Let’s Read Cinefantastique, April 1993!

Cinefantastique ran from 1967 to 2007 in various incarnations, from humble beginnings as a mimeographed fanzine to a legitimate quarterly publication in 1970, then online in 2006, and as of 2007 it lives on as a cherished memory in the hearts of genre film fans everywhere. Being one of the few film-focused magazines to take a studious approach to covering science fiction, horror, and fantasy film and TV, Cinefantastique was a gentler read than, say, Fangoria, although the style and layout was nearly identical.


A majority of the magazine’s covers through the 90s were painted by David Voigt. A whole gallery of magazine covers that covers nearly the whole print run can be found here. The magazine switched to cover photography in 2001, but I like the painterly paperback novel quality that the Voigt covers have. Keep in mind that this issue was just going to press as the show’s first few episodes were airing, so he was working off existing models and early DS9 publicity photos. Which is why Sisko is genially beaming like the happiest guy in Starfleet and the ship pictured below is the USS Yosemite (NCC-19002) that only showed up in one episode of TNG.


This is the one actual ad in the magazine, and it’s a doozy. I actually remember my dad renting this movie for us from Blockbuster. It has a pretty stacked cast – John DeLancie, the kid from A Christmas Story, wee babe Seth Green. And screenplay by David S. Goyer.

I remember the movie was also way more gory and terrifying than anything on the VHS box indicated, so that earned a few coolness points.


Some interesting and tragic history to come, while these names are being batted around in the letter from the editor: the magazine initially folded in 2000 after the founder, Frederick S. Clarke, took his own life. Who stepped up and bought the rights to the magazine to keep it going? Mark A. Altman, who was Cinefantastique‘s go-to Star Trek feature writer from 1989 to 1993. Altman and Mark Gottwald, a horror movie producer, attempted to relaunch the magazine in 2003 as CFQ, but it went under again and the rights were sold to Joe Sena of Fourth Castle, a pop culture marketing firm. The current incarnation of the CFQ brand, under Fourth Castle, appears to be a series of limited edition collectible movie soundtracks on vinyl.


Wasn’t that weird how for a solid decade everyone was dead convinced that there were aliens and everyone had a story about how they had seen a UFO? And there were tons of TV shows about people who had supposedly been abducted by aliens? And then no one cared about putting these people on TV anymore, because The X-Files was getting low ratings or something. Anyway, this movie was THE slumber party home video hit of 1993.

I like how the best thing they can say about Joe Lieberman, the director, was “He directed the pilots for two shows [that went on for more than one season]!” Fire in the Sky went on to be the first of Lieberman’s movies that was a modest critical and box office success instead of a dismal failure. So…yay?


Oh, they seem so optimistic and proud of themselves, don’t they? Really making this property that was a spoof of Frank Miller’s Daredevil and feature mutated ninja turtles, and oh thank god by giving this one some ridiculous plot about a magic scepter that sends them back in time to 16th century Japan, that’s really elevating it back up to where it belongs, in the highest esteem of discerning adults.

I know I’m splitting hairs by criticizing an article that earnestly wrings its hands for the future of the TMNT movies, but I cringed very hard at “ninja samurai”. NINJA AND SAMURAI ARE NOT THE SAME THING. THEY ARE NOT EVEN CLOSE.


Filming at a hospital in downtown Los Angeles on the night of the LA Riots certainly must have been an experience.

Well, this is some classic early 90s cheese but honestly it doesn’t look…all that bad? Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t look great, but let’s give a little credit for trying to make a superhero movie for black people long before Luke Cage on Netflix existed?


I know this is coming in the comments, so, yes: this movie’s title character is the namesake of infamous former AV Club commentor Ricky Coogin. Now you know. So, this seems like a giant mess. Was it a cult hit? Probably? Had it gotten more mainstream press in 1993, I would have made it my life’s mission as a nine year old to see this movie. Sort of like how I desperately wanted to see Monkeybone and my parents wouldn’t let me and even though I knew at heart that it was a shit movie I still wanted to see it.


