Saturday, October 3, 2015

...A Horror-Mood Horror Magazine Review... “We Belong Dead No.17 - Christopher Lee Special”


Your “Maniacal Matador Of Monstrous Mayhem” returns once again to this “Horrible Horror House” called …The Horror-Mood… for yet another “Evil Entry” in this “Black Necronomicon” of a blog. This time around I am pleased to present to you a “Horror-Mood Horror Magazine Review”…

Readers of the Skywald Horror-Mood Magazines are no doubt familiar with Hammer Films Studios and the actor who would come to be known as Sir Christopher Lee*… The “Archaic” editor of those magazines, Al Hewetson, would often instruct his illustrators to draw Sir Christopher’s image onto covers and into various interior artwork… “Archaic” Al’s magnum opus however was an 8 page interview conducted with Sir Christopher in the February 1974 issue of Nightmare magazine No.7 (which I will be posting in the near future)…

That preface brings us to your “Horrid Hosts” review of an excellent tome in magazine form dedicated to the late, great actor who sadly passed from this mortal coil on the 7th of June 2015…

‘We Belong Dead – The Classic Age Of Horror & Fantasy Films’ Issue 17 Autumn 2015 is a tribute issue and will most likely if not be remembered as the ‘We Belong Dead Christopher Lee Special’…

Behind a beautifully illustrated and painted Paul Watts cover, the issue leads off with a look by Steven West at ‘Christopher Lee At Amicus’, the legendary studio founded by Milton Subotsky and Max Rosenberg in order to provide a sort of direct competition to the then UK’s major horror film studio, Hammer Films...

Following that is a 4 page Michael Hauss review of the Terence Fisher directed ‘Night Of The Big Heat’ for Planet Films, a slow, talkative, quasi sci-fi curiosity from 1967…

Stephen Mosely provides a 4 page overview of one of my favorite Hammer Films ‘Rasputin The Mad Monk’ which features in my opinion one of Sir Christopher Lee’s finest performances…


Ian Taylor’s 3 page re-appraisal of Dennis Wheatly’s ‘To The Devil A Daughter’ examines the last Hammer Horror film proper from its original incarnation as a film house…

John Llewellyn Probert takes a 6 page lavishly illustrated look at the classic British Horror Cinema team of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing…

Matthew E Banks checks in with a 4 page look at Lee’s role of Saruman in The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy of which I have yet to see in its entirety…


Tony Earnshaw’s 3 page ‘In Conversation With Christopher Lee’ reprints his 1997 phone interview with the great actor which originally appeared in The Yorkshire Post…

Next up is a 3 page personal recollection of Lee by Paul Sparrow Clarke…

Ellie Dabell contributes a 2 page review of 1974’s ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’, a film Sir Christopher is widely known for…


The Hammer Lovers Matt Gemmell Robertson pens a touching 2 page memoir of what Lee has meant to him over the course of his (Robertson’s life)…

Steve Gerrard’s up next with a 5 page overview of ‘Christopher Lee And House of the Long Shadows…

Tim Greaves 6 pager follows with his personal recounting of his experience watching Hammer Films Studios ‘Dracula – Prince Of Darkness…


Peter Banassi provides a 1 page overview of ‘Taste Of Fear’…

Following that we find a 4 page look at ‘Corridors Of Blood’ by Stephen Jacobs…

Ernie Magnotta takes a 4 page look at his favorite Lee Dracula film ‘Dracula Has Risen From The Grave’…

Daniel Arana takes a 2 page look at Peter Sasdy’s 1975 film ‘Nothing But The Night’…

Tony Earnshaw follows with a 2 page interview with Jinnah director and co-writer Jamil Dehlavi… Lee took great pride in his involvement and his performance in what is considered to be one of the most controversial and devisive films of his lengthy 206 film career…

Troy Howarth’s 16.5 page contribution ‘Christopher Lee’s Continental Horrors’ is one of the longest pieces in this delightful magazine and is again lavishly illustrated…

‘Casting The Croons: Or, Test The Tonsils Of Dracula is a 1.5 page look at Sir Christopher’s under the radar career as a heavy metal vocalist for the concept band Charlemagne…


Widely considered to be one of Lee’s finest film roles and the film itself considered to be one of the best that British Cinema has ever produced, Dawn Dabell takes a 4 page look at 1973’s ‘The Wicker Man’…

Neal Privett takes a 5 page look at the two cinematic pairings of Sir Christopher Lee and Boris Karloff, ‘Corridors Of Bllod’ and ‘Curse Of The Crimson Altar’…

Jonathan Dabell finishes up with a 2 page overview • review of Lee’s 1961 classic ‘The Terror Of The Tongs

Finally we are served up 4 pages of fan artwork paying tribute to Sir Christopher in his career making and never to be forgotten role of Count Dracula…


Content wise, over the course of 100 pages, there is not one fluff piece to be found in my opinion, with all of the contributors (We Belong Dead’s finest writers) giving thoughtful analysis or fond remembrances of Lee’s films and career… Eric McNaughton’s heartfelt introduction and editorship is flawless and seamless throughout, making this an absorbing yet entertaining, educational and fun read…

As to the look, design and layout of the magazine, what a delight it was to find that Steve Kirkham’s – Tree Frog Communication provided those services for this collector’s edition… Being a Graphic Designer I’m a huge fan of Mr. Kirkham’s exemplary work, and I’ve peppered this review with numerous examples of his outstanding and eye-popping  graphics… If you are not familiar with his work on Wayne Kinsey’s fabulous catalogue of Hammer Films books along with the ongoing ‘Fantastic Films Of The Decades’ series from Peveril Publishing, do yourself a favor and seek them out!

If you, like your “Horrible Host”, are a fan of Sir Christopher Lee and his body of film and musical work, this lovingly and lavishly put together tribute issue of ‘We Belong Dead’ is a “Must Have”…

In closing your “Revolting Reviewer” can only say that this one-of-a-kind Sir Christopher Lee tribute magazine will sell fast so… …Miss It Not…

To order direct from the publisher make payment by PayPal payable to wbdmagazine@yahoo.co.uk Price per copy is £10 plus postage (£2 UK • £4 rest of the world)

To order from Hemlock Books (outside the UK please inquire about postage before paying)
http://www.hemlockbooks.co.uk/Shop/category/112

*Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, CBE, CStJ was an English actor, singer, author, and World War II veteran. With a career spanning nearly 70 years, Lee initially portrayed villains and became best known for his role as Count Dracula in a sequence of Hammer Horror films. His other film roles include Francisco Scaramanga in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun, Saruman in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and The Hobbit film trilogy, and Count Dooku in the final two films of the Star Wars prequel trilogy.