Friday, April 22, 2011

FANGORIA NO. 301


On those albeit rare occasions when friends or co-workers ask about my favorite authors, Richard Matheson is always on the list. Whether the format is TV (Twilight Zone), novels, (Hell House, I Am Legend), or short stories (The Shock collections), his writing almost never disappoints. It was due in large measure to Mr. Matheson (as well as Rod Serling) that I learned at an early age to watch TV credits for the writer’s name. I knew that if Richard Matheson wrote an episode, I would enjoy it. So, the moment I saw the cover of FANGORIA 301—featuring Matheson’s name and the TZ fortune telling machine--on the MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD blog, I knew it was an issue I had to have.

Editor Chris Alexander conducts an excellent interview with Mr. Matheson and writes a great introduction to it. He balances the discussion between the old and the new, ranging seamlessly from Twilight Zone to the Corman/Poe movies to Matheson’s newest novel, Other Kingdoms, just published by Tor. Chris does not shy away from asking about some potentially touchy subjects, either: bad adaptations of Matheson’s stories, “silly” stories (JAWS 3-D is mentioned), poor casting choices, and writing at an advanced age. I am glad there are pros like Mr. Alexander to talk to legends like Richard Matheson. If I had the chance to interview him, I would probably go all fanboy and not be able to put two coherent sentences together. A good selection of photos fleshes out the article.



Speaking of legends, William F. Nolan is also interviewed in this issue. I hope to heck that I am half as sharp and productive in my 80’s as Matheson and Nolan are in theirs.

A bounty of werewolf and shapeshifter articles stalks the reader of this issue. Michael Gingold writes about RED RIDING HOOD in a story that makes me upset that I missed the film in its brief stay in the local movie theaters. The comments he elicits from director Catherine Hardwicke make me think there is a lot more to this film than the trailer showed me. Thank heavens we are in the DVD age, and I can probably see the film in the not too distant future.



WOLFEN is one of my favorite modern monster movies, so it’s no surprise that I enjoyed “Wolfen: A Political Animal”, an interview of director Michael Wadleigh conducted by Michael Doyle. The dreaded phrase “to be continued” appears way too early, however. Multi-issue articles generally irritate me, but I will watch for part two, since I do like this film. Doyle also contributes what is apparently the final interview of James Cummins’s (BONEYARD) life, and it is well worth reading.

Since I generally prefer the classic horror film to the blood/gore/slasher variety, FANGORIA is not usually the first monster magazine I reach for at the newsstand. But I have to say that issue 301 is a real gem. In addition to the subjects mentioned above, there is a great preview of BLACK DEATH, a story on DRIVE ANGRY (with a sidebar on haunted car movies!), and helpful DVD and book reviews.



Don’t fret, slasher fans! There is plenty of the blood and gore which put the “gore” in FANGORIA. BEREAVEMENT receives the “Seal of Approval” in a discussion of the underlying emotional themes of the prequel to MALEVOLENT. Linnea Quiqley looks back on her career as a modern “scream queen.” Fango goes international with a profile of the south of the border flesh eaters of WE ARE WHAT WE ARE and an interview with EMBODIMENT OF EVIL’S Jose Mojica Marins.

Dare I say that the magazine is “rounded out” by a survey of Jim Wynorski’s films featuring double-D damsels in distress?

Guest-Post written by: Doug

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