Wednesday, February 29, 2012

... and thats a wrap!

Thanks for being apart of Fangoria February!
Well folks looking at the date on the calendar it seems that February has come to pass and with it will end our month long celebration of all things Fangoria. I hope you guys found at least a couple of the articles interesting and fun to read. I sure know that I had a blast looking through all these old books and picking out my favorite parts of them. I am fairly confident that I will revisit Fangoria February next year as there is still plenty of interesting things that I did not get a chance to cover.

March will be a return to a more traditional style of posting were, among other things, we are going to take a look at another crazy comic book, some odd trading cards, and probably start with some lead into the 2012 Summer Season here at The Astro Lounge. Here is a quick recap of all the posts that I did for Fangoria February:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fangoria February - ET Mask!

Fangoria February is a month long celebration dedicated to the grooviest horror movie magazine ever created... FANGORIA!
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Occasionally Fangoria tends to have some strange content tucked away within its pages. And not just your typical horror movie strange, I am talking the Official E.T. Mask kind of strange. Although I guess it really isn't that big of a stretch to figure that Fangoria would want a piece of 1982's hottest flick, 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial'. Pretty much anything that featured the bizarre little aliens face sold like hotcakes. Hell even things indirectly related to the film seen an increase in sales. Reese's Pieces famously saw a jump in sales after the release of the flick. But I must say, I find the dull lifeless eyes of this mask to be soul piercing and creepy. Not quite as much as the other two items being advertised on this page, though:

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Umm... the hell? I will freely admit its been a long time since I last seen this movie but what are these characters? Pod Peasant? Aughra? I don't know what I am looking at here... but I am not a fan of either of them. For starters the Aughra mask looks like the Grench bent over a Bumble, fucked it in the ass and had this for an offspring. Apparently I need to go back and watch E.T. and look for the deleted 'Grinch fucking Bumble' scene. Maybe that's on the Blu-Ray special edition.

The Pod Peasant likes like a Dilophosaurus (the tar spitting dinosaur from Jurassic Park) wearing a red beanie hat... with hair. This whole page strikes me as bizarre and I feel like I don't understand a single thing on it.  I also cannot figure out why Aughra is almost $20 more than the E.T. mask. It's like we have fallen into some strange alternative dimension here folks. Or maybe I am slowly loosing my mind writing so many articles in a single month.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fangoria February - Life After Krueger!

Fangoria February is a month long celebration dedicated to the grooviest horror movie magazine ever created... FANGORIA!
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As I mentioned in the Freddy's Domination post, Fangoria went through a couple year stretch where they stuck Robert Englund in every possible place they could. Front covers, back covers, main stories, filler stores, you name if Freddy Krueger was on there. There came a point, however where all good things must come to an end and eventually audiences grew tired of 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' and its start protagonist. This would not stop Fangoria from finding some way to still include Robert Englund as a cover story on one of its magazines, though. Hence the LIFE AFTER KRUEGER article. A tell all interview of sorts with Robert Englund talking about what projects he has done after Elm Street and how Freddy Krueger changed his life.

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In typical classy Fangoria fashion, this piece is wrote with the utmost respect towards Robert Englund. You can tell that the man interviewing him is generally interested in hearing what Robert has to say. Unfortunately a lot of Roberts work after Elm Street is very hit or miss, though he obviously never comes right out and says that in this piece. He talks at length about how 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' was the best thing to happen to his career (some would even say that film gave him a career) it was also a double edged sword and he got typecast into the horror genera, which to his own admission was not his first choice of film.

He also speaks about how he tried to carefully select rolls after Elm Street exploded in popularity. Avoiding obvious attempts by other studios to cash in on his fame, instead trying to pick rolls in films that wanted him for his acting abilities and what he could bring to the roll that nobody else could. It is, as usual, a very classy and informative piece by Fangoria. It was nice to see that after so many years of them whoring Krueger out, that they would pay the same respect to the man who made the roll so iconic in the first place.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fangoria February - Mandroid!

