Thursday, April 26, 2012
NO MANGE ON THIS (VIDEO) WATCHDOG
I'm convinced. The folks at VIDEO WATCHDOG are hopelessly possessed. Possessed, that is, of the most talented stable -- or should I say "kennel" -- of reviewers in any horror film magazine currently going. Regular readers will know that VW is famous for its attention to video/DVD/Blu-ray minutiae and for picking the fly poop out of the pepper on such essential topics as frame rates and color stock. Trust me, if there's a wobble somewhere in that tape to DVD re-issue, the Dawgs will find it -- and let you know all about it in exhaustive, but very readable detail.
And, get this, they can even take one of the most controversial sicko flicks of all time, A SERBIAN FILM, and write about it as if it were an artistic achievement. Even low-brow films are transformed by the pens dipped in their wizard's ink and turned into high-art. Don't let the style fool you, though. Every reveiwer is perfectly honest in their evaluation and they will call any film doo doo if it is at all deserving of the label.
As usual, Issue #167 is packed to the margins with material by folks with a fetish for film. Some of the top names in the biz are represented here: Douglas E. Winter, Ramsay Campbell, Kim Newman, and editor Tim Lucas, who just picked up another Rondo Award for "Best Writer".
It is Lucas who opens the issue with a respectful obit to the late siren of many a Jess Franco film, Lina Romay. The meat of the issue is taken up with long articles on Tim Burton's ALICE IN WONDERLAND and the Joseph Middleton-directed adults only sex-fantasy, THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS. There's also coverage on many, many more DVD releases such as COBRA WOMAN, FRANKENHOOKER, VAMPIRE CIRCUS, and DESTROY ALL MONSTERS. The issue is filled out with regular departments like Douglas E. Winter's soundtracks and audio column, Ramsay Campbell's latest odd and obscure movie review, and book reports by an able lot of reviewers, including editor Lucas.
VW is a digest-sized magazine, so I would shave off a few miniscule points for a lot of pics I'd like to see larger. Otherwise, all the photos, whether in color or black and white are very professionally reproduced with the kind of detail that the writers give whole-heartedly with their craft. And that's what gives VW its howl -- the expert writing and journalism. It's alway erudite without being arrogant, and when they wax academic to the reader it is rarely down their nose.
If you are looking for a genre film review magazine that is stimulating to read with lots and lots of videophile detail right down to the sprocket hole, I enthusiastically give all four paws up in the endorsement of VIDEO WATCHDOG.