What craziness would ensue if Bryan Fuller were put in charge of a magazine? Readers of Fangoria can find out when they peruse the new issue of the horror title, which is guest-edited by the gore-loving creator of Hannibal.
Fangoria editor-in-chief Chris Alexander talks about Fuller’s fondness for Fango, the contents of the issue, and why the recent cancelation of Hannibal makes the issue that much more timely.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, how did Bryan Fuller come to guest edit the new issue of Fangoria?
CHRIS ALEXANDER: First of all, in 36 years, we’ve never ever had a guest editor. I’ve thought about it, but the timing has to be there, and the level of commitment has to be there. I didn’t want it to be a stunt, where someone just sticks their name on it, and then you end up doing all the work.
Bascially, season 1 Hannibal, I ended up on set. He started talking about Fangoria-this, Fangoria-that. Someone said, “That guy edits Fangoria,” and Bryan just lost his mind. It was like watching a 12-year-old kid having some sort of sugar attack. I thought, “Okay, well this guy gets it.” Then he was following us on Twitter, and our web editor said something along the lines of, “It would be great to have you as a guest editor.” Bryan followed this up with emails [saying] “I totally want to do it.” So, I took the torch from there, and mapped out what I think is probably one the most bizarre and amazing issues that we’ve ever done.
What is in the issue?
Well, first and foremost, we put Hannibal on the cover. We said [to Bryan], “It has to be Hannibal on the front because you’re Hannibal.” [The cover image] is a beautiful piece of art, which is licensed from the good folks at Mondo, as a matter of fact. As soon as we saw that we said, “Well, that’s the one.” What you’ll get [inside the issue], is a really exclusive look behind the scenes at the production, some amazing interviews with the cast, guest directors like Neil Marshall, photos that you’ve never seen before — graphic ones at that. So that’s like, “Look, who’s steering the ship!” But then we veer off into really bizarre places.
Bryan’s tastes in horror are very esoteric, like my own. We both have a shared adoration for the Tony Scott vampire film, The Hunger. So we scrambled around looking for angles and we settled on a really bizarre point of entry, and that was Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy, who appears at the beginning of the movie, and pretty much defines the horror to follow with his “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” performance. So, we did this insane interview with Murphy — who’s never really talked about this — being on set and meeting Bowie for the first time, and just the insights of this young kid who’s at the top of his game in the music world suddenly being pushed into the world of Hollywood cinema.
We also have an article on “hagsploitation,” because Bryan is obsessed with that kind of grand dame, grand guignol stuff: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte. Stuff like that. Every single movie we could dig up that had some sort of aging Hollywood star pushed to the point where they had to be recast as psychos. It’s a five-page salute to hagsploitation. He also is obsessed with movies where nature bites back, so we have this crazy look at animals going insane, and murdering their owners, and nature revolting against man. A last-minute article he commissioned — one of his friends is terrified of home invasions, and has set his sights for some reason on the movie The Strangers, so it’s kind of a love letter and an appreciation of the Strangers and also a very personal, almost gonzo look at one man’s terror of being home alone. It’s just a very, very strange issue.
How hands-on was he in the editing process?
Some people might say, “Here are some suggestions, I’m cutting this network television show, go off and do it.” No way. He was completely onboard. I actually had a bit of a vacation the last couple of months because Bryan was 100%—right until this very day. I mean, he’s still emailing me nonstop. He’s completely hands-on. He had to approve every word, every design. There’s a salute to Christopher Lee in there. He didn’t like the design, we had to totally redo it based on his suggestions. Fango fans will love this issue because it’s a great, weird Fangoria issue. Fannibals are going to lose their minds.
What was your reaction when you heard Hannibal had been canceled before the issue hit newsstands?
We’ve been working on this for four or five months. As we were getting it all together a month ago, suddenly the guillotine falls. He knew the writing was on the wall — it was always touch-and-go whether or not [the show] was going to make it to the finish line, whatever that finish line is. Some people might have seen that as a detriment. I think it makes the issue much more vital. I think it’s much more exciting now, because the fanbase is up in arms, they’ve lit the torches, they’re storming the gates, they want this show to survive. I think it makes it much more timely.
The Brian Fuller-edited issue of Fangoria will ship to subscribers next week and to stores and newsstands in the first week of August.