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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COMPLETE
This book is 100% PERFECT.

Mummies aren't zombies, if you're a mummy you're not a zombie, sorry.

Now, some info about this book you might find interesting:

Contents:

Introduction. Dead Men Walking

Chapter One. Caribbean Terrors

Tracking the Walking Dead

The Origins of the Zombie

The...
Published on March 24, 2006 by MartinD1

versus
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but forget not the Guanajuato zombies!
Great book, especially for the color plates and foreign posters. Now, all sorts of hardcore fans, obsessed geeks and nitpicky nerds can attack a book that boasts being "The Complete History of Zombie Cinema" and I'm not really one of those people.

However, there is such a glaring flaw in the book, I have to make note. Russell completely omits the significant...
Published on March 16, 2006 by Keith Rainville


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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COMPLETE, March 24, 2006
By 
MartinD1 "Martin The One" (Buenos Aires, Argentina) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema (Paperback)
This book is 100% PERFECT.

Mummies aren't zombies, if you're a mummy you're not a zombie, sorry.

Now, some info about this book you might find interesting:

Contents:

Introduction. Dead Men Walking

Chapter One. Caribbean Terrors

Tracking the Walking Dead

The Origins of the Zombie

The Zombie in the West

Chapter Two. The Zombie Goes to Hollywood

Horror Hits the Stage

Cultural Anxieties: Haiti, the Depression and Race

The Zombies Are Revolting

Chapter Three. Down and Out on Poverty Row

Horror Comedy on Black Island

The Poverty Row Years

Val Lewton: A Touch of Class

Chapter Four. Atomic Interlude

Sci-Fi Horrors

Voodoo's Last Gasps

The Mass Destruction of Men's Minds

Chapter Five. Bringing It All Back Home

Keeping It in the Family

Stiff Upper Lips and the Walking Dead

South of the Border

Back on American Soil: Night of the Living Dead

Chapter Six. Dawn of the Dead

Romero's Children

The Ghouls Can't Help It

Destructive Tendencies

Sex, Death and Amando de Ossorio's Templars

By the Dawn's Early Light

Chapter Seven. Splatter Horror

The Italians Are Coming!

The Apocalypse of Narrative: Fulci's Zombie Trilogy

The Return to the Caribbean

Splatter House of Horrors

Chapter Eight. Twilight of the Dead

Night of the Living Dead Redux

Poverty Row for the MTV Generation (Or, Children Shouldn't Play with Camcorders)

Of Death, Of Love: An Interlude

The Resident Evil Effect

Big-Budget Ghouls

Rebirth of the Dead

7 decades of horror movie history with hundreds of stills - including an incredible 64 pages of blood-drenched full colour photos and rare international poster art.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As complete as inhumanly possible, February 23, 2006
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This review is from: Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema (Paperback)
Jamie Russell has done a remarkable job with his "Book of the Dead", a thoroughly engrossing history and critical overview of zombie cinema. His writing is sharp and his observations astute. It's as up-to-date as books on an ongoing subject can be (I would relish updated supplements, as needed), including recent zombie fare and even some titles that have yet to be released. In addition to the excellent text are many color and B&W photos and posters from all over the world. It's the best book of its type I've ever encountered. Buy it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, April 29, 2007
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This review is from: Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema (Paperback)
Other reviewers have pointed out how detailed this work is. I can only really say that I concur-this book has a fantastic level of detail for anyone who would like to explore all things zombie.

The book is a chronology of zombie events. It serves as a history guide to undead cinema but goes even further back to the origins of voodoo, discussing the written works of Lafcadio Hearn and William Seabrook. We are treated to a comprehensive review of what I would have to guess is every movie ever done all the way up to the latest installment from Romero and every other movie that has come up in the past few years.

An exhaustive filmography is another treat at the end of the book with a brief synopsis of each film. Excellent pictures and detailed analysis of every significant movie and pretty solid details on lesser movies make this tome absolutely essential for any fan.

Jamie Russell has made a reference work that for me will give me a chance to look at some lesser known but high quality films such as 'The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue' and 'Shockwaves' which I was unfortunately unaware of and also serves as a reminder of how incredible the works of Fulci were. I think any fan will find something new and intriguing to pour over in this fantastic book.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but forget not the Guanajuato zombies!, March 16, 2006
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This review is from: Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema (Paperback)
Great book, especially for the color plates and foreign posters. Now, all sorts of hardcore fans, obsessed geeks and nitpicky nerds can attack a book that boasts being "The Complete History of Zombie Cinema" and I'm not really one of those people.

