LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Exclusive Interview with Tony Timpone, Editor of Fangoria Magazine
By James Whittington, Thursday 29th June 2006 Tony Timpone is the longtime editor of the world’s longest running horror magazine, Fangoria. Here, in this exclusive interview with Zone Horror's resident host Jason Jones, he discusses his inspirations, his thoughts on today’s cinema and plans for the future.
JJ: What started your appreciation of the horror genre? Did you see a certain movie when you were younger that sparked off your affection for them? (For me it was Hammer's Dracula when I was 7)
TT: The original KING KONG sparked my interest in the fantastique, followed by a steady diet of Japanese giant monster movies, classic Universal monster flicks, AIP drive-in fare, etc.
JJ: Did you read horror comics as a kid?
TT: Yes, I read many Marvel comic book titles. Horror favorites were WEREWOLF BY NIGHT and MAN-THING. But I dug the superheroes more: SPIDER-MAN, SILVER SURFER, FANTASTIC FOUR, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, etc.
JJ: Fangoria has been going for such a long time (since 1979) and you've been there for quite sometime. How did the magazine come about in the first place and how do you keep your enthusiasm up after all this time?
TT: I joined the company in 1985 when Fango had just reached issue #48. FANGORIA began life as sort of an annex for sister publication STARLOG, which catered to the sci-fi set. Fango inherited all the articles that were not a good fit for STARLOG: Godzilla movies, gory FX, slasher films, monsters, etc. Now, over 200 issues later (!), yes, I still find the job exciting and fun. I can’t imagine leaving. I get to be a kid every day. I’ve always loved these kinds of movies, so editing FANGORIA and working on our sideline projects allows me the opportunity to wallow in them.
JJ: How much has the magazine changed over the years?
TT: It has changed tremendously, especially design-wise. We have more pages, we’re all color, better paper, you name it. The computer age has also made assembling the magazine easier than in 1979 where everything was done by hand almost. We also have more content than ever before because more people in Hollywood and around the world have taken horror mainstream. Everyone’s making horror films, and it’s Fango’s job to report on each one.
JJ: The first issue I came across was number 39, a time when the TV show "V" was hitting TV screen s across the globe. I was shocked but overjoyed to read a magazine that dared to show blood and gore, did you ever have problems with the magazines content or its glorious covers?
TT: No, I have always reveled in Fango’s choice of cover ghouls and its politically incorrect content.
JJ: Have you ever had to censor yourself for the overseas markets and has there been any country that has refused to stock Fangoria?
TT: I have never censored Fango for the overseas market. Sometimes I won’t run a photo if it’s too gross, but only rarely, and usually it’s because the shot looks phony. Fango (and late sister publication GOREZONE) had issues pulled in the UK and Canada back in the ’80s, and we even sparked PM Margaret Thatcher’s ire once. In Parliament, she reportedly held up a copy of Fango and exclaimed, “This is something children should not see!”
JJ: You released Gorezone magazine in 1988 which seemed to be Fangoria taken to the next level as some of the pictures were more graphic. How much were you involved with it and if so, were you saddened by its short shelf life (I recall it was 26 issues as that's all I could get hold of!)?
TT: I edited GOREZONE from issue #1. Yes, we tried to make it more extreme than Fango and cover more indie films. Our publisher launched the mag to squash any competition on the newsstands, and we did. It was a fun run. We folded the mag in 1993 to concentrate on making Fango bigger and better. I miss GOREZONE, but I don’t miss the extra work.
JJ: Has there been any Fangoria spin off's that haven't made it past the drawing board?
TT: At one point we almost did a FANGO JUNIOR, for the young adult/GOOSEBUMPS set. Thank God it never got published!
JJ: Is there one article or feature you're most proud of?
TT: That’s tough. It’s more favorite issues, like marker editions #100, 200 and the 25th anniversary special. I’m very proud of my recent George Romero interview in Fango #250, and the multipart articles on the American Film Market that I wrote for Fangoria.com.
