Fangoria is kind of like the Ramones of horror magazines. Fun, funny, influential, and completely accessible, their interviewers asked pertinent questions and the images were filled with gore, suspense, and wit. Every horror fan has at least one copy that they show – and probably a bunch buried somewhere. Quentin Tarantino has boxes of copies, I’m sure. Most covered in some kind of protective plastic like he’s preserving a dead Pharaoh for a movie he’ll never get around to making. But Fangoria lives.
Cinestate, Dallas-based entertainment company founded by movie producer Dallas Sonnier (Bone Tomahawk, Brawl In Cell Block 99) has purchased the magazine. They are set to restore it to its glory days as a print publication. Fangoria had previously ceased operations in early 2017.
The revived Fangoria will have a new Editor-in-Chief, film writer Phil Nobile Jr., who was Editor-At-Large for the website Birth.Movies.Death. Noble was a writer/producer for Stage 3 Productions in Philadelphia, where he created a feature-length documentary on John Carpenter’s Halloween. Nobile will also act as the Creative Director for the entire Fangoria brand.
“There needs to be a Fangoria,” says Nobile. “The magazine was a constant presence in the genre since 1979 – and then one day it was gone. That felt, to us, tragically incorrect. Fango was, for multiple generations, a privileged window into the world of horror. It gave us access to filmmakers’ processes and secrets, opened our eyes to movies we might have otherwise missed, and nurtured a wave of talent that’s out there driving the genre today. I’m proud and excited to be part of the team that’s bringing this institution back.”
At the height of its popularity, Fangoria was the most renowned horror publication in the world. Before the internet, this magazine was the place to go for exclusive interviews with horror filmmakers, behind-the-scenes photos, and stories that weren’t covered in other movie magazines because they weren’t dedicated to the art of horror. Cinestate CEO Dallas Sonnier courted the previous publisher Thomas DeFeo’s The Brooklyn Company for several months to get the assets and trademarks of the Fangoria brand, including the magazine.
“We have also been reaching out to previous Fangoria contributors to introduce ourselves and invite them back into the tent for future collaborations. This is a process, but we are confident in our ability to earn back trust and be good partners in a brand that personally means so much to so many awesome people,” states Sonnier.
Former editors Tony Timpone and Michael Gingold will return to Fangoria as consultants, and will contribute regular columns. Other contributors include S. Craig Zahler (Brawl in Cell Block 99), Ashlee Blackwell (Graveyard Shift Sisters), Samuel Zimmerman (Curator, Shudder), Grady Hendrix (PAPERBACKS FROM HELL), former Birth.Movies.Death editorial director Meredith Borders, horror historian Rebekah McKendry, and Preston Fassel (the upcoming Our Lady of the Inferno).
A full staff is in place and operating from the Cinestate offices in Dallas. Zack Parker, formerly of Shudder, joins Fangoria as the Director of Brand Management, along with Jessica Safavimehr as Associate Publisher and Ashley Detmering as Art Director. Nobile will be based out of New Jersey.
Cinestate controls all material from over 300 issues of Fangoria Magazine, spanning the past 39 years. They also control the contents of the now-infamous Fangoria storage unit in New York, and the assets and trademarks to out-of-print publications Starlog and Gorezone.
“When I read Fangoria as a kid, it was a special ritual. I had to save up for it, and then I had to find it. And bringing it home ten times a year became a kind of sacrament, poring over every photograph on every page, reading that whole thing front to back, then doing it again,” Nobile said in a statement.
“We want to restore that analog thrill to readers. We want to duplicate the excitement that I remember bubbling up around a new issue of Fango, put that excitement in an envelope and mail it to our subscribers. Fangoria is not something that competes with online blogs. Fangoria is not an algorithm. Fangoria is something you hold in your hands, something you spend a bit of time with in the real world. That’s what it was for decades, and that’s what we’re going to make it again.”
Cinestate will further develop Fangoria into a brand for producing movies and podcasts, as well as publishing horror novels.
Cinestate is currently in post on a gonzo reimagining of the Puppet Master franchise, as well as Zahler’s next movie Dragged Across Concrete for Lionsgate starring Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn. Cinestate also published its first novel in January – Zahler’s Hug Chickenpenny: The Panegyric Of An Anomalous Child, which is being developed into a feature by Zahler, Cinestate and the Jim Henson Company.