Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fangoria Issue #6: Jason Lives! (I mean is born)

Dear dearest readers, Fangoria #6. The anniversary issue. Year one of Fangoria, the horror answer to Starlog, has the Empire Strikes Back on the cover! So what the hell was happening in the late 70's/early 80's? Was there a Sci-Fi block on magazine covers? This is a war. A war against the repression of horror icons on the cover of magazines. If Forrest J. Ackerman could do it, Fangoria certainly should be able to do it. Right? Who's with me? :insert speech from Animal House:

When I was a kid and used to get Fangoria fresh off the newsstand I was always enamored by the Don Post mask advertisements. They were absolutely gorgeous. This issue provides nothing different. Beautiful masks from Ape Man to Sargoth, Cobra... to THE GHOST SKULL (is this the same mask used in Halloween III... Gosh, I hope so). I use to love pretending that there was some way in Hell that I'd be able to afford one of these magnificent masks in time for Halloween. At $49.99-$64.99 per mask, my dreams were not fulfilled until I bought my first Michael Myers mask post Halloween 4. As soon as the hair got wet on Halloween night, Michael perpetually looked like a punk hair-do gone array.

So there's an article about the guy who acted in the C3P0 suit. Great (and that got the cover?). Then we have a duel selection of FX wizards. Rob Bottin, the apprentice of Rick Baker and Tom Savini (drools). Bottin was working on The Fog and gets to play the good Captain and then he goes to work on The Howling. Bottin doesn't know it yet, but his FX will change what it means to make a werewolf picture. It's exciting to know what happens at the end of the fairy tale, isn't it? Mr. Savini has just completed work on a little picture entitled Friday the 13th. He's also been working on Maniac. He discusses his fascination with Lon Chaney, how he learned to due make up by doing himself up in a mirror and how he almost got to work on Night of the Living Dead but he had enlisted in an Army training program. Booooo, but I guess it all happens for a reason right? I love when he recounts how he followed George Romero around the set of Martin trying to get the FX job and then did, in fact, get the job. It's like... TRIUMPH SAVINI! You know I can't stop saying enough good things about the man. His gore makes me want to go to medical school. Whatever that means.

Brief excerpt on the director of the Changeling. Couldn't have been more uninterested if I tried even though the picture is actually quite good. I love George C. Scott. Them movie's great. I really wish the folks at Fango had read the article first.

So we move on to the feature article with beautiful glowing pictures on FRIDAY THE 13TH. Can I get a ki ki ki ma ma ma!? How did this not make the cover? Who makes these decisions? You're telling me that "Friday the 13th: A Day for Terror" isn't a perfect tag line for a cover. But I digress... Let's talk about what Sean Cunningham was doing between Friday the 13th and Last House on the Left. He was making family movies, Manny's Orphans and Here Come the Tigers. :crickets: I suppose none of you find it as funny as I do that this guy makes a movie where this girl is forced to piss herself immediately followed by her murder and then, later, a castration via blow job and then the motherfucker makes... endearing sports movies for the little 'uns. You know what I think? I think he was trying to lure his audience into his horror flicks by making a name for himself in family films. It's totally possible. Totally! Anybody up for a game of strip Monopoly? Thought so.

There's a lovely little article about the Quartermass saga. I happen to think that Five Million Years to Earth (or in British: Quatermass at the Pit) is pure genius. Truly startling and the effects freak me out. Yes, they freak... me... out. Something about the end sequence that gives me nightmares and after talking to my older sibling on the subject, it may be genetic that we feel this way. They barely mention Five Million Years to Earth and start going off about the BBC and TV series from Britain and I just get so bored. I feel like I could be reading an article about Dr. Who which is great fare, but I don't care who played the doctor and why the actor changed. I mean I do a little... NOT.

Did you know that Vincent Price had a degree from Yale in Art History? Neither did I! He worked on the Mercury Theater Workshop with Orson Welles too. There's this beautiful little bio article on Price and "The Corman Years". Apparently, House of Wax is really good in it's original 3-D. I need to see that. Somebody get on that immediately. Then a lovely interview with the ever gracious Vincent. He talks about Roger Corman and AIP like they were family. The set creators, the camera men all get their praise. It continues in issue #7. Bet it doesn't make the cover either.

There's this catty little article where George Romero and Stephen King are talking about how they're looking for studio backing to make The Stand and how there's this little script that Romero hasn't seen sitting on King's nightstand called The Creep Show... They don't even fully know they're going to make one of my favorite movies of all time. It's a shame that it will take over 10 more years until The Stand is made and then, not worth the hype.

Note: I learned that there were seven Planet of the Apes features. Gee Golly!

Hammer Films get a full on retrospective in this one. You've all heard the stories or read a book or two about this beautiful production company. Noteworthy items in the article are the second appearance of Bray Studios in this issue of Fangoria in seemingly unrelated articles (I mean some of the Quartermass movies were filmed there). It was sold in 1971 and, of course, everyone's been talking about tearing it down (if it hasn't already been done). Also, Peter Cushing has this beautiful quote that just makes my heart strings get pulled like a marionette doll:
I first met Mr. Christopher Lee in his makeup for the monster in The Curse of Frankenstein. It is no wonder that when I passed him in the corridor after the day's shooting I didn't recognized the tall, good-looking stranger who said, 'Goodnight, Peter'! This was in 1956 - and since then I have found him to be a man of extraordinary and diverse talent. On top of all this, he is a most amusing and very dear, loyal friend.
:tear: Dracula 1972 AD is referred to as a "fangs a-go-go effort"; this article was clearly written with love and is a must read for Hammer, Cushing, Lee, Fisher fanatics.

We are just about at the end here sans yet another article about a fantasy art creator and some upcoming movie notes (Day of the Dead, The Thing remake, Funhouse and a Salem's Lot TV Series... LMAO!)

One last thing you must must must know about. This issues sees the introduction of Fangoria's endeavor into E.C. comics style humor ala Mad magazine with the creation of Count Fangor. The humor is bad. The illustrations are bad. It's a horror hosts wet dream. Go clean off your pants chaps.

Happy Birthday Starlog... I mean Fangoria (Starlog in Sheeps Clothing)
-Dr. T has spoken.

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