Book Review: Mondo Macabro

mondomacabreMondo Macabro: Weird & Wonderful Cinema Around the World
By Pete Tombs
Published St. Martin’s Griffin, 1998.  192 pages.

Any fan of horror or just strange cinema has heard of the DVD/Blu-ray label Mondo Macbro and most likely has a few of their titles in their own collection. Well, this is where it all started from.

In 1995, Pete Tombs and Cathal Tohill wrote the book Immoral Tales: European Sex and Horror Movies 1956-1984. It talked about different European styles of cinema, like from German, French, Spanish, and Italian. They also covered directors like Jean Rollin, Jess Franco, Jose Larrez, and a few others. Well, four years later, Tomb follows it up with this title, Mondo Macabro, which goes even farther in his quest for bizarre cinema.

If you are one of those fans who think they have seen it all,  then you need to search out some of the films discussed in this book. Tombs does an excellent job showing us a variety of horror, cult, and exploitation films from places like Turkey, Indonesia, the Philippines, Argentina, and many other countries. You’ll find stuff in this book, within the movies it covers, that will blow your mind. And thanks to the Mondo Macabro label, we now have the chance to see some of these movies.

The book covers some of the most outrageous films from around the world. You will learn a great deal about filmmakers like Coffin Joe, making his sacra-religious films in Brazil, to the Blood Island film made in the Philippines. If anything, this book is going to not only open a whole new world of entertaining cinema to you, but also really increase your DVD collection, or at least your “To-Watch” list.

Cinephiles around the world can be grateful of the hard work that Tombs has done not only discovering these films and filmmakers, but has taken the time to let the fans of this kind of cinema know about it. This book, along with Immoral Tales, are essential volumes for those looking to experience something quite different than your average everyday slasher film. Take a step down this path, and this is no turning back. And you won’t want to either!

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