Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fangoria Flashbacks: 1989

Note: Starting with this article, we'll be kicking off our Halloween Countdown.  One full month of nothing but horror.

1989 was an interesting year for the genre and business as usual for the magazine.  In many ways, 1989 was essentially 1988 part 2 with tons of sequels.  Let's take a look...

Note #2: Due to a change-up in release months the issue numbers might be a little off.  Also, from here on in we'll going with brief capsule reviews of each issue, unless one comes up that I feel requires a little more attention.  I would like to get caught up with the current product at some point.

 1989 gets off to a good start with issue 81 which feature such highlights as a first look at Pet Sematary; The Fly II, a look at the underrated anthology series Monsters, a cover story on The Horror Show (released some places as House III for some reason), looks at Freddy's Nightmares and Deep Star Six, and a preview of Toxic Avenger Part II.

As you can see, not much retro stuff as 1989 will turn out to be just as jam-packed as the previous year.  Still, a good issue to kick things off.

 #82 is really more of the same with a little bit of retro stuff thrown in (an interview with character actor Reggie Nalder) and looks at the second Swamp Thing move as well as Leviathan-the second of several underwater movies released in 1989.
 Things begin to ramp up a bit with 83 as we kick off a Friday the 13th tribute as well as taking a look at Puppet Master from Charles Band, info on Clive Barker's Nightbreed, more on Pet Sematary and an interview with 50's actress Yvette Vickers.  Issue 83 is a winner.
 Issue 84 continues the Friday the 13th love and throws in a bunch of summer movie previews: Ghostbusters 2, Stepfather 2, a look at the debut of Tales From the Crypt on HBO and a refreshing return to more retro content as now the first article, as it was the last issue, is an interview with an older horror/sci-fi star.  This time around it's the great Michael Gough who just so happened to be co-starring in the biggest movie of that summer.  We also get a good interview with Hammer screenwriter Christopher Wicking.

Like the cover says, Freddy and Jason are the main attractions here as the eighth Friday the 13th film and fifth Nightmare on Elm Street movie are covered here as well as some lower budgeted films such as Chud II and Blood Salvage.  Looks at horror trading cards and an interview with Fay Wray fill things out and make for a very good issue.

Like the cover says, more of the same.  I honestly have very little to say about this one.  You get Freddy, you get Jason, you get a closer look at Nightbreed.  Solid issue, but very predictable.
More of the same with a good Stephen King interview, looks at Halloween 5 and Nightbreed (this movie was highly touted and ended up bombing due to lousy marketing) and the first part of a fantastic article on the script development of Nightmare 5.
The Nightmare on Elm Street 5 script article wraps up here and we also get looks at Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3, more on Halloween 5 and tons more.  This is a very strong issue, though the magazine does seem to be getting a little stale.
A very good issue with the first part of a Richard Matheson interview (always a good sign); more on Chainsaw 3, an interview with Donald Pleasence, and another article on Monsters highlighting things.
We end things with a look at some stuff coming for 1990.  Yep, more Nightbreed (I think my disappointment with the movie might have something to do with how heavily it was covered here); even more on Chainsaw 3, an interview with Joe Lansdale and looks at some smaller horror films.  Not a bad way to end things.

1989 was a decent enough year for the genre but it was sort of plain.  It shows in the magazine as this run of issues has a few highlights but for the most part just seems to repeat itself.  1990 will be somewhat similar.

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