Media Diet: Michael Weldon

Psychotronic Video zine's publisher on his trashy media obsessions

| July-August 1995

Film lover, critic, researcher, collector, and publisher Michael Weldon’s long-running zine Psychotronic Video was one of the first, and remains one of the best, publications to mine the gorgeous and shocking world of horror, sci-fi, and other low-budget genre moviemaking. In fact, he was the first to use the word psychotronic to describe these films. He’s managed to turn his trashy obsessions into a media empire that includes books, calendars, and plenty more in addition to his magazine.

What magazines do you read? 

I read countless zines about movies and music, everything from Fangoria and Film Comment to Phantom of the Movies’ Videoscope, Video Watchdog, Dreadful Pleasures, and Exploitation Retrospect. I read a ton of foreign movie zines. Even if they’re in languages I don’t understand, they’re great to look at. I also genuinely like the media coverage in Entertainment Weekly. They review a lot of lesser video titles and today’s equivalent of B movies. I have no respect for Time and Newsweek, so I keep up on the news in U.S. News & World Report by default. 

What are the best books you’ve read lately? 

Stone Alone by Bill Wyman and the Pete Best book Beatle. The Wyman book is fascinating because Wyman had the guts to quit the Stones and didn’t care what the other guys thought. He manages to tell it like it is about stuff like what really went on with Brian Jones because he’s not worried about Mick’s or Keith’s feelings. I found the Pete Best book, which only came out in England, especially amazing after seeing Backbeat, a movie I liked a lot. The book’s all told from Best’s [who quit the Beatles just before fame struck] point of view. 

What TV programming do you watch? 

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