Tuesday, June 22, 2010

FANGORIA 294

FANGORIA
No. 294
Editor: Chris Alexander
Publication Date: June 2010
Publisher: The Brooklyn Company, Inc.
Color covers/Full color interior
84 ppg. (including covers)
Cover price: $8.99

I must admit I have a certain reflexive response when I pick up a copy of FANGO for purchase. In all honesty, the response is not always entirely positive. And, while I am not exactly a wimp when it comes to viewing (fake) flayed flesh and evisceration, it still makes me want to ask the question: "What's the point?" True, blood and gore have, for many years, been the hallmark of FANGO, even to the point where its very identity relies upon it. Consequently, when you consider the foregoing, one has to say that FANGORIA has discovered the winning combination with which to satisfy their target audience. The magazine's longevity and success is proof of this fact. Let me also be fair by saying that my expectation in a monster mag is not limited to gothic shadows and the Val Lewton school of "quiet horror" when it comes to visual content. Indeed, by its very nature, the topic of monsters and horror films is meant to shock, terrify, and act as catharsis (some would even go so far as to say, therapeutic as well, and I couldn't really disagree).

Issue #294, the subject of this post, does not shy from FANGO's modus operandi. For instance, page 27 gives us a near half-page, full-color shot of Kat Turner in ALL ABOUT EVIL, who is in obvious distress. Why, you might ask? Because she has a good portion of both breasts shorn off! A nice two-page spread on pages 48 and 49 shows a chest cavity clamped open with the (apparently) still beating heart in full view. The movie? "Inspired" by Edgar Allan Poe, it's called TELL TALE. We also are treated to another half-page, full-color photo of a severed tongue being removed from a bound victim's mouth. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. I will say, if this is the type of stuff that floats your boat, then FANGO is your pleasure cruise.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that sandwiched between pages of gratuitous bloodshed and carnage were rock-solidly written articles and reviews. There was an informative on-the-set piece on the newly-released SPLICE, a review of Jess Franco's latest movie offering, and another installment of "Diary of the Deb", actress Debbie Rochon's ongoing journal of her filmwork -- all very well written. The 'zine is ablaze with color and luridness, and like driving by a car crash on the freeway, it's difficult not to slow down and look.

You might have guessed by now that I am not a huge fan of gore and splatter films. I will watch them, but I am very discriminating. However, FANGORIA is a stalwart in the monster magazine market, and legions of fans still flock to its pages for their regular share of the kinds of things that zombies like to eat. You've got to admit that any magazine that calls their special issues "The Bloody Best" is not kidding around. In this respect, the folks at FANGORIA are experts. Accordingly, I await in palpitating anticipation for issue 295.

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