Weng’s Chop magazine #2 (magazine review)

Well, isn’t that a time to have a nice retro look at another issue of one of the world’s best, if not the best, current movie magazines? Of course it is!

I am sure some of you might follow this review with your own copy firmly in your hands (don’t thank me, I am glad to help you to decide), so without any further ado, let’s see what the duo of Brian and Tim has brought to our attention in December 2012…man, seems like ages ago!

The cover I’ve chosen to get (as there are cover variants) is – for the third time – graced by the art of David Barnes, and I have to admit, I haven’t liked these back then. Nah, I quite disliked them. Just a personal opinion, of course, I have no qualifications to ever talk about paiting, so take it with a very very big pinch of salt here. But lately I’ve come to appreciate it not for what they show or how they look as covers, but more on the level of how they are done. I’d never come to possess that idea, that vision how to paint the stuff..you know, a stroke here, a stroke there… so yeah, it’s like listening to 4 Non Blondes. 😀

Anyway, a Content page is made more pleasant to the eyes of the reader with the pic of beautiful Leena Kurishingal, I’ve almost started to hum “If you going to San Francisco”, as the headband she wears in the pic there invoke in me the spirit of the Flower Power generation, which, of course, I have never experienced. For good or bad, I don’t know.

As you can see from the list of contributors on page 2, some of the fine folks writing for the previous two issues are still here, some gone, some new ones have arrived, and it’s that nice conglomerate of different tastes, which makes the perfect atmosphere.

Now, pages 3 and 4 bring us a The Painted Skin by Pu Songling (1740), the classic tale, which has inspired some nice HK movies and I really praise including this text here, as it shows the movie geeks and cultural nerds are what they are – cultural. I am not sure how many casual moviegoers usually peruse sources of their latest blockbusters, stories behind it and interesting bits n’ bobs beyond the usual sensational tabloid headlines, but that’s what most of the “other cinema” lovers do. Or they definitely should do.

Pages 5 and little bit of 6 (along with two ads) bring us a nice article about the merging of the popular genres of kung-fu and western, creating – usually – a very entertaining western-fu or the “eastern” subgenre. A case in point – Shangai Noon and Shangai Knights. I have seen one of these, I’m not sure which one, and I remember not being blown away by it, but for a long time I am not drawn to comedies of any kind very much, so that’s that, you know. Nowadays I’ll probably pick up Shinjuku Incident over anything silly Jackie Chan did in his best comedies, but I guess it’s just a sign o’ the times. Or I am just becoming a grumpy old geezer.

Pages 7 – 9 are dedicated to Kuei Chin Hung, and again, it’s the publications like the one we’re talking about bringing these amazing persons – directors, actors, legendary producers, what have you – to the attention of readers. And again, it just sparks the interest to seek out those titles mentioned in articles like these.Sure, I’ve heard a few titles, but now I am a little wiser as to whom we can thank for some fantastic movies out there.

Pages 10 – 12 bring us the Blood Brothers, “The Pistol-Packed Pasta Dramas of Gianni Garko & Klaus Kinski”, and with that subtitle you know we’re dealing with a great few of Italian spaghetti westerns, plus one maccaroni combat piece in a form of 5 For Hell and I’m making a mental note here to finally watch it (it took me some time to get it on DVD) and also to get and watch The Great Silence, as I keep putting it into a backburner for a long time now, which is unacceptable. You agree, right?

And we’re not abandoning western genre lightly, for Steven Ronquillo invites us to A Pistolry of Violence (pages 13-14) and Tim Paxton brings his take on Mexican horror westerns in his amazing piece on pages 15 – 20.

Oh, you still want more? Lucky you, pages 21 – 24 are full of interesting information from John Grace about Tony Anthony and movies he’s starred in, in the article titled “No Second Banana”.

And finally, pages 25 – 29 are dedicated to yet another Tim Paxton’s great piece about Indian cinema, this time about Indian westerns – and I am sure you won’t find articles like these anywhere else. And this is not the only Indian movies related article in this issue, but you have to wait a little.

OK, enough of westerns, I hear you, don’t worry! Jolyon Yates introduces us to Thai Kaiju (pages 30 – 33). What can I say? Monster movies? Bring them on, what else you want me to say? Although it will cause me another financial harm in a near future, but hey, no pain – no gain, right?

Pages 34 – 36 are dedicated to the interview with aforementioned Leena Kurishingal, followed by the one page interview (page 37) with Sifu DB3 and it took me some time (maybe I was a little braindead then) to actually find out we’re talking about David Barnes, the artist behind the covers of WCH I’ve been talking about in the beginning of this review. Some kind of short introduction would be indeed nice.

