Textploitation! Essential Books on B-Movies and Cult Films
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
"Exploitation Films", "B-Movies", "Cult Classics", "Grindhouse Cinema" call them what you want but for those of us who love them, the slang terms don't really matter. What does matter is that they are examples of some of the most colorful, wild, crazy, no holds barred kinds of cinema ever made. From the early roadshow days when sex and drugs were the big taboos, to the 50s and 60s where sci-fi and weird horror invaded drive-in screens through to the 1970s and 80s when kung fu, blaxploitation and more shocking cinema became the norm for grindhouse crowds, these movies undoubtedly made their mark on pop culture. It's undeniable, no matter what people say as a negative about them, there is something extremely powerful and exciting about seeing movies that don't play by the standard rules and give viewers things they simply won't get in mainstream fare. For all you voracious readers out there we've put together a guide to great reads that we think cover a nice variety of classic-international B-movie and cult cinema history. So when you're not lost in these movies, try picking up one, two or all of the chosen titles for your home book shelf. More titles will be added as we find them.
Sleazoid Express (1980-1983, and later editions) was the original fanzine on the 42nd Street Grindhouse movie scene in New York circa 1964-1984. Edited and Written by Bill Landis, a projectionist and devotee of the crime-ridden grindhouses, the magazine not only captured the genre affections but the whole Times Square atmosphere that revolved around hard drugs, violence and prostitution. Founded as a one-sheet (later to expand to four to six pages) by Bill Landis, an NYU graduate, projectionist, and devotee of the crime-ridden sleaze houses, the magazine not only captured the genre affections but the whole Times Square milieu of drugs, violence and prostitution. Typical films shown in the movie houses, which centred on the city's 42nd Street, included Bamboo House of Dolls, The Corpse Grinders, Mad Monkey Kung Fu, Miss Nymphet's Zap In and The Ultimate Degenerate. Approximately 48 issues were published over a five-year period, the first issue being dated June 18, 1980, and the last issue appearing in the fall of 1985. (Wikipedia)
Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide is the first truly comprehensive examination of the genre, its films, its trends and its far-reaching impact, covering more than 240 blaxploitation films in detail. This guide is the primary reference book on the genre, covering not just the films' heyday (1971-1976) but the entire decade (1970-1980). From Aaron Loves Angela to The Zebra Killer, they're all here in one indispensable volume. Complimenting the text of Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide are many of the vivid, highly-theatrical, motion picture posters and ads that promoted the films. Blaxploitation's rich and colourful poster art has been the sole subject of a number of coffee-table books. The hand-painted, elaborately illustrated posters and ad campaigns associated with the genre represent a now-gone golden era of sensational motion picture representation. Also features page after page of stunning action stills and original newspaper admats.
In Suburban Grindhouse, Nick Cato shares his time growing up in seedy NY and NJ theaters, and how many of these screenings helped to shape an opinion of certain films. Whether one of his beloved local theaters in Staten Island, NY, or at a double feature at the infamous 42nd Street in Times Square during its heyday, audiences were always lively and outspoken. Most of the films discussed here were seen on their initial theatrical release. Some would be forgotten duds, while others went on to gain cult status. Some are now considered legendary. From 2010-2018, Nick Cato chronicled his favorite experiences at Cinema Knife Fight, a long running website that featured film reviews seven days a week. His column, Suburban Grindhouse Memories, was a favorite, and gained a loyal following. Suburban Grindhouse collects and updates this material, with plenty of bonus material including interviews with directors and stars. (Headpress)
- Buy from: Amazon.com
A Whole Bag of Crazy: Sordid Tales of Hookers, Weed and Grindhouse Movies
“I am known as 42nd Street Pete, a character that I created as a living reminder of that lost decade, the ‘70s. I was one of a million nameless, faceless kids with no direction and no future. We all had the ugly specter of the Vietnam War hanging like a sword over our heads. We weren’t college material; we were clerks, gas station attendants, custodians, the like. Pretty much cannon fodder for the front lines. Most of us knew that we stood a good chance of being drafted and coming back in a bag, so we lost ourselves in the explosion of drugs, alcohol, sex, violence, and music that were the ‘70s.” Hustler, pot fiend, porn expert. Take a walk down a dark alley with 42nd Street Pete as he recounts his tales growing up on "The Deuce". Criminal activity, classic undesirable cinema, pot, booze, pros, cons. The '70s: uncut, uncensored. If you really remember the ’70s, you were lucky to have survived them. (Amazon)
