A Bigger House of Psychotic Women!

Back in 2012, Kier-La Janisse published her book House of Psychotic Women, that I guarantee was like no other book you’ve read before. Part autobiographical, while discussing in great details about different films that had an effect on Janisse throughout her life. Now, a decade later, she has expanded it with almost a 100 more pages and more than a 100 new film reviews, as well in a large format than the original.

According to publisher FAB Press, this book is “an autobiographical exploration of female neurosis in horror and exploitation films. Anecdotes and memories interweave with film history, criticism, trivia and confrontational imagery to create a reflective personal history and examination of female madness, both onscreen and off.” This will make sure you look at some films very differently than you do now, which is always the best that a book on film can do. You might not agree with the thoughts in here, but at least it will make you think.

Continue reading

Terror Down Under

Back in 2008, when Mark Hartley’s incredible documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation came out, I had no idea just how many horror and exploitation films had actually came from Australia. More and more titles that I had heard or seen, but never knowing they actually were made ‘down under’. Plus, it also put the spotlight on a few titles that I had never seen yet. No matter what though, it showed that country had definitely made its own mark on the genre.

More importantly, I’m not sure that I knew the Australian government had actually banned horror films, from making them to even importing and showing them, all due to religious communities and righteous watchdog groups. Now thanks to author Daniel Best, we’re going to have a chance to learn all about the history of the ban, the censorship, and getting past it, in his book Terror Down Under: A History of Horror Film in Australia, 1897 – 1973. For me, there is nothing more enjoyable than opening up a new world of information about the horror genre, giving one a new insight to the history of the genre that us here in the States (or other countries) might not have a clue of what was going on during certain times. At first, I thought this was a standard film guide for Australian horror films but after reading what the book was actually about, I am even more intrigued and interested in digging into it!

Priced at $39.95 and 204 pages, it set to come out from McFarland this October.

New Book on British AIP Films

While there have been a few books that have covered the productions from American International Pictures, or AIP as they are better known as, but during their reign at the box office and drive-ins, there were 29 titles that were made in the UK, from making deals with Hammer Films, Tigon, and a few other production companies, to release the films over here in the states. Titles like Cat Girl (1957), Horrors of the Black Musuem (1959), Witchfinder General (1968), and The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), plus many others. Now, being published through Little Shoppe of Horrors, author John Hamilton has spent over 20 years working on this volume that will cover 29 film titles, each with in-depth coverage, including over 700 images!

No real date set for this volume, but I know I will definitely be adding it to my library. The films that AIP presented to audiences during that era were some of the ones I grew up on, especially in the days of the VHS boom when so many titles were hitting that new market. When we get more details, we’ll post them here. In the meantime, if you’re interested, fire off an email to Little Shoppe of Horrors main man Richard Klemenson (klemdia@msn.com) to let him know you’re interested.

Learn of the Legends

For fans of the horror movie genre, as well as science fiction, fantasy, action, crime, dramas, and every single other genre out there, makeup effects have been around since the beginning of the art form. Turning actors into someone different, whether it be into someone older, a different gender, or something that doesn’t exist in our reality, it was the job of the makeup artist to make that transformation happen. In the beginning, sometimes it was the actor themselves that did it, especially ones like Lon Chaney who constantly turned himself into different characters. Eventually, the craft was taken on by individuals that not only carried on the art form, but created techniques and the makeup products themselves, advancing the artform even more. They allowed writers and directors to show filmgoers something they’ve never seen before onscreen. And a century later, these talented people are still doing it. Now, thanks to authors Howard Berger and Marshall Julius, you’ll be able to learn even more about them!

Continue reading

The Incredibly Strange Features of Ray Dennis Steckler

Those fans of low budget and independent filmmaking might be aware of Ray Dennis Steckler. Even if you’re not, you’ve probably heard of the title The Incredible Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies (1964). But he made plenty more like that, hitting a variety of sub-genres, but no matter what, they were always the same demented mind. Now, thanks to author Christopher Wayne Curry, you’ll be able to take a deeper dive into that madness with his latest book, The Incredible Strange Features of Ray Dennis Steckler, being published by McFarland later this summer.

The book will cover “nearly fifty movies while his lost, incomplete and experimental films have been examined as well. Key Entries include cast and crew credits, alongside a plot synopsis, pictures, posters and behind-the-scenes anecdotes. This wild and way-out read is made all the more so with a Steckler memorabilia checklist, an overview of global tributes, exclusive interviews and much, much more. Transcriptions of the author’s interviews with Steckler’s ex-wife Carolyn Brandt, his daughter Laura H. Steckler, and stuntman Gary Kent are included.”

I’m sure once I get my grubby little hands on a copy, I’ll be posting a review shortly thereafter!

