Fangoria has risen from the dead just like the invincible boogeyman that graces its new cover. “The world’s best horror and cult magazine since 1979” has been revived just in time for Halloween, the David Gordon Green reboot and the Oct. 31 holiday.
After shutting down in 2015, Fangoria was bought by Dallas-based Cinestate last February. The horror fan favorite has been reborn as a 100-page, high-gloss quarterly built to please younger Blumhouse fanatics who have never had a magazine subscription as well as the black T-shirted diehards who have a stack of vintage issues buried in their closet.
We chatted with Natasha Pascetta, Fangoria Director of Digital Production & Social Media Engagement, about the daunting task of reviving the iconic brand, how the demise of print has been greatly exaggerated, and why horror is enjoying a renaissance.
Mandatory: All you hear now is how print is dead. Why bring Fangoria back now?
Natasha Pascetta: We were actually just at the printer picking up our first edition (out now) and the printer told us that the last five years have been his best. The magazine will only be available in print so you’re going to get that same feeling when you’re waiting with anticipation to get it in the mail or going to the store to buy it because you won’t find it online.
That’s ironic considering you’re the head of Fangoria’s social media.
(Laughs).People still want that tangible experience of holding something in their hands. Seriously, it’s such a relief to put my phone down at night and dive into the written word. I remember as a little girl my dad would take me to Barnes and Noble on a Friday night. He would go to the automotive section and I would always grab Fangoria. I was like ‘gore!’
Why do you think Fangoria has that cult-like following?
Horror fans are never satisfied with just watching the movie. We want to know everything: how those creatures were brought to life, how they made that color of blood…
How do you walk that fine line between satisfying the old Fangoria readers and bringing in a new fan base that you will need to support the magazine?
We struck an amazing balance between legacy and modernity. Although we’re bringing it back in the way it began in 1979 (it’s only available in print), we didn’t want to rehash Phantasm over and over again. There’s a lot of new things to celebrate in horror. Sure, there will be deep dive retrospectives on the beloved older films, but we want to find and showcase the next (would be) Phantasm.
Tell us what fans can expect from the new Fangoria?
It’s a familiar experience, but on steroids (laughs). We really wanted to keep some things, but we also upgraded. We have talented fresh voices, some old ones coming back as well. Our Editor-in-Chief Phil Nobile Jr. is fantastic. I don’t know anyone in the world who knows more about Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, Puppetmaster, You’re Next) is amazing. She’s the person who brought a generation of people into horror. Working with her has been a dream come true.
You’re also launching Fangoria as an entertainment brand?
We aren’t stopping at the magazine, but it is our priority. We needed to honor it by getting it right before we did anything else. We’re fans of the written word so why stop? We just released two novels: “Our Lady of the Inferno” by Preston Fassel and “My Pet Serial Killer by Michael J Seidlinger.
You’re also doing movies? We’re big fans of Jenny Pellicer who is in the new Puppetmaster.
Puppetmaster: The Littlest Reich is Fangoria Presents first film (now out on VOD, DVD). Jenny is great in it. Now, we’re gearing up for production on Satanic Panic with a script from Grady Hendrix.
The timing of Fangoria’s relaunch is perfectly timed with the big horror resurgence. Why do you think the genre is flourishing again?
Horror is a form of escapism. We’re allowed to feel things that we may not want to reveal. Whether it’s a response to the political atmosphere or society’s turmoil when things aren’t going as planned. The horror genre picks up on these feelings and turns it into a universal story.
You can order Fangoria (HERE) or pick it up at selected stores.