With this issue, The Dark Side hits its 25th year, which is pretty good going for a magazine which was once on the scrapheap and eventually rose like a chilling phoenix fashioned from the bones and entrails of the fallen issues in order to become something very special again.
It overcame some controversy, fought its way back to the shelves of newsagents and has sales figures which continue to grow despite other magazines going the way of the dinosaur as so many people now get their media fix solely through digital media.
Of course, The Dark Side has a strong digital presence, but the main feature is always the magazine itself. Issue 163 goes for the jugular with an eye-catching Christopher Lee painting announcing the feature on Hammer’s Dracula movies within. There are plenty of other bloody good features to get your mouths watering throughout its pages, though.
The interview with Japanese splatter queen Asami is really interesting, with her coming across as incredibly humble and pleasant. I mean, there’s no reason she shouldn’t be lovely, but after watching stuff like Machine Girl, RoboGeisha and Mutant Girls Squad, you might be wary of anyone who may have giant weapons hidden about her person.
The Year For Fear this issue is 1958, and the nostalgia is nicely illustrated by movie ads and stills throughout. That feature doesn’t always entice me in, but this one is particularly fine. A feature on sci-fi movies in the 1960s is an absolute delight, as is the feature on FrightFest 2014.
An interview with Jenny Runacre from Woman in Black 2 is pretty standard stuff, but high quality. Rounded out by a look back at Giallo movies and the second half of the excellent Craig Reardon interview (alongside the usual reviews, letters and columns which entertain and enrage in sometimes equal measure), The Dark Side once again has bloody well earned its place on the shelves.