The phone's been ringing off the hook with readers wanting to know if our mysterious 100th issue has been mailed yet! The answer is YES! VIDEO WATCHDOG's special centenary issue was delivered to VW Headquarters on Thursday, October 2 at 2:00pm; all of our subscription orders were mailed by the next day and the last of our vendor orders shipped on Monday, October 6. It should arrive in your mailbox shortly, and in stores soon! Don't miss it... this one's different and it's going to be a collector's item!
When the centenary issue shipment arrived, it was accompanied by grinnin' Gary Hillbeloved sales rep of our long-time printers, Crest-Graphicswho surprised us with a congratulatory gift bottle of Cuvée Dom Pérignon (vintage 1995) and a greeting card signed by everyone who works on our monthly print job! It just goes to show that, while good work is satisfaction in its own right, there is nothing like the satisfaction of being surrounded by good people. That goes for our friends at Crest-Graphics, our talented contributors (past, present and future), Donna's mother Ellie who helped with the mailing, and also readers like YOU! So Donna and I are raising our glasses this month in a salute to everyone who helps make VW possible!
Cheers! (Hmmm... bubbly.)
You may remember that, last month, we used this space to invite correspondence from our readers on the theme of what VIDEO WATCHDOG has meant to them, to adorn the 100th installment of our letters column, The Letterbox. Well, we received more and lengthier feedback than we ever anticipatedin fact, too much to print. Whittling everyone's heartfelt sentiments down to fit our available space was the hardest editing I've ever done; it was a shame to omit any of it. Not wanting anyone to feel that their efforts were unappreciated, we decided to present here the complete, unedited correspondence of everyone who wrote us on the occasion of our 100th issue. It follows, belowjust click on the correspondent's name to access their letter, or just start at the top and read through to the end.
Thanks, one and all, for making this centenary event as memorable for us as we hope VW #100 will be for you!
Tim & Donna
Video Watchdog, how do I love thee..?
I have just turned 45 years old and I can't remember a week going by in which I haven't bought several movie books or periodicals. As a kid, my parents would give their friends tours of my "bizarre" collection. The Monster Times? got 'em, Castle of Frankenstein... Anobiles frame by frame book of Psycho... Baluns tribute book on Fulci? got 'em. You get the idea. My house is spilling over with the stuff. But my a-#1, top o' the list, joy of joys is my bound issues of Video Watchdog! When a new issue comes out, the dude at my local comic shop greets me at the door with it, smiling like a heroin dealer with a new batch! What can I say!? It's the bomb! It's the Holy Grail of film info. It gives me fascinating insight into films I love, interest into films I never heard of and teaches me about films I didn't quite 'get'. Your level of detail makes my head spin. When I was ten, my folks took me on a tour of the Smuckers jelly plant... fuck that! My 'make a wish' choice today is to watch you guys dissect a movie! Anyway, enough with ass-kissing... congratulations on reaching 100! And as a side note, I'd like to apologize in advance to my six year old daughter Talon because when Tim's Bava book arrives daddy will be unavailable for a few weeks!
Dear Donna and Tim,
You said that your readers could send you a few words about their feelings of VW for its 100th issue. That's what I'm gonna do, but in French, if you don't mind. Here it is:
" C'est dans un petit magasin de Paris, que j'ai découvert il y a quelques années, Video Watchdog...tout à fait par hasard.
Je l'ai feuilleté, acheté, et depuis ne l'ai plus jamais quitté. J'ai commandé tous les anciens numéros. Grâce à Video Watchdog, j'ai découvert des films dont j'ignorais l'existence et surtout, j'ai pu retrouver des films dont on ne parle plus en France et que l'on ne peut trouver en DVD qu'aux USA.
Video Watchdog est international, et c'est ce qui en fait toute sa valeur. Pas de patriotisme cinématographique, juste l'Amour du Cinéma. Entre Video Watchdog et moi c'est une grande et belle Histoire...et elle ne fait que commencer ! "
Hello. As much as I enjoy the surprise when a new issue of VW arrives, I admit that I always check the website for a sneak peek at the upcoming issue. I noticed that you're soliciting/welcoming letters for the 100th issue from the multitude of different readers of VW. Here's mine.
