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Fangoria

Fangoria, Issue 7
Editor Anthony Timpone
Categories Horror (beginning with Issue 7), originally Fantasy
Frequency Monthly (10 issues annually)
First issue 1979
Company The Brooklyn Company, Inc.
Country United States
Website Official site

Fangoria is an internationally-distributed US film fan magazine specializing in the genres of horror, slasher, splatter and exploitation films, in regular publication since 1979.

Contents

Planning

Fangoria was first planned in 1978 under the name Fantastica as a companion to the science fiction media magazine Starlog; just as Starlog covered science fiction films for a primarily teenaged audience, Fantastica was intended to cover fantasy films for a similar audience. The publishers were anticipating a groundswell of interest in fantasy owing to the plans at that time for bringing Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian to the screen, plans first announced in 1978.

The Conan film did not arrive until several years later and, when it did, no groundswell in the demand for fantasy films occurred. But before the magazine was even launched, other factors intervened to change the magazine's focus and direction.

The first issue was assembled under the editorship of "Joe Bonham," a pseudonym taken from the quadriplegic hero of Dalton Trumbo's pacifist novel Johnny Got His Gun. This was a cover for Rolling Stone contributor and screenwriter Ed Naha and writer Ric Meyers, best known for his encyclopedic Great Martial Arts Movies: From Bruce Lee to Jackie Chan.

Shortly after the publishing trade press announced the coming launch of Fantastica, the publishers of a Starlog competitor, Fantastic Films magazine, brought suit on the basis of "unfair trade," contending that its young audience would be confused by the magazine's similar title.

The launch of the magazine was delayed by several months as the court deliberated the issue. When, in early 1979, the decision was made in favor of the plaintiff, the publishers of Fantastica were without a usable name, and a pressing need to get the long-delayed issue to the printers. Some quick brainstorming sessions resulted in the name Fangoria, over the objections of Robert "Bob" Martin, who was hired as editor during the delay.

Publication

The first issue of Fangoria was entirely designed around the original "fantasy film" concept for the magazine, and proved to be an abysmal failure, as were several issues that followed, all continuing with the same conceptual approach.

By the time that issue number four was on the stand and number six was in preparation, the publisher confided to Martin that the magazine was losing approximately $20,000 per issue, not an amount that the small publisher could continue to sustain for long.

Two phenomena allowed Martin to reshape the magazine and bring it back from the abyss of debt. First, was the immensely positive audience response to one of the articles that appeared in the first issue of Fangoria, an article that celebrated the craft of special makeup effects artist Tom Savini, and his very wet-looking special effects for the 1978 film Dawn of the Dead.

Second was the palpable stench of defeat that was surrounding Fangoria. With its demise all but certain, senior employees and the two owners of the publishing firm stood back from the fray and allowed the untried young editor to take the lead, reshaping the entire book according to what he believed would work.

Issue seven, with a cover story on Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining, was the first issue of any national magazine to wholly concern itself with horror film as produced in the closing quarter of the 20th Century, with no trace of daintiness about its subject matter. It also was the first issue of Fangoria to achieve a profit.

Fangoria Italy, Issue 1. 1990.

Subsequent issues would sharpen the focus, but by issue twelve, the formula was well-set, and remains largely unchanged to this date. Martin continued as editor to 1986, with co-editor David Everitt added in the early 1980s, and after leaving Fangoria worked with film director Frank Henenlotter on the screenplays for Frankenhooker and Basket Case 3: The Progeny. Everitt left the magazine shortly after Martin's departure, and was replaced by Starlog editor David McDonnell, who handled both magazines for several months before turning over the reigns to current editor Tony Timpone.

In the late 1980s and early 90s, Fangoria tested numerous international horror markets, releasing issues of the magazine modified for various foreign languages. These publishings (released in Italy, Japan, Czechoslovakia, and elsewhere) lasted only a handful of editions before being discontinued.

In 1990, Timpone brought current managing editor Michael Gingold on-board, having been previously introduced to his horror-themed fanzine, Scareaphenalia.[1] In addition to his editorial duties at the magazine, Gingold posts the majority of the news updates at Fangoria.com.

Creative Group purchased Fangoria (and its parent publication Starlog) in the early 2000s, hoping to branch out the brand identity of the magazine to radio, television, and comics. After several failed ventures, Creative Group filed for Chapter 11 on March 21, 2008.[2] In the summer of 2008, Fangoria and all of its related brands were purchased by The Brooklyn Company, Inc., led by longtime Fangoria president Thomas DeFeo.[3] Under DeFeo's ownership, Fangorias brand identity was radically modified in early 2009. The most notable of his changes were the transformation of the company's long-standing logo and a drastic overhaul to the magazine's cover. Starting with Issue 281, Fangorias cover no longer carried its original logo, trademark film strip, tagline, or additional embedded photos.

As they have been since their inception Fangoria is currently the most widely-read horror-themed publication in the world. Their center of operations, as of 2009, is based just north of New York City's Times Square.

Fangoria Branches Out

Starting in 1985, Fangoria has sponsored annual horror movie conventions known as the Weekend of Horrors in Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Chicago (with Austin, Texas added in 2008).[4] These conventions were produced in association with Creation Entertainment. After breaking ties with Creation in 2009, Fangoria began their own conventions, titling them the "Trinity of Terrors."

