Book Review: Day of the Living Me

Day of the Living Me: Adventures of a Cult Filmmaker from the Golden Age
Self-Published, 2020. 192 pages
By Jeff Lieberman

I’ve always said that by reading more about a filmmaker, such as in a biography or even an autobiography, you will learn so much more about that person’s life and work, usually including a ton of information you didn’t know, which will undoubtedly make you see things in a different way. This book is another perfect example to prove that point. I knew of Lieberman’s work because I was always a big fan of Squirm (1976) and had the chance to meet him a couple of times at Cinema Wasteland over the years. I knew of his other films, such as Blue Sunshine (1977) and Just Before Dawn (1981), but figured that was about it. But reading through this recently published autobiography, not only did I learn much more about him, but he gives such a great insight into the world of filmmaking, from low-budget horror flicks, to working in Hollywood with some of the major players.

We learn that Lieberman was involved with, such as coming up with the ad campaign for the film version of The Who’s Tommy (1975), as well as how he got things done, even making friends with some made men in New York’s Little Italy, even going on a double-date with George Burns. Lieberman’s stories are not only funny, but really do give a great insight into working into a little different levels of the film business, and what it takes to continue.

As a film writer, he gives us a little insight as to how he came up with the different projects, where inspiration hit him, and how. These are the stories that really fascinated me, especially his tale of how the idea of Blue Sunshine came about. Plus, hearing that Martin Sheen, Kim Basinger, and even Sylvester Stallone almost were cast in his first feature, Squirm, just blew my mind. Just sit back and let ponder that for a moment…

My only criticism of the book is the length. At just under 200 pages, there is more discussed leading up to his movies than what goes on during the making of it. I’m sure he has more and more stories about the actual process of the production, dealing with actors, other issues that come up during the filming, or just general antidotes during the making. I would have loved to hear more details about those times. Yes, we can get that info from the commentaries he’s done for the DVDs and Blu-rays, but I think it would have been nice to have them within these pages as well, or even more of them. But again, a good storyteller is always going to leave you wanting more.

Lieberman’s sense of humor and quick wit made this a very entertaining read. Myself being someone that tends to speak their mind in certain company where it would have been better to keep my mouth shut, there are more than a few examples where Lieberman spoke his mind, which was not only damn funny, but ended up working out for him. The best part is the compelling stories that he tells us, not only keeps you interested in the different processes, but has a meaning in there, a point he’s trying to make that usually is much more important than the story itself. That just shows how talented of a writer he really is. And that he made my very favorite killer worm movie too!

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Day of the Living Me

  1. Interesting. I don’t know a lot about Lieberman but I really liked “Squirm” and absolutely loved “Satan’s little helper.” What a creepy little movie that was! I may have to check this book out.

    Liked by 1 person

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