Video Reviews and News : ****Excellent***Good**Ordinary*Poor : <i> Recent videocassette releases, reviewed by Times critics.</i> : Movies

<i> Compiled by Terry Atkinson</i>


As Rocky, Sylvester Stallone battled but a single Russkie in the ring. In “Rambo III” (IVE, $89.95, R), he takes on battalions of Soviet troops in Afghanistan. They could have used Sly’s skills in another sequel, “Ghoulies II” (Vestron, $89.95, R), and he also plays no part, it’s safe to say, in “Little Women” (MGM/UA, $19.95)--though a young Elizabeth Taylor and Janet Leigh do appear in this 1949 version.

If the stepsisters in “Cinderella” and the rotten little guys in “Ghoulies II” aren’t enough to scare you, try “The Serpent and the Rainbow” (MCA, $89.95, R), a voodoo thriller directed by Wes Craven on a break from his frighteningly successful “Nightmare on Elm Street” series. And then there’s “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” (Media, $79.95, PG-13), a very recent and very cheaply made horror spoof that found favor with a few critics.

On the other hand, if you prefer sentimentality over sensation, there’s Frank Capra’s last film, “Pocketful of Miracles” (MGM/UA, $19.95). Though not the best effort by the director of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” this remake of Capra’s 1933 “Lady for a Day” is a lot of fun at times. Bette Davis stars as Apple Annie, and Peter Falk gets most of the laughs in his Oscar-nominated supporting part.


Other Videos

Probably as a humanitarian gesture--to get you in shape before you consume all that Halloween candy, Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas assorted goodies--the video companies generally pick this time of year for their biggest fitness-tape releases. Biggest of all this season, probably, is “SuperCallenetics” (MCA, $24.95, 90 min.), in which Callan Pinckney follows up her best-selling “Callenetics.”

Or if you’d rather just watch people exert themselves, Media/NFL Films has four more pro-football videos--"NFL Quarterback” (a view of several field commanders), “Heart of a Champion” (athletes overcoming odds), “Gift of Grab” (pass receivers) and “Strange but True Body Shapes” (profiling “recent history’s most odd-shaped professional football players,” it says here). “Grab” is $14.95, the others $19.95.