If you’ve read a lot of the interviews I’ve done over the years, you’ll no doubt have heard me moaning about what a pain in the backside it was to be a horror fan growing up in the UK in the 1980’s. Pressure applied by certain areas of the media resulted in legislation being passed which saw most horror movies being labelled Video Nasties and banned. Hammer, Amicus and Universal horrors managed to scrape through, but if you were hoping to watch anything by Romero or Cronenberg, for example, you were out of luck.
In the early 1980’s, however, I discovered something which helped ease the frustration – Starburst magazine. I found it by chance in a newsagents and begged my mom for 60p (I think) to buy issue 3, and I bought pretty much every edition thereafter for many years. The magazine lasted until issue 365, then folded. Along the way Starburst managed to open my eyes to some magnificent movies which I’d otherwise have heard nothing about back in those pre-Internet, pre-home video, only three channels on TV days. One edition in particular always stuck with me: issue 48. I’ve posted the cover here, and I can still clearly remember my parents mumbling to each other, arguing whether or not this was the kind of thing they wanted their eleven year-old lad to be reading… Thankfully they let me have it, and I got my first real introduction (albeit just via text and black and white pictures) to zombies and the films of Romero, Fulci and the like.
Starburst reappeared online last year, and has now made the transition back to print with issue 374. I’ve just received a copy of the latest edition, and I’m really pleased to report that it’s bloody brilliant.
It’s another zombie special, and the editorial even mentions the last zombie-themed edition – good old number 48 from August 1982!
To find out more and pick up a copy for yourself, visit the official website here. While you’re there, you can download pdf copies of some of the original issues. If you’re as old as me you’ll have a lot of fun reading through the old digitised editions. The memories will come flooding back…
I wish the people behind the mag every success. Congratulations on the relaunch, and long may Starburst continue!