Thursday, December 20, 2007
The newest issue of VIDEO WATCHDOG is out now and it is a splendid one. Issue 135 is the first since the publication of Tim Lucas' MARIO BAVA biography ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK so it is a significant one.
The excellent Charlie Largent cover is probably one of the most terrifying in VW's history with its shot of the already legendary pale man from PAN'S LABYRINTH, and the back features a sweet photo of the beguiling Judi Bowker.
The issue is real winner with Tim's editorial, and the first few pages, focusing on the Bava book. A shot of Lamberto Bava and family holding the massive book is particularly touching.
Review wise there are several highlights. John Charles has a nice look at VACANCY and I am glad to see I'm not the only one who admired this little undervalued film. Sheldon Inkol has a long and excellent piece of the original BEDAZZLED which is very informative and entertaining. This was one of my favorite discs of the year so it is nice to see it treated so seriously. Kim Newman provides his usual number of well written reviews including a look at THE MONSTER SQUAD and and import of 1984. Tim himself is on hand to review several films including Jess Franco's WOMEN BEHIND BARS and a DARK SHADOWS DVD COLLECTION. Frankly all of the reviews this month were fascinating.
Douglas E. Winter's always great Audio Watchdog has a terrific portrait of the new Simon Boswell collection, along with some Morricone discs, and in Biblio Watchdog Kim Newman reminds me why I need to buy Stephen Thrower's NIGHTMARE USA as soon as possible.
Three items though make this issue particularly memorable. The long interview with Judi Bowker by Mark F Berry is very well done and beautifully written. I knew very little about this actress so this was an extremely interesting read.
I was also thrilled to see one of my favorite films of the decade finally getting some English language attention. While Tim Lucas doesn't value the final collaboration between Andrzej Zulawski and Sophie Marceau as much as I do, his thoughts on FIDELITY were extremely nice to read. I am really pleased that VW chose to cover it in their import section.
The real jewel of the issue though is Tim's take on PAN'S LABRINTH. Tim's six page look at the film is one of the best things I have read on Del Toro's masterful film, and it will definitely be an article I return to the next time I revisit this special work. I am also glad Tim took the time to salute actress Maribel Verdu for her work as not many critics bothered to. Verdu has now managed to give two of my favorite performances of the decade, in this film and Alfonso Cuaron's incredible Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN.
Video Watchdog 135 is currently available and is highly recommended.