Zombies on Film: The Definitive Story of Undead Cinema
By Ozzy Inguanzo
Published by Rizzoli International Publications, 2014. 228 pages
Since zombies are still the popular thing now, it seems books on them are still coming out as fast as the dead are rising! Do we need another book on zombie movies? Well, being a collector of horror movie reference books, I would not be the one to say no. But with quite a few of similar themed books, it comes down to which one might be worth buying, or is it worth adding to your collection at all?
Right from the first glance at this book, it is big. A wonderfully oversized coffee-table size book with a striking still on the front cover from George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. As you page through it, the entire book is filled with some incredible images, with stills from zombie movies throughout their cinematic history as well as some delightful movie poster images from around the world. That in itself is a real treat. This is a book that one could find themselves paging through one afternoon looking at the wide array of images that lies within.
The actual text from author Inguanzo is well written and does a good job covering a the sub-genre, hitting a lot of the key points in its history. From the start of White Zombie moving up through the decades, mentioning important contributions to the sub-genre during each one, ending up with the success of The Walking Dead on AMC. The problem I had with this book really comes to the claim that is stated on the cover the book, “The Definitive Story of Undead Cinema”. I don’t know if I would used the word ‘definitive’. Yes, it does cover the major elements of the sub-genre and does it quite well. But there is so much more history that could be in there. Some films are given much more attention, getting several paragraphs, while others, like Hammer’s one and only zombie film, Plague of the Zombies, only gets a sentence or two. Because the sub-genre is so huge, getting close to really it’s centennial celebration, there is much more that could be said about it. While it is a large book with 228 pages, because of all those great images, there really isn’t a lot of text. In fact, I read this entire book in just 2 days.
For fans of zombie films, this is definitely one that you’d want in your collection. It looks great, is a lot of fun to page through and see some incredible images. If you’re wanting to get a good and quick insight to the genre, then you will find a lot of interesting information here. But if you’re looking for more of a detailed and in-depth covered of his category of horror films, then you really need to seek something else out, maybe like Jamie Russell’s Book of the Dead.