Holiday Ideas for Horror Book Lovers

If you’re looking for a gift for someone that is an avid book lover that also loves the horror genre, there are so many titles out there to choose from. And they just seem to keep coming out too! In fact, it’s really hard for me NOT to buy them for myself! Yes, having a library of horror reference books is not as cheap as it once was, but I’m not complaining. To be fair, I do not have copies of any of these yet. Key word… YET! But I know at some point, I’m going to have to kick my son out of the house so my library can take over his room!

If you know a big fan of Dario Argento, then I would highly recommend the latest book by Troy Howarth, Murder by Design: The Unsane Cinema of Dario Argento. If you’re not familiar with Howarth’s work, this would be a great place to start. I haven’t gotten my copy yet, but I have never been disappointed by his work, always making them not only very informative, but entertaining as well. This covers not only his work as director, but writer and producer as well. You’ll read about everything from his early work in westerns to his move into the director’s chair, giving us plenty of memorable films, from The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) to Suspiria (1977) to Sleepless (2001). You read new interviews with Argento himself, along with daughter Fiore Argento, actress Sally Kirkland, Irene Miracle, composer Claudio Simonetti, cinematographer Luciano Tovoli.

Published by Midnight Marquee, with an amazing cover by artist Mark Maddox, this 432 page book is available in multiple versions, from hardcover to softcover, from black and white editions to full color, with the price ranging from just under $40 to a little over $100, depending on which version you are interested in.

The Deadly Spawn was one movie that any horror fan that grew up spending any amount of time at a decent video store knew about this movie. I mean, if your local shop had the big box rental of this movie, sometimes called The Return of the Alien Deadly Spawn, the monster on the cover was surely enough to get you to rent it. And if you did rent it, you would never forget this monster, the seemingly endless mouths with even more teeth, ready to devour anything and everyone that gets in its way. That is one of the beautiful things about this film, that it was like something fans had never seen before. This wasn’t your traditional man-in-a-suit-monster, but so much more.

Now, Ted A. Bohus, producer/co-story writer/co-creature designer on the film, gives us this new book coving the making of this low budget monster classic.

This 136 page book, priced at $34.99, covers not just the making of the film, but also tips to young filmmakers to on the how-to as well as different problems you can come across. You’ll hear from John Dods, the main man behind the design and creation of the title terror, as well as interviews with Executive Producer/artist Tim Hildebrandt. There are tons of behind the scenes photos, storyboards, script pages, promotion artwork, and so much more. If you’re a fan of this movie, this sounds like a must.

And while on the subject of low budget filmmakers, Jeff Lieberman has published book of “hilarious compilation of true stories” of his work in the film business, titled Day of the Living Me: Adventures of a Cult Filmmaker from the Golden Age. Lieberman was the man responsible for such cult flicks as Squirm (1976), Blue Sunshine (1977), and Just Before Dawn (1981), before moving onto some award-winning network documentaries. Telling it like it is, with his usual mix of political and social commentary, Lieberman fills the readers with stories from his 50 years in the film business.

Running just under 200 pages and priced at $24.95, I’m sure any fan of his work are going to love reading some of these stories. I’ve seen Lieberman a couple of times at Cinema Wasteland over the years and he always had plenty of fun things to share with the fans, so I’m really looking forward to reading even more!

A book is so much more than just an easy present for a film lover. It opens up thoughts and creative juices in the reader. It shows them ideas that they might not have thought about before, looking at a film a different way. It educates them on the process, the people involved, and how it got to be the final product. The more you know about a film, but better you will enjoy it. As the saying goes, teach a man to fish and he’ll never go hungry, if you teach a man about a film, he’ll never look at it the same way. 

Granted, this is coming from an obsessive book collector, so take that for what it’s worth!

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