In 1988, horror was (blood) red-hot, and the pages of Fangoria magazine were bursting trying to keep up with it all. The home video market had given fans access to all kinds of horror – not just the stuff making it into the local cinemas, but direct-to-video schlock and stunning efforts from foreign markets that amped up the gore and sexuality to whole new levels. From out of this fertile breeding ground Gorezone was born, a sister publication to Fangoria specifically designed to handle all of the material that was too esoteric - or even too extreme - for the flagship title.
That initial run lasted 27 issues before the Gorezone flag was folded, but now it’s coming back. Fangoria editor-in-chief Chris Alexander has announced that Gorezone is coming back in a print-only, subscription-only bi-monthly format beginning later this year. Alexander took a few moments recently to tell us what we can expect when Gorezone makes its triumphant return.
How long have you been contemplating a return for Gorezone, and what makes now the right time?
I wanted Gorezone back from the first moment I was brought on as editor-in-chief. That first year I created The Bloody Best of Gorezone as a 1,000 issue sell through one-shot as a test to see if people still cared about the mag as much as I did…and they did! It sold well (we have about 30 copies left for sale online) and the emails started coming about bringing it back.
In the meantime, I tried three additional sell through titles – Fangoria Legends presents George Romero, Fangoria Legends presents John Carpenter and KISS: Monster #2. All sold or are selling out. So the concept of Gorezone’s return was a no-risk no-brainer – limited editions sold through subscriptions only, made for collectors and designed to be as far out as we can go…not shackled by newsstand commercial expectations. It seemed that if we were going to do this, it would have to almost be a fanzine, free of anything mainstream. And so, here we are. I took this on as a labor of love, a passion project. I’m excited….
Fangoria has a steadily growing Internet presence - will there be a separate website for Gorezone, will it simply be a part of the Fangoria site, or will it be print only?
Perhaps a tab that runs off the main (Fangoria) site, yes. But I want this Gorezone to be part of the sensual, tactile print experience. A work of bloody art for collectors….timeless and pure.
I love that you're starting the new print run at #28, since the original run ended at #27. Will there by any other carryovers as far as features or staff from the original Gorezone magazine to this new version?
I can’t say too much save for the fact that I am talking to many of the “originals” that are still with us. Chas. Balun is not, sadly. And his presence will be missed. But Chas. is my journo idol and I intend the entire magazine to be a tribute to his energy and humor and poetry from stem to stern. His spirit will be alive in Gorezone. Whereas in the original run, that energy was relegated only to his “Piece O’ Mind” column and the odd pick up features, here…it’s ALL like that. Here’s blood in yer eye, indeed….
If demand proves to be strong enough, could Gorezone move from a subscription-only model to appearing on newsstands next to Fangoria?
Hmmm. I’m not thinking that way. At this stage, I’d rather Fangoria be the mother-ship and Gorezone be the ugly twin locked in the basement.
What will being subscription-only allow you to do in the magazine that perhaps you couldn't do if it was sold in Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million?
We have no rules. Which is not to say this mag will be pornographic or senseless, it will not. It won’t be about hardcore, cheap shock. It will be as edifying and entertaining as it is revolting and will offer classy shocks. Such as these sorts of cheap thrills can be classy, that is.
Finally, I know the debut of the new issue is still a ways off, but what can you tell us about its contents?
I can tell you that we have a new, erotic and eye opening photo series with Linnea Quigley that is beyond revealing and a frank interview about her sexuality in her 50’s. I can tell you that European horror will be a big part of this as will classic exploitation. I will tell you that indie splatter will drip from this. I will tell you that I have a big retrospective of the Faces of Death films. I can tell you that there will be a strong focus on VHS retro and gory comic books and FX how-to’s. And there will be indeed several familiar faces coming back to the party…best thing to do is subscribe now while its cheap and find out for yourself.
Blu Gilliand is a freelance writer of fiction and nonfiction. He covers horror fiction at his blog, October Country, and contributes interviews to the Horror World website. Follow him on Twitter at @BluGilliand.