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

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Book Review: TOP 100 FANTASY MOVIES by Gary Gerani

Fantastic Press and writer Gary Gerani have started a series of film books detailing the best in cinematic genre films.  They’ve already released one on horror and sci-fi films and now they’ve tackled fantasy films with Top 100 Fantasy Movies.  This is a book designed not just for fantasy film fans but all film enthusiasts. 

What I love about Gerani’s books and most importantly this book is that he has put together a comprehensive list of some of the greatest fantasy films from all of film history.  There are also many International films as well.  Unlike his previous two books, there are many films in this collection I’ve never even heard of (but now will actively go look out for).  The main reason many of these films have been chosen is not just because they are great films but because they had a profound effect on the genre and on the history of film itself.

All of the entries include brief credits and a synopsis but it is in Gerani’s “Why It’s Important” section of each film that really informs the reader.  It’s a common mistake (or overlook) that audiences who see an older film for the first time is displaced by what they are seeing forgetting that the film they are watching was made in a different time period with different technical achievements and story requirements.  Gerani does an excellent job of reminding readers why a particular film was so important for the time in which it is made as well as why it is relevant now.  So many “Best of…” lists consists of more modern films forgetting everything that came before but Gerani never forgets this an in fact there is a great many films on his list that were made in the ‘30s-‘50s as well as films from all over the world.

Now, I know that I mentioned before that there are some International films on Gerani’s list but it is not completely comprehensive but it does include some of the most influential such as Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), Donkey Skin (1970), The Seventh Seal (1957), The Miracle of Marcelino (1955), and Beauty And the Beast (1946), to name a few.  This is still a great sampling of films for audiences who may not have explored fantasy films from other countries.

Another great aspect of the book (which includes all the books in the series) is the plethora of posters and photos that accompany each of the entries.  This is a great book for film lovers that’s very informative and enlightening about fantasy films that would be a great addition to anyone’s library.

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