I first became aware of VW around issue # in August of 1993. A local comic shop had several back issues for sale (#s 11 & 12 caught my eye). I bought three issues and really enjoyed the magazine. As many first time readers have probably felt, it seemed to speak directly to me - among many things I liked were that it covered the kind of films I like, in a way that was nothing short of definitive, as well as introducing me to films I would probably have never given a first or second look - I had found the perfect magazine! With no delay, I immediately ordered all of the available back issues and became a subscriber.
Video Watchdog has played many roles in my life over the past 10 years. First and foremost, it's great entertainment - there is nothing like sitting down with a good book (or magazine) and just forgetting about what else is going on and getting lost in the words. For all the gray days that VW has brought some sunshine to, I thank you. It's also been a teacher - although not a film snob, I've always considered myself as "up" on the history/production/analysis and other aspects of film, I never fail to be humbled by a new idea or approach that I find in the pages of VW. For all that VW has introduced me to, or has helped to explain, I thank you. It's been somewhat of a "financial advisor" - as the landscape of home video has continued to grow, it's been almost impossible to see/acquire "everything" and VW has often helped separate the worthwhile from the avoid-at-all cost. I am constantly using my collection of VWs to reference reviews in order to help me decide whether or not to make a specific purchase. For the many dollars VW has saved me in the past, a pocketfelt "thank you." (As a side note, VW had always made me want more than I could get on VHS and I was about ready to finally plunge into laser when the first rumblings of DVD were felt. I waited a little while longer and missed buying a "horse and buggy" - I had been a victim of the VHS/Beta wars [alas poor Beta, I knew thee well] and narrowly dodged another bullet.) It has also been a savior - as I constantly try to educate friends and family on: the aesthetics of widescreen, the value of commentary tracks, the appeal of all different sorts of film genres, the fun of noticing additions and the madness of noticing cuts in films; VW & it's contributors have always been there to remind me that I am not alone. For the sense of community that VW maintains, I thank you.
Although not specifically a role, VWs consistency has been the most important factor of all. Where many magazines have come and gone, VW is still there (I will never be able to thank you enough for going monthly - new "stuff" every four weeks, HOORAY!). Where many different media have compromised, VW has always maintained the same quality, while constantly evolving and never becoming stagnate - there is always an almost perfect combination of the old and the new explored in every issue. In an ever-changing world, it's nice to know that my pal the Watchdog has been there for me and will, hopefully, be there for me for a long time to come.
Tim and Donna, I sincerely thank you for the hard work and dedication you bring to your wonderful magazine and for the friendliness that has always greeted me whenever I've had to contact you. It has been, and will continue to be, a pleasure. Congratulations on your 100th issue (I've got 'em all - thanks for the reprints! - & the two special editions & the book)! I wish you continued success and I can't wait to start gushing again when issue # 200 rolls around.Peace, love and happiness,
Many congratulations on a fantastic magazine which I have been reading since my late teens (I am 30 this year!). Ever since seeing and buying
those digest sizest magazines with black and white covers with pictures of Boris Karloff and Barbara Steele - which now are color (!) and reading, enjoying all the wonderful and well written factoids and information contained therein, your magazine has been one of the guiding inspirations for me and encouraged me to explore the bizarre and diverse field of European cinema (my first love) and beyond.
With the upcoming interviews I have planned for the magazine, I do hope to part of the continued success of VW soon. I have also enjoyed my frequent correspondence with Tim over the last few years - and our conversations by phone and email for the magazine and for the Bava book.
As they say here in Italy "Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravissimo a la futura!"
Un caro salutone da una Roma calda, con simpathia, amicizia ed affetto,
Rome, Italy (soon!)
