The authors of RIGOR MORTIS are not casual zombie fans. They are well-read aficionados, able to explain the history of the genre and defend their opinions on the subtleties of zombie mythology. They are not, however, being ironic or engaging in pretentious snobbery. They are people who truly love this horror genre, from campy schlock to high-budget masterpieces.
Volume 4 is a very good issue. It displays the authors’ dedication to the subject and includes articulate analysis of all things zombie, but it also offers an entry point for people like me, who don’t have more than a cursory knowledge of zombie movies and literature.
RM is stunning in its range of content and jam packed with suggestions for further viewing and reading. In this issue, there is an in-depth examination of voodoo zombies and the threads of racism that run through that subgenre, an exploration of the gay themes in Dracula and The Bride of Frankenstein, articles on both the Italian director Mario Bava and the movie Willard (both versions), and a discussion of memorable moments of gratuitous nudity in horror movies. I especially appreciated the article, “Almost Zombies,” by Colin Cthulhu. He described the subtle distinction between zombies and almost zombies, including the origins of some of the subculture’s great debates (shamblers vs. runners, reanimated dead vs. infected humans, etc.). I must also note how plentiful and amazing the illustrations are in RM, featuring a wide range of disturbing zombie incarnations.
I am beside myself with how labor intensive RM seems. There are seven well-crafted articles, descriptions and reviews of more than 50 movies, 8 books and a website, and more than 25 illustrations, nine of those filling an entire page. RM is a truly satisfying zine and a steal at $3.50 an issue. Highly recommended.