In July of 1990 two very important things happened in my life. The first was that I turned 13 years old and achieved my peak level of childhood experience where I was just old enough to appreciate most wonderful things that life has to offer and yet was still young enough to spend entire summer vacations eating nothing but Chef Boyardee, Fruit Snacks and Capri-Suns which watching a metric ton of cartoons, and to appreciate the world of toys and video games as the perfect target audience for both. The second important thing that happened that fateful summer is that Globe Communications (published of Cracked and The Globe) released their third (and arguably best) issue of their comic and horror movie magazine Monsters Attack! featuring the single best 4 page spreadsheet that have ever been created in the history of organized data.
I stumbled upon this magazine while out shopping with my mother in some grocery store I can’t remember the name of in Nashua, New Hampshire. I probably can’t remember the name of the store because when I flipped though this issue my mind was melted by the beauty of pages 25 through 28 which featured a movie by movie breakdown listing out every single kill that Jason (and his mom) make over the course of the first seven Friday the 13th films. The amount of data in this list is staggering in a pre-IMDB world (pre-dating the site by a mere 3 months, but let’s be real here, that site wasn’t useful until way past 1990.) The spreadsheet lists the first 100 kills in the franchise with 8 columns of super important Friday the 13th kill data such as Character Names, approximate character age, the sex of the victim, the name of the actors and actresses, the implement of their ultimate destruction (in handy pictogram form), the manner of their death, the reason they bought the farm, and even bonus trivia! For those of you that are anything like me, a person who loves lists, adores annotated lists, and lives for useless horror movie trivia, this spreadsheet is like finding the Dead Sea Scrolls or One-Eyed Willie’s treasure map. Just look at this thing!
As an amazing update to this piece, apparently Cracked Magazine completed the 80s era Friday kill spreadsheet with part 8! Now all 119 victims are accounted for! Huge thanks to reader Timothy Giuliani for pointing to it (and I fixed the image so that it matches the format of the one from the Monsters Attack! issue…
I spent the next three months trying to memorize every single detail in this spreadsheet before I tragically lost my well-read copy of the magazine in a cross country move. From the ages of 13 to 37 I had a gaping Friday the 13th Spreadsheet-sized hole in my heart as I tried in vain to find a replacement copy. It wasn’t until I made yet another cross country move back in 2015 when I finally found a copy of this super rare magazine on eBay and was finally reunited with my favorite piece of data organization I’ve ever seen.
Pouring over this replacement copy of Monsters Attack! there is a bunch of other fun stuff that I didn’t remember as well as the Spreadsheet. For instance, there was a article that accompanied the Friday the 13th data, written by Kevin McMahon called Friday the 13th On Video: An Overview. In this piece McMahon breaks down each film, comparing and contrasting their stories, kills and overall watchability. It’s a fun piece…
There’s also a bunch of short horror-themed comics pieces. My favorite, by far, is a piece called A Boy’s Life, which was written by the magazine’s editor Mort Todd and illustrated by the very rad John Severin (who also provided the mindbogglingly cool cover of the issue as well.) Warning, this comic is a super depressing, yet very satisfying take on the child-vampire genre. Though I didn’t recall it over all of these years, it must have made a huge impact on me because I’m 95% sure I used it as the basis of one of my first short stories I wrote in high school about a brother and sister Vampire duo that move to a new town and try to make friends at their new middle school to disastrous consequences.
Being an 80s monster kid, this issue really is a gem. It makes me wonder what the other issues were like. I mean, I could really use a similar spreadsheet breaking down all of Freddy’s kills, or maybe one cataloging all of the Stephen King movie villains and their kills. In fact, I’d buy an issue that was nothing but gory spreadsheets of horror movie icon massacres. Spreadsheets of the Damned! There, I trademarked it. Now I just need to make it I guess.
I’ll leave you with the back cover pin-up by the artist Rurik Tyler who painted under the moniker Madman. Is this not the perfect “monster kid” painting?!