Dear Tim and Donna,
It was your advertisement in the May 1990 issue of CINEFEX which captured my attention using such verbal phrasings such as, RESTORES...UNVEILS...UNMASKS.. and PRESENTS (much as some new-fangled elixir sold at some medicine show) that enticed me to try this new publication that would be my "Perfectionist's Guide to Fantastic Video." Since that time I have never felt duped as it were by your original "hype." If anything your publication has "restored" my faith in the film analysis process, "unveiled" new insights in obscure and "out of print" auteurs, unmasked both foreign and domestic titles I might never have known about and presented such in a compact and thorough forum. Because of this I have become addicted to your publication, and will probably be in need of its contents to sustain me in my ensuing years.Yours addictively,
Dear Tim & Donna:
Just wanted to drop a line to say how much I appreciate your publication. I have been an avid reader since issue #1 (all of them are kept hermetically sealed for future generations). My wife says it's the only zine that I read cover-to-cover in one sitting and she's probably right. I can't tell you how many videos and DVDs I have purchased because of your in-depth reviews. I remember reading your issue pertaining to the Exorcist and the subliminal messages and images it contained. It actually changed my view of the film (I wasn't a big fan of it) and it blew my mind when I would watch the film frame-by-frame at the right moments according to your article. It has become an annual ritual watching the film this way as my wife and I show the film to unsuspecting guests who have seen the film many time before and watch the look on their faces as I would freeze-frame at the right moments and scare the crap out of them. Many other films since then have used the same technique, but never quite to the same effect. Thanks for 100 great issues and here's wishing you and your publication a long and healthy life.Regards,
Congratulations to Tim and Donna for 100 issues (yes, I have 'em all; thank God for those early scratch-and-dent sales!).
A few things for which I'd like NOT to thank Video Watchdog-- praising filmmakers like Mario Bava and Jess Franco, thus forcing me to rent and buy their films. Helping set the stage for companies like Fantoma, All Day, Elite, Synapse, Something Weird, Blue Underground and Anchor Bay to produce quality versions of otherwise impossible-to-find gray-market bootlegged movies that you never thought would see the light of day (or remixed in DTS to book)-- and thus encouraging people like myself to buy them. For giving me the knowledge to have such discussions about the "aesthetic feel" of the ILSA series (the verdict-- they're pretty grungy). For eating up hours of my time every time it appears in my mailbox. Damn you, Video Watchdog! Damn you!
Thanks for all the good work. Trust me, when I bring the latest issue to work at New Line Cinema, it's always snapped up by the story editors or one of the assistants attempting to figure out who is the mysterious "Lucio Fulci" that I've just named-dropped for comparison's sake in my story notes.
Los Angeles CA
Dear Tim and Donna:
Congratulations on turning 100!
I've been a rabid genre movie buff ever since seeing "Night of the Living Dead" at a drive in as a kid. It was the second-feature to "Bigfoot" (1971) and after suffering through that piece of cinematic trash, this strange little "living dead" horror movie came on and changed everything in my impressionable little brain. Making super 8mm movies, magazine collecting, movie marathons, video renting, review writing, conventions - years and years devoted to this weird little unheralded genre. Why?
Then came "Video Watchdog". I was working at Tower Video on Sunset in Hollywood in the mid-80s and was picking up Video Movies/Video Times magazine every month. Great magazine as it was (I still have the entire run) - a beautifully laid out monthly guide to all the new releases on video. But then the magazine got even better when the "Video Watchdog" column suddenly appeared. Wow - someone who cares and knows so much more about this stuff than I could ever hope to know. This was something no other magazine had ever really attempted before - a column (dare I say) nitpicking on alternate cuts, edited versions, etc. The impact of that column wasn't readily apparent at the time, but when Video Times folded and you moved over into Gorezone, the true importance of Video Watchdog finally hit home. Suddenly, these obscure horror movies (back then, even many horror fans didn't know that much about Argento, believe it or not!) were being analyzed in detail. Suddenly bootleg videos were the rage - track down what Tim Lucas said I didn't get to see!!! Those were the days
Of course, Video Watchdog finally went out on it's own and I still recall when that first issue hit in 1990. Every issue since has been a wealth of information, skilled intelligent writers, top-notch layout and design, and NO annoying ADS. In the years since that first issue, the video market has changed drastically - no more laserdiscs, the advent of DVD, internet forums and discussions all over the place. In a way, there may be TOO much information out there these days, but every month when the new Video Watchdog hits the streets, it's a joy to behold. No other genre or film magazine has weathered the years as well as Video Watchdog.
