Flat out, this has to be one of the worst autobiography that I’ve ever read, and one of the most disappointing ones. Let me start off by saying that I am HUGE fan of Bert I. Gordon and his films. I loved his movies when I was younger and still can find entertainment in them today. No matter how cheesy they might seem today, they are always fun to watch. So I was very excited when he told me a few years ago that he was working on writing his autobiography and that McFarland was gong to be putting it out. But it was a few years later when I see that it had finally come out, but that it was self-published. That should have been a clue, but I eagerly ordered it right away and dove right into it when it got here.
One would think that for a director that was making low budget films, inventing different special in-camera effects, with great exploitation titles, working with some great actors, that he would have so many interesting stories to tell. If he does…they are not here. Or at least most of them aren’t. Out of the 258 pages, about 88 of them are photos in the back of the book. In the rest of the 170-ish pages, more time spent with listing the synopsis of the films than actually any talk about making them. If I wanted to know the plot of the movie, I could just read a film guide or check the IMDB. From an autobiography from the director, I expected some first hand stories. It does start off pretty good with Gordon explaining to us how he got started in film making and how he was learning to do tricks with his camera that he would later use in his films. But once he does start making feature films, he gives us hardly any stories about making them. Each film is usually given a couple of pages, most of which is taken up by the synopsis.
For the chapter on War of the Colossal Beast, it consists of “My fourth film for AIP was War of the Colossal Beast…a sequel to the extremely successful Amazing Colossal Man.” Then it gives us the synopsis, then the cast and crew listing and a bit of trivial stuff that was taken off a website. That’s it. That is all that he could remember and tell us about the making of this film? There are a story or two of working with Orson Wells or Kirk Douglas, but just very little about the films themselves.
I was very disappointed with this book, and could not honestly recommend it to anyone. Makes me think that is why the book is self-published instead of going through a regular publisher. They probably wanted to him to finish writing it first..