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DALLAS, TX (February 15, 2018) –– Fangoria Magazine is returning from its digital grave and back into print where it belongs. Thanks to a new investment, a new Editor-in-Chief, and a new Publisher, the world’s highest-profile horror movie magazine is reemerging as a collectible quarterly with the first issue set to drop this fall in time for Halloween.

Cinestate, the Texas-based entertainment company, completed the deal to acquire all the assets and trademarks of the Fangoria brand, including the magazine, from The Brooklyn Company. Cinestate CEO Dallas Sonnier diligently courted the previous publisher Thomas DeFeo for several months, with the two signing an agreement that turned over the rights to Sonnier & Cinestate.

Sonnier’s first move as the new Publisher was to hire his favorite film writer Phil Nobile Jr. as the Editor-in-Chief of Fangoria Magazine. Nobile comes to Fangoria from his role as Editor-At-Large for the website Birth.Movies.Death., and as a writer/producer for Stage 3 Productions in Philadelphia, where he created a feature-length documentary on John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN. Nobile will also act as the Creative Director for the entire Fangoria brand.

“There needs to be a Fangoria,” says Nobile. “The magazine was a constant presence in the genre since 1979 – and then one day it was gone. That felt, to us, tragically incorrect. Fango was, for multiple generations, a privileged window into the world of horror. It gave us access to filmmakers’ processes and secrets, opened our eyes to movies we might have otherwise missed, and nurtured a wave of talent that’s out there driving the genre today. I’m proud and excited to be part of the team that’s bringing this institution back.”

As part of the arrangement, Cinestate controls all material from over 300 issues of Fangoria Magazine, including articles, photos, and exclusive interviews, spanning the past 39 years. The contents of the now-infamous Fangoria storage unit in New York, a veritable treasure trove of horror history collected over decades by former staff, has arrived at the Cinestate offices to be sorted and cataloged.

Nobile and Sonnier quickly approached and landed deals with popular Fangoria legends Tony Timpone and Michael Gingold to return to the magazine with their own columns, and to consult for the company. Additionally, the publication already has excited commitments from contributors including frequent Cinestate collaborator S. Craig Zahler (BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99), Ashlee Blackwell (Graveyard Shift Sisters), Samuel Zimmerman (Curator, Shudder), Grady Hendrix (PAPERBACKS FROM HELL), Meredith Borders (former Editorial Director of Birth.Movies.Death.), Rebekah McKendry (academic and horror historian), and Preston Fassel (whose project OUR LADY OF THE INFERNO is currently in development at Cinestate). Nobile shall further curate a diverse roster of voices for the new iteration of the legendary publication.

“We are fully committed to restoring faith in Fangoria with the horror fan community, so many of whom bought subscriptions, but never received their magazines. We have also been reaching out to previous Fangoria contributors to introduce ourselves and invite them back into the tent for future collaborations. This is a process, but we are confident in our ability to earn back trust and be good partners in a brand that personally means so much to so many awesome people,” states Sonnier.

Sonnier was able to complete the Fangoria asset acquisition and fuel growth in Cinestate by raising over $5 million of investment for his company. The primary investor in Cinestate is a member of a prominent Texas family that wishes to remain anonymous. As part of the deal, Cinestate also acquired the assets and trademarks to out-of-print publications Starlog and Gorezone.

A full staff is in place and operating from the Cinestate offices in Dallas, TX. Zack Parker, formerly of Shudder, joins Fangoria as the Director of Brand Management, along with Jessica Safavimehr as Associate Publisher and Ashley Detmering as Art Director. Nobile will be based out of New Jersey. The team is dedicated to putting Fangoria back where it belongs – in print.

“When I read Fangoria as a kid, it was a special ritual. I had to save up for it, and then I had to find it. And bringing it home ten times a year became a kind of sacrament, poring over every photograph on every page, reading that whole thing front to back, then doing it again,” Nobile says. “We want to restore that analog thrill to readers. We want to duplicate the excitement that I remember bubbling up around a new issue of Fango, put that excitement in an envelope and mail it to our subscribers. Fangoria is not something that competes with online blogs. Fangoria is not an algorithm. Fangoria is something you hold in your hands, something you spend a bit of time with in the real world. That’s what it was for decades, and that’s what we’re going to make it again.”

Cinestate will further develop Fangoria into a brand for producing movies and podcasts, as well as publishing horror novels. Cinestate VP Amanda Presmyk will head up production on a slate of Fangoria-presented horror movies that Sonnier will bring to the table for Cinestate’s new label.