I owe Video Watchdog a lot as far as where I am today as well. I've changed careers several times over the years in and out of the business, but my passionate interest in videos and now DVD's did lead to a secondary 'hobby' for selling rare original horror and cult videos on eBay for over 5 years now. Sure, my interest in these titles was there from the beginning, but Video Watchdog kept me informed and helped keep that spark alive for almost 20 years now! In these days of out-of-control DVD mania where there's just too much to keep up with, that mid-80's memory of reading how a Hercules VHS had an alternate credit sequence from some other version may seem a little quaint now. But you know what, thanks for that memory and all the information since! It would truly be hard to imagine a world without Video Watchdog.
Dear Tim and Donna Lucas,
Excitement always follows the arrival of a new issue of Video Watchdog. I pour over the contents of each issue as though I were catching up with an old friend. Your magazine's attention to detail, not to mention the accessible editorial style, makes this reader feel very much at home and eager to be a part of it all.
I was amazed how a measly little observation I once e-mailed to you ended up in "The Letterbox" column [VW 74:80] - but I was more than proud to have my contribution included.
VW has shed much needed light on so many areas of cinema that were previously dark and unknown. And by so doing, expanded my appreciation for the creative contributions of so many neglected directors, performers and artisans who had somehow gone unsung in the world of film.
How may I express thanks for your gift of 100 amazing issues of VW? With my continued support of your marvelous enterprise, of course. Rest assured - as long as I am watching, I will be reading (and re-reading) VW.
Yours with admiration,
John S. Douglas
You know over the past 10 years or so , I have been a Video Watchdog subscriber, reader, enthusiast and movie lover of all movies whether they are fantastic or not. I have watched VW magazine grow from waiting forever for my issue or if I have been dead broke and had to read the issue on the newsstand. My subscriptions have run out and even though I have called and renewed sometimes a year or so later Donna has always been kind about issues I have missed and when I have spoken with Tim on the phone about a missed issue he tries to help and then says Donna will call me back. Tim does not always answer the phone but when he does he seems to shy away from praise his readers give him just about everything. Yet what he does not realize is if it were not for Tim and Donna Lucas almost all the accurate information about movies whether they are Horror, Sci-Fi or any kind of fantastic genre at all, that they are the reason people know about them in the first place.
The Video Watchdog magazine is a bible to some and a rag to others, but to us people that do understand and care very much the magazine our bible and without it we would be lost. I know for a fact that people on certain sites on the internet or on certain audio commentaries are either ill informed or just plain ignorant. Without the two of you a hell of
a lot of people would not have a clue as to what they are doing with genre movies or which version of a movie they are watching.
One thing is for sure I would not order and pay for a book that is 97.00 and wait 3 years if it were anybody else in the entire world but Tim and Donna Lucas. With the two of you especially when I have talked to you and the phone it feels like a family situation even now and 10 years ago.
Thank You both for the past ten years and hopefully another 25 years of subscriptions and books and now screenplays from the 2 of you.
Happy 100th issue! I have read all of them so far, including THE VIDEO WATCHDOG BOOK and the Special Editions (which I miss). What makes this rather remarkable is that there is no other magazine for which I can make the same claim, or even one that I regularly buy. I would say it's likely the obvious love of obscure movies and the obsessive attention to detail that keep me coming back issue after issue.
Your fine magazine has been a tremendous influence on both my movie (and music) collecting habits and on the screenplays I write. I admit to getting a thrill whenever my name appears in its pages, whether it be as an informant or just some guy with a beef. And, although I may not agree with everything your reviewer wrote about my debut feature, CARVER'S GATE (VW 41:13), yeah, it was even a thrill to get raked over the coals by my very favorite magazine!
The next time one of my movies gets reviewed in these pages, I promise it will be a different story... although I am sure that VW will be the same great publication. Keep up the great work!
On September 11, 2001, slightly before 8:45 AM, I parked in front of Bob's News, in Ft Lauderdale FL, eager to pick up the latest issue of Video Watchdog. It had been, up to that point, a fairly unremarkable day. A few minutes later, I got back into the car, put the magazine on the passenger seat, turned the radio on and drove off. I hadn't gone a block when I started hearing that a plane had hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Like almost everyone else, I thought this was just a horrible accident. By the time I got home - still, at this time, looking forward to a quiet morning spent reading VW - another plane had flown into the World Trade Center. This time, the South Tower. By then, it was obvious to pretty much everyone, that our country and our way of life was under attack.
