Three-pin Plugs

Jim McLennan begged me for months to write something for TC, and being a kind-hearted soul, I finally agreed to help out by doing the fanzine reviews, thereby making him the object of hatred for every ‘zine editor in the world. By the way, anyone interested in financing a film I have planned can get in touch with me via Jim at the editorial address. Basic plot involves lingerie models crashing in the jungle and being captured by lesbian Nazis…

Number four of Fantasynopsis sees an increase in size from **Jim??? [er, um, more than it was last time – Ed] and now boasts full colour front and back covers. This issue sees an interview with Dario Argento (yawn!) but makes up for this with a great interview with David McGillviray (who wrote some of Pete Walker’s best films), it’s usual mix of reviews and a colour poster of the ‘House of Whipcord’ video sleeve. Dark Star, now in it’s 5th year, caters for the SF fan – issue 8 covers the cult that’s built up round the ‘Princess Bride’, the making of ‘Hardware’, and also includes a three page peek at what’s coming soon in the world of fantasy films. With a glossy two-colour cover, editor Rob Dyer has produced a good read.

Andrew Featherstone, editor of Blood and Black Lace, has worried me ever since I saw him proudly tell the viewers of a C4 documentary that repeated viewing of Fulci’s ‘The New York Ripper’, hadn’t affected him at all. No surprise – you can kick a rock for ever and a day, but it won’t bleed… The ‘zine has had a facelift since No.1 and includes interviews with Dario Argento (Aaargh!) and Mariano ‘Caruncula’ Biano, and reviews ranging from ‘La Setta’ to ‘Spider Labyrinth’. Very nicely laid out, but for my money incredibly overpriced; word reaches me that Andrew now lives in America, so don’t hold your breath for the next issue. A fanzine packed with short story fiction and nothing else isn’t my cup of tea but Dementia 13 never fails to impress. Now up to issue 7 [in the millennia between giving Lino the ‘zines and getting this article, issue 8 appeared – Pam is broadening the ‘zine to include some non-fiction pieces – Ed], every issue has at least one or two good stories. Read ‘Rim’, and you’ll nail the toilet lid shut and start crapping into a bucket. It’s thick to boot, so very good value for money.

The first issue of Mentally Penetrated by an Acid Enema claws it’s way out of the mire, and while not up to the production standards of Samhain (so??), it’s full on interesting ‘bits’, from the start of a regular blaxsploitation review section and a real life murder page through to a review of ‘Munster, Go Home’. Great fun, though they could lose the cartoon strips. Max Della Mora’s excellent Gorezilla is always superb value for money with in-depth features and reviews. In past issues, Max has covered Italian horror comics, being a zabbadoing (I don’t know!) and anime – oh, and the occasional Godzilla mention. If you can find the first issue, it had a great interview with Joe D’Amato (or failing that buy the next Cold Sweat, which has an even better interview) [Oi! Any more of that and you’re history!].

Midnight in Hell is mostly made up of short stories, with the occasional interview. No.7 talks with Robert Rankin and also has an article by one Jim McLennan on, surprise, surprise, anime! [Now, that’s the sort of plug I can handle…] Overall, the stories are very entertaining, and I always enjoy seeing a fanzine with a cover that makes it embarrassing to read on the bus! Ah-so, Orient Express has some really nice articles but boasts some of the worst pictures ever drawn, I mean, have you seen the front cover? Pictures aside, issue two has articles on Jackie Chan, Godzilla and the Five Star Stories anime series, plus a letters page which contains a letter by one Jim McLennan [I think my shoes are quite clean enough now, Lino… – Ed]. Strange Adventures 34 (that’s 34!) really is a great read. Along with the usual reviews, it has a well-drawn comic strip (I hope the Orient Express crew are paying attention!) and a profile of Luc Besson. Tony Lee is to be commended for producing a great fanzine at a ridiculously cheap price. Buy one or else!

Horrorshow doesn’t pretend it wants to be the next Shock Express (bozo!), it’s just a six-page photocopied work of love, with some great ad mats, a book review and a review of ‘Confessions of a Pop Performer’. Nice and simple – just like me! I’ve only just discovered Mkultra, and I wish I’d caught up with it from issue one. Intelligently written, interesting, occasionally rambling in some of it’s articles, Mkultra has a very good future for itself. But don’t listen to me, order one and find out for yourself. Volume two, issue one has a four-page pulling apart of Romero’s “Dead” trilogy and an interview with Dario Argento (oh well, all for one…). Killer Kung-Fu Enema Nurses on Crack contains articles on the editor’s hassles (to put it mildly) with New Zealand Customs, and also has features about censorship and the all-important Killer Kung-Fu guide. Frightening reading, I thought the Kiwis were pretty laid back, but the horrible truth is that censorship reaches even ‘Bad Taste’ land. What the bloody hell Jim gave me Reefer Madness for, I’ll never know. 1,001 uses for a ‘pipe’, a double page spread consisting of badly drawn pictures of pipes, repros of comic strips to do with the evil weed, etc, etc – and they’re now up to issue six!! The whole idea makes me shudder…

