Kicking the Seat Podcast

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Totally forgot about posting this last week! But better late than never. Last week, while we were at the Music Box Theatre for our book launch, I had the great opportunity to sit down with Ian Simmons from Kicking the Seat podcast. The first part of the podcast, we talk about the book and what keeps me busy. But after that, if you’re a lover of Argento and the giallo, then you’re going to want to continue to listen!

After I get done rambling, you’ll get to hear Ian, along with Aaron Christensen (Horror 101 with Dr. AC) and Bryan Martinez from The Giallo Room YouTube series, as they discuss Argento’s 1982 film Tenebre. Ian and Aaron have been discussing a lot of Argento over the last few months so check out some of the older podcasts to hear more.

Click HERE to listen to the podcast. Enjoy!

 

Fear: The Autobiography of Dario Argento

Fear Aregento AutobiographyFAB Press is now taking pre-orders for the Exclusive Collector’s Edition, limted to only 1000 individually numbered copies of the English edition of Argento’s autobiography, which will be shipping in September. This is a limited hardcover edition, which is priced at £20.00 (UK) / $30.00 (US). There will be a trade edition later on at some point, but they have not listed a date yet.

After many years and many books, we’ve been able to read about this master filmmaker, but now we have the chance to hear it from the maestro himself. According to FAB Press’ website, “With candor and honesty, Fear lifts the lid on the trials and tribulations of Argento’s glittering career during the sensational Golden Era of Cinecittà. From his childhood mixing with glamorous Italian movie stars thanks to his noted photographer mother and his film industry father to his start in the fledgling field of cinema criticism, Argento shares compelling anecdotes about his life growing up in La Dolce Vita Rome.”

The book was adapted from the Italian translation, edited and annotated by Argento expert/author Alan Jones, with plenty of rare photographs from his collection.

So if you want a hardcover edition of this book, don’t waste time and head over to the FAB Press website HERE and place your order.

Book Review: Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1980-1989

Italian Gothic Horror Films 1980-1989Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1980-1989
Published by McFarland, 2019. 232 pages.
By Roberto Curti

Being that this is the 3rd book in the series by Curti involving the gothic horror films of Italy, this latest one, covering the ’80s, it’s sort of a nice little walk down memory lane for me. The ’80s is when I started to become aware of these films. With the boom of VHS tapes, the horror section was filled with these flicks from Italy, promising (and usually delivering) the bloody and gory goods to us eager viewers. So getting to read several pages on some of my favorites, namely the ones from Argento, Bava, Fulci, and Soavi, there is plenty to be learned here.

Not only will you get to read about some of your favorite classic Italian horror flicks like Argento’s Inferno (1980) or Fulci’s City of the Living Dead (1980), The Beyond and House by the Cemetery (both 1981), as well as Claudio Fragasso’s Monster Dog (1985) and Luigi Cozzi’s Paganini Horror (1989), you will get so much insight and information that I bet you’re going to want to re-watch some of these if you haven’t seen them in a while. You’ll learn maybe why Monster Dog turned out like it did, which could make you give it (and Fragasso) a little more credit. Maybe. Continue reading

Book Review: 150 Movies You Should Die Before You See

150 Movies You Should Die Before You See150 Movies You Should Die Before You See
Published by Adams Media, 2010. 290 pages.
By Steve Miller

This one had me really confused, especially the title. I first picked it up because I thought it might give me a few ideas for some future Turkey Day viewing. But as I read through it, I became really confused at just what Miller was trying to do here.

Each film has a very short synopsis along with cast and crew listing. Then a paragraph under the Why It Sucks moniker, a ratings of how many Thumbs Down, then a Crappies Award for whatever he didn’t care for.

In his introduction, Miller writes that there is “something magical about bad movies. Something that makes them worth the sometimes considerable effort to sit through.” Now while I really don’t like the term “bad movies” when you’re talking about a film you enjoy watching (same goes with “guilty pleasure”), I’ll let it slide here because that is an discussion for another time. But if you’re talking about movies that you do enjoy watching, then why are you putting them in a book with the title telling people NOT to watch them? Continue reading

Book Review: Perverse Titillation

perverse titillationPerverse Titillation: The Exploitation Cinema of Italy, Spain and France, 1960-1980
Published by McFarland, 2011. 346 pages.
By Danny Shipka

“To all those who have received grief for their entertainment choices and who see the study of weird and wacky films as important to understanding popular culture.”

That is the little dedication in the beginning of the book, which I immediately felt a kindred spirit with the author, since, like many fans of cult cinema, have had to try and explain and/or defend their love of this genre. For someone who is new to this type of films, especially from the three countries covered here, this would be a great introduction. This is not an in-depth or critical study or college thesis where the author is trying to come up with some outrageous theory, but an general overview of the films, filmmakers, and what was going on in those countries during this time. As a newcomer to this, you will find quite a few titles to add to your “To-Watch” list, which honestly, is the best thing a reference book can do for the reader, making them want to seek out and watch the films that are discussed. And with that, author Shipka does a great job.

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Book News!

Oargentone more thing we can look forward to in 2019 is the continuing proof that print is definitely not dead. Sorry folks, but not even close. Granted, my bank account very well could be, but there are more than a few books coming out this year that I know will be must additions to my library. Not sure where I’m going to be putting them when they do arrive, or when I’ll get around to reading them…

FAB Press announced that they will be publishing the English language edition of Dario Argento’s autobiography, simply called Fear. That is the only details FAB released but since I hadn’t even heard that he was even writing an autobiography (that was actually published in 2014…thanks Troy!), I am more than a little excited about hearing his stories, right from him. I can only imagine the insights and stories we’re going to hear right from the man responsible for so many incredible pieces of cinema.

Add this to the fact that Troy Howarth’s new book, Murder By Design: The Unsane Cinema of Dario Argento, will be out in 2020, that means we’ll have a few more Argento books for the library shelves. Maybe we’ll even get to see Volume 3 in Howarth’s So Deadly, So Perverse giallo series. Positive thoughts, my fellow book fiends.

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Music Box of Horrors 2018

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Chicago’s Music Box Theatre has been hosting these 24-hour marathons since 2005, and I have been at every one of them. There were a few times I was just there as a fan to watch the movies, but usually I’m there as a vendor. When I am set up as a vendor, part of me always regrets not just coming as a fan and being able to enjoy watching the films instead of staying behind my table. Sure, with my wife Dawn there, I could always sneak out to catch a  film or two, but I usually feel bad about leaving her there to watch the table alone. Plus, I always feel I might miss something. We also usually pack and leave somewhere around 2am, figuring sales are usually low or non-existent by then. But this time out, things were a little different. Continue reading