Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fangora Fright Night Episode 2, Issue 2: Prophecy (Christopher Walken Not Included)

As the headline on Fangoria Issue #2 states it's, "Mutant Movie Magic"! There are no angels spouting post-apocalyptic wars in the heavens or on Earth or angels killing people. We're talking about mutant Bambi-animals of doom whose coming had been foretold to us by the Native Americans and they have given the dragon sized avenger a name and it is... Katahdin! Yes, it's pronounced just the way it looks.

Edgar Cayce, Prophet
Dionne Warwick, Prophet
Many Prophets of the Bible

The year was 1979, and the summer of love had passed ten years earlier, going the way of the Dodo... or had it? Enter Prophecy (sans the "the") and all the hippie, enviro-horror you can stand. So Talia Shire goes from the Godfather and Rocky and ends up smack dab in the middle of Maine. Fighting the loggers. With her tree-hugger/socio-good guy husband and his beard (it is a fierce beard).

Trailer for Prophecy
Fierce Beards

Do they win? Does anyone fighting "the man" ever win? Mother nature certainly wins in all her mutant glory. And who's the real bad guy here? The loggers, nay. They are just a vehicle for the real demon... METHYL MERCURY! Wiki:
Several studies indicate that methylmercury is linked to subtle developmental deficits in children exposed in-utero such as loss of IQ points, and decreased performance in tests of language skills, memory function and attention deficits.[12] Methylmercury exposure in adults has also been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease including heart attack.[13][14][15] Some evidence also suggests that methylmercury can cause autoimmune effects in sensitive individuals. However, to date, methylmercury has not been linked to any specific neurologic or autoimmune disease. Although there is no doubt that methylmercury is toxic in several respects, including through exposure of the developing fetus, there is still some controversy as to the levels of methylmercury in the diet that can result in adverse effects.
... but of course in this movie it causes mutant, dragon animals to pulverize humanity and racoons of doom to attack the hippies. Any real cases of animal insanity caused by Methyl Mercury? Probably. Any real cases of animals turning into giant mutant demon bears? Probably. Is Talia Shire hot in this one? Yes, she is. Is she as hot as she was in the Godfather? You bite your tongue! Filthy dog. Her roll as the protector of a mutant grizzly demon baby is priceless and will bring a tear to your eye.

Finer Points of Methyl Mercury

Beyond Prophecy, which I actually dearly loved, this issue of Fangoria features a Dr. Who retrospective of the baddest of the bad bad guys. I can't tell you how psyched I was to see the Daleks again and learn about a few monster favorites that had slipped through the cracks. I used to watch these late into the night when my parents thought I was old enough to stay at home on a Saturday night without a sitter. Gotta love PBS. It's really more sci-fi than horror, but I'm of the mind set that as soon as an alien attacks a human, a line has been crossed and you can call it horror... with or without blood of a different color (foreshadowing?). So it's a full color retrospective with full origin elaboration and "the cause for which the monster stands". Probably wouldn't stand up to a true dork's expectations, but this will cut if you're looking for a nostalgic ride though another dimension.

Daleks! (bad ass)

What else: This issue touches on Phantasm and how it was "ripping off" Alien. Why? Because of the YELLOW BLOOD!!! They also said they thought it was going to be viewed as ripping off Star Wars' Jawas (which was my initial thought too, but they really tried not to... a lot... they tried hard). Apparently the movie Phantasm was made by folks who wanted to pay homage to numerous horror/sci-fi flicks of the past and I think it does so swimmingly. This late great got an X rating on it's first rating's board pass. Bwahahaha! My MPAA you sure have grown (imagine Saw in front of these guys?).

What does yellow blood look like?

The most important reason to hop on eBay and try to find this gem of a mag is to read the article about the "other" Frankenstein i.e. Bela Lugosi. As Martin Landau playing Lugosi said in Tim Burton's Ed Wood, "How dare that asshole bring up Karloff? You think it takes talent to play Frankenstein? It's all, all makeup, and-and grunting. [imitates Frankenstein] Grrr-Rrrr!" But Lugosi was very much interested in playing Frank. He did make up tests, and this issue of Fangoria has the pictures to prove it. Of course he did play Frankenstein later after his career didn't blossom as Karloff's did. Universal had made it quite clear that Karloff was the only one considered for the part and the make up was developed solely for his vision of the monster. Alas, LIES!

Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein battles the WOLFMAN!!!
Ed Wood Quotes
Bela Calls Lugosi a Cocksucker

Until next Fangoria Fright Night kiddies, Pull the Strings!

-James Terror, the Librarian

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