Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fangoria Flashbacks: Issue #14

Fangoria #14 August, 1981:  Something to Howl About

Issue 14 is a good one, just the cover alone with that great shot from An American Werewolf in London and the film strip photos should be enough to get the average horror fan drooling like a Saint Bernard on a hot summer day.  Let's check it out.

Notable Notes
  • After an editorial about the ratings system (which carries over into the letters section), we get another edition of The Pit and the Pen as Alex Gordon examines German horror/mysteries.  It's an okay piece but a sub genre as vast as this one really needs a longer examination.  It's a rare misstep from Gordon.
  •  We kick things off with John Carpenter discussing the second Halloween movie and his remake of The Thing.  Yep, our starter plate is an interview with one of the best horror directors of the 80's.  As usual, Carpenter is a terrific interview and we get some good info on Halloween II and a nice preview of things to come...pun intended.
  • Next up is an interview with Rick Baker on the makeup f/x for An American Werewolf in London.  An interesting bit is how he ended up leaving The Howling (the other big werewolf movie in 1981) in the hands of his protege Rob Bottin who ended up delivering some great f/x of his own.  There's also a little bit on what would have been a horror flick called Night Skies if Steven Spielberg hadn't changed the script.  The script ended up being E.T. so I think it all worked out in the end.
  • Following that is a piece on the underrated zombie flick Dead & Buried which I have reviewed in tandem with Strange Behavior right here on the blog.  After that is another Tom Savini interview (the guy really got around in the early part of the decade) and an interview with f/x artist Tom Burman.  Burman is another of the great f/x guys from the period and the interview is chock full of good info on his work.
  • The MPAA comes back into play in a good article on the debate over horror going on at the time.  After that little serious interlude, it's back to the good stuff with an interview with the lovely Jenny (American Werewolf in London) Agutter more on horror in comics, and a great triple header of interviews to round things off.
  • First up is the late, great Stan Winston who was really starting to come into his own in 1981 with Dead & Buried.  It's followed up by the first part of a good Ray Harryhausen interview and capped off by another meeting with Chris Walas.  This time, Jim Wynorski is nowhere to be found which means the article is going to be accurate this time.  With Bob Martin writing it it also means it's going to be a standout piece as well.  Amusingly enough, Wynorski was hired by Roger Corman as an advertising director before Fangoria could fire him.  Irony can be so...ironic sometimes.
  • As for the actual interview, Walas is always very candid and this piece is no exception.
  • We finish things off with the Monster Invasion section.  It's more of a general update piece this time out but there is one thing I'd like to highlight.  There's a bit on an upcoming horror film called Slayride that promised a supernatural creature called Chanks.  There's also a preview of it in an old issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland I have laying around but it would seem that outside of the poster art seen in the preview, it was never made and in fact was a bit of a sham from the production company involved..  Oh well, that's life in the fast lane I guess.
Issue 14 is one of the most jam packed issues I've seen in any magazine.  Just an all around fantastic edition.

Coming Soon:  Issue 16, Ghost of a Chance

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    About Me

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