I have a journalism class, Mass Media Survey, where we discuss how all forms of media, from television to film to radio to books, either affect society in a positive or negative way. One chapter was dedicated to magazines and the instructor wanted us to write a quick one page essay on what our favorite magazine is, do we still read it, and how it has effected your life. As a horror fan, I naturally picked Fangoria. Here is the transcript of the essay I wrote:
My favorite magazine from my youth was Fangoria, the magazine dedicated to all things in the world of horror, from movies to TV to comic books. As a kid, all I watched were horror movies. The first horror movie I saw was A Nightmare on Elm Street when I was six years old. That was the catalyst I needed to explore more horror content. I watched Tales from the Crypt on HBO, I rented tons of horror movies, and I began to read old EC Comics like The Haunt of Fear, Tales from the Crypt, and The Vault of Horror. I couldn’t get enough of this world and I wanted to explore as much of it as I could.
At that time in my life, I wandered if there was a magazine that was dedicated to horror movies, like the way Slam Magazine, another magazine I read as a youth, was dedicated to basketball. When I was a kid, the internet was nowhere as big as it is now, so I couldn’t explore for one online.
I was introduced to Fangoria on pure luck. One day my dad and I went to 7-11 to get ice for a bbq he was throwing that day. Sitting on the magazine rack was a magazine with Freddy
Kreuger on the cover called Fangoria. I ran to the magazine and immediately I was amazed from what I found. There were reviews on new movie releases on VHS, reviews on films that were theatrically released, comic books (another thing I enjoyed in my youth), a fold out poster of Freddy Kreuger, and much, much more. Freddy Kreuger was on the cover because the actor who plays him, Robert Englund, was being interviewed about the film Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, which me and my dad had saw earlier in the week. I begged him to buy me the magazine and he agreed. For my birthday he bought me a subscription to the magazine. I was subscribed to the magazine for six years.
Thanks to the combination of Fangoria and my consistent routine of renting horror movies from the local video store, I became a walking encyclopedia of all things horror. Every month I learned new things about the genre that I never knew before. I read how filmmakers made special effects on a cheap budget. I read up on the history of the genre, from its early beginnings as silent films to the “Grindhouse” era of the 70s up until today. I learned different camera techniques, editing techniques, and camera angles, knowledge that I still have with me to this day. Fangoria served as a mini film school for me in a time in my life where I wanted to be a film director.
I created my own blog which I still write for, Man vs Horror, where I write reviews and opinion on all things in the horror genre. I made a short horror film in high school. I go to horror conventions and subscribe to podcasts and blogs that talk about the genre.
I don’t read the magazine anymore simply because there is a lot more information on the genre available on the internet. If I see it on a newsstand, I’ll thumb through it and check it out. I owe my knowledge to horror thanks to this magazine. If I grew up in this time, at the height of the internet age, I don’t know if I would have ever read this magazine. But thanks to pure luck and no internet in my youth, I was able to hop on the Fangoria train and ride it to the wonderful world of horror.
Until next time,
Matt De Luna, the DeLunatic