A weekly update of video releases

* SATAN'S BREW - An aspiring writer decides he's a 19th-century poet returned to life in postwar Germany, where he lives with his unhappy wife, his lunatic brother, and a fan who worships his every move. When first released in 1976, this pitch-dark comedy was generally received as one of the weakest films ever made by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, then riding high as a leader of West Germany's exciting Neue Kino movement. The picture doesn't improve with age, and those who aren't offended by its amazingly stupid jokes may groan at its pointless plot and nonstop vulgarity, among other failings. With many Fassbinder movies unavailable on video, it's ironic that this oddity should make the cut. (Not rated; Fox Lorber/Orion Home Video) * TIME WITHOUT PITY - A father hunts for evidence that will exonerate his son, who's to be executed for murder in a few hours, and his race against the clock is complicated by his own anxiety and alcoholism. As a drama, the picture is often overwrought, with good actors like Michael Redgrave and Leo McKern veering close to hysteria. It has a fascinating pedigree, though, as the first movie directed by the great Joseph Losey after his years on Hollywood's notorious McCarthy-era blacklist. And whatever the picture's shortcomings, its clear-eyed rejection of capital punishment makes it well worth reviving. Joan Plowright, Ann Todd, Alec McCowen, and Peter Cushing round out the cast. First released in 1956. (Not rated; Home Vision Cinema) * THE WRONG TROUSERS - Wallace and Gromit, a boring old man and his not-so-boring little dog, share a dull apartment where the only liveliness comes from Wallace's eccentric inventions, which are always quite clever but as unexciting as the fellow who dreamed them up. Adventure looms when a mysterious penguin rents their spare room and hijacks Wallace's automated trousers for a nefarious jewel-robbery scheme. Made in the remarkably expressive medium of clay animation, this half-hour cartoon is as funny as they come. Directed by Nick Park, and winner of the 1993 Academy Award for best animated short. (Not rated; BBC/Fox Video)

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