‘Zine Review: Horror Hound #4

Horror Hound #4 review (click to see it bigger!)Issue #4
Winter 2006/2007

I was first introduced to Horror Hound at this summer’s San Diego Comic Con, when the magazine’s editor, Nathan Hanneman, and I chatted over drinks at a very swank party one lovely Saturday evening. The next day issue #3 was in my rotting hands, and needless to say I was impressed as hell.

Schedule issues prevented me from giving it a proper review, but not so with the latest output, which you should be able to find at any self-respecting bookstore in your town. And if they don’t have it, tell ‘em to get it, cause if you’re not reading Horror Hound you’re definitely missing out on something special.

Unlike other horror mags out there today, Horror Hound doesn’t focus on just one big movie for the meat of their content. Indeed, the cover story for Saw III is actually only a two-pager which features a rundown of the series and what the third film has in store for us. The meatiest chunk in this issue is a massive retrospective on one of the greatest zombie films ever made; Dan O’Bannon’s Return of the Living Dead. Exhaustively researched and well-written, this feature piece starts from the first conception of the idea (as a sequel to Night of the Living Dead) and runs all the way up to the lackluster sequels that premiered on the Sci Fi Channel last year. But what really sets this article apart from the kind of look back that you’ll find in other mags is the immense amount of memorabilia pictured throughout; from covers to the out-of-print John Russo novel of the same name to film stills to international posters; if it’s Return of the Living Dead, it’s here.

And that’s where we get to what makes Horror Hound so special. The monsters and mutants running this magazine have access to some of the most rare and collectible goods for pretty much any horror movie you can name throughout the years, and their visages are splashed over every single full-color issue of the mag. Hell, you almost don’t need to read it to get our money’s worth because there’s just so much cool stuff to look at. If you do skip the words, though, you’ll miss out on all the research and passion the creators of Horror Hound bring to every article they write, whether it be about the mask-making history of Master of Horror William Malone or a loving tribute to the films of Frank Hennelotter. These guys (and gals) just love their horror and they’ve more than happy to share that love with anyone who will give it a look.

There are some issues, however, but they’re the kinds of things one would expect from a magazine that’s still trying to find its feet. Since their writing staff is so small there are very few unique voices like you’ll find in, say, Rue Morgue, and there are some editorial issues that could use some hammering out before the mag hits stands. Overall their writing is good, but there are some cases where it almost feels a bit too flat or matter-of-fact, something that I’m sure will change as their staff expands and they get more people to give it a good look-through before it goes to print.

But don’t let that deter you from picking up an issue at all, fiends. In a world when it’s almost impossible to get any kind of magazine to separate itself from the crowd of existing fright rags, Horror Hound has done an admirable job of getting their unique voice heard. With some minor tweaks and a bit more focus on the overall voice of the ‘zine, I can see this one sticking around for a long time to come!

Be sure to hit their official site for more on the magazine and/or to subscribe!

Johnny Butane

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