Saturday, June 8, 2013

Crimson Celluloid and Aussie Zines

CRIMSON CELLULOID was a great little Aussie 'zine (from Sydney) that covered porn, Asian cinema, horror, American exploitation, and everything lurid and bloody in between.

Editors were Brett Garten, the great David Nolte (all-round genre and serial killer authority), and Ant Timpson. I knew Brett and David personally, but didn't meet Ant at the time the mag was being published because he wasn't in Sydney when I'd visit the CC boys. He went back to New Zealand, I think. I later met him and his brother at a couple of Melbourne Film Festivals.

Still, what a stellar mag from a rarefied period just before the internet changed a lot of things.

The review below of Nekromantik is by the indefatigable Michael Helms, who went on to create and edit FATAL VISIONS, the legendary Melbourne-based 'zine. I wrote a Hong Kong film column myself for FV called 'Chinatown Beat'.

Below is an early Australian review for A BETTER TOMORROW written way before almost any Westerner was writing about Woo films. 

Tony Egan, who became a solid friend of mine, wrote often for CC, and was a die-hard HK film fanatic. Tony is also a film director/writer/sharp editor. He cut my film SENSITIVE NEW AGE KILLER with MASTURBATING GUNMAN actor Robin Brennan.

Also below is a Timpson review of the Sammo Hung vehicle DEAD AND THE DEADLY.  

As noted below, other contributors to CC were Joey Inferno (aka Wally Ramborama aka Peter ?), who also went on to create his own 'zine, PSYCHO IN THE DARK. Years later, he'd open a collectible store in Melbourne, and rumor has it, the store is still going strong.

Shane Harrison contributed to FV also; and Richard Kuipers went on to produce SBS's 'The Movie Show' and edit the Australian arm of Variety.

Another interesting 'zine from Melbourne was SEPSIS. 

Consistent with its title, it focused on the grislier side of life, dishing up porn reviews, galleries of deformed Brazilian babies, and articles on flesh-eating diseases. 

The mag was also one of the first to cover the European 'Shit Lovers' series from Choc, a real company. These VHS's (pirated, of course) were even sold from a South Australian PO Box for a while.

I'd post scans if I could find my collection of SEPSIS, but I don't have the energy right now to move fifty boxes of shit. 

Another terrific Sydney-based 'zine was BETTY PAGINATED. A fantastic mag with a strong focus on porn -- although the issue below also featured a great piece on Mark 'Chopper' Reid.


  1. I dont think "Deep Star Six" deserved those low scores, it wasn`t a bad little film.

  2. jervaise brooke hamsterJune 9, 2013 at 5:57 AM

    Phantom, i cant believe that tomorrow (June 10th) it`ll be exactly 25 years to the day since the release of Poltergeist III in North American cinemas, perhaps another little tribute to Heather would be in order, it`d be much appreciated by this famous internet rodent, thanks.

  3. You are right to credit CRIMSON CELLULOID for their HK coverage. This and FATAL VISIONS were probably the first zines anywhere in the world to write about these films as they screened theatrically.
    I remember picking up freebies of SEPSIS from the Chauvel in Sydney. Should have grabbed more as I've just seen #1 and #2 go for around $15 on ebay.

  4. Phantom, perhaps a tribute to Gandofini would be appropriate.