For folks who want to avoid all the insider stuff you can usually find on the internet, “Diabolique” ventures to offer something different in the horror spectrum. There’s less focus on the Hollywood aspect of horror, and more on the more underground anti-establishment perspective that horror aficionados will definitely appreciate. This is the first time in a while I’ve read a magazine without skipping past a section I just didn’t want to waste time on. The centerpiece of the magazine is the wonderful history of the horror comedy.
Writer Ken Hanley covers how the horror comedy flourished after “Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein,” transformed in the glam rock era, stalled in the nineties with a slow death, and then blasted back in to the mainstream with stuff like “Shaun of the Dead” and “Scream.” The retrospective doesn’t cover everything, but it does pinpoint some of the most important milestones of the genre hybrid with “Rocky Horror,” and “Freaked” to “Scooby Doo,” and “The Munsters.” Director Alex Winter offers much insight in to the phenomenon and how difficult it is to master. There’s an excellent article about director Joe Dante, and his struggles with the Hollywood system during his making of “Gremlins.”
We garner some interesting tidbits on the original production including how Gizmo was only going to be a small character but ended up the hero of the piece thanks to Steven Spielberg, and how Dante’s sequel intentionally spoofed the “Gremlins” phenomenon. Dante also oddly enough refers to “Small Soldiers” as an unofficial “Gremlins” take off. For indie horror movie lovers like myself, there’s a well written look in to the success of indie filmmaking team Astron-6, and we get to know Jason Eisener, director of “Hobo with a Shotgun” in his own profile.
He discusses the sudden success with his “Hobo” trailer for “Grindhouse,” and how he made “Treevenge” to prove he wasn’t a one trick pony. “Grue Romance” profiles Ben Wheatley on the making of his indie horror film “Sightseers,” not to mention Adam Wingard is given his chance to shine with his discussion of his past films including his fan favorite of 2013 “You’re Next,” which I can’t wait to see. Jess Franco fans will be delighted to read the exploration of the late director’s most famous and infamous horror films, as well as his fixation on sexuality and vampires.
There’s also a great look at artist Akiko Stehrenberger who not only created the wonderful poster art for indie “Kiss of the Damned,” but for many other noted movie posters. Finally, fans of the 2013 alien horror comedy “Grabbers” will enjoy the look at director Kevin Lehane’s alien genre entry, and the intricate special effects behind it. For anyone interested in a change of pace in horror fandom, “Diabolique” is a definitely well put together and informative genre magazine that leaves no stone unturned when exploring the indie facets of horror that are outside the Hollywood machine. Subscribe today.