Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fangoria Flashbacks: Issue #12

Note from the author:   Beginning with this issue, I will be focusing more on the 'notable notes' than general commentary.  The magazine is consistent enough in quality that it would make things too repetitious for my liking and I would prefer to focus on the content of each individual issue. 


Fangoria #12:  More Gore!  More Gore!

Issue 12 kicks off with a nice gory shot from Friday the 13th Part 2 and the promise of more gruesome goodness inside.  Let's check it out.

Notable Notes
  • We begin with a nice editorial from Bob Martin concerning gore in the magazine and there is even an entire page of letters devoted to the issue.  Needless to say, Bob stands firm in the magazine's usage.
  • Moving on, we find the second (I think) edition of producer/writer Alex Gordon's 'The Pit and the Pen' column.  Gordon was active in the 50's and 60's, working with AIP and writing two Ed Wood films and he always brings a nice personal touch to the column.  This edition is no different with a nice piece on Boris Karloff.
  • In current films, we get a piece from Uncle Bob on The Hand, Oliver Stone's second directorial effort.  Yes, the director of Platoon and JFK got his start in horror movies, bad ones.  I haven't seen his debut film Seizure (not many have as it's rather obscure) but I have seen The Hand and it's definitely one to miss.  The article is good though as Stone has always been a good interview and Bob makes a very accurate prediction that Stone's best days as a filmmaker are in front of him.  Cut to five years later as Platoon cleans house at the Oscars and Salvador, his second film from 1986 lands James Woods a Best Actor nomination.
  • Next up is the feature piece on Friday the 13th Part 2. It's a nicely expansive six page article that covers an impressive amount of information.
  • Up next is a good interview with George Romero about his new movie Knightriders.  It's not a horror movie at all (more of an autobiographical character study) but since Romero is directing and Tom Savini has a supporting role, I can get behind it showing up here.
  • Equally just fine with me is the Robert McKimson tribute.  As always, I will never argue against a Looney Tunes article.
  • We next find an overview of the sadly short-lived Hammer House of Horror anthology series.  Hammer had gone out with a whimper in 1976 with To the Devil...A Daughter and this was an attempt to revive the brand on television.  It didn't work but a more recent attempt has been more successful with the remake of Let the Right One In (Let Me In).
  • On the retro side of things, we find a nice overview of William Castle's career and the first part of a Roger Corman interview.  As always, Corman is a great interview with tons of great stories and an easygoing charm.  The first part covers his series of Edgar Allen Poe films for AIP in the sixties which means stacks of great Vincent Price anecdotes.
  • There's also the beginning of a good series on horror in comics.  Maybe the most frustrating thing about the early issues I have is that inevitably, a neat series like this is frustratingly incomplete.  Same goes for a later one on horror in music but we'll get to that later.  This article is a good one with some neat bits on early characters and an amusing reprint of an old Batman comic where he off a vampire with a silver bullet.  Not the best way to kill one but would you argue with frigging Batman?
  • Along with some short pieces on the British Alien riff Insemenoid, Howling actress Elisabeth Brooks and Clash of the Titans, we get a good interview with Tobe Hooper.  He talks a bit about his career up to that point along with his current film The Funhouse and the upcoming Poltergeist.
  • Amusingly enough, the cover boy of the previous issue was printed accidentally as it gives away the look of the monster.  Damn fine monster too.  As for the movie itself, it's merely okay.  Some pacing issues coming from the rather sluggish script hold it back.
  • In the Monster Invasion section, we get some nice blurbs about An American Werewolf in London, Videodrome and Blade Runner.  I should also mention that book reviews were in this section at the time.  This will continue for a few more years.
Issue 12 is another solid collection of articles and columns.

Coming Soon:  Issue 14, Something to Howl About

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    About Me

    I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.