Monday, May 30, 2016

REMEMBER THE FALLEN


"Only the dead have seen the end of war."  - George Santayana, Soliloquies in England and Later Soliloquies.

Friday, May 27, 2016

CLASSIC MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES NO. 2 REVIEWED


CLASSIC MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES
Vol. 1 No. 2
Spring 2016
Stripey Media Ltd.
Editor: Nige Burton
Cover art: Ron Whittaker
Pages: 68

If you are in the mood for a nostalgic walk down Monster Memory Lane, then Nige Burton's CLASSIC MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES just might be what you're looking for. The latest entry in the print monster magazine market is one heckuva nice looking publication. Subtitled, "Rediscover Your Favourite Monsters", editor Burton has served up an attractive, thoughtful, and -- dare I say it -- sophisticated magazine from the whimsically-sounding Stripey Media Ltd. in the UK.

Owing a good deal to the assistance of designer Greg White, CMOM is visually striking for an indie 'zine (there is no barcode indicating mass market distribution). Compared to even commercially-published monster magazines, the quality of printing is excellent. While not as sharp as the reproductions seen in, say, Jim Clatterbaugh's MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT, the photos are nevertheless beautifully presented, and are near-optimum in quality. Surpassing even MFTV, though, are vibrant color images that are used generously throughout.

And the content? Well, what you get here is a mix between U.S. and UK horror genres, no one eclipsing the other, and melding into a well-rounded representation of both. The writing is cogent and succinct, and never over-indulgent, which is more than I can say for other writers who inflate their articles with unnecessary subjectivity. In short, what the reader can expect is a straightforward narrative that is both entertaining and informative, with a focus of historical perspective on each topic that is covered (hence, the meaning of the magazine's subtitle).

The second issue features articles on Universal's Mummy cycle, Bela Lugosi's acting ability versus his main competitor, Boris Karloff, an overview of the life and career of "Hollywood's Maddest Doctor", Lionel Atwill, the making of Hammer's FRANKENSTEIN, and 1950s science-fiction monster movies. Also included is editor Burton's reminiscence of his life-long love of monster magazines. And why not? What better way to explain the reason behind the creation of this latest, enthusiastically-recommended (from this reviewer's perspective) monster magazine?

Click HERE for information about ordering CLASSIC MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

SMOKIN' MONSTERS: TATUAJE'S NEW 'MONSTER' CIGARS


Boutique cigar maker Tatuaje has released the latest in their "Monster" line. The "Skinny Monsters" come in a box of 10 with one each of the current lineup of cigars with names like Drac, Frank, The Wolf Man, and Chuck. These are the 38 x 6 slim versions of the regular sizes.

Tatuaje boasts expensive and exotic blends of tobacco and the limited edition Monster series has historically been a quick sell-out. Right now, the best place to get the newest series is at Cigar.com.

Smoke 'em if you got 'em!

The "Frank".


Tatuaje's 2015 entry in the "Monster" line -- "Hyde".
 

Monday, May 23, 2016

CLASSIC MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES NO. 3 NOW SHIPPING


The third issue of the UK's newest monster 'zine, CLASSIC MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES has been recently announced as printed and ready to ship. Editor and Publisher Nige Burton is publishing a very nice looking magazine and I encourage all fans of vintage British (and American) monsters and their movies to take a look.

Check back here later this week for a review of issue #2.

Click HERE to order.

Friday, May 20, 2016

"TREASURE FROM THE MUMMY'S TOMB" FROM BLACK MAGIC JANUARY 1967


Short fiction was a mainstay in vintage men's magazines. Any publication that dared emulate the successful PLAYBOY had to include stories along with articles about cars, booze, and ... of course, photos of the ladies.

Presented here is a story entitled, "Treasure From the Mummy's Tomb" that appeared in the January 1967 issue of the quarterly BLACK MAGIC (Vol. 3 No. 4). BLACK MAGIC was a relatively short-lived magazine from the American Art Agency in North Hollywood and was distributed from the same editorial address by Parliament News, Inc. It attempted to obliquely reflect the occult mania that permeated popular culture in the 1960s. With features tediously titled "The Witch Watch" (news), "The Ghost Post" (letters), "The Wit Pit" (humor), and "The Leprechaun's Sex Hex" (fiction), the magazine was crawling with alliteration.


