We're going with a change of pace for the series as I'm finding doing each issue one at a time is getting rather repetitious. Therefore, from here on we'll be going year by year with me covering the entire year of issues (or as many from said year as I possess) and giving some brief notes (at least when I have something to say).
With that in mind, let the mayhem begin!
- First off is a big change as Bob Martin has left by this point. Not sure which issue was his last but his departure is certainly a big loss for the magazine as he really steered it on the right course in its early days. David Everitt is the sole editor at this point (this is also his last issue as Dave McDonnell of Starlog takes over for the rest of the year and a little of 1987) but the associate editor is a man who will very shortly take over the reigns, Anthony Timpone (but that's a story for another day).
- As usual, the interviews are top notch, featuring chats with Clu Gulager, Angelo Rossitto and the great Beverly Garland. The only gripe I can find is with the Phil Leakey interview. Phil did the makeup for some of the early Hammer Horror films and to be frank, he comes off as a bit of an ass. He openly admits to hating horror which is fine but he doesn't seem to regard his work too highly which is unfortunate, especially when it affects the way the comes across in the interview. Well written piece though, and kudos to Fango for publishing it as is.
- Dr. Cyclops has a nice selection of reviews this month with the highlights being reviews of the exploitation classic Savage Streets starring Linda Blair and the Coen Brother's debut, Blood Simple.
- Other good articles are an interview with one of the screenwriters of Re-Animator, the writer of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 and a preview of Underworld (also known as Transmutations), the first adaptation of a Clive Barker story.
- The overall feel of the magazine for the next twenty years or so is finally locked into place with this issue as the Monster Invasion section has been moved up right after the letters section. I really dig this change as it serves as nice appetizer for the reader before getting into the articles. Making things even better is the format as they now highlight two or three movies coming soon (mainly Evil Dead 2 in this case) and the rest goes into a small sidebar called The Terror Teletype.
- Article highlights are a nice interview with actress Mary Woronov, an enjoyable interview with Steve Miner about House and his work on the Friday the 13th movies (he directed 2 and 3), a solid piece on the Return of the Living Dead f/x and a fantastic interview with Clive Barker that serves as a great intro to the author. We also get a nice selection of articles on TV terror thanks to pieces on Tales From the Darkside, The Hitchhiker (remember that one?) and a revival of Alfred Hitchcock Presents capping things off with a Wes Craven interview where he discusses his work on the new version of The Twilight Zone (the show has gone through at least four versions that I know of). We also get a decent preview of Critters, a fun Gremlins riff from New Line Cinema.
- We get some fantastic stuff here with great interviews with Ian McCulloch (he's done a bunch of Italian horror films including Zombie and Contamination), a brief Tom Savini piece talking about his latest venture: A video documentary produced by Fango called Scream Greats. It was supposed to be the first in a series on horror icons or something but for reason, things got botched and it never made it past the second volume.
- More highlights include looks at Psycho III, the f/x of Nightmare 2 with Kevin Yagher, an interview with the legendary John Carradine, a look at the wonderfully incoherent gore fest Demons and a chat with author Dennis Etchison.
- The best part of this issue is the Dr. Cyclops column which generally is not a good sign in my eyes. He covers a nice selection of movies including The Company of Wolves, the Charles Band directed Dungeonmaster and the notorious Italian cannibal flick Make then Die Slowly.
- Outside of that, there's a nice interview with director Gordon Hessler (he did Scream and Scream again amongst many others), a review of The Bachman Books, a collection of four novellas Stephen King wrote under his pseudonym Richard BachmanLitten and an interview with horror host Billy Cardille (also known as Chilly Billy).
- There's a nice blend of articles here, highlighted by a good interview with b-movie star John Agar and stories on the upcoming Poltergeist II, Night of the Creeps (spelled with a "K" for some stupid reason) and Critters. The Critters article is especially good as it highlights the Chiodo Brothers' solid f/x, though they don't exactly come off as well.
- The Dr. Cyclops column remains a highlight with a packed house in terms of reviews. Dario Argento's Inferno, the campy Horror Hospital, the Amicus anthology The House that Dripped Blood...Truth be told, and I hate to say it, but sometimes I enjoy this section more than any other piece in the magazine.
- In addition to the P II coverage, we also get a nice look at the f/x of From Beyond which we will get into a little more next issue as well as other John Buechler projects. Even better are the looks at David Cronenberg's remake of The Fly and Tobe Hooper's first film of the year, a remake of Invaders From Mars. He also chats about the upcoming Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. There's also a nice interview with Lance Henriksen plus the conclusion of the Clive Barker interview that began in issue 51. Things also wrap up nicely with an interview with the lovely Martine Beswick.
- It's another packed house as in addition to the Stephen King interview, we also get stuff from Tom Savini (talking TCM 2), more on The Fly, From Beyond and Invaders From Mars, a Christopher Lee interview, a piece on Charles Band and a brief article on a little movie called Aliens.
- To be honest, it's pretty much more stuff on the movies already mentioned as the magazine is now getting more comprehensive in their coverage of new movies. I like it though, as more often than not they manage to avoid getting too repetitious.
- In addition to the extended coverage, we get a typically good Robert Englund interview a look at David Lynch's Blue Velvet and some other goodies.
Well, that's 1986 for Fangoria. All in all, a solid year with only one issue really standing out as being underwhelming. Next year, however, will bring about some more changes.