Fangoria horror magazine rises from the dead

Fangoria has crawled out of its own grave in the form of a new quarterly journal with photos so high-gloss that the blood looks wet.
Fangoria has crawled out of its own grave in the form of a new quarterly journal with photos so high-gloss that the blood looks wet.PHOTO: FACEBOOK / FANGORIA

NEW YORK •Scream with delight.

Like horror-movie character Freddy Krueger, Fangoria is back - bloodier than ever. The fabled horror magazine that has thrilled and terrified readers since 1979 looked dead and buried last year.

But now, just in time for Halloween, Fangoria has crawled out of its own grave in the form of a new quarterly journal with photos so high-gloss that the blood looks wet.

For kids who grew up drooling over the gory special effects of Wes Craven and Tom Savini, the revival of Fangoria is a reason to howl.

The new issue, which hits stands this week, sports a cover photo of the indefatigable killer Michael Myers in the upcoming Halloween movie.

But the frights are not all visual. Towards the back of the magazine is a round-up of current and upcoming books, including literary novels such as Laird Hunt's In The House In The Dark Of The Woods.

And at the very end, there is a short story by Fight Club (1996) author Chuck Palahniuk about a ravenous old neighbour.

If the original Fangoria offered young readers a taste of something forbidden, this revived version offers older readers a taste of something nostalgic.

The new editor-in-chief, Mr Phil Nobile Jr, suggests that he is looking forward and backward at the same time. He remembers his three brothers taking him to see An American Werewolf In London (1981) when he was 11.

"Fangoria was, to me, a way to get past (the nightmare) because it didn't just revel in blood and guts," he said. "It showcased the craft, the people who made these things, and so that cured me of that terror because I could see that it was these people's jobs to scare me and to gross me out, to freak me out."

Now, he is in a position to do that for another generation - or several generations at once.

"The thing that I thought Fangoria was when I was 13, I want to create that version for my 48-year-old self," he said. "I want to have something that's smart about horror, that doesn't talk down to me."

Mr Nobile noted that the invasion of horror in pop culture had created a very different consumer landscape. He remembered a time when there were two horror conventions a year. Now there is one practically every weekend.

"They're becoming like these Disney Worlds," he said. "It used to just be me and a bunch of guys in black T-shirts trying to find that DVD we couldn't find.

"Now it's a big family outing and the kids get made up and there're little Freddys running around and little Jasons (from the Friday The 13th films)."

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2018, with the headline 'Fangoria horror magazine rises from the dead'. Print Edition | Subscribe