‘Zine Review: Rue Morgue #66

Review of Rue Morgue #66 (click to see it bigger!)Issue #66
April 2007

Ah, Grindhouse. Seems it was only a few months ago we were wondering if it was every going to be finished thanks to the rumors of Tarantino and/or Rodriguez (depending on who you listened to) going over budget and causing the Weinsteins to rethink their risky business venture of a double bill horror film.

Now we’re mere days away from its release and you really can’t take two virtual steps without seeing or hearing something about the movie. Rue Morgue, being the crafty Canadians that they are, have jumped on the bandwagon as well but in their own unique way…

Twelve of the rather sparse 82-page issue are devoted to all the things grindhouse, both the film and the theaters that inspired it. A solid write-up by FAB Press author Stephen Thrower gives us info about both the film and a short history lesson of the infamous 42 street theaters that comprised New York’s sleaziest time frame, which leads into an interview with Robert Rodriguez done by EIC Jovanka Vuckovic. Good, solid stuff so far. In between are chats with stars Kurt Russell, Tom Savini and all three directors of the faux trailers sandwiched between Planet Terror and Death Proof; Eli Roth, Edgar Wright and Rob Zombie. All very cool but if you want to find out about how grindhouses really worked, you have to go to the source: Bill Lustig.

All right, so he didn’t create them, but he was there for their heyday and had one of the most infamous grindhouse movies of all time to show for it (Maniac, for those not in the know). Jovanka sits down with the former sleaze merchant/current owner of Blue Underground to discuss the real nitty-gritty of what it was like to grow up in the grindhouse. Excellent!

As if that weren’t enough, they have an exclusive, hilarious piece written by one of the original grindhouse directors, before the it even had a name, H.G. Lewis. He gives advice to all you indie filmmakers on how to create the biggest buzz for your movie and he should know, so you had better damn well pay attention.

180 degress from grindhouse is Skinny Puppy. Well, maybe more like 165 degrees… For those of you who don’t follow industrial music, they were one of the first outfits out there to be called such and now they’re celebrating their 25th year as a band. Chris Alexander and Liisa Ladouceur trade off interviews with the band’s founding members who discuss what it takes to make it as long as they have. Interesting if even if you’re not the biggest fan of their music.

This issues artist spotlight is one Michael “Pooch” Pucciarelli, a painter who creates some of the most fantastical landscapes I’ve ever seen with heavy influences from Disney theme parks, H.P. Lovecraft and Ray Harryhausen. I want some of this guys art in my home, damnit, but since he’s a world-reknown painter I doubt I could afford it. Yet. Be sure to check it out!

A two-pager focusing on the directorial debut of Angela Bettis, Roman (review)> follows, which leads smoothly into their usual lengthy reviews section, this month featuring a take on 300, The Messengers and, of course, Hot Fuzz.

Other highlights; Chris Alexander’s continuing conversation with The Third Mother and Demons 2 star Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni, a focus on bizarre artist Hans Rickheit in “Blood in Four Colours”, and the “Travelouge of Terror” visit to the home of famed Japanese horror author Edogawa Rampo written by Midnight Eye editor Tom Mes.

A skinny but fulfilling issue this month but one any fans of this new-fangled “grindhouse” thing should get post-haste. Be sure to visit Rue Morgue’s official site for subscription info and more!

Johnny Butane

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