Fangoria February is a month long celebration dedicated to the grooviest horror movie magazine ever created... FANGORIA!
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I've spent quite a bit of time talking about all the big important stuff that Fangoria covered over the years, but it is worth pointing out that even some of the really strange low budget stuff managed to work its way between the books pages. Point in case, a film from 1993 called "Mandroid".

"In his hidden laboratory deep in Russia, Dr. Karl Zimmer has invented the Mandroid, a humanoid robot which follows the motions of a man in a special control suit. He has offered the invention to the USA, who have sent Smith and Wait from the CIA for inspection. However Zimmer's partner Drago has different plans, wants to sell Mandroid to the military. The night he tries to steal Mandroid, he becomes exposed to the highly toxic Superconn. But he can flee and won't give up on Mandroid, even though he's terribly disfigured"

Chances are you have never heard of the film. There is good reason. It sucks. I know because I for some reason own a VHS copy of 'Mandroid'. The actual film is not the important thing to focus on here, what is important is that Fangoria never thought films like 'Mandroid' were 'below' the type of content they liked to put in the magazine. You can debate about the quality of the film all you want... but this was 1993 and there wasn't much for horror films in the early 1990s. 'Mandroid' was a horror flick and therefore got its equal share of time in the book. I think its really awesome that after all these years, Fangoria managed to keep a level head about things.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fangoria February - Strange Halloween Masks!

Fangoria February is a month long celebration dedicated to the grooviest horror movie magazine ever created... FANGORIA!

Deciding what to write about is not always as easy as it seems. A lot of times I find things that seem interesting but when I actually sit down and start typing, just sort of fall flat. This is not one of those times. As a matter of fact, this could turn out to be one of my favorite posts I have ever done. You see what we have here is an entire full page spread selling some sort of cheap sort of generic Halloween masks. "Spectacular over-the-head nu-skin masks, with plush hair!" would be the exact description

What is nu-skin you ask? I have no idea but I can almost guarantee you it is some made up marketing term that someone created to better sell you on the idea of purchasing these really dorky looking Halloween masks. And boy oh boy what a collection of masks do we have to look at today. I have nothing against most masks sold today, but they tend to lack a certain charm. These Fangoria masks are plenty cheap and all around generic but in a way not seen in today's market. This is a post that I could have saved for the 2012 Halloween Countdown... but what the heck lets do it now for Fangoria February!
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#1 VIKING: Doesn't really strike me as much of a Viking. I think he looks more like a wild caveman. Could it be that we are looking at the original Geico Caveman? Will he have the roast duck with the mango salsa? I sure hope so! I really enjoy the goody expression on his face and the war paint under his eyes. There is a really odd bird-like quality to this mask that I cannot quite place my finger on. This mask is hybrid Viking Caveman Bird... from Mars. That sounds like a film written and directed by Rob Zombie.

#2 PRICKLE PUSS: I have no idea what the hell this mask is supposed to be but I do know that Ed Wood would be proud as hell to own one. OK where do even begin with this one. It sort of looks like a puffer fish only with hair and the most bizarre lips you could possibly imagine. Then we have the eyes, which resemble orange pool balls. Holy cow I really like this mask. Realizing that its early on in this post I think I am ready to declare Pickle Puss the winner and quite frankly the greatest Halloween mask ever created!

#3 FANG FACE: Is sort of a generic looking mask amongst many generic looking masks. Not a good sign. I feel like we have all seen masks with this exact same theme being sold in stores year after year after year. Generic black hood? Check. Generic open mouth? Check. Generic white/blue skin? Check. I can pass without owning Fang Face... but I really like that name. Fang Face sounds like an insult I would have came up with in the 4th grade to taunt some other kids during recess and it is quite frankly an awesome name for a Halloween Mask. (most) Companies simply do not put forth the time or effort to name things creatively like this anymore, here in 2012 it would simply be "Vampire Ghoul #483" or something equally uninspiring.

