Tag Archives: Starlog

Fangoria Interviews The Monster Squad!

10710926_10152738966882328_5146327273773526587_nShortly after I first saw The Monster Squad I discovered one of the magazine staples of my youth, Fangoria.  At the time, around 1987-88, there were no shops around me that carried magazine back issues and my parents weren’t keen on me ordering from the Fangoria back issue catalog, so I never got a chance to get a hold of any of the ones that had Monster Squad articles.  It wasn’t until I was in my late 20s and I managed to procure a rather large collection of the periodical that I finally got to sink my teeth into a handful of issues that covered my favorite film.  I thought it would be fun to share those articles today.  Also, this is the perfect opportunity to point to my friend Paxton’s Countdown this year as he’s spending the entire month celebrating that glorious horror magazine.  So head on over to the Cavalcade of Awesome and check out what Pax has in store.

First up today I have issue number 61 from February 1987 that features an interview with Fred Dekker on the set of Night of the Creeps.  Though the majority of the article focuses on Creeps, there are a couple of early tidbits about The Monster Squad and Dekker always makes for a great interview subject because of his no nonsense attitude and honesty.

Fangoria 61 Cover

Next up is issue number 66 from August of 1987, the month that Monster Squad hit theater screens.  This issue features another interview with Dekker and has some fun promotional and deleted scene stills.  You can also clearly see that Dekker was very unhappy with the management of Creeps by the production company and is so much happier now that he’s on the MS set and things seems to be going much better.

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The follow up issue, number 67 from September of 87 features another Squad article, though this one is a feature interview with Dekker’s co-writer on the film Shane Black.  There’s some fun insight into the writing process between the two of them in this article, and an explanation of the tone and presentation that their script takes (which is really fun to read and very unconventional.)  I also made the connection that the character of Detective Sapir is a reference to one of Black’s writing heroes Richard Sapir who co-created and wrote the Destroyer series of novels (with the character Remo Williams.)

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The last Fangoria article I have is from issue number 70 from January of 1988 and features and interview with Stan Winston’s crew of special effects artists.  The article is half about their work on Pumpkinhead, but the other half delves into their work on The Monster Squad.  Kinda fun to meet the guys behind the art…

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As a special bonus I also have an article from the September 1987 issue of Starlog (#122), which features an interview with Dracula himself, Duncan Regehr…

122 Starlog 1

Now for today’s trading card!

Monster Squad Wrapper

Since there was never any MS merchandise produced, specifically a Topps trading card set, I thought it would be fun to make a mini set of 80s-style digital trading cards for my favorite movie of all time. So come back each evening for Trick or Treats and collect them all!

Today’s card is #19, The Amulet!

19 Amulet F-B

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I’m basically still Chunk at heart

For the majority of my life I was, well, let’s say pretty husky.  As a very young kid I was actually pretty skinny, say up until I was six or seven, but starting with my family’s first big move across state, and then all over the east coast things got a little difficult for me and well for a bunch of reasons food became my comfort.  But I’m not really sitting down to write about that as much as describing an aspect that contributed to my personality as a kid.  Moving around a lot, overweight, and to be quite honest I was one hell of a weird kid.  My mom has always kept an unusual schedule, sleeping during the day when my sister and I were at school and my dad at work, and then staying up till all hours of the morning watching late night cable.  When she would go grocery shopping it was usually at one of the stores in the area that was open 24 hours and she liked to hit them up between 10:00pm to 12:00am to avoid a bunch of other customers and to basically have a stress free experience.  When she went on the weekends I’d tag along and wander around the vast empty store, browsing the toy aisle for 45 minutes talking to myself out loud and making mental lists of all the stuff I would ask for on my upcoming birthdays and Christmas.  From the outside I’m sure I appeared pretty damn weird, but I was fully aware of it and for the most part didn’t care how I looked or seemed to others.  I was entertaining myself and that’s all that mattered.

So when relating to characters from pop culture, it should come as no surprise that I’ve always felt that Chunk (Jeff Cohen) from the Goonies is more or less my spirit animal…

Goonies

I was never great at making friends though I always managed to, and when I did I tended to over compensate, exaggerate and be kind of a handful just like the loveable Lawrence.  In my defense Michael Jackson, nor his sister, ever came to my house to use the bathroom…but I saw Stephen King in a Maine bookstore once on vacation (sure I did…)  I wouldn’t say I was using the character as a role model, but I sure did feel his pain whenever he’d spaz out or make a fool of himself…

Chunk a Mess in ActionTruffle Shuffle

I also had a weird habit of wearing Halloween costumes was past the point of being “acceptable” for normal attire.  I mean I’d be hanging out in the house dressed up in my sweet ninja gear during Christmas or I’d be tooling around the neighborhood in my “G.I. Joe fatigues” and beret for instance…

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…so later on in life when I found out about Jeff Cohen’s penchant for waring weird and wacky headgear both on and off the set of Goonies, I totally related.  Part of it was that need to perform, part just trying to over compensate.