"Treasure From the Mummy's Tomb" is by Richard L. "Rick" Sargent, a pulp writer active in the 1950s and 1960s. Besides this story in BLACK MAGIC, he wrote men's adventure fiction in other magazines such as ADAM. He also penned tales for other pulp magazines, such as ALFRED HITCHCOCK MYSTERY MAGAZINE. MANHUNT, THE SAINT MYSTERY MAGAZINE, TRAPPED MYSTERY MAGAZINE, and GUILTY DETECTIVE MYSTERY MAGAZINE.

"Mummy's Tomb" is the well-worn tale of reincarnation and love beyond the grave (in this case, the tomb). The "Ka" (soul) of priestess Mashalla is haunting the life of Larry, a modern-day aerospace engineer and is jealously trying to keep him from falling in love with another woman. There are tinges of the occult here as The Cult of Kalganos is used as a setting for a secret ritual and the theme itself has a supernatural tone. Disappointingly, the sex is very tepid and is titillating at best. A writer like Ed Wood may have infused it with a little more spunk, but nevertheless, it's an entertaining few minutes to spend.







NOTE: If you are curious to see a sample of what else was in the magazine (wink-wink, nod-nod), click HERE.

Monday, May 16, 2016

IS FANGORIA DEAD OR DREAMING? NO, JUST GOING BI-MONTHLY


It’s been 8 months since Chris Alexander, Editor-In-Chief of FANGORIA, issued his farewell notice at the FANGO website (see announcement below). After the usual “it’s been a great ride” and yadda yadda, blah blah, Alexander made an attempt to re-assure the magazine’s many fans that the next issue – under a new Editor-In-Chief – was right around the corner. Well, it’s not only been around the corner, but half-way up the block and still we haven’t had an issue since #345.

Now, just a few days ago (May 10) comes an update from the “FANGORIA staff” (see update below). First, there is mention to what I figure might have been the problem all along … “financial and distribution obstacles”, which is generally code for a publication that is bleeding out on the balance sheet. Next, they are cutting the ‘zines frequency to about half to a bi-monthly schedule. GOREZONE is on “temporary” hiatus. There is also talk of offering digital back issues. I venture a guess that GOREZONE will end up going all-digital, and then perhaps FANGO itself if the ship doesn’t right itself.

Although Mr. Alexander sounded optimistic, the generalizations made by the recent update, the change in printing schedule, and especially not seeing a new issue on the stands for months, all point to his graceful exit from publishing Armageddon.

It’s also disheartening to see the cover reveal of the next issue of FANGORIA to be published (#346) – do you notice something different (see photo above)? Do you notice the absence of something? Look closer. That’s right – the cover shows a trio of horror/sci-fi dinosaur/actors. Color me spoiled by the usual gruesome FANGO cover image that makes me almost embarrassed to plunk my copy down in front of a Barnes and Noble cashier, but outside of the “Celebrating the Bad Asses of Horror” banner at the top, it just looks wimpy to me. I would hope to see something that would knock fans on their butts with a kick-ass, trademark FANG-gory photo cover to herald the reboot, but instead it looks like any other cover on the 'zine racks like SCI-FI NOW, EMPIRE and TOTAL FILM. Patrick Stewart a bad ass of horror? I think not. Jeez, I hope not!

And I hope I’m wrong. FANGORIA has been super, is a survivor, and is a top favorite of mine. I did subscribe to the first round of the resurrected GOREZONE, but was disappointed and should have put my money on a multiple year sub to FANGO.

Let’s hope that the restructuring literally pays off and the reboot is a success, shall we?

Chris Alexander, ex-Editor-In-Chief of FANGORIA.
Announcement: A Farewell from FANGORIA Editor Chris Alexander…

September 24, 2015 - 12:25 pm
by:  Chris Alexander

It is with mixed emotions that I must announce my decision to step down as Editor-in-Chief of my beloved FANGORIA magazine. This was not an easy choice to make. For 6 years, I have enthusiastically immersed myself creatively, professionally and, yes, emotionally in the FANGOverse as your humble editor. Prior to that, I was a steady freelancer for 3 years. And man, it has indeed been one Hell of a ride… 

