MAGAZINE REVIEW: Popcorn Horror – February 2017
– By Mike Hunt!
The horror genre has a rich history of spawning some of the longest running publications around. I’m sure that most of us grew up eyeing the likes of Fangoria and Famous Monsters of Hollywood on the selves of our local WH Smiths, mesmerised by the blood soaked horrors that were like catnip to our horror loving minds! But times, well, they are changing, and these proud, long running names are becoming much harder to find on the news stands. Instead, many are releasing their new issues digitally, either directly or through “all you can eat” subscription apps like Magzter and the like.
And now, joining the illustrious names mentioned above, is a brand new digital magazine that puts the spot light firmly on independent horror. It’s called Popcorn Horror and is from our friends over at www.popcornhorror.com! The magazine is published Bi-Monthly, is available on a Pay What You Like basis and features some cracking indie horror writers, including a few whose work you can also read here at The Slaughtered Bird. So read on to see our thoughts on the February issue…
Each issue of Popcorn Horror has its own topical theme in addition to its regular features. With this being the February issue, it mixes a St. Valentines theme with articles celebrating this year’s Women In Horror Month. As we flick through the pages, after an introduction from Cara, the magazine’s editor, the first article we come to is a timeline of horror films directed by women. It is spread over 5 pages, and while it doesn’t really go into great details about the directors themselves, it’s an easy read that highlights how effective a female director can be.
Next up is an article on Valentine gifts for the horror fan. In the last issue, there were a couple of lists with Christmas gifts which was nicely done, and the quality is continued here. Using nice, clear photos with a small write up, the writer (although uncredited) has included a good range of items including monster chocolates and a Camp Crystal Lake candle, to a £90 case of Belgium zombie themed beer.
Then we move on to a nicely written piece by Jose Pedro Lopes where he talks about his upcoming debut feature; A Floresta Das Albas Perdidas (reviewed HERE), a Portuguese arthouse horror. Lopez goes into detail about his influences and the challenges that making a film on a low budget and under challenging condition entails.
The next article is back to the woman in horror theme and is contributed by The Slaughtered Bird reviewer Kriss Pickering. In the article Kriss plots the rise of the “scream queen” from their humble beginnings as simple damsels in distress in the 20’s, to their golden age of the late 70’s and 80’s to the modern day. Brilliantly written, this is a must read for fans of the slasher sub genre!
After the scream queen piece, we move onto one of the magazine’s regular pieces. Rock In Purgatory is a clever little comic strip created, written and illustrated by Rik Jackson. Brimming with dark humour, this is usually one of the first things I read when the new issues are released.
We revisit the Women In horror theme again with a cracking interview with Jennifer’s Bodies Film Festival organiser Jennifer Cooper. This in depth interview goes into detail about the festival, the women in horror month campaign and what Jennifer would like to see female horror directors do, and much, much more. This really is a fantastic read for all horror fans. There is also a section where some of the directors at the festival speak about their experiences of the challenges women face in the industry.
The W.I.H. theme continues for the next few pages where we find an extract from author Destiny West’s erotic/horror novel The Rebirth (which is definately NOT suitable for little eyes!). If you are a fan of horror fiction, there is another excerpt later on, this time from Elizabeth Black’s Roughing It.
Following this there is a section highlighting a selection of horror shorts that were created by women. After watching them all, there is a large mix with regards to quality, but are all worth a binge watch if you are stuck for something to do!
Next up is one of the better articles in this issue by another member Slaughtered Bird team, Stephen Harper. It’s an article that starts by looking at the shortcomings of today’s superhero craze, and goes on to be an impressive look at M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable and Split. Definitely worth a read…
To round off this issue is another contribution from Kriss Pickering. This time it is another of the magazine’s regular features, Diary of a Horror Nerd. In this section, Kriss records the ups and downs of his horror fandom, and how it affects his “real” life!
To sum things up, this is a very good quality magazine, and one that everyone associated with it should be proud of. With legendary names like Fangoria going through a rough patch, I urge all horror fans to get behind Popcorn Horror and make it a success. It is available to download on a pay what you like basis, so it wont cost you anything to give it a go. But if like me you love what the Popcorn Horror team are doing, then please consider paying a little to make sure the magazine goes on for as long as possible!