Peveril Publishing Releases Vol 4 of Fantastic Films

If you’re a fan of Peveril Publishing and have already picked up their first 3 volumes in their Fantastic Films of the Decades series, then you probably already know this, but volume 4, which deals with films from 1944 through 1949, has arrived from the printers and will be going on sale very soon on the Peveril site. The titles from Peveril go pretty quickly once they are announced so the best way to know about it when it does become available is to sign up for their newsletter on the site.

I have the first 3 volumes and definitely plan on adding this one to the library. Like all their other books, they are beautifully laid out, tons of great graphics and interesting information. For all the details, head over to their site HERE.

Creepshow 2 Book!

The original George Romero film Creepshow (1982) is one of my all-time favorite horror films, no questions. I would consider it one of those perfect films that just couldn’t get any better. So, when the sequel came out, trying to reproduce the same feeling of the original, I was very excited but very apprehensive that they would be able to strike gold twice. Well, they didn’t. But it not only was entertaining, I think it still holds up today.

One of the best ways to enjoy a film even more is to know more about the behind-the-scenes. When you understand maybe some of the production issues they had, or problems with the funds, cast and/or crew, it makes you see the end results a little differently. Might not make it a better film, but at least you see it and understand a few things a little differently. So, I’m thrilled to see a new book coming out that is tackling this sequel.

The Making of Creepshow 2 by Lee Karr will be published in August of this year, from Plexus Publishing. Running over 300 pages, author Karr chronicles the film from the pre-production to the finished product. There is a day-by-day diary with production files, scripts, storyboard art, and notes from director Michael Gornick himself. We get to hear from a ton of people involved in the film, from costume designers, stunt coordinators, and other members of the cast and crew.

I can’t wait to dig into this one!

Any Black Christmas Fans?

Black Christmas is one of those early horror films that made a huge impact, though it seems to get lost in the shadow of another big title that came out 4 years after Bob Clark’s ground-breaking film. But now you can learn even more about this film and why it is important in our horror film history. Author Paul Downey & David Hastings give us It’s Me Billy: Black Christmas Revisited, a 320-page volume going into the history and discussion of the film’s themes and characters, with interviews with the cast and crew. The book not only covers the original, but the remakes as well.

Published by BearManor Media this Feb., you can get it either in either a hardcover edition ($43 only from BearManor’s site), or in Softcover ($33). I know I’ll be adding this to my library as well, and know that once I dig into it, I’ll be revisiting the classic film once again!

New Howarth Book!!!

Our good friend Troy Howarth has officially announced his latest book, which doesn’t have a release date yet, but I know I’ll be adding it to my library! The title is Make Them Die Slowly: The Kinetic Cinema of Umberto Lenzi, which will be published by WK Books. This will be the first ever book covering Lenzi’s work in English, which will cover all of his films in depth, with plenty of interviews with people that worked with Lenzi and his films. While some might only know Lenzi’s name from the cannibal films that gave him a lot of notoriety, his work and impact in the Italian film industry was huge.

With a forward by Eugenio Ercolani and cover art by Jolyon Yates, the page count should be around 400 and most likely will be offered in both a full color version as well as a black & white version, priced accordingly.

When we have more details, we’ll post them here. I’m not only a friend of Troy’s but have devoured more than a few of his books and have never been disappointed by the coverage he gives to each of his subjects. I expect no less with this one.

Here There Be Monsters

I think it was either his book Golden Horrors or Drums of Voodoo when I first became aware of author Bryan Senn. Funny thing is that I had probably read several of the articles that he had written over the years for magazines such as Filmfax and Shivers, to the many books I owned from Midnight Marquee. Several years ago, I got to meet him at a Monster Bash show and we’ve become good friends since then. So anytime he has a new book coming out, I know I’ll be adding it to my library. Not just because we’re friends but because Senn knowns what he’s writing about! He’s just like the rest of us, having a huge passion for the genre, so we know what he’s writing about, comes from the heart.

His latest book, Here There Be Monsters, from BearManor Media, is a collection of “interviews, histories, tributes, and overviews on the diverse world of horror and science fiction cinema” that he’s done over the last 30 years. Some of these pieces are expanded from their original form while some are completely new. Within these pages, you’ll read about the Universal films to Hammer horrors from across the pond, Euro gothic chillers, and even heading south of the border for some mask wrestlers duking it out with all sorts of monsters. From the well-rounded genre cinema fans to ones craving to learn more about titles you might not have heard of, this book sounds like a great way to learn about, or learn more about this great selection of cinema.

It is available only in hardcover format from BearManor Media for only $38. If you get it from Amazon, it will set you back another $10, but then you’ll get probably get free shipping. Either way, I think this will be a nice addition to everyone’s library. And just think, Christmas is coming, so for any horror fans that you’re looking for a gift idea, there you go.