Rue Morgue’s always been a fun magazine for me; the staff can write some truly laugh-out-loud hilarious stuff when they’re on a roll, but I’ve never held an issue before that was as much fun, front to back, as this one.
The cover story is about Canadian horror host Billy Van, who for a few short years was the host of “The Hilarious House of Dr. Frightenstein”, a kids’ show with horror elements that taught the Canuck children that monsters don’t have to be scary; they can be funny and sympathetic as well. I’ve never seen the show myself, but after reading this, I wish I had grown up on it as they portray it as something both kids and adults enjoyed with Van playing dozens of monster roles throughout the series. It even featured weekly cameos by Vincent Price himself!
Gary Butler got to sit down with Van a few years before his untimely passing, and this issue features the entire interview for the first time anywhere. Van comes off as a very down-to-earth guy who never fully understood the impact his show had on generations of horror fans growing up. Good for both newbies and hardcore “Frightenstein” fans alike as all aspects of the show are covered throughout its lengthy page count.
Scattered in the midst of the interview are shorter pieces on the history of horror hosts, which is a fascinating read all to itself, as well as a chat with Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, who talks about her history and gives some details on a new reality show she’s planning in which she will hire new girls to be Elviras for all sorts of events. I know I’d watch it…
Then we get to what might be the greatest pair of columns in the history of Rue Morgue: Stuart Andrews’ interview with Uwe Boll and Chris Alexander’s recount of his time in the boxing ring with the man. While the interview is a helluva lot of fun (how can you not respect a man who is so aware of his own shortcomings?), Alexander’s tale of his boxing match with the German madman is fucking perfect. Of the four journalists who took up the challenge Boll put to them, to feature them as extras in Postal then go three rounds with them in the ring, Alexander was the only one who seemed to have taken it seriously and actually got some hits in on the man. No matter the results (he lost, as did everyone else), the article is hilarious and the highlight of this issue.
A column about gay horror and a look at a fashionable girl’s answer to the lack of cool horror outfits for her fellow female horror fans finish off the main section; then it’s on to their reviews of new stuff like Feast and TCM: The Beginning, reissues like Nightmare on Elm Street, and classics like Mad Love.
Must-reads for the rest of the issue include Alexander’s gentle loving of 3-D, Blood in Four Colours (always good stuff there), and the Travelogue of Terror, the focus of which is weird shit around the globe.
Lest I repeat myself, #62 is the most fun I’ve had with an issue of Rue Morgue since I started reading it years ago so do yourself a favor and get this one. Click here for more info on this issue and how to subscribe!
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