Issue #109
July 2004


Continuing our overview of Universal's film series (begun in VW 103), Tim Lucas offers an in-depth report on MPI Home Video's THE SHERLOCK HOLMES COLLECTION, VOLUMES TWO and THREE, containing eight more Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce classics: THE SPIDER WOMAN, THE PEARL OF DEATH, THE SCARLET CLAW, THE HOUSE OF FEAR, THE WOMAN IN GREEN, PURSUIT TO ALGIERS, TERROR BY NIGHT and DRESSED TO KILL!

PLUS! Elsewhere in this issue, Kim Newman reviews an additional 10 Sherlock Holmes films from America, Great Britain and Russia!

DVD Spotlight

Rebecca & Sam Umland embark on the mammoth quest of reviewing THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS: SPECIAL EXTENDED DVD EDITION!

Dog Bytes

A Woody Allen lookalike meets Russ Meyer starlets in BANG! BANG! THE MAFIA GANG... Fred Williamson earns his nickname on the big screen in HAMMER... Lene Riefenstahl scales THE HOLY MOUNTAIN... a quality report card on the five movies in Platinum's cheap-o HORROR CLASSICS: BELA LUGOSI (THE APE MAN, THE GORILLA, THE DEVIL BAT, THE HUMAN MONSTER and THE INVISIBLE GHOST)... the BBC's Christmas production of THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES... Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke star as Holmes and Watson in THE MASTER BLACKMAILER and THE ELIGIBLE BACHELOR... Seijun Suzuki stages a PISTOL OPERA... Edgar Allan Poe, puppet-style, in PUPHEDZ: THE TATTLE-TALE HEART... the self-explanatory SANTO AND BLUE DEMON VS. THE MONSTERS... Baker Street done SMALLVILLE-style in SHERLOCK... four vintage television episodes are collected in THE SHERLOCK HOLMES COLLECTION... Ian Richardson dons the deerstalker cap (at least figuratively speaking) for THE SIGN OF FOUR... and Spielberg is beaten to the punch by 1981's YOUNG SHERLOCK: THE MYSTERY OF THE MANOR HOUSE!

Joe Dante's Fleapit Flashbacks

Booked in Joe's grindhouse of yesteryear this month are Anthonies Quinn and Frans in ACROSS 11OTH STREET... the Mario Bava classic BARON BLOOD... Kerwin Mathews follows Harryhausen with hairy makeup in THE BOY WHO CRIED WEREWOLF... the self-explanatory AN ELEPHANT CALLED SLOWLY (well, not really—we just don't want to explain it!)... Victoria Vetri stars in the sexy sci-fi of INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS... THE POSTGRADUATE, one of those dreary sex education for adults movies... and Woody Allen, preserved like a TV dinner, awakens in a far-flung future in SLEEPER!


Sergio Martino's futuristic biker rumble 2019: AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK... innocent grocers get sauced in ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES... Rankin/Bass (and Boris Karloff!) enter the stop-motion business with the Hans Christian Andersen romp THE DAYDREAMER... you thought he was dead, but Snake Plissken returns in ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK: SPECIAL EDITION... Eddie Albert saves Disney tots from peril in ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN... same tots, now pre-teens, run afoul of Christopher Lee and Bette Davis in RETURN FROM WITCH MOUNTAIN... Ang Lee throws some new curves into the Marvel universe with the controversial HULK... Scilla Gabel is kept young and alive by her insane father in the Italian horror classic MILL OF THE STONE WOMEN... William Shatner makes an early acting appearance (behind a mask) in OEDIPUS REX... Russia hops aboard the Conan Doyle bandwagon with SHERLOCK HOLMES AND DOCTOR WATSON, THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES AND DOCTOR WATSON: THE KING OF BLACKMAIL and THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES... Russian fantasy master Aleksandr Ptushko adapts Pushkin's classic poem in THE TALE OF TSAR SALTAN... and Christopher Lee serves the reincarnation of a 17th century sadist in Antonio Margheriti's THE VIRGIN OF NUREMBERG!


Five movies (DR. TERROR'S HOUSE OF HORRORS, ... AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS!, THE BEAST MUST DIE, ASYLUM and THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD) are collected in a coffin in THE AMICUS COLLECTION... Jennifer Connelly follows her Argento experience with another Italian thriller called ETOILE... Karine Gambier and Erik Falk run a women's prison in Gefangenefrauen (CAGED WOMEN)... the Shaw Brothers remake one of their 1970s classics in LUST FOR LOVE OF A CHINESE COURTESAN... and Jean Renoir offers a unique addition to the Jekyll/Hyde filmography in Le Testament du Docteur Cordelier!


"Audio Watchdog" on Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai... "Biblio Watchdog" reviews RAY HARRYHAUSEN: AN ANIMATED LIFE... Édith Scob writes to "The Letterbox"... and much, much more!

Other contributors to this issue: John Charles, Bill Cooke, Shane M. Dallmann, Richard Harland Smith, Douglas E. Winter and Miles Wood.