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#4 PHANTOM: Sometimes to much of a good thing results in this Phantom mask, which has a bit more going on for it than it probably should. Judging by the name I believe it is supposed to be some generic, unlicensed version of the 'Phantom of the Opera' Which I suppose if you super glued that films iconic half mask over top of this one and then squinted really hard... and supposing you have never actually seen the film, yea you might have something close to that. To me it looks more like a zombie version of Doc Brown from the 'Back to the Future' films. Which sounds much cooler the way I typed it than Phantom actually looks. This is not the worst mask of the bunch but its also no Prickle Puss... just sort a middle of the pack Halloween mask. 

#5 FANATIC: I must be missing something here because I totally do not "get" this mask. Realizing that not every one of these Halloween masks has to have some sort of elaborate story or theme behind them... I still don't like it. Lets start with the name, Fanatic; That just does not work for me. Fanatic of what? Perhaps they could have taken this mask one step further and called it the Canniable Fanatic and made it up to look like one of those generic canniable people you sometime see in films. The ones with the long hair, face paint, and the bone through the nose. That would have been a great mask. Instead we get this one. A bottom of the barrel 'fanatic' that I can totally pass up owning.

#6 DEVIL: No mask collection is complete with out at least one devil mask. I've seen better devil masks but I have also seen lots that are far worse. For the price that you are spending, this is not that bad of a purchase. I enjoy the deep black sunken sockets around the eyes and the way the hair sort of fades from black to white. You can tell that some TLC went into creating this mask and that is often times the difference between a good generic mask and a crappy generic mask.

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#7 STONE AGE CREATURE: Filling the 'what the fuck is that supposed to be' quota of any cheap mask collection, we have the seventh mask in our collection the Stone Age Creature. Which sort of looks like an oriental Chinese island tiki mask with a fu manchu mustache. I am not sure if that last statement is racist or not. I cannot decide if I like this one or not. Its unique and really bizarre looking but maybe not in a good way. I just cannot shake the feeling that the actual Stone Age Creature mask would probably fall apart fifteen minutes after you put it on. I appreciate how strange of a design this mask has but can honestly say that it is not one of my favorites in the set.

#8 GHOULISH: And then we have the eighth mask in the set, Ghoulish. Everything about this particular mask is wrong. From the weird cockeyed eyes, the bizarre facial expression, the neanderthal-ish eyebrow line. It has an over-sized hood and a really slender looking undersized face. It almost seems like Ghoulish was made up with the leftover parts from like five or six different masks. Yet somehow it manages to look so bad that it kind of works. But only in that slightly charming crappy Halloween mask kind of way.
#9 SILVER WOLF: Just like the generic devil mask a generic werewolf always seems to pop up in these mask collections. Its a little tough to see in the photograph  but the face isn't really that detailed except for the eyes, but I have a feeling that those have been doctored to look better for the magazine add. Otherwise, I like the bloody mouth and the transitional hair line. A good werewolf mask is always tough to pull off, especially when your trying to do one on a budget. I feel like they did the best they could with what they had to work with. I wouldn't be ashamed to own this one.

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#10 GORILLA: The generic gorilla mask always seems to exist in the same line that has the generic werewolf mask. This is probably because its fairly easy for the company that makes these things to use leftover materials from one and turn them into the other. It is kind of a crappy looking gorilla mask, but ultimately because it is so cheap it is going to get a pass as well. In large part because it does vaguely remind me of Beast Man from 'The Masters of the Universe' lore.  To bad there is no generic Skeletor mask here!

#11 HENCHMAN: Jackpot. This is the greatest crappy Halloween mask I think I have ever seen! They call him the Henchman but he is very clearly an extremely shocked and appalled executioner. Almost as if he cut off someones head and out spilled a bunch of Tootsie Rolls, which would indeed be quite an odd appearance. All the other masks in this set very in quality but this one is hands down the bottom of the barrel worst. For starters, I would bet my house that it is only half a mask (the bottom half) with a generic black hood that's been loosely glued to the top. Meaning that there is no possible way that it is ever going to fit a normal humans face. None of this matters because Henchman is so poorly conceived and badly designed that is actually one of my favorite Halloween masks ever. God bless this Henchman mask and god bless Fangora for these eleven masks!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fangoria February - Hocus Pocus!

