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I kinda missed the whole `zine thing. I was born too late and have always lived in small towns without access to great zines. Having discovered some great ones through the internet and also contributed to a few, I'm always on the lookout for more. Fatal Visions was a great zine out of the land down under and this book is a collection of the first six issues.
The issues span 1988-1989 which was a great time for cult/genre film. The purpose of Fatal Visions was to cover all of the films of interest (horror, action, sci-fi) that played in theaters. It also extensively reviews video releases and other zines/books published during that time. It's a wonderful time capsule that let me "relive" that era even though I was only 4 when the first issue was published. It's also interesting to see largely American films covered from an OZ perspective. They also covered really hard to find Australian films and more times then not, tore them to pieces but I was able to glean a few gems.
One of the most fun aspects of the book were the reviews for now seminal/cult classics. It's great to see boldly honest reviews of films many now hold up as untouchable. An example is the review of Robocop. The critic thought it was going to be terrible and stupid but was shocked that it was such a great film. Another example was the less than glowing review of Child's Play, a series that is still going strong today. You also get reviews of porno palaces, trips to L.A., and commentary on the state of censorship in Australia.
I really enjoyed reading Fatal Visions Volume 1 and I can't wait until the next one comes out. I wish more compendiums would be published so that those of us who weren't there can see what it was like and find some hidden gems that have been lost through the decades. A solid book and a solid buy.