Now, I think (along with 9/10 of the British male population, including Jim McLennan) that Traci Lords is pretty damned attractive. Steve Rag, editor, creator and writer of Nora K, thinks about nothing else, or so you would imagine by reading his ‘zine. Now up to his sixth issue, Steve takes us by the hand (not the sticky one) and leads us through the streets of Traci… (blimey, that Ralph McTell is good, isn’t he?) Everything you always wanted to know about Traci and more is explored in NK, including reviews of her films old and new. Even if you only buy it for the pictures, you have a bargain on your hands. However, I was very disappointed by the fact that it had no Dario Argento interview and, strangely, no letter from Jim McLennan [that’s your last warning, mate! – Ed]

The last word in fanzines, definitely the best fanzine in the whole world Creeping Unknown goes from strength to strength. It’s just received an Oscar for Best Fanzine and is being made into a mini-series by CBS in the States. The cherries on the top of the cake that is Creeping Unknown are the great, witty articles written by Lino – boy, can he write. I urge you all to steal money and buy a copy of Creeping Unknown…

…That’s it, game over! I wouldn’t have minded if there’d actually been an issue of CU to review!! Lucky I stopped him before he mentioned Film Extremes 2 that was at the Scala on May 31st] Apologies to those Lino hasn’t mentioned (maybe they should be grateful!): Invasion of the Sad, Man-Eating Mushrooms, Scareaphanalia and especially Magazines of the Movies, (a very impressive “Factsheet Five” type publication dealing with all manner of cinema-zines) are all worth getting. And there’s just space (if there isn’t, I’ll hack some chunks from Lino’s bit) to mention Mike Landers, who can get a whole lot of ‘Akira’ stuff, from T-shirts to cels, and the Film Extremes Video Collection, authorised dealers of some impressive Hong Kong films. SAE to both for details.

  • Blood and Black Lace (£3) Box 1689, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, CM23 5BW.
  • Dark Star (£1.50) 64 Arthur Street,Gravesend, Kent, DA11 0PR.
  • Dementia 13 (£1.75) Pam Creais,17 Pinewood Ave, Sidcup, Kent, DA15 8BB.
  • Fantasynopsis (£2.50) 1 Bascraft Way,Godmanchester, Huntingdon,Cambs,PE18 8EG.
  • Film Extremes, Box 409, London SE18 3DW
  • Gorezilla ($5) Max Della Mora,Piazza Tripoli 7, 20146 Milano, Italy.
  • Invasion… (£1.25?) PO Box 7, Upminster, Essex, RM14 2RH.
  • Horrorshow (SAE) Damage Control, 163 Bromyard Rd,Sparkhill, Birmingham, B11 3AY.
  • Killer Kung-Fu… (£1, + postage?) Peter Hassall, PO Box 27432, Upper Willis Street, Wellington, New Zealand
  • Mike Landers, 6 White Colne, Grove, Lancashire, BB8 9SG.
  • Magazines of the Movies (£3) Ray Stewart, 45 Killybawn Rd, Saintfield, Ballyhinch, Co.Down, B24 7JP.
  • Mentally… (price unseen) 4 James Street, Abertillery, Gwent, NP3 1AA.
  • Midnight in Hell (£1.20) G. Houston, The Cottage, Smithy Brae, Kilmalcolm, PA13 4EN
  • Mkultra (£1.50) Moved since last time, but I can’t find the new address & the ed’s phone is out of order…
  • Nora K (£1) Steve Rag, 118 High Street, Eastleigh, Hants, S05 5LR.
  • Orient Express (£1.50) c/o Astounding Comics, 74 High St, Newport, Isle of Wight.
  • Scareaphanalia ($1) Michael Gingold, PO Box 489, Murray Hill Station, New York, NY 10156-0489, USA.
  • Strange Adventures (£1.20) Tony Lee,13 Hazely Close, Arreton, Isle of Wight,PO30 3AJ.
  • Yutte Stensgaard (£2?) Tim Greaves, 118 High Street, Eastleigh, Hants, S05 5LR.