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WEB WATCH

A site that's sure to chill the blood

August 10, 2003|Michael T. Jarvis

For those who love horror, the Rue Morgue magazine Web site (www.rue-morgue.com) breaks news about Freddy Krueger faster than CNN covers Iraq. "We get a lot of scoops," says Rod Gudino, Toronto-based publisher of Rue Morgue. "We talk to the horror people and some classic, old-school horror people who are not in the public eye. We have a lot of sources."

On a recent week, the site tracked new developments in horror under headlines such as "Horror Icon Triple Threat" and "Camp Hack 'n' Slash Now Open." It also reviews horror music, films, toys and books as well as the subcultures of dark art, fetish films and terror cabarets. Tim Burton is a fan, Gudino says. "We called his dolls 'Tragic Toys for Girls and Boys,' and he liked the headline so much he's going to use the name." But Rue Morgue is no fanzine. Its review of Rob Zombie's "House of 1000 Corpses" called the film "dull, drivel, deadly." (Gudino says Zombie still subscribes.)

The message board is the most popular stop on the site, Gudino says. "Occasionally they get pretty wild. They talk about all kinds of minutiae about horror films. They know so much. Sometimes they talk about ghosts. Any rumor gets posted and there's a lot of discussion on it and we check it out."

Why horror? "Horror and morbidity normally repels people. I wanted to come to an understanding as to why I was attracted to it," explains Gudino, 35, a philosophy and literature major in college.

He made the macabre his business -- today, his magazine has a paid circulation of 50,000 -- and, he says, "I've never had a bad day since."

-- Michael T. Jarvis

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