Now, this is where things real­ly start cook­ing for this soon-to-be beloved insti­tu­tion.  For rea­sons out­lined in the essay on Fangoria #5, the forces-that-be allowed edi­tor Bob Martin to try out a more hor­ror-ori­ent­ed direc­tion in an attempt to bring in some much-need­ed prof­its.  Issue #6 was the maid­en voy­age for this approach and it yield­ed plen­ti­ful div­i­dends for gen­re fans.  The end result still has a few prob­lems and a cou­ple of vis­i­ble seams but it’s also a big step for­ward into pleas­ing­ly hor­ri­fic ter­ri­to­ry.

The cov­er inspires a bit of fear by trum­pet­ing an inter­view with Anthony Daniels, the actor who played C-3PO in the Star Wars films.  Thankfully, this fea­ture isn’t as dom­i­nant as the cov­er makes it seems and is pleas­ant enough read­ing (Daniels comes off nice­ly, show­ing a self-dep­re­cat­ing sense of charm).  It’s also worth not­ing that the sci-fi ele­ment this arti­cle rep­re­sents is a minor­i­ty-lev­el top­ic in this issue.  The only oth­er tru­ly sci-fi arti­cles in the issue are a piece on The Quatermass Conclusion that dou­bles as a thumb­nail his­to­ry of the Quatermass series and a short but infor­ma­tive overview of the Planet Of The Apes films.  Both are smart, suc­cinct and have enough crossover appeal to make them worth a read for the hor­ror brigade.

The rest of the mag­a­zine is dom­i­nat­ed by hor­ror arti­cles.  Bob Martin deliv­ers a trio of worth­while inter­views with Tom Savini, Sean Cunningham and Peter Medak.  The Savini inter­view, a fol­lowup to the suc­cess­ful inter­view from Fangoria #1, is intrigu­ing because Savini talks as much about his love of act­ing as he does make­up effects.  The Cunningham inter­view focus­es on Friday The 13th and he’s refresh­ing­ly hon­est about how the film bor­rows from Halloween and was designed to be a pop­corn-movie hit with the hor­ror crowd (lit­tle did he know how epoch-defin­ing his hum­ble effort would be).  The Medak inter­view was done to pro­mote The Changeling:  Medak freely admits he did the film to boost his com­mer­cial stand­ing and Martin gives the inter­view an art­ful frame by plac­ing the film in the con­text of Medak’s ear­lier, art­sier efforts.

And there’s plen­ty more inter­views where those came from.  Future schlock-film auteur Jim Wynorski makes his Fangoria debut by inter­view­ing make­up fx-whiz Rob Bottin.  It was done as Bottin was work­ing on Humanoids From The Deep and focus­es on his ear­ly years, includ­ing inter­est­ing stuff about his days as a pro­tégé to Rick Baker and how he fast-talked his way into being on cam­era in The Fog.  There’s also a fol­low-up inter­view with Caroline Munro in which she reveals how she was cast in Maniac and dis­cuss­es Luigi Cozzi-relat­ed projects that nev­er came to be.  Another fun read is Stanley Wiater’s cov­er­age of Stephen King and George Romero at a hor­ror con­ven­tion, in which they dis­cuss their desire to make a film of The Stand and offer their opin­ions on Prophecy(!).

Elsewhere, clas­sic hor­ror gets its due with a pair of wor­thy arti­cles.  The first is the ini­tial entry of a two-part inter­view with Vincent Price.  It focus­es on his work in A.I.P.‘s cycle of Edgar Allen Poe films and Price offers in-depth answers that yield many behind-the-sce­nes anec­dotes on work­ing with Roger Corman as well as some art­ful­ly-deliv­ered com­men­tary on the films them­selves.  The sec­ond clas­sic hor­ror arti­cle is a short but info-packed cap­sule his­to­ry of Hammer Films.  This fea­ture incor­po­rates a fold-out poster that uti­lizes lit­tle repro­duc­tions of clas­sic Hammer film posters.

On the down­side, there is a par­tic­u­lar­ly lame attempt to cre­ate a mag­a­zine mas­cot via a painful one-page comic strip abut a wacky comic-relief vam­pire called Count Fangor.  It mix­es sub–Groovie Ghoulies imagery with wince-induc­ing hor­ror-derived puns and wears out its wel­come before the first pan­el ends.  However, the Fantastic Art fea­ture is more inter­est­ing than usu­al, boast­ing illus­tra­tions of Bigfoot and top­less sea-sirens, and the Monster Invasion offers its usu­al diverse array of cap­sule-size news items, includ­ing bits on Mad Max, Scanners and Don’t Go In The House.  It also offers some news items on inter­est­ing projects that nev­er came to be, like a John Carpenter nuke-themed thriller called The Prometheus Crisis and t.v. series ver­sions of Alien and Salem’s Lot.

Overall, this was the best issue yet for the fledg­ling mag­a­zine.  The arti­cles are short­er and more plen­ti­ful, with each deliv­er­ing the goods in a punchy style, and the over­all writ­ing style has begun to coa­lesce into the mix of knowl­edge­abil­i­ty and atti­tude that would define the magazine’s glo­ry years.  Fangoria #6 rep­re­sents a con­fi­dent shift towards future ghoul­ish glo­ries and showed this mag­a­zine was ready to take on the won­drous tide of hor­ror films that would define the first half of the 1980’s.