3 Vulgar Videos From Hell

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Details At A Glance

Category Noise Menu Animation
Year Released 1991,1993,1997,1992
Running Time 244:54 minutes
RSDL/Flipper Dual Layer
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,3,4,5,6 Director Paul Rachman
Wayne Isham
Warner Vision
Warner Vision Australia
Starring Pantera 
Case Super Jewel
RPI $39.95 Music not here

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio No
16x9 Enhancement No
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.37:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking Yes, mostly illegal substances
Subtitles None Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    Okay, just to get this out in the open before you go any further: I have seen some over-rated jerks in my time but Pantera would have to rank as one of the worst bands I have ever had the misfortune to see and hear. Indeed, even by the pathetically low standards of the heavy rock sub-genre, Pantera are a bunch of woefully untalented jerks. Just about every cliché you can think of in heavy rock is on display here in abundance: lousy guitar solos with no point nor purpose, lousy drumming, terrible song writing, single poor riffs endlessly repeated, excessive alcohol and/or drugs, women seemingly obsessed with displaying their chests to a bunch of strangers, it is all here. This is the sort of dross that really gives rock and roll, and especially heavy rock, an abysmal name. Of course, no matter what I might say here, every Pantera fan on Earth will violently disagree with me and proclaim this the greatest musical masterpiece ever committed to video. They are entitled to that opinion.

    And so why exactly am I attempting to review this monument to A-grade rubbish? Well, the short answer is that this was sitting around gathering dust for months waiting to be reviewed, and there has in general been a rush of reviewers away from the title over that time. In the end, someone has to do it and so in a fit of madness I volunteered - a decision that I regretted wholeheartedly within about three seconds of firing the first video up. Indeed, if this review ever gets finished by me, it will be a miracle as I tried to beg out of doing it after suffering through the first 40 minute video. But, masochistic perseverance, along with sufficient help from my mate Jack to dull the pain and the complete lack of anyone else stupid enough to volunteer, ensures that eventually completion is at hand. Started 12th November, 2000, finished 20th January, 2001. That probably is an all time record for the time taken to complete the viewing and reviewing of one DVD. It also tells you more than you need to know about whether this DVD is of the remotest interest to you. Tip: it isn't unless you are under the influence of alcoholic beverages or illegal substances - and preferably both.

    Since there are those people who hold different views to me over this pathetic excuse for a rock band, and thus actually like this trash, the details of the offerings (at least according to the packaging) here are:

Cowboys From Hell: The Videos   Vulgar Video  
1. Cowboys From Hell   1. Mouth For War  
2. Psycho Holiday   2. This Love  
3. Cemetery Gate   3. Walk  
4. Heresy (Live)   4. Domination (Live)  
5. Art Of Shredding (Live)   5. Primal Concrete Sledge  
Pantera 3: Watch It Go        
1. Planet Caravan        
2. I'm Broken        
3. 5 Minutes Alone        
4. Drag The Waters        

    The less said about this collection of putrid songs, the better in my view. Suffice it to say, you would really need to be a seriously die-hard fan of the band to want to indulge in this rubbish, so unless you are, give this the widest possible berth that you can. Still, apart from a rather unusual choice as far as audio goes, and allowing for the shocking state of some of the source material, the DVD itself is not too bad at all. A classic case of the quality of the material being nowhere near the quality of the transfer it has been given.

Transfer Quality


    It is very important to understand that this collection comes from a wide range of video sources - and it shows. Given the wide variance in the quality of the source material, obviously the DVD can only present that material as well as possible. It certainly cannot improve the inherent quality of the source material. Why do I mention this, since it is rather obvious? Because some of the source material here is positively shocking for such relatively recent material.

    The transfer is presented in a Full Frame format, and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

    You can forget the usual notions of sharpness and detail here. There really is simply not much of it on offer. At times, the videos descend into very diffuse images, with so little real detail on offer most of the time as to almost prompt me to suggest that there is none. Whilst it is not that bad, you would be hard-pressed at times to find anything really positive to say about the detail on offer. Shadow detail is uniformly mediocre at best. The overall transfer seems to be clear and free of grain, even if the source material is anything but. There does not appear to be any low level noise problems with the transfer. Basically, take the average quality of home video tapes and you have a rough idea of what to expect here mostly, at least for the best bits (best not referring to the actual content, which is uniformly manure). The only time that the video transfer approaches anything close to respectability is during the "proper" film clips. Unfortunately to get to those "proper" film clips you have to endure a lot of manure.