- Buy now: Amazon.com
Dynamic and entertaining, this movie guide brings depth to the martial arts films of the 1970s, with more than 2,000 titles from 14 countries broken down into lively reviews, detailed discussions, and meticulous references. With an engaging introduction to kung-fu cinema, this examination then launches into a collection of more than 500 martial arts reviews that include the movie name, time, and place of theatrical release, director name, list of principal actors, fight instructors, and interesting tidbits about the film. Each entry also includes statistics such as the number and length of training and fight sequences. Complete indexes are also featured, listing actors and movies by their English variations as well as countries of origin. Both a fun read and an accurate resource, this handbook is a must-have for movie fans and martial artists alike.(Amazon)
This is the first in-depth look at movies that riff on tropes associated with Bruce Lee and that sometimes transformed this actor into a mythical superman. The period with the greatest cluster of Brucesploitaton productions lasted less than a decade from the mid-seventies to the early-eighties, but the genre spluttered on into the twenty-first century; and although it didn’t exist as a category before Bruce Lee’s death, there are several films that pre-date the Little Dragon’s demise that clearly belong to it. While death added another dimension to Bruce Lee’s celebrity status, he was already a huge star in South East Asia before he passed away; so cynical movie producers did not need to wait for his death to exploit popular interest in Lee - even if the term Brucesploitation had yet to be coined. Within Brucesploitation actors who copy and clone Bruce Lee make up one strand of the subgenre, but their importance can and has been over-stated. (Amazon)
Mark Banville's THEME '70 began as a unique British Grindhouse film fanzine in the 90s and has now been re-released in a glorious 200+ page book filled from cover to cover with Hard Knuckle Video Reviews, pre cert VHS commentaries and imagery from the golden age of exploitation cinema. It is a truly wonderful celebration of the days when The Deuce (aka 42nd Street in NYC) was showing double and triple features of action packed Blaxploitation films, hard hitting Kung Fu classics, steamy Sexploitation romps and other down n' dirty delights of the era. Along with the vibrant visual content that gives readers an up close look at the kinds of promotional advertising that made exploitation cinema so exciting, there are a selection of actor profiles and filmographies included. We can't praise this publication enough. If you always wanted The Deuce in coffee table book form, well this is it! THEME 70 gets our highest recommendation for fans of authentic Grindhouse Cinema. (GCDb)
Follow the daredevil adventures of Anglo Australian film maker - and Ozploitation pioneer - Brian Trenchard-Smith through a 50 year career dedicated to giving his audience thrills, spills, laughs and gasps. The Man From Hong Kong, Turkey Shoot, Dead End Drive-In, The Siege Of Firebase Gloria, Stunt Rock, Leprechaun 3 & 4, and Nicole Kidman's first film BMX Bandits have earned his work a cult following. His TV output includes Silk Stalkings, Five Mile Creek, Tarzan, Flipper and Chemistry. The Fantaspoa Fantastic Film Festival in Brazil honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Quentin Tarantino dubbed him his “ favorite obscure director…. great energy, great sense of humor.” Brian Trenchard-Smith's wry, insightful tales of the creative challenges of low budget movie making all over the world is both a personal journey and a portrait of his era. (Amazon)
Blood Sucking Freak: The Life and Films of the Incredible Joel M. Reed
New York City, 1976. Newspaper ads dare the denizens of Times Square to see a morbid little movie called The Incredible Torture Show. The film is yanked from theaters before it finds its audience. Years later it is retitled Blood Sucking Freaks and hits pay dirt, playing to shocked crowds and becoming a perverse cult classic. Its writer and director is Joel M. Reed. Like his films, the life of Joel M. Reed is a crazy cocktail of New York satire and sleaze, from swanky supper clubs in the 1950s through to the decrepit grindhouses of the 1970s. Using Reed and his films as its cornerstone, this book — twenty years in the making — is a dirty snapshot of the last gasp of Times Square before AIDS, crack cocaine, and anti-pornography laws strike their final blow. Strap yourself in for an unforgettable journey. (Headpress)
