Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fangoria Flashbacks: 1988 Part 1

And now for 1988.  While 1987 was one of the best years for horror, 1988 is maybe my favorite.  A ton of memorable releases the whole year and equally solid issues of Fangoria, let's take a look.  And best news of all?  For the first time, we will be getting a full year's worth of issues this time out.  The trend will continue in 1989 and 1990.

Since covering ten issues in one piece would be, to me at least, slightly over the top, this will be divided into two halves, as will all other instances where I have the full year's worth of issues.

1988 gets off to a good start with the beginning of a Night of the Living Dead retrospective that covers quite a bit of ground.

That's about it in terms of the retrospective stuff as 1988 ended up being one of the most jam-packed years for the genre.  From low budget stuff like Empire Pictures' Cellar Dweller (directed by John Carl Buechler and starring Jeffrey Combs) to more mainstream fare like Poltergeist III and Wes Craven's awesome The Serpent and the Rainbow, this issue really has it all.  There's even a nice interview with low budget auteur Fred Olen Ray.

The highlight though is the return of Bob Martin as he presents the first of a two part interview with Frank Henenlotter.  Frank has a new movie out called Brain Damage (I've seen it and thought it was pretty decent) and Martin wrote the novelization for it.  As tends to be the case with Bob Martin pieces, it's excellent with lots of details and good stories from the interviewee.  Issue #71 really gets the year off to a great start.

The Night of the Living Dead retrospective wraps up here and apart from the conclusion of the Henenlotter interview, that's about it in terms of real highlights.  It's a solid issue but for the most part, it's a placeholder issue.
Another solid issue that's mostly focused on new stuff with previews of...Well, films that for the most part ended up being kind of crappy: Dead Heat (though I feel it's kind of entertaining), 976-Evil (Robert Englund's directorial debut) and the rather dull supernatural thriller The Seventh Sign with Demi Moore.  It's a solid issue but still not a knockout.
Things start to pick up with issue 74 as we get into the summer.  A short preview of Dario Argento's Opera, an interview with Michael Biehn, previews of Critters 2 and Friday the 13th Part VII, we also get another bit on The Unholy that gets into the re-shoots done to amp up the ending...not that it did much good as the film still stinks.

A look at Beetlejuice and the first part of an interview with Hammer producer Anthony Hinds wraps things up and the end result is a very good issue.

#75 continues to bring the quality with more on Friday the 13th 7, looks at the remake of Not of This Earth (one of Jim Wynorski's best); the excellent Phantasm II, the new George Romero movie Monkey Shines, Child's Play, the conclusion of the Anthony Hinds interview and much more.  Issue #75 is a real knockout.

Coming Soon: The stunning conclusion to 1988!

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About Me

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