During my tenure, I have always tried to break rules, play with conventions and make the magazine that I, as a lifelong FANGO reader and horror fan, would have wanted to read and I was thrilled when the readers responded excitedly to the many changes I made. Every issue that I oversaw was designed to be a mad-grab of strange stuff; a melting pot of eccentricity, serious film comment, esoterica, classic FANGO content, left-field editorial and, sometimes, controversial choices. I tried to make a magazine that was as vibrant as I remember FANGO being when I was a kid, when I used to beg for my dad to let me buy it, when it was hidden deep within in the too-high-for-my-hands porn racks or buried erroneously behind some teen-mag twaddle. FANGO was always an adventure for me and it was my goal as Editor to keep it as such for both lifers and newly-minted readers alike.

Sometimes the experiments worked. Sometimes they really worked. Sometimes they tanked and/or blew up in my face; the latter was rare but even when I did make a misstep… it was always an interesting misstep, I think. The important thing was that I always tried to push the edges; I tried to make a fun, intelligent, visually interesting celebration of strange cinema, which is what I live for and will always live for. 

I’ve seen sales swell, spike and then sink, only to spike again. I’ve weathered storms I never dreamed could exist and, along with our small, overworked and absurdly dedicated team, managed to drag that damned magazine to the finish line every time. I put people like Nicolas Cage (even organized a FANGO party for him in NYC), Werner Herzog, Gene Simmons, Roger Corman, David Cronenberg, Debbie Rochon, Richard Matheson, Jess Franco, Alice Cooper, John Carpenter (twice, once just discussing his music) and other artists I admire on the cover as well as left-field film choices like BLACK SWAN, PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, UNDER THE SKIN, FEMALE VAMPIRE and many other offbeat titles; I developed the concept for our beloved 300th issue; I created our first 3D issue, complete with “FANGOVISION 3D” anaglyph glasses and a cool corner of our website to use them on; I got people talking, debating, dismissing and celebrating. We won a bunch of awards. I invented a side-line of limited edition mags called “FANGORIA Legends”, which fans snapped up and are now valuable collector’s items. I worked with KISS to edit, write and print the official KISS magazine, two issues designed to celebrate their MONSTER album. One of those mags was in 3D and both are now sought-after bits of KISStory. I brought back my beloved GOREZONE magazine (complete with a new Tim Lucas column and Tom Savini make-up FX lab!), to great fan acclaim. I created the FANGORIA Musick label. And so much more… and I’m incredibly proud of all of it.

Now, as I said, stepping down from what is most certainly one of the most coveted professional positions in all of fandom was a difficult decision to make. As EIC, I have overseen and written a wealth of content for over 70 printed magazines. I have worked closely with the legendary Michael Gingold, a brilliant writer and a man who has dedicated his soul to FANGO (and who is the sharpest copy editor alive). I have worked with my “brother from another mother”, the monster magazine design icon Bill Mohalley, who is a tireless, one-man-army. I have worked with the wonderful marketing director Bekah McKendry, who always made sure that we could print the magazine by selling select spaces to cool clients (Bekah has since moved on and has surrendered much of her job to another great human, my friend Cheryl Singleton). I have worked with and been supported by visionaries and professional fans like Ken Hanley, Sam Zimmerman and Kier-La Janisse. I have stood by our publisher, the tireless Thomas DeFeo who pushes himself to impossible extremes to ensure that there even is a FANGORIA left to edit. 

I’ve met and interviewed all of my living idols and some of my deceased ones as, during my 6 years, many of my most admired talents have sadly since passed. I have established friendships that will endure. I have even uncovered a few colorful enemies. But again, these sour notes are rare in an otherwise fairly graceful symphony. It’s been a life changing run for me. 

So again, the question remains… why step down?

The short answer is that I just felt it was the right time. It’s no secret that I like to keep busy and use many mediums to express myself. I’m a burgeoning filmmaker with three features under my belt and that part of my creative life is extremely interesting and appealing to me. I intend to pursue my film work with vigor. I also compose music for films and for leisure, and I’d certainly like to further explore that aspect of my identity as well. Ultimately, I just feel that my persona has been sufficiently branded upon the FANGO myth. I feel like I accomplished everything I aimed to accomplish. I came. I saw. I fought. I said what I wanted to say. It’s time.

Now, where am I going next, you ask?