It usually takes only a few hours to get through an issue of Video Watchdog, cover-to-cover. I don't read it as much as devour it. It is among the best reads on the planet. It took weeks to get through that issue. My head just wasn't in it. But when I did read a snippet here and an article there, it helped to take me away from the sense of pain and loss we were all feeling.
Much like remembering where I was when I heard that President Kennedy was assassinated, or the memory of sitting in front of the TV when man first stepped foot on the moon, walking into Bob's in the "old" America and getting back into the car, VW in hand, in the "new" America will be with me as long as I draw breath. I still have the store receipt tucked inside of that issue, time stamped at the exact minute that the first plane hit the WTC.
You asked for stories about how Video Watchdog has affected our lives in a significant way, over the last 13 years. I can think of no better example. Because - and I truly don't want this to sound too hokey - each and every time I go into that store to pick up the latest issue of VW, I stop, momentarily, to think about the souls that were lost on that horrible day and to realize how very lucky I am to live in the USA.
Happy 100th, Video Watchdog.
Richard J. Schellbach
North Miami Beach, FL
Just wanted to congratulate you on your 100th issue, and thank you once again for all the invaluable info you've shared with video/DVD collectors like myself over the years. To catalog all the reasons why I like Video Watchdog would fill the entire 100th issue; suffice it to say that your reviews offer much more detail than those of other mags, examining video/DVD releases from every conceivable angle, and your handy review index by title on your website makes reviews easy to locate in back issues (I have every one!).
For your exhaustive research on behalf of video/DVD collectors everywhere, many thanks! I'm already looking forward to congratulating you on your 200th issue.Best wishes,
Tim & Donna,
I'm one of many. A lifelong fan of fantastic films. First encouraged by the likes of Famous Monsters and Castle of Frankenstein. Then, a short while later, but much more importantly, by the fan press of the early to late seventies. I even published my own fan rag for awhile. These were heady & exciting days. They led me to a career in film.
Video Watchdog mirrors that era, but with an important difference. It is mature. It is at once all grown up, challenging, yet youthful and expansive and questing. It is the product of intelligent & committed individuals who have allowed their lifelong love affair with fantastic films to continue to grow from within. It is much appreciated.
For me, VW is a reconnect. Partially to my fan roots. More importantly, to the sense of how films - all kinds & quality - can live on as subjects of admiration and curiosity (despite themselves, at times). I think of this, and look at the work I have done, and marvel, "I am part of this."
Video Watchdog helps make that happen.
Congratulations on 100, and 100 again.
Dear Tim and Donna,
I check your website around the middle of every month to whet my appetite for the next issue of VW and update my index. This month, I see you have plans for the 100th issues letters page and I thought Id write you on how VW became an important part of my own life. Since the deadline is today, I havent had time to carefully compose my thoughts so feel free to edit or omit some (or of course all!) of my ramblings.
Ive always had a passion for movies since childhood. Living under the shadow of the BBFC, I clearly remember the day I discovered film censorship. I had been a regular cinemagoer and had a fondness for horror and science fiction. With the advent of home video, I started collecting ex-rental tapes (my first purchase was SCANNERS) and one day I was skimming through FANGORIA whereupon I discovered gory shots from THE BEYOND that were cut from every version I had ever seen. I began throwing my net wider and was soon immersed in the wonderful world of importing variant prints of all the movies that todays DVD buyers take for granted. Of course, you will recall the days when many of the more obscure films were only available from grey market sources or badly cropped ex-rentals from the likes of Greece and Holland. Things are different now, but one thing remains constant; alternate versions of films old and new. Fascinated by this, there has been but one constant companion: Video Watchdog magazine. I had thoroughly enjoyed your articles in Fango and snapped up your Video Watchdog Book and every magazine right from the beginning, including that infamous premier issue with its refusal to fold flat because of what you called a "grain" issue.
