On the next broadcast of “The Freak Power Ticket” (Monday, December 16th), producer/host Ted Coe greets editor Tim Lucas and publisher Donna Lucas of Video Watchdog magazine for a live hour-long interview/special (from 11am-12noon PST).
As their magazine, self-dubbed “The Perfectionist’s Guide to Fantastic Video,” approaches its 25th year, the duo are promoting a Kickstarter campaign to create a digital archive of 176 issues (with more to come), spanning over 14,000 pages, which would be accessible on all platforms and devices (CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO).
Launched in 1985 in Video Times magazine as the first consumer guide to home video releases, Tim Lucas’s original column “The Video Watchdog” has evolved into a striking, all-color, expertly-crafted publication which has won the acclaim of such directors as Martin Scorsese, Guillermo del Toro, Quentin Tarantino, John Landis, Ernest Dickerson, and Joe Dante (who also has contributed exclusive reprints of his own pre-directorial film criticism), plus critic Leonard Maltin.
“Fantastic Video” includes “horror, science fiction, mystery, film noir, animation, exploitation, sleaze, martial arts, and fantasy… even the most dreamlike examples of European and Asian art and action cinema.” Having published thousands of genre-film reviews, Video Watchdog (VW) is “serious without being humorless, academic or overly technical[, delving]… into matters of letterboxing, missing or restored footage, alternate versions, even how domestic releases compare with overseas editions” (videowatchdog.com).
Its “Kennel” of past writer-contributors includes Dante, horror novelist/critic Ramsey Campbell, author/critic/journalist Kim Newman, Stephen Bissette (Swamp Thing comics), film researcher and historian Tom Weaver, Mark Kermode (BBC interviewer and chief film critic for The Observer), horror-movie host Shane Dallmann, Brad Stevens (Sight & Sound magazine), and many more.
Surrealist writer-director Larry Blamire (creator of “retro camp comedy” films like The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra) will soon debut a new regular two-page Video Watchdog column, “Larry Blamire’s Star Turn,” focusing on one or more outstanding performances by an actor in vintage series television. Novelist and Steven King/Clive Barker biographer Doug E. Winter‘s long-running VW column “Audio Watchdog” reviews soundtrack releases, revealing a passion for music which has also been supplemented by articles from retro “Euro-Cult” film music expert John Bender (who has become a semi-regular contributor to this program) and Tim Lucas himself.
Monday’s conversation will explore: Tim and Donna Lucas’s impressive partnership; the development and emergence of Video Watchdog; and the future of print magazines in our digital age. The program will also touch on feature articles (and other publications) that discuss such cult-film directors as Jess Franco (Vampyros Lesbos), David Lynch (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me), and David Cronenberg (Videodrome); European “Pop-Art” cinema (“Continental Op”); The Monkees and the pioneering New Hollywood company BBS Productions; and a number of motion pictures, ranging from Blade Runner to The Exorcist to Metropolis to the classic horror films of Universal and Hammer studios.
Phone calls for Donna and Tim Lucas will also be encouraged during 1-2 segments of the program. Listeners can call (805) 893-2424 during the show’s music breaks.
Tim Lucas is also a blogger (Video Watchblog and the video diary Pause. Rewind. Obsess.), author, novelist, and screenwriter. After decades of preparation, his massive critical biography, Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark, was published in 2007 with a foreword by Scorsese (and was recently given a digital release). Lucas’s 1994 horror novel Throat Sprockets has received much praise, and he has also co-written The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes — about the making of Roger Corman’s psychedelic 1967 film The Trip — an in-development screenplay attached to director Joe Dante (Gremlins and The Howling). This is his second appearance on “The Freak Power Ticket.”
Video Watchdog magazine was itself conceived by Donna Lucas, formerly
a computer software specialist and instructor with a background in graphic design. Though Video Watchdog is most identified with Tim’s eye for alternative versions, missing scenes and other movie minutiae, Donna wears every corporate hat that he doesn’t. Every one of its … issues, two Signature Editions and two Special Editions, and … Mario Bava — All the Colors of the Dark has been designed, published and shipped by Donna out of their Cincinnati home. (www.videowatchdog.com)
“The Freak Power Ticket” airs on Mondays in the fall from 11am-12noon PST.