Hoodlum Movies: Seriality and the Outlaw Biker Film Cycle, 1966-1972
From The Wild Angels in 1966 until its conclusion in 1972, the cycle of outlaw motorcycle films contained forty-odd formulaic examples. All but one were made by independent companies that specialized in producing exploitation movies for drive-ins, neighborhood theaters, and rundown inner city theaters. Despised by critics, but welcomed by exhibitors denied first-run films, these cheaply and quickly produced movies were made to appeal to audiences of mobile youths. The films are repetitive, formulaic, and eminently forgettable, but there is a story to tell about all of the above, and it is one worth hearing. Hoodlum Movies is not only about the films, its focus is on why and how these films were made, who they were made for, and how the cycle developed through the second half of the 1960s and came to a shuddering halt in 1972. (Amazon)
- Buy now: Amazon.com
Cult Epics: Comprehensive Guide To Cult Cinema
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Cult Epics – the controversial arthouse, horror and erotica video label – this commemorative hardcover book covers essential releases from filmmakers such as Tinto Brass, Fernando Arrabal, Radley Metzger, Walerian Borowcyzk, Jean Genet, Abel Ferrara, George Barry, Rene Daalder, Agusti Villaronga, Jorg Buttgereit, Gerald Kargl, Nico B, Irving Klaw, and pinup legend Bettie Page. Includes in-depth reviews of films, interviews, and essays on directors by film critics Nathaniel Thompson, Mark R. Hasan, Michael den Boer, Ian Jane, Stephen Thrower, Marcus Stiglegger, Heather Drain and others – fully illustrated in color with rare photos, poster art, and memorabilia. 256 Pages with over 500 images.
- Buy now: Amazon.com
Mondo, giallo, crime thriller, cannibal, comedy, western, sci-fi and action. Over the best part of 40 years Italian Maestro Sergio Martino has worked tirelessly in many genres of film and television. While his output is often diverse in tone and theme, one thing you can always guarantee is that his cinema is always entertaining. Author Kat Ellinger tracks the director’s rise, from his humble beginnings as actor, production manager and second unit director, to his status as one of Italy's most celebrated cult filmmakers of the seventies and eighties. Chapters in the book include a run down of his earliest collaborations — with the likes of Mario Bava and Umberto Lenzi— and his first films, before turning to provide an in-depth examination of his giallo films. Later chapters focus on his crime thrillers, horror, sci-fi, action and adventure films; as well as delving into some of his most important partnerships; including those with his long-time producer, brother Luciano Martino, script-writer Ernesto Gastaldi and giallo and sexy comedy queen Edwige Fenech. In addition to this, the book takes a long look at some of the director’s most overlooked films; including the massive contribution he made to the Italian sexy comedy and his major works for Italian television.
- Buy from: Amazon.com
Xerox Ferox: The Wild World of the Horror Film Fanzine
Xerox Ferox is the first title to cover the horror film fanzine phenomenon and culture in encyclopedic depth. The book also contains lengthy chapters that deal with the New York zine scene and the hub of its grindhouse activity, Times Square. In many ways, the book works as time capsule of that era-writers and filmmakers including Jimmy McDonough, Bill Landis, Mike McPadden, Steve Puchalski, Roy Frumkes, and Buddy Giovinazzo share their memories of the movie houses of Forty Second Street-and the dangers that were encountered while visiting them. Not limited to New York City, Xerox Ferox also concentrates on the drive-in theaters of the south. Other topics discussed include commercial Super-8 horror films of the 1960s and 1970s, the home video revolution of the 1980s, regional exploitation films, low budget filmmaking, and of course, self publishing, networking, and distribution.
- Buy Kindle: Amazon.com
Troy Howarth, the author of The Haunted World Of Mario Bava and the co-author of the up-coming The Tome Of Terror series, examines the genre from its inception through its inevitable decline. Covering everything from popular fan favorites by the likes of Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento to lesser known gems by Cesare Canevari, Massimo Dallamano and Poalo Cavara as well as the worst of the worst by the least inspired of hacks, So Deadly, So Perverse provides an in-depth examination of a genre that has too often been marginalized in other studies of the horror film and the thriller. In addition to reviews of every Giallo made between 1963 and 2013, this two-part study of the Giallo – with volume two (covering 1974 onwards) coming later in the year – is also lavishly illustrated with rare and colorful stills and poster art.
