Book Review: We Are the Martians

We Are the Martians: The Legacy of Nigel Kneale
Published by Electric Dreamhouse, 2017. 479 pages.
Edited by Neil Snowdon

I am a huge fan of the Quatermass films that Hammer Films gave us back in the late ‘50s, and the 3rd film, Quatermass and the Pit in the ‘60s. Eventually I was able to track down the original serial versions (or what was left of the first story) on an import DVD. The more I found out about its original creator, Nigel Kneale, the more I discover his other cinematic worlds that he had written, such as The Stone Tapes (1972), The Woman in Black (1989) and the Beasts series (1976). And the more I was impressed.

To say that Kneale was ahead of his time seems to be one of those comments thrown about certain Sci-Fi authors, writing about our future technology. But the difference with Kneale is that while he did do that to a degree, he also seemed to write about our future as human beings. Within those stories, he also could create some unbelievable terrors, without really showing much to the audiences. It made us think.

This book is a collection of essays that covers a wide range of subjects dealing with Kneale and his work. There is chapter by Tim Lucas that cover his lesser-known literary short stories, other ones on specific episodes of his TV shows or films that he created. Mark Chardbourn’s essay, The King of Hauntology sort of gives us a biography of Kneale, except that instead of a straight biography, it goes over different events going on around him at the time, giving possible influences that could have had on him, and his writings.

Continue reading

Book Review: Horror Express

Midnight Movie Monographs: Horror Express
Published by Electric Dreamhouse, 2018. 137 pages
By John Connolly

This is another one that I just don’t know where to start. I came across this publisher about a month ago when they were having a Black Friday sale. I thought about ordering a few of their titles but being from the UK, it would have been a bit pricy. Out of all the titles, this is the one that had my interests the most, so I just ordered it from Amazon. Now, at a book that is only 6″ x 8″, and priced at $29, AND is only 137 pages, makes you wonder if it would be worth it. In this particular case, I would have to say no.

This is a strange one, since being so short, you’d think the author would dive right into the thick of it, but we go 30 pages before the author even starts to write about the movie! That’s almost a quarter of the book?!?! We read about traveling on trains, about the Spanish film market, the British film market, with some details that really have no bearing on the subject at hand. Now maybe if this volume was several hundred pages long, this information would fit in, but it’s not. So why waste precious pages on subjects that have only a distant connection with the movie? There is even a paragraph where the author states that at this point in his writing, he hasn’t seen the movie since he first saw it as a kid! Again, why waste space for that? Continue reading