Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fangoria Flashbacks: 2000-2004

Fangoria 2000-2004: The Lean Years

Before we begin, I won't be showing all the issues in each run.  It occurs to me they're just taking up space and if I don't have something to say about the issue, it's sort of silly to show the cover.  We're going to speed through the rest of this series pretty quickly as I honestly have very little to say about the issues of the last ten years.

 As the new millennium dawned, Fangoria was hitting the skids from a financial standpoint.  While they had been quite successful in the first half of the 90's (as was their sister publication Starlog) with tons of spin offs and tie-ins, 2000 saw them under new management and in a rut.  I stuck around for a while but to be honest, my thoughts this article will be somewhat sparse since from 2001 to mid-2004 I was not buying the magazine.  I've filled in a good portion of this unconscionably large gap but in terms of text, this will be rather brief.


I'm pretty sure this issue was where the changeover in management took place since it is a rather flimsy volume that seems thin even though it's the usual 82 pages that have been the standard since the early 90's.

A pretty major format change as the magazine is now being printed on thicker paper and the cover is also more durable, bordering on stiff.  In terms content, it's the same old thing.  Journalistic comfort food, which is rather disappointing when you want to stay on board as a regular reader.

2000 was not a great year for films in general and the horror genre was not exempt either.  For some reason, the quality of the articles tended to be in line with the quality of the films being covered, which never happened in the early 90's.

As you can tell from the dearth of text, I really don't have much to say about this run of issues,.  They were competently produced and certainly slick looking but they just weren't clicking for me.  Fangoria wasn't clicking for me.


This is the last issue I bought for several years and it's also, unless I'm mistaken, the last to have the square-bound design.  From the next issue to today, it's a glossier version of the standard three staples holding together the pages routine.  It's a pretty good issue too, though a bit on the tired side.  Another design change was the issue number being moved to the top left hand corner, an okay change that is just fine.

2001 was an okay one for the genre (the fact that Peter Jackson came out with the first Lord of the Rings film probably gave the company a little more profit) but the magazine continued to be rather bland.  Acceptable but bland.  I like the issues I have from this period (they've only put out a few issues I truly dislike) but there;s nothing I would call re-readable.  I used to put all of my back issues on my bed and page through them one by one, generally this period is the one that gets skimmed through rather quickly.


This is the only issue I bought in 2002.  I had wanted the previous one which had a pretty good article on the tenth Friday the 13th film.  Needless to say, what I read inspired me to stay on my hiatus for a while longer.  It's fine, just bland.  Sort of like the year in horror.

The overall blandness of the magazine is what was keeping me away, I think.  The spark was gone, the drive.  The next year would have some decent stuff but not enough to get me back into the fold.


Freddy vs. Jason was pretty much the highlight of 2003 in terms of horror.  Fangoria brought the goods with the coverage as well, supplying a nice look at the screenwriting travails, sort of like what they did way back in 1989 for A Nightmare on Elm Street 5.  It's a nicely done throwback to when the magazine was firing on all cylinders.


2004 was the year I finally got back on board the Fangoria Express.  I had a job and money which allowed me the means to get back into business.  I've been back in it ever since, but with every road, there are bumps.

2004 was not a great year for the genre, to be frank.  While the magazine out out some decent stuff (the above issue being the best), it still seemed to be going through the motions.  Whereas the magazine was able to muscle through leans years like 1990-1994, for some reason it just wasn't at this point.  I was back in the groove though, and nothing short of unemployment was going to stop me.

Coming soon: Fangoria 2005-2009: In order to get up, you first have to fall down

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About Me

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