“All Them Damn Hippies”: Joseph Sargent’s ‘White Lightning’, 1973

By K.E. Roberts

White Lightning is the first in a long line of films and TV series about righteous lawbreakers in the post-Vietnam American South, where corrupt cops chase hot-rodding bootleggers and paid-by-the-mile truckers through the meager towns and backwoods scorned by “the people in Washington,” a mythical land whose isolated, protective communities both resent and revel in their perceived marginalization…

Judging Dredd: A Brit and a Yank Discuss the Legendary ‘2000 AD’ Strip

By Richard McKenna and K.E. Roberts

I guess we should begin at the beginning. I first got into Judge Dredd and 2000 AD in 1983, when Eagle Comics (founded by Nick Landau) started anthologizing the strip for an American audience. The Eagle editions were in color (I had no idea the original 2000 AD was black and white for many years), and the Dredd comics came with new, mind-bending covers by Brian Bolland. I had been collecting comics pretty obsessively for a few years at that point, but had never seen anything like Dredd…

Cover Your Eyes: Lynne Littman’s ‘Testament’, 1983

1983 was a pretty fertile year for fictional nuclear apocalypses in Western popular culture. 2019: After the Fall of New York, Endgame, Exterminators of the Year 3000, Stryker, and Le Dernier Combat were released in cinemas, while ABC’s The Day After and Britain’s BBC2 adaptation of 1961 dystopian novel The Old Men at the Zoo, updated to feature a nuclear attack on London, appeared on television…

The Paranormal Peninsular: Mondadori’s ‘Guide to Legendary, Mysterious, Unusual and Fantastic Italy’

Being home to the Roman Catholic Church means that much of Italy’s spectral pomp and terror of the incomprehensible is already spoken for. The remaining quota of mystery and conspiracy is filled out by the country’s myriad crypto-political shenanigans and unsolved crimes. Despite the obsession of the Etruscans and ancient Romans with the shades of their ancestors, the Italy of the the ‘60s and ‘70s was an altogether more pragmatic place…

Misbehaved Monsters: ‘The Amityville Horror’ by Jay Anson, 1977

There are two Amityville horrors: the first happened in the pre-dawn hours of November 13, 1974, when 23-year-old Ronald Defeo Jr. shot and killed his father, mother, two brothers, and two sisters while they slept. He confessed to the murders the following day, and during the trial told the court that “voices” told him to do it. The second happened when a young couple, George and Kathleen Lutz, moved into the former Defeo residence…