"There is so much writing in English on Japanese cinema that can't be accepted at face value — not because the writers are careless, but because the differences in culture and language are just too intricate. When I see August Ragone's name on a piece of writing, it gives me permission to place my faith in it completely. Among Japanese fantasy film historians, he's the best working in English." —Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog

Saturday, February 19, 2011


©2011 Movieland Classics, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Last fall, I was contacted to contribute an article for a retro-style issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland, which would fill in the gap of the original "missing issues" (#70-#79). This was, according to legend, because the original founder and publisher, James Warren, hoped to reach #100 ten issues sooner to help with flagging sales (which were soon boosted by a Horror film revival in the early '70s). So, the publishing and editorial staff of the current incarnation of the classic magazine, decided to go forward to the past — having these issues set in the original dateline in which they would have been released, and that the writing should reflect not only the FM style of the 1970s, but also that all of the content be in-period.

I was told that they already had the perfect article in mind for me, a feature review on DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (1968), which would have been making US theatrical rounds in 1969 and 1970. Always having wanted to write for FM, I immediately said, "What's the deadline?" The resultant feature is heavily illustrated with a number of stills (including a couple of behind-the-scenes shots and storyboards), and even features an original sketch of the Moonlight SY-3 spacecraft, personally drawn for me by the late art director, Mutsumi Toyoshima, who created it! (Be sure to check out the You Axed For It! section, in this same issue, for a great behind-the-scenes still of visual effects director Sadamasa Arikawa coaching monster suit actor Yu Sekita as Angilas!)

The original monster magazine, with a publishing legacy spanning more than 50 years continues! Famous Monsters #70 is now shipping! In a tip of the hat to our grand old name, Famous Monsters presents the first of the missing issues. FM Retro 70, written in the style of the original Famous Monsters of Filmland, and offering features on Count Yorga, Vampire; Destroy All Monsters; Hercules in New York; Bride of Frankenstein and more. Also original columns, Mystery Photo, You Axed For It, Fang Mail and Things to Come. The Retro Cover is by Jeff Preston, edited by your favorite Monster Cuz Mighty Joe Moe, and of course we have Forrest J. Ackerman as our Honorary Editor-in-Chief!

Issue #70 of "Famous Monsters of Filmland" is now shipping! Order your copy today from the Captain Company!


R.Sterling Carody said...

This sounds amazing! I just wish Famous Monsters wasnt SO pricey. But I might just break that for this issue.

Bunche (pop culture ronin) said...

I know how you feel, man. I got tapped to do a retrospective of the original Predator before last year's Predators came out and it was a dream come true. I just wish I could've met Forry so I could thank him for making an otherwise mostly miserable childhood more bearable...