I once again went beyond my goal of reading at least book a month this year, devouring a total of 15 titles. I seem to be on a trend because I’ve done that for the last 2 years. Granted, even at this rate, I still won’t get through every title I have, and that’s even if I stopped adding more titles to the library. And we all know that isn’t going to happen! But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try! Out of those 15 titles, here are the top 5 that I would recommend the most, listed alphabetically, even though I have a little adder at the bottom. If you want to read more detail about these titles, as well as the other ones I read, click on the link for Horror Reference Book Reviews on the menu to the right.
True Indie: Life and Death in Filmmaking
Published by St. Martin’s Press, 2018. 342 pages.
By Don Coscarelli
Having the chance to see Bubba Ho-Tep in the theater with the director Don Coscarelli in attendance is well worth me traveling into Chicago for it. Even more so if Coscarelli is there promoting his new autobiography as well! Hearing him talk about the book after the screening made me want to dive into it right away. In fact, I started reading this the next day. And two weeks later to the day, I finished it. If you want to get the gist of this review without having to read it all, just go by the book. It is one of the most entertaining biographies I’ve read in a long time. But if you want more details, read on.
I’ve always admired Coscarelli and his work, especially the Phantasm films, and have met the man more than a few times at different conventions over the years. Each and every time I have met him, he has been one of the most genuine and friendly person you could meet. In fact, as me and a friend we’re waiting outside the theater for the book signing, Coscarelli walks up to us and says “Hi, I’m Don. Are you hear for the singing and movie?” Such a class act.
Phans of director Don Coscarelli take note! This true independent filmmaker will be coming to Chicago’s Music Box Theatre to celebrate the release of his autobiography, True Indie: Life and Death in Filmmaking, as well as a screening of his film Bubba Ho-Tep (2002).
His book gives us story after story of working in the filmmaking industry, but still able to remain independent and not be sucked into the evil world of Hollywood, one thing that I’ve always admired about him. He would continue to turn out very unique and unusual films, always creating entertaining pictures, from his Phantasm series, to the dark and strange comedies Bubba Ho-Tep and John Dies at the End, Coscarelli continues to shine as a truly independent and dedicated craftsman to the industry. And we get to read about all those stories in his book, which we can only imagine how many good ones he has to tell. Such as having his own office on Universal Studios’ lot while he was still in his teens, or where he almost drowns actress Catherine Keener, to setting his face on fire during the making of Phantasm, to even meeting and working with heavy metal legend Ronnie James Dio.
Don 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.
Next month, at the annual Flashback Weekend will be taking place at the Crown Plaza, in Rosemont, IL., one of the many guests that will be attending is legendary director Don Coscarelli, the man who gave us the highly memorable film Phantasm. Phans had been hearing that the original film was getting the remastered treatment for an upcoming release, but now you can have the chance to see this new print screened at a theater!
Another new year, and now another passing of a great icon in the Horror & Sci-Fi genre world. Like many other fans this morning, I woke up reading the news that Angus Scrimm had passed away. Not sure how to even start with this eulogy, since anybody that had ever met Scrimm at one of the many conventions that he appeared at over the years, knew that he was as far opposite as the sinister character he was known for. While he might not have appeared in hundreds of movies, the ones that he did, he always made an impact, even in the smallest of roles. But of course, we all knew him as the evil Tall Man from the Phantasm series, where he really shined. But then seeing this man at a show, such a kind-hearted old gentleman, so happy, excited, and even thrilled, to meet fans of his work, treating each and every one of them with respect and kindness…it always left a strong impact for me to see this, each and every time.