Tuesday, July 2, 2013

WE BELONG DEAD NO. 9


Last Saturday I posted a Q&A with Eric McNaughton, the Editor and Publisher of the classic monster fanzine, WE BELONG DEAD, which is currently being resurrected and once again published with much of the same, great material and many of the same writers that made it that way.

WBD looks great, too. It goes considerably beyond simply a mere "fanzine" appearance and reflects careful thought in its design and production. Being an ex-'zine publisher, take it from me -- these guys are serious about their work, and it's lucky readers like us that get to reap the benefit!

The first issue in the new run is #9. It's hard not to be enthralled by the superb front cover art by Dave Brooks depicting the decapitation scene from TWINS OF EVIL. Next is an editorial by McNaughton that explains more about his departure from the the 'zine scene and why he's back.

Leading off the issue is the article, Blood, Boobs, and a Good Title: Everything You Wanted to Know About 'Twins of Evil' ... But Were Afraid To Ask, by Stephan Mosley. He begins by describing the origin of the Carmilla and Karnstein names in literature (Frenchman Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu gets the honors for that), then the Hammer film trilogy that the lesbian vampire myth was inspired by (THE VAMPIRE LOVERS, LUST FOR A VAMPIRE, TWINS OF EVIL). Mosley goes on to laud the acting by the Collinson twins (made world-famous with their appearance in PLAYBOY), stating that he believes their roles and contribution to the film have been largely overlooked and under appreciated. In fact, it is said here that top-billed actor Peter Cushing thought so highly of their work that, "he wrote to their mother to tell them so."

Editor Eric McNaughton then gives us his list of the 5 Best Ripper Films, among them two of my favorites, THE LODGER, and especially MURDER BY DECREE. Not much fluff here; just his list and why he thinks they made it.

David Brilliance's You Can't Keep A Good Man Down: An Alternative Look at Hammer's Dracula Films is well developed, but ultimately, it's hard to see past his opinion to find the alternative viewpoint. Maybe I was expecting something else, but he kind of lost me with his description of HORROR OF DRACULA (just DRACULA in the U.K.) as being "turgid". I do have to say that he backs up his assertions with examples so I have to give him credit for not just going off an a writer's prerogative. As a matter of fact, I have to say that I ultimately agree with many of his assertions.

One of my favorite features in the issue is Martin Cage's history of the Aurora monster model kits of the 1960's (The 13 Monsters of Aurora). It is well researched and informative.

There is tons more packed into this issue, including excellent interviews with Hammer Horror Hottie Barbara Shelley and French horror auteur film director Jean Rollin.

You can buy WE BELONG DEAD at Hemlock Books in the U.K. Folks, trust me -- it's worth every penny. From where I'm sitting WE BELONG DEAD deserves to be very much alive.

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