Edited by Naila Scargill
Picking up a copy of Exquisite Terror and perusing through its delightfully compact 48 A5 pages you’ll immediately be taken back to a time were fanzines were the only way to read about the horror genre before the internet came along and gave every wannabe the opportunity to share their thoughts with all. Now whilst the growth of the internet has, in the main, opened up the world to all and given the horror genre a much needed revitalisation by breaking down barriers of censorship it has also, by nature of its depth, lessened the quality standard of genre journalism. Exquisite Terror is here to address the balance.
Sadly, I was unaware of Exquisite Terror until this fourth edition arrived at SGM Towers but I was pleased to note that, as a snapshot of what readers should expect, it’s a perfect entry level edition. The content is diverse and intelligently written whilst not excluding readers who may not be as knowledgeable about the subject matter. Case in point being the lead coverage on the folklore and heritage of everyone’s favourite dark lord Dracula (scribe James Gracey does a sterling job covering the subject concisely and Leonardo Gonzalez compliments the piece with some delightful illustrations). Elsewhere we get equally engrossing articles on firm film favourites such as Jim Reader’s piece on Silence of the Lambs and Rich Wilson’s reflections on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre forty years down the line. Rich also supplies an excellent interview with the outspoken renegade filmmaker Jim Van Bebber (of Deadbeat At Dawn and Manson Family fame) who is as delightfully candid as ever which is captured perfectly in the piece. It should be pointed out that what stands out about Exquisite Terror is the writing style of all involved; it’s an absolute pleasure to read mature considered ponderings on the genre scene when a lot of online equivalents simply don’t meet such standards. Similarly, the artwork that accompanies each article is some of the finest horror art I’ve seen in years (Paul McCaffrey’s illustrations for the Texas Chainsaw articles would make sublime standalone art prints).
Exquisite Terror is a welcome addition to the genre market, a small but perfectly formed horror treat. In an ideal world this would be on sale at every horror festival as it would make the ideal between movie reading. Congratulations to Editor Naila Scargill for reviving the horror fanzine with such class. Highly recommended – check it out now!
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Review by Alan Simpson