31 Dec

RIP Chas Balun, a true champion of the genre.

Posted by Bryan White | Thursday December 31, 2009 | News

The genre has lost a lot of good folks this year but for guys like me who run a site like this, the passing of Chas Balun is a particularly sad occasion. We live in an age when you can quickly Google a movie title and find all the data you want about it but Chas operated back in the day. He packed the pages of his books and Deep Red Magazine with entire catalogs of obscure data, sung the praises of Italian horror way before it was chic and freaked Charlie Sheen’s shit out with an unsubtitled copy of what many people thought to be a real snuff movie in the form of Za Ginipiggu. He was a hero to fanboys everywhere. He knew everything there is to know about horror and to the likes of us who run these fan sites, reporting and commenting on the contemporary state of horror, Balun was the model by which we fashion ourselves. Chas’ style of writing, a seriously informal and particularly candid method of comment and critique was the sort of thing you find on blogs all over the web today and his finger prints can be found on just about every passage written here.

Chas was 61 on this past December 18th when he handed in his letter of resignation to the cancer that he had been valiantly battling for years. In the wake of his passing he leaves behind a staggering mass of knowledge and a legacy as a fan, a professor and a scholar that those of us who have unofficially dedicated our lives to horror can aspire to.

Rest easy, Chas. We’ll miss you.

2 Comments 

  1. December 31, 2009 5:55 pm

    Dan

    As somebody who was publishing a horror/trash movie zine back in the 80s, Chas. was a definite influence and somebody who I admired, even if we didn’t always see eye to eye on a topic. The fact that his books and mags were being *published* and professionally printed — not photocopied on the sly in my employer’s mail room or run off at 3 AM in a West Philly Kinko’s while my punk rock pals looked the other way — made him like a rock star in my eyes, though somebody who was totally accessible to his audience. By championing Italian splatter flicks Balun encouraged me to seek out things that would never make their way to my local theaters, a pursuit that planted the seeds of my now full-blown love of Eurotrash. By losing Balun and Paul Naschy in the same year the horror genre has lost two of its biggest champions and true fans. When my daughter goes off to bed tonight the first thing I’ll break out to ring out 2009 is my DVD of THE BEYOND, though I wish I still had the murky dupe of the uncut Japanese laserdisc I got via Balun many moons ago. It would be so fitting.

  2. January 18, 2010 5:51 pm

    M form Buffalo

    Like you said, Chas was a pioneer horror fan who took his enthusiasm to a new level with writing and publishing. But also, he didn’t kiss a$$! When he liked something you knew it and when he thought it blew he, just flat out, said it. He was one of the first writers to call out Peter Jackson for his CGI over-indulgence. He could have gone the Fangoria route, glossed over the details and tried to take his magazine to more commercial areas but no. If you can find it try to pick up his Fulci book: Beyond the Gates. It’s crass, crude and totally fun to read. I’m really sorry to hear he’s gone.


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