Saturday, February 6, 2010

Classic vs. modern horror movie magazines

I grew up reading good old Famous Monsters of Filmland, edited by the one and only Forrest Ackerman, who unfortunately passed away recently at 90 years old. He was one of the most dedicated people to fantastic cinema that ever was and his magazine showed it. Most all the photos in the magazine were his, and he even had his own movie museum in his house in California, called the "Ackermansion." Unfortunately, he was forced to sell most of it off because of legal problems caused by some unscrupulous folks.
The old "FM," which began it's first issue in 1958, lasted until the 80s and then was brought back for a brief period in the 90s and early 2000s, but it was never what it was when "Uncle Forry" was in control. The magazine mainly paid homage to classic horror movies from the silent era through the 80s and was impeccably done, with few spelling or grammatical errors and lots and lots of great photos and memorabilia that was sold on its back pages. It could be making another comeback soon, but it looks to have a different focus on "newer" movies.
For those who like the latest horror movies, Fangoria would probably be the best bet. They really go for the gore with graphic photos but the stories are in-depth and well written on everything from the "Saw" franchise to straight-to-DVD movies like those from Lion's Gate I'm always seeing at Blockbuster.
For the more classic movie oriented among us, I recommend Scary Monsters Magazine, which focuses mainly on horror, and Filmfax, which covers a broader range of genres in the classic movie field.  Filmfax is a slicker, more polished magazine, while Scary Monsters seems to be written mainly by fans, like me, for instance. I wrote one story for them and also for the "new" Famous Monsters a while back. Scary Monsters even has some pretty good comics, short stories and lots of great photos and articles on not only movies, but on conventions and other related happenings. It also has a lot of items for sale, such as reprints and leftover issues of out of print magazines. It's really a throwback to the old-fashioned classic monster magazine you remember as a kid.
 Of course, all these mags have Web sites, too, which you can look up by just putting the name in a Google search. So good luck and happy reading.

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