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Weng‘s Chop #1 (magazine review)

I don‘t remember this clearly, but I think I‘ve bought issues 0, 1,2 and 3 together in one batch. So, after my look at the issue which has started it all – yeah, issue 0, if you haven‘t figured it out – let‘s have a look at the issue numero uno (and that issue #1 and I don‘t speak Italian, I‘m just being a smart ass, lol).

The cover image by David Barnes portraits Yaphet Kotto, and there is a good reason for it. By the way, to that moment I haven‘t had a slightest clue who the hell Yaphet Kotto was (and I think it‘s a nice example of the transformation of the casual movie/TV watcher into a early stage of movie loving person), which, obviously, with this issue has changed. And it was published in September 2012. Gosh, a long time ago indeed!

Now, before jumping into the contents of this issue, let‘s see who‘s contributed to it. Apart from the editor/publisher Brian Harris and editor/designer Tim Paxton we see some writers from the issue #1 have returned with fresh contributions. Therefore we have Bennie Woodell, Dan Taylor, Mike Haushalter, Phillip Escott and David Barnes, along with new contributors Douglas Waltz (Divine Exploitation zine), a famous comics writer Stephen R. Bissette, Gary Baxter and Danae Dunning.

One thing I was – and am am still – not really keen on is the different format of the publication. The issue #0 has a different layout/format than following „regular“ issues, but we also have „Spooktacular“ issues, which are book-sized. Now, me being me, I‘d just love to have them in one size, nicely lined on my shelf and I have my Monster! magazine issues (and don‘t worry, we‘re gonna get to those as well), but alas…this is not gonna happen, but I just wanted to mention it in passing. No big deal.

OK, but time to devour the info, whadya say?

On page 2 we are greeted with a small editorials from Brian and Tim and the little authors‘ info about the contributors I‘ve mentioned above.

And from there, on pages 3-16, we have a fresh dose of the movie reviews. Be afraid, be very afraid, as your hard earned cash and savings in bank accounts gonna get some serious blows. I‘ve aleady got some of those, some are unavailable and some are fucking expensive to get, so I have to let it pass…for now. But that‘s how you learn about movies, folks! Obviously, today you can just open your browser and off you go, but I am old school. I like to read mags and books, and if you happen to stumble upon some movie-loving soulmates, like these two movie junkies (I‘m looking at you, Brian and Tim!), with a knowledge one probably never acquires, well, it‘s time to assume the role of Padawan and get on with it.

Pages 17-20 brings us to the portrait of Yaphet Kotto (along with a short interview with him) and I can‘t remember seeing him neither in the Nightmare on Elm Street 6, nor in the Eye of the Tiger, so I think it‘s time to re-visit those, although I didn‘t like Freddy‘s Dead that much – on the contrary, Gary Busey as the main hero is always the reason for a re-watch!

Pages 21-23 are dedicated to an elaborate mini-thesis by Stephen R. Bissette about The Killer Shrews and I haven‘t been prepared for this, haha.

Pages 24-28 are dedicated to Tim Paxton‘s article (done with the help of Chaitanya Reddy) about Indian director Vinod Talwar and I can‘t but admire Tim‘s dedication in bringing these obscure movies and directors to our attention. Yeah, the more you read about Indian cinema in WCH or Monster!, the more you want to see them. And don‘t tell me there is somebody who would pass on seeing some really crazy Indian horror movie. Yep, I‘ve thought so, otherwise, why would you read a magazine like this one?

Pages 29-32 contain an interesting interview from Brian Harris with Adam Brooks, one of the guys behind Astron-6, who are responsible for stuff like Astron-6: Year One, Manborg and Father‘s Day, The Editor and others. Cool stuff and I am sure you‘ll find it interesting as well.

Pages 33-35 are dedicated to a lengthy loving tribute to Las Vegas Bloodbath, SOV sleaze from 1989 (I haven‘t yet seen, I need to add) and you can tell Ryan Carey from TrashFilmGuru blog really loves it. And his blog is worth checking as well!

36-37 page spread, that‘s the article Dr. Death: From Boy to Man, Cult Film and I by Gary Baxter and although it‘s nice, telling us about Gary‘s growing up with movies, I couldn‘t shake the feeling it was kind of a little filler. But that being said, I won‘t argue even such articles have their merit, so don‘t take my little criticism as something dragging this issue down.

Because it‘s not and the next article just proves it with gusto. It‘s the Part 2 of Tim Paxton‘s series about Indian fantastic films, entitled The Take Away. That‘s pages 38-49 and there is also a short bio of Sapna Tanveer (Sapna Shah), the wife of Indian director Kanti Shah. Oh, boy, she‘s indeed a good looking! And the movies Tim‘s talking about, man… You just need to read about it to feel the urge to hunt at least some of them down.

Page spread 50-51 is dedicated to „The Bookshelf“, i. e. reviews of movie related books. This one is just sooo bad for my wallet, everytime I read about various books, I just go to Amazon (or other sites of interest) and spend money. Seriously, this needs to stop! Just kidding, you know…

And the last page, page 52, is dedicated to WCH run adverts. Shame the postage from the good ole USA was so high back then (and it‘s even higher now), preventing the ordering of many indie titles. But I hope people did find those ads helpful.

And the back cover? That‘s a collage of lobby card of mainly Indian movies (plus Astron-6), a fitting ending to this wonderful issue of one of the best movie magazines around.

Have guys topped this with the issue #2? Well, if you don‘t have it in your collection (what are you waiting for?), then you have to wait for our next review to check.

All said and done, you can grab a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wengs-Chop-1-Brian-Harris/dp/1479332585

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Rudolf Schütz

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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