20 years ago, an entity of severe malevolence was put to rest. After terrorizing newsstands and magazine racks for 5 years, its reign of terror was slit from ear to ear, without warning and without mourning. As quick as it came, it was just as quickly ended, dumped into the publishing graveyard, buried by time to allow children to once again sleep soundly without fear of what may be under the bed due to what was under its cover and in its pages.
Or so we thought.
Now we have learned that it has spent those 20 years resting, planning, biding its time until the perfect moment of resurrection when the stars align, a lightning storm brews, and an editor strikes at its dead heart to rejuvenate it for another run.
That’s right, horror fanatics. FANGORIA magazine’s offspring, GOREZONE, is returning.
The late 70s and early 80s were good years for the horror genre. Michael Meyers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Kreuger became the new generation of movie monsters, dethroning classic killers like Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, and Frankenstein’s monster. Make-up and special effects using latex and gore had evolved enough to make the work of Italian splatter kings like Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci seem like the norm rather than cutting-edge.
Horror became so big in the 80s that cult films were as respected as their mainstream counterparts in the eyes of horror fans. For every Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre film there were Sleepaway Camp, Slumber Party Massacre, and Blood Diner films.
In an effort to educate the onslaught of horror fans that were born of that decade, FANGORIA began its publication in 1979, featuring filmmakers, FX artists, and the movies that they helped create. It became such a popular publication that FANGORIA had a decision to make later on in that decade: double the size of the mag, or specialize. They chose the latter and, in 1988, GOREZONE was born. With a secondary publication, FANGORIA could focus on the more popular releases of horror, while GOREZONE would gratify the appetites of horror fans more off the beaten, bloodier path.
Unfortunately, the horror craze slowed down in the 90s. Popular horror movies engulfed the smaller independent projects. Camp was not only reserved for underground horror, but bigger-budget horror as well. GOREZONE lost its identity, and became more and more just a second version of FANGORIA, until it’s cancellation in 1993.
Chris Alexander, current Editor-In-Chief of FANGORIA and a revitalized GOREZONE, confirmed our theories as to why GOREZONE disappeared:
“For myriad reasons…as the mag progressed, they were somewhat competing with themselves, ultimately. The landscape was changing. The times were different. Horror in the 90’s wasn’t what it was in the 80’s. Gore and splatter weren’t as in vogue…or dangerous. So GZ was becoming simply FANGO redux. So why bother running two FANGO’s at once?”
This fact was all too true. Gore was slowly pushed aside for more suspenseful horror. Wes Craven’s Scream series helped push horror into a more realistic light. The ghost and exorcism themes of horror movies quickly followed.
Then, the zombies returned. Films like 28 Days Later and Dawn of the Dead called for more gore in special effects like only rotting corpses could. At the same time, technology was booming to the point that making a low-budget movie look better than most B movies from the 80s was easier. The small, ravenous cult of gore hounds did not have to wait any longer for the next splatter movie to come. They could make their own. A new breed of underground horror, pushed on by social media, became a new, beautiful segment of the horror genre. New films were being created while old films seemingly lost on VHS movie rental shelves were resurrected by DVD and Bluray.
This change caught the attention of FANGORIA’s Chris Alexander, who began the clear the dirt off of the abandoned GOREZONE. In 2011, Alexander released “The Bloody Best of GOREZONE,” a one-shot anthology of the magazine to see how the public responded. It sold out as fast as it could be put on horror convention tables, and prompted fans to beg for the magazine true, bi-monthly return.
Chris Alexander obliged. GOREZONE is returning.
“This GZ is a different beast. It is smaller, darker, speaks to the fans and has no concerns over newsstand sales or conventions. A much edgier ride…and a collector’s item as each issue will be printed in limited runs…a bigger, bloodier, dirtier fanzine in fact.”
This limited run of 2000 subscriptions begins now, as GOREZONE #28 is slated for release in September of 2013. The subscription sign-up, however, is active now until July 15th. Act fast. Your survival may depend on it.