Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Monster Mag is back! This notorious UK poster magazine was published by Top Sellers between 1974 - 76, and featured articles on horror cinema on one side, opening up to a giant poster on the other side, for young horror kids to tape to their bedroom walls and horrify their parents and visiting relatives.

Usually featuring a strong Hammer content, the second issue of Monster Mag ran afoul of UK censors when customs intercepted copies shipped from Italy, where the magazine was printed. Most copies of the second issue were destroyed, making it one of the most valuable monster movie magazines around (subsequent issues had 'For sale to adults only' noted on the cover, in a bid to placate censors). 

Now, Dez Skinn - who took over as publisher on the last few issues before moving onto Hammer's House of Horror and Starburst magazines - has produced an (almost*) exact reprint of the ultra-scarce second issue of Monster Mag, with plans to reprint some of the other more notorious issues in the near future (next up is the planned but never published XX issue, featuring a poster of a bloody and bare chested Yutte Stensgaard from Lust for a Vampire).

My copy of issue 2 arrived today and it's a beauty. I was too young to have bought this publication at the time, and have never come across any back issues during my many bookstore and online digs. The format is larger than I anticipated (though I believe the dimensions of the magazine changed over the course of its 17 issue run). The images aren't as gruesome as I expected, no doubt time has diminished its impact. But the fold-out poster of the funnel mouthed creature from The Mutations is great, and this is certainly a cool relic of early-70's UK horror publishing, without the exorbitant 2014 collector's prices.

* The reprint does have a website address listed on its interior masthead, along with a 'Digitally remastered by Dez Skinn' credit, to stop unscrupulous dealers trying to fob it off as an original printing.