Fangoria February is a month long celebration dedicated to the grooviest horror movie magazine ever created... FANGORIA!
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Every now and then you'll run into articles that don't quite seem to fit the Fangoria mold. 'Hocus Pocus', for example, doesn't really seem like the kind of film you would find coverage for in a book that routinely shows graphic photographs of zombies eating brains and things of that nature. Then again this specific issue is from 1993 and you can tell that Fangoria was having a bit of an identity crisis.

The horror genera, like anything else, tends to go in cycles. The 70s and 80s were a really big boom period for horror films, but by the late 80s and early 90s even the most hardcore Freddy and Jason fans were starting to grow tired of seeing the same old same stuff being presented up on the silver screen. By 1993 the genera had sort of crashed and in order to stay with the times you can see a shift in Fangoria's presentation. Pages became a little more colorful, stories were a little less serious, and you seen much more coverage for films in other genres. Such as one issue that was almost entirely dedicated to 'Jurassic Park'.

Hocus Pocus is a great film and one of the many that I try to catch at least once every Halloween season but I really have to wonder if the Fangoria from the early 1980's would even think about running a story for a Disney film. Of course whoever wrote the article seems to realize this and spends a good portion of it reminding everyone just how dark some of the earlier Disney stories (such as Snow White) really are and how 'Hocus Pocus' is attempting to bring that darker tone back to film. They also have to make mention that this flick is being produced by one of the guys who did the original 'Child's Play' films.

As I said I quite enjoy the film and I like the way Fangoria has always sort of been able to look at what they do, look at what is popular and somehow create a blend of each... all the while staying true to what makes Fangoria so good in the first place. Coverage of 'Hocus Pocus' is a prime example of that.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fangoria February -- Poster Magazines!

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Fangoria wasn't much for special edition magazines. They tended to stick to what they did best and that was detailed coverage for every kind of horror film. I liked this. They very could have easily done single issues that covered nothing but the latest 'Friday the 13th' or 'Nightmare on Elm Street' flick but that would have went against what Fangoria was trying to accomplish.

However on occasion they would release a special magazine that was nothing but posters. These issues are fantastic. Each filled with gigantic high quality posters to decorate your room with. I am astonished that the guy who I purchased all these old magazines from managed to keep most of them in tact, instead of ripping them all out and hanging them up. Key word here is most... over the years a couple of them have fallen out. Let's take a look at what came loose:

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The first is a really cool looking poster for the first 'Hellraiser' film. I have to give Fangoria a lot of credit, time and time again they managed to latch onto all the really neat films before they became the cult classic hits we view them as today. 'Hellraiser' is no exception. There was all kinds of coverage about this flick long before it hit theaters, everything from interviews with Clive Barker to neat looks at the films visual effects. I always viewed 'Hellraiser' as sort of the bastard stepchild of 80s horror icons. Freddy, Jason, and Michael Myers got all the love but Pinhead and his gang are truly the badass awesome ones in the group. Its a shame that he doesn't always get mentioned with the other three. Its nice to see Fangoria paying proper respect to Clive Barkers hellish creations.

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I wasn't quite able to identify what film this poster is from. My initial thought was something from 'They Live' but that movie was more robotic skull like people. It could just be some generic bloody skull poster but that doesn't quite seem like something that Fangoria would have done. It has to go to some movie, I am just not sure what one. If you recognize it, feel free to let me know down in the comment section. Otherwise this poster goes a long way to showing just how mature these early Fangoria books really were. While still being bloody and disgusting they have sort of reeled back the gore in recent years. Not in the 80s. You could flip open any page and almost be guaranteed to see some bloody limb, severed head or vomiting corpse. It really makes the older issues of Fangoria feel like something special!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fangoria February - Freddy's Domination!

