Thursday, March 17, 2011

VINCENT (THE FLY) PRICE PRESENTS: SILVER SCREEN HORROR (PART 1)











SILVER SCREEN HORROR
Vol, 46 No. 3 (No. 1)
Editor: Dominick A. Merle
Publication Date: May 1977
Publisher: Globe Communications
Color cover/ B&W interior
68 pages (including covers)
Cover price: 95 cents (Free in Transylvania)
Estimated value: $10.00 - $27.00

Publishing giant GLOBE COMMUNICATIONS printed, somewhere around or between it's tabloid jungle, SILVER SCREEN and SCREEN LAND magazines. This was their special SILVER SCREEN HORROR issue. Executive Editor Dominick A. Merle hired Vincent Price to act as "host" for the magazine. Since Price was a hot horror commodity in the 70's, it stood to reason that having his name on the cover was a sure way to gain some cred, as well as help with boosting the sales figures. What is unsure, though, is whether or not more than one issue was planned -- or even if this was a "test" issue -- as usually up to three or so issues have to be distributed before sales returns start coming in.

Merle, in his half-page editorial, explains that this special issue is for everyone that has ever gone to a theatre for the purpose of experiencing the thrills that only a horror picture can deliver. He dedicates the issue to "those two fortresses of terror", American- International and Hammer Films, and, get this, "even to those rip-off horror factories (sic) that churn out fright flicks during their lunch hour (!)".

Next, Vincent Price launches into a two-page introduction that sets up the rest of the magazine. I'm no writing analyst, but it sure seems to me that the words are coming from the pen of Price himself, and that he's not just signing his name to somebody else's meanderings. Price waxes sincerely (no pun intended) about the appeal of horror films all over the world, and the people he has met that have bolstered his conviction. He goes on to explain what makes these films so special and appealing to the general public. "For the actor, there is a tremendous challenge in playing strange characters", he goes on to say. "THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME is a perfect example of an acting problem", Price states; "A monster, but very human. A grotesque form with a beautiful soul."

It is largely because of Price's heartfelt forward that this magazine can be raised a little higher on the news rack from outright hack one-shots that we have seen previously in the blog roll of MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD. Don't get me wrong -- this isn't high art, but it's a noble try at an honest-to-goodness monster mag. Tomorrow we'll see a few sample pages from SILVER SCREEN HORROR that will show that the rest of the issue is a genuine effort in providing the reader with a quality, if not, entertaining, walk down monster 'zine lane . . . even though it was cranked out by a pulp and tabloid company.




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