One VW related story I will always remember is tied in with my first visit to America. I was fortunate enough to be part of a small group brought on a junket to New York for the World Cup in 1994. It was the very best way to see a new city; the best of restaurants, a fabulous suite at the Hyatt by Central Station and all expenses paid! Only problem was I hated football, and just wanted to shop but we were constantly chaperoned. After four days of following wonderful, delicate cuisine with drink-sodden singsongs at Irish bars I had had enough. Late one evening I made my excuses (feigning illness) and grabbed some time to myself. I had one more thing to get to make my trip complete: VW Special Edition. I hailed a taxi and asked to be taken to the nearest Tower Records. Needless to say I was driven for miles and arrived at a lonely Tower nestled in a dark urban sprawl. With only an hour to closing, I was dashing through the multi-floored building like a kid in a candy store. Before long I was out on the empty unfamiliar streets too happy with prize VW special to notice the distinct lack of yellow taxis or friendly pedestrians! With shadowy figures in doorways and loiterers abound, my nervousness increased and I began feeling decidedly like a fish out of water. I was beginning to wonder if my precious VW was going to cost me more than its cover price. Of course, I had no reason to be alarmed and I was soon being ferried back to the hotel.
Your publications have contributed greatly to my knowledge of cinema and the language of film criticism. When VW was launched, I was a successful computer sales manager unhappy in my job. Today, already in my mid-thirties and spurred on by my passion and knowledge of cinema, I am pursuing a career in media, having given up my job to travel and embark on a course of film studies. Recently, I began working for a small production company and Ive never been happier.
I cannot express in words how useful, informative and interesting your publication has been. I am not crazy about reviews that simply summarize the plot of a movie. What I enjoy is a learned appraisal coupled with all-important notes on the specific presentation and variations of that film. Maybe that's why I like Jess Franco so much! Together with the wonderful in-depth feature articles, every issue has been a delight. Sometimes my opinion has been swayed on a film because of your learned observations and angles I hadn't considered, and for that I'm grateful. Incidentally, my favorite issues include the TWIN PEAKS and Lynch related ones and above all, the behind the scenes look at the VW team. Looking back, its amazing how home video has developed and there has never been a better time for the VW community. And its all been reflected in your VW content. Congratulations on this 100th issue and wishing you continued success.
Congratulations on your upcoming 100th issue. I've been writing screenplays (winning contests but selling nada) for 10 years and have read your magazine most of those years. Not many people are interested in the films I love, which happen to be the films you love, so your magazine fills a tremendous void in my life. It's the only magazine I've ever read from cover to cover three or four times per issue. Thank you.
Now, in regard to something you screwed up. ;) Well, it's more of a technical mistake. In your recent article on David Lynch's ERASERHEAD, you say "The only extra footage offered ... is a short bit cut from Henry's walk home ..." This isn't entirely true. If you select the movie on the menu, then hit the "Next" button 3 or 4 times, you'll see an Easter egg of Henry pointing to a message along the left side of the screen that reads "Booth 6 - X2416." If you're a member of Davidlynch.com, you can go to the web site, select "Phone" from the Switchboard menu, dial the number X2416 (2416 being Mary's street address as shown in the picture on page 55 of the article) and you'll see the entire scene Catherine Coulson refers to in her conversation with Lynch. It's a powerful scene of a man preparing to zap a scantily clad Catherine and another woman with two large cables attached to a car battery. So it's not technically on the DVD but it is available. Now if he could just find the flaming nipple scene from BLUE VELVET ...
Thank you and here's to another 100 issues!
Hey Tim and Donna,
I fell in love with Video Watchdog the first time I ever laid eyes on it.
Blade Runner was on the cover at the newsstand and one quick glance through the article told me that I was going to have to get my hands on every issue of this spectacular magazine. The fact that I loved Blade Runner and that this magazine and article picked apart all the different versions warmed my heart here was a magazine with the same passion that I have for different versions of films.
I was fortunate to get four article published in Video Watchdog and dissect movies that I love. As a side effect I helped on the special edition DVD releases of three of them (LEGEND, BUCKAROO BANZAI and HIGHLANDER II). Im still waiting for a David Lynch certified special edition of DUNE, however.
Without Video Watchdog, Id probably still be waiting for those special editions.
Keep up the good work!
