Friday, January 22, 2010

Demonique

This mag, published by Fantaco Enterprises Inc, was not terribly well printed, but the content was great.

Now and then, I stumble across magazines that feel like I was consulted on the content. The sensibility is uncomfortably close to my own. This '83 issue ticked every box for me.

Excellent contents page. Superb layout.

Some art from the underrated, obscure shocker Blood and Lace ('71), and a very fine ad mat for Mansion of the Doomed ('76), an American Eyes Without A Face.
This "Obscurity of Humane Horror" article, which is a rebuff to comedienne/actress Carol Burnett's comment that horror films "Have no regard for human life or sensibility" crystallizes the thinking behind the magazine's editorial choices, and what excellent choices they are.

"There are horror films out there other than Friday the 13th, Rosemary's Baby, and Scanners," writes editor Barry Kaufman, "and it's only here that you'll read about many of them."

True to his word, Kaufman includes a review of House Out Frontiers (someone chopped the 'With' off), which, in fact, is House Without Frontiers (La Casa Sin Fronteras), a rare, obscure film from director Pedro Olea. I have wanted to see this film for years, having once seen Olea's quite amazing The Ancines Woods (El Bosque Del Lobo, '71)...

...a thoroughly amazing "werewolf" pic, based on a true story, set in the 19th century, that may have inspired Christopher Gans' Brotherhood of the Wolf.

English translation is 'The Forest of the Wolf'.

A Spanish DVD is available.

Prolific filmmaker Donald Farmer contributes an intelligent article on Salo, a film I admire for its audaciousness, but always find a little bit boring. I like individual pieces (the graphic pieces!), but the rest I have a hard time trudging through.

Blood and Lace review. Nobody's ever been able to figure out how the film earned such a mild rating (the equivalent of a PG).

Lemora - A Child's Tale of the Supernatural ('74) is one of my favorite films of all time. In his article, Kaufman argues that its blunt anti-Catholicism may have been one of the reasons why the film failed to connect with audiences at the time of its release. I'm not so sure I agree.

Do devout Catholics flock to see such films? Is an anti-Catholicism stance (in a horror film) potentially hurtful to a film's chances?

My feeling is Lemora didn't connect because it's such an unconventional horror film. Its languid, dream-like pacing, simmering eroticism, not--exactly-overt lesbianism, and refreshing climax, in which Evil wins, may not have satisfied the viewers expecting a neat little shocker with a neat, conservative conclusion. Who's to say? Moreso, the film just wasn't well distributed and advertised, so didn't stand a chance of catching on.

I totally adore it, and find it to be one of the most subversive mixtures of horror and sexuality ever committed to the screen.

This great still from Andy Milligan's Bloodythirsty Butchers adorns the back cover; unfortunately, the movie did not live up to the promise of its promotional imagery.

It was sad to see the demise of Demonique. Fortunately, it still lives on paper and inside the scans above.

RIP.

5 comments:

  1. I'd love to see the rest of that Salo article. What is there seemed to be a very objective look at such a controversial film.

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  2. Well today you have sorta lucked out. I have Casa Sin Fronteras but it's in Spanish. Of course you're welcome to a copy next time I put together some care packages.

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  3. I have this same issue of Demonique in storage somewhere. I bought it at Fantaco's store in Albany, NY back in the late 80s. Fantaco also published Deep Red magazine which I also have fond memories of, but Demonique had much better writing. I've re-read it many times, and I kind of think of it more like a book than a magazine. This was the only issue I ever saw.

    Great blog by the way. I just discovered it today.

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  4. Matt -- I have several issues, but I could never find many.

    Interesting that Fantaco also publisher DEEP RED. I liked Chaz's mag, but I appreciated the depth of DEMONIQUE more.

    It was a wonderful era for genre mags. Remember BIZARRE?

    I'll blog about it soon.

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  5. d -- I did luck out. Please save it for the next rainy day.

    ***

    Darius -- yes, an excellent SALO article. The mag was full of treasures.

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