Digital Edition on the iPad

Digital Edition on the iPad

Monday, June 15, 2015

Video Watchdog is 25 - Let's Celebrate!

On this day, 25 years ago, Video Watchdog was born!

Video Watchdog #1 came back from the printer after weeks of anticipation. We only received a rush order of about 50 copies, but it was thrilling! We became publishers! We had the bug. Our incredible 25-year publishing journey began that day.

There is nothing more satisfying to a writer than seeing one's work in print. Holding the issue, feeling the paper, smelling the ink. I love that Tim has an outlet for his writing, a voice in the world, and I can help play a part in that. It's a dream come true.

Eventually we had to get down off our cloud and face reality. We had over 300 subscribers and a long list of bookstores waiting for copies. Our printer sent out the bookstore copies and delivered the rest to us. 1800 issues out of a print run of 5,000 were in our foyer, all on the wrong paper, some with strange cuts, weird folds. Delivered late. I recorded more details here in my diary, but I think you get the picture. Depression set in. Still, it was our first issue and we were proud of it, even though we had a lot to learn.

Now, 25 years later, here we are in print and digital formats, and it's exciting all over again! We want to celebrate with you, so here's what's up.

  • 25% Off Everything! Use coupon code 25YEARS at checkout
  • Preview the whole Digital Archive for Free! Limited time! Login with digitaldog / treats
  • Win a signed, numbered, original copy of Video Watchdog #1 by leaving a comment below

25% Off Everything!

Yes, everything! Visit the website and go wild. Use coupon code 25YEARS at the checkout screen and see your savings. Good until July 15. 

The Digital Archive - Unlocked until June 30

Login: digitaldog   Password: treats

We've unlocked the entire 176 issue Digital Archive - issues 1-174 plus the two Special Editions for your perusal until the end of June. Now is the time to read those issues you are missing, or see the extra videos we've added to make the experience more personalized.

View it on your PC, or download the Video Watchdog App from the App Store on your tablet or phone and login with the above credentials.

Win Video Watchdog #1 - signed & numbered - and the Digital Version

We still have some of those original 50 copies of Video Watchdog #1 that we received 25 years ago. You can win one! And its digital version too. How? 

Just leave a comment at the end of this post and we'll announce a lucky winner in July. Perhaps tell us what you think about the Digital Archive or post a favorite memory of when you saw Video Watchdog for the first time. We'd love to hear from you!

Thanks for your love and support for these past 25 years. It truly means the world to us.  

Now let's all party like it's 1990!


  1. I remember VW from the first day. Such a great magazine and, I might add, the only one I ever subscribed to. Here's to 25 more years!

  2. Congratulations, Donna! I love Video Watchdog and am thrilled for your success. Thank you and Tim for all your hard work and generosity.

  3. Congratulations to you (but really to us all)! I've been reading VW for a long time, and hope to continue for many more years to come. It's really a wonderful magazine, and gets more wonderful as it goes along. Thank you so much for it.

  4. Let us get this clear from the offset. I’m not posting for the prize. I have an issue one, cardboard cover and all, and I have Tim’s signature on the Bava book.
    No, I’m writing so you guys know what Video Watchdog means to me. No other reason. You guys should know.

    I bought my first issue of Video Watchdog, issue 1, in a central London comic shop. I think it may have been The Cinema Store (which is not a comic shop, but hey, stay with me) or it may have been somewhere else. I have to admit the cover did not grab me but I was a ‘horror hound’, into Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street etc…, and the promise of what was inside was enough for me to part with my cash.

    The first issue was not wholly to my liking, not at first. But I realised the love of cinema, and more importantly, weird cinema and it grabbed me. The second issue, the Twin Peaks issue, saw me over the edge. So much so that I photocopied the Twin peaks pages for my co-workers who were enjoying the series, but not understanding it fully, at the time. After that I was hooked.

    Getting Video Watchdog in the United Kingdom was not easy. It generally involved me getting on the tube (Underground, Metro, whatever you want to call it) and travelling to several shops to try and pick up the latest issue. This would often take up my entire lunch break, often without success. This was before the days of the internet.

    As time passed by it was easier. I ordered a batch of binders for my growing collection as VHS and Laserdisc passed into DVD. My collection grew and I subscribed. I had a letter printed in the 100th issue and then disaster struck. I was made redundant. Finding the £8, even if every other month, was a struggle, but somehow I managed it (thanks mainly to my Wife). I managed to find the cash to contribute to The Bava Book and waited patiently for that.