Jeff Cohen Hat Obsession

Anyway, this is all a lot of lead up to the fact that I just found this old back issue of Starlog magazine in a used bookshop this past week and I was overjoyed to see that it included an interview with Jeff Cohen (and Corey Feldman, but Jeff steals the show)!  Usually these articles only focused on the adult actors or crew, so it’s pretty rad to find one that was concentrating on the kids, but wasn’t fluff from an 80s teeny-bop magazine.  Hope everyone enjoys reading this as much as I did…

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Again, from the article Cohen has a quote about his character Chunk that really echos my childhood experience as a pseudo-Chunk…

“Chunk is too much, but he doesn’t care.  He likes it.  He doesn’t like being fat, but he likes having his own personality.  He’s a little bit flashy, wears plaid pants and a big Hawaiian shirt and struts around…he’s a klutz and a liar.  He lies to his friends, but nothing to hurt ‘em.”

Anyway, the interview is all over the place as both Feldman and Cohen are hyped up and excited, but I still think it’s a fun read and a great snapshot of these two actors in the prime of their Goonies experience.  So glad I found this…

Halloween Mask Madness, Day 31: Happy Halloween!

Alright Boils and Ghouls!  We’re finally here, Halloween is upon us and tonight lucky kids all over the country will be knocking on doors and stuffing pails, sacks, pillow cases, and bags with all sort of sugary goodness.  Tomorrow is set aside for a million tummy aches, but tonight there will be chocolate!  And fake blood.

For this last post of the season I’ve decided to share the longest single ad in my collection.  It comes from issue #117 of Fangoria which was printed in 1992.  Featuring witch boobies, corpses, devils, skeletons, silly masks, licensed masks, Aliens, Critters, demons, vampires, Frankenstein’s Monsters, gore, and 5, count ‘em, 5 different Jack-o-Lantern masks!  This is a crazy blowout sale ad from the folks at Distortions Unlimited, and I love it!

All told, I’ve shared in the neighborhood of 370 different masks from all sorts of companies, and that’s just a fraction of what was available between the late 70s through the early 90s.  I’ve been wanting to showcase these mask ads for awhile and it feels good to finally have them up on the site.  Now it’s time carve my 7th pumpkin of the season, watch a few more horror films, and kick back and wait for some trick-or-treaters to come by begging for candy.  Hope you all dug the countdown this year, and as always…

…if you’re looking for a ton of Halloween content all through the month of October, make sure to stop on by the official Countdown to Halloween site and check out the list of participating blogs for 2011.  You’ll be glad you did! Have a happy Halloween, and maybe tonight will be the night that the Great Pumpkin finally does show up…

Halloween Mask Madness, Day 30: The blood is the life…

We’re up to our second to last post for the Halloween season!  Today it’s all about Dracula.  Well, Francis Ford Coppola’s film version of the novel.  Actually, it’s really the effects team and designer’s interpretation of Dracula filtered through Morris Studios sculptors work.  Yeah, that’s the ticket…

This ad comes from issue #130 of Fangoria from 1994 and features 4 of the more gruesome and creepy iterations of Oldman’s Dracula character from the ’92 film.  Though Keanu Reeves is horribly miscast in the flick, it still holds up for its amazing in-camera effects work.  Seriously, go back and watch the film.  All those effects are in-freaking-camera.  That’s some pretty crazy Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind stuff going on in a Coppola film.  Bananas!

Anyway, come back tomorrow for more mask tomfoolery, and if you’re looking for a ton of Halloween content all through the month of October, make sure to stop on by the official Countdown to Halloween site and check out the list of participating blogs for 2011.  You’ll be glad you did!

Halloween Mask Madness, Day 29: Shhh, here’s some Cinema Secrets…

Just three days left until Halloween, and the beginning of the last weekend in the season.  Today brings the only Cinema Secrets advertisement of the countdown, which was ripped from issue #126 of Fangoria from 1993…

Lots of licensed masks in this one, with few variations thrown in for good measure.  Not sure why they even really bothered with Friday part 9 masks considering the way the movie plays out for the most part, but I’m sure there were undiscerning fans out there that wanted any sort of new Jason masks…

Anyway, come back tomorrow for more mask tomfoolery, and if you’re looking for a ton of Halloween content all through the month of October, make sure to stop on by the official Countdown to Halloween site and check out the list of participating blogs for 2011.  You’ll be glad you did!

Halloween Mask Madness, Day 28: Gardner Gimmicks!

