While Pumpkin Spice Lattes herald the witching season for some, I look forward to the announcement of a new issue of Little Shoppe of Horrors magazine. Editor Richard Clemenson has been producing the ‘zine since the early 1970’s. I believe I bought my first issues at either a Creation or Famous Monsters Con in 1972. Against the odds of print publication in the 21st century LSoH has settled into a steady biannual rhythm.
If I Had A Hammer…
Over the years they’ve covered the production details of Hammer Films, and a few Hammer- styled outliers like Tigon’s The Blood on Satan’s Claw (a personal favorite). Much to their credit, LSoH continues to keep it’s fannish feel while offering up features of encyclopedic depth about the Horror genre in general and Hammer Films’ production in particular.
I lean toward process over product. I love the production minutiae, current and contemporaneous interviews, and anecdotal nature of LSoH’s coverage. Outcomes don’t have to be Gone With the Wind epic to make me curious about how a film got made – and many of Hammer’s most certainly weren’t – but often the fails are more interesting than the successes.
That Old Devil Moon…
Issue #39 looks at Hammer’s last film, To the Devil… A Daughter. A valiant effort to keep the studio afloat that saw them bring back Christopher Lee, and partner him with Richard Widmark. Nastassja Kinsky is in the mix too. LSoH’s advance copy entices us to “read the crazy story behind TTD..AD by David Taylor from the very beginning when Christopher Lee met [author] Dennis Wheatley, through Hammer’s 1967 The Devil Rides Out. Lee’s Charlemeange production of Nothing But the Night; then The Wicker Man. And finally the traumatic trip to get To the Devil…A Daughter made.”
Moon Zero Two, Hammer’s late 1960’s dip into science fiction is also assayed with making of and EFX articles, as well as an interview with actress Catherine Schell who went on to cult status with her role in Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s Space: 1999 television series.
If you’re a longtime genre fanboy, a Hammer newbie, or anything in between you owe yourself a look at Little Shoppe of Horrors magazine. Topics scheduled for LSoH 2018 issues include Quatermass and the Pit, and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth.
You can order a copy of #39, and consider choices from the decades long selection of back issues at the Little Shoppe of Horrors Website.