This is a Holiday Special bumper edition of Headpress or HEADzine as the online counterpart is called. See bottom of page. Part one is devoted to the contemporary Grand Guignol, and the second part the landscape of the counterculture by way of some of its books and publishers.
In part one, David Kerekes takes to the London ‘blood scene’ (‘The Grand Guignol is Dead and Living in London,’ p4), which also includes an interview with Tom Richards and Stewart Pringle of Theatre of the Damned (p7). Stewart Pringle then talks about Frederick Witney, Britain’s forgotten master of the Grand Guignol (p24). We turn our attention Stateside hereafter, to the roots of the Grand Guignol revival, by way of Kerekes’ own peculiar interest in the photograph that adorns this month’s cover and an interview with actor, writer and stage director Charles Schneider (p16). We round out this section with a look at Grand Guignol horror film, notably an ode to H G Lewis’ existential The Wizard of Gore by John Harrison (p31) and Joel M Reed’s filthy Blood Sucking Freaks by Dr Spike (p35). Spike also addresses Grand Guignol’s influence on the wider culture of Times Square and sleaze in 1970s America.
As a very special Théâtre du Grand Guignol bonus, we have reproductions of pages from an original 1927 theatre programme tucked away at the back (p98).
The second part of Headpress 2.6 opens with James Reich discussing the work of Philip K Dick and its place in the California eugenics program (p60), an article illustated by Michael Robinson. John Szpunar considers the so-called humour magazine Cracked (a mirror to modern culture and history), by way of an interview with Mark Arnold, the author of two very big books on the subject (p67). Szpunar then teams up with Melanie Danté for an archive interview with V Vale of the inestimable publishing house RE/Search (p80), while Gavin Baddeley interviews Adam Parfrey of Feral House (p93). Rounding out this section, Thomas McGrath dissects the latest in a growing line of writers he has known (p74). Illustated by Dan White.
The archive material this time is courtesy Wheezer McTeague, whose article here originally appeared in Headpress 6 (p101).
Cover photo: Paul Zollo