Ban the Monster Mags! Villagers at the gate…

I recently read a post on a horror-themed forum on the internet by a fellow who was complaining about the “whorish looking women” in a monster magazine and how he felt he should hide it from his kids. He’d rather the magazine didn’t print things like that because he doesn’t like to feel he has to hide the mag as if it were porn.

Whorish looking women. For crying out loud! That’s exactly what my mother said about Hammer Films! You know, those classic horror films we all (except for Tom Weaver) know and love? Do you hear yourselves? Not all of you, of course, but man! Some of you are carrying on like these mags are printing the Communist Manifesto and sneaking around trying to get your kids to not only buy them, but join the Party!

Didn’t we go through this with comic books back in the 50s/60s?

Congratulations to all those who find coverage of horror films to be bad for the children. Congratulations to all of you who don’t want your children to read monster mags because they’re too bloody/gory/sexy/nasty in your opinions. Congratulations for desiring censorship for the children. You have effectively become members of the Establishment that we (well, we being a lot of us but not all of us, obviously) fought against in the 60s and 70s. What are you gonna do next? Demand the burning of all the monster mags you don’t like so no one can read them?

Me? Over reacting? No. I don’t think so.

See, this is how it starts. One parent thinks the gore in say, Fangoria, is too much, so they don’t let it in the house. Then they learn that other mothers and fathers have done the same. So they form a group. And then they begin to write to parents they don’t know. And then those parents join the group. And then people with no kids who just don’t like gore flicks get into the group. Pretty soon you have a few hundred, maybe a few thousand people who are calling for the banning of Fangoria, and getting all angry and heated about it and bellowing “What about the children?” Pretty much screwing it up for the majority because they’re voices are louder than those of us who are busy sitting around reading our magazines and letting people live and let live. Well, I’ve never been known for keeping my mouth shut.

What about the children? I’ve printed this before. If you don’t know what to do with them you have no business having them. Teach them you dim wits. Let them learn from you and then as they grow, permit them to make their own choices. If they read a couple of issues of Fango – or whatever – one of two things will happen. They’ll enjoy it, and know it for what it is – a magazine about make believe — or — they won’t find it interesting and move on to something else. Don’t sell your kids short here. They’re no doubt an intelligent and curious lot. Most kids are. Protect them too much and you’ll wind up with a generation of mal-adjusted, socially inept and cringing adults.

Oh, wait! We’re already there, aren’t we.

We have, here in the States, a culture that has produced a generation of obese kids that sit around all day – in the house – playing video games. Again, not all of them by any means, but enough that childhood obesity has reached high enough levels that it’s being called a health crisis. When these kids aren’t playing games, they and their thinner counterparts, interact socially not in person, at parties or dances or hike or in the Scouts (boy or girl) but on Facebook, MySpace, FaceSpace, MyBook – name it. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of places out there. They hang out watching YouTube and think it’s great entertainment. Take these kids out and put them in a restaurant or a park and they don’t know what to do. If they can’t type it, they don’t know how to react. Look someone in the eye? Not a chance.

But again, I digress.

I am appalled to find fellow monster movie fans calling for the banning, wrapping and otherwise destroying of monster magazines because their children might see them. Things have come to a sorry pass, and no mistake. Yep, next thing we hear, someone will be bellowing that Brad Linaweaver is a Republican. Or that Arbogast can’t post on the internet anymore.

That’ll be a dark day.

34 thoughts on “Ban the Monster Mags! Villagers at the gate…

  1. ohdeee

    I have to say, if you’re worried about YOUR kids seeing “questionable” material in YOUR home, then it’s YOUR fault for bring it into YOUR home. The nerve. You can’t blame another individual, magazine, or anyone else to create such content. Let me rephrase that, any content. If that’s the case, Let’s go down to the local library and burn it down, because you didn’t like a paragraph in Animal Farm. You know, that book you never finished reading back in high school… Balls.

    Everyone has a privilege of “freedom of “expression.” That’s it. Anyone can start a magazine, about anything they want. And they can offer it to the universe if they choose to. The same as you have your opinion about it being in your home. When someone is parked outside of your child’s school, handing out copies of anything questionable, whispering, “the first one is free,” that’s when you have a problem. But that’s with THAT individual.

    Balls. When I was reading this, the same points that was made by the editor came to mind. I even thought about the film Fight Club. Remember that film? Probably not. If one of your masculine friends has a copy, read the reviews. You’ll notice that almost every single negative review in there was by someone who openly admitted never seeing it. How can you hate something you know nothing about. The film is about the demasculization of man in our modern-day Western society. That’s it. How is this relative? The critics made a choice to not see the film, have an opinion, and voice it, so do you. And you have a choice to not welcome any material into your home. It’s really that simple. Have a nice day.

