An Interview with Fangoria Editor Tony Timpone
by Gary Schultz
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This is an exciting afternoon, because I’m about to talk with Tony Timpone, the editor of Fangoria Magazine. For those of you who have lived in a hole your entire life, Fangoria—known as Fango to the insider horror fans—is the most important horror publication of the last 25 years. Fangoria has an amazing website that is updated daily, and a magazine that always showcases the best interviews and behind-the-scenes coverage of just about every horror film of significance being made. This is my interview with Tony Timpone, the main man behind the scenes, who polishes all the chainsaws and keeps all the monsters at bay.
Gary Schultz: Tony Timpone, you are the long-time editor of the number-one most important horror publication in the world, Fangoria. This, among dozens of other things you have been involved in. Tony, let me say it’s a pleasure talking to you.
Tony Timpone: Thank you. Thanks.
GS: You guys seem insanely busy over at the Fangoria website. There’s so much going on, I can’t keep track of it all.
TT: Yeah, neither can I.
GS: For the unknowing public, what exactly is Fangoria TV?
TT: Fangoria TV is our broadband horror network, where fans can watch new programming we produce ourselves, which really sets us apart from other broadband horror networks out there. We’re producing documentaries, preview shows, review shows, our own reality programs like Ghost Stories, and we also show classic films, as well, from our archives.
GS: Can you tell us a little more about the original programming you guys are producing?
TT: Sure, some of the original programming includes Screamography, which is our interview series. It’s our Biography, in a sense. That’s where we interview the greatest names in horror. All the masters like Wes Craven, John Carpenter, George Romero, Clive Barker, etc.—all the horror greats. And then we have Ghost Stories. It’s our reality show, where we have real live ghostbuster types that go into haunted houses to investigate real hauntings. And then we do a preview show that I host, and a DVD spotlight show that our managing editor, Michael Gingold, does.
GS: These are weekly shows?
TT: Each week, new programming comes on the website. Plus, tons of new short films.
GS: Now you guys offer a lot of free stuff and some subscription stuff. Is that correct?
TT: Yes. There are two components to the broadband channel. First, there’s the free site, and then there’s the subscription site, which we also show highlights from Fangoria Radio on. That is our Sirius channel program.
GS: Where can people find that?
TT: It’s Sirius Channel 102. Friday nights, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. EST. That’s a three-hour show. Then, we film it and do an hour worth of highlights on the broadband channel.
GS: Fangoria was a magazine first, but it seems to have fully embraced the Internet. The site is well-maintained and updated daily. How has the website affected the magazine?
TT: Originally, we launched www.fangoria.com seven years ago, and we found that the website has a greater reach than even the magazine and that we should update it daily with news and features as an adage to the magazine. We find now that we get more subscriptions from the website, and we get more advertising inquiries through the website. The website really gave the magazine a new life and has helped circulation tremendously.
GS: Please say you guys will be, at least for the near future, continuing the magazine.
TT: Oh, of course. Definitely. It all starts with the magazine.
GS: I’ll be covering the Weekend of Horrors in Chicago this weekend. Can you tell us a little about the Weekend of Horrors?
TT: It’s the Woodstock of horror, where our fans come to meet all their horror heroes over a three-day event. We show clips and trailers from upcoming films. We have a huge market place were you can purchase horror memorabilia. A few of our guests this year will be Jeffrey Combs from Re-Animator; Ken Foree from Dawn of The Dead and The Devil’s Rejects; Bill Moseley from The Devil’s Rejects; Marcus Nispel, the director of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. This is really exciting—we have David Arquette and Paul “PeeWee” Herman” Reubens. David just directed a horror film called The Tripper that Paul Reubens stars in. Kane Hodder from Friday the 13th; Shawnee Smith from the Saw movies; and Doug Bradley, who played Pinhead in the Hellraiser films; Lloyd Kaufman of Troma, among others.
GS: I love Lloyd. He’s a trip.
TT: Yeah, he sure is. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
GS: You are the Master of Ceremonies at the Fangoria Convention. What made you guys realize that horror fans needed and would embrace a kick-ass convention like this one?
TT: Well, we’ve been doing them for over 20 years, including in the Chicago area. This will, I think, be our fifth show in Chicago, and it’s emerged as our second-biggest convention of the year. It’s second to only Burbank. The attendance in Chicago has topped New York, San Jose, and some of the smaller cities that we have done over the years. We have a huge fan base of Midwest horror fans that come to the Fango show.
GS: Well, I’ll tell you what. I’m from the Chicago area, and we are gunning to top Burbank. We’re closing in.
GS: What’s in store for Fangoria in the near future?
TT: Well, we plan on being in the movie business in a big way this year. It’s been announced in the trades that we have various projects in the works.
GS: Yes, but you guys have always been involved in movies, right?
TT: Yes, we’ve distributed films, and back in the 1990s, we produced three films, but this will be on a much bigger level. Bigger budgets, bigger names. We’re going to go all out and really try to create a Fangoria branch.
GS: Do you already have projects lined up?
TT: Yes, we have a slate of projects lined up, but we haven’t announced them yet.
GS: Can you mention anything about them?
TT: Well, two of them are remakes; well, one is actually more of a reinvention. One is a very well-known horror property; another is a remake of an old ’50s science-fiction/horror movie. And we also have a sequel to a much loved horror drama from recent years, but again, I can’t give the titles, but the fans will know them right away when we announce them.
GS: Seems you dedicated most of your entire professional life to the horror genre. What horror icon for you as a fan was the biggest thrill to meet or work with?
TT: Vincent Price. I get goosebumps just thinking about meeting him.
GS: Tony, it’s been excellent talking with you. See you this weekend at the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors.
TT: See you there. Thanks.
Gary Schultz is a filmmaker in Chicago, IL.
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