Another page, another interview, Gary Baxter interviews (pages 38 – 39) the filmmaker Darren Ward, a man behind movies Sudden Fury and A Day of Violence.

Pages 40 – 54 are dedicated to movie reviews. I like to read them, I like to re-read them. And you know, when you re-visit the issue like I am doing now, you can grin with me…yeah, I have this movie now, I’ve seen that one…oh, this one was sooo boring…etc., etc…. while the majority of folks you try to share your movie enthusiasm with would just stare at you with that WTF look on their faces…. True story!

Another batch of reviews occupy pages 55 – 57, these come from the pen of Danae Dunning and deal with more known classics (again, from the point of view of a little more seasoned movie lover, I can bet my today’s wage majority of people you would ask wouldn’t have a clue about them). But that’s OK, nothing wrong with it.

Roll the drums, Tim Paxton for the third time. Pages 58 – 64 contain the 3rd installment of his long running series about Indian horror cinema and I have to admit these are probably the most interesting articles I’ve ever read about movies. And it’s funny, you know, because I’m quite sure I will never watch a vast majority of them (due their inavailability for the most part), or because they are stinkers, but kudos to Tim for suffer through many of these for us and for the heaps of information he brings out in his articles. Absolutely amazing.

The Bookshelf on page 65 introduces us to two publications, this time it’s Muchas Gracias, Seňor Lobo (and I guess there is no need to mention it’s dedicated to the work of Paul Naschy) and the short info about the 2nd issue of Belgian movie zine called Cinemagfantastique (alas, in French).

66 – 68, these pages are dedicated to comics, and it’s through the long article of the legendary artist Stephen R. Bisette and a little review by Mike Howlett of the book Matt Baker: The Art of Glamour (edited by Jim Amash and Eric Nolen-Weathington).

And almost finished with the issue, pages 69 and 70 is the place for reviews of various little zines (courtesy of Dan Taylor) and the ad for Brian Harris’ Gimp series of books full of interesting movie reviews (and don’t worry, we’re gonna review those as well).

Last page – the ad for Masters of Taboo Cannibalism. Check the Amazon to see what it’s about!

And that’s it, folks. Weng’s Chop, issue #2, diggested for your reading pleasure. Now get that credit card and order one for yourself. Or, you already have? Good!

Get it on Amazon, as always!

A father to two little perpetuum mobiles called kids, Rudolf is a main force behind The Rubber Axe webzine, a bookworm, musick lover and a movie fan - not to mention his virgin forays into the comics and board/card games.

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Choppin’ Headz #1 (zine review)

Choppin’ Headz zine has reminded me it was quite a long time since I’d reviewed anything printed. Well, it’s about time to change that. Indeed, it seems like I hardly read anything at all! It’s not true, though, but still…

Therefore, when I’ve seen a post about this new zine from the United Kingdom, there was no hesitation about if I’m getting it or not. Of course I need that in my collection!

So, a few minutes later and with PayPal payment sorted out, in a few days it arrived (it would be sooner, but as I ordered it on Thursday, it came next Monday – just in case you wonder what took Ed a few days to post my copy).

The zine’s format is roughly A5, which comes handy if you want to read it on you way to work on the bus (for example) and apart from the bright red logo on the front page it’s all black and white (the black is a kind of greenish one, which looks very cool).

In the day when many zinemakers put out issuess in a form of a huge book, this one is comparatively small, only 52 pages in total, but that is not something one should be either sorry for or be criticized for.

Now, speaking about the content, Choppin’ Headz zine is dedicated to fans of horror movies, grindcore, death, noisecore and “other” genres, sick art and “other weird shit” (to borrow from the editorial opening lines), whatever that may be.

And what you can find in this debut issue? My fave part always consists of interviews, and here we have three of them, with Marc Lyuten from Belgian label Bringer of Gore, Isaac Horne from Sulfuric Cautery and the with graphic artist Huere from Huere Artworks.

Add to it various movie/music related articles (for example – Top 10 Movie Melts, or the article about movie samples used by Mortician), reviews for some less-known releases from Italy, review of the movie CH.U.D., or the Iron Maiden branded beer reviews). And on top of it, a little gallery of a sick artwork!

All in all, not bad start and I definitely will be looking forward for the next issue.

For a copy, get in touch with Ed via his Instagram profile at : @choppin_headz_zine

Weng’s Chop #5 (magazine review)

Heeeey, have you finished reading the first Spooktacular issue 4.5 of this great cinema megazine? I sure as hell have given you some time to do so since my review of it. Yeah, time flies.

We’ve got to experience the “mega” starting with the issue we’re gonna review, the “what-the-hell-is-that” issue #5. And to imitate Ripley – believe it or not, it’s worth every last piece of your currency accepted by either WK Books or Amazon. It’s that good.

