottom Boat," James Caan in "Slither," Rex Harrison in "The Reluctant Debutante," Red Skelton in "A Southern Yankee," Arlene Dahl in "Watch the Birdie," Clark Gable in "Chained," Lana Turner in "Honky Tonk," Clark Gable in "The King and Four Queens," Myrna Loy in "Manhattan Melodrama," Clark Gable in "Test Pilot," Harrison Ellenshaw's "Dead Silence: The Movie About Making Movies," "Victimless Crimes," Beau Bridges in "Without Warning: The James Brady Story," "Presumed Guilty," "Night of the Kickfighters," Warren Miller's "Extreme Winter," Jeffrey Dean Morgan in "Uncaged."

Thursday - Danny Aiello in "The Closer," Robert Mitchum in "The Brotherhood of the Rose," "Civil War Diaries," "America's Funniest Animal Foul-Ups," Frank Capra's "The Unchained Goddess," Jack Warner's "Thread of Life."

New laserdiscs: Anthony Hopkins in "Silence of the Lambs," Anjelica Huston in "The Grifters," Fred Astaire in "Follow the Fleet," Woody Allen's "Alice," Marlon Brando in "Desiree" (letterboxed), Eric Clapton's "24 Nights," David Lean's "Ryan's Daughter" (letterboxed), Patrick Bergin in "Robin Hood," Anthony Quinn in "Zorba the Greek," Laurel and Hardy in "March of the Wooden Soldiers" (colorized), Preston Foster in "Guadalcanal Diary," Dennis Quaid in "Come See the Paradise," Judy Davis in "Impromptu," Robert Altman's "Vincent and Theo," Marcel Pagnol's "Marius," Ralph Byrd in "Dick Tracy vs. Crime Inc.," Betty Grable in "The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend" and "The Farmer Takes a Wife."

Copyright (c) 1991 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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