Tuesday, August 24, 2010
FANGORIA FOR DUMMIES (OR LAZIES)
Today we embark on a slightly different version of our much lauded (although never/rarely mentioned) Fangoria Fright Nights. We're looking back at Fangoria, Issue #4. And what, pray tell is on the cover of said issue... maybe something spooky to rot your teeth with fright? Maybe something creepy to keep your toes moving under your covers all night? NAY! Ladies and gentle-folks of the jury I give you with no uncertain pleasure... FUCKING... ... STAR TREK!!! :the silence of crickets... unlike the Silence of the Lambs: I can't make this shit up my lil' creepers. Leonard-fucking-Nimoy (that is one word in horror speak).
Back up to some Fango history: Before there was Fangoria, the publishers at "make a ton of money publishing company" brought you the late, great Starlog. Starlog presents Fangoria. First caption on the cover is "Giant Robot Poster". Second caption, "Monsters * Aliens * Bizarre Creatures". I ask you quite simply and plainly, is this magazine for horror folk (the people of the caves that troll around at 3 AM with Mountain Dew and Magic Missiles on the mind while they pry their teeth into the latest Killer :blank: movie? This magazine is in it's infancy. It's developing (needs a training bra). And the only way to get your readership up in a horror magazine must be to throw Nimoy on the cover and caption the feature story, "Spock and the New Aliens of Star Trek" because that's fucking terrifying. So Starlog realized that it hadn't quite caught the horror market by the jubblies and Nimoy gets the main cover blocking (while Hooper's Salem's lot get a little film reel portrait on the left hand side). Keep reading ghoulies. Fangoria isn't the horror/monster mag of your nightmares yet, but it's almost there (wait til you see the next one... you'll call me a frickin' liar).
Teeth diggin' in time for this one.
Everyone's still praising Halloween for it's $500k budget and it's production value. When a Stranger Calls is doing it's thing at the box office (and no one knew that Scream would come by twenty years later and steal it's spark). The editor is quite clear that everyone's tired of Dracula/Vampires (again... where's your flux capacitor when you f'ing need it). So because all these wonderful and not so wonderful things are happening Fango dishes us the monsters of the USS Enterprise, a plot recap and then that's about it. Done. I don't think I saw a single Shatner picture in the goddamn magazine. So Nimoy gets to put out an ablum, ride the cover of a "horror" magazine, standout as the only crew member of the Enterprise that gets an picture time in the bloody magazine, gets his own record album, a book deal... a ... a... Shatner gets to be the PRICELINE NEGOTIATOR and some cigars with James Spader!!! Fuck Nimoy [This is in direct response to a recent Fango smog blog that disclaimed... FUCK WES CRAVEN... see the humor in saying Fuck Nimoy? ... me neither... moving on].
Caroline Munro... flesh. Boobies. (one more time with feeling) BOOBIES!!! Chick in a bikini-like, star vixen outfit holding what appears to be a laser rifle, but since I've never seen Starcrash I have no idea what she's holding (I know what she's not holding...). She was in Dracula 1972 AD. Starred opposite Cushing and Lee and ... what? What's that you say? You've never heard of her? She was in the Spy Who Loved Me! And Casino-fucking-Royale! Still haven't heard of her? Me neither. Hot. But the good doctor noticed a trend in the first few issues of Fango. Fangoria almost... sorta... maybe... kinda was trying to imitate Playboy. Pin Up girl in the center of every issue. Bikini clad hotties... with no reason to be in a bikini in the magazine. Gotta sell the magazines, right kiddies (just put fucking Nimoy on the cover and scantily clad women in the fucking magazine you dumb bloke).
We are at page 18. (We're getting more analytic in this most recent Fango remembered article eh?). We've seen Starlog magazine back issue adverts. Time Travel Watch adverts. Nimoy (fuck Nimoy). The monsters of Star Trek. Caroline Munro (clever name... ya, damn butt smeller... but she's hot people... HOT!). You start to say, "did I purchase Starlog accidentally?" You close the magazine to realize that you are in fact staring into the very pages of Fangoria. But like I said, WE ARE AT PAGE 18!!!
What lurks on page 18? :Scooby Doo organ/horn section music precursor to Scooby Doo theme: Herschell Gordon Lewis, motherfucker! The Wizard of Gore himself (as the article title suggest). Before Cronenberg (you bet your sweet tits). Before Romero (you bet your sweet ass). H.G. Lewis. Patron Saint of Gore and Goodness.
