Coscarelli’s Tales of Independent Filmmaking

Coscarlli BiographyDon Coscarelli. The man that created an amazing cinema legacy with his Phantasm series, not to mention a few other incredible cinematic journeys he’s taken us on, and usually outside of the Hollywood system. I can’t even fathom how hard that must be, and to do for it for over 40 years.

But now he is coming out with a book called True Indie: Life and Death in Film Making, being published this October by St. Martin’s Press. The 320 page book will be filled with tons of behind-the-scenes stories from over the years from his different films, such as “like setting his face on fire during the making of Phantasm, hearing Bruce Campbell’s most important question before agreeing to star in Bubba Ho-Tep, and turning Phantasm into a franchise phenomenon.”

While the book will be filled with some crazy stories, it will also “serve as a crash course on the indie film world”, one that Coscarelli is more than experienced in. That is the one of the many things that I’ve always admired about Coscarelli, that he never sold the Phantasm off to some major studio, but decided to keep it so he could have control over it. Lot of kudos to him for that.

So make sure you add this book to your Amazon Wish List, or wherever you get your books, because I’m sure this one is going to be a great read.

Science vs Fiction

A few years ago while browsing through a local Half Price Books, I came across a book that really through me for a loop. I almost past it up at first because it looked like book on science fiction movies, but as it turned out, there was more than enough of the horror genre covered within. The book was called The Biology of Science Fiction Cinema, originally published in 2005, by McFarland, and written by Mark C. Glassy. As I learned more about Glassy, I discovered that he is an actual professional scientist (now retired) with “extensive study in biochemistry and molecular immunology”, as well as a huge fan of science fiction movies, ever since seeing Earth vs. the Flying Saucers when he was four years old. In this book, he goes through some of our favorite films and discusses the actual science behind it, such as in The Fly (both versions), The Blob (both versions again), White Zombie to John Carpenter’s The Thing to even Lucio Fulci’s Zombie! He covers what parts of the science in the film are correct and what parts are not. This is a lot of fun to read through.

Continue reading

New Book on Dr. Phibes!

Dr. Phibes CompanionWhen I first really got into horror films, one of my favorites was The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), starring the wonderful campy Vincent Price. Even though he was the villain, you always rooted for him! And even though he never actually “talked” in the film, he still commanded your attention each and every frame he was on screen. With a beautiful mixture of horror and humor, director Robert Fuest and Price created a highly memorable character that we got to experience in not only the first film, but its sequel, Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972).

Last year, one of my favorite books that I read was Interviews Too Shocking To Print by Justin Humphreys. So when I discovered that he was coming out with a Dr. Phibes companion book, I was just ecstatic. BearManor Media has announced that The Dr. Phibes Companion is now available for pre-order, both in hard and soft cover editions ($32 & $22), though they don’t have a publication date on the site just yet.

Humphreys had previously written about the first Phibes movie in “The Kind of Fiend Who Wins” and now takes that and expands on it, giving us the definitive history of our favorite devious doctor, as well as a new essay on the sequel, Dr. Phibes Rises Again. There is also a new forward by William Goldstein, one of the creators of this wonderful character. Adding in interviews with many of the people involved with the films, such as director Fuest, screenwriters Goldstein and James Whiton, art director Brian Eatwell, sound designer Peter Lennard, organist Nicholas Kynaston, composer John Gale, and many others. The book will also include never-before-seen production artwork by Fuest from his personal shooting script, as well as photos that have never been published. And one part that I’m really interested in reading, the thorough history of the sequels that never came to be.

I know this will definitely be added to my library once it comes out and can’t wait to dive into it. For more information, just head over to BearManor Media’s website HERE.

Discover Women in Horror!

1000 Women in HorrorNever too early to start to promote an upcoming book, right? Especially one that helps shine the light on not only the horror genre, but a specific part that often goes unnoticed, or at least not getting the attention it should. But thanks to author and scholar Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, maybe that can change.

