Author Michael Vaughn a cinematic writer and fan of offbeat cinema, whose work has been published in Fangoria Magazine (US), Screem Magazine (UK) and many other places, had his book The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema published by Schiffer on December 28, 2017, giving readers a new 352 pages of film discoveries. These movies for the most part fall into the odd and perhaps weird to the unsuspected reader or viewer depending on the situation. It doesn’t focus on the gore market, torture porn, or even exploitation versus sexploitation, it’s aided by sarcasm and colorful wording.

The book presents itself with some very special interviews, photos and quotes, as well as a detail collection of obscure and interesting cinema, that definitely fits under the heading of strange cinema. If you were the person that searched the shelves of an old video store looking for the bizarre adventure and now do that with the VOD platforms, you’ll need this book. Many times, websites repeat the lists of the strange, weird, cultist films, and often a frustrated viewer unsure where to turn for their next fix, this book solves that problem, for a while at least. Now trying what actually makes strange cinema strange, well that’s not easy but looking at the listing of the films gives some insight, although I didn’t find a film about a transvestite insect dating a blowup doll, whose day job is digging a shallow grave and burying cannibals who die by being run over by a killer tire. The book closes out with an index, unfortunately my review copy was delivered in the form of a PDF didn’t so sadly that didn’t show. recalled many movies presented in the book though actually locating them might prove a difficult task, especially with the death of VHS. I’ve heard of, as a student of cinema, not just horror, but all types, constantly expanding my knowledge of other styles from countless filmmakers.

As for the horror fans, there’s a Chapter on those films which included titles such as Black Candles (1982), Flesh Eating Mothers (1988), Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout (1990), The Outing (1987) and Zombeavers closes out the section. Some other reviewers and critics, noting never heard/ or seen of 85% of the titles in this one chapter, the opposite for this reviewer, closer 5% of films I haven’t heard, otherwise owning many from DiabolkDVD and Vinegar Syndrome and even goes further with owning posters and lobby cards of many films. It’s a fun read, learning the stories, although a few repeated phrasings and overlooking a few details from time to time such as Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) tells some info but never mentions it based from a real-life incident. In addition, the book covers the bad movies, warp creations and no-budget products.

 

Chapters:

  • Introduction
  • Action/ Adventure
  • Cars, Trucks, and Choppers
  • Comedy
  • Crime / Thrillers
  • Drama
  • Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Sci-Fi
  • Index

This book serves as a good gift for the film lovers which enjoy strange movies, and making new discoveries, it reminds me of the Paperbacks from Hell that noted many obscure horror novels, therefore prepare yourselves for a new experiment in weirdness and the journey to find these gems.

Baron’s Rating: 4.5/5

 

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