Well, we’re up to the last Friday in the Countdown, as well as the last couple of Tony Gardner ads I was able to cull from two 1993 issues of Fangoria.  This one features some more Sam Raimi creations with two variations of Evil Ash from Army of Darkness

There’s also a lot of other gory masks featured, my favorites being Freaky Ralph and the exposed Darkman…

For the last Gardner ad I wanted to showcase in the countdown features something that I haven’t really tackled yet, gimmick masks…

Featuring masks within masks and a couple different inflatable scare gags, this ad reminds me the most of the huckstering days of the mail-away products from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  By far my favorite gag is the double masks with the flip-up faces revealing various grotesqueries underneath.

Anyway, come back tomorrow for more mask tomfoolery, and if you’re looking for a ton of Halloween content all through the month of October, make sure to stop on by the official Countdown to Halloween site and check out the list of participating blogs for 2011.  You’ll be glad you did!

Halloween Mask Madness, Day 27: The last Death…

It’s day 27. Only 4 more days until Halloween!  I hope everyone has their candy ready, their designs in place for this year’s Jack-o-Lanterns, and a pile of horror movies ready to watch.  I know I’ve been having an absolute blast this year doing my best to keep up with over 270 sites participating in the 2011 Countdown to Halloween.

Today I have my last Death Studios advertisement which I yanked from issue #115 of Fangoria published back in 1992.  Though this ad features a lot of repeat masks, there are a few news ones in the bunch that were well worth posting…

In particular I really dig the Xenophobe and the Danny the Bastard masks.  Both feature fun sculpts and a ton of detail.  I also love the sleek simplicity of the Skull mask in this ad…

Anyway, come back tomorrow for more mask tomfoolery, and if you’re looking for a ton of Halloween content all through the month of October, make sure to stop on by the official Countdown to Halloween site and check out the list of participating blogs for 2011.  You’ll be glad you did!

Halloween Mask Madness, Day 26: Gardner throwbacks…

We’re up top the last Wednesday in the Countdown this year, and today I’m featuring my third Tony Gardner ad, this time from issue #117 of Fangoria, published in 1992…

This one is fun because it’s a bit more on the classic side of things, and is sort of a throwback to the ads of the 50s and 60s featuring the Alterian Ghost Factory’s take on Frankenstein’s monster, Witch, Skull, Devil, Mummy and Werewolf masks.  Though the concepts may not be new, I do feel that the sculpts on these masks a interesting enough to easily set them apart from all of the other studios offering similar masks.  I’d have to say that my favorite out of this bunch is a toss up between the Skull and the Dirty ‘ol Man…

Anyway, come back tomorrow for more mask tomfoolery, and if you’re looking for a ton of Halloween content all through the month of October, make sure to stop on by the official Countdown to Halloween site and check out the list of participating blogs for 2011.  You’ll be glad you did!

Halloween Mask Madness, Day 25: Tony Gardner brings the gore!

Day 25 brings some more masks from Tony Gardner’s Alterian Studios/Ghost Factory.  With a nod that the design was specifically tailored to the desires of gorehounds, these masks upped the blood quotient for Gardner’s masks by 700%…

This ad comes from issue #117 of Fangoria, first published in 1992, and was still beating the drum for a little under appreciated superhero horror hybrid movie called Darkman.  If there was ever a film ripe for mask merchandise it has to be Darkman, what with all of the mask making in the actual film.  It was also an opportunity for an enterprising company like Gardner’s to produce a Bruce Campbell Final Shemp mask, though I doubt they ever did.  If nothing else I really dig how playful Gardner and crew get with the infusion of gore.  I love the Dinosaur and Brainstorm masks…

Anyway, come back tomorrow for more mask tomfoolery, and if you’re looking for a ton of Halloween content all through the month of October, make sure to stop on by the official Countdown to Halloween site and check out the list of participating blogs for 2011.  You’ll be glad you did!

Halloween Mask Madness, Day 24: Klowning around…

We’re up to day 24, and today I have my second to last Death Studios mask ad that was ripped from issue #105 of Fangoria, published in 1991…

This advertisement marks a bit of a departure for Death Studios in that they have a couple of officially licensed masks in the ranks, specifically the two Killer Klowns From Outer Space offerings up top.  I also really dig the Lon Chaney inspired London After Midnight mask on the second row.  One of these days I hope an intact print of that lost film surfaces.  There’s a version floating around with a bunch of stills from the set, but it’s just not the same.  As for the masks though, some of the other standouts for me were the Tricerotops, Bat Demon & Demon Vampire, as well as the Reptile and Upside-Down Head masks…

Anyway, come back tomorrow for more mask tomfoolery, and if you’re looking for a ton of Halloween content all through the month of October, make sure to stop on by the official Countdown to Halloween site and check out the list of participating blogs for 2011.  You’ll be glad you did!