(Check out our exclusive Gore Gazette dvd)
The Gore Gazette was a typed, Xeroxed and (initially) free fanzine dedicated to supporting the kinds of films overlooked by the mainstream. Twisted horror, import sleaze, drug expose, toilet humor, and of course lots of gore. All the ingredients of a life spent slithering from one 42nd Street grindhouse to the next. It was written, edited and published by Rick Sullivan out of New Jersey. He haunted the screens of New York's infamous 42nd Street (or "The Deuce") and also the seedier grindhouses of New Jersey (most notably the Fabian Theater in Paterson, NJ). When reading through this feature keep in mind that the GG was published at a time before the internet, before special edition double-disc dvds (with commentary), before soccer moms knew what the term "grindhouse" meant! Back when a film like Cannibal Holocaust played in a few theaters, for a few weeks, in a few cities and then disappeared! If you wanted to see the film in it's uncut form again the wait would be 20 years! If you missed it on "The Deuce"... it was a long wait. Zines like Gore Gazette, Sleazoid Express, Psychotronic, Slimetime, The Splatter Times and many others were in the trenches to report what was happening. So it's worth remembering some devoted publishers who didn't have the IMDB, Video Watchdog, a Blu-ray player and an EZ Boy to help out as they wrote film reviews. To paraphrase a little from Criswell in Plan 9 From Outer Space:
"You are interested in the unknown, the mysterious, the unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now for the first time we are bringing to you the full story of what happened. We are giving you all the evidence based only on the secret testimony of the miserable souls who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, the places - we cannot keep this a secret any longer. My friend, can your heart stand the shocking facts about..."
The Best (and Worst) of the
The following is a selection of full reviews and excerpts from the
14 Year / 110 Issue run of the Gore Gazette:
#10 - GALAXINA: It was a good idea but the comedy never rises above an embarrassingly juvenile level and the presence of the annoying Avery Schreiber as the crew's commander makes the whole film look like an elaborate "Doritos" commercial.
#12 - NOCTURNA: Who the hell is Mai Bonet? That's the question we asked as we left the 42nd Street theatre showing a Mai Bonet double bill (Hoodlums was the co-feature) This horrendously unattractive, talent-less Hawaiian witch plays Dracula's granddaughter who can only suppress her vampiric desires to drink blood by disco dancing! (Buy Nocturna on dvd)
NOCTURNA (42nd St. circa 1979)
#14 - THE HAND: …gore junkies may get off on the brutal amputation scene, but for the most part The Hand is a dreadful bore. Director Oliver Stone (Midnight Express screenwriter) should know better than to resurrect a film plot that looked laughable back in the 60's As far as we're concerned The Hand gets the finger.
#16 - MS. 45: The film is not unlike a female version of Maniac , with newcomer Zoe Tamerlis in the title role being a lot more fun to look at than Joe Spinell. By day at her job she resembles an urban Natasha Kinski , yet at night whilst man-killing in garish make-up and black leather she becomes a seductively demented Brooke Shields.
#17 - PSYCHOPATH review (Buy Psychopath on dvd)
#18 - I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE: …Spit garnered a great deal of notoriety when it attracted the attention of reviewers Siskel & Ebert. Citing Spit as "the absolute worst" with regards to its inhumane and sexist treatment of women these two weeds urged movie-goers to write irate letters to the distributors of this film and all others of similar ilk. However I wonder if their reception would be as warm if people knew that Roger Ebert was the creative genius responsible for writing the screenplay of that 1970 decadence / gore/ sex classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Roger's screenplay featured assorted female beatings, stompings, assaults, etc., and culminated in a lovely sequence in which a young lady was forced to perform fellatio on a loaded .45 revolver. How come you didn't include that example in your " women abused" spectacular, pal?
