Wednesday, August 18, 2010
MIDNIGHT MARQUEE NO. 77
Editor: Gary J. and Susan Svehla
Publication Date: March 2010
Publisher: Midnight Marquee Press, Inc.
Color covers/full color interior
40 ppg. (including covers)
Cover price: $10.00
To paraphrase the old adage, "Good things come in smaller packages", this was my first impression of MIDNIGHT MARQUEE #77. I have been a long time reader of MIDMAR. My last print copy was issue #75. It was "trade paperback" in size, had color covers and a black and white interior. It was 98 pages with 5 articles and 39 pages of DVD reviews. Issue #76 was a bit of an experiment, as MIDMAR offered an online digital version in Adobe's standard PDF file format along with a newly-designed print version. It had 4 articles and 27 pages of DVD reviews.
Which brings us to the current issue. It is back to a standard magazine size, has 40 pages containing 2 articles and 15 pages of DVD reviews. While at this point in its publishing history, MIDMAR could be called The Incredible Shrinking Monster Magazine, it's still a monster of a magazine and packs in some great info even within the confines of its reduced page count. I groused about FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #251's price being a little excessive at $12.99, so in all fairness, I guess I'll have to grouse at the ten buck cover price of MIDMAR.
I mentioned something about the publishing history of MIDNIGHT MARQUEE. The venerable and sagacious Mr. Gary J. Svehla has been publishing his own monster 'zine since nineteen sixty-three! That's right. At the tender age of 13, Gary published the first issue of GORE CREATURES, which later became MIDNIGHT MARQUEE. So, over four decades later, the man knows his monsters!
After the customary editorial, the issue begins with one of MIDMAR's installments of "Forum/Against 'Em", a sort of roundtable print discussion of a selected movie. This time around the group chews up, spits out, and neatly folds James Whale's THE INVISIBLE MAN. There is usually enough disparity among the group's opinions to make things interesting.
Next up is a discussion of the usually passed over THE DEADLY MANTIS by Doug Lamoreaux. Doug does a great job on covering not only the obligatory plot and story, but also goes into some depth about the production and shooting of the film -- probably as much as its ever been given -- and, after I finished reading it, rightly so. I remember years ago while living in the San Fernando Valley in California watching fully grown preying mantids display their peacock-looking wings in a threatening fashion, then tearing each other up in a ferocious battle to the death. So, that's maybe what gave them their name?
The DVD reviews, which in any issue of MIDMAR are abundant, are all extremely well-written, even though some of them are graded a little harshly for my more simple taste in monster film fare. Nonetheless, after going through the lot I always feel like I can make educated decisions on purchasing any of the DVDs that were discussed.
Gary mentions that he is sacrificing page count for color, and he hasn't wasted any time packing the issue with color shots. Page after page of THE INVISIBLE MAN and THE DEADLY MANTIS movie posters got a little redundant, though, and I hope more production shots or stills are utilized in the future. All-in-all, MIDNIGHT MARQUEE holds its own among the pantheon of monster 'zines, not only for being the oldest, but also for being one of the most informative and articulate.
And now, for an announcement: beginning next week, MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD will be posting a multiple installment interview with none other than Gary Svehla. This is a whopper, folks, so don't miss it. Why not subscribe to MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD posts? That way, you'll be notified whenever something new is posted on this site.