“The Zombie Film” alternates frustrating vagueness with in-depth analysis

book cover - zombie filmAlain Silver and James Ursini‘s new tome, The Zombie Film: From White Zombie to World War Z, is out now from Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, and despite some flaws, it’s worth grabbing, especially for those newly interested in the genre, although longtime horror buffs can find a few new grains of information.

The Zombie Film essentially waffles between seriously in-depth analysis and what seems like a galloping rush to include as much material as possible. While Silver and Ursini should get a huge pat on the back for organizing the book into chronological and locale-specific chapters, rather than just churning out an A-Z list of reviews and summaries, few films get near the analysis they deserve.
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Podcast #99, “Pop Scares”

cover - Waxwork-Re-AnimatorThree weeks, and here we are with another podcast. I think this might be the start of something good. Here’s to hoping, right?

Anyhow, a goodly amount of new / newly-acquired tunes, along with an interview from Kevin Dredge of New Orleans-based soundtrack reissue label, Waxwork Records. We talked with Dredge about the ins and outs of reissues, as well as the label’s upcoming releases. Their first release, a reissue of the Re-Animator soundtrack, is out tomorrow.

They also just announced last week that they’ll be reissuing the Krzysztof Komeda score for Rosemary’s Baby. You can find out the details on that (as well as order things) at the Waxwork Records website.

And if you’re really hyped on the Waxwork Day of the Dead reissue, they’re having a release for it in Hollywood, in late September. According to Dredge, “There will be a screening of the film, and George Romero and John Harrison will be there to do a Q&A after the film.” No date’s set, but keep your eyes peeled.

Podcast #99, “Pop Scares”
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“Dark Directions” another valid argument to include horror directors in the ’70s pantheon

book-cover-dark-directionsUpon first flipping through Kendall R. Phillips‘ new book, Dark Directions: Romero, Craven, Carpenter, and the Modern Horror Film, I was worried that it was going to go down the same path as Shock Value, and attempt to cover too much ground in too short a space. Thankfully, such is not the case.

Dark Directions – while, at times, covering a similar era as that of Shock Value – is a totally different book. Phillips takes the work of three directors, susses out a particular thematic thrust from each, and uses that particular theme as a lens to focus his view of each man’s work.

The particulars are what allows Dark Directions to succeed as it does. Specifically, Phillips doesn’t focus entirely on the “horror” output of each director. Recognizing that such a limited range would hamstring his work, the author brings similarly-themed “genre” pictures from the three filmmakers into his critcism, allowing for each argument to be made more fully.
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