Friday, October 27, 2006

20 Years of ER

I meant to post this yesterday but Blogger kept getting hung up so I never got around to it. Though the first issue of EXPLOITATION RETROSPECT officially came out during the summer of 1986, in many ways yesterday represented the real anniversary of the zine that begat the website that begat this blog.

I say that because it was October 26, 1986 when Calkins Newspapers ran an article on the front of their entertainment section with the headline "Exploitation Films Captivate Delran Duo." Written by Lou Gaul, the paper's film critic and entertainment editor, the article brought ER to the attention of many who probably would have never heard about it, got us our first fan mail, and made the whole thing seem much bigger than a zine that Lou Goncey and I came up with while we were playing tennis. (That's me below on the right in my Flock of Seagulls glasses. Yikes!)

Frankly, we didn't even know zines existed at the time but it wasn't long before we were getting copies of other drive-in newsletters like SLIMETIME (the pre-cursor to SHOCK CINEMA), Rick Sullivan's classic GORE GAZETTE and many more like HI-TECH TERROR, WET PAINT, GRINDHOUSE and VIDEOOZE. Though I never met many of the editors of the zines we received, others became good friends and still are to this day.

After two decades I'm proud to say that ER is still going strong, with tens of thousands of visitors to the web site every month and a steady stream of new and classic horror and exploitation DVDs making their way to ER HQ for review. Thanks to all the readers, contributors, filmmakers, musicians, zine editors who have made the last 20 years such fun.

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