JJ: Where do you stand on Hollywood's over reliance on remakes (or as they call it "re-imagining" of old classics such as The Fog) and what's your honest opinion on the PG-13 run of horror movies?
TT: Some remakes work, like DAWN OF THE DEAD and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, because they went off in different directions. Others are complete wastes of time, like THE AMITYVILLE HORROR and THE FOG reduxes. There have been some effective PG and PG-13 horror films, going all the way back to JAWS in 1975. You don’t need gore and foul language to make a movie scary. It’s all in the story, characters and suspense. But filmmakers shouldn’t censor themselves for a rating.
JJ: What do you think of other horror magazines such as Rue-Morgue and Dark Side?
TT: I’m too busy with my own thing to read the other mags, but I do like the folks over at RUE MORGUE.
JJ: You served as a producer on Bravo's 5-hour documentary series THE 100 SCARIEST MOVIE MOMENTS and helped guide the first three Fango flicks for Columbia Tri-Star Home Video: MINDWARP (starring Bruce Campbell and Angus Scrimm), CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT (with Karen Black and Ami Dolenz) and SEVERED TIES (with Oliver Reed and Elke Sommer). How did you get involved with all these productions?
TT: On THE 100 SCARIEST MOVIE MOMENTS, Kaufman Films needed a “horror guy” to get them connected with the folks in the horror industry. So I came on board and tracked down and interviewed most of the scream greats for the series. It was a wonderful, year-long experience. On the three Fango feature films, I was a consultant because the movies were produced largely out of our New York offices, and I could offer suggestions on scripts, talent, etc.
JJ: Would you like to get into movie making production fulltime?
TT: Maybe. I enjoy producing. But I love editing the magazine too. I want to continue doing both.
JJ: You'll get asked this all the time but do you still experience scares and thrills after all this time whilst watching horror movies?
TT: Yes, but not often. But I can get scared or startled like anyone else. I was squirming with the audience during KING KONG’s over-the-top pit scene the other night.
JJ: Is there one horror writer, filmmaker or star you still wish to interview or feature?
TT: We’ve gotten them all over the years. I’d love to meet Robert De Niro and Clint Eastwood some day, so I hope they have some fright flicks in their future.
JJ: So what does the future hold for Fangoria and for Anthony Timpone himself?
TT: We closed FANGORIA #250 not long ago, which continues to mark a milestone for the publication. FANGORIA is the longest-running horror publication in history. For the most part, we will continue to do what we have been doing for 26 years. We also want to continue making Fangoria.com bigger and better, with more news, special features and interactivity. We hope to have a major redesign launched in 2006. I want our conventions to grow more, expanding in more U.S. cities and enter overseas countries like the UK. With FANGORIA TV, the goal is to start with streaming it live over the web, then going after cable. We are also “sneaking” our programs on Monsters HD. The show I’m most proud of is SCREAMOGRAPHY, which is our BIOGRAPHY-style series. Some of the celebs I’ve interviewed for SCREAMOGRAPHY include Sean Cunningham, Joe Dante, David J. Schow, Robert Englund and many others. I want to continue working on that show, as well as grow with the company as we begin producing movies again in 2006. In addition, on June 23 we launched FANGORIA Radio (www.fangoriaradio.com), which airs on Fridays nights on Sirius Satellite Radio, channel 102. This 3-hour horror entertainment program, hosted by Dee Snider and Debbie Rochon, unites fright fans from all over the world.
JJ: What's your perfect Friday night pizza and horror movie combination?
TT: Lately it has been episodes of MASTERS OF HORROR and NY’s best pizza, DiFara’s in Midwood. Yum!
JJ:Tony Timpone, thank you very much
Posted on Tuesday 18th February 2020
Ahead of the UK premiere of serial killer thriller Anderson Falls at Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020, director Julien Seri reflects on this, his first 'American' experience, challenging fight scenes and the importance of personal vision.