Fangoria February is a month long celebration dedicated to the grooviest horror movie magazine ever created... FANGORIA!
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Part of the reason why I love these old Fangoria books so much is because flipping through the pages is sort of like opening up a time capsule and seeing what films everyone was interested in twenty five years ago. Fangoria is filled with plenty of stuff that we now consider to be classics but also has lots of little lost gems that nobody talks about anymore. And then there was that not-so-brief period of time that Fangoria became completely obsessed with Freddy Kruger. So much so that when you look at these old issues you can see a definite split in the times. Pre-Nightmare on Elm Street and Post-Nightmare on Elm Street.

Freddy Kruger dominated the pages of Fangoria for quite a long stretch of time. Most of the time they found a way to make him the cover story... if that didn't work at the very least you could expect to find his imagine on some smaller thumbnail image located on the front of the book. And when all else failed, just stick Freddy Kruger on there regardless of whatever else the issue was about. The Bloody Best of Fangoria just sort of sticks him on there front and center. Why? Because they can and because Freddy sold.

Believe you me, Freddy Kruger sold. Never has there been a character that has crossed over from horror into mainstream pop culture quite like Freddy. Considering this is a character who killed children and haunted people in there dreams, it was sort of strange how he got mass marketed. Robert Englund (as Kruger) would appear on talk shows, radio, magazine covers, he had his own rap album, and if memory serves me correctly I believe there was even a cartoon series and a spin-off TV show.

Everyone cashed in on the Kruger craze of the late 80s and Fangoria was no different. And honestly out of all the products that Freddy got whored out to over the years... him appearing on the cover of a horror movie magazine a bunch of times was one of the few that made the most sense.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Spring Oreo's!

As we near the middle part of February I am not afraid to admit that I would love nothing more than to be sitting here drinking a big cup of hot chocolate, with a package of Christmas Tree Cakes, and 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' playing quietly off in the background. What can I say, I love the holidays and letting go of them after watching this last season fly by hasn't been fun. It all felt fabricated and rushed. Like going through the motions but never truly being the real holiday season. But even I know that its time to pack those thoughts away and come back to them at a much later date.

And there is no better way to pack away visions of late December holiday nights than with Spring Oreo's! For me February is a month all about change. Halloween is the furthest thing from my mind and Christmas has finally (almost) slipped its way out as well. Its getting closer to the time in which everyone's focus shifts to spring and summer weather. As a matter of fact today when I went to the store the very same isle that housed XMAS decorations a little more than two weeks ago had been completely transformed into the gardening section. Its sort of nice to know that if I wanted to buy peat moss in February I sure as shit can. Now if only I knew what people do with peat moss we would be in business.

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More proof that spring is close to springing into action is the fact that Spring Oreo's are now available on store shelves. Oreo's have sort of turned into the unofficial thing that I use to start talking about the beginning of most seasons. What can I say, Nabisco is really on top of things and somehow always manages to be among the first to get their seasonal products out for sale before anyone else does. Even when there is not really a season to go along with it. I mean who here sits around and actually waits for spring to come? Summer... I can understand that one but spring, I call foul on anyone who waits in anticipation for it to be slightly warmer, really rainy and extremely muddy outside.

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I am sure you guys know the routine for seasonal Oreo's by now. The formula has not changed in years, though it does seem like they have applied to just about anything that qualifies as a season these days. What we have here is Oreo cookies in some sort of festive package with neon colored filling (that still tastes the same as the original white colored filling) and five different shapes stamped on top of the cookies. To motivate us all into thinking that spring is fun we can now eat cookies with a buzzing bee, a smiling sun, what appears to be a flower, a frog, and a bee landing on a flower with the text "Happy Spring" beside it. Its no Jack-O-Lantern and its surely no Santa Claus but at least it is something. Spring Oreo's serve as tangible proof that the seasons are changing and soon the cold winter winds will be replaced with a nice summer breeze.

... and then we can start counting down the days until Halloween and Christmas again. =)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fangoria February - Video Horrorama!

