Like anything buried behind the Pet Sematary, Fangoria has risen from the grave and returns this week after lying dormant for nearly two years. Once again, gorehounds can leap under the covers for more ghoulish stories and interviews.
In anticipation of its first new issue, which centers around David Gordon Green’s Halloween, contributing writer Matt Elliott spoke with Managing Editor Meredith Borders to get some insight on its revival and how nostalgia factored into it.
What was your introduction to Fangoria? Did you buy the issues regularly? If so, what did you like about them?
I started reading Fangoria in middle school or junior high, but only occasionally because I could never find it in stores in my small East Texas town. I’d pick one up whenever I’d visit Austin or Houston and always thought of it as this mysterious grail made more attractive by the fact that it was so hard for me to find. It felt like this cool world of horror that I’d have to wait until I graduated and moved to a big city to really explore.
How did you become involved in the revival?
My friend Phil Nobile Jr., who used to work with me in my previous role as editorial director of BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH., became Fango’s editor-in-chief and brought me on as managing editor.
We’ve worked together closely to build the first issue alongside Publisher Dallas Sonnier of Cinestate, Associate Publisher Jessica Safavimehr, Art Director Ashley Detmering, and Director of Digital Natasha Pascetta. It’s a great team and we’ve stayed in the office ’til after midnight, eating pie and Chinese food to meet print deadlines together. That’s how you forge a family.
As managing editor, my role is to work with Phil to guide pitches, edit pieces, and then pore over every page of every issue a few hundred times in the hopes of getting it perfect for print (as I remember from my days with the BMD magazine, no issue will ever be perfect, and I have to make my peace with that). I also wrote a few pieces in the first issue, which is definitely my favorite part.
Why is Fangoria returning now? Has the audience been actively asking for it?
Fango has such a unique history and dedicated audience. It never felt right that there hasn’t been a Fangoria magazine the past few years, especially considering all of the brilliant horror films that have come out since 2015 that never got that special, specific Fango treatment. Even if I had nothing to do with its revival, as a horror fan, I’d be thrilled to hear of its return.
What will this new Fangoria incorporate that it did not before?
We’re really leaning into the collectability of the magazine. We want it to be the old Fango that we grew up with, but a grown-up version that looks and feels beautiful alongside all of the gnarly gore and thoughtfully written editorials.
We’re also excited to feature new trends in horror that weren’t getting much ink in the old days, stuff like immersive horror experiences and diversity in the genre.
What role do you think nostalgia is currently playing in the horror genre?
I just saw Slice this week and it’s clear that nostalgia will always have a home in horror. It’s easy to look at the ‘70s and ‘80s and say, “That’s when horror was at its best,” and I do love what those decades brought to the party, but I always like to look to the future. I think now’s a really exciting time, and I can’t wait to see what new voices like Jordan Peele and Julia Ducournau are going to do next.
Where do you want to take Fangoria into the future?
I just want there to be a 13-year-old girl in a small, conservative town out there who finds an issue and discovers her passion the way I did. That’s the coolest part of doing this for me.
Before we let you go, “What’s your favorite horror film?”
I have a bunch, of course, so I think an easier question to answer is, “What horror movie do you champion the most?” That’s without a doubt Jennifer’s Body. I love teen girl horror above all else, and it really chaps my hide that Karyn Kusama’s film never got a fair shake. With all of the new and interesting stuff she’s doing, I’m hoping it’s due for a reexamination. I’ll die on the hill that it’s one of the best horror films of the aughts.
Fangoria hits stands this week and includes a cover story on Halloween, an editorial on the influences of Phantasm by director Don Coscarelli, and a dissection on unused treatments for Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.