But sure, one shouldn’t just take my word for it, right? Right! Therefore, let’s see what goodies wait for you in it.

I got the variant cover B, which presents a nice illustration by Jolyon Yates for the arcticle “Jungle Ladies Gone Wild” and it’s really beautiful.

Of course, by the time you’re gonna explore the issue in your hands you’ve already noticed it was not a mere magazine anymore, yes, you can witness the transformation into the megazine straight here. 265 large pages, that’s book, not a magazine!

I have to say editorials are usually among the last texts I usually read, but with WCH I always make an exception, as I am genuinely interested what Tim, Brian and Tony have to say. Not saying it to brown-nose the guys, but I think a lot of editors can take notice. I’ll spell it for you – if you connect with your readership, people do care. Capiche? I know you do.

“Articles” section belongs to Steve Fenton and the part One of his amazing article about aforementioned “Jungle Ladies Gone Wild” under the title “Jiggle in the Jungle (Part One)” and with it’s supplement it takes breath-taking 22 long pages (pages 4-26). And remember, that’s only the first part! I became interested in those movies just reading about them, and that’s just the proof you need about the quality of the material presented. I am pretty convinced I’ve said it before, but with reference books/mags like this one, you’re gonna find the love for movies you hadn’t even known they existed (unless you are like some of my friends, then it doesn’t apply, but it’s their loss).

Pages 27-31 belong to Dan Taylor’s experience with Exhumed Films‘ 24 Hours Horrorthon (it’s the 2013 Horrorthon) and I agree with him the guessing game of the titles (of course, I wouldn’t attempt it myself, as I would suck badly) is exciting! But I’d like to experience such an event, alas, I am kinda short-changed for the trip to the good ole US of A.

32-73 is a mega-section (another, “mega”, yes) dedicated to Pollygrind 2013 and I remember I was leaving this one for the last. There’s a shitloads of information, movies I will probably never watch (not that I don’t want to), but such a festival is every movie junkie’s wet dream. And not to forget, let’s give credit where it’s due, this mamooth piece comes from the pen of Tony Strauss!

And that’s not the last report from the movie fest, as the next (and the last) one is Steven Ronquillo’s piece on 2013 Knoxville Horror Fest. It‘s funny when you imagine I am writing this lines in 2020…7 long years after that and this stuff is still interesting – and I’d argue, still valid. Also, it reminds me to go back to stuff I wanted to get and watch, but for some reason or another I’ve forgotten about it.

78-85…what do you think you can read in these pages? Well, I am not gonna keep you hangin’ on (unless you’re Kim Wilde fan), and I’ll tell you it’s the one and only Brian Harris writing about hopping vampires. Readers of the Rubber Axe will remember the review of Kung Fu Vampire, although for some reason they were referred to as zombies, but you’ve got the picture. Brian here reviews Ricky Lau’s 5 movies’ series about hopping vampires, called Jiangshi – Mr. Vampire, Mr. Vampire 1992 (a.k.a. Chinese Vampire Story), Mr. Vampire II, Mr. Vampire 3 and Mr. Vampire Saga. Now that’s something you don’t see everyday…are you still here? I’ve thought you’d already bought your copy….damn, I need to go on then! OK, OK!

Do I need to pretend we stop short of discussing the adult cinema? I could do so, but luckily we are all adults here and if done right, you can read stuff like James Bickert’s short take on The Devil’s Ecstasy without feeling dirty (but you can watch it, if you miss the feeling). Not that I will, but to each their own.

Phillip Escott’s input “Thrift Shopping” is a welcome addition to Brian Harris’ adventure in bargain basement buys and there are not many sections of WCH I read with the most interest (you know I’m lying, right? I read and re-read every copy with the undying interest). But still, yes, I’d say these bargain buys are fun not only because of the atrocities you can find, but also, for a budding cinema enthusiast, it provides a surefire way to get some – albeit indeed trashy – little items to start with. And let’s not shit on those movies (at least, not too much)! Some of them are nice in their own way – and I’d prefer many of them before some artsy farty would-be serious high-brow cinema. Yes, I’ve said it. Right here! And not to mention, they indeed cost almost cents or pennies…which – in my book – spells “priceless”, if you ask me.

Pages 90-92 are dedicated to the discussion about the restoration of one of the movies described as “the worst movies ever made” – Manos: The Hands of Fate. I will admit I haven’t seen this legendary movie (well, not yet), but I have to say I am glad for a lot of old movies getting restored and being brought back for a modern audience to enjoy. Yes, even the trashy, “WTF I’ve just watched” variety of movies. You know what they say…one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. For me, I appreciate such efforts, there’s no doubt about that.

