Vanity Scare #3

I decided to change up the format of this column. My random thoughts prefer to graze in the open expanse of a bulleted list. Y'know, I've had friends ask me why I deemed magazines worthy of review. It's not so much that I'm reviewing magazines; well, I suppose it is, but this feature also allows me to comment on a wide variety of horror-centric topics. Like embroidery! And calligraphy! And spelunking!

RUE MORGUE (#120, March 2012)

- I understand that the offices of RM have recently switched graphic designers, so I don't want to come down hard on the new guy. I'm sure that we'll see plenty of badass covers in the future. Still, this one is lacking in detail and spunk. On the surface, it strikes the reader as being overtly gory, but upon undue scrutiny, the photo reveals itself to be rather tame. My squabble is at variance with the knowledge that they could have easily used this space to endorse the latest mainstream fright flick. I'll take a Father's Day plug over excessive publicity for Silent House anyday.

- Perhaps it's appropriate that I change the format of Vanity Scare, as RM has made quite a few changes to its own format. Some revisions were for the better; others...meh. The most noticeable about-face is the extirpation of the Travelogue of Terror. Boo! Hiss! Last issue's Travelogue was one of the more enjoyable reads available. We do get a batch of new columns including a spotlight on horror ink (that's Hipster for "tattoos") and an all-too-brief discourse on cryptozoology. I hope they consider expanding the latter blurb. Overall, the artwork has improved (the colors leap out at you), and the pages are thicker. Speaking of pages, there are only 62 of them. Why is this magazine shrinking? If anything, it should be growing, especially when you take into account what they're charging for it.

- Woah! Mark Pavia is back on the scene! For those uninitiated, Pavia directed The Night Flier, one of my favorite films of all time. Since then, he has been inexplicably dormant. Apparently, he is rising from his tomb to adapt a handful of Stephen King short stories in the form of an anthology entitled The Reaper's Image. Needless to say, this chunk of news gave me a fanboy boner of blasphemous proportions. By the way, if you haven't seen The Night Flier, kill yourself.

- Trevor Tuminski's write-up on Father's Day sold me on the zany exploitation freakout. I'm curious to see just how many envelopes this flick pushes.

- Liisa Ladouceur's interview with Anne Rice was interesting, and that's coming from a dude who doesn't give a pound of fuck about Gothic romance novels. The born-again atheist has returned to the genre with a werewolf yarn. Are werewolves the next monsters in line to be defanged and glamorized? If so, count me out.

- I dug Tal Zimerman's look at Arrow Video, the UK-based distribution shingle that plasters DVD's with amazing VHS-style artwork. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that their discs are region-free. I'm eyeballing their special edition of Vamp (an unsung 80's classic, in my eyes).

- Paul Corupe's Late-Nite Archive ranks the best and worst Godzilla outings. I'm fine with his choices, but if you're going to assign a task of this magnitude, don't limit your freelancer to a single page. I mean, it's Godzilla...one page doesn't even scratch the surface.

~ What a coincidence. I've been reading a lot about 555 lately, and The Gore-Met graces the Morgue (that's what cool kids call it) with a loving tribute to the sleazy SOV slasher. I need to see this damn movie.

- I commonly soft-pedal through Audiodrome, but George Pacheco's review of the new Bastard Priest record has convinced me to add it to my collection. I adore Swedish death metal, and a hearty dose of sneering punk/hardcore only sweetens the pot. Seriously, check these guys out.


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