Saturday, November 25, 2017

Video Watchdog #66 - Spanish Horror Issue!

A recent upheaval in my living arrangements (I had a flood!) caused me to have to restructure my grand piles of stuff. Part of this required my repackaging sections of my collection including my near complete run of the mighty Video Watchdog magazine. The demise of that venerable periodical was the cause of much unhappiness for me (and many others) but this was the first time in years I had set down to take stock of the back issues for more than a specific bit of research for a podcast or commentary. So much information, so many interviews and so many well informed reviews! Damn, how I miss VW.

At one point, while placing the 'zines in numerical order, I spotted the cover of issue 66 from the year 2000 and was shocked by the image. That's El Hombre Lobo, Paul Naschy his own bad self glaring out at me. Or it's the other fella put in the werewolf makeup for FURY OF THE WOLFMAN (1972). Either way, it's a Naschy cover and beneath his picture is promised coverage LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE (1974) and other Spanish Horror films! How have I not dragged this issue out before? It's clearly perfect as a resource and reference when discussing Naschy and the Golden Age of Spanish Horror. What an oversight on my part.

So I read back through the magazine and was thrilled to find that Richard Harland Smith penned a long look at both cuts of FURY OF THE WOLFMAN, THE PEOPLE WHO OWN THE DARK (1975), THE VAMPIRES' NIGHT ORGY (1972) and CANNIBAL MAN (1971) while editor Tim Lucas contributed reviews of DR. JEKYLL AND THE WEREWOLF (1972), the aforementioned LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE and THE BLOOD SPATTERED BRIDE (1972). Shane M. Dallmann adds a fantastic look at three Naschy classics - CURSE OF THE DEVIL (1973), BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL (1973) and NIGHT OF THE HOWLING BEAST (1975) a.k.a. THE WEREWOLF & THE YETI. Dallmann examines alternate versions of the latter two films and really does an amazing job of digging into their history on video.


Even without all this Spanish Horror coverage the issue would be worth getting for the excellent interview with director Jorge Grau. He's the man responsible for the finest European zombie film ever (yeah, I said it) LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE a.k.a. THE LIVING DEAD AT MANCHESTER MORGUE (1974) as well as the Erezabet Bathroy tale THE LEGEND OF BLOOD CASTLE (1973). This lengthy, career spanning talk is wonderful for fans of the genre and paints Grau as a careful, smart filmmaker capable of true brilliance which is a position I agree with wholeheartedly.

Topping off this wealth of Spanish genre coverage is Tim Lucas' review of Paul Naschy's autobiography Memoirs of a Wolfman. Lucas praises the book as well worth seeking out but cautions readers that the book is very often a bitter look at his life and career. He describes it as 'an illuminating account of Naschy's self-expression through the fantastic cinema' and an 'intensive and compelling read'. I wonder if it was this review that pushed me to find and purchase Memoirs of a Wolfman? It's very possible this is one of the first steps down the road that lead to the Naschycast! Glad I found Video Watchdog #66 again. 

Print Edition of VW #66 LINK 

Digital Edition LINK 

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