  2. Joe

    Just like back in the day, if the kids want them, there’s no stopping them. Kids always find a way, always, and there isnt a damn thing you can do about it. Nobody is going to turn into a killer or deviant from a monster magazine with a big titted chick on the front cover, unless they were fuct up to begin with. At that point, a bambi cartoon wouldve set them off before a monster magazine.

  3. Ted Newsom

    Given the tremendous emphasis on grue, graphic decapitation and dismemberment and overt sexuality in contemporary horror films, and the hopelessness inherent in many of the stories, I’m not surprised there would be abreaction, and I think caution is appropriate.

    In Hostel (to take just one instance of a high-profile studio horror), there are graphic depictions of torture, like a guy burning out the eye of the Japanese woman, her horrendous disfigurement and later suicide. The climax has the heretofore straight arrow protagonist take extremely graphic and gruesome revenge on the man he feels is responsible. This is NOT the sort of thing I would want children to see. This is real, imitatable violence, not to mention hideously traumatic.

    The movie does show pain, terror, suspense– and diminishes its assorted victims to the level of cyber-figures in a video game like Grand Theft Auto. It provides a template, however obliquely, for real-life horror. Transplanting a brain into a monster probably is not something real kids are going to do. Fighting the Creature from the Black Lagoon or a giant insect is pretty unlikely. This sort of stuff is different.

    And I LIKED Hostel. (And Grand Theft Auto, for that matter.)

  4. Eddie Hudson

    The Brothers Grimm created fairy tales that scared the hell out of kids for generations. We’ve survived.

  5. Chucky Baby

    Couldn’t agree with you more on this one. Banning the monster-mag from the household is not the answer here. Parents ought to provide their children with that oh-so-critical, (un)common-sense based moral compass from which these same children will draw upon to find their way later in life.

    Sheltering kids from “what is out there” isn’t the answer, cause sooner or later they will be exposed to the outside world, whether parents would like to admit this or not. When that inevitable time comes, I would find it far more comforting to know that my child has well-honed, decision making abilities that were tempered from a solid foundation of personal experiences in choosing between what is real, and what is make-believe, and what is good or what is bad, rather than having he or she stumbling about blindly in that dark, dark world that awaits outside the fallaciously protective walls that Mommy and/or Daddy have helped build…

  6. Lynda

    This person has relinquished his responsibility toward his children to magazine publishers. I think it’s time CPS became involved…

    It is the READER’s responsibility to determine what their child – or any child in their sphere of influence – is and is not exposed to. There are classic (and not-so-classic) books that are definitely NOT for children’s consumption. There are movies with adult content (not porn) that we love, as well, and have in our homes. If we don’t want our children exposed to them, we keep them in our bedrooms (a room children should be taught NEVER to enter without an invitation) or some other off-limits area so that our children won’t stumble across them before they’re mature enough to handle them.

    (What? You say nothing in your house is off limits to your children? How are they going to deal with limits when they are adults – or even when they start school? But I digress…)

    The same holds true with our choice of magazines. If one enjoys a certain magazine that contains adult content (not necessarily sexual in nature, I might add), one keeps it to oneself and makes sure that children don’t have access to it. This is not “hiding” a guilty pleasure, this is called “being a responsible adult.”

    If one does not have the ability to control what one’s child does and does not read under one’s own roof, one must either not have children, or must forgo one’s own pleasure in any publication deemed unsuitable for their eyes.

    It’s really quite simple. My values are my values, yours are your own. I would not impose mine on your children, and I don’t expect (or want) others to impose theirs on my children or grandchildren. Heck, I don’t even impose mine on my OWN grandchildren – I bow to their parents’ wishes.

    In a free society, we do NOT ask publishers to forgo mature content; we monitor and control the content our children are exposed to ourselves. It is not the responsibility of the rest of the world to do that for us.

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  8. Horror Garage

    Actually, I’ve heard things along these lines before regarding back issues of HORROR GARAGE, so I wonder if maybe this was in reference to my mag. (For the record, however, I’d NEVER consider any of the women on our covers “whorish” — it was always done in fun, over-the-top trashy-movie style).

    My standard response is always, “Did you buy the magazine? If so, the cover did EXACTLY what it was meant to do — it got your attention!”

    Maybe the same kiddies someone feels shouldn’t be exposed to the COVER shouldn’t be exposed to the CONTENT either…I always felt the two (in HORROR GARAGE, anyhoo) kinda worked in tandem.

    Ban monster mags? Of course not. At the end of the day, it’s about choice, and what works in one home may not work in another.

