For those who might not know (meaning this must be your first time at the site since I’m always going on about it), but I have a lot of reference books on the horror genre and those that have worked in it. While I try to read as much as I can, with everything else going on, it is so easy to slip by and not get any reading done. So last year I set a goal for myself to get through at least 12 books during the year, figuring a book a month on average would be a good start. At the end of that first year, I think I was one title away from hitting that goal. But this year, I blew by that goal, actually hit a grand total of 14 different titles.
They were: Spanish Horror Film by Antonio Lazaro-Reboll, Ten Cent Plague by David Hajdu, Cult Horror Films by Welch Everman, The Unholy Three by John Hamilton, Father of The Blob by Jack H. Harris, Katzman, Nicholson, Corman: Shaping Hollywood’s Future by Mark Thomas McGee, I Cannot, Yet I Must By Anders Runestad, The Supernatural Cinema of Guillermo del Toro Edited by John W. Morehead, Sex, Sadism, Spain, and Cinema by Nicholas G. Schlegel, Giallo Cinema and Its Folktale Roots by Michael Sevastakis, It Came from the 80s by Francesco Borseti, Little Horrors by T.S. Kord, Growing up with Manos by Jackey Neyman Jones, and When Animals Attack edited by Vanessa Morgan.
Out of all of those titles, I have picked my favorite 3 from those.
BearManor Media is having a huge Memorial Day sale that ends midnight on May 31st, where all of their paperback editions are 30% off. I have quite a few of BearManor titles in my collection, and have reviewed a few of them here on my site. Just do a search for BearManor Media and you’ll see which ones I’m talking about.
There are three reasons you should order a book or two (or more) from them. The first and obvious reason is because they are having a 30% off sale! Kind of a no-brainer, don’t you think?
Katzman, Nicholson, Corman: Shaping Hollywood’s Future
By Mark Thomas McGee
Published by BearManor Media, 2016. 332 pages.
Last year, I read McGee’s You Won’t Believe Your Eyes (also from BearManor) and absolutely loved it. It was such a great read, filled with some great and humorous recollections from someone who is obviously a huge fan of the same kind of movies that I enjoy. So when I seen that BearManor had just published a new book by this same author, I was excited. But when I saw that it was about three filmmakers that I admire greatly, I couldn’t wait to get my copy to dig into it. And I wasn’t disappointment.
With the holiday season approaching, we are always seeking out just the right gift for that special person in our lives. Now this may come as a bit of a surprise, but I’m a pretty big proponent of books. Yeah, I know….shocker, huh? But honestly, why buy something like a movie for this person (when chances are they might already have it!?!?!) that is just going to sit on a shelf until they get around to watching it. Okay…same could be said for a book…especially in my house. But honestly, a book will stay longer with them, by teaching them something they didn’t know before, which will allow a few different things to happen. For instances, if you get them a biography, they will learn about this particular person, be it a director or actor, which will help them appreciate and understand their work each and every time they watch one of their movies. If it is a simple film guide, it could open up a bunch of titles to them that they might not have known about yet. Or even if it is a book about the genre in general, it could open up some understanding as a whole, which always helps you appreciate it even more, getting you to think about these films possibly a little different than you had before.
Beyond Ballyhoo: Motion Picture Promotion and Gimmicks
By Mark Thomas McGee
Published by McFarland & Company, 1989, republished in 2001. 237 pages.
I’ve always been a sucker for a gimmick when it comes to the movies. It definitely was something for a different era of movie promotions, though there are a few out there that still practice this old way of getting your audience’s attention, but nothing like it used to be. But even though those days are gone for the most part, reading about them is a lot of fun. Sure, it makes you wish you were around during those times. I mean, who wouldn’t have loved getting an “Up Chuck Cup” when going to see I Dismember Mama? Or getting to drink some ‘green blood’ when you went to see Mad Doctor of Blood Island? But it is fun to read about all the different wild and crazy things that studios used to come up with to try and get people to come to see their movies….even if the movie wasn’t that great.
Once again, McGee does an excellent job as our storyteller, giving us not only a lot of facts, but personal references and memories as well, which makes the stories even more entertaining. We get to hear about gimmicks like the coming of sound pictures…yes, that’s right. Sound pictures started out as just another gimmick to get people to the theaters. Then we have the coming all the different types of presentations, like CinemaScope…Dynamation….VistaVision….and the list goes on. Of course, then there is the invention of 3-D movies, and all the different kinds of those! Needless to say, we get to hear about them all in McGee’s well written book that is just packed with information.
And most of all, it is so much fun to read.