Fangoria February is a month long celebration dedicated to the grooviest horror movie magazine ever created... FANGORIA!
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Thanks to the internet it is relatively easy to track down even some of the most obscure horror movies ever created. Mainstream websites like amazon and e-bay are the easiest way to get almost anything you could ever imagine delivered directly to your door. And if you are looking for something a little bit tougher to track down, even the most illusive of un-released films (such as the producers cut of Halloween 6) are no more than a couple mouse clicks away from being apart of your DVD collection.

However this didn't use to be the case. You either had to drive to a store that specialized in these obscure horror films or thanks to the Video Horrorama section in Fangoria  you could simply order VHS copies of these tapes and get them sent directly to your house. Think of this as the original Amazon "we recommend" list. It's fun to go back and look at some of these flicks. For every Creepshow or Demons that pops up there is ten other Alien Prey or Blood Link films that time has sort of forgotten about.

Check out the prices for some of these movies. The advent of the DVD and the ease of the internet means at most you shouldn't pay any more than $25 for a hard to find film. Here you can see VHS copies of Creepers and Bloody Birthday that cost $79.95! Video Horrorama is another great example of how Fangoria went above and beyond simply writing cool articles. They also provided unique services and access to things that you simply could not walk into the store and purchase.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fangoria February - Michael Myers Lives!

Fangoria February is a month long celebration dedicated to the grooviest horror movie magazine ever created... FANGORIA!
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Old advertisements are the best. Any time I get an older magazine or comic book the first thing I do is flip through the pages and see what products had everyone's attention twenty five years ago (or however old the book may be). Fangoria is basically void of any real "advertisement" advertisements... things like cars, now defunct flavors of soda, and the ever illusive early cigarette promos. But they more than make up for it by having full page spreads dedicated to whatever that years biggest horror films were.

Little mini teaser posters, if you will. Its easy to take for granted how much access we have to the movie industry these days. We get announcements for coming films often times years before they will ever hit theaters, up to the minute casting news comes at us via official twitter streams, entire plots and scripts sometimes leak out onto the internet, and it is very easy to find set photos of your favorite up and coming film. There was a period of time where none of this existed and the only way you learned about the latest films was from coverage by magazines like Fangoria. Point in case, this awesome 'MICHAEL MYERS LIVES!' spread for Halloween 5.

Its sort of a no-brainier that the Halloween franchise would continue on past the fourth installment... but then again you never quite know. I can imagine lots of Halloween fans flipping through this magazine and being ecstatic upon seeing this text. Halloween has long been my favorite of the 70's / 80's horror movie franchises and I am not afraid to admit that I really loved the way part 4 and 5 created there own story and attempted to develop there own mythology for Michael Myers. Had production values been kept higher and had the studio not insisted on mucking up part 6, I actually think the franchise was headed in a very cool direction.

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The other half of the page fulfills the books monthly quota of finding stuff to sell you. Here we have some official Halloween 5 collectors items. Take a look at those prices, only $5.00 for a hat! The one that has me really interested is the official Halloween 5 Satin Jacket. Keeping in mind that not a single person has ever looked presentable while wearing a satin jacket, I would totally love to own an official Halloween 5 one.

Halloween 5 was just one of the many films that got the full page treatments throughout the years. You'll find spreads for everything from Hellraiser to the latest Friday the 13th flick and even some lesser known films managed to get this sort of treatment. I always enjoyed pages like these, they provided quick ways to see what was right around the corner and were a great way to get excited about the latest horror films.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fangoria February - Night of the Living Dead!

Fangoria February is a month long celebration dedicated to the grooviest horror movie magazine ever created... FANGORIA!

A bit of sad news to report before we get to today's Fangoria February post. Bill Hinzman, the actor who famously portrayed the cemetery zombie during the opening scene of George Romero's 'Night of the Living Dead' has passed away. Bill has forever cemented his legacy as being one of the very first actors to portray a zombie in a major motion picture. This post is dedicated to the memory of Bill Hinzman, may one day he rise from the grave and reek havoc on us all! Your body may be gone but your image will live on forever.
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Much has been wrote about George Romero's landmark film 'Night of the Living Dead' throughout the years. So when the films 20th anniversary came crawling up, Fangoria jumped at the opportunity to pay homage to the film. What follows is a really interesting look back at the flick. The photograph I chose for this article was from a small section, smack dab in the middle of a much larger spread, about the colorization of the film. But it goes much deeper than simply hyping up a colorized re-release of the film, which reportedly cost a quarter of a million dollars to make.

