Friday, 5 April 2013
We Belong Dead Returns!
The contributors are all horror fans themselves - and they include some well-known names as Tony Earnshaw, John Lewellyn Probert and Stephen Mosley - so the bar is set very high indeed in terms of the writing: Stephen Jones and Hemlock books contribute the movie stills, posters and lobby cards that illustrate WBD's sumptuous pages - including some rare overseas artwork; Dave Brooks and Woody Welch provide the illustrations, including a stunning front cover by Brooks based on Hammer's Twins of Evil. It's all beautifully laid out by designer Steve Kirkham, and editor McNaughton collates a satisfying and eclectic mix of articles, reviews, think-pieces and fan reflections, including a few genuine scoops: a revealing but all-too-brief account of writer John Burke's contribution to The Sorcerers (1967) by Chris O'Loughlin; a final interview with Jean Rollin by Piddle Andersson; and an interview by the aforementioned Earnshaw with scream queen Barbara Shelley.
Elsewhere in the magazine there's an entertaining retrospective of Twins of Evil by Mosley; a warm appreciation of Ossorio's Blind Dead films by Probert; an informative look at Witchfinder General by O'Loughlin (clearly a Michael Reeves fan); and a fun look at the all-but-forgotten- Al Adamson so-bad-it's-good monster flick Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1970) by Ernie Magnotta. Some of the other in-depth pieces include a detailed script-to-screen analysis of Tourneur's Night of the Demon (1957); a survey of Peter Cushing's work for Amicus; and a well-informed discussion of Tobe Hooper's Salem's Lot (1979); as well as a raft of other fan writing on Auroa monster model kits, Facebook groups and the Bring Classic Horror Back to Television Campaign.
Produced as a labour of love by all concerned, but with a professionalism that belies its fanzine status, WBD deserves a wide readership. It's an absorbing read from start to finish. Issue 10 is already in the works; and McNaughton plans to publish a 100 page Fearbook featuring the best of the long out of print and hard to find first 8 issues later in the year. Horror fans are advised to place their orders now as print runs will be limited. Based on the quality of issue 9 let's hope that WBD will be around for a long time: We Belong Dead very much belongs alive.
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Posted by Jon Towlson