Archive for the pop culture Category

AWESOME-tober-fest 2019: Happy Halloween + Random Fango Ads

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Fangoria, Halloween, holiday, magazine, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , on October 31, 2019 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2019

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  This is it guys, we made it.  Another year.  Another Halloween AWESOME-tober-fest countdown.  Thank you so much for reading, I hope you have a safe and fun Halloween.

But, before you go, how about one more Fangoria article?  How about we look at some random ads that ran in Fangoria throughout the years?  Let’s do it!

Click the images to make them BIGGER!


From 1988, an ad for the Nightmare on Elm Street board game.  That’s right, I said BOARD game.  I totally thought this was a video game ad until I actually read it and saw that it comes with a rule book, gameboard, playing cards, and Freddy markers.  If you want to get a look at what all the goodness inside the box looks like, check out the entry at Board Game Geek.  It looks bizarre.  The game board gives me a headache if I look too long.


How about some more Freddy product? Here’s an ad for the 1-900 Freddy’s Dead telephone game. From 1992. The 90s were stuffed with all kinds of 1-900 pop culture telephone numbers. In the same issue of Fangoria as this Freddy ad was an ad for a 1-900 Terminator 2 telephone challenge. Careful, it’s yellow background will burn out your retinas.


Vintage Monster-y ad goodness coming your way! This ad is from 1981, and it’s for mail away Monster Miniatures!  All four of these pewter figures sold as a group for $79.95.  Postage included!  You could also get them in a white metal for about $7 each.


More monster-y goodness!  Here are two ads for Screamin’ Vinyl Model Kits!  The one on the left is from 1989.  It has four options; Jason, Freddy, Elvira, or the generic Werewolf.  Each model kid is about $60.  Honestly, they look pretty nice.  On the right is another Screamin’ models ad, this time from 1996.  They’ve greatly expanded their offerings with new product, but for some reason, Jason is missing.  You can’t even order him below.  However, amongst the new faces you see they added Leatherface, Ash, Lon Chaney from London After Midnight, Pinhead and the Cenobites, and one fantastic looking Crypt Keeper.  Different models have different prices, but this seems like a really nice model set.


From 1987, check out this ad for buy 2 books and get a FREE Dracula Pendant! Filled with soil from Dracula’s castle!! Wow. The ad makes sure to note these are the same pendants that were sold in Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine in the 70s.


Check out this ad for the rugged, compass survival watch.  Never get lost on freeways, mountains, deserts, jungles, or oceans!  I don’t know how many deserts, jungles, or oceans your average Fangoria reader would encounter in their lifetimes, but they now have the watch to get them out of that predicament if they ever do!

Thanks for another successful year!  And again, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!



Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2019: Win the Halloween 2 novelization from Fangoria!

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Fangoria, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, magazine, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2019 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2019

Edging ever closer to Halloween!  And speaking of Halloween, here’s an ad for a double contest that ran in Fangoria #15 from 1981 that let you win something VERY Halloween-y!

The first contest involves going to see the movie Halloween II in theaters and answering 10 questions. 50 winners will be drawn to win copies of the movie novelization by Jack Martin. Which, today, that Halloween 2 novelization is pretty rare.  I would have loved to have won that.

The second contest involves the semi-sequel to Rocky Horror Picture Show, Shock Treatment.  You have to explain in 30 words or less why you want a Shock Treatment t-shirt.



Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2019: Fangoria Scream Greats – Norman Bates

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Fangoria, Halloween, holiday, magazine, movies, Norman Bates, pop culture, Psycho with tags , , , , , , on October 28, 2019 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2019

It’s Scream Greats Monday! And, it’s the final week of AWESOME-tober-fest 2019!  We did it again, this year guys.  The home stretch.  I really hope you’ve enjoyed yourself thus far, but the festivities are not over yet!  We’ve got four more days to go.  And today we are looking at another Fangoria Scream Greats poster!

