Sunday, June 26, 2022

NRV: Tag Team Elimination Tournament Round One

No Redeeming Value

Tag Team Elimination Tournament

Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine (March 1983, v28n03)

The Beckoning Eye by Ron Butler

An American businessman on vacation in Japan with a local police inspector evade an assassination attempt by the Yakuza. Mild thriller, no suspense, and no twist.

Teen-Age Gangsters (1957)

What Makes a Teenage Gangster   

Not exactly a research article, but quotes some psychologists. Talks about outdated theories of juvenile crime, like comic books and lack of corporal punishment, and gets closer to modern thinking with lack of group acceptance and household trauma, but then slips back into girls getting hooked at marijuana parties. Manages to slip in some references to infanticide and explicit child torture, in case you were worried this wasn't exploitation.

Soldier of Fortune (March 1985, v10n03)

I Was There: Silhouette Shoot by Uzal W. Ent

One page quickie about calling in a mortar strike during the Korean War.

Grimdark Magazine Issue 3 (March 2015) - Available from Amazon

A Recipe for Corpse Oil by Siobhan Gallagher

A pickpocket is recruited by a potion seller to steal chins to make corpse oil. A light comedy, the grimmest and darkest of fantasies.

Street & Smith's Mystery Magazine (May 1940,v06n01)

The Crack of Doom by Norman A. Daniels

A cop responding to a suicide call finds a series of bodies, heads twisted around following an unholy screeching. Daniels is a master mechanic of action scenes so we get great fist fights, shootouts, and fiery escapes, but the reveal was a letdown.

Complete Man (February, 1967, v7n01)

Come-Across Swinger by Karl Kramer

Sleaze short in the paperback original tradition, in the sub-genre of Private Airport Noir, the only other example of which I can think of is Coleman Francis' Skydivers, though it looks like Kramer had at least a couple novels in the genre. A dirtbag airport owner cheats on his wife, rapes a widow, screws over his partner, beats up an employee, and lives happily ever after.

Savage Realms Monthly Volume 1 (January 2021) - Available from Amazon

God of the Mountain by Willard Black

Redgar the barbarian is hired to rescue a woman from a savage tribe under the shadow of an active volcano. There's a sweet spot for Sword and Sorcery, and this one falls on the short side - the descriptions and actions could use more detail. S&S, like Westerns, tend towards generic templates, and this felt more generic than most - if this is a series character, maybe future installments have more variety.

Startling Detective Adventures (December 1937, v19n113)

Fatal Masquerade of the Midget Gunman by John Shirley (presumable a different John Shirley)

The story goes for the "midget" angle even though the gunman was a full five feet tall. The local press focused on the blackface, calling him the "Mammy Bandit". Pretty standard robbery gang true crime stuff.

A Recipe for Corpse Oil may not have been representative of grimdark, but you can't expect fairness and justice to prevail in this dark and cynical world. Grimdark Magazine is eliminated.

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