Nothing pleases me more than when I hear of a new book coming on a horror movie. Not only does it make me happy that here are still books being published, but also that it is about the genre I love so much. Definitely a win-win! Now it has been years since I’ve seen the film version of Cujo, and even longer since I’d read the book. But I do remember enjoying both for different reasons. I know it’s been a film that I’ve been meaning to re-visit for a while. I’m sure after reading this book, that desire will be even greater.
Lee Gambin, author of Massacred by Mother Nature, has a new book out called Nope, Nothing Wrong Here: The Making of Cujo, that focuses just one of those killer animal movies, the 1983 film based on the King book which was published in two years earlier. A simple story about a battle between a mother and her young child against a massive and rabid Saint Bernard. I know of a couple people that this movie simply terrified them and made them always a bit twitchy around dogs, of any size. Gambin’s book tackles the whole movie from beginning to end, and all aspects of the production. It covers the early days when the production was running into problems, the original director Peter Medak getting canned, and so much more. With more than thirty different interviews with the people involved, Gambin gives us a ton of information about this famous furry terror. We’ll get to hear from actors Dee Wallace, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Danny Pintauro, director Lewis Teague, composer Charles Bernstein, stuntman Gary Morgan, and plenty of more.
Honestly, never get tired of reading about the old Universal classic monster movies. Sure, there are a lot of the same stories told and retold over and over again, but you never know when something new and interesting is going to be uncovered, or possible brought out in a way that causing you think of something a different than before. Yes, the bottom line, like I’m always waving the flag for, is to constantly trying to learn more about these movies that we love, whether they are brand new titles, or ones that we’ve grown up with and seen hundreds of times. Besides, I know for me, every time I read about one of these movies, it always makes me want to bust it out and watch it again.
As a reference book collector, there are no two words that can fill one with both excitement and dread at the same time as “revised” and “updated” do. The excitement comes because we imagine there is new information that is going to make it worth double-dipping, but at the same time, the dread comes in because we wonder if these ‘extras’ are going to be worth it? Granted, this goes the same for the countless DVD and Blu-ray editions over the years. But this is where I found myself today when I was at the local bookstore and seeing not one, but two volumes that I already had in my library, but both had these words blazing across the top of the front cover.
We all know that most horror fans just love some flying drilling spheres, right? And even though we have the incredible book Phantasm Exhumed by Dustin McNeill, there’s never too many books on the movies we love, especially when their written by scholars like McNeill and Rue Morgue’s John Bowen.
Continuing their publications of books on a variety of subjects, such as the their 200 Alternative Horror Films You Need to See or Horror Movie Heroes, each packed full of useful information for those who wish to learn more about this great genre. They are now tackling the one and only Phantasm, Don Coscarelli’s 1979 classic film of a young boy coming of age and battling terrors from beyond.
With participation of Coscarelli, as well as exclusive interviews with the usual Phan-favorites Angus Scrimm, Reggie Bannister, Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, and many more, Mr. Bowen will take us on a journey through this strange world of the Tall Man and his minions, covering the whole series. It will also feature Roger Avary on his Phantasm epic that he wrote but was never able to get made. I’ve heard many of stories about this and can’t wait to hear more from the man who wrote it.
So if you are a Phan, then you damn well you’re going to be picking up a copy. So why wait and just pre-order it now, which you can do by clicking HERE. I know I’ll be adding it to our library, so why don’t you?
While we are just finishing up Jon Towlson’s book The Turn to Gruesomeness in American Horror Films 1931 to 1936, it looks like we’ll be continuing our little history lesson with this new book by Raymond Valinoti Jr., entitled Hollywood’s Pre-Code Horrors 1931-1934, published by BearManor Media.
Valinoti Jr. has a Master’s in Library Science and is a freelance researcher, so I can only imagine this guy has done his homework on this subject, which is a damn fascinating one. With all the BS we hear about the goings-on with Hollywood and getting pictures released, it amazes me what they went through back in the ’30s, and was still able to get away with murder! Well, at least on the big screen!
Back before the MPAA, movie studios tended to get away with a lot more than they did have the late ’30s when they started to be held to a higher (and moral) standard. During the depression, the studios really pushed the limit, trying like hell to get people into the theaters with films like Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) and The Black Cat (1934).
This title is available in both softcover ($19.95) and hardcover ($30) editions and can be ordered from either Amazon or directly from BearManor Media. It’s the same price, so do a favor for the small business guy and order from BearManor Media. Just click HERE. They put out some great books, many of which I have in my own library.
As horror fans, it is very important to know what came before, to help us understand and enjoy the films of today. Of course the way to do that is to keep watching older films. But how far back do you go? Just to the Universal classics? Of do you dig a little deeper and get to the silent horror films? I really hope all horror fans do jus this because there are some incredible titles out there from the silent era that are still available today. Some of the imagery they show us is not only truly frightening, but also amazing that they created them a hundreds years ago!
If you are a fan of movies where the animal kingdom decides to turn the tables and go after humans, then here’s a book just for you. When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals is now available through Amazon. Edited by Vanessa Morgan, cover art by Gilles Vranckx, this is a collection of authors and essays that take on a variety of beasties on a rampage against humanity. Now I will confess, I am one of authors that you’ll find in this book (covering the ultimate Turkey Day movie, The Giant Claw), but you will find a ton of great writers in here (a few names you might recognize from Hidden Horror!), writing about films like Alligator, Attack of the Crab Monsters, Grizzly, Of Unknown Origin, Slugs, Them! and so many more. There are titles that are campy and cheesy and others that are very serious.