After finding the previous issue a little frustrating and unsatisfying, it’s with great pleasure that I can say The Dark Side is well and truly back on track with its latest edition. This issue the balance of brilliant retro features and more contemporary scene based material is spot on, making for a much kore balanced read. Behind the customarily gorgeous cover painting this month there are some absolute delights for horror and genre fans old and new.
First up there’s an interesting interview with Michael Armstrong, whose 1970 film Mark of The Devil received the gloriously cheesy rating of ‘V’ for violence! A set visit from the making of current Hammer opus The Quiet Ones is fascinating if a little brief when compared to the lengthy reader letters section (although that too is a joy thanks to some genuinely insightful letters).
The ‘Year for fear’ for this issue is 1953, and takes a look at the important genre releases of that year in detail, including the iconic take on HG Wells’ The War Of The Worlds. Another superb retro themed feature follows, this time a wonderful delve into Hammer’s brief obsession with prehistoric movies featuring cave-girls galore and the genius stop-motion dinosaur work of the legendary Ray Harryhausen.
After the reviews section we are treated to a report on the 8th Welsh Abertoir Horror Festival (Think about the name in relation to Wales for a second before assuming it’s a typo, by the way, heh). The concluding part of the magazine’s giant interview with classic horror actress Barbara Steele is up next and keeps the entertainment value high, as does an interview with Bill Mosely, aka Chop Top from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 plusThe Devil’s Rejects and more.
A rare interview with Hong Kong genre legend Andy Laugh rounds the features off nicely, and with the regular columns and whatnot present and correct, issue 159 of The Dark Side sees the magazine getting their mix very right indeed once again. A pleasure of a magazine, and a totally essential purchase for genre fans around the world.