This week’s Scream Greats entry is a good one of Anthony Perkins on the set of Psycho II.  It comes from Fangoria #78 (1988).  If you haven’t seen it, Psycho II is a pretty good followup to the first Psycho.  Not to be confused with Robert Bloch’s Psycho sequel novel, also confusingly called Psycho II.  Bloch’s Psycho II is a pretty great little thriller tale on its own that is surprisingly meta for having been written in 1982.  I’d recommend it.  But the movie Psycho II is a more traditional sequel and is also a pretty good movie sequel considering it’s the followup to one of the greatest thrillers of all time.



Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2019: Cavalcade Comics #16 – Jesse James Meets The Frankenstein Monster

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, comic books, Halloween, holiday, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2019 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2019

It’s Friday! The final Friday of AWESOME-tober-fest 2019, to be exact. I’m still going strong with some Fangoria, but I thought I’d break with the Fangoria coverage for today and do a new Vintage Comic Throwdown cover.  And today’s matchup features another gunfighter vs a classic monster like in the very first issue.  Take a look at Jesse James Meets The Frankenstein Monster!

This particular cover has an interesting history. It was actually the second cover I made when I started doing this feature, which means it was created back in 2016. There were a few things I didn’t love about the logo I was using so I sat on it. The very first original concept of these covers was to do all “gunfighters vs monsters” concepts. So Billy the Kid vs Dracula was first, then this one would have gone, then I’d do something with Wild Bill Hickock, and then eventually return to Billy the Kid.  But then other pop culture properties sort of caught my attention and then you get things like my Godzilla vs Shogun Warriors and A-Team Meets Chuck Norris covers.  I must love Frankenstein because I’ve used him a few times.  He also popped up fighting athletes in the Winter Olympics!

But I still enjoy doing these and I may get back to the roots of this concept and return to “gunfighters vs monsters” soon.  I definitely want to revisit Billy the Kid in these covers.  That’s it for this week, stay tuned, next week is Halloween and I’ll have several more Fangoria articles for you then!

If you want to see the previous 15 covers of Cavalcade Comics then check out the archive here.



Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2019: Richard Matheson on writing Jaws 3-D

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Fangoria, Halloween, holiday, magazine, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , on October 23, 2019 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2019

Richard Matheson is a ground breaking, extremely popular genre writer. He wrote the novel I Am Legend that was adapted into a film four times, one of which Matheson himself cowrote the screenplay. He also wrote many of the original Twilight Zone episodes as well as the novels that birthed the movies The Incredible Shrinking Man, Legend of Hell House, Real Steel, What Dreams May Come, Duel and The Box.

In Fangoria #31 (1983), they did an interview with Richard Matheson talking to him about writing the recent movies Jaws 3-D and Twilight Zone the Movie.  To be perfectly honest, I really like Jaws 3-D, and I had NO IDEA that Richard Matheson wrote the screenplay for it.  MIND. BLOWN.

Some of the Jaws 3 insights he gives in this article include that he likes writing the third movie in a series. You get to break away from the location of the previous two. He also said the studio forced him to use Brody’s sons, Michael and Sean, in the script. He originally had no intention of using any of the Brody family, which now, looking back on that movie, makes SO much sense. He also said the studio wanted him to make the shark in Jaws 3 the same shark that was electrocuted in the second movie! Wow. Glad cooler heads prevailed there. Lots of interesting info in this article including more insights into the writing of Twilight Zone, including why he thinks it didn’t do as well as they expected, and working with Spielberg on the movie Duel.



Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2019: The Forgotten Frankenstein and other lost cinema treasures

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Fangoria, Frankenstein, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, magazine, monsters, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2019 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2019

In Fangoria #2 (1979), there was an article about Universal’s Frankenstein. But it wasn’t about the Boris Karloff movie. It was about the original incarnation of the movie that starred Bela Lugosi as the monster.  It was called The Forgotten Frankenstein. 

