Seeing this magazine cover in 1975 was like taking in a movie-marathon’s worth of vampiric terrors in one heart-stopping moment.
Of course, I pleaded for its release from the shelf.
Of course, I fed my thirst for monster lore from its horrors pulsing through the black and white pages.
Of course, I guard it to this day, kept it in cardboard coffins, deep in our basement crypt.
Recently unearthed while relocating my aforementioned cemetery of old books, the memories pumped feverishly in my head, forcing me to sit back and relive the blessed nightmares of those movies nights, filled mostly with Hammer pictures.
Seen, appropriately, past dusk at a too-young age, these celluloid tales informed on the proper way to be terrified by the suave and occasionally-fanged undead.
Mixed with Peter Cushing, his reanimated corpses and a heart-wrenching thriller featuring a wolfish Oliver Reed, our local TV channel’s marathon of red-eyed or busty vampires took viewers on a dark and unforgettable night of memorable savagery – and continued to do so for several years onward.
Monster Fantasy was one of a myriad of magazine titles (this one ran a mere four issues) devoted to the film world of horror. Its content made me realize how a great story can be retold countless times with just the right mixture of talent onscreen and behind the lenses.
A mere glance at the index page and you are beckoned, helpless to resist, inside its covers.
The presence of monster mags in days of print and airwaves helped keep the appreciation for classic monsters alive. And inside bookstores in the 70s, once our inner child finished contemplating the goofy and the heroic characters posing in comic book spinner racks, our inner horror fan took in the marvellously monstrous and finely-detailed covers on the magazine shelves, and suddenly the grown-up world’s crazy oscillation between comedy and terror just made more sense.
And you’d prepare yourself for the next horror movie marathon.
Other days the keys are locked in the castle.
But the next day is just a reset switch away.
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