Mirek Lipinski's Latarnia Fantastique International #1 launches a veritable month-long orgy of great genre magazines.
"Cinema is an adventure," Lipinski writes in his maiden editorial. "it can inspire and embolden, sweeten or spice the days and the nights."
Beautifully said, I say.
He concludes: "I'm not of the opinion that every magazine should be welcome, just those that provide something others do not. Hopefully you'll find in these pages something that you've not seen or read in other magazines, something worth your time, so that you can take the journey along with Latarnia Fantastique International -- now and into the future."
Lipinski sticks to his mantra with the first issue. It features a passionate piece about Harald Reinl's The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism -- "The start of a horror series that never was".
This piece is well researched and includes a fascinating sidebar of some gruesome special effects that were cut from the finished film.
Sensational poster art reproduced on the first issue's back cover
Ivan Cardoso's Werewolf in the Amazon, the obscure Paul Naschy flick, is also reviewed by Lipinski. Little seen outside limited festival venues, the film is favorably reviewed, although the writer suggests that it would have a tough time finding theatrical support. A half page still of Naschy in full werewolf make-up is included.
With a sensational Barbara Steele paining adorning the magazine's cover, one would expect a Steele appearance inside the magazine. Well, Steele does appear in a photo gallery taken from An Angel For Satan and The Maniacs.
Other items of immense interest in this issue include an English translation of Gustavo Adolfo Becquer's Spirit Mountain, the short story that inspired the Blind Dead movies; and a fascinating and lengthy interview with actor Andres Resino; posters from a number of Resino films such as La Mansion De La Niebla (aka Maniac Mansion, '72) are faithfully reproduced.
This is a beautiful publication, forged with love and passion. It reminds me of early issues of FRederick S. Clark's Cinefantastique, a magazine once dedicated to obscure and delicious cinematic treasures. The magazine also bears the lycanthropian marks of the French midi/minuit Fantastique -- not surprising, really, because midi/minuit was Clark's original inspiration.
I can't wait to see where Lipinski goes with this.
Richard Klemenson's Little Shoppe of Horrors -- "The Journal of Classic British Horror Films" -- has topped itself once again with this special issue devoted to the British masterpiece The Blood on Satan's Claw (aka Satan's Skin).
From the awesome cover art by Adrian Salmon to the numerous articles about the film and its makers, this is an issue you'd be a damn fool to miss.
A piece titled "The Godfather of British Exploitation" opens the book on genre producer Tony Tenser, the indefatigable producer of Satan's Claw, in addition to Repulsion, Beast in the Cellar, The Sorcerers, Doonwatch, The Creeping Flesh, Gutter Girls (love that title!), Witchfinder General, and As Nature Intended. It's an exhaustive look at this smart and courageous bloke, a producer of the likes of which I rarely encounter my film career.
Bruce G. Hallenbeck delivers 'Are You Afeard? The Making of The Blood on Satan's Claw', an exhaustive essay on every aspect imaginable of the film's production. Our favorite Satanic slut, Linda Hayden (and I mean that in the nicest way!), appears in original illustrations and stills throughout this issue. Her erotic contribution to the movie is discussed at length, as is her strange allure so many years later.
Jonathan Sothcott throws in with 'Remaking the Blood on Satan's Claw', a multi-part piece on aspects of the film's production not coveded in Hallenbeck's piece. Producer Malcolm Heyworth is interviewed by MJ Simpson, as is director Piers Haggard, screenwriter Robert Wynne-Simmons (a novice at the time), and supporting cast members Tamara Ustinov, Simone Williams, and Robin Davies.
As usual, the magazine's focus piece doesn't push other diamonds of genre journalism aside. In addition to a magic article on Terence Fisher, there is "Confessions of a Hammer Lifer" (by Andy MacDougall), and a John Hamilton piece on the late, great Milton Subotsky; this emerged from an interview he conducted with the late producer's daughter Fiona.
I cannot urge you strongly enough: For God's sake, get this issue...or die screaming you fucking hellspawn!!!