Horror fans in America can cry out with bloody glee as “The Horror Bible for Horror Fans,” Scream magazine, is currently available throughout the land. Now sold at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Scream joins a number of other publications that deal with horror, sci-fi and fantasy. While some may deem the age of print journalism all but dead, the Gore 4 is here to say that it’s alive! In fact, Scream magazine proves that it is very much alive in its 76 gloriously glossy and gory pages loaded with interviews, reviews, news and more. This bi-monthly magazine has been around since the start of the decade, originating from the UK. Also available in other countries from Germany to Australia to Canada, it is a welcome addition to bookshelves on our American shores. The November/December issue, #39 is available now, and is filled to the gills with a wealth of material to warm your blood-pumping hearts.
Two legends of horror get exclusive interviews. John Carpenter, director of Halloween, Escape From New York and The Thing, has been known for his refreshing openness with his opinions, and here he talks about his long, illustrious career, covering everything from his own personal favorites to the state of horror today. As any fan of Carpenter knows, he scored a great many of his films himself, and has now taken that music on the road to become a full-fledged overnight rock star. He talks about his own musical inspirations, from Bernard Hermann to Tangerine Dream, and lets readers in on his future plans. One such plan is serving as executive producer on a new Halloween film with Blumhouse Productions. With Carpenter involved, we can’t wait.
Another horror icon, the always entertaining Bruce Campbell, discusses his return as everybody’s favorite chainsaw-arm wielding hero in Ash vs Evil Dead. Now in its second season on Starz, the show has been the gift that keeps on giving for fans of the Deadites and the one man who can stop them, though now he has some loyal sidekicks to help him slice, dice and saw his way through the demonic creatures. Campbell talks about the challenges in returning to his most famous role, the appeal of Ash, and what’s in store for the character (a 3rd season has already been announced). He would also like to direct himself again, as he did with My Name is Bruce, and aspires to take on the classic Universal monsters.
Speaking of, Scream takes a look back at the classic 1931 film starring Bela Lugosi, Dracula. In a very well-researched and informative retrospective, we learn a number of entertaining tidbits about what led up to the making of this cherished film, and how being made during the transition from silent to sound movies affected the finished product. From the casting of Legosi to the entirely new Spanish-language version which was shot at night between the day shoots of the main production, the article is a fangtastic read, and even the most ardent fans of Dracula will certainly find something new to discover. Dracula remains one of the most important films in the history of horror cinema, not just for ushering in the Universal monster phase which continues to this day, but in proving scary fare could be lucrative to the studios. That is true today as well.
Back to more modern horror, we get an interview with the director and co-writer of the excellent recent frightfest, Ouija: Origin of Evil. Fans of another horror publication will recognize the interviewer’s name in Michael Gingold, Fangoria‘s previous longtime managing editor. While we hope Fangoria will soon be back to sharing shelf space with Scream as they work out distribution issues (though they continue to release the mag in digital form), it’s great to see Michael doing what he does best, write compelling and enlightening pieces covering the world of horror. Also currently the East Coast editor of Canada’s Rue Morgue magazine (see, horror in print is alive and well!), Michael has also been a champion of independent genre film, and in addition to Ouija, he interviews the makers of Here Alone, a shot on a budget take on a post-apocalyptic world where infected people (not zombies, per se) are running amok. Set for a U.S. release early next year, it sounds like one to watch out for.
We’ve only scratched the flesh from the surface – there’s plenty more guts and sinew to munch on in this issue of Scream magazine. From their ongoing series on 21st Century Frights to A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Amanda Wyss on her memorable death scene, to a chat with filmmaker, Ken Cosentino, on his remake, Attack of the Killer Shrews, there’s a lot covered, from cover to cover. Videogame and book reviews, what’s hot on Blu-ray and DVD, a reverential look at some classic VHS titles, and a Behind the Screams, which offers up the latest news in the world of horror, help to round out the issue. It’s a wealth of material that never fails to be entertaining and informative. What’s great is the mix of old and new. Horror fans certainly crave new releases but they also appreciate the classics and lower-budget fare as well – and Scream chronicles all of it.
We in America owe a lot to the British. Heck, they gave us our country. OK, they didn’t exactly give it to us, but you know what we mean. When it comes to horror, they’ve been at the forefront for decades. From famed authors, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and Clive Barker, to horror icons, Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee, from Hammer Films to recent classics like 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead and The Descent, the Brits have a long, illustrious history of horror. As other parts of the world already know, Scream magazine is there for all of it and now, for all of us here in America. So, head to your local Barnes and Noble – but hurry, these issues sell out fast. You can also save yourself the time and subscribe (and get back issues) at Screamhorrormag.com. Here, you’ll find even more up-to-date news and info. You can also follow them on their Scream Facebook page so you’ll know what to expect and when. So, join John Carpenter himself and get your Scream on!
— review by Brian de Castro