It has been five years since we premiered Night Fare at FrightFest London, what have you been up to since then?
JS: I worked on two, very singular, projects as a producer and/or director. I signed for both with Wild Bunch, but we've failed to produce them yet. So I keep fighting. And I did a lot of commercials, TV series and music videos.
When did you first hear about the Anderson Falls script and why did you think it was perfect for yo...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Adam Stovall, director of A Ghost Waits
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020
Ahead of the World premiere of A Ghost Waits at Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020, director Adam Stovall reflects on getting through depression, creating paranormal romance and the influence of Tom Waits...
You have an interesting CV - from comedy theatre and film journalism to writing for The Hollywood Reporter and second assistant directing. Was all this a game plan to becoming a fully-fledged director?
AS: I've known since I was a little kid sitting in the basement watching the network TV premiere of Back To The Future while holding my Back To The Future storybook and waiting for them to premiere the first footage from Back To The Future 2 during a commercial br...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Simeon Halligan, director of Habit
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020
Simeon Halligan is one of the busiest people working in the industry today. Writer, director, producer, director of celebrated film festival Grimmfest, in fact the list goes on.
His latest film is the neon tinged, blood-splattered masterpiece Habit which is showing on Horror February 14th so we thought we should get the story on how he brought this shocker to the big screen.
HC: When did you first become aware of the book by Stephen McGeagh to which Habit is based?
SH: I read the book a couple of years back and really liked it. A combination of gritty realism and dark fantasy; set within a very recognisable Manchester. There's a juxtaposition in the book; from a kind of soc...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Jackson Stewart, director of Beyond The Gates
Posted on Wednesday 22nd January 2020
Jack Stewart's sublime retro horror Beyond the Gates was recently shown on Horror. Jackson is one of the strongest creatives around at the moment but he took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about this contemporary classic and his future movie plans.
HC: Was there one film that you saw growing up which gave you the idea that you wanted to work in the film industry?
JS: There were definitely a number of them; I think the ones that stick out strongest in my memory were Temple Of Doom, Batman '89, Nightmare On Elm Street 4, Raising Arizona, Back To The Future, Marnie, Army Of Darkness, The Frighteners and Dirty Harry. All of them had a big emotional impact on me. Dirty Har...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with acclaimed author Shaun Hutson
Posted on Friday 20th December 2019
The British horror legend Shaun Hutson is back with Testament, a new novel featuring one of his fans most loved characters, Sean Doyle so we decided to catch up with this talented chap about his acclaimed work.
HC: Was there one author who inspired you to become a writer?
SH: My inspirations were always and still are cinematic if I'm honest. Even when I first started writing my influences and inspirations came from things like Hammer films, from TV series like The Avengers (with Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee) and from old Universal horror films. I read the Pan Books of Horror Stories when I was a kid and I think they were probably the first "literary" influences I ever had. I also read lo...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Tyler MacIntyre, director of Patchwork
Posted on Thursday 12th December 2019 On the eve of Horror Channel's UK TV premiere of Patchwork on December 14th, director Tyler MacIntyre reflects on body image issues. twisting audience expectations and his admiration for current female genre directors.
HC: Patchwork finally gets its UK TV premiere on Horror Channel. Excited or what?
TM: Relieved actually. It's been a long time coming. The third screening of the film ever happened at FrightFest in Glasgow and since then I've had people asking me when it was going to come out. The UK genre fans are among the most diehard in the world, so I'm very excited to finally have it available for them.
HC: You were in attendance when Patchwork, your directorial feature debut, rece...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with James Moran, writer of Tower Block
Posted on Monday 25th November 2019
Writer James Moran is about to do what few other writers have done in the past, the Horror Channel Triple! He is one of the few creatives who has had three of his movies play on the channel; Cockneys Vs Zombies, Severance and now Tower Block which is playing on November 29th. So, we decided to chat to this talented chap about this superior thriller and the rest of his career.