Well, outside of the films and music (my third film is now in the international festival circuit, my new album is due this November from Giallo Disco Records), I still intend to use words as my main vessel to express my adoration of the macabre motion picture and I will have some amazing news on that front shortly (you can hit my site Chris-Alexander.ca for updates). On top of that, I’m still staying in the world of print. Last year, I partnered with my friend, producer Charles Band, to create the oddball cult film magazine DELIRIUM and I intend to continue my focus on that scrappy mag and help it grow. 

But, more on that another time.

I’ll still be around the FANGOverse. Outside of wrapping up one more issue as EIC, I’ll keep contributing editorial to the mag and still speak publicly on its history and impact on the world. The FANGO team are my extended family, my brothers and sisters in arms. No one I know fights harder. We’ll always be connected.

To my fans and friends and readers and those of you who have stuck with my visions and enjoyed my ideas stamped inside FANGO’s pages, I want to sincerely thank you for the love and support. Keep reading FANGO. Keep it alive. It’s my history. It’s your history. It’s horror’s history…

Now, on to the NEXT burning question. Who will be the next EIC of FANGORIA magazine?We’ll reveal all very, very soon…

All my best and see you on the other side…

C.


Update: FANGORIA’s Future, #346 Cover and Contents Revealed

May 10, 2016 - 6:45 pm
by:  Fangoria Staff

Dear Readers, Subscribers and Fans of FANGORIA Magazine,

In recent months, many in the horror community have speculated about the status of FANGORIA as a publication. Even as we worked away on the ever-changing FANGORIA #346, our financial and distribution obstacles kept print production languishing beyond what any of us might have expected. Now, after much deliberation and discussion, FANGORIA has several exciting announcements about the future of our print edition as well as the FANGORIA brand.

First off, FANGORIA has not ceased publication entirely, nor are we closing our doors; we are working hard to ensure #345, #346 and every future issue make their way to subscribers and shelves as soon as possible. However, given the circumstances, FANGORIA has decided to temporarily alter our release schedule for the print edition of FANGORIA.

Starting with FANGORIA #347, we are temporarily changing our production calendar for print issues to a bimonthly basis, modifying the annual number of those magazines from 10 to six. Print editions of FANGORIA will be set to publish in February, April, June, August, October and December. However, all existing and current subscribers will receive all issues owed according to previous agreements, with all 10-issue FANGORIA subscriptions being fulfilled beyond the calendar year.

Now, why is this decision being made, and why is it being made now? In complete honesty, there are multiple reasons as to why, both financial and logistical in nature. In the past several months, FANGORIA has seen our distribution and subscription fulfillment houses both go out of business, and as we acclimate to new beginnings, we believe the reduced print-issue count will not only ensure a greater, more focused product, but our staff will have more time to concentrate on individual customer support, brand growth and digital production…which leads to our next point.

In addition to the six print issues per year offered to subscribers on our new calendar, FANGORIA will be putting out four bonus digital issues complementary to each subscription. Furthermore, subscribers will receive digital editions of all six print issues of FANGORIA as soon as production is complete, meaning that they will receive 10 digital issues per year in total. Although our first digital-only FANGORIA issue will debut this July, our 2017 calendar will offer digital issues in March, May, September and November.

We ask our current readers and subscribers to please keep in mind that this change is temporary; FANGORIA hopes that with the current trajectory and a little patience, we can return to our previous standard of 10 print issues per calendar year in the near future. However, with this new, altered production model, readers and subscribers will get their Fango fix faster and more frequently.

Now, on to FANGORIA #346…

While the editorial staff awaits the physical printing and shipping of this edition, we are excited to announce that the digital version of the issue is available in its complete, uncut form here at Fangoria.com! Subscribers will be receiving a complimentary digital copy of FANGORIA #346 in the next 48 hours, while non-subscribers can purchase the digital issue for the low price of $3.99 here. This issue is devoted to the “Bad-Asses of Horror,” featuring interviews with GREEN ROOM’s Patrick Stewart, ASH VS. EVIL DEAD’s Bruce Campbell and Lucy Lawless, genre veteran Tom Atkins, punk icon turned horror actor Henry Rollins, Canadian veteran Michael Ironside and others (see the cover and full contents below). Editor-in-chief Michael Gingold says, “While efforts continue to resolve our printing and distribution issues, I and the rest of the editorial team are grateful to have the opportunity to get Fango #346 to our readers in digital form. We’ve put together a literally bad-ass issue, one we believe is worth the unfortunately long wait. We hope our fans enjoy it, and that we’ll able to get a print edition in their hands soon.”

