Zombies are the middle children of the otherworldly family. Vampires are the oldest brother who gets to have a room in the attic, all tripped out with a disco ball and shag carpet. Werewolves are the youngest, the babies, always getting pinched and told they're cute. With all that attention stolen away from the middle child zombie, no wonder she shuffles off grumbling, "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha."

- Kevin James Breaux

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book Review: “Cult Films” by Will Dodson

I read a lot of books on the horror genre of which many of them can be considered “cult classics” by many fans.  This is one of the reasons why I picked up author Will Dodson’s book “Cult Films” but I new going in that this book would be one that delved into films of all genres considered “cult films.”   At only 72 pages the book is lean and I knew going in that Dodson’s book would not go into any great length on the genre but I have to say that my interest was piqued when I saw the 6 large post cards featuring the posters of some famous cult films (which included Vincent Price in House on Haunted Hill, Eraserhead, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Plan 9 From Outer Space, Super Fly, and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!).

For fans of “cult” films that have even a basic understanding of what a cult film is will not get much out of this book as very little is spent on delving into the history of the films and their influence on the underground and misunderstood genre.  Most of the book is spent defining what a “cult” film is (and is not) as defined by Dodson himself.  I don’t always agree with his definition but he does a good job supporting his views with some of the most famous films that are generally agreed to be cult films.  Because his book is so thin and so little time is spent on each film genre and the cult films within everything seems rushed and mashed together, so, for there is little in this book that will inform and entice fans.
What the book does do well is open the genre up to those not familiar with what a “cult” film and define what films should be included as such.  For someone just wanting a brief definition of the genre this book does a good job and Dodson adds enough photos and material to give a good image of the genre as a whole.  At a price tag of $14.99 I’m not sure how many people who don’t already know something about the genre will be interested in this book but I guess that’s why the post cards were added.
I do wish that an appendix listing the major films had been included or even a few more over views and reviews of the major films (the book is sporadic with its random reviews of particular films) but at least I have the post cards and I guess that’s saying something.

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