Monday, December 31, 2012

Fangoria Flashbacks: 1995

1995 was a fairly bad year for the genre as the promise that late 1994 showed petered out quite rapidly.  Fangoria pressed forward though with a solid run of issues plus a fairly big cosmetic change.

We kick things off with issue 140 and it's fairly well-packed with stuff on the big screen debut of Tales Fr\om the Crypt in the form of the pretty fun splat fest Demon KnightLord of Illusions coverage continues along with coverage of Candyman 2, an interview with Jeff Goldblum, an interview with John Carpenter concerning In the Mouth of Madness and his Village of the Damned remake, a fun piece on horror-themed pinball games, results from the third Chainsaw Awards show and a few other neat things.

Issie 140 is a solid beginning to the year.

141 presents us with a bit of a format change as the magazine switches over to square binding, Starlog did the same thing around this time as well.  It will last until 2001.

As far as actual content goes, we get a solid batch of articles (given how lame the year's lineup is this is nothing short of miraculous) covering new stuff like
Hellraiser IV (dear lord); adaptations of Stephen King's The Mangler and Dean Koontz's Hideaway, Showtime's revival of The Outer Limits, more on the continuing saga of Lord of Illusions and a look at the Dustin Hoffman flick Outbreak.

The highlight though is a nice retrospective on the Lucio Fulci classic The Beyond.  Thank god for that and the video game column otherwise I might have thought the issue was some sort of prank.  The magazine is good this year but the slate of films sure as hell isn't.

Things get better (in theory) with issue 142 with some more X-Files coverage, a good retrospective piece on Alligator and a decent article on Tales From the Hood.  There are a bunch of other films covered, most of them low budget flicks...Another trend we will see in this run.  It's a good issue, though. 
We enter the spring with 143 and on the plus side, the new John Carpenter film makes the cover.  The downside it that it's his rather crappy Village of the Damned remake.  The coverage is good though as is the first look at some of the summer horror flicks like Species and naturally, more X-Files stuff.  I swear, if it wasn't for that show half the issues in this year would have been padded with ads.
The summer slump hits us full in the face with 145 as Species gets front and center while the issue is padded out with stuff on Judge Dredd, Congo  and Batman Forever.  Now I will grant you, there are certain circumstances where watching one or more of those three movies could be considered horrifying (though I kind of dig them in their own ways) but here they just come off as blatant filler.  Thank goodness the articles are good.
145 is not much better as we get little in the way of horror stuff outside of Species but we do get some pretty good Godzilla coverage (his latest film at the time was actually pretty good) and an early look at the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez vampire flick From Dusk Till Dawn.  Yes, one of the highlights of the issue comes from the damned coming attractions bit on page 8.  Have I mentioned what a bad year for horror 1995 was?

I...I think you can guess what I'm going to write about this.  Good, well written articles; tons of filler, X-Files, random Clive Barker articles. 

You would think things would get better with a piece on the latest Halloween movie and it is good...But the overall debacle that the film turned into sort of takes away from the quality.  There's some good TV coverage and a look at the fourth Texas Chainsaw Massacre film.  There is one great element though as producer Charles Sellier (The Boogens and Silent Night Deadly Night) goes over his career.  It's a great piece and damn near saves the issue.

The year is salvaged though the next two issues.  148 has an awesome article on From Dusk Till Dawn as well as the latest Stuart Gordon flick Castle Freak.  More X-Files coverage and a cover story on the awful Eddie Murphy/Wes Craven team-up Vampire in Brooklyn fleshes the issue out.
The year comes to a merciful end with a great cover story on From Dusk Till Dawn; more on Castle Freak and a batch of articles on Eurohorror (can't go wrong with a little Argento).

1995 was, to be blunt, an awful year for the genre.  Happily though, Fangoria stayed fairly solid though the summer needed some serious padding (as it will next year).  1996 will be better though as the genre will come roaring back.

Coming Soon: Fangoria 1996

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About Me

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