The issue begins with a nice tribute to Alfred Hitchcock, Mario Bava and George Pal, all three had recently passed away at the time. following the letter, we leap right into the grue with not one but two articles on the gore fest that is William Lustig's Maniac. The first article is the usual set visit but the other one is a real gem, a look at the great Tom Savini makeup f/x.
Other good articles include a piece on Curse of Frankenstein, a look back at the underrated Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter and a tribute to Hitchcock.
With this issue, as I said earlier, the magazine truly came into its own with gruesome photos and a strong emphasis on horror movies with a little outside stuff thrown in (I will never argue against a Chuck Jones article).
- As you can see, that cover is just fantastic. The Shining is great,one of the best adaptations of a Stephen King novel. Yes, even if you do factor in that most of them are terrible.
- The two Maniac stories are quite excellent, though I think it will still be a long time before you ever get me to watch that movie.
- The level of gruesomeness in this issue is quite impressive. I guess they decided "Hey, if we're going to establish our own identity, let's do it in as over the top manner as we can!" The stills from Maniac alone are enough to make you forget the first six issues ever happened!
- The magazine's long standing love affair with Hammer Horror kicks into gear with a piece on Curse of Frankenstein, appropriately titled "The Dawning of a New Era of Fright!" Even better, they also give us a piece on the wonderful Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter. I highly recommend you check that one out, it's worth it.
- Schlockmeister Jim Wynorski scores several articles this issue, including the Shining cover story and profiles on effects artists Bob Short and Chris Walas. The articles are entertaining, to be sure but sadly there are "accuracy issues" as we will find out in issue 14 that override the legitimacy of the pieces. He would later become maybe the most prolific director of B-movies in the 80's and 90's besides Fred Olen Ray. He's still active, though whether or not this is a good thing is entirely up to you.
- Om the flip side, the second part of the interview with Vincent Price on his career (man do I need to grab issue 6!) is quite good as one would expect from a piece on the man. Generally, putting a guy with a notebook and a pencil together with an actor with loads of stories is a recipe for success.
- The piece on Chuck Jones is excellent, as is the first part of the Hitchcock tribute.
- Putting in an appearance is the rather odd Count Fangor comic. Not entirely sure why they felt the need for a cartoon mascot or whatever but it's really corny. And this is coming from the guy who enjoys the 60's version of Batman, mind you so when something is too corny for me...
- The Monster Invasion section is chock full of great upcoming films. Scanners, Halloween II, Escape from New York, Lucio Fulci's Zombie. Man, the 80's were a great time for sci-fi and horror!
Coming soon: Issue 10, Heads-a-poppin!