Vanity Scare #13

Sorry for the delay, folks.  Please enjoy.

FANGORIA (#97, October 1990)

I used to subscribe to Fangoria.  It was my first horror magazine, as I'm sure it was for many fans.  As a kid, I didn't even know that there was a whole publication devoted to the things I held dear.  It was my Famous Monsters of Filmland, if you will.  Cynics are quick to point out that Fangoria cossets mainstream tastes, and compared to other genre rags, it does.  But it serves its purpose.  I resent the notion that elitist die-hards have no use for such a magazine.  I'm a magisterial fop, and I love flipping through back issues.  Apparently, I'm also British.

1990 was a good year for monsters.  Let's read on, shall we?

- As you can surmise, this issue was all about Tom Savini's remake of Night of the Living Dead.  It's funny to read Tony Timpone's "Elegy."  The market wasn't saturated with pleonastic reduxes, and the majority of films hitting video shelves were original (or adapted from a literary source).  Still, the prevailing attitude in 1990 struck a familiar chord.  I give you an excerpt from Tony's editorial: "What?!?  A remake of a landmark film that's only 22 years old?"  Oh, Tony...you have no idea.  To his credit, he goes on to solace readers by admitting that the crew is comprised of upper-crust talent.  Thankfully, NOTLD '90 turned out to be a worthwhile watch.

- A slight jeremiad against Fango's format.  This would change in later years, but the 'zine has no flow.  The big articles are clumped together, and they aren't broken up by reviews or side pieces.  In fact, Dr. Cyclops is solely responsible for video critiques.  I wanted more in the way of opinion-based journalism.

- According to The Terror Teletype, Clive Barker was attached to direct his own version of The Mummy at one point.  Fuuuuuuck, why didn't that happen?  I dig Lord of Illusions, but shit.

- I absolutely adored the feature on Child's Play 2.  It's interesting that director John Lafia was aiming for less camp.  Yeah.  I guess nothing could stop Don Mancini's wry, pungent sense of humor from bleeding past the camera.  For the record, I think this flick rocks.  It may be brainless, but it's a gelatinous orb of maniacal glee.

- The interview with Richard Stanley is rather enlightening.  I enjoyed Hardware, but I don't consider it to be a clinquant masterpiece.  Perhaps I should recuse myself, as I never did understand the whole "cyberpunk" deal.  Then again, I wasn't fond of Dust Devil either.  I wonder what Stanley could have accomplished without the interposition of censors and stumped studio executives.  I will say this; Hardware would have benefited from Bill Paxton's presence.  He was Stanley's first choice to play the lead.

- Eve of Destruction gets an extensive spread.  I skimmed it.  LOLZ!

- The doctor's half-glowing/half-bollixed reviews of Paperhouse and Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge piqued my curiosity.  I own the latter, so in all likelihood, I'll give it a whirl tonight.  Review not forthcoming (don't worry, I have something else up my sleeve).

That covers the bulk of Fangoria #97.  It was pretty goddamn sweet.  Man, the 90's were gnarlier than thou.


  1. Aw man you didn't like Dust Devil? What version did you see, the butchered one that originally made it to video or the version that came out on DVD a few years back, because the later is THE version to see.

  2. No, I saw the DVD. It just didn't gel for me, man.