Sunday, January 4, 2009

Flashback: “Web Terror Stories”

Moving some books around on the shelf today I came across the only copy I own of one of the more outre magazines in the history of American pulp fiction. A web search coughed up some details of its publication history I was not previously aware of. And since we’re making a transistion from the JournalSpace version of this enterprise, and because a selective reprinting of “greatest hits” makes more sense to me than a wholesale ‘migration,” here’s my earlier post on the subject:

Pulp Fiction: Web Terror Stories
posted Wed, 23 Mar 2005 18:23:00 -0800

Web Terror Stories is a strange case. This was an ostensible horror-fiction magazine that published only eight issues in the early 1960s. But as I discovered when I purchased a copy from a newsstand in a small town in Maine around 1963, it was actually peddling a form of pulp S & M, neo-Gothic in which, invariably, “the lash bit into her tender flesh.”

No one has ever written anything about this magazine as an odd, brief excrescence of American underbelly culture. Reading it at 13, of course, I was thoroughly freaked out by the mixture of sadism and sexual stimulation, which was a commodity not as pervasive in the culture as it is now. I knew this thing was a hot potato and discarded it before my parents could stumble over it and express their disappointment.Recently I went on line to see if I had hallucinated the whole thing, and discovered that there is quite a flourishing market for back issues of this publication, with copies in good condition selling for upwards of $100.00---though none of the on-line references seem to be aware of what the magazine actually was -- and of course (though yellowed and brittle) still is. Unless that's a ruse, and the special character of this publication is now a watchword among B&D enthusiasts.

Best 10 of 2004:

The Passion of the Christ (Mel Gibson)

Swades (Ashutosh Gowariker, India)

House of Flying Daggers (Zhang Yimou, China/Hong Kong)

The Incredibles (Brad Bird)

The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (Takeshi Kitano, Japan)

Kill Bill Vol. 2 (Quentin Tarantino)

Collatoral (Michael Mann)

Lakshya (Farhan Akhtar, India)

Breaking News (Johnny To, Hong Kong)

Bang Rajan (Tanit Jitnukul, Thailand)

A Very Long Engagement (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, France)


GoJoe said...

'05 through '08?

Generic said...

Actually '02. First entry was on Stuart Gordon's "Dagon." (I liked it.)