Cinestate is currently in post on a gonzo reimagining of the PUPPET MASTER franchise, as well as Zahler’s next movie DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE for Lionsgate starring Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn. Cinestate also published its first novel in January – Zahler’s HUG CHICKENPENNY: THE PANEGYRIC OF AN ANOMALOUS CHILD, which is being developed into a feature by Zahler, Cinestate and the Jim Henson Company. 

In addition to the enthusiastic announcement above, Nobile issued another statement via Fangoria’s Twitter account. It addressed what is, for many, an elephant in the room. See, when Fangoria essentially folded, they left hundreds of readers who had paid for future issues out in the cold. Many related frustrating experiences attempting to get refunds—or even a just response from anyone at Fangoria!

In addition to restoring Fangoria to its former glory, the new Editor in Chief promises to make good on all of the past owners’ promises.



What if you were accused of witchcraft? What would you do if you were singled out with false evidence, and your very life was at stake?

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Remakes Keep Flopping, But Here Are 4 Reasons Why Hollywood Still Makes Them

1. Because remakes appease shareholders.

Imagine you're a studio executive at Fox, and you've got to go in and pitch next year's slate to a bunch of shareholders and money men. Do you tell them that for February 2015, you've got an original haunted house movie starring Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt? Or do you tell them you've cast those two stars in a remake of Poltergeist? It's the latter, a known quantity, that will put your investors at ease: Since these remakes are of movies that were presumably successful the first time around, they feel like less of a gamble. Studio executives have a short half-life, and angry investors can be a thorn in their sides — just look at how hedge funder Daniel Loeb hammered Sony in the press after original pictures After Earth and White House Down flopped — so green-lighting a remake or two is like throwing them red meat. If you want to keep your job and cover your ass, it's what you do.

2. Everything is now based on something else.

Look ahead to the month of March, and virtually every single film debuting in wide release is based on a pre-existing property, from Divergent and Noah (both derived from literary sources) to Need for Speed (based on a video game) to Mr. Peabody and Sherman (adapted from the old cartoon). This is partly because studios are reluctant to take a risk on a property that hasn't already proven itself in some format, but plenty of remakes are generated from years of passive development, too: Studio readers (who are tasked with finding movie-ready concepts in new books, graphic novels, etc., or the studio's own back catalogue) will recommend library titles for remake consideration, executives will then float those properties on open-assignment lists they send out to the agencies, and if someone comes in and pitches a take they like, then everyone is off to the races. (It's hard to imagine that Universal would have green-lit Endless Love, a low-budget teen romance starring two virtual unknowns, any other way.) Library exploitation is a priority for most studios and investors; it's why, after Qatar Holding and Colony Capital bought the Miramax library in 2010, they wooed Harvey and Bob Weinstein back late last year to remake and spin off classic titles from the brothers' glory days, a deal that will produce sequels to Shakespeare in Love and Rounders, amongst others. It isn't enough now for library holders to simply make money on home video and streaming deals — these studios are determined to recycle old titles for new movies and potentially bigger profits.

3. They know you'll pay more attention.

Most journalists panned the idea of the Robocop remake when it was first announced, but you wouldn't have known that by the amount of coverage they then gave it when the film went into production. If Robocop had instead been some generically titled, Joel Kinnaman-led action movie, would there still be so many articles analyzing and speculating about his new robo-suit? Would anyone have clicked on the casting stories? A remake carries built-in interest and can generate plenty of additional angles for press coverage that an original film simply can't, and they're an easier marketing sell to audiences, too: Had Pacific Rim been called Godzilla, I don't think it would have struggled to hit $100 million domestically. Confused audiences wouldn't have had to ask what the film is about — once they saw that name on the billboard, they'd already know.

4. Sometimes, remakes actually work

All it takes is one success to justify an endless ream of failures, and Sony got it in 2010 when the Jaden Smith–led remake of The Karate Kidgrossed a mammoth $176 million (and $359 million worldwide). There, everything that could go right with a remake did: Parents familiar with the original movie knew that this was something they could share with their children, and when families turned out in droves to see the movie, there were enough tweaks to the formula (including its Beijing setting) that it still felt fresh. Yes, Sony struggled with its subsequent remake of Total Recall (which didn't earn even half of what its predecessor made in 1990), while Robocop opened softly on Wednesday and likely will stall in the mid-$20 million rage this weekend. But they'll be able to point to The Karate Kid and say, "It worked once, and we thought it would work again" … again and again and again.

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