HC: Your first movie, Severance is a huge favourite with Horror Channel viewers, were you ever tempted to pen a sequel?
JM: Thank you, I'm really glad that people can still discover it with every new screening. Everybody wanted to do a sequel, we actually had several meetings about it. Nothing came of it, they carried on with...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Gary Dauberman, writer and director of Annabelle Comes Home
Posted on Saturday 23rd November 2019
Gary Dauberman has been the scriptwriter for some of the most successful horror movies of the last few years including IT: Parts 1 and 2, Annabelle and The Nun. His latest movie, Annabelle Comes Home which is also his directorial debut, has just been released onto DVD and Blu-ray. We caught up with this talented chap about his career to date.
HC: What was it about the horror genre that grabbed your imagination and made you want to become a writer?
GD: The earliest movie going experience I can remember was my parents taking me to Raiders of the Lost Ark and I was 4 or 5 or something and I had to sleep with them for a week, you know the opening up of The Ark and the face melting, a rea...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Cameron Macgowan, director of Red Letter Day
Posted on Friday 1st November 2019
FrightFest 2019 exposed a lot of new talent in the movie industry and one of the stand-out pieces was Red Letter Day from Cameron Macgowan.
HC: Where did the idea for Red Letter Day come from and did it take long to write?
CM: I have long been a fan of the 'Humans Hunting Humans' subgenre of film (Battle Royale, The Running Man, Hard Target, etc.) and was inspired to set one of these films in what many people consider the 'safe' location of the suburbs. Suburban communities feel like the perfect setting for a horror film as you can walk for miles without seeing a single soul all while knowing that you are surrounded by many people. This mixed with a desire to satirise the current socio-political climate ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Carlo Mirabella-Davis, director of Swallow
Posted on Wednesday 30th October 2019
Ahead of the UK premiere of Swallow at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween, director Carlo Mirabella-Davis reflects on the personal inspiration behind his feature debut, healing psychological wounds and his empathy for the genre.
HC: Swallow is your directorial debut. How difficult was it to get the project off the ground?
CMD: Getting a film made is a fascinating process. My late, great teacher at NYU, Bill Reilly, would always say "script is coin of the realm". The early stages involved perfecting the screenplay as much as I could, writing and rewriting until I felt confident sending it out. The sacred bond between the producer and the director is the catalyst that brings a film into being. I ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Paul Davis, director of Uncanny Annie
Posted on Wednesday 16th October 2019
Ahead of the International premiere of Uncanny Annie at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween 2019, director Paul Davis reflects on working for Blumhouse, bemoans attitudes to British genre film funding and reveals the movies that inspire him the most...
HC: Tell us how Uncanny Annie came about?
PD: Uncanny Annie is my second movie for Blumhouse as part of Hulu's Into The Dark movie series. I had the opportunity to actually kick off last October with a feature adaptation of my short film The Body (which had its world premiere at FF in 2013). The concept was to release a movie a month, for twelve months, with each revolving around a holiday or particular day for the month of its released. With The Bod...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Lars Klevberg, director of Child's Play (2019)
Posted on Thursday 10th October 2019 It was the remake everyone was against! The interweb was ablaze with negativity but director Lars Klevberg and his team managed to pull off one of the best horror movies of 2019. Here he chats about the smart shocker, Child's Play.
HC: How nervous were you taking on a re-imagining of such a beloved concept and franchise?
LK: I was in fact very nervous the minute I signed on to do the movie. Before that, I worked relentlessly for weeks to get the job, but immediately after getting it my body had a very stressful reaction. I was fully aware of the legacy I was about to re-open so, I didn't sleep one minute that night.
HC: W...SHARE: READ MORE Interviews Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Sunday 1st March
Friday 28th February
Saturday 29th February