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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Headpress is a small, independent publishing house mainly devoted to works of non-fiction: cult movies, music, the history of pulp literature, comic books, true crime, sin & sleaze and forteana. Subject matter for Headpress is wide ranging but collectively can be termed “pop culture”. Areas such as ‘transgressive’, ‘counterculture’ or ‘underground’ literature are explored in such works as Headpress Guide to the Counter Culture (2004).



Headpress was founded in 1991 by David Flint, David Kerekes and David Slater in order to release in Great Britain a film by cult German director Jörg Buttgereit (whose Nekromantik is widely regarded as the most bootlegged film of all time).

Entitled Der Todesking (which literally translates as “The DeathKing”), the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) initially considered the film's subject matter to be too controversial for general release. Ultimately however, they deemed it art and granted an 18 certificate.

With revenue generated from video sales of Der Todesking (a limited edition of 500 copies), Headpress the magazine was set up. Co-founder Kerekes has described the birth of Headpress as follows: ‘As much a reaction to the formulaic mainstream press, as it was to the vacuum created by the glut of horror film fanzines in the wake of the “video nasties” furore’. With this in mind, the founders encouraged contributors to write about anything they wanted.

Headpress first entered the world of book publishing in 1992 with a collection of comic strips entitled Killer Komix (now a collector’s item).

This was followed in 1995 by Critical Vision, a collection of new essays and updated articles from early, out-of-print editions of Headpress magazine. Headpress has now published over fifty titles, although of the three founding members, only Kerekes remains.

Over the years Headpress has come to shape and define the very underground that it documents. The British monthly magazine Fortean Times even identified a new adjective - Headpressian - meaning 'anything that doesn't fit'.

In late 2005 Headpress relocated from Manchester to London, for as the company expands, this distinctive formula is now being applied to film, TV and audio production.


Co-founder David Kerekes has edited numerous Headpress publications. He is also co-author of the books Killing For Culture and See No Evil, and author of Sex Murder Art. In his spare time Kerekes writes for various publications both in the mainstream and alternative press.

Mondo Documentaries and Snuff Films

As well as editing early editions of Headpress magazine, founder members David Kerekes and David Slater co-wrote Killing For Culture, regarded by experts as the definitive investigation of death on film, from mondo documentaries through to so-called snuff films. Originally published in 1994 by Creation Books, a new and revised edition is planned for publication by Headpress in 2007.

Recent book titles

Legacy of Blood: reviews, history and conventions of the 'slasher film', by Jim Harper

The Complete Illustrated History of the Skywald Horror-Mood: inside story of 1970s horror comics publisher Skywald, by 'Archaic' Alan Hewetson

The Master Con Man: Syd Gottfried and his world famous scams, by Robert Kyriakides

An American Demonology: Edward J. Ruppelt and early 1950s UFO phenomenon, by Colin Bennett

Into The Unknown: story of Nigel Kneale 'the inventor of popular television', by Andy Murray

Flesh Trade: investigation of UK sexual underground, by [Bruce Barnard]

Lovers Buggers & Thieves: rock'n'roll music legends from 1960s to 80s, by Martin Jones

Sweet & Savage: exploration of mondo documentary film cycle, by Mark Goodall

Creeping Flesh Vol 2: fantasy and horror in cult tv and exploitation film, by David Kerekes

No Focus: punk rock on film, edited by Chris Barber and Jack Sargeant

Better To Reign In Hell: serial killers in context of moral panics and the workings of the FBI, by Stephen Milligen

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Headpress" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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