I was born a near century after Georges Méliès mucked around with Mephistopheles in the French Fantasy Flick The Haunted Castle (1896), during an era that saw the ascension of VHS, the election of a show-business president and the rise of the greatest horror film fan magazine ever to grace bookstores (FANGORIA). Now, nearly forty-years after its inaugural run, Fangoria remains the standard against which all other genre magazines are judged. Released at a time when the internet was but a pipedream among technophiles and horror-related magazines didn’t stray too far from universal monsters and sci-fi classics, Fangoria concentrated its efforts on contemporary cinema, providing unique Q&As with top horror personalities and on location production reports. Well-illustrated appraisals of overlooked works catapulted artists like John Carpenter and George A. Romero into horror stardom. Its glossy presentation and richly-colored pages were candy to genre enthusiasts; its witty design and scholarly analysis transcended its competition. If you grew up when I did, Fangoria was required reading. Unfortunately, printing costs and on-line competition brought an end to the former genre juggernaut in late 2016 leaving horror fans flummoxed and forlorn.
Well, no more. In a press release issued late last week, it was revealed that the Fangoria brand has been purchased by Dallas Sonnier and his Texas-based entertainment company, Cinestate. Sonnier, who’s most known among horror fans for producing the excessively violent exploitation throwbacks Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cellblock 99, announced that he has hired my good buddy and Birth.Movies.Death scribe Phil Nobile to act as Editor in Chief and Creative Director of the magazine. Among Nobile’s plans for Fangoria are to “put the magazine back in print where it belongs.” He has also hinted that long-time Fango contributors Tony Timpone, Michael Gingold and Samuel Zimmerman will again be scribbling for the publication in the near future.
Collecting pennies to purchase the latest Fango as a kid or receiving a new magazine in the mail as a teen was an intoxicating experience. “Bringing it home ten times a year became a kind of sacrament, poring over every photograph on every page, reading that whole thing front to back, then doing it again, we want to restore that analog thrill to readers,” said Nobile. “We want to duplicate the excitement that I remember bubbling up around a new issue of Fango, put that excitement in an envelope and mail it to our subscribers.”
I, for one, cannot wait. The new Fangoria will be released quarterly with the first issue dropping this Fall.