    DAMN! I have to go…I forgot to set up a piece of rubber hose so that the hitchhiker buried in my backyard can breathe for the next few days…

  9. LJ. Dopp

    Going back to Jessie’s first paragraph, before we got off into Fangoria, and “Hostel,” the movie — it’s hearsay at best. Who is this man?, what women in which magazine was he talking about? Since we don’t know who he is, why should we care what he says?
    I do not recognize non-people or one-named people except Cher and Cristo, so this comment is for Jessie, Ted Newsome, Eddie Hudson, and Horror Garage (a publishing entity, at least). Ready?
    People have to go through a test, licensing and registration — not to mention having proof of insurance, to drive a car. They have to be legally sane and not a felon, obtain different registration, and sit out a waiting period to buy a gun. Try renting a car or a motel room without having a credit card some time.
    But pop out a half-dozen drooling, screaming, hyper-retarded lawn swine — I mean kids — and you don’t even have to pass a high school test. There’s nary even a form to fill out, to bring a child into this world!
    So, let’s stop pretending parents have to be intelligent. It ain’t never gonna happen. This “man” clearly brought the magazine in question into his own home, and wants it to change its content because he couldn’t keep his schlong in his pants way back when. He is just another hysterical, self-absorbed idiot and not worth talking or writing about, in my opinion. That having been said — I just had to say that. — LJ. Dopp

  10. (Ron) St. Garmon

    Could it be that there’s somebody left in the world who thinks horror movies and naked chix DON’T go together?

    The best cure for idiots like these is to 1) inform them their opinions are just that and not any kind of moral command for adult people and 2) ignore them. The latter pisses them off horribly.

  11. ARBOGAST

    I suspect part of the problem is that we live at a time in which people are not content to have a notion but need to legitimize it in some way. Litigation and lobbying have even become part of our thinking and even our grieving process – it seems like every time a pedophile abducts and murders some child, there’s a new law passed in the kid’s name… Megan’s Law, Phoebe’s Law, Cubby’s Law, Lumpy’s Law… that really doesn’t make anything demonstrably better or children one bit safer but makes voters feel good and gives the grieving parents (and as a parent my heart goes out to them) a form for their mourning.

    Same with people who just want to gripe about something. The Internet has made it deucedly easy to cobble together a quorum if not an outright consensus on almost any subject. I actually agree that there are far too many whorish looking women in horror – and the depressing thing is how cookie-cutter they all are with their piercings and tats and faux Victorian bodices and their aged-at-the-mall rock-and-roll stance – egad, every one of these bitches has a Facebook page and wants you to be their fan because they posed nude with cosmetic blood dripping off their tits once and they’re friends with Kane Hodder. But that doesn’t make me want to ban horror mags who provide a forum for these losers. It makes me want to create art that challenges and defies lazy, loving-themselves-in-the-art-more-than-the-art-in-themselves copycatting. People need the emotional wherewithal to put their backs into creating something they love rather than in trying to step on something they don’t.

  12. Jessie Post author

    Marvelous commentary here. Thanks all for your postings. I’d love to see some more stuff.

    As to the fellow who was upset about the images in the mag – I don’t know his real name. He uses a screen name like so many others, and he never specified the mag in question. It was a rather blanket statement regarding new horror film coverage. However, there’s a guy over at CHFB, posting under the name of Robert Summit. He wrote something that, to me, is astonishing. I didn’t mention it until now because I wanted to find out from him whether his tongue was planted firmly in his cheek or if he actually meant it. Well, he means it.

    “The English-ters had the right idea back in the day. We should slap Certificate X on all gorefests and prevent anyone under eighteen from seeing them. Might be a good idea to slap opaque wraparounds on mags like FANGORIA, RUE MORGUE, etc too, ban sales of such mags to anyone under the age of eighteen, or stick them under the counter next to PLAYBOY, PENTHOUSE, and the like. Let’s protect our children!”

    Nope. I’m not kidding. He says he’s “a conservative person, pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-capitalist, pro-limited government, pro-individual initiative, if that helps.”

    What he failed to mention is that he’s also pro censorship – something I can not abide. He wants to protect our children by putting blinkers on them.

    Sorry. I disagree. Vehemently.

  13. ohdeee

    This is what it’s really about; censorship. Opinions are only that, opinions. But the bigger picture has nothing to do with this, or any other magazine. It has to do with the censoring of content. It’s everyone’s right to create, and to have an opinion. That’s true. Putting a label on a magazine, or music, or anything else only increases the sales, because it send the wrong message to the one’s it’s meant to protect. Be a good parent, and talk to your kids. There’s your answer.

  14. Chesley V. Morton

    Well, not all of us fought against the establishment. Your publisher and I fought for it! But we also fought to defend the rights of “whorish-looking women”, and those publications willing to promote same. I only wish Brad’s story “Clutter” was mandatory reading in every sixth grade classroom in America. That would take care of this (and several other problems) within one generation. So keep beating the drum, and hope that your words reach beyond the choir.

  15. Ian - Killer Meteor

    Robert Summit is most likely a troll and I actually think he is just a parody of the likes of Richard W. and the absent Count Karnstein, who use “won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children” as an excuse to preach closet homophobia and racism on the Internet. God help their children.

