Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Best Are Still to Come

It's been quiet here of late, but rest assured I've been busily blogging -- it's just that the end results aren't ready for posting yet. I'm using my spare time these days, of which there's little, to organize Video WatchBlog's year-end lists of VW's Favorite DVDs of 2007, which I'll begin posting next week.

I already have some guest lists in hand -- from associate editor John Charles and contributors Richard Harland Smith and David Kalat, and others should be forthcoming -- and I'm finalizing a few lists of my own. I think the fairest way to approach my own lists is to organize them into at least three groupings: Stand Alone Titles, Box Sets, and a separate list of Notable Restorations. These will be mostly domestic releases but there will also be some Imports mixed in. If HD/Blu-ray releases ever get up to what I consider speed (and they did make an advance this year, particularly with the Kubrick Collection and Anchor Bay's recent rash of horror titles), I'll have to start herding them into an exclusive list as well. Naturally, all of my lists are predicated on what might be termed "natural selection," because there's a vast number of discs there simply wasn't time or the ready desire to see. So bias is not only built into the list, but into the nomination process -- I can only write about the best of what I wanted to see in the first place... hence, "Favorite DVDs of 2007," because none of us can promise that our choices are any better than the releases we didn't see.

Monday, December 03, 2007

VW 136 Nearly There

It's been a long week and an even longer weekend here at Chez Watchdog as we've scrambled to finish VIDEO WATCHDOG #136, our special GRINDHOUSE issue, on schedule. John Charles had to proofread this issue before it was illustrated and, as you can see on our website's Coming Soon page, we have the cover (oh mama) and a partial list of contents up now, but the preview pages aren't quite ready to be previewed yet. But does that matter when Charlie Largent presents us with a cover image this striking, this sensuous, this three-dimensional, this rip-roaring? Go ahead: click on it, make it bigger.

Pardon my paternal pride, but this has turned out to be another killer issue. Knowing that our GRINDHOUSE Round Table Discussion was going to be the core of #136, I thought it might be a good idea to complement it as well as possible by using reviews only of those movies that actually played in grindhouses, or which I could easily imagine playing in such places. There are a couple of exceptions, like Ramsey Campbell writing about KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE but, on the whole, it's very consistent -- 80 pages of fun, feverish, high-falutin' talk and thought about international trash cinema, every page dense with color images and maniacal, movie-addicted information.

And it's coming your way in January.