In my pre-Internet, pre-instant-access-to-everything youth, magazines were a valuable commodity, a window to a world I might otherwise never see. Magazines brought us news from far-flung places, gave us inside access to rock stars and sports figures, and provided tantalizing hints at what the future might hold in just about every area of interest - especially movies.
For a certified gorehound like me, Fangoria was (and still is, in my opinion) the standard-bearer when it came to magazines devoted to horror movies. Fangoria wasn't afraid to put flayed corpses, slimy creatures, or entrail-filled television cabinets front and center on its covers, and its insides were filled with plenty more guts and grue. Fango was seemingly on every horror movie set, taking pictures and interviewing the principles involved so that we, the fans, could be well-informed about what was hitting theaters and video stores in the months ahead.
We already had it made - and then along came Gorezone. From its unapologetic name to its unpredictable insides, Gorezone was the magazine that took Fangoria's mission to the extreme. Sure, its cover often featured mainstream horror heroes like Freddy or Jason, but there were also plenty of times when horror movie victims made the cover, like the melting face from the remake of The Blob, or the poor fella whose face had been bisected in Intruder. Once you got past the cover, all bets were off: Gorezone's pages were filled with film coverage that strayed far outside Hollywood and into the dark alleys of independent film and foreign horror. It was uncompromising and brutal, and some might say it was a miracle it lasted as long as it did: 27 issues at a time when the newsstand was still the most viable distribution model for magazines, meaning Gorezone stood blood-soaked and proud side-by-side with Sports Illustrated and Ladies Home Journal.
Earlier this year, current Fangoria editor Chris Alexander announced that he was bringing Gorezone back in print. In a subsequent conversation with FEARnet, he made it clear he was not interested in watering down the magazine for current consumption, but instead intended to honor and expand the magazine's original mission of no-holds-barred horror coverage. The first issue of the new run (issue number 28, picking up right where they left off) has just been released, and I'd say Alexander and company have hit their target dead-on.
From its gruesome cover depicting a grimacing girl with a mangled eye (a classic moment from Lucio Fulci's Zombie) to its wildly varied set of feature articles, this issue creates an airtight connection to the run that came before it. You've got your retrospective on a cult classic splatter flick (Pieces); you've got your tribute to the late Richard "Chas" Balun, a genre journalist who embodied the spirit of Gorezone way back in the '80s (and whose influence is strongly felt over its contents today); you've got your revealing interview (and even more revealing photo shoot) with one of the original Scream Queens, Linnea Quigley; and you've got guys like Video Watchdog's Tim Lucas and FX maestro Tom Savini providing incredible insight into the horror genre in their respective columns.
In other words, what we have here is no cash-grab looking to capitalize on the nostalgia of horror buffs; this new issue of Gorezone is not a hollow imitation of the original - it's a resurrection. Welcome back, old friend.
Gorezone is available via subscription, and a few copies of Gorezone #28 are now available at the Fangoria store.