The old warhorse horror fanzine, which disappeared from magazine racks in 2017 will return in both print and digital form.
As a kid, when my mom would take me to the grocery store, I would wander off to the magazine rack and would grab a Fangoria or a Starlog or a Cinefantastique magazine to revel in what new genre movies were coming down the pipe. I wouldn’t dare try and ask my mom to put the Fangoria magazine in with the pasta and vegetables, because… well… it was too gory. Mom would have freaked out. Fangoria absolutely reveled in the nasty makeup and practical gory effects of the 1980’s and introduced me to practical effects wizards Rick Baker, Rob Bottin, and Tom Savini. They celebrated franchise monsters like Jason, Freddy, and Candyman. And, oh those brutally nasty pictures! This was, in the days before the internet, where you would go to find out about upcoming scary movies. Fast forward several decades where Fangoria struggled through a series of editors, all trying to react to the overall decline of magazine publications, finally shuttering their operations in 2017.
According to Dave McNary of Variety.com, Cinestate, the producers of Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cellblock 99, has pulled a Victor Frankenstein, resurrecting the the fanzine. It will be released as a quarterly collectible publication and will restart their digital presence with an updated website. Dallas Sonnier, the CEO of Cinestate will be the new editor, and they have hired Phil Nobile Jr. of birth.movies.death to be the new editor-in-chief.
In the Variety article, Nobile stated “There needs to be a Fangoria. The magazine was a constant presence in the genre since 1979 — and then one day it was gone. That felt, to us, tragically incorrect. Fango was, for multiple generations, a privileged window into the world of horror. It gave us access to filmmakers’ processes and secrets, opened our eyes to movies we might have otherwise missed, and nurtured a wave of talent that’s out there driving the genre today. I’m proud and excited to be part of the team that’s bringing this institution back.”
It will be interesting to see how Fangoria plays its cards. The age of the franchise horror villain, upon which they built their reputation, is on the decline, having largely been replaced with slower burning highbrow indie horror, home invasion thrillers, and shaky cam ghost stories. I half suspect that the horror trends were going away from the super gory fantastic, and when your magazines model was to follow in the tracks of sequelized gory fare, how will the publication cover the new landscape of horror film? The good news is that there is so much good horror being produced, that Fangoria can surely find a way to both celebrate the splattery roots of what they became famous for, and also to recognize films like Don’t Breathe, Get Out, and the Witch.
It’s aliiiiive! It’s ALIIIIVE! Hopefully now, for the long haul.
POST NOTE: 6/17/18:
Fangoria has finished their first film, the re-imagining of Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich. It was pure bloody mayhem, and amusing as hell. Things bode well for Cinestate and Fangoria, and I very much look forward to their next offerings.