Next sections are a dividing line for many. Why, you ask? Well, first, pages 93 to 97 contain Steve Fenton’s article about Filippino vigilante flicks (among those The One Armed Executioner, just to mention probably the most known one from the lot here). As for the aforementioned dividing line – many such movies are without English dubbing (which is not that problematic, I’d say, those cinema junkies reading publications as WCH are accustomed to it), but most of the times even without subtitles (and that might pose a problem now). Yes, you know, if you really want to see some movie, you’re gonna watch whatever you can get, in some cases you’re lucky to even get unsubbed/undubbed copy in any watchable quality. But I am pretty sure that for more mainstream oriented public this would be really a deal-breaker. People got accustomed to first-class handling of their cinema diet, which is OK, sure…but they might really miss on some gems.

And I’d say Filipino or other Asian are still more available in dubbed or subbed form, than cinematic pieces from yet another exotic country – Turkey. Despite having tremendous cinema, we’re not really accustomed to watch Turkish movies or TV series, except for those brought to our collective concience by Onar Films or bits here or there. But once seen, these movies can’t be unseen. Jeff Goodhartz in his article “When Turkish Ninja Strike!” talks about two of such movies – Son Savasçi and Ölüm Savasçisi, starring one and only Cüneyt Arkin. That’s the Turkish movie legend, if you don’t know, and thse on pages 98-100.

And we’re not done with Turkey yet, for Jared Auner, who is known, for example, for his work for Mondo Macabro film company, and on pages 101-105 brings to your attention two more Turkish movies, namely Iblis and Hamal, under the title “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia”. And, of course, as with the other articles, also this one has nice graphic material to go along with the text. Always a bonus.

Not enough? I’ve thought so – Vicky Love offers her take on the marriage of horror and science fiction in the article “For Better For Worse” with the subtitle, well, “The Marriage of Hooror and Science Fiction” (pages 106-108).

By the way, if you want to know why publications such Weng’s Chop are important, there is no better example as the piece done by Jeremy Richey titled “Where’s Ringo?!: The Saga of Johnny Wadd in film, print and popular culture”. In 5-pages long article (accompanied by the covers of the movies) those avoiding the world of adult video pictures gonna find an interesting story about John C. Holmes and hist Johnny Wadd series of movies. Sure thing, it might be not everyone’s cuppa, and I’m not gonna dispute it, it just serves as an example how the previously unknown world of underground cinema (because, that’s what it was) – and not only – from golden era of adult video is getting recognized in 21st century. The article alone is nothing short of fantastic and again, it’s an example of how to write a sensitive and non-offensive article about quite a sensitive – and for many an offensive – topic.

Seven of the Best Horror Films Shot in the State of Georgia, that’s the subtitle of the article of “Peaches, Peanuts & Cinematic Panic” by Eric Matthew Harvey, in which you’ll gonna encounter movies such as Grizzly, The Visitor and others (and if you count with me, I have left 5 titles intentionally).

No lying – I love doing interviews, I love reading interviews. Therefore the next segment here is one of my favourites, and it contains these interesting interviews:

One with with Mikhail Ilyin, the owner of the Wrong Side of the Art, which is a website containing shitloads of high resolution images of movie posters – horror, sci-fi, exploitation, cult, trash, b-movies..you’ll find it there. Absolutely fascinating viewing!!!

Another one with John Alan Schwartz, the writer-producer-director of infamous shockumentary series Faces of Death, which I guess many of readers at least heard about. Here you can learn thing or two about this gruesome docu, something you’ll probably never have guessed. Check this out!

And because third is the charm, the long (and I mean long) interview with Leon Isaac Kennedy will definitely shut any moaning mouth up. Who is he? Well, hints…Penitentiary, Penitentiary II, Lone Wolf McQuade and quite a few more should give you some insight into who Mr. Kennedy is and what movies he’s starred in. And although I might not seen all of them, I sure as hell have read this cool intie with interest. And you should too (should I really repeat myself?).

Now, next three short interviews belong to graphic artists. And although this is something one probably doesn’t think immediately about, when talking about movies, there’s no doubt the graphic art plays a vital role in the marketing of movies and other related stuff. Just see the awful state of movie posters/DVD covers nowadays…Honestly, if I am picking stuff for the covers, I will dismiss good 80 per cent of movies for their horrendous art. But I digress….Megh (the creator of “Machete Nun” variant of WCH #5), Jolyon Yates (the creator of the Jungle Girl cover of the same issue – the one I have with me) and late Bill Chancellor (the Jiangshi cover of the same issue, who, unfortunately, has died shortly after doing this short interview, R.I.P.).

