Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Magazine Review: "Gorezone Dec. '07" (B-)

I missed posting yesterday (no access to Internet), so I'm posting twice tonight to make up for it.

The second review I'm posting tonight is different from the usual array of random film reviews. I'm going to review a UK horror magazine called Gorezone, which I didn't even know existed until I caught the title out of the corner of my eye in a Barnes & Noble. To be specific, I picked up and am now reviewing the Dec. '07 issue.

Now, I am a connoisseur of horror magazines. I will read most anything, but horror magazines (or e-zines, etc.) hold a special place in my heart. I'd love to write for one in the future. I don't claim to know much about magazine publications or their process or anything like that, but I know what I like as a reader and as a fan of the genre.

What I liked most about Gorezone (besides the title) is the "First News" section, which gave me some nice and humorous bits about what is going on currently with the genre. I learned a couple of things, a few that seriously scare me. One, David Hasselhoff is going to be in an Anaconda movie. Um, why? The last one was one of the worst things I've ever seen. While it's amusing to think of him trying to kill a gigantic snake when he can't even eat a hamburger, it isn't something that's going to do well. I'm assuming it's going to end up straight to DVD. I also learned that Britney Spears, everyone's favorite mommie dearest cokewhore, is supposedly gearing up to play a vampire. That doesn't even deserve a comment from me, the little horror blogger that could. I'd rather cut myself, thank you very much. Anyway, there was a nice array of news and even a little classifieds section for the genre. If anyone is interested, "Terror Toons 3" is (still, lol) seeking a cast. It's a wonder films with those kinds of titles get made.

It's hard to compete with magazines like Rue Morgue, who always seem to have interviews with big leaguers like John Carpenter. However, I like reading about most anyone in the genre (especially women), so it was quite nice to see an interview with Raine Brown. She even had a pretty awesome answer for a question about gender and the genre. Several, larger reviews followed hers. I have to say that my problem with this is that the longer interviews really should be a little shorter. A format that generally works for magazines is a couple of long articles or what have you and several shorter pieces. It gets a little tiring to read interview after interview that are quite long. I liked the length (and content) of the interview with Mike Mendez, the writer/director of "The Gravedancers." Interesting stuff.

The article by Suzi was really enjoyable. Loved that - it's one of the best things about the magazines, actually. If I had the funds, I'd buy a plane ticket to NYC and go to Chiller Theatre without even thinking about it. Emily Booth's reviews were also a hit with me, although that might be because she said exactly what I would have said about the "Ginger Snaps" trilogy.

Pretty much standard format for reviews, although I would have liked an actual grade of some sort at the end. Otherwise it seems a little like guesswork - many fans have problems with movies, but would still recommend seeing it. Also, the section claims to be reviewing the new movies, but they seemed a little out-dated to me. And if they're going to review books, they need to do more than one - that seemed haphazard. The SFX "monthly class" was a neat idea, but it takes up too much space for what it is. They could have done that in half a page and the magazine would have been better for it.

My big criticism is it featured too much Hammer Horror stuff. I know it's a UK magazine and all that, but two huge articles on the same subject? If you split that into two issues, that'd be fine - I like reading set diaries, but I don't like reading them right after you've already done something on the same subject. There also seemed to be a lot of advertising going on, which might be because they need funds but I have no idea about that. Still, better placement should be considered ... a half-page near the reviews was given to some stupid classifieds. These should really be at the end of the magazine.

I enjoyed flipping through the magazine, but Rue Morgue still wins over all competition. We'll see how I feel when I pick this up next month.

Note: The picture above is not of the December '07 issue. Couldn't find a usable picture of that cover.

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