PEOPLE WHO OWN THE DARK: After the crudely inserted credits revealed that Sean Cunningham had nothing to do with this flick, I was shocked to find People to be an ancient, low-budget Spanish import from the late 60's or early 70's starring none other than Paul Naschy. I ran out and looked at the poster once again only to find that Mr. Naschy's name had been anglicized to "Paul Mackey" as had all the other credits in the honorable tradition begun by miscellaneous snake oil distributors like Dimension Pictures, Wm. Mishkin, etc.
#19 - CLASH OF THE TITANS: ...Hamlin in particular is amazing - he looks and acts like a young, pre-decadence Jim Morrison circa 1966. Coolly pouting and mugging his way through most of the film's 2 hours of heavy-handed dialogue with Morrison-like air.
#20 - BARBED WIRE DOLLS: Production value on this film is strictly skid row: the script is mindless and plodding, the direction of "zoom lens" Franco is embarrassing to say the least and the sound booms as if it were recorded in a subway lavatory.
#21 - Editorial: T.V. addicts / movie fans in the NY metropolitan area will be dismayed to hear that Psychotronic, the year-old weekly guide to horror, classics exploitation and weirdness on local television has ceased publication as of mid-July. …Don't expect Weldon to become a forgotten cult hero however, he already has plans afoot for a book to be published which he informs us will be a guide to low-budget films on TV, as well as long range goals for a possible Psychotronic resurrection in the not-too-distant future.
#22 - Editorial: Roky Erickson agreed to supply the G.G. with a listing of his all-time favorite horror films, with appropriate comments. Being a bit otherworldly himself, not all these titles will be familiar to readers (or myself for that matter), but I believe Roky has seen them in some shape or form. Here are the Roky Top 5: 1) The Hearse - No comment from Roky 2) Curse of the Demon - "a great film that really tells you where Lucifer's at." 3) Creature With the Atom Brain - "people talk a lot about the creature in the movie, but I saw the film itself as one big creature." 4) The Little Girl Who Tread a Loaf - "this one is more of a poem than a movie…it's about Little Orphan Annie and goblins." 5) It Happened at Lakewood Manor - no comment from Roky.
HOT SPUR review
#26 - SEEDS OF EVIL: Joe Dallesandro is great for the first 15 minutes of the film with his patented no-wave deadpan acting style, but the film is so endlessly talky, inept and boring that it is not even humorous by virtue of it's incredible miscasting.
Editorial: On Sunday Nov. 1, 1981, the G.G. will be holding it's First Anniversary Party at Club 57 at 8:30pm. The event will feature a screening of the little seen H.G. Lewis epic The Wizard of Gore as well as an appearance by Lewis himself. That's right we've managed to track down the elusive goremeister and he's agreed to intro the movie, sign autographs and answer questions G.G. readers might want to hurl his way. Hershell has informed us he's never met any group assemblage of his fans before. Admission is $4.00 (a paltry sum to meet a legend).
#27 - Editorial: Thanks to Gary Levinson, Mark Nardone and Steve Schindler for pointing out a glaring error in G.G. #25. In the review of Dead People, I credit a gentleman named Royal Dano as portraying a mutant black albino zombie rat-eater. The aforementioned trio informed me that Dano 1) is not black, 2) was cast as Marianna Hill's missing father 3) doesn't eat a rat throughout the entire course of the film. My apologies to Dano for the foul-up, apparently he is a well-respected character actor whose career has spanned nearly three decades. On the other hand, the G.G. has not yet received an apology from anyone concerned with releasing this three-time-retitled loser for the $4.00 we blew going to see it.
"Beware the Bogus Lover": Throughout the past month, a co-feature at many of the area theatre's sleazier bills has been advertised as The Demon Lover. That film, an entertaining little Grade-Zer made by earnest horror devotees is not always being shown. In it's place, a scurrilous distributor has taken an old 1969 abomination called The Body Beneath directed by the king of hack directors Andy Milligan, lopped off the title credits (replacing them with nothing) and is attempting to pass it off as Lover in at least three different theatres in Queens, Manhattan and New Jersey…Milligan losers are always to be avoided, but the fact that this one is being passed off as another film has to be the lowest trick ever pulled by a scum bucket shyster.
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