Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fangoria Flashbacks: 1992

Another short edition here as I only have five issues to talk about.  Like the year before, horror was in a bit of a drought until the end of the year when it picks up a little.  Let's take a look.

We begin with a solid issue in #111 with the highlights being a few articles on new Stephen King films The Lawnmower Man and Sleepwalkers. Some other neat bits are the second half of an interview with the man behind I Was a Teenage Werewolf; looks at Leprechaun with Warwick Davis and Chris Walas' The Vagrant and a few other eclectic treats.

One treat I want to highlight is the poll for the first Chainsaw Awards.  Whereas the magazine generally did a best of poll at the beginning of each year, this was the first time they decided to put on an actual awards show.  More on that later.

The best word for Fangoria in 1992 is eclectic.  With the genre in a slump, it was necessary to branch out into other realms of the genre only instead of the hokey wrestling stuff from the early years, we get the usual well done articles and columns.  Issue 111 is quite good though one little oddity is the green bug that pops up on the cover and hangs around for a few more issues.  It was an idea the publisher had and needless to didn't work.

Issue 113 continues the eclectic goodness with a nice selection of articles on Alien 3; the upcoming Army of Darkness, more Stephen King stuff in the form of part 1 of an interview with the man himself (I really need to track down 114 to read the rest of the damn thing), Anthony Hickox talks Hellraiser III and Waxwork 2, an interview with Karen Black and some horror comics stuff.

We also get a new segment that I would guess debuted the previous issue called Raving and Drooling.  Written by author David J. Schow, it is a refreshingly frank look at things from a man who knows what he's talking about.  It's an entertaining read and will stick around for a few years.

Really, the only major flaw with this issue is the Alien 3 coverage but that's due to the troubled nature of the production which gets mentioned in the editorial column.  Outside of that, this issue proves that Fangoria doesn't need a strong stack of horror movies to put out a good product.  In fact, I'd say they're at their best when things are a little slow.

Issue 116 is another special issue, this time focusing on vampires.  In a great example of perfect timing, this came out just as the fall was about to dump a ton of vampire flicks on the general public such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (back when Joss Whedon was unknown); Innocent Blood from John Landis and the big one that we'll get too later, Bram Stoker's Dracula directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

And the cover is truth in advertising as we get articles about the three films I already mentioned, an interview with author Anne Rice as well as some stuff on low budget vampire films, an interview with Hammer director (part 1 of 2) Roy Ward Baker and vampires in books.

Issue 116 is, to be honest, a bit of a step down as the theme makes it less free flowing than the other issues discussed here but it's still a pretty damn good issue.

Issue 117 brings us another solid issue with stuff on the South African flick Dust Devil; Clive Barker's Candyman starring Tony Todd, the conclusion of the Roy Ward Baker interview, a little more on Hellraiser III plus some other goodies.  If any issue in this article can be said to be a placeholder, this one would probably qualify as it comes right between the end of summer and the big glut of Dracula related stuff that begins next month.

And we end things with a bang as issue 119 gives us the magazine as will be for the next few years.  More pages (82 instead of 68), the fold-out poster is gone and in general a sleeker feel that has been there for a while but now really starts to show.

We get Dracula coverage of course with some stuff on the new movie (an interview with Anthony Hopkins who plays Van Helsing) and an interview with Lupita Tovar, the female lead of the Spanish 1931 version that was shot at the same time the Lugosi one was being made, on the same sets.

We also get chats with the stars of Dawn of the Dead; an in depth examination of the Hellraiser trilogy, some other random goodies and a report on the Chainsaw Awards ceremony.  Hosted by Bruce Campbell it sounds like it was a blast and we will get a few more reports like this as the years progress.

Issue 119 brings 1992 to a rousing close and preps us for the cheerful goodness that will continue for the next few years in the magazine.  1992 was a very good year for the magazine and it will only get better...though the genre will have its ups and downs.

Coming Soon: Fangoria 1993

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About Me

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