Geek Roundtable is a feature of the magazine where various experts give their opinions on one particular film. This time, it’s a legendary I Spit On Your Grave, and it occupies pages 147 to 159. And even if you don’t like rape/revenge movies, this section is worth of your reading time.

Short, but one of my fave – that what I can say about Brian Harris’ “Beatdown/Heads Up” feature reviewing 4 budget boxsets from Mill Creek Entertainment. I wanted to get them before, but thanks to writing this review, I feel the fresh urge to get them now, finally. Might be not the best quality, but for the price, you’re not gonna complain. Why would you, hm?

Delving into an Asian cinema’s waters, Louis Paul introduces us to movies such as Blood Ritual, The Clones of Bruce Lee and few others (but Ninja in the Claws of the CIA is my absolute favourite). Brief and to-the-point discussion of each flick here are a delight to read and as it’s almost a rule in the WCH…you’re not only craving to see the movie discussed – you also want to get and see the movies referenced! Welcome to the world of movie junkies, lol. At least now you know why we have never enough money 🙂

Douglas Waltz continues his series about Mexican monster movies with 3rd installment of Mexican Monsters on Parade and I want to have his knowledge. Again, this is something I was not even aware of a few years ago, thanks to contributions like this one I at least have a dim knowledge of its existence. You can’t go wrong with that.

Stephen R. Bissette reviews (in a detailed review, that is) a few space themed movies. Ever heard of Rocketship X-M? 12 to the Moon? Me neither. That’s why I am re-reading it again. And if you are a fan of sci-fi movies, I have no doubt you’ll find this article fascinating as well.

Slowly, but steadily, coming to the end of this info-packed issue, we can’t finish without mentioning my total favorite column – Jeff Goodhartz’s Pimping Godfrey Ho. Enough said. Even with bad moviemaking, reading about this crazy guy’s movies is THE experience. And this is, really, no kidding, one of my favourite colums in the WCH and luckily, there are a lot of movies to write about still!!!

24 long pages. Imagine that. 24 long pages and that’s Tim Paxton’s detailed walk through the cinematic output of Kanti Shah, in yet another installment of his on-going, breath-taking series about Indian cinema. If you call yourself a movie lover, you owe it to yourself to read it. Obviously, this is a very limited area here, because majority of these movies are hard-to-find and even then without dubbing or subtitles, but still…that’s just unbelievable. But even more unbelievable is Tim’s detailed knowledge here. There’s some example for you, young ones. Go, read, weep and learn.

Exploitation has many faces, one of those is southernsploitation and although I haven’t heard the term before, it’s only logical, as Steven Ronquillo, a long time contributor to WCH will prove in his article about Moonshine Mania discussing titles like Thunder Road or White Lightning (among others).

I’ve said it before and I might repeat it here as well, another well loved colum for me is Greek VHS Mayhem by Christos Mouroukis. And well placed title, because it’s really a mayhem! What titles, what movies, what an art!!!

Pages 212-234 are reserved for movie reviews, so if you still don’t have enough to digest, here you can find some more to chew on.

The mini poll on pages 235 to 238 is a nice time capsule with many interesting and important people giving their opinion on what they considered their favourite film of 2013. That’s kinda nice to see in the retrospective and there are a few items mentioned I have missed when they were a new ones…and there’s also a few names to learn and note down as well!

The same theme continues from 240 to 249, but this time it’s WCH contributors talking about their faves in 2013. Should I repeat myself? I’ve thought so.

Print section is the last one, and it’s always a bitter experience for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love to read it, as I am a print publications’ fan…then you check the price – OK (unless we’re talking McFarland, their stuff is great but pricey as hell, we’re talking an arm and the leg sometimes), but the postage! Fu*kin’ hell, they have to be kidding me! And yes, folks, it’s got worse since 2013. Therefore, even with not liking Amazon’s policies, it’s really hard to buy some stuff nowadays, if it’s not available through Bezos’ empire.

Anyway, enough mourning.

This long review should give you a detailed view of what you can expect in this fantastic issue. Now go get it. I mean it.

Order here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wengs-Chop-Jungle-Girl-Cover/dp/1497332060/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=weng%27s+chop+5&qid=1589797816&sr=8-2

Spaghetti Western Digest #1

The Spaghetti Western Digest issue #1 (a review)

Today we’re gonna continue with another spaghetti western publication and it’s from the pen of my friend Mike Hauss again! Well, no surprise, there are not that many experts about that interesting cinema genre (unlike with horror, where anyone can offer their two cents of opinion).

an eurowestern book cover

One can argue there are some authoritative sources (for example, Any Gun Can Play by Kevin Grant), and that’s certainly true, but even with the whole scope of just spaghettis (outside the overall scope of eurowesterns), I don’t think the topic is done to the death.