Morality, plied with blood. People couldn't figure this guy out. Apparently, there was a thing called "the nudie cycle" in the early 60's. Put the boobs in the movies and the asses in the seats. Enter H.G. Lewis and boom... blood and boobs and strange Egyptian religions that even the Egyptians haven't heard of. Exploit Everything! Lewis is even quoted as saying that Blood Feast made gore movies "respectable" due to its box office success. It's nice to know that there was a time when a gore movie could be considered respectable. Even though he used friends as actors, ex-Playboy models as actors, claims he doesn't "take the role of the actor in a low-budget picture that seriously it's a specialty picture" and titled his movie Blood Feast. I really hope that in heaven, H.G. Lewis and Ed Wood have cocktails and discuss Orgy of the Dead for eternity. Sincerely, but wait... HE'S STILL ALIVE!!! H.G. Lewis is still making gore/exploitables for all of us to enjoy. Bless his little heart (ya know, the one with the fake crayola paint #5 blood on it).
After the blood has cleared, Fango 4 gets down and dirty with the making of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Night of the Demon (Curse of the Demon, Night of the Demon, Curse of the Demon, Night of the Demon, Curse of the... you get). Kevin McCarthy vs. Dana Andrews in a brawl to end them all. Pod vs. Demon. Curse vs. McCarthyism (the Joseph kind... not the Kevin kind). We've written about Night/Curse of the Demon before and loved it, and thank Phil Anselmo for blessing us with his Bloody-Digusting entry on the subject. We'll save Invasion for a more appropriate time... like when they remake it (yuck yuck yuck... hardy har har).
The next thing we're going to point out to you about this beautiful, full color work of printed horror (fuck Nimoy) mag is that there is an article about robots. Japanese robots that transform. Robots that look alot like Transformers and/or Voltron (but seem to be pre-Volton and pre-Transformers). I thik it's safe to assume that every 30 years, robots invade our collective horror/sci-fi unconsciousness and deliver us into dreams of the future. Maybe it's just post-high oil prices or recession or turmoil in the Middle East. But there were robots once... and shall be again (are again). [If you have this issue you'll notice there's a beautiful, full color pull out of Japanese Robots. I wish I liked this shit more because the poster art rocks your proverbial socks].
David Soul is afraid of Fred Willard's Underwear
We're not going to talk about Salem's Lot. I'm saving that for the next time I get poison ivy and have to tell you about my childhood, taking a solo cup of Benadryl tablets and watching this one for four days straight... no sleep. There's something really great about the picture with Tobe Hooper and John Carpenter. It's like watching kids play (but they're really making a neat-o vamp picture). And then there's James Mason... you love him. He's kinda hot, but not as hot as Fred-fucking-Willard in those plaid pants and, later, in those red speedo undies as you may remember. Fred Willard should be on the fucking cover (fuck Nimoy).
More Robot articles follow that... Not for nothing but this magazine was filled with robots. Sick of robots now. No more f'ing robot. Speak not of robots and deliver us from science fiction.
King Kong flashback/retrospective (didn't someone write a blog about men in Ape suits recently... check out this article). Great still shots here, but where is King Kong's dong (didn't Sux write a song about that?). They promise to address Son of Kong and Mighty Joe Young in the upcoming issue.
Michael Hague art work is creepy and definitely wants to be tattooed on your body. Maybe on your boobies. Satan is good. Satan is our pal.
Did anyone realize this magazine has a ton of amazing content. Like, a truly awe inspiring amount of content. It's as if you could have edited out all of the Sci-Fi/Non Horror alien crap and actually focused (including the cover) on horror. Dr. Terror's out of juice, but the last thing we are going to leave you with is that in the back of the magazine... under the Monster Invasion heading (this is the coming soon section) there's a little foot note. "Director/producer Sean Cunningham's first film since Last House on the Left concerns mayhem on the grounds of a summer camp"... Got wood? I know I do. Bring me the head of Mama Voorhees! They mention Savini. They mention that he's trying to make Halloween-esque picture but using Romero gore tactics. They always refer to Savini as being from Pittsburgh. It's like a time capsule for your boner.
-DJT... still writing, so you don't you have to.
From the bowels and brains of American International to the rib cage and eye sockets of Amicus, Doc Terror will write your eyes shut from the prehistory to the post apocalypse of horror.Doc Terror is a contributor to The Liberal Dead and The Dead Air Podcast.