Echoes of Screams Past – Fear Magazine, issue 32 August 1991

The much missed Fear is due a comeback thanks to the continued efforts of original editor, John Gilbert and so I thought it would be nice to include an issue from the original run as part of our,  Echoes of Screams Past series.
This issue from 1991 boasts a cover from Oliver Frey, whom I believed did all of the covers for the original run of Fear and a great many of the interior illustrations to boot. The main feature this issue is Brian Lumley’s Necroscope series and so the cover is a representation of Lumley’s vampiric world. Inside we have an editorial in which John Gilbert talks about realism in movies and makes a case that it doesn’t matter if Silence of the Lambs was unrealistic when its such an effective movie. There was a lot of buzz about Silence of the Lambs and the horror community championed the film as a rare genre movie to find mainstream success.
From there we have a newsy section  in which we are told that Briam Lumley will be signing copies Necroscope V in London on July 27th – guess we’re a little late for that then. We are also told that Terminator 2 will open this month, and that Omen 4 is due this coming October. There is a large spread on indie film, Prayer of the Rollerboys which I’ve never seen and then we are treated to a look at Lou Diamond Phillips movie, The First Power. We are also offered a look at the long awaited sequel to Chroneberg’s Scanners which, we know now, turned out to be a bit of a turkey. An interview follows with William F Nolan talking about writing for Hollywood. We are reminded that Clive Barker is currently working on a remake of The Mummy for Universal – Of course we all know now that the project was dropped when Barker’s script was considered too violent and too dark. And Stephen Kings’s new novel, Needful Things is promised to be his last set in the town of Castle Rock – of course that didn’t turn out to be the case.

The letters page is an entertaining read, especially all these years after the fact. John Nash of London, thought that Fear was excellent and was grateful for the recent Dan O’Bannon feature, author Graham Masterton wrote a letter in which he bemoans the genre trap and reader, David Klein of Surrey wants to know where he can get a copy of Aliens Uncut.

The special feature this issue is devoted to vampires and there follows a large section devoted to the neck biters – one feature on The Dracula Fan Club (surely, Fang Club!) which was operated from a penthouse overlooking Washington Square Park, is great fun.

Following the vampire section we have the fiction section and then we have the film review – Prayer of the Rollerboys get three and a half skulls which rates it as Good’ish, Nothing but Trouble with Chevy chase gets two skulls which means fair. Poison and Whore both get two stars, or skulls rather. Backdraft gets four skulls = very good and Edward Scissorhands gets five skulls = excellent. Hudson Hawk which is anything but very good gets four skulls and A Kiss before Dying gets four and a half skulls.

Book reviews follow with Raising the Stones by Sheri S. Tapper getting Four Skulls, while Fantasy Tales edited by Stephen Jones also gets four. John Peel’s Doctor Who adventure, Timewyrm is given four and a half skulls, while Craig Shaw Gardner’s The Batman Murders gets three and a half skulls. Fear by ,soon to be religion finder,  L Ron Hubbard only gets two skulls.
Following the book review we have a section on heavy metal music which, to my mind, never sat easy within the pages of Fear and then we have a graphic novel feature that provides much more interesting reading.

This magazine came from late in Fear’s original run and although the page count had gone down from its early days, it still offers a damn good read – I look forward to the digital return of the magazine.

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