Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fangoria Flashbacks: 1991

Bit of a quickie edition here as I have only six of the twelve issues.  When I'm through all the issues I have I'll go back and do fill-in articles if I come across ones I missed the first time around.

1991 saw a few minor cosmetic changes to the magazine as the contents page now has a red border as opposed to black and the ad pages are given a similar red/pink hue.

 We begin with issue 102, a special "Women of Horror" issue.  Starting this year, we began to get theme issues every now and then, generally a sign the slate of horror films is somewhat lacking.  It's good though as Fangoria has always been at its best when doing retrospective stuff.

As for the actual issue, it's pretty damn good with an emphasis on the theme over everything else (which is to be expected when the best you can do for a cover shot is from a crappy Child's Play rip-off.  Highlights are interviews with Caroline Munro, Barbara Steele and a look at female horror authors, a guide to scream queens like Linnea Quigley and one or two more tidbits to fill things out.  #102 is a solid, if somewhat unexceptional issue.

#103 kicks off with a pretty good interview with Cameron  Mitchell (the man has done so many films he's actually forgotten about quite a few of them) as well as a piece on the lull the horror genre was in at the time.  It's an interesting piece, as is a report on a film sales event on Los Angeles.

As far as film coverage goes, well...There isn't a hell of a lot outside of  a look at Silence of the Lambs a few months after its release and the first part of a look at the films of Paul Naschy.  Despite the rather lean lineup of articles this ends up being a pretty solid issue.

#104 places us right in the middle of summer so of course, we get a good amount of Terminator 2 coverage here and in the next issue to bump up sales.  In this case, it's a chat with screenwriter William Wisher.  Other highlights are the second part of that Paul Naschy article as well as a look at the third season of Tales Form the Crypt plus a few retro articles on 60's/70's exploitation and the first part of a Bride of Re-Animator set diary.  Issue 104 is another solid issue.
Issue 105 is a solid issue highlighted by a bunch of Stephen King stories, a bit on the rather iffy flick Body Parts and a tribute to The Omen.  The Bride of Re-Animator article also wraps up making for a pretty decent read.
The highlight of the year, issue 106 is highlighted by a nice big stack of articles on author H.P. Lovecraft and the various attempts at putting his works on screen.  That makes up roughly three quarters of the magazine as the only other two big articles cover Child's Play 3 and f/x artist Gordon Smith.  Smith is, to put it mildly, a bit of a cranky jerk in the piece as he comes off as an artist first who prizes realism over everything...which makes his being hired for a horror flick like Graveyard Shift rather odd since it features a huge mutant rat with wings.  Like Hammer artist Phil Leakey in issue 50, he has a rather dim view of some of his work coupled with a perfectionist streak and it unfortunately makes him look somewhat pompous and stuck up.  Still, good interview and a fantastic issue.

We end this fractured journey with issue 108.  Highlighted by an article on the cheesy but fun Wes Craven flick The People Under the Stairs, this is a perfectly good issue of the magazine with a Robert Englund interview on Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare; previews of Waxwork II and Basket Case 3, a look at the Addams Family film and a nice piece on Asian horror.

Issue 108 is solid but unexceptional and this brings our look at 1991 to an end.

1991 was a down period for the genre and Fangoria had to adjust things a little to fill ten issues.  It worked out pretty well and we'll see them refine themselves a bit in the next edition.

Coming soon: Fangoria 1992

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About Me

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