Vanity Scare #1

What is Vanity Scare? Aside from being a ludicrous title (I couldn't come up with anything remotely clever), it's a new column where I'll be dissecting horror magazines. The main features will be monthly reviews of Rue Morgue, as I received a subscription for Christmas. But that's not all...every now and then, I'll be covering back issues of other rags (mainly Fangoria). It should provide a telling peek into how the genre has mutated over the years. Let's kick things off with an inquest of the new Rue!

RUE MORGUE (#119, February 2012)

Cover - This publication is known for their exquisite hand-drawn covers, so I'm always disappointed when I see a homely screenshot on the front of a new issue. A mainstream film hogging the spotlight is a red flag. To be fair, I haven't read Rue since the Jovanka days, and I get the impression that incumbent Editor-in-Chief Dave Alexander doesn't make a habit out of catering to the masses.

Cover Stories - I'll just comb through the stand-outs. The article promulgating the revamp of The Woman in Black does its job, but to be honest, I can't get psyched up for Hammer's latest confection. It seems like a typical ghost yarn, and I've had my fill of typical ghost yarns. I was much more engrossed by the Jean Rollin interview, which was conducted shortly before his death. Jeremy Richey's rundown of the five Rollin outings that are being re-released on DVD/Blu-ray made me want to educate myself in the field of nude lesbian bloodsuckers. Don't be surprised if reviews of Lips of Blood and The Shiver of the Vampire surface on this very website in the not-too-distant future. Lastly, the convention schedule is incomplete. I'm only nitpicking because they precluded a convention that I'm attending in March (details at a later date!).

Regular Features - I adored Bowen's Basement. Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II doesn't get enough love, and it's a relief knowing that I'm not alone in my dissatisfaction with the original. Sorry, folks...it's dull. And Jamie Lee Curtis is overrated. Yeah, I went there. The Travelogue of Terror is a must-read. I'm stopping in Hell on my next road trip. A wag of my finger to The Gore-Met (apologies to Stephen Colbert for blatantly ripping him off) for spoiling Macabre. It wouldn't be a hyperbole to say that he ruined the twist ending of the subversive Asian shocker. Not cool, dude. Thanks to Play Dead for bringing my attention to a zombie-ridden board game. The fact that there are two versions of "The Walking Dead" (one based on the comic, the other based on the TV show) is simply cock-blowing. I'm serious. My cock is blown.

In a Nutshell - This section of Vanity Scare will probably be the same for each 'zine. Why? Well, even the lousy issues of Rue Morgue are worth buying if you're a die-hard horror junkie. Back issues of Fangoria, on the other hand...we'll cross that bridge when we burn it. Or something.


  1. I'll be interested to read your take on Rollin. He's one of my personal favorites, but definitely not for everyone. You kind of have to give yourself over to his dreamlike erotic reveries and Gothic atmosphere. If you're looking for movies that make any kind of sense, you'll be out of luck.

  2. Usually, "style over substance" rubs me the wrong way, but for whatever reason, I'm super stoked to check out Rollin's filmography. Have you seen The Grapes of Death? It's one of the titles I plan on picking up in the next month or so.