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Things are crazy in Fangoland. Everyone is running somewhere in the days ahead, as work is pulling us all across North America in pursuit of various genre happenings or keeping our editorial panties in a knot. It seems like everything is coming to a head in the genre universe beginning Monday.
For one, our competition at the FANGORIA FrightFest officially ends on Monday. That’s our online competition where you got to select which of our eight Fango films (PIG HUNT, ROAD KILL, THE HAUNTING, FRAGILE, HUNGER, DARK HOUSE, GRIMM LOVE or THE TOMB), based on its trailer, will garner a theatrical release on July 30. At midnight, on July 20, we will announce the winner at Fangoria.com. Then everyone can see all eight Fango flicks when Blockbuster exclusively debuts them on August 6.
Where will I be when the news appears? In Montreal at the currently in-progress Fantasia film festival, which runs through July 28. Fantasia remains North America’s leading event dedicated to genre cinema, and this July marks the fest’s 14th edition. I’ve been attending the festival since year two, and I had such a good time back in 1997 that event president Pierre Corbeil hired me on the spot to serve as co-director of international programming. Yes, the job is as cool as it sounds. Hope you’ve been enjoying all the coverage on our site. And there will be a lot more coming: Fango editor Chris Alexander and managing editor Michael Gingold will be joining me there this weekend where we will all partake in the ultimate moviegoing orgy and report back on all the fun for the mag and web.
Meanwhile, contributing editor Sam Zimmerman and marketing director Bekah McKendry are heading out to the fanboy mecca known as the San Diego Comic-Con. Both will be filing news scoops and video from the floor starting Thursday, July 22. Go heckle them at the Fango booth, #1736. The gang will be hobnobbing with the LET ME IN, THE WALKING DEAD, PIRANHA 3D, THE LAST EXORCISM and DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK folks, to name a few. Kudos to fellow editor Allan Dart and intern Nick Masercola for holding down the fort at Fango’s Hell’s Kitchen sweatshop.
As you can see, it’s a busy summer, with more madness to come. So far, I have managed to read a couple of cool books that I’d like to alert you to:
SHOWGIRLS, TEEN WOLVES AND ASTRO ZOMBIES (It Books) by Michael Adams: Subtitled A FILM CRITIC’S YEAR-LONG QUEST TO FIND THE WORST MOVIE EVER MADE, Aussie journalist Adams tackles all the movies we love to hate. He wins my love by not only namechecking FANGORIA but by including comments by many of the awful filmmakers themselves (CORPSE GRINDERS’ Ted V. Mikels, GUNS OF EL CHUPACABRA’s Scott Shaw, HOWLING II’s Philippe Mora, etc), plus humorous commentary by the likes of Joe Dante, Leonard Maltin and John Landis. George A. Romero even contributes a foreword. This is a breezy, fun read that answers the question of why we sadomasochists will sit through even the worst movies.
PORTABLE GRINDHOUSE: THE LOST ART OF THE VHS BOX by Jacques Boyreau (Fantagraphics Books): Out since last Halloween, this handsome collection of early 1980s exploitation VHS box art is shaped like one of those old oversized clamshell cases. The all-color book collects the front and backs of many memorable cassette releases of that bygone era and will send you back to the days prowling dusty mom-and-pop video stores for your schlock fix. Those shops don’t exist anymore, nor do the companies like United Home Video, Media Home Entertainment, Supervideo, Paragon, Thriller Video, Camp Video, Regal, etc. who distributed such titles as LEGEND OF THE WOLF WOMAN, DEATH PROMISE, CRIMSON, VIDEO VIOLENCE, MONGREL and other cinematic obscurities featured here. You won’t learn anything about the movies, but who needs that when the rest of the book is such a nostalgic gas?
Fiction-wise, I also dug Sarah Langan’s creepy AUDREY’S DOOR (oh so ROSEMARY’S BABY!) and GHOST RADIO, Leopoldo Gout’s hallucinogenic horror show about haunted airwaves. Speaking of which, I originally wanted to spend this edition of Elegies celebrating what would have been FANGORIA RADIO’s fourth anniversary last month. As you may know, repeats of our weekly programs are still airing on Friday nights on Sirius XM satellite radio from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. EST. We still hope to bring FANGORIA RADIO back in the near future, but in the meantime, I thought I’d share the following partial transcript. When host Debbie Rochon and I welcomed actor and poet (!) Michael Madsen on the show, we found a cantankerous, grouchy and sarcastic person on the other end of the line. At the time of the “interview from hell,” we were mortified, even though it starts innocently enough. Since then, we’ve made “lemonade out of lemons” from the chilly exchange, and the Madsen soundbites have kept us in stitches in the months that followed. While I hit the road for Canada, enjoy reading the following snippet from the legendary exchange, one of FANGORIA RADIO’s many highlights. Back soon, gang.
DEBBIE ROCHON: Welcome to the show, Michael Madsen!
MICHAEL MADSEN: I’m eating spaghetti right now.
ROCHON: What kinda sauce?
MADSEN: Ranch dressing.
ROCHON: I love the fact that you dedicate your new poetry book AMERICAN BADASS to David Carradine. I’m a huge fan of his, too.
MADSEN: He was a great friend. Listen, if you’re 72 years old and can go out in a sexual mystery in Bangkok, how can you beat that?
ROCHON: I saw you with Tarantino on LARRY KING LIVE remembering Carradine.
MADSEN: He was supposed to call in, but then he showed up with the KUNG FU lunchbox. I could hardly get a word in edgewise.
TONY TIMPONE: Can you tell us about collaborating with Quentin Tarantino?
MADSEN: I improv a lot of stuff. He knows what I’m going to do and lets me. Look, it’s 10 o’clock at night, I’m sitting here eating spaghetti… What do you want me to do, sing?
TIMPONE: Why don’t you do some poetry, give us a short verse from your book!
MADSEN: Nah, nah, nah. That’s just not gonna happen.
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