Now, moving on to GOREZONE…

As of now, FANGORIA is putting production of GOREZONE #36 on hold as we work to retool our central publication. While GOREZONE is certainly a part of Fango’s past and present that we wish to honor, the editorial staff want to create and release a version of GOREZONE that we are as passionate about creating as our fans are to read it. Mark our words: There will be a future for GOREZONE, and we hope to at least bring our niche horror mag to 40 gloriously gruesome issues. But we need time to sink more heart and soul into GOREZONE, and as soon as we have an update, you’ll be the first to hear it. Furthermore, FANGORIA is planning a digital expansion over the next year as well, with an impending new look for our website as well as digital versions of vintage issues and the premiere of the FANGORIA International Online Film Festival this summer; keep an eye out for those announcements soon.

FANGORIA president Thomas DeFeo, editor-in-chief Michael Gingold, managing editor Ken W. Hanley and the rest of the staff would like to thank our readership for their immense patience over the course of this frustrating situation. With some truly exciting content coming up this summer, FANGORIA isn’t closing its coffins anytime soon, and we hope that you join us for this exciting new phase in our 37-year history.

The complete contents of FANGORIA #346:

GUTS
INTERVIEW: BRUCE CAMPBELL In “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” his Deadite-slayer is older, not wiser but still awesome.

INTERVIEW: LUCY LAWLESS The “Evil Dead” series gives the “Xena” star a virtual dual role.

INTERVIEW: PATRICK STEWART When a truly ruthless villain was needed for “Green Room,” he made it so.

INTERVIEW: TOM ATKINS He’s taken on ghosts, a mad maskmaker and alien slugs, and always looked cool doing it.

INTERVIEW: HENRY ROLLINS The punk god found a role to truly make him immortal in “He Never Died.”

INTERVIEW: MICHAEL IRONSIDE From big-ticket epics to indies like “Turbo Kid,” he always brings the right attitude.

ON SET: “THE DEMOLISHER” A vengeful man is armed and extremely dangerous to one unfortunate woman.

INTERVIEW: KARYN KUSAMA The director has made a hell of a scary comeback with the psychochiller “The Invitation.”

MAKEUP FX LAB: “A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY” We unwrap the creation of the Yuletide demon Krampus for the fright anthology.

INTERVIEW: BEN WHEATLEY After several smaller-scale successes, the filmmaker elevates his horizons with “High-Rise.”

INTERVIEW: PETER BOGDANOVICH Before helming award-winning dramas and comedies, he made a blood-freezing debut with the Boris Karloff-starring “Targets.”

INTERVIEW: GENE JONES “The Sacrament’s” Father is now in a mother of a traumatic situation as the star of “Dementia.”

FEATURE: MONSTER PARTY Four guys talking terror make for a highlight of Fango’s Podcast Network.

FILMMAKERS’ FAVORITES: “NIGHT OF THE DEMONS” Debuting a new regular feature, one haunted-house creator interviews another.

DIARY OF THE DEB: “MODEL HUNGER,” PART FOUR As her directorial debut winds down, Debbie is visited by blasts from cinema’s past.

INTERVIEW: KING DIAMOND A true survivor, the heavy-metal legend recounts a career of high notes and being laid low.

FEATURE: WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON Get to know the “weird fiction” author whose work still sends shivers over a century later.

NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND: HENRIQUE COUTO Making fear flicks has brought nothing but pleasure to this indie auteur.

MINIFEATURE: “THEY CAME FROM THE SWAMP” Florida frightmeister William GrefĂ© receives a long-warranted documentary.

INTERVIEW: DAVID HEWLETT The Canadian thesp’s career has led from “Pin” to “Cube” to the director’s chair.

GRAVY
EXORDIUM All the grue that’s fit to print
MONSTER INVASION Features on “Bite,” “KILD TV” and “Under the Shadow”
SHORT SHARP SHOCKS This new section debuts with Scooter McCrae’s “Saint Frankenstein”
VHS YES! Christmas schlocking with “Elves”


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