Straight from the beginning (and I’ve discussed this with Mike as well) I was little confused why there should be two different titles with the same genre content, for, as you know, Mike is publishing Spaghetti Westerns (issue #1 reviewed here, and #2 here) and The Spaghetti Western Digest as separate publications. But in the end of the day, it’s just the case of different titles and issue numbers. So, with this little intro, let’s see what’s in store for us here.

This 200-pages long publication is by all counts a major upgrade in Mike’s publishing efforts. One would probably never have guessed how much work one puts into publication like this. And I will always praise those who strive to get better with their next step. And that’s the case here. Under the eye-catching cover we find well designed publication which is a pleasure to read.

And you can be sure as hell there’s a lot to read. So, as it’s always (or nearly always) my habit, let’s see the contents one-by-one.

Tom Betts from Westerns all Italiana
Tom Betts is one of the leading experts on Westerns al’Italiana, a.k.a. Spaghetti Westerns.

The opening article by Tom Betts, “The Making of and the Influence of WAI” (where WAI stands for Westerns… All’italiana, previously a genre fanzine, now a genre blog) and if you know your stuff, then you know the importance of said fanzine. If you don’t know, this article is a great intro by the man responsible for it. Great read, as a publisher myself, I love stories such this one.

Next piece here is an interview with Javier Ramos and if you remember, Mr. Ramos has been already interviewed for Spaghetti Westerns, but with his book Cine del Oeste en la Comunidad de Madrid (co-authored with Angel Caldito Castellano) was released, it was another opportunity to interview the expert. And you won’t be disappointed, even if you have zero knowledge of eurowesterns (I humbly include myself to that category), and it might even arouse your interest! One never knows… and it’s never late to try.

Wild East release of Requiem for Gringo
Requiem for Gringo released by Wild East

Well, if you love long – and I do mean, long – detailed studies, then Van Roberts’ article essay on Six Guns in the Eclipse (a.k.a. Requiem for Gringo) is your thing. I will readily admit it was the hardest piece for me to get into. It’s clearly written from the point of someone truly “in the know”and for the more knowledgeable, but in the end, even if you don’t have a clue what the hell it’s all about, looking on the brighter side – there are mentioned so many other interesting titles, the article is definitely worth checking at least twice (believe me, twice).

The director Paolo Bianchini.

Mike himself offers his opinion about Paolo Bianchini and that’s another long essay and again, so many interesting things to learn, followed by…

Chuck Cirino, the director/producer/composer.

…Chuck Cirino interview. OK, you don’t have to be a spaghetti western fan, but that’s the guy responsible for the soundtrack for Jim Wynorski’s Chopping Mall. Now you know.

Time for a few reviews, this time from the pen of Dennis Capicik. Do you want to know which movies did he review? Well, no guessing, get the damn publication!

Blu ray release from the Wild East

Van Roberts’ offered another long detailed essay on A Bullet for the President. I haven’t read it, to be honest, I can’t explain why, but I want to see the movie first. Don’t ask why, it’s just the feeling. But with 25 pages long essay, you can be pretty sure he hasn’t left any stone unturned.

Eugenio Ercolani is another from the team of writers assembled for this volume, offering his opinion on Paolo Bianchini, followed by the interview with the expert conducted by Mike Hauss.

And if you think that’s all – we’re just entered the second half. Yep!

Bret Halsey

With it, there’s another interview, this time with Bret Halsey (+ his biography). You know who it is? I haven’t got a clue before reading the article, but obviously, now I can be a wise-ass (a little bit). That’s what you get from reading, ya know?

What’s left, before the last page’s Afterword, is quite a few movie reviews.

Of course, not to forget, there are lots and lots of pictures, posters, lobby cards reproduced, so not only you can learn by reading, but also you can admire the great art of the great era – and that’s absolutely true statement (just check the awful movie art nowadays…see, what I mean?)

Summed up, great publication for the layman and expert alike.

Grab it on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spaghetti-Western-Digest-Issue-One/dp/1674380453/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=spaghetti+western+digest&qid=1588960068&sr=8-1

Mike Hauss – Spaghetti Westerns, volume 2 (a publication review)

My friend and a true spaghetti western connosieur Mike Hauss published the second volume of his new publication by the end of November 2019, and this time, it took me quite a long time to get it, I am ashamed to admit!!! I can’t remember the reason though, as I usually order my reading material straight after it’s released for the public…but then, the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 was quite turmulous, so…anyway, just the other day I’ve received my order from Amazon and among other publications (of which I’m gonna write later), there was this nice addition to my library.

