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

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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Next to horror movies I’m a big fan of movies about survival, about people lost in some kind of hostile environment, who must rely on their native cunning and whatever tools are handy in order to make it out alive. These two very different types of movies have a lot in common: both are about […]

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  … I’d like to play the Get Out of Blogging Free card today. There are no hard and fast rules about these things but I intend this to be single use, for my benefit, though I encourage my fellow bloggers to sock this away for a day that may not be rainy so much […]

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Video Watchdog, for whom I first wrote in 1997 and for whom I have been writing regularly since 1999, has entered its 25th year of publication. A quarter of a century! Editors/publishers Tim and Donna Lucas have done great things with the medium since that first issue, refining the paper stock, adding full color, attracting […]

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Up until a week ago I had no idea that Monogram cowboy actor “Wild Bill” Elliott (1904-1965) had capped his estimable career (some 70 pictures in 15 or 16 years) with a series of signature detective films, produced cheaply and quickly for Allied Artists to burn off his contract before retirement. Truth be told, I […]

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A couple of times a year, SHOCK CINEMA turns up at my front door, like an old undead fishin’ buddy who can’t stay buried, who grows restless and forlorn in his pinebox and claws himself up out of the peat every so often to shuffle on over to where I am and present himself to see […]

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I cannot in good faith review Phil Karlson’s HORNET’S NEST (1970) because I haven’t seen it in over 40 years. No, I don’t stand up here today to tender opinion, or to talk about how this particular film connects to Karlson’s larger body of work or how it represents yet another 45 degree diversion off of star […]

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 I’m working on a project these days that has me cataloging films released in the years between 1970 and 2000. On one level, it’s simple data entry… entering movie titles and pertinent production information (director, principal cast, production company, distributor, genre, rights holder) and good mindless employment; on another level it’s been an incredibly evocative […]

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I don’t get a lot of review discs these days — and that’s fine by me, as I’m more than a little over the whole reviewing thing — so I was not expecting to find this beauty in my mailbox last week… and yet I have to cop to feeling a little bit of a […]

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“At present, 20th Century Fox is sending me to drama school — the drama coach is Jeff Corey, the best here in Hollywood.” Bruce Lee to Fred Sato, April 9, 1966 At some point in my work this week I chanced upon a picture of Jeff Corey. Even just seeing the late actor’s face, flat […]

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