Russ Meyer, cult hero, creator of the sexploitation film, and the man the Wall Street Journal called the King Leer of Hollywood, made movies that filled the big screen with “big bosoms and square jaws.” In the first candid and fiendishly researched account of the late cinematic instigator’s life, Jimmy McDonough shows us how Russ Meyer used that formula to turn his own crazed fantasies into movies that made him a millionaire and changed the face of American film forever. This former WWII combat photographer immortalized his personal sexual obsession upon the silver screen, creating box-office gold with The Immoral Mr. Teas in 1959. The modest little film pushed all preexisting limits of on-screen nudity, and with its success, the floodgates of what was permitted to be shown on film were thrust open, never to be closed again. Bringing his anecdote- and action-packed biographical style to another renegade of popular culture, New York Times bestselling author of Shakey Jimmy McDonough offers a wild, warts-and-all portrait of Russ Meyer, the director, writer, producer, and commando moviemaking force behind the sexploitation classics Vixen, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and many others. (Google Books)
Chris D. began watching yakuza films, writing the initial drafts of GUN AND SWORD, the definitive encyclopedia of the Golden Age of Japanese gangster films, in 1990. In 1997, he traveled to Japan, doing research and collecting illustrations. With 95% of the main text completed in 2002, several publishers were interested but only if the book was cut by 300 pages. It still took another ten years for this astounding reference guide to come to final fruition in its unexpurgated form - a fount of fascinating insights and information for both the seasoned Japanese genre film fan and the curious newcomer. All types of the Japanese gangster movie made between 1955-1980 are covered: the swordfighting ninkyo sagas set in the 1890-1940 period, the modern jitsuroku ("true story") bloodbaths, the matatabi (wandering samurai gambler) pictures, plus the juvenile delinquent subgenres: sukeban (girl boss), taiyozoku ("sun tribe") and bosozoku ("violent tribe" or biker). All movie genres deserve ardent completists as well as astute critical observers. With Chris D. the reader gets both. His informed passion matches an eagle's eye for small but critically important details and cinematic-literary-historical-industrial connections. Rich in primary, groundbreaking research, GUN AND SWORD is an invaluable reference." (Goodreads)
From the 1920s through the 1970s, America's most fearless entrepreneurs created thousands of "adults only" features— exploitation films that promised "Sinsational!" treatments of the day's hottest topics. These films played red light district theaters and roadshows for almost half a century, until hardcore pornography and the advent of VCRs rang the death knell for this distinctive form of "art." Grindhouse traces the ribald history of these "adults only" films, down Poverty Row through the Scandinavian Invasion, past the nudie-cuites, and into the swinging days of free love. Along the way we get the most sordid, sleazy, and shameless cinema imaginable-Vice Rackets! Narcotics! Nazis! Nudists! Cults! Wrestling Women! And So Much More Than You Can Ever Imagine! Adding yet more color to this history of blue movies are revealing portraits of the artists and auteurs behind the films, including Dwain Esper, Kroger Babb, Russ Meyer, Doris Wishman, David F. Friedman, Radley Metzger, and the Mitchell Brothers. Grindhouse was named one of the 25 best art books of 1997 by legendary Village Voice art critic Guy Trebay. (EddieMuller.com)
A historical contextualisation of 1970s Italian genre films that depicted violent crime in contemporary Italy. Blood in the Streets investigates the various ways in which 1970s Italian crime films were embedded in their immediate cultural and political contexts. The book analyses the emergence, proliferation and distribution of a range of popular film cycles (or filoni) – from conspiracy thrillers and vigilante films, to mafia and serial killer narratives – and examines what these reveal about their time and place.