It started the article with a picture of the original poster that proclaimed Bela Lugosi as the star (click images to make them BIGGER).

The article says the initial development for Frankenstein was done by Robert Florey and in his development Lugosi was to be Dr Frankenstein, not the monster. However, when his treatment was approved by the studio, they insisted Lugosi be the monster.

As Florey was writing the script they brought in Lugosi, Karloff and several other actors to do a fully costumed test reel. Florey says they shot and edited two reels of footage which included the full Jack Pierce makeup. Lugosi was offered the role, but turned it down exclaiming the tall lumbering mute was beneath him. Karloff was ultimately given the role and then Florey was dropped from the director chair and replaced by James Whale.  After this, all the test reel footage and some of the development for Florey’s version of Frankenstein were lost.

This article reminded me that there is a series of books on similar subjects written by Phillip J Riley, which you can find on Amazon.  The series includes original shooting scripts for a ton of early Universal movies as well as “alternate history” exposes on some of those movies including the Lugosi Frankenstein, the Lon Chaney Dracula, the Boris Karloff Invisible Man, the Karloff Return of Frankenstein and even one on the lost Chaney London after Midnight film.  Lots of fun alternate film history out there to read!



Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2019: Fangoria Movie Friday: Christine

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, books, Fangoria, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, magazine, movies, pop culture, Stephen King with tags , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2019 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2019

Every year around Halloween I try to fill in the gaps in my Stephen King reading. I’d read a bunch of his books back in high school and in college, but then I lapsed for a while. So a few years ago I decided around Halloween each year I’d pick up a book I hadn’t read of his and read it for the spooky season. Over the last 10 years or so I’ve read the uncut The Stand, The Talisman, Salem’s Lot, The Shining and Needful Things. This year, I decided to finally read Christine. And since I’m reading the book, I thought I’d watch the movie as well, seeing as how I’d never seen it.

book movie

I was always fascinated by the idea of the story and was eager to dig in. I read the book first. And the book is actually a lot longer than I was expecting. The copy I read had over 500 pages. It’s typical early King, long on setup. But once you get past the halfway mark, things amp up considerably.  But don’t take that as a disparaging remark to the first half.  The fact that King takes the time to set up the concept and we get to live with the characters a little while, it makes the events in the end really affect the reader.  You know and care about the characters, so the horrific events at the end hit you hard. Since King is playing the long game we really get to know Arnie and when the changes start coming you can really see it.  Little events build up to bigger events until it all snowballs in the end to, honestly, catastrophic results.  And I like the motivations and explanations of Christine here in the novel.

I really enjoyed Christine as a horror novel and a King novel.  Is it my favorite?  No, but I’m glad I read it.  The next King book I’m going to tackle will probably be The Dark Half.

So after reading the book, I watched the movie.  Directed by John Carpenter, who was originally supposed to direct an adaptation of King’s Firestarter a few years earlier but it fell through.  After reading the book, I was a bit disappointed with the slightness of the movie.  I get it, it only has like 2 hours to do what King did in 500+ pages, I totally acknowledge that.  Carpenter’s directing is pretty great.  The movie is shot fantastically.  The car looks awesome.  I love the burning car sequence.  It’s just so relentless and horrific looking.  Honestly, I’m a bit disappointed with how the movie answers the motivations of Christine.  It’s different than the book and it just feels so…bleh.  It was evil from the day it was made?  Really?  Huh.  I didn’t love that, but I really liked the kids in the movie and overall I’m happy with how it turned out, but not surprisingly, I prefer the book.

Fangoria did cover Christine a few times.  With several articles.  The movie got a cover story in Fangoria #32 in 1984.

Fango 32 cover Fango 32 article

King’s novel would get a review in Fango’s Nightmare library a few issues earlier, Fangoria #30, in 1983.

Christine novel review 1 Christine novel review 2

It’s a positive review, for the most part, but the author uses so many metaphors it’s tough to really say for sure.



Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.