Vanity Scare #2


You probably haven't heard of this magazine, but that's okay. It's a fairly underground DIY-style publication. Obviously, it focuses on the horror genre, but at its azygous core, Lunchmeat is devoted to VHS. Editor-in-Chief Josh Schafer is a big proponent of physical media. He collects books, records and of course, movies. Younger generations will never understand the VHS fetish, but I can identify with it. I miss the medium myself. Above all else, each issue of this pious rag is a love letter to home video. That doesn't mean you have to be a "tapehead" to enjoy it, though. The majority of the pages deal with oddball cult/exploitation titles, so your average die-hard gore ghoul will find something to dig here.

Since I'm a first-time reader, this edition of Vanity Scare will slough off the format established in my Rue Morgue reviews. I don't know which articles are regular features. Let's just jump in, shall we?

~ The first 10-12 pages are reserved for standard film critiques. I'm assuming that these are movies that cannot be found on DVD (there might be one or two exceptions). Apart from a handful of typographical errors, I appreciated how the writing styles varied in tone and flow. The "kitchen staff" doesn't adhere to a concrete review formula. The best thing about this section is being able to discover obscure gems. For instance, I am now determined to find a copy of America's Deadliest Home Video, a handheld thriller starring Danny Bonaduce (!). Rockula is also covered...God, I never wanted to be reminded of that abortion ever again (read my review HERE).

~ A crossword puzzle!

~ Loved the spotlight on "sword and sorcery" box art. If only Deathstalker was half as badass as its cover.

~ Great interview with George Stover, prolific actor and former editor of gnarly monster fanzines. It makes me wonder how many underground genre gazettes I've missed out on. If anyone wants to send me an issue of Cinemacabre or Black Oracle, go right ahead. Really, I won't be offended.

~ Rob Hauschild's trash capsules are mind-bending in the sense that they ream your perception of forgotten VHS abnormalities. I mean, an instructional video on self-hypnotism? It's a mad, mad, mad world.

~ Schafer's in-depth look at VHS gaming is spectacular. If your only exposure to this nostalgic fad is Spoony's impersonation of The Gatekeeper from "Nightmare," you need to sit down and read this retrospective. I'm not knocking Spoony; I'm just saying that there were scads of other VHS board games produced from 1985 to 1995. Apparently, there even existed a WWF VHS board game. I must own it. I simply fucking must.

~ No page numbers? Ugh. I skipped a page without realizing it. Twice. That's why page numbers are a good idea.

If Lunchmeat sounds kind of awesome, that's because it is. Recommended for serious collectors.

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