William Burns is an English professor who teaches classes on horror films and literature, brings his vast knowledge of the genre to the fans, with a book, which converses with the reader, rather than preaching. The Thrill of Repulsion delivers on all fronts, and gives wonderful brush strokes throughout the pages, breaking down the genre into categories not often explored. He works to present his research in a number listed format, while focusing on four primary aspects Film, Television, Literature & Comic Books, and Music. The detail of the films covered, puts it slightly past the arena for the novice horror fans, or those centered around the slasher genre, the book serves more as discovery and exploration of the entire landscape of horror enjoyment.

Overall the book, focuses more on the obscure movies, this either encourages horror fans to seek them out or ignore completely, this reviewer knew about (and seen many) of the movies discussed. There’s a lot to explore in the genre, as it often includes other genres into a typical movie from areas of romance, thrillers, and plenty of drama, it’s not just straightforward hack and slash, rather William displays his interest in Godzilla and H.P. Lovecraft. Truly the book contains many aspects such as the rise and fall of the 60s, but those who enjoy werewolves, zombies, ghost tales and satanic tales, won’t feel ostracized as the chapters are connected together like bones of a skeleton. Burns, also brings along a safety net, in the sense of honorable mentions as to not offend anyone. The only problem is you can’t please everyone, and the word ‘horror’ is a coarse word, the subject material easy offends, no author can cover the entire genre, easily 1000s of pages, however Burns gives readers a well-written wealth of knowledge and directions to new nightmares.

Although I’m not going to list all the chapters here’s a taste of the first seven found under the Film Heading:

  • The 13 Most Disturbing Films That Aren’t Horror Movies
  • The 13 Most Sickening Art House Horror Movies
  • The 13 Most Deranged Horror Director Debuts
  • The 13 Horror Films that Deserve Better
  • The 13 Most Phantasmagorical Fantastique Films
  • The 13 Most Glorious Godzilla Films
  • The 13 Most Satanic Horror Films

This book doesn’t contain the typical articles, about the horror genre, which is a positive aspect, after all who really needs 75 different essays about the same set of classic horror flicks. The book works as a checklist of the movies one should seek out to explore more of the genre’s hidden gems, hence the purchasing of a physical copy than an ebook, allows you the opportunity to research the films. So many unique films and books exist hidden in the 280 pages, it many ways it reminds this reviewer of Paperbacks from Hell, except it lacks the colorful artwork of the films. Therefore, it’s another reference book which won’t be occupying space on my bookcases rather close at hand as I scour the various site in search of some these treasures I missed. Now, honestly I have seen 95% of the films in this book, but enjoyed how the author expanded and covered television, literature, music and comics, as I believe they all go together for the Horror Lifestyle.


Baron’s Rating: 4/5


Title: The Thrill of Repulsion: Excursions into Horror Culture

Author: William Burns

Publisher:  Schiffer Publishing LTD. https://www.schifferbooks.com/

Publication Year: 2016

Page Count: 280

Binding: Hardback

Price: $24.99

ISBN: 978-0-7643-5143-3