In 1991, Fangoria began honoring horror cinema with their annual Chainsaw Awards, which were voted on by readers of their magazine. The winners were announced at an awards show in Los Angeles, California, which was produced by Fangoria's managing editor, Michael Gingold. While the Chainsaw Awards continued in the magazine, the awards show was stopped after 1996.

Fangoria Films

Fangoria's Blood Drive, Volume One

In 1990, Fangoria created Fangoria Films, with the goal of financing one feature film a year under this banner. The first film was 1990's Mindwarp, starring Bruce Campbell. They then created Children of the Night in 1991 and Severed Ties in 1992 before ceasing production.[5]

In 1996, Fangoria Films re-emerged as a distribution company, occasionally using their "Gore Zone" label, to release twenty low-budget horror features over the next ten years.

From 1999 to 2003, they partnered with Bedford Entertainment to attain wider releases of certain Fangoria titles[6]. Movies released during this time included I, Zombie: A Chronicle of Pain, The Last Horror Movie, Slashers, and Dead Meat[7]. Many of these films featured the Fangoria logo along the top of their video/DVD covers, while Fangoria's involvement in other releases was substantially more subdued.

In 2004/2005, Fangoria Films produced and distributed Fangoria's Blood Drive, two DVD compilations of award-winning short horror films. The first volume was hosted by musician-turned-filmmaker Rob Zombie, and the second by MuchMusic's (now called FUSE) Mistress Juliya.

With Creative Group

Fangoria Skull Small.png

After their purchase by Creative Group in the early 2000s, they developed Fangoria Entertainment. This allowed both parties to attach the Fangoria brand identity to a number of other media outlets in 2006. Creative Group also added a new "Vampire Skull" logo to Fangoria's properties, which has been used extensively online since its inception.

  • Fangoria TV, originally conceived as a network television station dedicated to horror films, was eventually modified to fit a limited online format in 2006.
  • Announced at San Diego's Comicon International in 2006, Fangoria Comics launched in June 2007. For various reasons, the line abruptly ended in August 2007.[8]
  • In association with FUSE TV, Fangoria first televised its Chainsaw Awards in 2006. The event occurred on October 15, and was aired on FUSE on October 22. The event was not renewed for 2007, although the awards continued in the magazine. [9]
  • In 2008 Fangoria premiered a competition for its first-ever "Spooksmodel". The winner of the contest would appear at all of its Weekend of Horror conventions, as well as be featured within the print magazine. Actress Shannon Lark won the first contest, claiming the title for 2008 - 2009.

Warehouse Fire

On December 5, 2007, a warehouse operated by Kable News, in Oregon, Illinois, which contained all back issues of Fangoria and Starlog magazines, burned to the ground. As back issues of Fangoria are not re-printed, the only remaining back issues are now housed in private collections.[10]

In Other Media

Fangoria has appeared or been mentioned in various media outlets, usually pertaining to its significance to the horror film industry.

  • One of the flatmates in BBC2's The Young Ones is seen reading an issue of Fangoria in the 1984 episode "Nasty" (an episode about them attempting to watch a VHS video nasty).
  • An issue of Fangoria is featured in the trunk of Ash's Oldsmobile in the film Army of Darkness (1993).
  • The film Brainscan (1994) prominently features Fangoria, giving the magazine a rather important role in the movie. It is through an ad in the magazine that the main character discovers the titular video game.
  • In The Simpsons episode "22 Short Films About Springfield" (1996), bus driver Otto Mann takes a photograph of Lisa Simpson with various foodstuff stuck in her hair, claiming, "Fangoria will pay me twenty-five bucks for this shot!" Several months later, the magazine published the "pic" of Lisa with the gum in her hair.
  • Chucky masturbates while looking at an issue of Fangoria in the film Seed of Chucky (2004).
    • Additionally, the Child's Play comic series by Innovation Publishing features Chucky reading a copy of Fangoria in issue one; and a character named Russ Timpone, who claims to have no relation to Tony Timpone ("even though that'd be cool"), appears in the same tale. [11]
  • In the 2007 film Death Proof, an issue of Fangoria is displayed in a magazine rack at a convenience store.
  • In the pilot episode of the 2008 TV series The Mentalist, Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) tells a strange associate (Jack Plotnick), "If you don’t get horny reading Fangoria, Then I’m Britney Spears".

References

  1. ^ Fangoria - Meet The Staff
  2. ^ American LaFrance, Delphi, Haven, Marcal, Creative: Bankruptcy 08-10975, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan), March 24, 2008.
  3. ^ FANGORIA ANNOUNCES SWEEPING NEW WEB INITIATIVE AT FANGORIA.COM Fangoria.com, October 17, 2008.
  4. ^ Official Website of Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors Conventions.
  5. ^ Motion Pictures produced by Fangoria Films, Internet Movie Database, Accessed: 15 May 2008
  6. ^ Fangoria Takes Bite out of Film Market, Hollywood Reporter (Subscription required for full article), Accessed: 16 May 2008
  7. ^ Motion Pictures distributed by Fangoria Films, Internet Movie Database, Accessed: 15 May 2008
  8. ^ Fangoria Comics Shuts Down, Projects, Staff Relocate, Newsarama Press Release, September 26, 2007
  9. ^ Fangoria Announces Chainsaw Nominees!, Cinematical, August 26, 2006
  10. ^ Fires Burns Fangoria, Dread Central, December 10, 2007
  11. ^ Movie Maniac Comic Books - Child's Play Icons of Fright.com, Accessed June 11, 2008

Related

External links








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