My wonderful wife Judy takes very good care of me. For the last two Christmases, she's given me both a one-year subscription to the new FAMOUS MONSTERS magazine and a couple of nifty FM posters. We've framed and hung the Ray Harryhausen poster in the man cave but we have yet to get the Forrest J. Ackerman poster framed and hung. Maybe sometime this summer.
I enjoy reading the new FM. It has a good mix of material, covering old films, television shows and books, as well as current media, including comics. There's something of interest to me in each issue and while I prefer reading about the older, classic stuff, I can well appreciate the need to include coverage of what's new in the horror field in order to satisfy a diverse audience.
I received the latest issue, #280 (pictured above), in the mail this past Saturday and I finished reading it today. It's got a lot of interesting material. Let's take a look.
To begin with, there's a celebration of the 50th anniversary of GAMERA. I must confess, I've never seen a single Gamera film and I don't know that I have any real desire to ever do so but the articles are well-written. The character definitely has a devoted fan following. From giant, flying, fire-breathing turtles, we move to a retrospective of Robert Wise's masterpiece, THE HAUNTING (1963), which is truly one of the scariest movies ever made. Then, there's a nice look back at MAD MAX and THE ROAD WARRIOR (to tie in with the release of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD) along with an interview with Vernon Wells who played Wez in THE ROAD WARRIOR. There's a very brief piece about post-apocalyptic films, television shows and books which could have used some more space to fully explore the sub-genre and offer insight into why this stuff is so damn popular these days.
A nice article about FIRE CITY: INTERPRETER OF SIGNS, a new, independent horror film, follows. The people behind the film stress practical effects and make-up over CGI. Next, it's the 50th anniversary of another science fiction landmark, Frank Herbert's DUNE, a book which, I must confess, I've never read. To be honest, I really have never had any desire to read this book. Maybe I'm missing something truly magnificent but I just can't muster up the will to tackle it. I did see David Lynch's 1984 DUNE film. I didn't care for it. The issue wraps up with an interview with comic book writer Rick Remender and a sneak peek at BORNHOME, a new science fiction comic book published by Famous Monsters. The preview pages didn't make me want to buy the book unfortunately but I hope it does well. Just not my cup of tea.
All in all, it was a good read. A very mixed bag of articles with something to appeal to almost every horror fan. And you've got to love a magazine that can pay tribute to both Gamera and DUNE in the same issue!