Book Review: Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1970-1979

IItalian Gothic Horror Filmstalian Gothic Horror Films, 1970-1979
Published by McFarland, 2017. 256 pages
By Roberto Curti

Here is yet another prime example of why I love horror reference books. I’d say that I’ve seen my share of Italian horror films in the last 30 years and could pretty much hold my own in a conversation about said topic. But reading through Curti’s book, it showed me a couple of things. First, I don’t know as much as I thought I did! Not even close. Just a few pages in and I was reading about films that I had either never heard, had forgotten about, and never seen. Probably the first. But it also showed me just how great the genre is because even after all these years, there are still plenty of more titles out there just waiting for me to explore.

Curti definitely knows his stuff. With each entry, he gives us not only the usual items, like cast, crew, and synopsis, but also a plethora of information about the film and the people involved with it. While only covering a decade of cinema, it was a great time frame for Italian horror. Listed within these pages are more than a few of some of my favorites, like The Devil’s Wedding Night (1973), Night of the Devil (1972), or even entertaining trash like Werewolf Woman (1976) or Lady Frankenstein (1971), and many others. It will give you plenty of titles that you’re going to want to seek out for the first time, and many that you’ve seen before but now want to revisit once again.

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New Book Titles for Your Want List

As if it wasn’t proven to me more than at the recent HorrorHound Weekend that print is definitely not dead, here are a few more titles that I’ve come across that are either out or coming out soon. I know I’ll be adding them to my library at some point in the near future.

Frightfest Guide to Monster Movies

The first one is comes from FAB Press, so right there we know the quality of it is going to be worthy of the cost. But then you throw in the fact that it was written by Michael Gingold, then that is just icing on the cake.

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New Horrors from McFarland

McFarland is a leading publisher that seems to be intent on making me go broke. While their editions tend to be on the pricy side, they still crank out some great volumes on a plethora of subjects within the horror film genre. We recently came across three upcoming titles that have sparked my interests and I know will be soon added to our library. Yeah, I know…horror reference book…duh? Anyway, read on to see if you might be needing to add these to your own library in the near future.

twisted-visionsThe first book is called Twisted Visions and is a collection of interviews.But not with just anybody in the film business. These directors are from around the world and have left us with films that made a niche in the horror and exploitation genre, that still makes an impact on viewers today.

Author Matthew Edwards has found and interviewed twenty-three directors that fit that bill. Some of the names are a little familiar, such as Jack Sholder (Alone in the Dark, The Hidden), Jörg Buttgereit (creator of the Nekromatik films), and Alfred Sole (Alice, Sweet, Alice), to a few names that don’t seem to be mentioned that often, such as David Paulsen (Savage Weekend, Schizoid), Romano Scavolini (Nightmares in a Damaged Brain), as well as a personal favorite of mine, Mariano Baino and his highly underrated film Dark Waters, plus many more.

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