    The colours here are pretty much all over the place too. The more controlled environment in which some of the bridging interviews are done is generally quite decent in tone, although not especially vibrant. The videos themselves are pretty ropey as far as colours go and there is a general tendency towards a lack of tonal depth here, excluding the generally good "proper" film clips. That being said, there certainly is the odd instance where oversaturation comes to notice. However, this is usually the result of some rather extreme stage lighting, which also has the effect of washing out colours at times. Some of the source material does suffer from colour bleed, but this is a source problem and not a DVD transfer problem.

    There are no significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There are also no really significant film-to-video artefacts in the transfer, although Vulgar Video and Pantera 3: Watch It Go are blessed with some aliasing problems as well as some cross colouration issues. There are no great problems with film artefacts in the transfer. You may notice a slight break up of the lower portion of the picture at 4:10 during the first video, Cowboys From Hell: The Videos, but this appears to be a source material problem and not a transfer problem.

    Since I did not notice any layer change during the presentation, although I may have been asleep at the time, I am presuming that this is a Dual Layer formatted disc with the the first two videos mastered on one layer and the rest mastered on the second layer.

    You should also note that there is no chaptering on any of the videos, so you have little option but to use the fast forward button to avoid the extended sections of utter dross to get the the relatively minor sections of the DVD that do actually have some noise in them (sorry, I cannot possibly use the term music here).

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-to-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    We now get to what to me is a most unusual choice as far as the audio transfer is concerned. There is just the one soundtrack on this DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 2.0 effort. It seems a rather unusual choice to present this sort of programme with the positively wimpish sound of a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. This so desperately needs a full Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack that it is not funny. As it is presented, this is so underwhelming that it really is going to disappoint even die-hard fans I would suspect. Not even turning the volume way up is going to overcome the basic wimpish nature of the soundtrack.

    Overall, there is not much of a problem with the vocals and dialogue here, but again it has to be borne in mind that at best this is nothing more than a mediocre home video tape. Audio sync does not appear to be an issue in the transfer.

    After the shock of this being an exceedingly wimpish sounding audio transfer, which really does not do the presentation any favours whatsoever, there is little to say about it. Despite the noise crying out for surround and bass channel enhancement, there is unfortunately nothing here of that nature. The sound is at least relatively free of distortion, but is not exactly a spacious sounding transfer - which again does not aid the noise. I am presuming that this is a reflection of problems with the source material, as opposed to transfer problems. Overall, a decent enough soundtrack but totally out of character with what this noise requires.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    An almost non-existent extras package unless you count some rolling information for web sites and the like as extras. I suppose that after having the "bonus footage" from Moscow, and allowing for the extended length of the transfers themselves, there was little room left for any substantial extras.


    Pretty ordinary looking stuff, with some really mundane animation.

Monsters Of Rock In Moscow

    Presented in mainly black and white, the actual technical quality is much better than the rest of the programmes on this DVD. The noise is not. Presented in the same way as the main videos, it is hard to know whether to call this an extra or call the DVD 4 Vulgar Videos From Hell.

R4 vs R1

    As near as I can ascertain, there is no substantial difference between the Region 1 release and the Region 4 release. Whilst I would strongly suggest that you buy neither, I reluctantly admit that if you really must have the DVD, the Region 4 release would be the way to go.


    A complete waste of time as far as I am concerned, with at best generally mediocre source material given as good a transfer as it would allow: indeed, technically speaking there is little to complain about. No extras to really speak of, which rounds out an amazingly undesirable package. Of interest is the fact that the DVD starts with an FBI warning, as we are so used to on Region 1 DVDs, the first time I have seen such an animal on a non-Region 1 coded DVD. It does ponder the question as to why this would be present? Given the difficulty I have had in getting to the end of the DVD, I can guarantee you that there is nothing on earth that would get me to watch this DVD ever again, short of being paid a significant sum of money to do so. I really want these wasted hours of my life back. Personally, I would get more kicks out of watching someone use a jackhammer for four hours.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
Started 12th November, 2000 finished 20th January 2001

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL