Tuesday, June 22, 2010

And now, a shoutout to the late, great Psychotronic Magazine

I'll spare you the convoluted but not especially interesting chain of associations that led me to visit the website of Michael Weldon's Psychotronic magazine, but I was immediately compelled to flip through the real, live issues — 41 in all — I accumulated between 1989 and 2004, when it ceased publication. They're a treasure trove of trash, which I mean in the best possible way: Reviews of obscure, overlooked and marginal movies of every stripe, along with interviews and sundry features aimed squarely at connoisseurs of the freaky and forgotten.

Yes, the web is full of specialized movie sites, some of them great. But when issue number one of Psychotronic came out, there was no web, just a jumble of irregularly published 'zines that you might just run across if you happened to be in the right book or record store on the right day at the right time.   Michael's 1983 Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film grew out of his own weekly 'zine, an "alternative TV Guide" that singled out the kind of movies that never got a TV Guide spotlight, was the bible of movie fans like me. Michael was a scholar and a connoisseur of trash culture before it was cool, and Psychotronic was where you could find things like this piece on Ron and June Ormond, regional filmmakers/distributors who made exploitation pictures like the astonishing Exotic Ones (1968, aka The Monster and the Stripper until they survived a plane crash, saw the light and switched to making Jesus movie. Great stuff.

So visit the website, check out the Facebook page and buy Michael's Psychotronic Video Guide (the Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film is tough to find and scary expensive): If you're reading this, you won't be sorry.

1 comment:

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