The Mail

Not as many letters this time – my paranoia tells me that this is because I’ve succeeded in alienating most of the subscribers. Alternatively, it could be that TC was so perfect last time that no-one had any complaints. However, these are probably both complete rubbish and you’ve all had better things to do with your time over the summer (if this is the greenhouse effect, pass me that aerosol!). Pleasantly, it means I can taken up Glyn Williams’ suggestion from last time and print more than two lines per letter! “…” indicates an editor’s edit, by the way. Let’s start with the last word on Argento & Bava :

Ben Gruber, New York – “I’m beginning to believe that there is only one director in all of Europe, who just resorts to thousands of pseudonyms to fuck us Yankee barbarians…This ultimate schlock-meister’s primary identity always contains the initials J-F – I believe there must be a Masonic connection? … Did get to see an unrated version [of “Troma’s War”] which, although repetitive to the point of having to watch the same 40 odd players getting resurrected about ten times, had a pizazz about it that kept me watching till the end.”

The censorship debate continues; here’s a letter with some interesting points :

Alun Fairburn, Ammanford – “I can also understand why certain films should be banned; my hit list is as follows – “Nekromantik”, “Island of Death”, “Faces of Death” and various films that depict ‘a day in the life of a murderer’, depicting gore without a good storyline to involve the viewer… To keep what ‘they’ regard as obscene videos out of the country, they must make them illegal AND curb the demand for them, by censoring mail and all publications (commercial & otherwise) that carry reviews of them. Their half-baked, half-democratic methods have created a massive black market that can supply these films to the younger generation in a far more uncontrolled manner than would video stores.”

On a lighter note, some more on Wendy O. Williams, star of “Reform School Girls”:

Richard Owen, Skewen – “In keeping with ‘Reform School Girls’ & female masturbation [bet you want to see the preceding paragraph!], did you know Wendy O. Williams once got arrested for that act? It happened when she was with the Plasmatics, when on stage in about 1979 and I believe it was in Oregon. I can’t remember whether the charge was masturbation, simulated masturbation or simulated masturbation with a microphone. I can’t remember the outcome, either. Someone gave me a Plasmatics record a few years back – one of the best picture discs I’ve ever seen, bugger taking acid, just lob the record on the turntable and get euphoric whenever you want. Turn the sound down first though, ‘cos the song is crap.”

Was nearly tempted by a Plasmatics video I saw while on holiday, but decided to wait until I’d got back to buy it. Needless to say, I haven’t seen it since. Meanwhile, the Linnea Quigley backlash starts here; Richard again :

“…stood up and told genre fans about the lies they are being told by innumerable publications. The woman is ugly… From the accompanying photo it looks like, god forbid, she has actually put on weight. Her cheeks look fatter and she shows all the signs of a possible double chin… Can this mean she will no longer look like Kylie Minogue with tits?… She might be pregnant. Remember, you heard it here first.”

Mr. Owen has now gone into hiding to prevent a suicide attack by crazed “Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers” fans. “It Must Be True” generally provoked ‘intrigued repulsion’ :

Simon Wood, Newcastle – “There is a (somewhat hazy) line where articles can be just TOO sick, and that’s where real suffering is involved. I wouldn’t say that your article crossed the line, as obviously…those involved were incredibly lucky to be alive and so the article was basically positive…I did read an article in another fanzine where the writer reviewed a number of actual accidents that he’d seen.”

Sounds fair enough. It was the fact that the people involved in the accidents did survive that attracted me – if they had died, I wouldn’t have been interested. The “Sunday Sport”, a while back, scraped the bottom of the barrel – they had a story about babies being sold for their skeletons, illustrated with a picture of someone cutting a (supposedly live) baby’s head off. If real, it showed quite appalling insensitivity and if fake, it’s was probably an even more sickening example of ‘journalism’. Meanwhile, in the ‘what-I-did-on-my-summer-holidays’ stakes :

Michael Braithwaite, Sheffield – “Over this summer, I have been working at Tonka in their reliability labs testing all the toys and as temporary jobs go, this must be one of the best out… The tests we had to do varied from item to item; for example, on Care Bears we attached weights to their eyes, using hot wires to sizzle the plastic and get a good grip. This test made sure the eyes wouldn’t pull off. We also got to torch the bears to make sure they weren’t too flammable – it was great fun!”

Lucky man! To finish off with, here’s a perfect example of how you can’t please all of the people all of the time, from TC2’s ‘Incredibly Bad Film Show’ :

  • D.J.Lewis, Kent – “I liked the picture on page 30.”
  • RO – “If I ever see that bloody still from ‘Lust for a Vampire’ again, God knows what I’ll do…”

What’s an editor to do?