I find it nearly impossible to criticize any zine that has been produced by passionate film buffs. Obviously, some are in leagues of their own and demand more respect while others are efforts that should only be commended for their publishers having given it a shot and expressing some level of creativity. In other words, there are some really bad zines, but at least the creators of those got off their asses and did something.
Enter Flesh Hunter, an 80s zine out of the UK that probably never got beyond this first issue which featured a nice photo of Jessica Harper from Suspiria on the cover. It’s either admirable or delusional to number this first issue #001, as if there might eventually be an issue #100. The contents of this single-stapled zine is more like hurried notes, lists and pleas for contributors to actually fill the zine with something of substance, but that’s okay. For its unprofessional layout and content, it is more of a desperate teenager’s attempt at being part of the exploding zine scene. Despite all this, it’s still the most charming horror fanzine I’ve ever seen if only for the horrifyingly inept hand drawn gothic lettering used on the cover that looks more like Fiesta Hunter.
This legibility problem was not lost on the young publisher who admitted as much in his intro editorial and actually used the words Fiesta Hunter. The poor kid must have spent hours lettering the title only to look at it after completion to see that some might think his zine was about obscure Mexican restaurants, yet he kept the title as is. It’s this undeniably personal, time consuming effort that goes into old time zine making that I love so much and despite the lack of actual content, Flesh Hunter is just fine.
My contemporary publications inspired by Xerox-era zines are available HERE.