As per usual Fangoria charm, they don't spend as much time as you would think trying to sell you any merchandise related to 'Night of the Living Dead' ... although they do make mention of the fact that you can purchase 'The Complete NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD Filmbook by John Russo' for only $9.95 (plus $2.50 postage!). Instead they take the time to track down almost all of the films cast for retrospective interviews. I say most because according to this piece Keith Wayne, who played "Tom" (the younger male character) was apparently nowhere to be found. As a matter of fact as of the time of this article, nobody had heard from him in many years. (sadly Keith committed suicide in September of 1995)

All of the actors that did partake in this interview give very heartfelt responses and all generally seem to have fond memories of the film. Interestingly enough the actor who gives by far the largest interview is none other than the late Bill Hinzman. Who talks in great detail about his time on the film, working with Romero on other projects, and his dreams of directing his own feature length film. Hinzman would fulfill this dream with 1986's 'The Majorettes' and 1988's 'Flesheater'. Although he teases a project that he has in mind which "is horror but with a religious setting. It takes place in a convent." that I do not believe he ever made.

It is article like these that really make Fangoria so much fun to read. It is nothing but pure fan service with very little persuasion towards getting you to purchase any 'Night of the Living Dead' merchandise. It is nice to see them treat the film with so much respect, even when talking about the colorized re-release they spend plenty of time talking about why it might be a bad thing. 'Night of the Living Dead' was and is a classic film and it is nice to see Fangoria treat it as such.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Fangoria February - Win an 8 Foot Predator!

Fangoria February is a month long celebration dedicated to the grooviest horror movie magazine ever created... FANGORIA!
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Fangoria has ran some interesting promotions and sold some questionable products over the years. Most of the time you'll see full or half page spreads for stuff like Freddy Krueger masks and generic horror movie t-shirts. Occasionally there would be a contest to win a free makeup FX kit or something along those lines. And then we have this Predator Contest, which seems like 100% Grade-A Bullshit.

What is the Predator Contest you ask? Well it is a chance to win an authentic 8-foot Predator that supposedly retails for over $5,000. Of course they never specific exactly what they mean when they say "authentic 8-foot Predator". Could it be a Predator statue? Maybe. How about a Predator costume? Possibly. It could even be interpreted that you are entering to win an actual living breathing Predator. My money is on none of the above, I actually don't think anybody ever won anything. We'll get into that here in a minute. 

Let's instead focus on the actual advertisement. You can see how open ended the contest is worded to begin with. There is also no real photograph of the item you are trying to win present anyplace on this page. Instead they appear to have photoshopped some guy standing in an actual Predator costume from the film smack dab into the middle of the page. Somehow I highly doubt they where giving away a guy in a costume.

The car in the background? Ignore it. That doesn't have anything to do with anything. Wondering how you enter the contest? Well call that 900 number (note to readers: please don't actually call that 900 number) and then you will be given a "hot Halloween tip" to listen to.... then you have to answer a Halloween trivia question... then if you answer that correctly you will be entered to win this non-existent 8 foot Predator item that isn't really clearly identified what it even is. Sound like fun yet?

Did I mention it costs $1.95 a minute? That explains the hot tip and the trivia question. The whole point of this thing is to keep you on the line for as long as possible thus racking up as high of charge as possible on your phone bill. You want to know what the sad thing is, Fangoria probably pulled in a small fortune selling people on the idea of winning an 8-foot Predator something-or-other. And you know what... I really don't blame them one bit. Lots of magazines run lots of contests that when you spend more than fifteen seconds looking at, aren't really possible to win. Sometimes a magazine has to do what a magazine has to do and if selling advertisement space for a slightly dishonest Predator contest is part of what has kept Fangoria alive for all these years. I am totally alright with it.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fangoria February - Nightmare Before Christmas!