    As for that forum, its poorly run, though full of great people – and a few genitalia. At times I miss it, but then I remember how I was made a scapegoat and falesly accused and driven away.

    Fight the power Jess!

    And I love video games and Youtube and Facebook – but damn, a nice evening stroll is what really makes life living!

  16. Ian - Killer Meteor

    In fact, I’ll state exactly what the problem is with the forum under discussion.

    It plays favourites.

    I was banned for being somewhat persistent in my arguments with one Richard W. who really hates the 2006 Casino Royale. Mainly because M is a woman, and Bond is eye candy. He is sexist and rude, and had the nerve on another forum to refer to Native Americans as “19th Century serial killers.” I criticised him fairly but firmly via PM, which he never replied to, but instead used to accuse me to the mods of “abusive messages.” I was banned, and to be fair, THERE I can understand why. And i accept the blame for it. I intended no abuse, but hey, what is written and what is read can be two different things. Of course, if it was anyone else-mailing Richard and undermining his daft posts, nothing would ever happen.

    But when i requested that I create a new forum identity i was met with an aggressive response from the mods. So I began a rather shameful parade of fake names, initially sharing with a lady friend who got sick of the place very quickly.

    Robert Summit is just a crummy Helen Lovejoy. its the posters who are serious and abusive you have to watch out for.

    Hmmm, I think I’ve scuppered me chances of a Rondo lol

    And if women look like whores so what? They offer hookers dressed as nuns if its looks that bothers you!

  17. Jessie Post author

    “Hmmm, I think I’ve scuppered me chances of a Rondo lol”

    No doubt. But as mentioned, banning doesn’t happen here. Freedom of speech is adhered to and points of view always considered.

    Thanks for being here Ian. Your comments are, and always have been, welcome. No matter how much we may disagree!

  18. Ian - Killer Meteor

    Freedom of speech is an interesting point. I take it as “Feel free to speak one’s mind, but be prepared to take the consequences of the fact the other person had those rights too.”

    It is always odd when a horror fan gets preachy. As much as I love Tom Weaver, he was surprisingly puritanical in his intro to a book on censorship, considering a lot of his beloved Universal films were outlawed in England for much the reasons he charges the modern films with. Also Dennis Gifford, who sort of changed tact in his fantastic book on horror cinema on the last page to have a whinge on Hammer. And don’t get me started on Leslie Halliwell…
    That’s why I really respect Kim Newman. On the FIRST page of Nightmare Movies, he acknowledges he’s more favourable to the 70s films then the 80s slashers, that he may be a bit too much like Dennis Gifford, and that maybe someday someone will write a book that is nostalgic for Freddy Kruger. He’s a great sport!

  19. Jessie Post author

    Weaver is a curmudgeon of the first order! But I have a great respect and liking for him anyway. Never did understand why. Ol’ Weaver has always treated me fairly. That’s probably why he and I can usually agree to disagree.

  20. Ian - Killer Meteor

    I think weaver is a bit of a devil’s advocate in his views but he’s always polite and civil. Bit of a scrapper with Bill Warren though. The two do hack at each other.

  21. Ian - Killer Meteor

    Check out this great review for an example of what happens when puritanism runs wild – http://www.aycyas.com/bloodfeast.htm

    [This has been moved over to the Forum where we can continue any discussions regarding perceived Puritanism within the Horror Genre. I hope you’ll come by, sign up and stay awhile. — Ed.]

  22. Ian - Killer Meteor

    No problemo.

    I must say, if a comic book is all that sickens you, you’ve got a much less stressful life than mine!

  23. oldmanster

    Coming in late to this particular discussion. I only want to say that those familiar with the CHFB might be surprised at the number of staunchly conservative members on the board. But those that I know personally don’t spread any dogma beyond personal (and respectful) conversations, in contrast to the Robert Summitt’s of the world. While their various positions could be (and have been) argued amicably, they are still Good People in virtually all other aspects, and I’d wager their conservatism doesn’t extend to censorship of genitalia or gore.

  24. rvoyttbots

    All this crap about protecting the kids. Hello, once the little darlings start going to school they are gonna learn everything & see everything parents try to screen them from at home.

  25. Chickie

    When I first read this, I wondered if it had been sent by Lee Harris, aka Tor Havin’ Fun on the Monster Kid Horror Classic Forum, of which he is currently through – for now.

  26. Living Dead Girl Nicole

    I have to laugh that its the half naked woman he wants to hide from his kids in horror movie magazines and not the guts and gore ha ha. I personally LOVE these mags as I am a huge fan of horror movies and do horror movie inspired art. I am an avid subscriber of Fangoria. I think you said it best.. if you can’t handle what is in these types of magazines then you should not be buying them!

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