Psychotronic Video was a film magazine originally started by publisher/editor Michael J. Weldon in 1980 in New York City as a hand-written and photocopied weekly fanzine entitled Psychotronic TV. It was then relaunched by Weldon under its more commonly known name as an offset quarterly in 1989. Both versions of the magazine covered what Weldon dubbed "psychotronic movies", which he defined as "the ones traditionally ignored or ridiculed by mainstream critics at the time of their release: horror, exploitation, action, science fiction, and movies that used to play in drive-ins or inner city grindhouses." Weldon coined the term after being inspired by The Psychotronic Man (1980), a low budget science fiction obscurity.
Cover of issue #1
|Editor||Michael J. Weldon|
|Based in||New York City|
Most of the magazine's hundreds of reviews were written by Weldon himself. In each issue, other contributors provided career histories/interviews with cult directors and actors such as Radley Metzger, Larry Cohen, Jack Hill, William Rotsler, David Carradine, Sid Haig, Karen Black, and Timothy Carey. Regular features included Record Reviews by Art Black, Spare Parts (fanzines and comics) by Dale Ashmun, and Never To Be Forgotten, an extensive obituary column by Weldon that covered the deaths of writers, directors, television and film actors, rock stars, comic book artists, lawyers, and anybody else that Weldon felt was related to the overall Psychotronic universe.
In December 2006, Weldon announced that he was ceasing publication of Psychotronic Video after 18 years and 41 issues. Citing increasingly expensive printing costs and dubious business practices from distributors as his main source of concern, he noted that "It was a struggle to self-publish in the 80s and 90s but now it’s nearly impossible."
In an interview conducted by The Augusta Chronicle in November 2012, Weldon stated that he had no interest in writing or publishing any additional books or magazines devoted to genre films. Instead, he said that he was concentrating on running a small store in downtown Augusta, Georgia named simply "Psychotronic", which specializes in selling collectibles such as vinyl records, classic movie posters and old comic books.
Prior to the appearance of the second version of the magazine, Ballantine Books published The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film (1983), an 813-page compilation of mini-reviews of over 3,000 cult films. The book was written by Weldon with editorial assistance from Charles Beesley, Fangoria's Bob Martin, and Akira Fitton. The foreword by Christopher Cerf credited the success of the original fanzine as direct inspiration for the publication of the book. In 1996, a sequel was published by St. Martin's Press, The Psychotronic Video Guide, credited solely to Weldon.
- Weldon, Michael J. Psychotronic Video Magazine, issue #1 (1989), p. 2. Editorial entitled "Welcome to the First Issue of Psychotronic Video!"
- "The Psychotronic Man". Psychotronic Man website. Retrieved November 7, 2007.
- Announcement from Michael Weldon Archived 2007-11-03 at the Wayback Machine, psychotronicvideo.com. Retrieved November 7, 2007.
- "Vintage records, comics, posters for sale at downtown's Psychotronic". Augusta Chronicle website. Retrieved June 12, 2013.