Fangoria February is a month long celebration dedicated to the grooviest horror movie magazine ever created... FANGORIA!
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Here we have two very cool advertisements for Tim Burton's A Nightmare Before Christmas. Up first is a full page spread featuring Jack Skellington being accompanied by the text "Coming to Theaters This Fall". I really like the look of this page. It is simple in both its color scheme and design, keeping both to a bare minimum. The only thing I would have liked to have seen was just a little bit more of a Christmas influence thrown into it, to really drive home the point of the film. Otherwise its a very cool advertisement whose simple design really stuck out when doing a quick flip through the magazine.

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The second full page advertisement is for Lock, Shock, and Barrel. An interesting choice of characters to follow up Jack Skellington. Personally, and considering that this is running in the middle of a Fangoria book, I would have went with Oggie Boogie and tried to make him look as disgusting as possible. But that's just me. There is nothing wrong with choosing these three characters to highlight. They translate really well to a simplistic black and white drawing and do provide an interesting contrast to Jack (whose advertisement came placed two pages before this one).

I really dig these Nightmare Before Christmas full page advertisements. Its easy to look back at the film now that it has become a cult classic and sort of expect to see these here. However when you put it into perspective, Fangoria was taking a bit of a risk by promoting this flick. After-all its a musical stop motion animation film about a skeleton who dressed up as Santa Claus. Not exactly the same thing as Freddy or Jason hacking and slashing helpless teenagers to bits. But here they are and I am glad that Fangoria took a chance and promoted this film!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fangoria February -- Freddy Krueger Mask!

Fangoria February is a month long celebration dedicated to the grooviest horror movie magazine ever created... FANGORIA!
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As you will soon see later on this month, Freddy Krueger practically owned the late 1980s.  I don't think there has ever been a horror movie character that has crossed over into mainstream pop culture quite like Fred Krueger did. Seriously this guy was all over everything. So it is not really surprising that Fangoria took it upon themselves to plaster The Kruege all over their magazines whenever they got a chance. After-all if it was Robert Englund's makeup engulfed face that people wanted to look at than Fangoria was more than happy to oblige.

You can also bet that Fangoria found plenty of ways to sell Freddy Krueger merchandise. Freddy was a merchandising machine. I could write from now until 2017 and probably not cover all the unique and often times strange items that had Freddy Krueger on (or in) them. This hat and mask combo was pretty early on in Freddy's merchandising stage and therefore isn't really all that odd of an item. It makes sense that Fangoria would cater to the Halloween crowd and sell a replica mask of everyone's favorite horror icon. Which sold for a surprisingly low $29.99. I am sort of impressed, actually. In today's market that mask alone would retail for probably double this listed price and the hat would be an extra $20. Plus it would probably fall apart three hours after you put it on.

As for this vintage Freddy mask, I have this really strong feeling that the picture of the item is probably not the same mask that you would get in the mail if you ordered one. I don't have any way of knowing this for sure, but I have had plenty of experience with Halloween masks and I can tell you that it is a rare occasion when what you get actually looks like what you ordered.

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Its hard to say what this exact Freddy Krueger mask would look like. Here is a fairly cheap representation being sold on today's market. It gives you an idea of sorts as to what the product probably looked like. Of course who knows, maybe this was the highest quality Freddy mask ever produced and Fangoria was so awesome that they sold it for the lowest price imaginable. I doubt it but you never know.

The vintage Freddy hat and mask combo is just a small sampling of the many Freddy Krueger related items that can be found within the pages of Fangoria. A little bit later on this month I have a couple more Freddy related pieces that I will be posting but I don't want to spend to much time with this one character. After-all Fangoria February is a celebration of all the awesome things this magazine provided and while Freddy was a big part of there success he wasn't the only thing. But he was most definitely one of the magazines more prominent figures!