    A few years later that book arrived (but not before I had received a lovely bookmark signed by Tim) and it was the pinnacle of my cinema bookshelf. My name last listed in the back as one of the patrons and let me tell you I was just as proud as Tim and Donna themselves.

    Times were bad, and money was short but I always found a way to pay for the new copy of Video Watchdog. I may have been months late but I ensured I always got every issue.

    In Decemeber I volunteered to be a tester for the new Digital Watchdog. It was hard work, much harder than I anticipated, but truly worth while. To see the Digital addition take shape, knowing I had played a minor part, was something I am proud of.

    Recently I managed to catch up, thanks to the lull in publishing, and I now have every single issue, special, and book that Tim and Donna have put out. I now write for a well known ‘DVD Compare’ site. My dream is to one day write for Video Watchdog but I know, for a fact, that the standard is far beyond me. And that’s fine. I love reading VW whenever it comes out. I have grown from a young man of 22 into a man, a Dad, a Husband since I read those first issues and Tim and Donna have taught me so much.

    I just want to say, “Happy Anniversay” guys! Thank you and your team so much for the knowledge you have imparted over the years. May it long continue. I feel like I know you personally and I only want the best for you.

    May your paw prints on the world of cinema stand forever.

    All my love and best wishes

    Matt Crossman

    1. I have tears in my eyes, Matt. Thank you for such a wonderful tribute. Your Digital Archive testing was a huge help to us and I am integrating the improvements bit by bit. Your paw prints are all over our hearts.

  5. Video Watchdog has been a great resource and valuable magazine for us cinephiles to movies we would not usually get info on. Thank you Tim and Donna for all the hard work you do and producing a quality magazine throughout the years.

  6. Donna I love this picture of you sitting in the control tower at VW HQ - to borrow a lame MTVism, this is where the magic happens ! I'm a recent convert to the tablet and I am hugely impressed with the Digital Watchdog - the beautiful, elegant design of the print Watchdog is perfectly translated to the tablet - I'm reading on an ipad mini and it looks spectacular, and the extra multi-media features are perfectly integrated into the content - it's truly an all-singing, all barking immersive Video Watchdog experience. Highly recommended for anyone looking to build an instant collection or to have the magazine on the move with them... Meantime, to add to the other fine comments above, congratulations to you and Tim on 25 years of brilliant dispatches from the sometimes turbulent waters of Home Cinema, guiding wanderers to safe harbors, whilst keeping the industry on their toes. I'm thinking of the pioneering articles on Jess Franco, Mario Bava and other luminaries of European Cinema, establishing serious scholarship of film makers that would be otherwise be shunned and disregarded by mainstream publications. So, a big wagging tail from this reader, and I'm delighted to be able to celebrate 25 dog years (which Google tells me is 113 in human years!).

    1. The Control Tower at VW HQ - love that Wes!

      Thank you so much for your impressions of the Digital Archive on the iPad Mini. I'm glad it's every bit as spectacular for you as we hoped it would be!

      Tim and I both appreciate your evaluation of the magazine. Home Cinema has come a long way, and we'll do our best to keep up with it!

  7. Somehow my "smart" phone lost the post I just made, so instead of retyping whole thing I will switch gears and just say why I'd love to win this issue when I already own the complete archive:

    Because Jess Franco.

  8. I was a young, german horrormovie fan, and my favorite mag was GOREZONE. It had a critical voice I connected immediately with : Tim Lucas. I was ecstatic when I learned he was going to publish his voice regularily in his own magazine VIDEO WATCHDOG. I moved heaven & hell to get my fingers on it and have bought and read and read and read every issue since then - it never got boring, it never became stale, it is THE best and bestinformed movie magazine for 25 years now. Thank you, Tim & Donna!

  9. Congratulations on your milestone! VIDEO WATCHDOG is consistently interesting and informative with a personal touch not found elsewhere.

    I was incredibly fortunate to win of a copy of MARIO BAVA: ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK autographed by Tim and Donna!
    Due to my previous luck, feel free to take me out of the running for
    the current prize.

    I just want to thank Tim and Donna for making your readers feel that they're a part of the VW family!

  10. MY first issue was #11 and I devoured every issue from then on up until #50, at which point a change in employment dictated a number of changes. Long story short I was away until #110, at which point I started to fill in the gaps. I was within 10 issues or so of having a complete set when the Digital Archive came about so that's how I completed the set. I've read and re-read my VW issues more than anything else I've ever owned. Truly, thanks for the last 25 years.