For a long time now I can’t really say I prefer one genre or another. I simply like movies as such and usually watch them without any regards of genres or directors, although I’d say it depends on the mood, for example, currently I am in old school kung fu movies’ mood, so, there you go. But I would never miss the opportunity to learn about movies as such, and I am definitely spaghetti-positive, therefore, it’s simply a no-brainer I am buying publications about this genre also.

I’ve already covered the initial Spaghetti Westerns volume 1, so…what the second one brings? Well, for one, I like the fact you can see Mike’s getting better in doing the DTP work. I still admire his courage to do this project in MS Word (although for his new stuff he’s switched to Adobe InDesign and the difference is evident), because if you ever did more than the simple formatting in MS Word, you know that the “pain in the ass” description is spot on. So, I am not gonna dwell on formatting at all, although there are some cases of formatting errors, but as I’ve said – sometimes you can’t correct those, so let it be.

But I am buying mags and books because of their content. And there is quite a lot to enjoy here, and I tell you straight away, I was little surprised to see Mike’s opening the publication with – according to his opinion – an atrocious Adios, Cjamango. Why would you open with this, I thought. Of course, this is Mike’s publication and he can write as he pleases, but for some strange reason I was uneasy with it… but then, the truth is, as with any other genre, there are exceptional, good, bad and atrocious flicks in spaghetti westerns too. So I’ve said to myself – why are you overthinking stuff? Shut it and enjoy the reading! And so I did (therefore, it’s not a negative comment, just in case you wonder).

Robert Woods

I’ve heard about a few of movies reviewed here, but never seen them, so if you are like me, you will learn a lot here. From reviews of movies like (aforementioned) Adios Cjamango, Adios Hombre (a.k.a. Sette pistole per un massacre), Bounty Hunter in Trinity, Tails, You Lose, Ruthless Colt of the Gringo, Blood Calls To Blood and quite a few more we’ll get to the interview sections – and this volume boasts of the interview with John P. Dulaney, Glenn Saxon, Ernesto Gastaldi, Javier Ramos plus the first part of a fantastic piece about (and by) Robert Woods!!! Plus another 2 interesting articles, a suggested bibliography and not a few illustratios through the text and few extra at the end of the publication, this will last you some time – and I am sure you’ll gonna end up researching the availability of a few movies!!!

Mike is planning to re-do those first publications (probabl in one double-issue format), so you can either order them stand-alone or wait for the latter option. That’s totally up to you.

Summed up – it’s better than the first one and that’s good, but at the same time, they both belong together. I am definitely conent with it. Good work, Mike!

Order here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spaghetti-Westerns-Two-Michael-Hauss/dp/1099497507/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=spaghetti+westerns+volume+2&qid=1587831704&sr=8-5

and if you want the more expensive color edition: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spaghetti-Westerns-Color-Michael-Hauss/dp/108308495X/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=spaghetti+westerns+volume+2&qid=1587831751&sr=8-4

P.S.: A fun fact – Did you notice a mention of yours truly in “Thanks” category? Tell you now…feels great! Thank you for thanking me, Mike!

Spaghetti westerns 1 cover

Michael Hauss – Spaghetti Westerns! Volume 1 (a book/zine review)

It’s a book, it’s a zine…it’s a bookzine!!! OK, I’ve gone a little too artistic on this, but the truth is – it’s a truly true statement! Hm…I need to stop trying to be funny now, let’s get serious. Because this publication deserves a serious treatment.

Spaghetti westerns 1 cover

I was stoked the moment Mike has announced releasing his own publication dedicated to the genre of spaghetti westerns, or, as some would prefer – Westerns all’Italiana. Why? Because Mike knows his stuff and is one of a few people I know to be so knowledgeable about the spaghettis who are available to give an advice or provide an info for people like me, who barely scratch the top of the genre.

I will digress a little, but I am so waiting for someone to put a similar publication about Italian action movies and especially peplums…but alas, I think I might never see any. But back to our review.

So, we’re talking spaghetti westerns. In recent years there were a few great books about the subject (I am still stuck and buried in the great genre tome “Any Gun Can Play” by Kevin Grant), but I have no doubt that lovers of exploitation/cult cinema will agree with me there are never enough publications dedicated to any particular genre. And because writing and reviewing movies is one thing, but self-publishing a thing completely different, Mike does get a lot of credit for his work on this publication.

Now, with the background in publishing (nothing massive, but it’s here), I can definitely sympathize with Mike’s efforts and I can’t be too harsh on him – but I’d like to offer this critical review as a help and advice with some stuff which, in my humble and honest opinion, could be done better. Not that it matters too much, I – for one – read genre publications for the wealth of information, not to contemplate on the headline fonts and such, so take this with a pinch of salt, OK?

That applies only on the graphic/design part of this book/zine. Content-wise, there’s nothing but a big applause from yours truly. As I’ve said, Mike knows his stuff, so there is no need to lecture him on that.

