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Saturday, November 7, 2009

SCARLET: THE FILM MAGAZINE #3 -- review by porfle

If you were a reader of the late Richard Valley's "Scarlet Street" magazine then chances are you'll want to check out its successor, SCARLET: THE FILM MAGAZINE. And even if you never heard of Valley's long-running journal of all things fantastic and horrific, but are a serious classic movie fan with a desire for in-depth coverage, SCARLET is a worthy effort which definitely merits your attention.

It's taken me awhile to get around to reviewing it because this isn't the kind of magazine you just breeze through. While lavishly illustrated, there's no filler or extra-large print to make you think you're getting more than you are, and no puff pieces. There's enough information and insight here to keep the average reader engrossed for days.

As publisher Kevin G. Shinnick relates in his opening comments, issue #3 (Spring 2009) of SCARLET turned out to be somewhat of a tribute issue due to the passing of Forrest J. Ackerman, Robert Quarry, and Linda Miller. Ken Hanke's "Farewell to the Master" explores the ways in which Uncle Forry's "Famous Monsters of Filmland" introduced young fans to horror and sci-fi films in a relatively impartial manner, encouraging us to form our own opinions as our critical sensibilities matured. This is augmented by reminiscences by Joe Moe, Angus Scrimm, Carla Laemmle, and others.

Joe Moe, Tim Sullivan, and Fred Olen Ray offer their thoughts on the passing of Robert "Count Yorga" Quarry, who died at the age of 83. Artist Linda Miller is remembered by her friend Max Cheney (aka The Drunken Severed Head) in a fond tribute featuring several of her beautiful paintings from classic horror films. Especially intriguing is Linda's imagining of the death of Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) in the original ending to BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN.

David Skal and Jessica Rains' "Mr. Rains Goes to Burbank" is the latest chapter in their continuing saga of the great Claude Rains and his distinguished film career. "Vampires and Space Probes and Snails...Oh, My!" is Lelia Loban's detailed look at the little-seen classic RETURN OF DRACULA with Francis Lederer and the Sputnik-inspired sci-fi quickie THE FLAME BARRIER.

With "The Cross and the Cauldron", Paul Leggett offers a thoughtful examination of the interaction of horror and Christianity over the years. Scott Essman's interesting interview with Elias Merhige about his surreal film THE BEGOTTEN succeeds in making me want to see it as soon as possible. Likewise with Ken Hanke's article on the film adaption of Clive Barker's MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN with Vinnie Jones (one of my favorite actors, dammit) and Ted Raimi.

"But wait--there's more!" as they say in all our favorite infomercials, and indeed this issue is generously stuffed with dozens of reviews of films, books, and music to pique the interest of your typical horror/ fantasy/ sci-fi/ mystery fan. And since that's pretty much what I am, SCARLET: THE FILM MAGAZINE #3 piqued me to pieces.

To order, send check or money order (made out to the magazine) for $8.95 to

PO BOX 2092
CLEONA, PA 17042-2092



Kevin G Shinnick said...

I was just told of your marvelous review- thank you- as I type we are prepping issue 9 .

Kevin G Shinnick

Porfle Popnecker said...

Thanks, Kevin, it's a pleasure to hear from you. Glad the magazine is doing well!