Today’s Guest: Chris Gore, publisher, Film Threat magazine
Originally published in 1996.
No more “Casting Couch” tales from would-be starlets.
No more midnight prank calls to Chevy Chase about non-existent films. And instead of crashing film festivals, Chris Gore will be sponsoring them. These are just some of the changes readers will note when Film Threat magazine returns to newsstands in September.
What Spy magazine was to the New York establishment in the 1980s, Film Threat was to the Hollywood film community. Gore, then a film student, started the irreverent magazine on a Xerox copier in Detroit in 1985. It fast developed a loyal, if sometimes illiterate, following. Letters to the editor — “hate mail,” Gore called them — were published as they arrived, handwritten, packed with misspellings and bad attitude.
He went Hollywood in 1989 and sold the magazine two years later to Larry Flynt’s LFP Publications. Over the years, Gore developed several new magazines for Flynt, the publisher of Hustler, including Film Threat Video Guide, Wild Cartoon Kingdom and Sci-Fi Universe, among others. A falling out with Flynt caused Gore to resign last fall and briefly pursue a career as a developer of films and CD-ROM games.
“I didn’t leave Film Threat,” Gore says. “I left Flynt.”
“Go see the movie,” is all he’ll say, referring to the upcoming film The People vs. Larry Flynt, starring Woody Harrelson as Flynt and Courtney Love as his wife, Althea.
Flynt canceled Film Threat this summer and sold the rights to it and Wild Cartoon Kingdom (which will relaunch next spring) back to Gore.
Gore is excited about his return to publishing what he calls “America’s #1 Independent Movie Magazine.” The publication has traditionally paid tribute to directors such as John Waters (Polyester, Cry-baby, Pink Flamingos), Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction) and whoever Gore may anoint “the flavor of the month.”
“The original mission of Film Threat was to be an alternative movie magazine, a reaction to Premiere, to champion alternative films — midnight movies, underground and adult films,” he says. “And unlike when we started a decade ago, there’s now a large consumer demand for alternatives.”
Gore, now a ripe old 30 and writing a book about Film Threat‘s infamous stunts and acerbic history, promises that his magazine, which once declared all-out “war” on establishment rival Premiere, has matured. “Film Threat‘s attitude is retained but the magazine has grown up,” he says. “A lot of that prankster stuff will be there, but below the surface; we won’t burn our bridges so easily.”