Horror Cinema

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Overview

Horror is both the most perennially popular and geographically diverse of all film genres; arguably, every country that makes movies makes horror movies of one kind or another. Depicting deep-rooted, even archetypal fears, while at the same time exploiting socially and culturally specific anxieties, cinematic horror is at once timeless and utterly of its time and place. This exciting visual history, which includes unique images from the David Del Valle archive, examines the genre in thematic, historical, and ...

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Overview

Horror is both the most perennially popular and geographically diverse of all film genres; arguably, every country that makes movies makes horror movies of one kind or another. Depicting deep-rooted, even archetypal fears, while at the same time exploiting socially and culturally specific anxieties, cinematic horror is at once timeless and utterly of its time and place. This exciting visual history, which includes unique images from the David Del Valle archive, examines the genre in thematic, historical, and aesthetic terms, breaking it down into the following fundamental categories: Slashers & Serial Killers; Cannibals, Freaks & Hillbillys; Revenge of Nature & Environmental Horror; Sci-fi Horror; The Living Dead; Ghosts & Haunted Houses; Possession, Demons & Evil Tricksters; Voodoo, Cults & Satanists; Vampires & Werewolves; and The Monstrous-Feminine. Among the many films featured are classics such as Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Alien, The Exorcist, Dracula, and The Wicker Man.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783822831526
  • Publisher: Taschen America, LLC
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Edition description: Illustrate
  • Pages: 191
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 11.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Penner has written for movies, television, magazines, and blogs, and has worked extensively as an actor, screenwriter, and producer. His film credits include the cult classic The Last Supper, the Hamlet-inspired Let the Devil Wear Black and the short film for which he was Oscar-nominated, Down on the Waterfront.

Steven Jay Schneider is a film critic, scholar, and an author and editor of several books on films and filmmaking, including Barronas " 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. " He is currently in Hollywood, where he plans to produce movies of his own.

Paul Duncan found himself in the right place at the right time as South Africa came into its own with creative design and decor a few years ago. He was the highly successful editor of Conde Nast House & Garden and has had the opportunity to work with the best local and international photographers - notably Fritz von der Schulenberg - as well as art directors and features writers to capture the outstanding interiors put together by interior designers such as Graham Viney, Stephen Falcke, Stefan Antoni and Boyd Ferguson, architects like Johann Slee and Silvio Rechs and inspired homemakers from Sandton to Graaff Reinet to Plettenberg Bay. Paul Duncan is now Head of Design, Menswear & Homeware at Woolworths and as involved with design and South African innovation as ever, with more books in the pipeline.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Eye-candy for the horror genre fan

    For fans of horror movies, there are numerous books available exploring the genre, selecting the best of the best, and analyzing just what draws audiences to these films again and again. What sets Horror Cinema apart from so many others are the pages upon pages of fantastic photos from classics such as Carrie (1976), to lesser known titles like Haxen (1922).

    After a brief introduction analyzing exactly what 'Horror' is, the book is divided into ten chapters. These chapters include Slashers & Serial Killers; Cannibals, Freaks & Hillbillies; Revenge of Nature & Environmental Horror; Science-Fiction Horror; Ghosts & Haunted Houses; Vampires & Werewolves and The Monstrous-Feminine. At the back of the book is a two-page chronology, noting important films/dates/events within the genre followed by a brief filmography listing ten films the authors have selected for their contributions to the world of horror movies.

    Each chapter takes a look at films within its category from earliest to present day. While the text doesn't go into great detail on any film, there's just enough information to pique one's interest. This book isn't meant to analyze, in depth, each movie but rather give a broad overview. It's easy enough to learn more about specific films with a little research. While the true horror fan may not learn anything new about Psycho (1960), I was intrigued by the write-up on Freaks (1932), which cast people with deformities as the actors (there's a bizarre but fascinating photo of Prince Randian as "The Living Torso"). Even with brief write-ups, the authors manage to squeeze some fascinating information into their text. For example, do you know the editing tricks the director used to make the house appear to come to life in the original The Haunting of Hill House (1963)? You will after reading Horror Cinema.

    Readers may not agree with all the authors state, as there is a good deal of personal opinion inserted into each section, "Arriving three years after its sort-of companion piece, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes was poorly sequelized by Craven." (pg. 53). (Okay, you may just agree with that statement!) The captions for the photos too, have occasional opinions injected, but I found it hard to disagree with these, "Still from Squirm (1976) - Downed power lines turn everyday earthworms into rabid killers. Most of the so-called revenge-of-nature films that followed directly in the wake of Jaws pretty much sucked" (pg. 68).

    As mentioned above, it really is the fabulous selection, and abundance of, photos that sets this book apart. From the publicity still for The Invisible Man (1933) that shows a hand drawn outline of the invisible man (how else could they show him/make the photo work?) to shots of Karloff and Lugosi both in full performance mode and a few more candid shots (Karloff having make-up applied while he smokes a cigarette).

    Specific movie references are oftentimes a few pages before/after the accompanying photos and there is no index at the back, making it necessary to do a bit of searching for specific movies. This, however, is a minor quibble. It doesn't take long to find what you're interested in, and you may just discover other tidbits of cool information as you search. Whether you want to read Horror Cinema from first to last page or simply flip around to your favorite movies, this book is a load of fun!

    Quill says: This book is eye-candy for the horror cinema fan.

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