  11. Thanks, Donna & Tim! Not only for undertaking this truly massive effort, but also for the free preview period. Everyone should take advantage of it!

    I am having so much fun going through the back issues in the digital archive. The dynamic search feature is a dream come true for zeroing right in on the issues containing articles and reviews about my favorite films and filmmakers. And the embedded video clips are like happening upon an easter egg!

    A special shout out to Donna for the way she has integrated the video clips into the overall design. Of course, you can watch each clip fullscreen, but I also love looking at them in full-page view. In this view, the clip fills the frame of the photo its replacing and plays out in position among the text. Literally, it is the magazine come to life. Magical!

  12. Time to celebrate! And to do this propper, I´ve finally subscribed VW from you directly. It was about time... ;-)

    Thank you both so much for all those countless hours that I ´ve spent wandering through the pages of VW! On to another 179 issues, please!

    1. We're on it Ralf! Thanks so much for subscribing. Now go explore the Digital side and tell us what you think!

  13. Congratulations on 25 years of sterling work!

  14. Unlike many of those posting here, I discovered Video Watchdog relatively recently. About three years ago, I purchased the complete series DVD set of the original Dark Shadows TV show, and my wife and I have enjoyed watching this show from the beginning and reliving those afternoons in front of the TV of our youth! At the same time, I did some online research on Dark Shadows, which led me to VW-169, with the fantastic round-table discussion about Dark Shadows and Jonathan Frid in particular. I ordered this issue of VW from you, and once I started reading it, I was hooked.

    As a fan of horror and fantasy movies and TV shows, I love reading VW where I can get details and background information I can't find anywhere else. As a contributor to your Indiegogo campaign, I have digital access to the full VW library, and I have spent countless hours poring over the back issues and immersing myself in the embedded videos -- which are pure genius! I recently purchased the digital version of Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark, and I can't wait to dive into that epic book when I have a few free hours!

    In short, Tim and Donna, it's clear that VW is a labor of love for you and this videophile loves it! Congratulations on 25 years of VW, and here's to 25 more!!

    Tim Little

  15. Watchdog, Watchdog
    where do you bark?
    “in Nightmare, Jurassic or Punishment Park”

    Watchdog, Watchdog
    why do you bite?
    “the ratio’s wrong, thus the framing is tight”

    Watchdog, Watchdog
    what do you browse?
    “all between David and Juliet Prowse”

    Watchdog, Watchdog
    how do you feel?
    “Since inserting O’Blivion’s tape…all TOO real”

    Watchdog, Watchdog
    when will it end?
    “the image is limitless, beautiful friend"


    In 1993 I attended what I understand was the first retrospective of Mario Bava films in the US, at San Francisco’s Roxie Theatre.  Between films I went to the concession stand, where I spied VW #5, with Karloff on the cover for “The Haunted Worlds of Mario Bava”.  I had chanced upon a couple of previous issues of VW prior to this, and a quick look at this one let me know immediately it was something I needed to have.

    As I was paying I was dimly aware of a man near the counter who, for whatever reason, seemed happy about my purchase.  I gave him a quick smile in return before returning to the Stygian depths of the the theatre for another feature. 

    It was unusual that the meaningless, almost-interaction stayed in my consciousness, but it did. And It was not until some years later—after learning more about the magazine and those behind it—that I suddenly thought, out of the blue, “I’ll bet that was Tim Lucas”.  It would explain the way that that man had appeared to me, that day—because he’d looked like a proud papa.

    Happy Father’s Day!  And Happy Mother’s Day!  And here’s hoping for more wonderful offspring.

  16. The happiest of anniversaries I have read your publication for many years and was so jazzed when I read about it going digital. At 60 years my eyes just aren't what they used to be. It's wonderful to be able to increase the text, not to mention the digital goodies in each issue. Thank you for introducing me and my family to many films we had never heard of prior to reading about them Here's to 25 more years together. Keith.

  17. So who has won the coverted prize? We await with eager antici.......pation!

  18. Sorry for the long radio silence... I got swallowed into releasing issue 179 digitally, and am now catching my breath.

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments about our 25th Anniversary Issue!

    The winner of the signed and numbered Issue #1 in all it's cardboard glory is...

    Karl - Congratulations!!!

    Thank you all for participating in the draw. It's so gratifying to read all your heartfelt stories and good wishes!

    Thank you!

  19. This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post!