'Shocking News'; Dutch Fanzines in the EYE collection
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Dutch film magazine Schokkend Nieuws (‘Shocking News’) donated various Dutch fanzines and genre publications to the Collection Centre of the EYE Filmmuseum.
Horror, science fiction, fantasy and cultmovies are often overlooked - if not frowned upon - so we are very happy to work with the EYE Collection Centre to create a complete collection of Dutch fanzines and genre publications. Over the years, Schokkend Nieuws has developed into a professional bi-monthly publication, publishing many exclusive interviews, reviews and background stories, but in 1992 our magazine sprang from the depths of Dutch fanzine culture. And we’re proud of it!
One of the first Dutch publications to write seriously about horror and science fiction movies was Drab. Dutch film journalist Peter Kuipers and publisher Rob Faber created the magazine in 1973. Apparently there were sixteen editions published until 1980. Drab was a publication of the Stichting Styx (later renamed Stichting Drab - ’Stichting bevordering Horror & Fantasy’) in Amsterdam and it was also devoted to fantastic literature. Drab organised the Horror 73 festival in De Brakke Grond (1973) en Angstendam 700 in November 1975, which consisted of two all-night movie marathons in the Cinétol movie theatre, with films by Roger Corman, Terence Fisher and so forth. Angstendam 700 also organised a writing contest for short horror and fantasy stories and featured lectures, an exhibition and horror theatre.
Horrorscoop was created in March 1981. Its founder was 17-year-old Barry Raaymakers from Oosterhout. Raaijmakers was a young fan of the Universal Horror movies, which were shown on Dutch and German television, and inspired by foreign genre publications like Fangoria and l’Écran Fantastique. Horrorscope started out as an amateurish, small print, photocopied magazine, but managed to professionalise and grow. By the mid-eighties Horrorscoop was published quarterly, had about 250 subscribers, and was distributed to specialty film shops in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Collaborators like Ruben Drukker, Oliver Kerkdijk, Han Weevers, Bart Oosterhoorn, Fir Suidema, Mike Lebbing, Mark van den Tempel, Phil van Tongeren and Erique J. Rebel helped professionalise its content. Horrorscoop covered events like Wim Vink’s Benelux Horror & Science-Fiction Smalfilm Festival in Tiel and Jan Doense’s Weekend of Terror film festival. The magazine also managed to get exclusive interviews with directors like Wes Craven, David Cronenberg, Dario Argento, Clive Barker, Sam Raimi en Christopher Lee.
The eighties and the beginning of the nineties were a good period for fanzines. Peter Zirschky, lead singer of punk band Funeral Oration and head of the Stichting Horror Relations, ran a horror mail order company and published two magazines: Horror Relations, probably in 1987, and Savage Cinema in March 1988. Both magazines were written in English and filled with enthusiastic reviews like: ‘Night Train To Terror is a mess. BUT, it’s a very BLOODY mess and will certainly appeal to gore-hounds.’ That same year, graphic designer Bart Oosterhoorn created GoreHound (1988-1990): a completely self-written, self-designed and self-published free magazine. Its five editions were devoted to the different editions of Weekend of Terror, but they also contained articles on artists like Robert Longo, Félicien Rops, Antoine Wiertz, books and other fanzines.
When Raaijmakers decided to stop in 1992, no less than three new Dutch genre publications were announced. Cinéville never came to be, but both Camera Obscura and Schokkend Nieuws started fruitful careers. Camera Obscura was published in Groningen from 1992 to 2000 by Mike Lebbing en Michael Kopijn, and focused on European cult cinema and Italian genre movies. Camera Obscura published extensive interviews with Dario Argento, Umberto Lenzi, Ruggero Deodato and Jean Rollin, and featured articles by ex-Horrorscoop-writers Oliver Kerkdijk, Hans Peter Christen en Han Weevers.
Schokkend Nieuws was founded by Jan Doense, Phil van Tongeren en Bart Oosterhoorn, soon joined by Parool film critic Bart van der Put. It started in black and white and on an A5-format, but became a full colour tabloid in 2002. It has been published bimonthly since 2011. Last week we released our 128th edition. It contains a long 10-page series of articles about De Johnsons (Rudolf van den Berg, 1992), one of the most successful Dutch horror movies. Cherished by the fans of the evil god ‘Xangadix’, but almost forgotten. Not by Schokkend Nieuws of course - we interviewed Van den Berg and star of the movie Monique van de Ven - and not by the Collection Centre of the EYE Filmmuseum: I was able to do a lot of the research for this issue at the institute – with the kind help of Nita Smit and Piet Dirkx.
Nita, Piet and the other collaborators at EYE are now also the keepers of some of the most obscure and fascinating Dutch fanzines: Horrorscoop, Savage Cinema, GoreHound, Camera Obscura, Schokkend Nieuws – all complete. And let’s not forget: the only eight editions that were ever published of Bad Taste (Geleen, 1993) and the extremely sleazy complete WOOF! (2014-2017) collection from Groningen. We are still looking to complete the collection with Drab, Horror Relations and GoreHound, but EYE now collectes a lot of research material on Dutch genre filmmaking and fan culture to be studied – and enjoyed.
Barend de Voogd
Editor Schokkend Nieuws film magazine