- Related: Poliziotteschi: Italian Crime Cinema
From 1932's White Zombie to 28 Days Later and the current crop of Japanese shockers, the zombie movie has been one of the most enduring mainstays of international horror cinema. Now, for the first time ever, the complete history of zombie cinema is told in this lavishly illustrated and fully cross-referenced celebration of living dead cinematic culture. Few horror movie monsters are as maligned as the zombie. While vampires, werewolves and even serial killers command respect, the zombie is never treated as anything other than a buffoon who stumbles around in the cultural hinterlands messily decaying. There are no aristocrats, blue bloods or celebrities among zombies, no big name stars or instantly recognizable faces, just low-rent, anonymous monsters who usually can’t talk, can barely walk and spend most of their energy trying to hold their decomposing bodies together. Zombies are the great unwashed of horror cinema, soulless creatures that wander around without personality or purpose - a grotesque parody of the end that awaits us all. For all their lack of finesse or style, though, the living dead have been a constant presence in horror films since the 1930s. (Amazon)
Unashamed nudists, high-flying hopheads, brazen strippers, vicious vice lords, and high school girls who find themselves “in trouble” comprise the population of exploitation films. In the first full-scale history of these low-budget movies of decades past, Eric Schaefer reveals how this pioneering form of “trash film” purveyed the forbidden thrills of explicit sexual behavior, drug use, and vice that the mainstream movie industry could not show. Bold! Daring! Shocking! True! is a meticulously researched, interdisciplinary study that is informed by a wide range of sources—including both mainstream and industry newspapers and periodicals, archival accounts, personal interviews, and the films themselves. Schaefer begins by exploring the unique mode of production of exploitation movies, their distribution, and the outrageous exhibition practices that were rooted in the traditions of sideshows and carnivals. His close analysis of dozens of films, such as The Road to Ruin, Modern Motherhood, One Way Ticket to Hell, and The Wages of Sin demonstrates that these films were more than simply “bad” movies. Engagingly written, illustrated with rare photographs, posters, production stills, and ad slicks, and offering a full filmography, Bold! Daring! Shocking! True! reveals a forgotten side of film history and American culture. (Google Books)
A compendium of issues 1 - 6 of REEL WILD CINEMA!, the 1990's Australian fanzine devoted to off-beat, cult and exploitation films of all kind, and from all eras, with a particular emphasis on covering genre films which had been released on home video in that country during the previous 15 years. REEL WILD CINEMA! was an A4 photocopied fanzine published by John Harrison out of the outer Melbourne suburban wasteland of Berwick, with six issues appearing between 1997 - 1999. Devoted to all manner of cult and eclectic/off-beat films, REEL WILD CINEMA! rode the tail of the classic wave of cut & paste film fanzines of the 1980s and 90s, before the internet exploded and changed the landscape of fan publishing forever. Reprinted in it's Original Old School Format! ADULT READING!!
“The Life and Cinema of Ted V. Mikels” is an authorized biography of iconic filmmaker Ted V. Mikels that spans his 87 years, ending with his last project, “10 Violent Women 2,” when he passed away on October 16, 2016. The result of extensive interviews with Mikels from December 2015 to May 2016, author Kevin Scott Collier weaves together a memoir that includes exclusive interviews with nearly 50 stars who appeared in his films, such as James McEachin, Maureen Gaffney, Gary Kent, Leslie McRae, Sean Kenney, Francine York, Sherri Vernon, Tiger Yang, Rusty Meyers, Sean Morelli, Brinke Stevens, Donna Hamblin, Kevin Sean Michaels, Raymond P. Whalen, Cory Udler, Richard and Gary Lester, Beverly Washburn, Mr. Lobo, Lani Silverman, Jade Satana, Siouxzan Perry and Sharla Rae Satana. Included are 20 pages of photographs, and a guide to his unreleased 1950's 16mm productions. (Amazon)
- Buy Now: Amazon.com
An indispensable study of exploitation cinema’s continuing allure. Too often dismissed as nothing more than ‘trash cinema’, exploitation films have become both earnestly appreciated cult objects and home video items that are more accessible than ever. In this wide-ranging new study, David Church explores how the history of drive-in theatres and urban grind houses has descended to the home video formats that keep these lurid movies fondly alive today. Arguing for the importance of cultural memory in contemporary fan practices, Church focuses on both the re-release of archival exploitation films on DVD and the recent cycle of ‘retrosploitation’ films like Grindhouse, Machete, Viva, The Devil’s Rejects, and Black Dynamite. At a time when older ideas of subcultural belonging have become increasingly subject to nostalgia, Grindhouse Nostalgia presents an indispensable study of exploitation cinema’s continuing allure, and is a bold contribution to our understanding of fandom, taste politics, film distribution, and home video.
Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses - Roger Corman: King of the B Movie
Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses is an outrageously rollicking account of the life and career of Roger Corman—one of the most prolific and successful independent producers, directors, and writers of all time, and self-proclaimed king of the B movie. As told by Corman himself and graduates of "The Corman Film School", including Peter Bogdanovich, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, and Martin Scorsese, this comprehensive oral history takes readers behind the scenes of more than six decades of American cinema, as now-legendary directors and actors candidly unspool recollections of working with Corman, continually one-upping one another with tales of the years before their big breaks.Crab Monsters is supplemented with dozens of full-color reproductions of classic Corman movie posters; behind-the-scenes photographs and ephemera (many taken from Corman’s personal archive); and critical essays on Corman’s most daring films—including The Intruder, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Big Doll House— that make the case for Corman as an artist like no other. (Amazon)
- Buy Now: Amazon.com
Running to 528 large-format pages, Nightmare USA is a veritable encyclopedia of grindhouse cinema - it's one of the most acclaimed genre film books ever published, and after having Sold Out three times over already, it's finally back in print! A kaleidoscopic journey through the heyday of Horror and Exploitation Cinema in America! From Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill) to Eli Roth (Hostel), the young guns of modern Hollywood just can't get enough of that exploitation film high. Nightmare USA goes where no other in-depth study has gone before, revealing the fascinating true stories behind classics and obscurities alike. Stephen Thrower, author of Beyond Terror, the definitive book on Italian gore maestro Lucio Fulci, has explored the attics and cellars of American cinema, delved beneath the floorboards, peered between the walls, searching for the strangest, most exotic cine-lifeforms... Nightmare USA is the reader's guide to what lies beyond the mainstream of American horror, dispelling the shadows to meet the men and women behind fifteen years of screen terror: the Exploitation Independents! (Fab Press)
- Buy Now: Amazon.com
For the first time Nicolas Winding Refn, writer, producer and director of the PUSHER films, BRONSON, VALHALLA RISING, DRIVE, ONLY GOD FORGIVES and THE NEON DEMON, trawls through his unique collection of rare American film posters to unfold ways the viewer validates and actualises the presentation of key images into their own personal reality. Now the celebrated filmmaker makes complicit voyeurs of us all by editing his exceptional collection of little-seen and vivid front-of-house displays into an extraordinary creation to match the observation sensations explored in his own pioneering screen work. With comprehensive historical context provided for each poster and every production detail meticulously overseen by Winding Refn himself, this book encapsulates everything he has knows about eyewitness confrontation on a heart-felt journey into the art and act of seeing.
- Buy Now: Amazon.com
Flying Through Hollywood by the Seat of My Pants: From the Man Who Brought You I Was a Teenage Werewolf and Muscle Beach Party
American International Pictures (AIP), founded by the author and James Nicholson in 1954, produced a succession of remarkable low-budget movies in the following decades. Targeting the youth market with such films as their first big hit in 1957, I Was a Teenage Werewolf (with Michael Landon), Arkoff describes how his frugality, resourcefulness, and good business sense were parlayed into box office success. Typical of the author's amusing, behind-the-scenes stories, he recalls how AIP's "beach movies" incurred the wrath of Walt Disney for displaying former Mouseketeer Annette Funicello in a bathing suit. Encounters with the Catholic Legion of Decency and other guardians of morality are humorously described. Especially entertaining are the accounts of AIP's more upscale, higher-budgeted horror films of the 1960s, which starred Vincent Price. This good-natured, unpretentious memoir is recommended for subject collections. (Amazon)
- Buy now: Amazon.com
Larry Cohen: The Stuff of Gods and Monsters
Larry Cohen: The Stuff of Gods and Monsters traces the extraordinary career of the legendary writer/producer/director responsible for such cult and classic films as Black Caesar, It's Alive!, God Told Me To, The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover, Q: The Winged Serpent, The Stuff, Maniac Cop, and Phone Booth. Creator of some of the most diverse and thematically rich genre films that have been made in American independent cinema, Cohen's oeuvre has embraced horror, science fiction, thrillers, Westerns, comedies, the biographical film, and blaxploitation gangster movies. At turns provocative, disturbing, and humorous, his distinctly personal works in film, television, and theater are distinguished by their ferocious intelligence, biting satire, and powerful emotionalism. Over the course of 28 chapters, this in-depth career-length interview is an entertaining, enlightening, and gripping account of the singular career of a true American original.
- Buy now: Amazon.com
Cult Cinema: An Arrow Video Companion
Arrow Video is one of the foremost distributors of cult cinema on DVD and Blu-ray. From the classic to the obscure, the Arrow Video collection encompasses all styles and genres: horror films and Westerns, science fiction and sex comedies, yakuza epics and neo-noirs, the subversive, the transgressive and the unclassifiable. This hardback volume brings together 25 of the world s leading genre experts and critics to guide you through the multi-faceted beast that is cult cinema. Exploring the stars, the filmmakers and the trends, Cult Cinema: An Arrow Video Companion provides an intriguing trip down the less well-trodden paths of filmdom. Featuring the writing of: Robin Bougie, Michael Brooke, Paul Corupe, David Del Valle, David Flint, Kevin Gilvear, Joel Harley, David Hayles, Pasquale Iannone, Alan Jones, Tim Lucas, Michael Mackenzie, Maitland McDonagh, Tom Mes, John Kenneth Muir, Kim Newman, James Oliver, Vic Pratt, Jasper Sharp, Yvonne D. Sims, Kenneth J. Souza, Mike Sutton, Stephen Thrower, Caelum Vatnsdal, Doug Weir.
