I hate writing. Seriously. It’s like pulling fucking teeth with me. Although, I thought if I was going to write something, this seemed like the best fit. As many of you surely know by now, I was a child of the 80’s. Absorbing all I could through late night creature features and trashy 80’s (some 70’s, see our top 10) cinema. I also grew up in the good ol’ heyday of Fangoria magazine. Watching this mag bleed from the shelves, I poured myself over every issue. From Videodrome to The Video Dead I was enthralled, obsessed and mostly found comfort in its black and white pages. This is where I found out about the straight up gore flick and the man known as Chas Balun.
His articles spoke to me more than any other. I think mostly because it was stuff I didn’t know existed and totally and ABSOLUTELY shouldn’t have been watching as a pre-teen. It made me feel really dirty. Kinda like that basement scene in 8mm. You know the one. It was underground, nasty and everyone discarded it as trash. Although, in my eyes, I saw something different.
Even as they told the history of the gore flick, I really didn’t understand it as a kid. Discussions about The Grand Guignol Theater and some of the early expressionist films like Un Chien Andalou (The famous eye slitting film) completely flew over my head. What Chas did was drive me to find harder stuff. Sounds wrong I know, but I sought out not magazines, but ‘zines that talked about and shared the tougher, hard to find movies that quenched the thirst of gore hounds. ‘Zines that I actually had to order to my local comic shop (Comic Carnival) and hide from my parents or they probably would have sent me to counciling of some sort, which now go for a chunk of coin if collectors are willing to part with them on ebay. On top of ‘zines, there were magazines like DEEP RED, GOREZONE, EYEBALL and ULTRA VIOLENT that went balls deep into the genre and were considered the bibles of gore by many fans.
A decade and change later, I still find myself going through my well worn out Gore Score review guide, actually highlighted with pages dog eared and torn. If Chas taught me any two things it was this: Herschel Gordon Lewis was GOD to gore fans and a very close second was that Italians could do anything better than Americans. We here at 40oz of Horror! salute you Charlie “Chas” Bauln! Drink Up!