The Science of Women in Horror: The Special Effects, Stunts, and True Stories Behind Your Favorite Fright Flicks
Published by Skyhorse Publishing, 2020, 247 pages
By Meg Hafdahl & Kelly Florence
The funny thing about this book is that I had no intention of diving into it right away. I saw it on Amazon, I didn’t have it in my library, it was a pretty decent price, so I figured I would order a copy. I was already in the middle of another book so when it came, I just picked it up browse through it quickly before it was put away on the shelf. Then I started reading the intro. Then the first chapter. Next thing I know I’m 25 pages into it!
There are several things that I really enjoyed about this book. The first, which is right in the introduction, authors Hafdahl & Florence remind us all that one of the greatest monster tales of all time was created by a young woman, Mary Shelley. You would think that would have made the road for other female creators to continue that path equally alongside their male counterparts. Unfortunately, we all know that isn’t the case. But this book shows that there are many names out there in the genre that are working very hard and keeping that path open, maybe making it even easier for the next female talent to find and start their journey. Continue reading
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: The Film that Terrified a Rattled Nation
Published by Skyhorse, 2019. 304 pages.
By Joseph Lanza
For those that are thinking this is just another book about the Tobe Hooper classic, reading more tales of the notorious film, they are in for a big surprise. I grew up in the early ’70s but am surprised to read about all the stuff going on in the world that I was apparently oblivious too because I was so young. With all the chaos on in the world back then, I’m kind of glad I was too young to know or care about. So a good portion of this book is about just that, all the craziness throughout the world, from gas shortages, meat shortages, trouble overseas, different political scandals and nefarious deeds, serial killers, all coming from the decade of peace and love.
Lanza knows his history and lays it out for the reader to intake, setting the times that Hooper’s film was coming to life and how it was effecting the production, not just in Hooper, but the entire cast and crew. While this book is not going to fill you with more and more details about the actual making of it, you will read about the possible influences that had a hand in shaping this film, then you will find this book very intriguing. There are some things that might be taking a stretch when it comes to hidden subtext, such as the signage at the gas station/BBQ joint the cook runs. But there are more than a few things that seemed like it definitely was the reasoning behind it, such as when the cook is worried about making sure the lights are turned off to save electricity. Continue reading
While I continue my quest to add more books to my personal library that I’ll ever be able to read in my lifetime, I thought I would give a little shout out to a few titles that are currently sitting in my Want List on Amazon. I don’t have any of these yet (key word…yet) so all I know about them is what I’ve read on the Amazon description. But they do sound pretty interesting, and I know that I intend to pick them up at some point. While I’m in the middle of reading 3 different books right now, and have a few piled up that I still need to find room in the bookshelves for, it might be a bit.
Who am I kidding, I’ll probably order them next payday!
I’ll list this these alphabetically so it doesn’t look like I’m playing any favoritism!
Ad Nauseam By Michael Gingold
Any horror fan worth their weight in magazines knows Gingold from his decades working for Fangoria magazine, but has been keeping himself quite busy since those days. His book The Frightfest Guide to Monster Movies is just awesome and is simply a must. But his new book is something that older fans will love paging through, as well as giving younger fans a look into the past. In his youth, Gingold would cut out the ads for horror films, the bigger named ones as well as the smaller titles that snuck out. This book is a walk through the 1980’s in a year-by-year guide to Gingold’s archive, featuring more than 450 ads. Remember folks, years before the internet, this is how we found out movies that were playing so these ads had the tough job of capturing the attention of the person paging through the newspaper and make them want to rush out to see this movie. And more times than not, at least for us horror fans, it worked.