Vex – Review

Vex: Movies and Whatever

by Nik Rainey

“Whatever” indeed. That imprecise noun is the thing that makes Vex a tad different from the likes of Premiere. No fawning celeb profiles here – well, okay, that’s not quite true, but instead of the latest hunk of brood or another sitcom-star crossover, it’s right-wing looney G. Gordon Liddy who gets top billing in Vex‘s “Kooks and Conspiracies Issue.” (Plus you get a swell Tiger Beat-style pinup of G. suitable for framing or scaring small children.) And that’s as conventional as it gets. In addition to the well-researched excerpt from Robert Rees’ book James Dean Beyond the Grave, which skates a narrow path between tabloid hysteria and sociological scholarship, much of Vex #3 is given over to a frighteningly comprehensive study of zoophyte cinema – gorillas in the midst of canines (finally, C.H.O.M.P.S. gets the respectful treatment it deserves) and no fewer than three articles on the subject of the love-me-love-my-dog-and-my-pig-and-horse-while-you’re-at-it porn underground (including cine-sleaze expert Jack Stevenson on – ahem, that is to say,writing about – Bodil of Denmark, a woman who gave new meaning to the term “animal husbandry”). Switching from the apes to the angels, Vex gives us a reprint of a pamphlet by a gorehound-turned-God-head (a warning, perhaps?) and follows with the repetitive, incoherent anti-Hollywood rantings of a Nation of Islam member. (Personally, I’d like to get in touch with him to write reviews for us – “Julia Roberts? No, my brother – Jew-lia Roberts! Just another white devil tryin’ to steal the roles from the black man, the soul from the black man, and the lips of the black man!” I’ll go into hiding now.) With other underground flick-rags either glossed up or MIA, Vex is a keen reminder of how rewarding deviant cinephilia can be.