Tim and Donna:
After editing 100 issues (!), Tim and Donna surely know better than anyone that space is a precious thing, so please indulge my enthusiasm.
Quite simply, every time I read VIDEO WATCHDOG I come away just a little bit smarter. I think we all do. Whether it is Russian fantasy cinema, the brutal world of Hong Kong horror or the missing footage from BLADE RUNNER, Tim and his team of experts deliver the goods in a readable, fact-filled and dispassionate manner that brings even familiar films alive, as if seen for the very first time.
The result is definitive. While other magazines nobly pursue the obscurities that surround the classics we love -- hidden meanings, disputed anecdotes, discarded screen tests -- VIDEO WATCHDOG has defiantly keyed on one powerful theme: It is the film, the work itself, that matters.
It is a path few others are willing to take. But it is completely satisfying. The added delight of VIDEO WATCHDOG, and the one that prevents the magazine from tipping to the academic dark side, is its keen sense of the fantastic. Works like The Sopranos, PULP FICTION, or the suburban drolleries of David Lynch are monster movies too, in their way. And VIDEO WATCHDOG, perhaps more than any other publication, can sense that whiff of blue genre cool, and can signal to the reader, just by its inclusion, that 'this film is one of us. Welcome.'
VIDEO WATCHDOG is one of the monthly miracles of film criticism. It is smart, it is exquisitely edited and it is an essential. Congratulations, Tim and Donna and here's to many more years of fantastic perfection.
(David is an editor at USA TODAY and a founder of the Classic Horror Film Boards)
On the eve of the publication of the long-awaited 100th issue of Video Watchdog, I would like to extend a message of congratulations and appreciation to both Tim and Donna for there many years of hard work and dedication to the production of my
favorite magazine EVER! No other magazine has been as consistently excellent in every issue in its entire run as VW.
In years to come I'm sure that it will be seen to have been an extremely influential publishing achievement. The obvious joy, care, love and attention that is reflected in every page makes VW an absolute pleasure to read.
So let's raise a glass to the next 100 issues!
Dear Tim and Donna and all the Watchdogs,
Life wouldn't be as much fun without your wonderful magazine, which is as obsessive as I am about things like, to name just one example, what Boris was really saying at the end of the Italian cut of Black Sabbath!
Long may you wave!
Best wishes and congratulations,
A tribute in song, to the tune of "Downtown"
By Bob Gutowski
When I'm alone
And racked with doubt and obsession
What can make me glad?
Who else would care
How many teeth that the Hessian
Played by Walken had?
Where else to check on editing, and timings, and redubbing?
Or lousy takes they had to use, despite lines they were flubbing?
Where else indeed?
So join me there in that place,
Where they discuss different "cuts" of
"Les yeaux sans a face"
We'll read WATCHDOG!
It's so complete-ist, yes,
But not elitist, yes,
What would we do without you?
The reason I love Video Watchdog so much is not just because of the sterling, in-depth journalism, like the MULHOLLAND DR/RASHOMAN article a while back, or the (silent) LOST WORLD piece that Stephen R Bissette wrote. It's not just because of the love that's obvious in the little touches here and there-the jokes in the Letterbox, Kennel and VW Thanks pages come to mind. And not just because of the many, many films and directors that VW's steered me towards (it's rewarding when your friends ask, 'Where'd you ever hear about THIS movie?'--- My gang's still talking about SALO, eight years later!). And not just because its devotion to minutiae justifies my geek-dom. I love the way that WATCHDOG's changed my life. Heck, VW made me buy a laserdisc player back in '93 on the strength of its' review of BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA (I'd never even heard of audio commentary before, had to check it out). I'll never forget how blown-away I was by that BLACK SUNDAY
DVD that I bought because of Tim's name on the box. Or watching ZEDER one late, late night with my brother. It was delicious knowing he was really scared. I can count on VW to suggest a
movie (or book, soundtrack, etc.) for me to seek out. In fact, I bet I've spent literally ZILLIONS of my blue-collar dollars on VW-inspired purchases over the years, and I am cooler for having done so. I am better informed than I used to be, because VW's been around. So, much thanks to Tim & Donna. And
many, many, many more birthdays for the mighty WATCHDOG! Long May You Howl!