Monday, October 24, 2011

Fangoria Flashbacks: Fangoria #31

Fangoria 31 December, 1983: 3-D in Hell!

We close out a rather underwhelming 1983 with another solid but unexceptional issue.

Notable Notes
  • The editorial continues the bizarre wrestling tribute as Bob Martin is still posing as The Midnight Writer.  I have no idea what the thinking was behind this.  It's just strange.
  • We jump right into the thick of things with the cover story, a nice piece on the f/x of Amityville 3-D.  Coming on the tail end of the 80's 3-D craze, this is one of the better Amityville sequels...Which isn't saying much considering the others are by and large awful and the original isn't too hot either.
  • To the article itself, it's another interview with John Caglione who gives the usual quality interview we generally get from f/x guys.  That's one of the benefits of focusing on an area of film not generally given much attention.  The guys involved are really garrulous!
  • We go for a little retro fix with an interview with director Don Sharp.  Sharp directed a bunch of British horror films such as as Kiss of the Vampire as well as slightly more mainstream titles like Rasputin: The Mad Monk.  It's not quite as long a piece as I would prefer but what we get is good.
  • Up next is an interview with novelist and screenwriter Richard Matheson.  While Matheson did a ton of scripts for Roger Corman in the 60's (which we will get to soon), here he mainly focuses on his screenplays for Twilight Zone and Jaws 3-D.  Yep, he did the script for a crappy Jaws sequel, proving that even geniuses need to eat.
  • It's a nicely expansive piece as Matheson is quite chatty.  Hell, it almost makes me want to watch Jaws 3-D again...Almost.
  • More new stuff is on tap mas Scott Glenn talks about his new movie The Keep as well as his career in general.  Probably a good thing as The Keep is a prime example of a movie based on a book that doesn't even come close to matching what the book is able to do.  It's very nice to look at but also very muddled and disappointing.
  • After a brief piece on the mechanical effects in The Exorcist, we get part one of an index for the magazine that covers all the issues up to that point..  This concept has popped up every now and then but has never really caught on.  It's nice as a reference tool but to be honest, it really just takes up valuable publishing real estate.
  • Alex Gordon is next with another piece on AIP horror.  It's his usual piece, well done and informative.
  • Next is the Dr. Cyclops column with seven new releases on video.
  1. Frightmare (1982): A rather muddled horror movie about an aging horror star that is half amusing horror comedy and half typical gory slaughter fest.
  2. The Creeping Terror (1963): One of the all-time bad movies.  Featuring endless narration, a goofy monster that appears to be mainly carpet and wheels and pretty much nothing else.  The MST3K episode featuring this is pretty good too.
  3. Boogeyman II (1983): Confusing sequel to a crappy slasher movie from a crappy director.  nothing more need be said.
  4. Cat-Women of the Moon (1954): Another entry in the 50's cycle of "battle of the sexes in space" movies.  Like most films like this, it stinks quite profusely.
  5. Hollywood Boulevard (1976): Joe Dante's first movie.
  6. The Hills Have Eyes (1977): One of Wes Craven's best movies.
  7. Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome/Spooks Run Wild: A double feature of '40's movies.  First off is a Dick Tracy adventure with Boris Karloff as the villain.  It's followed by a Bela Lugosi film.
  •  We now get an interview with schlock director Richard Cunha.  Cunha directed a bunch of b-movies in the fifties and he gives a nice, detailed interview.
  • Up next is the final part of Bob Martin's Dead Zone coverage, followed by a little piece on a horror house in Connecticut.  These are followed by a piece on horror host Count Gregore, the book review column and a brief piece on Spanish slasher movies Pieces.
  • Dr. Cyclops makes a return with a special review of Basket Case and after the Nightmare Invasion section, the issue comes to a close.
 Issue #31 is decent enough but there are a few too many articles and not enough substance.

Coming Soon  Fangoria #38: Gore in '84!

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