Richard Harland Smith
Richard Harland Smith I began writing about movies in 1997, when I contributed an article on the Technicolor and black-and-white versions of Michael Curtiz' DOCTOR X (1933) to issue 42 of Video Watchdog magazine. Joining the VW "Kennel" in 1999, I reviewed movies on VHS tape and DVD, as well as books, while branching out to contribute to such collections as NORTH AMERICAL FILM DIRECTORS: A WALLFLOWER CRITICAL GUIDE, BRITISH AND IRISH DIRECTORS: A WALLFLOWER CRITICAL GUIDE, THE BOOK OF LISTS: HORROR, "HEY, KIDS, COMICS!" TALES FROM THE SPINNER RACK, and VAMPIROS AND MONSTRUOS: THE MEXICAN HORROR FILM OF THE 20TH CENTURY. A founding moderator of the Mobius Home Video Forum, I also wrote liner notes, box copy, and supplemental material for such DVD companies as Anchor Bay Entertainment, Dark Sky Films, Synapse Films, Severin Films, and NoShame Films. In 2013, I recorded an audio commentary for the Kino-Lorber Blu-ray of THE DEVIL BAT.
Posts by Richard Harland Smith
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I’ve been grooving to the soundtrack to Arnold Laven’s THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD (1957) for about 24 hours now (there was some sleep jumbled up in there, but not a whole lot), which was released by Monstrous Movie Music back in 2011. (It should come as no surprise at this juncture that it […]

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I am taking five from talking about death in any form to talk about  one of our favorite things. Who doesn’t like good stuff?! (Answer: no one.) The contents of today’s Good Stuff! column will reflect some lovely things I have either gotten in the mail, free of charge (for being, I presume, awesome) or […]

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Another week, another obituary… only this time we’re here to bury a book (and, time permitting, praise it). Plume, the boutique imprint of Penguin Random House has announced that Leonard Maltin’s 2015 Movie Guide will be the last of the series, the end of the line for the movie-lover’s favorite doorstop. It’s a bittersweet moment, […]

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Do you ever finally reach a point of knowing? Or do you just wake up one day and say “I’m going”? – Cowboy Junkies, “Good Friday” If you begin reading about Hollywood and its stars at a tender age then at some point very early on you learn about suicide. I’m pretty sure my first […]

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Marilyn Burns gets top billing for THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974) and is the closest thing the movie has to a heroine but director Tobe Hooper seems for the film’s first forty to fifty minutes disinclined to do much with her — there are whole patches of the first reel where she is simply absent […]

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My early education in cinema involved the worship of a fair number of Hollywood makeup men: “Man of 1,000 Faces” Lon Chaney, Universal monster maker Jack P. Pierce, PLANET OF THE APES monkey mover John Chambers, the whole Westmore dynasty, Morlock manufacturer Bill Tuttle… and Dick Smith. Dick Smith was easy to follow, and remember – he […]

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The received wisdom is that the eyes are windows to the soul… but hands do the heavy lifting. My eyes tend to gravitate towards hands, both in real life and reel life. Hand shadows on the wall made for, if not the first form of public entertainment, one of the earliest forms of storytelling and […]

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To hear the 80s tell it, all one needed to survive the Apocalypse was a crossbow, shoulder pads, and a kickass attitude. (The stylish survivalist might accessorize as well with leather, a samurai sword, and a headband.) We have MAD MAX (1977) and its sequel, THE ROAD WARRIOR (1982), to blame for this, as their international success spawned a […]

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Add Media Picking up where we left off last week, one of the attractions to survival dramas is watching the protagonist or protagonists cobble together their survival kit from materials brought with them into the wild or found on site. It’s the improvisation, the ingenuity, and the persistence that makes for good drama. A movie […]

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