Monday, June 7, 2010

Psychotronic #1: the one that got away in 1989!

I still remember the evening in 1989 when I bought my first issue of Psychotronic Video. It was at Tower Records in Piccadilly in London. The issue was #3 and I immediately recognised that here was a grand genre film magazine done by a true fan (i.e. Michael Weldon). I'd never before come across a mag that heralded the trashier but non-horror films. But this was it!

And now, more than 20 yrs later, I've finally got hold of #1! Well, that is... I haven't actually GOT it yet but I've certainly WON it on eBay at the VERY, VERY affordable price of 18 dollars and 50 cents! If you think that's expensive then try and check out how much the other (few) copies currently retail for: One copy has a "buy now" price of $60 and another one of $95!! Yeah, I'd say 18.50 bucks was a strike of bloody luck (probably due to people in the rest of the world being asleep). Obviously, I'm crossing my fingers the postman isn't gonna chuck it at the bottom of this mail bag or some such. :-/

I kept buying Psychotronic for many, many years to come but lost interest about 10 issues before Michael Weldon closed the mad. I probably didn't have much money (no news there!) and there was too much of the contents I just didn't care about. Maybe I ought to get hold of them before they too disappear.

When I published the debut issue of my first fanzine, Banned in Britain, in 1994 I sold a pile of copies for destribution to Thomas Eikrem who was running his Rage distribution in Norway at the time (Rage was both a film mag and a distro. And I've just discovered he's still doing the mag! More on that later). The deal was I could choose stuff from his distro in return. I got a book and a couple of fanzines. That book was the original first Psychotronic book, The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film.

And I'm happy to report it's still here with me and still my favourite reference book. Yeah sure Weldon did another volume but I never thought it was as good as the first one (but needless to say I do own a copy of course. Thanks to Michelle Gilchrist of Melbourne who got me The Psychotronic Video Guide and the Mondo Macabro book in one helluva combined Christmas/birthday present in the early 2000s. Thanks!). I think there was talk of a third volume at some stage and I would certainly love to see one. Weldon has now a Psycotronic website but its leading a pretty stilleben life, unfortunately. I wonder what else he's up to these days.


  1. Jack,why don't ya talk about some aussie movies for a smiley gets a gun,wake in fright,last wave,man from hong kong,the golden cage,they're a wierd mob,walkabout,mad dog morgan,the skippy movie from the late 60s,age of consent etc etc.

  2. Haha, yeah I should shouldn't I. I still haven't even got the Ozsploitation film yet (nor the book). :-(

    I do however remember going to see the Aussie indie horror film BLOODLUST at the Glasshouse cinema in Melb. and (although a cool film) I was almost the only one there, LOL.

  3. the Aussie films that I remember seeing when they first came out at the cinema were Chain Reaction,Mad Max 2 and the Last Wave.
    The only time that(an almost empty cinema) happened to me was when I saw the Son of the Man who Saves the World at Hoyts Merrylands in Sydney. There was only me,my brother and his son.A private viewing for 3 time in the late 70s, when I saw the Humanoid with Richard Kiel, the theatre was more than half full but after half an hour the cinema began to empty out before the film was over.The only film I walked out on was Coming At Ya,the 3d spaghetti western from the early 80s.

  4. the ozploitation doco was on sbs a couple of months ago.most of it was full of filth(HAHAHA) with nudity,people throwing up,burping,taking drugs,binge drinking,farting,setting themselves on fire,performing crazy stunts etc etc.The chinese actor from the man from hong kong use to eat dead flies before kissing the aussie actresses in that film.

  5. My cousin and his friend actually own the rights to the original PSYCHOTRONIC MAN film!

  6. Tombei:
    So they DO still show some good stuff on SBS, eh. LOL. I did read about Jimmy Wang Yu's eating flies. Yuck, why would be do that, haha. Did he really, really dislike the Aussie actresses or what?

    I remember you mentioned it on the forum a while back. And I did check their site but I forget why I didn't buy the film. Hmm, I'll have to look into it again cos obviously I need a film called THE PSYCHOTRONIC MAN!! xD.

  7. Oh, and Tombei: I received an old Turkish VHS release of TARKAN VIKING KANI (Tarkan vs the Vikings) yesterday! Sure I have the MM DVD but the Ciko guys were so happy about my posting about TURKISH STRAW DOGS that they thought they'd get me something special which is obviously fabulous! xD.

  8. according to that documentary Jimmy Wang Yu ate a mouthful of dead flies each time there was a kissing scene coz he thought non- asian women were basically trash and that they deserved to taste dead flies rather than his sweet kiss.LOL.He also thought he was the big boss of the movie and everything should be done his way because he was the real talent in the film and the rest were all hacks.HAHAHA

  9. Lucky you an original tarkan vs the vikings vhs tape as a form of payola.I would've of held out for a copy of the turkish snow white or perhaps the turkish cinderella vhs

    btw did you know that one of the oompah loompahs in the original willy wonka & the chocolate factory film was turkish.

  10. I certainly did not know that. LOL.

    About the tape: I had no say so. They just wrote to me and basically said "We sent you Tarkan". xD.

    Oh yeah, those non Asian women are all trash, haha. Gee, he may have been a kung fu cult actor but it seems that didn't keep him from being a wanker. LMAO.

  11. Jack, Below the filmography of Ismet Hasan The Turkish Oompah Loompah,he also played a circus midget in Countess Dracula from 1971 :-

    1.."The Old Curiosity Shop" .... Vuffin's Troupe Member (1 episode, 1979)
    - Episode #1.3 (1979) TV episode (uncredited) .... Vuffin's Troupe Member

    2.."Blakes 7" .... Decima (1 episode, 1978)
    - The Web (1978) TV episode (as Ismet Hasam) .... Decima

    3..Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) (uncredited) .... Oompa Loompa

    4..Countess Dracula (1971) .... Circus Midget

    5.."From a Bird's Eye View" .... Short Undertaker (1 episode, 1970)
    - The Sicillian Affair (1970) TV episode .... Short Undertaker

    6..The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) (uncredited) .... Submarine Crewman

  12. Cult film magazines like psychotronic, are very expensive here.Film fax and outre retail for about 26-30 dollars .I use to buy fangoria,starburst,fantastic films and starlog in the late 70s and early 80s but unfortunately I didn't keep any of these magazines

  13. Yeah, I remember magazines being quite expensive due to the postage to OZ. A pity you don't have those old mags anymore.

  14. for some reason back then when I got tired of something I use to trash everything ie football cards,science fiction magazines,movie books,cassettes,records etc. Now I horde everything.hehehe.
    Imports from europe,japan or america are very expensive.Yep it's the freight costs and the mark ups that make collecting expensive here.