However, there is such a glaring flaw in the book, I have to make note. Russell completely omits the significant Mexican "momias" genre. Misses it entirely.

For the unfamiliar, the "momias" movies are based on the creepy-as-hell city of Guanajuato, where extreme levels of alkali in the soil have the effect of dead and burried bodies NOT decaying. Corpses interred in Guanajuato cemetaries are naturally mumified. When the graveyards hit capacity, the grotesquely preserved dead are actually removed from their graves and put on display in the catacombs beneath the city. It's a huge tourist attraction - halls lined with un-rotting natural "mummies."

Several films have depected "Las Momias de Guanajuato" as becoming animate again, leaving their tombs, graves and/or the museum galleries, and attacking people. Don't let the word "momia" or mumification throw you here, this is not your bandaged Egyptian king on the vengeance trail, but rather they are legions of corpses staggering around trying to kill the living. Zombies in EVERY sense of the word.

In some of the films, the momias obey the commands of an arch evil-doer, in others they just swarm innocent Mexicans Romero-style. Some guard castles and punish trespassers, other seek out ancient relics.

ALL of them have the classic zombie look - tattered funeral suit, straggely hair, empty skull-like eyesockets and exaggerated head deformities. Classic zombies all the way.

So WHY does Russel ignore this sub-genre, despite the fact that there are more "momia" films than there "Blind Dead" flicks? Baffling. Did he mis-interpret the word "momia", assume it meant "mummy" in the bandaged sense, or confuse the zombie-momias with the more Egyptian-like "momia Azteca" (Aztec Mummy) films? He does acknowledge some Mexican films, so he had to at least be aware of the prolific body of work that thrived south-of-the-border.

I can see not coveing traditional Universal-modelled "Mummy" movies in this book, but damn Jaime, in Mexico, "Momia" = "Zombie"!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! this is THE book on zombies!, March 10, 2006
By 
Lucien Desar (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema (Paperback)
Incredible research went into creating this book. It is filled with photos, articles, paintings, dates of releases, directors and more. It is current all the way till the last film listed "Land Of The Dead" (2005). If you are into zombies you MUST get this book.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good and Bad= Decent, May 17, 2010
By 
Keith (Sarasota, FL United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema (Paperback)
I'm going to break this into pros and cons and you can decide for yourself if the book is for you.

Cons:
1) There are some strange political and social rants by the author as suggested by reviewer Jeffrey L Cunningham back on Jan 27, 2006. Because Jeffrey got slammed with a 4 out 17 helpful I am going to try to cite just a few specific examples. Sorry for the length, but I want to be thorough on this. I can take a few great examples from just between pages 147 to 150. Some don't even make sense...the author, Russell, says that Wes Craven has conservative ideals while discussing Serpent and the Rainbow? Wes Craven..conservative? I don't think so. Russell states on the last page of 150, "Craven's film ends up offering little more than naive political pandering to Washington's propaganda machine". And George Romero is a racist for the way the John character in Day of the Dead is portrayed? Russell states on page 147, "...script and Terry Alexander's performance make John into little more than a rehash of a creaky old racial stereotype, a distant cousin of Mantan Moreland's obstinate "coon" who's happier fishing than fighting..." Really?! John is one of the heroes! It is ridiculous! Seems to me the author, Jamie Russell, may be the one with racial issues for inferring these things when watching this character. Also, he rants about American foreign policy from time to time throughout the book. On page 148, Russell states when referring to Haiti, "America watched the rapid deterioration of its neighbour with a combination of fascination and contempt." Wow, pretty harsh stuff!
2) written very dry and scholarly. One wonders if the author even enjoys the zombie genre sometimes while reading this or if he was just assigned to write a zombie book for Fab Press.
3) rambles off topic from time to time.
4) draws conclusions that simply aren't there or even says the director is wrong. Which is the case when he quotes Lucio Fulci as saying something "had no meaning" and then saying Fulci was wrong! Fulci directed the movie! I think he knows what he intended. If the author finds meaning that is one thing,but to say the director is wrong is just...well, THAT'S wrong!

