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.
When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals
Edited by Vanessa Morgan
Published by Moonlight Creek Publishing, 2016. 415 pages.
First of all, I must state that I am in this book, writing about the ’50s flick The Giant Claw, so some might think this review could be a little jaded. But I can assure you, I am only a very small part of a much larger picture here. What editor Morgan has done is collected a wonderful array of voices here to give praise (some more than others) to a particular killer animal movie that hits home to them. And that single element alone is reason enough to pick up a copy of this book.
While there are a ton of classic films discussed within these pages, I will say that some of them covered here are not great films at all. In fact, some are real turkeys. But that doesn’t mean they are not entertaining, or at least deserve their little day in the spotlight. Or even just the fact that they need to be covered, no matter what. I mean, this is a book about killer animal films, right? Even with the lesser films, the author gives their reasoning on why they enjoy it so much, and that is probably my favorite part about this project. The essays are personal. This isn’t just stating facts upon facts, but why the author loves it and why it means so much to them.
If you are a fan of movies where the animal kingdom decides to turn the tables and go after humans, then here’s a book just for you. When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals is now available through Amazon. Edited by Vanessa Morgan, cover art by Gilles Vranckx, this is a collection of authors and essays that take on a variety of beasties on a rampage against humanity. Now I will confess, I am one of authors that you’ll find in this book (covering the ultimate Turkey Day movie, The Giant Claw), but you will find a ton of great writers in here (a few names you might recognize from Hidden Horror!), writing about films like Alligator, Attack of the Crab Monsters, Grizzly, Of Unknown Origin, Slugs, Them! and so many more. There are titles that are campy and cheesy and others that are very serious.