Wednesday, August 17, 2011


"It has been written that It Conquered the World, and a lot of the other B-movies of that period, were made as a response to the anti-communist atmosphere of the time; but I do not believe that. I think that they were more of a response to the development of the atomic bomb."   - Roger Corman

The Brits have invaded America again. This time it's not with their music (although there could still be an argument for that), it's with their music magazines. With A4-sized titles like CLASSIC ROCK, PROG ROCK, GUITAR TECHNIQUESMOJO, UNCUT and FUTURE MUSIC, there leaves little doubt that, once you are lured in by the well-executed, graphically-flashy covers, it's easy to see that they may just be quietly taking over American newsstands.

While there are yet to appear newsstand-friendly monster 'zine titles, it will likely only be a matter of time before we see SHOCK HORROR and SCREAM added to the Barnes & Noble inventory. GZ was around for a little while, but has recently ceased publication. I don't think the chemically-toxic combination of FANGORIA/ FHM worked real well for them. One needs only to refer to the American-published GIRLS AND CORPSES magazine to see this pairing firing on all cylinders.

Personally, I tend to like the Brit's view of music in general and music criticism in particular. As a frequent reader of the aforementioned CLASSIC ROCK and PROG ROCK, I appreciate the dry wit and wicked reviews without the added, over-used American element of outright vapidness and cruelty. Not that they can't write with a vitriolic pen; they just save it to make a bigger impact.

That said, I think the successful marketing and distribution of the A4 'zines has a lot to do with their model, 'cause the idea ain't all that original. The influence of pop culture throw-away magazines like PEOPLE, INSTYLE, MAXIM, and again FHM, with their flash-feature style and dazzling layouts can easily be discerned in these well-produced, slick publications. They Brits just do it on a larger scale with a little more pizzaz, if you will.

SFX is one such genre magazine that has a very appealing look. In addition, they are not overtly biased to British content. For instance, in the August, 2010 issue (#198) a British journalist interviewed Roger Corman and asked him what his "finest filmatic achievements" were. Below is the article and Corman's response.

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