This feature ran for something like 20 straight pages, so it was a bit much to include all of it. If you really NEED all of it, I can make a zip file later. FULL DISCLOSURE: while I like the Star Trek franchise a lot, Deep Space Nine was always my least favorite growing up because I never found the core plot to be all that interesting. But, FOR YOU, and because I wanted some semblance of knowing what I was reading about, I re-watched the first season while writing this week’s feature. And, on re-watching it as an adult who groks things like war and terrorism and politics a little better than nine year old me did, it’s not half-bad.


I don’t know if you can start an article about anything better than with a story about Ferengi chasing around holographic prostitutes. I certainly don’t remember THAT part in the pilot.

“I sure like this show, now that it’s paying my mortgage!” — Avery Brooks, on not being a Star Trek fan pre-DS9.


I, for one, am extraordinarily thankful that they spared Dax from being in a wheelchair.


Armin Shimerman is such a trouper. I noticed that in the first season of DS9 everyone seems to be constantly yelling at each other. Maybe they were all doing it so that Quark could hear them through his Ferengi ears.



“Not since Wil Wheaton have we had an actor like Sidig El Fadil!”

Avocado to Sick Bay for that ICE COLD BURN.


“On OUR show we straight-up admit to the holodecks existing only as places for people to get it on with holograms!”


Well, Michelle Forbes probably did regret leaving the Star Trek franchise at some point, but she’s had steady success in TV roles since, so I’m sure she’s feeling just fine. It’s probably well known to DS9 fans that Ro was re-written to become Kira, but I didn’t know that prior to reading this. What could have been!


The promo photo of Quark is literally the reference image used on the magazine cover.

I find it strange that apparently they never came up with a quicker way to do the Trill makeup over seven seasons, but hey – it looks good.


“THE L.A. RIOTS – HOW WE MADE IT ABOUT US” should really have been on the cover of this issue.


I’m a fan of the Cardassian anti-assassination bed. Sounds great for lumbar support.


How have I never heard of this? Apparently this was a thing. It ran for six episodes. Dang. I can’t get past this synopsis of episode 4:

“To Be Or Not To Be”
A has-been comedian Lenny Hacker (Buddy Hackett) crash lands on prison planet Katraz on which there are no guards and from which no one ever leaves. Desperate to escape from yet another dress rehearsal for visiting General Kincaid (Danny’s father), the Rangers undertake to rescue the comedian. General Kincaid holds Commander Chennault responsible for his son’s safety. The team lands on the inhospitable penal colony and come face to face with its violent inhabitants, and the prisoners’ vicious leader Rec.


Peter Jackson having to put everything on the line to secure a 2.5 million dollar budget? Thems were the days, weren’t they.

Going by that last paragraph, bigger things were clearly on his mind. He would start making moves on the Lord of the Rings series around 1995, just a few years after this.


Yet another movie that my mom wouldn’t let me watch, and I AM STILL BITTER ABOUT IT.


I’ve read this like four times and I can only come to the conclusion that I think the reviewer liked it.


Well, Judith, I’m here from the future to say that Aladdin has both held up and not held up in ways that you probably didn’t see coming back in 1992.

Little Nemo in Slumberland was given a “mediocre”. That is my true table flip moment in this whole review.

I remember looking with fascination at the VHS boxes for Dr. Giggles and Critters 4 at the video store.


As for The Refrigerator

At first I was going to apologize for this trailer being in Spanish, but actually I think it adds to it. Enjoy.

IMG_E6576Oh, where to start?

  • I’m leaving the Babylon 5 letter without comment.
  • I’m sorry if taking ten minutes to fact check the director’s credit on a Madonna music video overwhelms your delicate sensibilities, dude. To put it in 1992 parlance: get a grip. Mary Lambert did direct some excellent Madonna videos, just not the ones mentioned in the letter.
  • As for season six of TNG, it’s the one with “Fistful of Datas” and I’ll hear no more slandering of it. Well ok, yeah, season six was pretty terrible.


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The Silence of the Lambs cover art is dope. I can’t say the same for that Alien one.


Thanks for reading another week with me! Next week we’ll be looking at an endless parade of insensitive advertisements and rah-rah homefront patriotism with the short lived The American magazine, June 1940!img_6133.jpg