Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fangoria Flashbacks: Issue #38

Fangoria #38 October, 1984: Gore in '84

We regretfully skip over most of 1984 (most of those issues are out of prints and horribly expensive) and go to October of that year.  1984 was a pretty great year for horror with Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Gremlins and a bunch of others making it a good year for horror fans.
  • We begin with a moderately big cosmetic change as the film strip on the front cover now goes from the bottom of the left side all the way to the top.  It will stay this way until 2009.
  •  The silly Midnight Writer thing is over and Bob Martin (billed as R.H. Martin) is sharing editorial duties with David Everitt.  Martin contributes a rather good editorial on horror movies influencing real life crimes, basically saying it's bull.
  • We begin with an interview with Australian Director Richard Franklin of Psycho II and Road Games fame.  Here, he talks about Cloak and Dagger, his 1984 movie with Dabney Coleman that I remember being a perfectly acceptable thriller.  It's a nice piece that also gets into some of Franklin's earlier movies.
  • Up next is an interview with Roger Corman alumni Jonathan Haze.  Haze is probably best known for Little Shop of Horrors and he gives an amusingly candid interview.
  • Still on the b-side of things, we get an early appearance from Dr. Cyclops via a review of a few Richard Cunha films out on video: Frankenstein's Daughter and She-Demons.  I'd love to have some of the gaps in my collection filled so I could see if this was a regular thing in '84.
  • The Friday the 13th portion of the issue is up next with a tribute to Jason in lieu of his apparent 'final demise' in the fourth film.  It's a fairly silly analytical piece that I have to assume was intended to be humorous.  Otherwise it means that the staff at Fango was taking a simple slasher movie franchise way too seriously and that just makes my brain hurt.
  • Alex Gordon is up next, talking about some more recent entries in the genre.  And by recent, I mean '70s.
  • A preview of a new slasher called Fall Break is up next (later released as The Mutilator) and the only real noteworthy thing about this movie is the poster which had the great tagline "By pick, By axe, Bye bye!"  Yep, not even the ultra-gory f/x are worth talking about, impressive as they are.
  • The main Dr. Cyclops column is up next and we get six reviews.
  1. Of Unknown Origin (1983):  This is one I've always wanted to see.  Peter Weller vs. a giant rat, directed by the same guy who did Rambo: First Blood Part II and Cobra?  Count me in!
  2. Grave of the Vampire (1972): Low budget vampire movie that sounds rather bizarre.
  3. High School Confidential: 50's teen movie.  No idea why it's being reviewed here.
  4. Night of the Howling Beast (1975): Another Paul Naschy werewolf movie.  This time, it's werewolf vs. yeti in Tibet.  I'm sold!
  5. Tales of Terror (1962): A nice Corman anthology starring Vincent Price in three Poe-influenced stories.  The middle section is the best with Price in rare form and Peter Lorre giving a very funny performance.
  6. Horror Express (1972): A fantastic Christopher Lee/Peter Cushing team-up that I will discuss in detail later.
  • Pieces on The Philadelphia Experiment and The Hills Have Eyes Part 2  follow with the Hills article being better as we get another nice Wes Craven interview.  Say what you will about the man's track record but he definitely is a good interview.
  • Two Gremlins articles are up next with a Joe Dante interview and a piece on the Chris Walas f/x.  This is followed by a quick piece on Troma slasher Splatter University and after that is the Nightmare Library column.  The book of the month is a James Herbert book titled Shrine.  Sounds like a pretty good read.
  • Things wind up with a nice long article (part 2) on f/x artist Stuart ( Star Wars, Planet of the Apes) Freeborn, an interview with Robot Monster writer/director Wyott Ordung and the Monster Invasion section.
Issue #38 is a brisk, solid issue with some good articles (silly Jason analysis aside)  and a nice balance between old and new.

Coming Soon Fangoria #42: The Company of Wolves

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    About Me

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