Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Magic Month of Mags

The genre magazine business is healthy -- at least in terms of output (I don't know the rumpus on profits).

This month sees the release of the 170th (!) edition of Tim and Donna Lucas's Video Watchdog, the true successor to the French Midi-Minuit and the first decade or so of the late Frederick S. Clarke's Cinefantastique.

This issue features an extensive Lucas interview with the delicious screen siren Dalia (The Whip and the Body, Two Weeks in Another Town, The Silencers) Lavi. Also inside, and waiting to bust out, is a great piece on Almodovar's audacious The Skin I Live In by Lianne Spiderbaby. Ms. Spiderbaby explores the challenges women encounter in a man's world...a man's world seen through Mr. Almodovar's eyes, to be exact.

Nathaniel Thompson's review of the German Blu-Ray of Argento's Four Flies on Grey Velvet heaps praise on this edition's color palette and silky blacks.  Clearly an essential buy. Also reviewed are Lewis Gilbert's Paradise Lagoon, The Stranger Within (from Warner Archive) and The Boogens, the new Blu-Ray from Olive Films. The last time I saw that film, I was unsticking my foot from a floor in Detroit's 'Northgate Theater'. 

If all that wasn't enough for me, I was delighted to read Douglas Winter's 'Audio Watchdog' column on Jerry Goldsmith. The column marks the eighth anniversary of the composer's death, and the release of  the fantastic and definitive CD of his Star Trek - The Motion Picture score. Hard to believe, but there are sixty-five cues on this sucker, by crikey! 

As always, a brilliant issue that demonstrates the relevance of a serious genre magazine in an internet-dominated culture.

I never thought I'd be holding in my hand an entire magazine dedicated to the Dr. Phibes films and associated phenomena.  But Richard Klemensen's twenty-ninth issue of 'Little Shoppe of Horrors' is exactly that. 

It's an exhaustive look at Phibes from every conceivable angle production-wise; there are also pieces on 'The Unphilmed Phibes'(sic), Phibes in print, and Phibes on stage and on CD.

Coming up the rear is also a remembrance of Frank Darabont's first time (with Phibes, that is), and director Tim Burton pipes in with an affectionate piece on meeting Mr. Price.

Fanaticism then reaches a new peak with David Taylor's account of his hunt for Phibes' Rolls Royce(!). 

Justin Marriott's poem to pulpy paperback goodness hits new highs with its twenty-third issue. 

There is a terrific gallery of old Bradbury covers, a remembrance of the late Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes, a fascinating piece on 'Digit', the post-war publisher of crime author Edgar Wallace (replete with dynamic paperback cover reproductions), a colorful look at 'Eve Drum, The Lady From L.U.S.T.', a spy created to cash in on everything Bondish, and a rare look at the pulp 'Fantastic Adventures' accompanied by vivid color covers.

Published virtually simultaneously with this issue was Marriott's two-volume portrait of ace fantasy artist (and childhood hero of mine) Bruce Pennington. Featuring interviews, overviews, and amazing cover reproductions, this type of publication, dedicated to one artist, needs to be encouraged.

With this quarter's booty of Video Watchdog, Little Shoppe of Horrors, The Paperback Fantatic, and a slew of others (Diabolique, Mad Scientist, Mondo Cult, and Monsters From The Vault), it's a great time for the eyes!

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