"Vengeance is Mine!"
August 2004

Sergio Leone's Railroaded Masterpiece

Steven Lloyd, a first-generation fan of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, charts the five different versions of the film which have played theatrically in the United States since 1969-and explains why Paramount's DVD, billed and widely acclaimed as the "original uncut masterpiece," is neither uncut... nor the original version!

DVD Spotlight:

Who better to review Quentin Tarantino's maximum blood-shed revenge opus for VW than Bill himself? Bill Cooke delivers a perfectly honed, steel-edged appraisal of Miramax's domestic DVD release, as well as the more gruesome Japanese and Korean imports!

Dog Bytes (Short Reviews)

Fred Olen Ray offers a new remastering of his early opus THE ALIEN DEAD... Patrick Bergin suffers more than monthly in DRACULA'S CURSE... jailhouse erotica meets ferocious feminism in the Japanese FEMALE CONVICT #701 SCORPION... the raucous misbehavior, '70s drive-in style, of THE GIRLS FROM THUNDER STRIP... the wholesome spooky shenanigans of I DOWNLOADED A GHOST... Andzrej Vajda's Polish cinema classics KANAL and ASHES AND DIAMONDS... Herschell Gordon Lewis taps into the "Laugh-In" craze with the very nude MISS NYMPHET'S ZAP-IN... Heather O'Rourke is back in POLTERGEIST II and POLTERGEIST III... and the first four adventures of Japan's famous blind samurai/masseur in ZATOICHI 1: THE TALE OF ZATOICHI, ZATOICHI 2: THE TALE OF ZATOICHI CONTINUES, ZATOICHI 3: NEW TALE OF ZATOICHI and ZATOICHI 4: THE FUGITIVE!

Joe Dante's Fleapit Flashbacks

Joe pops up a buttery assortment of titles worthy of VW's "Special Revenge Issue": Lewis Gilbert's overblown epic of Harold Robbins' trashy novel THE ADVENTURERS... Russ Meyer's cotton-pickin', bra-stuffin look at the Old South, BLACKSNAKE!... Sam Fuller's DEAD PIGEON ON BEETHOVEN STREET, scored by the great German rock group Can... LADY KUNG FU... the Brother Man goes to the Mother Land in SHAFT IN AFRICA... and Barbara Leigh signs up for showers and mistreatment on TERMINAL ISLAND!

DVDs (In-Depth Reviews)

Two different approaches to Patricia Highsmith's "Ripley" character in THE AMERICAN FRIEND and RIPLEY'S GAME... the first Argentinian vampire movie, BLOOD OF THE VIRGINS... an H. G. Clouzot double feature of art and suspense in LE CORBEAU and THE MYSTERY OF PICASSO... Takashi Miike's urban crime/science fiction DEAD OR ALIVE TRILOGY (DEAD OR ALIVE, DEAD OR ALIVE 2 and DEAD OR ALIVE FINAL)... believe it or not, a Tai Chi variation on DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE, produced by Francis Ford Coppola... it comes from the commode in GHOULIES and GHOULIES II... LET'S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH auteur John D. Hancock returns to suspense with SUSPENDED ANIMATION... Larry, Moe and Curly Joe introduce Martians to pie-fighting in THE THREE STOOGES IN ORBIT... Walt Disney's "Rondo Award"-winning live action fantasy masterwork 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA... and Seijun Suzuki's highly decorative yakuza dramas UNDERWORLD BEAUTY and KANTO WANDERER!



Rutger Hauer's brain is squirmin' like a toad in the deluxe British/German import, THE HITCHER... weird monsters arise from the ancient past in MORTUARY BLUES... and reality TV gets out of hand in MY LITTLE EYE!

Audio Watchdog

Douglas E. Winter reviews Vic Mizzy's THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN, Capitol's new domestic remaster of Ennio Morricone's THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY... and Tangerine Dream's BOOTLEG BOX SET and BOOTMOON SERIES releases!

And Much More!

Other contributors to this issue: Anthony Ambrogio, John Charles, Shane M. Dallmann, Charlie Largent, Tim Lucas, Kim Newman, Richard Harland Smith, Brett Taylor and Sam & Rebecca Umland.