Hidden Horror: A Celebration of 101 Underrated and Overlooked Fright Flicks [Paperback]

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There’s nothing more annoying than books and lists that promise movie fans movies they’ve never seen or should see, only for you to find a list of the same old titles. The good thing about “Hidden Horror” is that it promises 101 movies you likely never saw, and surely enough as someone whose seen it all, I found some interesting gems in this book. To make things better, the underrated films really are some of the most under appreciated films I’ve seen in a long time.

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Spineless Classics: Robert Bloch’s “Psycho”

PsychoIf you ever wanted to own your favorite books, or perhaps classic books but didn’t have the shelf space, Spineless Classics has you covered. They’ve managed to compile entire books on to one giant poster with the text from said book transformed in to a piece of art. Though the concept sounds unusual, it’s actually a very genius and entertaining idea that will surely bring in literary buffs that want some wall decoration, but lack the space for novels.

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The Fright File: 150 Films to See Before Halloween (Digital)

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The main flaw to “The Fright File” is that author Dustin Putman only offers three films out of 150 made before the seventies. A portion of the list are films made in the seventies, while most of the films are from the aughts and are as recent as 2013. While I don’t mind being given suggestions for films as recent as 2013, I wouldn’t have minded stumbling on to a hidden gem or two. For folks looking for a primer on films that are essential to horror fans, “The Fright File” surely isn’t a bad book. But for horror fans looking to discover something new and completely out of left field, this isn’t really the book to turn to. That is unless you’re a fan of Dustin Putman’s writing, and want to see his thoughts on various horror films.

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Slimed!: An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age [Kindle Edition]

18953642“They still throw slime around. But it’s very beautiful slime. Heavily art-directed slime. That’s what changed. Grown-ups took control of the slime and made it pretty.”

It’s surprising that a book about the Golden Age of Nickelodeon is not only so formal, but completely by the numbers. It feels like “Slimed!” began life as an in depth interview about the network and then eventually turned in to a book. Matthew Klickstein can never really decide what kind of book he wants to give his readers, all he seems to know is that he loves Nickelodeon from the period of the mid-eighties to mid-nineties, and nothing else matters. Hell, the writers and executives that worked at Nickelodeon recall the introduction of “All That!” as an omen of change for the network for the worse, and how no game show could ever capture the fun of “You Can’t Do That on Television.” While I’ll admit the show is fantastic, I laugh at the inclusion of “Legends of the Hidden Temple” as a show that was never as good as the aforementioned series. That show was excellent.

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Fervid Filmmaking: 66 Cult Pictures of Vision, Verve and No Self-Restraint [Paperback]

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In the interest of full disclosure, author Mike Watt is a friend and respected colleague who sent us a PDF of his latest book for review. This is nonetheless an objective review of his book “Fervid Filmmaking.”

You have to give it to author Mike Watt. His book isn’t built around 66 great films, or even 66 of his favorite films, but 66 films of importance and relevance that really say something about the genre they’re representing. Take for example the entry in to “Survival of the Dead” by director George Romero. While I’m often a Romero apologist, author Watt really does manage to break down the specifics of the film, and cite past interviews with director Romero to paint “Survival” as a film made by a man perpetually chained to the sub-genre that made him a horror icon.

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Terminator Vault: The Complete Story Behind the Making of The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day [Hardcover]

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It’s very interesting how the original “The Terminator” was envisioned as a precursor to “The Matrix.” Long before the Wachowskis, we had James Cameron, who envisioned a world controlled by a sentient technology, and robotic drones that attempted to destroy humanity. Only certain human survivors dared to stand up against the machines, with a few of their rebels using technology to try to change their current reality. Author Ian Nathan who brought us the wonderful “Alien Vault,” is back with a treasure trove fit for fans of James Cameron, Science Fiction, or The Terminator series.

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Pulp Fiction: The Complete Story of Quentin Tarantino’s Masterpiece [Hardcover]

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We fucking love Quentin Tarantino. And odds are if you’re thinking about buying “Pulp Fiction: The Complete Story of Quentin Tarantino’s Masterpiece” from Voyageur Press, you fucking love him, too. At two hundred pages in length,. the giant tome written by Jason Bailey (with essays from movie historians and critics) doesn’t just fill you in on “Pulp Fiction,” but on everything Tarantino. This is the big Kahuna of Tarantino knowledge, and it’s a hell of a fun book to sift through.

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Diabolique Magazine No. 18 (Nov/Dec 2013) [Magazine]

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I think in a past life I was a doomsday survivalist, because you just have to say “apocalypse” and my ears perk up with interest. The November/December issue of “Diabolique” is all about the apocalypse, and how it’s been depicted through various forms of film, television, and literature. And it’s not a slapdash compilation of articles. As is the case with “Diabolique” the articles about the popularity of apocalyptic entertainment in today’s media are beautifully written and insightful. And you can’t really scoff at their dedication to “28 Days Later” and Richard Matheson.

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