Next year, BearManor Media will be publishing her new book, entitled 1000 Women in Horror. Heller-Nicholas has already penned five different books on cult horror and exploitation cinema, such as Found Footage Horror Films: Fear and the Appearance of Reality and Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study, as well ones on titles like Suspiria and Mrs. 45.

But this new title will cover over a century of women who have contributed to the genre, helping make it what it is today.  While this isn’t due until next year, it is one that I know I will be looking forward to adding it to the library!

Stay tuned on BearManor Media‘s website for details when they come available.

Beyond Terror…Second Chance

For those that didn’t pre-order a copy of the newly revised edition of Stephen Thrower’s Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci, that comes in this amazing Eibon case, in a few days, you will have a chance at getting one of the overstock copies left over.

On Wednesday, Feb. 7th, at 2pm CST, Fab Press will have 50 copies of the book go on sale on their website (fabpress.com). You’re going to have to be quick because these will sell out relatively quickly. Not sure what the pricing will be, but I will say, having my own copy, it is well worth the investment.

Beyond Terror Box

Frankenstein: The First Two Hundred Years

Frankenstein First Two Hundred YearsWith year being the 200 year anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s immortal tale, Frankenstein, I was hoping that there would be some sort of celebrating going on during the year. And it didn’t take long for author Christopher Fraying to appease that desire.

Published at the end of last year, this book “traces the journey of Shelley’s Frankenstein from limited-edition literature into the bloodstream of contemporary culture.” Since I’m not only a sucker for reference books, when they are one of my favorite subjects of the genre, then you got me right away. This volume is just over 200 pages, and a nice 9.5″ x 11″ sixe, so it will make a nice coffee table book. Plus, it looks to be filled with a wonderful array of images, photos, artwork, from the beginning to modern day adaptations. According to the description on the publisher’s website, the book also features “new research on the novel’s origins, and a facsimile reprint of the earliest-known manuscript version of the creation scene; visual material on adaptations for the stage, in magazines, on playbills, in prints and in book publications of the nineteenth century; series of visual essays on many of the film versions – and their inspirations in the history of art; and Frankenstein in popular culture – on posters, advertisements, packaging, in comics and graphic novels.”

How could any Frankenstein fan not want to immediately order their copy of this book? The retail price is $39.95, but you can get it on Amazon right now for considerably lower. In fact, the book has 4 reviews on Amazon already, and all of them give the book 5 stars. I know once we receive our copy, we’ll get our review posted as well.

The Wonderful Movie Books of Guillermo del Toro

As a collector of movie themed books, nothing brings me back to my childhood than when you find a book that is not only dedicated to a single title, but one that covers it with so much detail that you literally can just fall right into the film as you’re slowly turning the pages, reading all about the making of the particular title while looking at the wonderful images therein. It’s really magical. Of course, it’s great when you can find one of these books on a movie that you absolutely adore. Or maybe it’s about a particular filmmaker. Or even better, a series of books on this same guy, who has continued to create some of the most beautiful cinematic features over the years. Of course, I’m talking about Guillermo del Toro and the amazing books that have been coming out over the last few years.

cabinetofcuriositiesOver the last five years, there have been at least a half dozen titles that have come out, either from Harper Design and/or Insight Editions, all looking very similar to each other, but are just filled to the brim with tons of information. The first volume was called Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions, and was released by Harper Design in October of 2013. This book was a walk into the creative mind of del Toro and what a wonderful stroll it is to take. It covers the filmmakers early life, gives us a tour of Bleak House, as well as going through some of his movies. Filling the pages are images where your mind can be inspired, from the mind-blowing photos of his collection in Bleak House, to the illustrations and original sketches from the different films, all coming from his notebooks while he was developing these movies. This large hardcover was a bit pricy with the original retail at $60, but it really is a must for fans of his work. Here’s a video he made explaining what this book is all about. Better to hear it right from him, right?

Continue reading