The Perfectionist's Guide to Fantastic Video


Tim Lucas launched "The Video Watchdog" in October 1985, when it became the first consumer guide to home video releases in the pages of VIDEO TIMES magazine. Tim's popular column later continued as a shot-on-video featurette appearing in Michael Nesmith's 1987 video-magazine-on-videotape OVERVIEW and, in print, in the pages of the FANGORIA spin-off, GOREZONE—where it came into its own by narrowing (and sharpening) its focus to horror, fantasy and cult cinema!

In June 1990, Tim's column was reborn as its own magazine, subtitled "The Perfectionist's Guide to Fantastic Video." It became an immediate hit with the most ardent and obsessive collectors of video arcana. In 2016 Video Watchdog ceased publication due to decreased newsstand support. Although no longer publishing new issues, VIDEO WATCHDOG still continues to sell back issues and the entire run digitally. (Currently all subscribers are being notified of next steps.)

Video Watchdog's Feature articles cover a wide variety of subjects—everyone from Jess Franco to Jack Hill to Andy Milligan to Krzysztof Kieslowski, movies from BLADE RUNNER to TWIN PEAKS FIRE WALK WITH ME to METROPOLIS and the classic horror films of Universal and Hammer. We've also published ground-breaking interviews with Vincent Price, Oliver Stone, Roger Corman, Barbara Steele, David Cronenberg, Clive Barker, SON OF FRANKENSTEIN's Donnie Dunagan, Ann Carter, Curtis Harrington, Donald Cammell, John Brahm, Jess Franco, Reggie Nalder, Udo Kier, makeup maestro Dick Smith, TOMB OF LIGEIA's Elizabeth Shepard, Mimsy Farmer, Gordon Hessler, Antonio Margheriti, Jean Rollin, Gordon Mitchell, Pupi Avati, Richard Kiel, Ernesto Gastaldi, Quentin Tarantino and the queen of European character actresses, Harriet White Medin.

But it is for film criticism that VIDEO WATCHDOG is most acclaimed. In 27 years of publishing, it has amassed a larger collection of informed thought pertaining to genre filmmaking than any published to date in book form—literally thousands of reviews! Often imitated but never surpassed, VIDEO WATCHDOG's reviews are serious without being humorless, academic or overly technical. They delve into matters of letterboxing, missing or restored footage, alternate versions, even how domestic releases compare with overseas editions! And the WATCHDOG's Kennel of contributors consists of only the very best writers and historians working in the field of fantastic film research and criticism, including John Bender, Stephen R. Bissette, Michael F. Blake, John Charles, Max Alan Collins, Bill Cooke, Shane M. Dallmann, David Del Valle, Darren Gross, Sheldon Inkol, Paul M. Jensen, Alan Jones, David Kalat, Bill Kelley, Mark Kermode, Tim Lucas, Gregory William Mank, Maitland McDonagh, Kim Newman, Gary Don Rhodes, David J. Schow, Richard Harland Smith, Brad Stevens, Nathaniel Thompson, Rebecca & Sam Umland, Bill Warren, Tom Weaver, John-Paul Checkett, and Bret Wood.

VIDEO WATCHDOG is also renowned for its celebrity guest columnists. Douglas E. Winter's "Audio Watchdog" has been reviewing new CD soundtrack releases since issue number 22. In issues 83 through 127, we were the exclusive source for "Joe Dante's Fleapit Flashbacks," the collected FILM BULLETIN criticism of the future director of GREMLINS, THE HOWLING and LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION, written between 1969 and 1974. VIDEO WATCHDOG is currently hosting "Ramsey's Rambles," film-related essays by acclaimed horror novelist Ramsey Campbell.

The Letterbox correspondence is often as fascinating as the articles and reviews published. Who else can boast of receiving mail from the likes of Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Joe Dante, Quentin Tarantino, Gordon Hessler, Jeff Lieberman, producer Richard Gordon, and so many other genre luminaries?

Since the founding of the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Film Awards in 2003, VIDEO WATCHDOG has been chosen as Best Magazine by the voters for 5 consecutive years. In 2017 VIDEO WATCHDOG was the recipient of the first Rondo Legacy Award for its 27 years of achievement.

A world of wonders awaits you in VIDEO WATCHDOG!

—Tim & Donna Lucas