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More Gore Score: Brave New Horrors - Fantasma Books Print E-mail
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Sunday, 26 February 2017
Creepy's Retro Bookshelf Corner: Chas Balun's More Gore Score from Fantasma Books on Severed Cinema CREEPY'S RETRO BOOKSHELF CORNER

Book: More Gore Score: Brave New Horrors
Edited by: Chas Balun
Written by: Chas Balun
Art by: Chas Balun & Chidsey Graphics
Year: 1995 (2nd Edition)
Published by: Fantasma Books

If you were a child being nurtured on the gory days of the 1980s, somehow you would have probably chanced upon the late and legendary, Chas Balun. He contributed to Fangoria and Gorezone, wrote sick novels, but more importantly he created the amazing Deep Red magazines which reigned the horror core underground of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s as special books were off shooting all over by the editor and writer himself.

Chas Balun seemed to be able to sit with you and discuss movies with you, discover new horizons previously unknown by you, and he cared about you, who you were, and what horror you liked -- all via his writings.

The original Gore Score was a remarkable creation for all who bought it. Bite size reviews complimenting or scathing films throughout. Four skulls meant a classic, a dog meant... well it meant bow-wow or dogshit. In my review for Deepstar Six (review here) I make it no secret how Chas Balun was one of my horror heroes when I discovered him whilst in my senior school years, and the fondness for him has never wavered.

I don't know how widely sold the follow-up to the Gore Score was back in the early ‘90s, but I find it truly a fantastic paperback which does the first service, and keeps the humour consistent, which was always his trademark. Chas was a horror father figure, or a big brother, who simply didn't give a shit whilst educating you.

“... let's get wet!”

The first movie in More Gore Score: Brave New Horrors, this A-Z that he really adores is Bad Taste. It gets a 10 in the gore meter and a 4 skull parade. Bad Taste “...should be worshipped, memorialised and time capsulized by discerning, classically trained gorehounds everywhere. And I mean it!” The prior review, Aracnophobia is apparently “ much fun as chewing moth cocoons.” and the next one, Beyond the Door III is “Beyond the Bore!” See, whilst Chas pounds the heads down of many movies, he has a good laugh with it. I disagree with his reviews sometimes (he makes Demonia sound too good, he's a bit harsh with Frankenhooker), but at the same time, I can smile.

Everything from Erotic Nights of the Living Dead to Robot Ninja gets probed in this sequel which sometimes becomes far stronger than the original Gore Score. It's refreshing to read that somebody else liked the infamous Fulci let-down, Zombi 3, as much as I did, and the unfairly ignored, Zombi 4, gets justice in these pages. On the other side of the horror coin, Misery and Silence of the Lambs get decent reviews to show old Mr. Balun wasn't always wallowing in the sludge infested underworld of gore films. He seems to agree that, for instance, Stuart Gordon's The Pit & the Pendulum, as good as it is, finds itself ruined by wisecracks, and Jacob's Ladder is “powerful” and contains some of the most nightmarish visions ever put on the screen... until the ending which flattens a lot of the film.

Before I fill my pants in homage to the almighty Balun, I just have to say, whilst all the internet sites are massed and heaving with reviews, nothing can compare to Chas Balun and his witty splashes across the pages of his books and articles. ‘Nuff said!

However, Tom Savini and Romero's remake of Night of the Living Dead does not deserve the smash mouth destruction it faces on page 56-57. Poo!




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