However, I prefer the use of the same font for the body text (along with bold, italics or underline variety), and the mixture of various fonts and sizes here it’s not the best here, but I am sure Mike will sort this out in the volume 2 (which is aleady out, and I need to get it asap).

Content-wise, no one can complain. Especially bringing to one’s attention more obscure (and ultra-rare) genre movies deserves all the praise one can heap on such an effort. Review of “Gunman of 100 crosses” is a really nice to see here, and I’ve just seen the movie the other day, so it’s good to see an expert’s take on it (and I am glad I actually agree with the review)

The interview section is, unfortunately, not the best one. However, it’s not Mike’s fault – whatever question you ask, it’s up to the other side to provide a nice answer. It’s true you can answer even with one-two words, but personally I consider that quite, well, unsatisfactory. Anyway, I am really interested in Robert Woods interview in the next volume, let’s see if it’s any better.

Not to drag this review for too long, I will state this: I wholeheartedly support this publication (I’ve bought my copy), and even with my critical remarks I applaud Mike’s efforts. In the end of the day, everyone needs to start somehow.

If you like spaghetti westerns, this one is your new publication to read.

Go and get it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spaghetti-Westerns-Michael-S-Hauss/dp/1692070045/ref=sr_1_10?keywords=spaghetti+westerns&qid=1581758646&sr=8-10

ENZK #11 (a fanzine review)

A underground music fanzine done the old school way, yay! Well, this Scottish zine is little old, being published in November 2017, but if you live in the underground circles at least for some short time you’ve already learnt that time doesn’t mean much…and stuff can be timeless.

Scottish HC/punk/crust zine ENZK
The cover of ENZK #11

And I’ve received this zine just a few weeks ago, so for me it’s still fresh. And what counts – and that goes for any underground publication – is the wealth of information I can get from its pages. With ENZK, there is a lot of stuff to be find within its pages.

But let’s not hurry. ENZK’s issue #11 is 20 A4 pages long, with nice oldschool cut’n’paste layout and I feel like immediately moved back in time before the modern desktop publishing stuff. Do you remember typing articles on manual typewriters, drawing the borders for the zine’s pages, xeroxing it and spending hours stapling the pages together? Yep, you’re officially old, but that’s not the issue here. This is how ENZK looks like, although the main texts are written on computer and then cut’n’pasted onto the pages.

Well, the front cover kinda betrays this zine’s punk/HC/grindcore nature and straight from page 2 we’re getting immersed into the content. Little editorial and the rest of the page is filled with short-and-to-the-point reviews of some material I’ve never heard of but I am quite eager to get.

Pages 3 aned 4 bring us the interview with Scottish female duo Bratakus and I’ve heard about them, but never had a chance to actually listen to their material, however, I’ve found the interview very nice and informative (and as a side note to the interviewed bands/artists – it all boils down to YOUR answers! Therefore, if interviewed, try to do you part as diligent as possible. End of rant).

Pages 5-7 belong to Goodbye Blue Monday, another Scottish punk/HC band and another informative interview (and I can say the guy answering the questions is quite chatty, which is a plus). As with Bratakus, also GxBxMx is great read also to find new bands to check.

Another interview, this time with Swedish crust band Last Climb, occupies pages 8-9. Short and to the point, as the hardcore/crust/punk music is.

Pages 10-13 – this is a quite comprehensive interview with Tragical History Tour / Uniforms. Of course, dumb me never heard about those, but that’s why I read zines – to find about stuff unknown to me, so excuse my lack of knowledge.

Lachance are not playing anymore, but this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the interview with them when they were still active. That’s pages 14-15 for you.

Next one to interview was Get It Together, another Scottish act and I think I am slowly falling in love with that scene…don’t know, but there are some really class acts there! Time to explore, at least for me!

And the last interview of this issue belongs to Gay Panic Defence. I’ve also heard of the name before, but now I’m gonna explore the band’s output along with some other bands from the area as well, so I am pretty much on a long quest!

And the rest of the page 19 is filled with a few short reviews (as in page 2).

Last page, page 20, is an ad page for Everyday Madness Everyday Records, which is Graham’s another effort to spread underground/DIY music with his project Violent Pacifists (see the review).

All said and done, this little zine was a great, refreshing read. I wish to be able to get older issues, which probably is just a wish now, as they are long gone, but if you somehow stumble upon it, don’t hesitate to spend some of your moolah on it. Not only you’ll support the underground, but you also get some great reading. And that’s worth it, isn’t it?

Contact: https://www.facebook.com/everydaymadnesseveryday/

Buy it here: https://everydaymadnesseveryday.bandcamp.com/merch

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