Pros:
1) Exhaustive and comprehensive.
2) Great pictures
3) zombie filmography reference in the back of the book with short write-ups on each movie
4) book layout and chapter breakdowns

In conclusion, I think the book is okay. However, I was really hoping to have more fun with it and wanted the author to "like" his material a bit more than he seems to. I know I rambled more on the cons, but because of the love-fest this book is getting I wanted to be clear on what I DIDN'T like. For a 5 star Fab Press book, please check out NIGHTMARE USA by Stephen Thrower. Now that book is flawless!!! As for BOOK OF THE DEAD, there is a lot to like and a lot to dislike. Overall, 3 stars. Those pictures really are great though!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE Definitive Zombie Movie Book, April 2, 2007
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This review is from: Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema (Paperback)
For one who puchased Eaten Alive a couple years ago, Book of the Dead comes as a relevation. Though risibly entertaining, Jay Slater's Eaten Alive book is a disjointed and incomplete history of this much maligned subgenre. Russell's book, comparatively, is superb. Taking in the history of the zombie flick from its poverty row/monogram pictures origins right up to Romero's Land of the Dead, I was very impressed with this volume. Kudos also to some rare color poster reproductions and an exhaustive filmography to cap the book (which includes scores of direct to video stuff I never heard of before). The writing is top shelf also. If I had one thing to knock about this book is its repeated anti-american slant (Russell is I assume British)which the author seems to find within the subtext of every modern zombie movie (a frankly ludicrous claim). His rant about George W. Bush (which he claims to see within the "subtext" of the Land of the Dead) also groes tiresome quickly. But in a 300+ page book with some much good info in it, these are comparatively small quibbles. All in all, this is a very good book packed with info you will not find elsewhere. Good value at $20 bucks (Amazon's price) also.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Treatise on Zombies, September 23, 2009
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This review is from: Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema (Paperback)
This book was loaned to me by an fellow zombie afficionado. Within half-an-hour I had ordered my own copy. I have never read such an original and insightful analysis of the cinematic zombie as social litmus. It covers the origins, the impact and the implications of what has too long been the [...] redheaded stepchild of horror cinema. If you are serious about zombies, this is a must-have item.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost all you'd ever want to know about zombie films but were afraid to ask, July 9, 2009
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This review is from: Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema (Paperback)
In the world of horror, vampires and serial killers may reign supreme, but zombies are right up there too. In fact, from a cinematic (as opposed to literary) standpoint, the zombie has occasionally even been the dominant monster, perfectly fitted to the lowest budgets and popular enough to be profitable. As shown in Jamie Russell's Book of the Dead, the zombie movie has a long and erratic history.

Book of the Dead is not merely a zombie fan's ode to these films, filled with uncritical praise. Instead, Russell provides a history of the zombie movie that is both informative and entertaining. He starts with the Caribbean origins of the zombie and its relation to voodoo and the early, often sporadically factual accounts of these creatures. The first zombie movie would also be a horror classic: White Zombie with Bela Lugosi. Like many early films in this genre, the zombies were little more than automatons.

Unfortunately, after White Zombie, the zombie movies would be pretty weak for a while, and often limited to Poverty Row studios. The one exception was I Walked with a Zombie, one of Val Lewton's classic horror films for RKO in the 1940s. Overall, there would be little to celebrate until 1968 when Night of the Living Dead resurrected (pun intended) the zombie. While there would be plenty of awful zombie movies in the next four decades, there would also be some really good ones, such as Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later and Shaun of the Dead.

Russell provides a pretty comprehensive list of zombie movies, though it is cuts off at 2005, so it omits movies like 28 Weeks Later, Fido, American Zombie, Diary of the Dead, Planet Terror and Black Sheep. Prior to that date, you'd be hard pressed to find a zombie film Russell has missed, and certainly those few would be very obscure. If there is a flaw in his book, it's his loose and rather flexible definition of a zombie movie. While it makes sense to include 28 Days Later even if the monsters aren't true zombies, why include movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers (which may have influence on the genre but is also clearly not a zombie flick) while not including mummy movies (after all, aren't mummies little more than zombies in bandages?). Regardless of these quibbles, Russell's book is a real treat for zombie film fans, chock full of facts and (often gory) photos and artwork.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not last word..., June 15, 2008
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This review is from: Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema (Paperback)
An excellent overview of zombie movies, from start to finish. A lot of time is spent on what the author views as "seminal" zombie movies, with a nice inclusion of pre-1950 works examined.Much time is spent on Romero's works in the genre(as should be), and a lot is offered on Fulci, Grau, et al in the chapters on European zombie offerings. The author glosses over cheapjack American zom-coms, which is deserving. Altogether, a very good essay on zombie cinema, and should be in the library of any serious film student of the zombie genre!
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Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema
Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema by Jamie Russell (Paperback - April 10, 2005)
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