The Headpress Guide to the Counterculture – Review

bk-headpressguide200The Headpress Guide to the Counterculture

Edited by Temple Drake & David Kerekes (Headpress)
by Lex Marburger

In an age where punk rock (at least nominally) had been awarded a Grammy, movies like American Splendor are being made, and Marilyn Manson is being taken seriously in political documentaries, you have to ask yourself: Is anything truly counterculture anymore?

As it turns out, the answer’s yes, and Headpress has decided to help you out. The Headpress Guide to the Counterculture: A Sourcebook for Modern Readers is jam-packed with reviews of some of the more outré shit you’ll ever want to know about. Care to know where you can get comics that feature angels pissing on vomiting clowns? Well, that would be on page 60 where they review Horrogasmo. How about a book dedicated to the Ilsa films (Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, Tigress of Siberia, et al)? Look no further.

Essentially, this is all just previous reviews, compiled, alphabetized, and updated. But the reviewers really know their shit (the review of Crash, a book not just about Ballard’s original piece, but the Ballard’s evolution of techno-sexuality, Cronenberg’s movie, and more, shows the reviewer has more going on in his head than just a fetish for crash test dummies), and their conflicting opinions and writing styles makes Guide to the Counterculture more than just a book to read while in the bathroom.

Included are interviews and long pieces on Daniel Clowes (Ghost World), R. Crumb (if you don’t know Crumb, put the magazine down and walk away slowly. Make no sudden moves, you might hurt yourself), a huge piece on Italian horror films, and a touching (if bawdy) section on Bukowski.

So sleep tight, all you youngsters. If you think that The Man has co-opted everything that was once cool and wrapped all your rebellion in plastic, take a peek in here. There are stranger things on this earth than civilized society would care to admit. And thank God for that.

Only one disappointment: This fine rag wasn’t covered in the periodicals section. What are we, too normal for you? (Notices a magazine listed dedicated solely to the Lovecraft Cuthulu Mythos)… oh. Right.