Long before video nasties, multiple TV channels. DVDs, downloads and the like, MONSTER MAG ruled! The original horror films poster mag, it was launched in 1973 by prolific Dr Who scriptwriter Roger Noel Cook and ran for 14 issues. Following a short absence it was revived by Dez Skinn in 1976 for a further three issues before morphing into The House of Hammer.
Outside of its high profile for gore making it highly collectable, with back issues regularly selling for £20/$30, it has a far greater claim to fame... By accident, its second issue has become the world's most scarce film magazine.
While French and German editions can sometimes be found on eBay - where they sell for as high as $1250 - there are no copies in existence of the English language number 2, having all been destroyed by HM Customs on arrival from its Italian printer, deemed unsuitable for an all-age market (a For Adults Only band was added to covers from issue 3 and stickered for a rereleased issue 1).
Another frustration for collectors is that in vol 2 #3 (issue 17) editor Dez Skinn promised that the next issue would be a "Double X" Special. But it never happened. Instead the legendary House of Hammer was launched.
With Roger Cook and Dez Skinn both working together again, there's some long-overdue tidying up they're promising to prioritise...