I noticed a couple days ago that the Fangoria website was down. (You should check out their hilariously unprofessional new site) I was making the rounds and sending out press releases for the Splatcademy Awards and, naturally, wanted to hit them up with the info. I didn’t think much about it because, really, I don’t give a shit about Fango anymore. It has sucked for a long time and there’s no reason to pay the outrageous price tag for eighty pages of advertisements for shitty films.
Then today, Professor Bleak posted a link on our forum to a long behind-the-scenes, drama filled blog post about the implosion of Fangoria. No offense to that guy, because I totally believe him when he says he put in a lot of time and effort on Fango’s site…but Fango’s website sucked. I don’t know anything about web design but that thing was just brutal to look at. There was mindless shit everywhere and the interface was confusing. It was hard to find anything you wanted so I don’t have much sympathy when he gives his sob story of how the big mean “print” people looked down on him. Frankly, I’d be pretty embarrassed to put my name to it.
It just goes to show that no matter how petty and immature a lot of podcasters can get, drama exists on the highest planes of horror. We’re talking an actual business here, with employees and cash flow…and this kind of shit is going on? Wow. Ryan Rotten of Shock Till You Drop did a sort of “pro-Fango” editorial that certainly sees the glass as half full. You can tell the guy is good friends with Timpone and Gingold and that he doesn’t want to burn any bridges, but when is it time for some respected genre personality to say “Dudes, you totally ran this great franchise into the ground”? Where are the big filmmakers and industry fans that will put aside their need for cheap promotion for their latest shitty films to stand up and decry what has happened to Fango?
Everyone seems to agree that Fangoria sucks nowadays. Even supporters say it’s “lost its way”. Why does Fango suck? This is why. That cover alone is enough for me to totally accept that the Fango I knew and loved is dead. The day Twilight makes an appearance in Fango is the day the magazine should die. I’ve moved on and most of its readers have as well. We’ll still have fond memories, of course, but Timpone and company have succeeded in completely destroying the brand name that was once so effective (and has now been replaced by Rue Morgue, get over it HorrorHound readers). Who’s running this shit, Charles Band? The nail in Fangoria’s coffin was their refusal to embrace the internet and switch to a daily news machine that capitalized on its industry heavy name and contacts, and its refusal to change the magazine to a more commentary driven vehicle with a focus on smart, genre intensive articles. I’m not saying Fango should have turned into the Cahiers du Cinema of horror mags, but any idgit could see that you need to adapt and change relative to what is going on around you. Rue Morgue did that (though I personally feel they fail more than they suceed), Timpone decided that the name was really all that mattered and decided to put his focus on allowing the worst filmmakers ever a venue for their shitty movies. Frankly, Timpone and Gingold should have been fired years ago. Maybe they’re great guys in person, but they obviously can’t handle running a company and that should have been identified before any of this got this far.
Fangoria is dead. D. E. A. D. The name may hold some nostalgia for horror fans that grew up in the eighties, but now, who cares? That rag’s just a waste of good trees. Fango will never have a major web presence because now there are so many other sites that do the “daily news” thing and are so plugged into the industry that not only will they be years behind if they relaunch, but I can’t possibly see them offering anything of value, thus “taking” other well established sites’ readers. The only way the magazine comes back from the dead is if they take a year long break, fire Timpone and everyone else involved, put some actual thought into revamping and revitalizing what has become stale and unimportant, and most importantly, hire smart and intelligent horror writers. Believe it or not, if Fango took a break and put some effort into reinventing themselves, there are still plenty of horror fans out their that would jump at the chance to make this rag respectable again. Even if it’s only bi-monthly or quarterly.
This won’t happen, though. I’m sure Timpone will hold on to whatever he can just so he can continue getting pity sex from goth horror whores. The day Fangoria died was when it became so ridiculous and irrelevant that the people who grew up loving it just stopped caring. And that happened years ago.