Book Review: Sex, Sadism, Spain, and Cinema

sex-sadiam-spain-and-cinema

Sex, Sadism, Spain, and Cinema: The Spanish Horror Film
by Nicholas G. Schlegel
Published by Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. 207 pages.

When you put out a book on the Spanish horror film genre, it doesn’t take long to get my attention, especially when it covers quite a bit of the work of Paul Naschy. But the problem for me was that when it first was published last year, it had a bit of a pricy tag of $79. So I had in my Amazon Want List, hoping for it to drop in price, or to maybe come across a cheaper offer. But thanks to my lovely wife, she got it for me for Christmas so at least she can’t yell at me for spending that much on just one book!

Usually books of this nature (and price), which tend to come from a University Press of some sorts, are usually filled with a lot of big words, very detailed and intricate theories, and enough psycho-babble to make your head spin. Fortunately, this is not that type of book. You can tell right away that Schlegel is a very smart man, knows what he’s talking about, and seems more concerned with getting his ideas and thoughts out to his readers than impress us with his vocabulary.  Kudos for that alone.

Schlegel starts out the book with a brief history of Spain, the Civil War, and it’s leader through most of this, General Francisco Franco, which one might wonder why this is important about Spanish horror films, but as you read on, you’ll understand why, since it is a large cog in the wheel of that country’s film genre. Then we get to some of the key that make up the country’s horror genre, names such as Jess Franco, Eugenio Martino, Amando de Ossorio, and of course, Paul Naschy. This is the part where Schlegel really excels because of the passion and information given here, because while you can see that he really loves these films, he backs up his thoughts and opinions. He highlights a few key films of the Spanish horror genre and explains why they are important.

My only two complaints about this book would be the price, but also that it is only a little over 200 pages. I would have loved this volume to be twice or even three times the size. But that’s just me being a glutton for information on a sub-genre that I also am a big fan of. If you are one who enjoys a little Spanish horror flick here and there, start saving your money, or keep an eye out for a cheaper deal, because this volume really is worth having in your library. You’ll have plenty of films you will either want to find and watch for the first time, or dig them out from your collection and watch them once again.

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