Unusual Themed Books

Masks in Horror CinemaWe all know that there are title upon title on movie reference books that cover the same topic. Whether it is on slasher films, the zombie sub-genre, or any number of those Freudian psycho-babble entries, there are more than enough to keep this fan of horror reference books busy and broke! But I recently came across three titles that are either out or coming out that cover a unique and interesting theme that immediately grabbed my interests. Even more so, at first thought, I didn’t think there would be enough movies under each of these subjects to merit a whole book. But once again, it just shows you can always learn more!

Masks in Horror Cinema: Eyes Without Faces is by Alexander Heller-Nicholas, and has been published by University of Wales Press. This one is a bit pricy, at $51.37 on Amazon, and is 288 pages long. According to the description, “This book explores its transformative potential historically across myriad cultures, particularly in relation to its ritual and myth-making capacities, and its intersection with power, ideology and identity.”

With this striking cover, using poster art from Georges Franju’s Les yeux sans visage (aka Eyes Without a Face, 1960), this doesn’t look to be a book covering a certain number of specific movie titles, but is broken up into different categories, such as Skin Masks, Blanks Masks, Animal Masks, and such. There are separate chapters on pre-1970 films and post-1970. I have to say, it does sound kind of interesting. Continue reading

Ennio Morricone: In His Own Words

Ennio Morricone In His Own WordsI know I may be a little late to the party on this one (and kind of pissed at myself that I’m just finding out about this) but there is a book about this amazing composer out now, called Ennio Morricone: In His Own Words. Whether you are a fan of western soundtracks, horror, and any of the other genres Morricone worked on, you know he created an unbelievable amount of magic through his music. For me, going back to films like Nightmare Castle to the work he did with Dario Argento, his scores are always amazing.

According to the description, Morricone and Alessandro De Rosa had a years-long discussion of “life, music, and the marvelous and unpredictable ways that the two come into contact with and influence each other.” Published by Oxford University Press last March, this 368 page book covers the Maestros work and those he collaborated with, names like Leone, Carpenter, De Palma, Almodóvar, Polanski, and many more. According to Morricone himself, this is “beyond a shadow of a doubt the best book ever written about me, the most authentic, the most detailed and well curated. The truest.” How can you argue with that?

I know this will be among my next order with Amazon and I can’t wait to dig into it.

Infogothic: An Unauthorized Graphic Guide to Hammer Horror

InfogothicEven though this book was released October of 2018, this is the first time I’ve come across it, or at least that I’m remembering! Of course, being on Hammer Films, I know I’m going to need to add it to my library. But at only 96 pages, it does raise some concerns on the content. Sure, I’ll be ordering it anyway, if only to be able to review it here and let other Hammer fans out there know whether it is worth their $25!

According to the blurb from the publisher, author Alistair Hughes gives us “Everything you ever wanted to know about Hammer’s horror films is contained in this incredible graphic guide. Charts, templates, diagrams and illustration take you through all the facts and figures. From the relative heights of Frankenstein’s Monster, to the actors to have played Dracula … no stone is left unturned in this compelling and fascinating look at the films which redefined ‘Horror’ for a generation.”

Not sure if everything I ever wanted to know about Hammer’s horror films could be contained in only 96 pages, but we’ll see.

Holiday Shopping Ideas

Book Cover Art 22819With Axe-mas right around the corner, I’m sure everyone is starting to compile their own wish list or thinking about what to get others. I’m going to give a few suggestions to help not only find a great gift, but to also help increase the knowledge for the person receiving it, as well as maybe showing support for those out there that are putting their blood, sweat, tears, and talent into their work. We need to show our support for them, to let them know what they are doing is worth it.

For those out there that are looking for the special gift for the horror obsessed fan in their life, or to add it to your own personal list, let me start with a shameless plug and humbly suggest picking up a copy of my book, Discover the Horror? While it is available on Amazon, if you order it directly from me, you’ll get it personally signed to you, or whoever you request. How cool would it be to surprise your special someone with a personalized autograph copy? You can read what some people have thought about it on Amazon or some of the reviews I’ve posted on the link to the right.

But…this isn’t just about my book, but the countless titles out there that would make wonderful gifts to any horror fan. Here are some examples. Continue reading

Cooking Up Some Lovecraft

Necronomnomnom bookAs a horror fan that loves books, who happens to live with two amazing cooks (my wife and son), it isn’t uncommon for me to occasionally buy them a cookbook that has some tie to the horror genre. Most of them are pretty generic or tend to be more on the treat side, like for Halloween parties and whatnot. But I recently stumbled across a recently published book that looked interesting, so I ordered it. Once it arrived and we started to page and read through it, we quickly realized the genius within the pages.

The Necronomnomnom was written by Mike Slater and Thomas Roache, published back last month from Countryman Press. It is 208 pages filled with 50 different recipes but with a very Lovecraftian twist to them, such as the Gin and Miskatonic drink, or The Great Old Buns, the Deep Fried Deep One, or some Cthus-Koos! Now we have not yet made any recipes from this… keyword yet, but just reading through it is a real treat and has some pretty interesting things that my son Nick has already expressed an interest in trying. Continue reading

Taking Shape: Developing Halloween from Script to Scream

Taking ShapeDo we really need yet another book on the Halloween series? Well, since one of the authors is Dustin McNeill, who gave fans so much more insight into the Phantasm series with his book Phantasm Exhumed, then I would say YES! Not to mention that there is always more to learn about movies, especially a series that has been going on for over 40 years.

Just released and available on Amazon, Taking Shape has escaped from Harker Press and has over 400 pages of information about the Halloween series, including Rob Zombies two films, and the recent return of Laurie Strode in H40.

But what can this book bring you that we haven’t gotten already? How about a comprehensive story analysis of each of the films in the series? Or a rundown of all the deleted scenes, as well as the alternate ones. You’ll also get comparisons of early versions of the scripts to the final product, an in-depth dissection of the official novelizations (which could always be quite different than the films), and so much more.

The book is available now through Amazon and is a perfect title for the season. Priced at only $23.99, it’s a killer deal.

Mr. Murder: The Life & Times of Tod Slaughter

Mr MurderWithin our horror history, there are still names that we need to not only remember, but know why they are important. One of those names is Tod Slaughter, who some call Britain’s first true horror star. Slaughter didn’t start making films until he was 50, after a long career of acting on the stage. But making films, especially when he appeared as the villain, is when Slaughter not only shined, but he seemed to just love it. Probably his most famous role, was that of bloody barber Sweeney Todd, in The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1936).

Coming this November from Hemlock Books and authors Denis Meikle, Kip Xool, and Doug Young, you will be given your chance to learn more about Slaughter than ever before. Mr. Murder: The Life and Times of Tod Slaughter will us a definitive biography of this unsung hero of horror. The book will even feature extracts from Slaughter’s unpublished autobiography, as well as tons of information on this actor who just relished being over the top and chewing the scenery. Appearing in other films such as The Face at the Window (1939) and Horror Maniacs (1948), Slaughter is a name you need to know within your horror education.

This 280 page book will be available in hardcover format, and will be fully illustrated throughout the book, with 8 pages in color. The retail price is £29.95, which is about $38 over here. It will be a bit pricy once you throw in the postage, but I know it will be one title I’ll be adding to my library! For more information, head over to their site by clicking HERE.