It Came from the 80s!
By Francesco Borseti
Published by McFarland, 2016. 294 pages.
Why are there not more books like this? With all the low budget films that were made in the 80s, there has to be an over abundance of incredible and fascinating stories that us movie nerds would eat up, from the high stress levels and time constraints, to no money, to dealing with once popular actors on their way down and young ones fighting their way up, to so many other things that were just a normal part of that kind of guerilla-style of filmmaking. But thankfully for us, Francesco Borseti has given us a chance to revisit some of these films, and hear from some of the different people behind them. Each chapter will cover one specific movie that will have different input from several people from the film. Might be the screenwriter, director, cameraman, effects artists, or all of the above, with each one giving their thoughts and memories of working on that particular title.
One of the real beauties about this book is the obscurity that lies within. Most of the film titles are going to be completely new to modern fans. But the great thing about that is that it will give these newer fans a checklist of movies to seek out, because I know there are more than a few titles in here that are more than worth your 90 minutes of attention. Same goes with most of the names in here, as far not being at the top of any who’s who list. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have something to say. And what they do have to say is pure gold. It gives us fans a real look into this kind of filmmaking, when money and time were short on supply, but the people involved were working as if this was going to be the next Oscar winning epic, even if they very well knew that it wasn’t. But the passion came first.
You’ll get to hear stories from Ken Abraham about having to make out with Linnea Quigley in the shower for the movie Creepozoids, or how actors Sarah Maur Thorp and Ben Cole felt about working with Anthony Perkins on Edge of Sanity, as well as dealing with producer, Harry Alan Towers, or some of the challenges that special makeup effects artist Mark Shostrom had to deal with on the film Shadowzone. All of this and so many more. If you are someone of my age, that grew up during the age of video stores, then you will remember some of these crazy films and now getting to learn a little more about what went on behind the scenes is just a great trip into the past, as well as being pretty damn entertaining and educational.
Though this information was taken through traditional interviews, Borseti breaks down the information as if the person being interviewed just wrote the section themselves. It makes the information flow a little easier and the information still comes across.
But yes, there is something I have to complain about this title. This book has just a terrible cover. It is a shot of the cast from Parasite (1892) and is pretty lame. With all the great movies that it covers within the pages, why couldn’t they come up with a really cool montage of images from them? Even if it was just a photo shop job, it would have been better and drew more attention to it than this shot.
That being said, pay no attention to it and pick it up anyway. For information regarding this title, head over to McFarland’s website here: http://www.mcfarlandpub.com or you can even call and order the book at this number: 800-253-2187.