Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fangoria Flashbacks: Fangoria #25

Fangoria #25 February, 1983: Gore up your television!

We jump ahead seven issues to early 1983 for our latest issue.  The cover is something of an oddity as the film strip is on the bottom of the cover as opposed to the side.  This shows up on a few other issues from the period and as of issue 293 from last year, it's back.

To the issue itself, the cover alone promises some good stuff with a Tom Savini interview and info on the new David Cronenberg movie.  Let's take a closer look.

Notable Notes
  • Before we get into the meat of the issue, I'd like to point out that at this point, Bob Martin was sharing the editorial duties with David Everitt.  Not sure when this started but it obviously happened between issue #18 and this one.  This would mark what I feel is a real maturation process of the magazine as it has now done away with some of the cheesier aspects (Count Fangor), added one or two new wrinkles and firmly established itself as not just a horror magazine but rather the horror magazine.
  • Letters section aside, we jump right into things with a fantastic Tom Savini interview in which he dishes out info on his recent work on Creepshow (top notch stuff that shows he's not just a guy who does great gore effects), his book on makeup effects, a job on a Hong Kong horror/comedy called Scared to Death (no relation to the American one) that I'd love to see and some other projects such as Alone in the Dark which we will get to in a little bit.
  • Next is an interview with schlockmeister Fred Olen Ray.  Ray has directed a ton of b-movies, most of them quite bad.  Frankly the only difference between him and Jim Wynorski is that Wynorski has Roger Corman in his corner.  Ray is here to chat about Scalps, his supernatural slasher that came out in '83.  It's a pretty good piece.
  • Up next is the conclusion to an article series on the f/x work in Poltergeist which is nicely informative as is the interview with author Whitley Streiber that follows.  Streiber talks about the latest film adaptation of his work, The Hunger as well as the previous one, Wolfen.  Having seen both movies, I can say that Wolfen is worth a glance.  The Hunger?  Only if you're a Tony Scott completist.  It has nothing on Beverly Hills Cop II, though whether that's a compliment or an insult is entirely up to you.
  • Alex Gordon's column is up next, a loving tribute to his friend Ed Wood.  Yep, that Ed Wood.  It's a longer piece than usual, running four pages.  Like most articles concerning Wood, it's quite entertaining and amusing.
  • Up next is an editorial from Forrest Ackerman about his leaving Famous Monsters of Filmland.  It is prefaced by an explanation of just that the hell happened to cause him to leave the magazine.  It would have been his farewell editorial if not for executive meddling and it's nice that it got printed in Fangoria.
  •  We now come to Alone in the Dark as writer/director Jack Sholder gives a good interview, detailing Savini's involvement and some other little notes.
  • Next is a nice piece on the Chicago based horror host Son of Svengoolie.  Rich Koz, the man behind the mask gives a nice interview and it really makes me long for the good old days of horror hosts.  Fortunately, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark is back on in my area.  Now if we can just get Monstervision with Joe Bog Briggs back!
  • Following a nice piece on Twilight Zone writer Jerome Bixby, we get the cover story, a look at Videodrome courtesy of its director, David Cronenberg.  Dave is his usual self, informative and entertaining and as for the movie, I can say that it's definitely not for all tastes.  In other words, a freakin' David Cronenberg movie!
  • Following this, we get interviews with Darren McGavin of Kolchak: The Night Stalker fame and the first part of an interview with f/x artist Bill Munns.  The Monster Invasion section follows and we end things with the new video review column, The Video Eye of Dr. Cyclops.
  • The Dr. Cyclops section is a favorite of mine, partially because I love seeing the eclectic mix of movies the poor S.O.B. would write about each month and also because I just love old VHS covers.
  • It's a shlocktastic quartet as we get reviews of Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy, Herschell Gordon Lewis' The Wizard of Gore, The Slime People and the Mexican classic The Brainiac.  I'm not sure which issue this column started in but it's one hell of a great way to debut on this blog.
Fangoria 25 is a typically great mid-eighties issue with top notch writing and photos.

Coming Soon:  Fangoria #26, Hunger for Gore!

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About Me

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