Thursday, November 7, 2013

PHANTOM OF THE MOVIES' VIDEOSCOPE NO. 88


BILLED AS THE "Fall Horror Harvest Edition", The Phantom's quarterly magazine of cover-to-cover, wall-to-wall DVD reviews delivers, with a few articles and interviews stuck in here and there just to round things out to an even roar. As advertised, this issue -- as well as the many that have come before it -- features more than 80 (yes, that's eight - oh) new genre reviews. That is more than enough movie reviews to take care of several evenings of before-bed reading for any monster.

Interviewed are the Soska Sisters of Twisted Twins Productions, whose latest co-directed effort, AMERICAN MARY, is making a bit of a splash on the bloodbath film circuit. After being taken under the tutoring wing of Eli Roth (you devil, you!), Jen and Silvia seem to delight in their sudden notoriety. But make no mistake -- they're not just stumbling through their career. Underneath those cute Bettie Page bangs and retro polka-dots they mean deadly business.

Also interviewed is Malcom McDowell, who offers up a bit of an overview of his film career to Scott Voisin. As crazy as he may act onscreen sometimes, Mr. McDowell reveals himself (at least here) to be a level-headed, serious actor.

Mr. Ubiquitous, Tom Weaver, comes off the film sprocket again with yet another obscure tidbit -- a retrospective of Harry Essex's 1971 OCTAMAN! Don't you be laughing now -- The Pus-man is one cool critter and the movie is not half bad . . . okay, three quarters bad.

Over the last couple of years or so, I have exchanged correspondence with one of VIDEOSCOPE's perennial contributors, Tim Ferrante. Tim's a very nice guy and I enjoy bantering back and forth with him on varied things. His interview with "Giallo Gal", Adrienne Larussa this issue came from the most unlikeliest events: He was selling a movie poster for the Pakistani version of the 1971 Lucio Fulci, BEATRICE CENCI (U.S.-dubbed title, CONSPIRACY OF TORTURE) on eBay. Turns out the buyer was Miss Larussa herself! Ferrante has scored a major, if somewhat accidental, scoop here. Even Tom Weaver couldn't have pulled this one off!

I don't have any qualms at all about recommending VIDEOSCOPE. Its floppy color covers and pulp paper insides (clear type, though!) make it less than pretentious, but the very reasonable $5.95 cover price won't put you in the poor house. That makes me a regular buyer. You should be one, too.

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