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Judas Priest

As iconic, leather-clad Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford accurately observes, “I dare say we were probably the first to start calling ourselves a heavy metal band. I think it’s fair to say it really started with Priest and Sabbath.” Forty-five years later, the archetypal Priest still spew arena-sized music, their unrelenting, soaring, larger-than-life metal inciting and exciting headbangers ranging in age from middle-schoolers to AARP citizens. You’ll get (to the delight of Beavis & Butt-head) “Breaking the Law,” “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,” and with 17 albums’ worth of songs to choose from, nary a quiet moment is guaranteed.

Thu., Oct. 9, 8 p.m., 2014

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The Melvins

With half their lineup tour-dogging behind the new Big Business LP, New York gets a rare glimpse of Melvins Classic, returning to play 1993’s Houdini in its entirety. Not necessarily their most influential or even best album, Houdini is undoubtedly their most iconic—what with the major label backing, Beavis & Butt-Head ribbing, and Cobain producer credit. Opening the show will be the Melvins again, this time with embryo-era drummer Mike Dillard, revisiting their sloppy days in 1983 as a fresh-faced hardcore band.

Fri., May 15, 6:30 p.m., 2009

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Rack Focus

Beavis and Butt-head: The Mike Judge Collection—Volume 1
(Paramount)

Few pop-cultural artifacts seem more emblematic of that decade of collective TV-induced stupidification known as the ’90s than MTV’s Beavis and Butt-head. This three-disc set (according to creator Mike Judge’s liner notes, the first of two volumes compiling the two-thirds of the series “that didn’t suck”) collects 40 cartoons, 11 music videos with B&B commentary, a Thanksgiving special featuring Kurt Loder, the boys’ VMA appearances, and much more. As Butt-head himself might put it, “These are the moments you live for.”


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
(Warner)

Depending on one’s point of view, Johnny Depp’s bizarre interpretation of Willy Wonka as child-hating sociopath either makes or ruins Tim Burton’s controversial Roald Dahl adaptation (I’d vote for the former). The two-disc “deluxe edition” comes loaded with extras. Among the highlights: a featurette depicting the transformation of actor Deep Roy into an army of Oompa Loompas and a behind-the-scenes look at the dubious art of training squirrels.


High Tension
(Lions Gate)

This French slasher flick largely lives up to its name, with even the by now de rigueur “twist” ending failing to negate the preceding suspense. This unrated DVD restores the minute or so of gore deemed too much for American audiences, and also allows viewers to choose between the U.S. English-dubbed version and the original French-language director’s cut.

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Dumb and Dumber

Less genuinely disturbed than developmentally arrested, the latest “Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Animation” omnibus (early champion of Beavis and Butt-head and South Park) lives up to its name about as well as any eighth-grade boy with access to cable and porn mags. Let’s call him Ike: an angry, sullen sort who likes to draw and set things on fire. Ike has recently discovered gutter-mouthed gangster movies, yet remains attached to the fables that pleased him as a child (hence Walter Santucci’s Pussy da Rednosed Reindeer). Ike channels his nascent homophobia through superhero comics (Nick Gibbons’s Radioactive Crotch Man). Ike likes to torture his younger sister by forcing her Barbies to engage in s&m and alien anal probes (Roy T. Wood’s Wheelchair Rebecca). Ike has watched enough Aardman films to infer a material kinship between Claymation and most bodily excretions (Sloaches Fun House, from Chicago’s Clayboy Enterprises). Ike is working at sublimating his urges toward animal abuse (Dave Lipson’s Stinky Monkey).

Ike has three similarly inclined buddies: One’s a sensitive sort who might grow up to be Mike Judge, the other two are lithium candidates who will definitely grow up to be Al Goldstein. Don Hertzfeldt’s Rejected is a stick-figure pileup of non-sequitur “advertisements” that catalogue the spiraling nervous breakdown of a blocked animator named Don Hertzfeldt. (The film rivals Chocolat as the year’s most improbable Oscar nominee.) And Jeff Pee and Chris Graphenberg’s Birth of Abomination, with its incongruously cheery Crayola palette, documents one night in the life of two brothers born joined at the mouth; separated in a botched surgery, lanky Mute sports a scar where his yap should be, while stout Motormouth has a pelican rictus he uses to swallow pizza slices whole. A chance meeting with a very pregnant junkie ‘ho results in low-key, casually racist mayhem. Blowjobs coincide with childbirth. Babies are eaten. Babies are vomited up. Umbilical cords are employed as crack conduits. For what it’s worth, Birth of Abomination is the only truly sick and twisted entry here—not least because the credits thank both “Our Families” and an apparently vengeful “God.”