FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Mar 14, 2006

Shameless product endorsement

Ah, the horror magazine....such a major player in my formative years. The yellowed, smelly newsprint pages...the poor quality photos...the bad jokes. I pored over issues of Fangoria repeatedly, getting excited about movies I wouldn't see for years, getting grossed out by graphic photos from movies like Fulci's Zombi- we are going to eat you! While Fangoria aided in my education about modern horror, it was Famous Monsters of Filmland that taught me about actors and horror movies from yesteryear, like Christopher Lee and Boris Karloff. Photos of Lon Chaney in London After Midnight scared the bejesus outta me and they do today, a bit. I still have yet to see that movie- I don't even know if it exists anymore. Any issues of FM I still have from way back are all cut up and full of holes. If I wasn't cutting out pictures of the Creature from the Black Lagoon to hang on my bedroom wall, then I was cutting out coupons to send away for stuff. A tiny plastic coffin on a chain, filled with real dirt from the grounds of Castle Dracula? Yeah, got that- and according to that link, it's ranked as the #1 Weird Dracula Item, which is pretty awesome. A jacket just like the Viper pilots wore on Battlestar Galactica? Yeah, I had one of those too, and I loved it. According to my mom, she'd have to make me take it off at night when it was bedtime, but in the mornings I'd come downstairs wearing it over my pajamas.

That was all Way Back When, of course, and those magazines were pure gold to a 10-year-old. I haven't looked at an issue of Fangoria in forever, but from what I understand it's currently little more than stapled-together press releases...but then, was it ever anything more than that? The incarnation of Famous Monsters that I grew up on- which were basically just re-prints of articles from the magazine's early years- has been dead for a while now. Apparently it's still around, albeit under duplicitous circumstances.

So what's the savvy horror fan to read in today's workaday world? I can't recommend Rue Morgue magazine highly enough, my friends. It's exactly what you want a horror magazine to be: it's smart, it's well-written, and the folks behind it are passionate about the genre. Rue Morgue goes beyond the current big-screen releases and features articles on topics as varied as HP Lovecraft, the films of the Quay Brothers, and Roger Corman. Despite what you're thinking, I'm not a Paid Celebrity Endorser- I'm just happy to have a horror magazine available that I can get into. In fact, I tend to tote around the newest issue with me for weeks on end.

In this month's issue, #54, there's a nice feature on video game horror. I was surprised by some of the titles that they covered: yeah, sure, we all played Friday the 13th on the original Nintendo system, but did you know that before there was a pixelated Jason there was a pixelated Michael Myers...and a pixelated Leatherface? Yep, back in 1983 Wizard Games produced cartridges based on Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the Atari 2600!

I want to know who that dude in the leisure suit is- taking potshots at Leatherface?! Action-packed, baby!

The moral of this story is, start reading Rue Morgue. And tell 'em Final Girl sent ya! No wait- scratch that. They have no idea who I am.


Unknown said...

You should be paid for that! I know I want to go out and buy the new Rue Morgue now. Of course, I was going to buy it anyways...but that's besides the point. Though if it helps, I'm willing to tell anyone that I wasn't going to buy it until you recommended it.

The Retropolitan said...

Man, I want to see some Atari screenshots from those games. NOW!

Anonymous said...

Horror trivia for the day -
Wizard Video Games = Charles Band.
Just sayin'.

John Barleycorn said...

I wonder if you can download those, like the NES emulator thingies I found. Hmm. I don't think it'd be a great idea, though. I'd spend all my time with them. When would I masturbate?

warrenzone said...

halloween looks like pitfall

texas chainsaw looks like ... ET?

I'd heard about these games, but no, I've never played them.

Steve said...

Another magazine that pays homage to both upcoming and often independent horror and beauties of yesteryear is Femme Fatales. They were covering House of the Dead before anyone knew it was going to be so bad at least a year before it came out. My subscription expired at some point around the same time the magazine seemed to be going through some major cosmetic and management changes (circa 2002-3), but they still exist and I just resubscribed and hope to get an acutal issue in hand someday soon.

Clay McClane said...

You see? This is why Final Girl is America's Finest News Source.

Thanks for the tip. I'm ashamed to say I'd never heard of this magazine...

Chris Hopper said...

I just came into possesion of a wealth of old Fangorias. While I have to say I like Rue Morgue and Famous Monsters, I still prefer Gorezone and pre-full color Fangoria. It is hard to understand why we still have to pay almost $10 an issue when there are so many damn ads. It is like the movie industry... not only do they charge you more to see a movie now, but they get to show you commercials before the movie. You would think the mass advertising would drop the prices, but oh no, they raise them. Seems the people get screwed again.

Anonymous said...

I used to be a full-fledged fan of Fangoria, but after awhile, I just let me subscription lapse. I'd leaf through it at the bookstore every once and awhile, but when I can find the same information online for free, it was hard to pony up the cover price.

I've looked at Rue Morgue, too. That is a good magazine.

I'd also recommend taking a peak at Scarlet Street. I haven't looked at it in awhile, but when I did used to pick it up, it covered a fair mix of old and new horror flicks.

And don't be so hard on the current incarnation of Famous Monsters. I'm currently reading Life is But a Scream!, which is a book written by current publisher Ray Ferry. The book chronicles his relationship with "Uncle Forry" and Ferry's efforts to bring back FM. I realize that this book is only his point of view and, as such, will have a touch of bias, but it is an interesting read nonetheless. (The book was published before Ferry's last appeal was turned down.)

Anonymous said...

I have this TCM game.

Hate me?

Amanda By Night

mogadonia said...

Great stuff.
(And a fab London After Midnight pic there too)

Yeah, I used to buy Fangoria and Famous Monsters frequently, back in the day.
Going even further back (being the ancient monster I am) there was Monster Mag in the early 70s.
BIG full-on gory posters from Hammer and Amicus movies that I used to plaster my room with (much to my mum's horror).
It had 'For Adults Only' in large print on the cover, so it was a big thrill if me or my brother could find a shop that stocked it and would sell it to kids (as some of them wouldn't, depending on who served you)
Ah, happy horror memories...