Slimetime: A Guide to Sleazy, Mindless Movies
Sci-fi, schlock, women-in-prison, Japanese monsters, biker gangs, brazen gals, mindless men, kung fu mischief, bad music, flower power, and puppet people! Utilizing in-depth reviews, cast and plot details, Slimetime wallows in those films which the world has deemed it best to forget-everything from cheesy no-budget exploi-tation to the embarrassing efforts of major studios. Many of the motion pictures in "Slimetime "have never had a major release, some were big hits, others have simply "vanished." Complimenting the wealth of reviews are detailed essays on specific sleaze genres such as Biker, Blaxploitation, and Drug movies.
Author Steven Puchalski is editor/publisher of the cult-movie magazine "Shock Cinema," and a frequent contributor to "Fan--goria," and "Sci-Fi," the official magazine of the Sci-Fi Channel.
- Buy a copy at: Shock Cinema
It isn't every film that features man-eating zombie sushi. But for those searching for just that and more strange things in their viewing queue, this film guide is for you. Organized by genre, including comedy, horror, action, drama, fantasy, and sci-fi, this title offers 300 reviews of genre films from all over the world, 160 photos, and exclusive interviews and quotes from the people behind some of the most offbeat films ever made. Alongside this curated list of viewing recommendations, longtime fans and new comers to strange cinema gain bits of fun and informative trivia. For example, David Caruso's film debut was Without Warning (1980), a carefree trip into the woods thwarted by killer flying alien discs. Lurking in these so-bad-they're-good-films, you'll find other familiar actors like David Carradine, James Brolin, Martin Landau, and Ryan Gosling in films like Death Race 2000 (1975), The Car (1977), The Being (1983), and Lost River (2014). The zombie sushi, by the way, is from Dead Sushi (2012)
- Buy from: Amazon.com
The Art of the B-Movie Poster
Exploding off the page with over 1,000 of the best examples of exploitation, grindhouse, and pulp film poster design comes The Art of the B Movie Poster, a collection of incredible posters from low-budget films from the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. Once relegated to the underground and midnight movie circuit, these films and their bombastic advertisements are experiencing a surge of mainstream popularity driven by fans appreciative of the artistic skill, distinctive aesthetic, and unabashed sensationalism they relied on to make a profit, with the quality of the poster often far surpassing that of the film itself. The book celebrates this tradition with sections divided into 'moral panic' films, action, horror, sci-fi, and of course, sex, each introduced with short essays by genre experts such as Kim Newman, Eric Schaefer, Simon Sheridan, Vern, and author Stephen Jones, winner of the Horror Writer's Association 2015 Bram Stoker Award for Non-Fiction. Edited by Adam Newell and featuring an introduction by author and filmmaker Pete Tombs, The Art of the B Movie Poster is a loving tribute to the artwork and artists that brought biker gangs, jungle girls, James Bond rip-offs and reefer heads to life for audiences around the world. (Amazon)
- Buy now: Amazon.com
FrightFest Guide: Exploitation Movies
The first in a planned series of wide appeal books for both the curious spectator and the cult connoisseur, to be published by FAB Press annually with FrightFest, the inaugural volume is an informative celebration of the grindhouse film industry in all its diverse sex, horror and violence glory.
Comprising an in-depth A-Z of the entire celluloid sleaze underworld, the book is a fast and furious zip through a once dismissed field now beloved by everyone from Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese to Peter Jackson and James Wan.
From Blaxploitation and Nunsploitation to Godsploitation and Hixploitation, acclaimed critic, broadcaster, author, and FrightFest co-director, Alan Jones takes a wildly illustrated look at 200 of the most infamous, obscure and bizarre movies ever made, blasting the electrifying truth before your traumatized eyes about the shock and schlock movies tapping into the basest of desires. Plus there is a scene-setting introduction by 42nd Street habitué and controversial director Buddy Giovinazzo.
- Buy now: Amazon.com