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The Psychotronic Video Guide To Film Paperback – August 15, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st St. Martin's Griffin ed edition (August 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312131496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312131494
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,026,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As Michael Weldon says in the foreword to his Psychotronic Video Guide: "Unlike other movie guides, nothing is omitted because it's in bad taste." Bad taste barely begins to cover the 3000 resolutely grade-B movies (some with grade-A aspirations and budgets) and the odd TV show included here. Weldon, who invented the word "psychotronic" and compiled The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film, includes horror (there are 15 movie titles beginning with the word "zombie"), science fiction, Blaxploitation, porn, spaghetti westerns and "anything that Roger Corman had anything to do with" in his purview.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Weldon is the leading authority on films deemed to be "psychotronic," a designation he stretches to encompass horror flicks, spaghetti westerns, low-budget quickies, exploitation films of all stripes--in short, anything disdained by the critical establishment. He made his mark with The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film (1981), to which this is a genuine sequel rather than an update. There is surprisingly little overlap in coverage between the two books, which makes this one attractive whether or not you own the Encyclopedia. Some new entries--Saturday Night Fever, Beverly Hills Copare questionable, not being, one would think, psychotronic by any stretch. But most of these 3,000 movies are thoroughly deranged, from The Abductors, in which slavers kidnap three cheerleaders, to the Hong Kong martial arts fantasy Zu: Warriors of the Magic Mountain. An index would be nice, for although the book is enjoyable browsing, who wants to sift through hundreds of entries to locate, say, the Mamie Van Doren movies? But then, where else can you find any info on Face of the Screaming Werewolf? Gordon Flagg

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Customer Reviews

This is THE movie book for fans of horror/cult/odd cinema.
Homer007
This is one of the best most entertaining film guides particularly for exploitation, horror and Sci Fi films, At it's best, it's hilarious!
Deltaleadr
I assume a third book with updates will eventually come out.
Blahblahblah

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ben Opie on June 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'll freely admit my admiration for Michael Weldon's work, this book, his previous, and his magazine. Even when I disagree with his assessment, he's always honest and straight-forward.
I read some other reviews complaining about the content, or lack thereof, in this book. I think there's a misundserstanding as to what this is. It is a continuation of Michael's previous book, the Psychotronic Encylcopedia. There may be references in the reviews to movies not listed here, but that's because those movies are listed in the Encyclopedia. The two books have very little common content.
I also read a complaint about inclusion of some mainstream pictures such as Basic Instinct. In defense, I would say that Michael's content covers exploitation films of all genres and budget levels, whether made for $26,000 or $26,000,000.
I also like Michael's editorial inserts in this volume, such as his favorite movies of each decade.
Both books are essential, though admittedly his first covers most of the classics. This volume, thankfully, is not only more up-to-date, but stretches back into the silent era as well.
I say...buy them both.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
First off, I recommend you get the first volume, the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FILM before getting this VIDEO GUIDE. Though this book is excellent in every way (except for the inclusion of so many action flicks), it is necessary to have both books. VIDEO GUIDE goes into newer films and neglects most of the timeless older flicks that we grew up with. Well, at least most of us, I'm only 15. The odd thing about this book is that it moves from the "outcast" section of a video store to the inner depths of "popular" categories, such as ACTION, COMEDY & DRAMA. So, get the ENCYCLOPEDIA first, then dive right into this excellent book and you will see how much more interesting and grand "psychotronic" films are than your everyday movie.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By August747@aol.com on August 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
This massive effort focuses mainly on horror, sci-fi, exploitation, drug, biker and other similar genre films. There are listings to over 3,000 movies/tv series/serials, giving reviews, inside information, cast & crew details. This is the biggest & best book of its kind available today & is a "must have" for anybody who really digs whacked-out movies. However, the author does make some extremely dubious choices for inclusion such as Beverly Hills Cop & Hunt For Red October. These & other films listed, are definately not Psychotronic by the author's own definition, but you have to take the good with the bad here. This is a book that will get hours & hours of repeated use & is definately worth the purchase price.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Reagan III on April 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
I remember ordering this book somewhere round last year and ever since then, I've been transformed from an average movie nerd to a deranged, obsessive fanatic of obscure exploitation flicks. Carefully comiled with the wit and originality of Michael Weldon (head of Psychotronic magazine), it mainly deals with stuff you've never heard of. I guess thats why I love it so much, I've suddenly become obsessed with tracking down drive-in oddities. At the moment, I'm watching Common Law Wife; an old b/w exploitation movie that I ordered from Sinister Cinema. Just finished. This book also gives reviews for dozens of videos from the Something Weird web site; Teenage Gang Debs, A Taste of Blood and The Bloody Brood are just few of their movies I'm eager to see. OK, I guess I sound like a total, raving nutcase now; don't I? Heh heh heh ha ha ha! Oohoohoohoo, ahah! Join me, oh brother of stupidity.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By W. Davidson on July 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is the companion title to the cult film bible (The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film) but with the focus that everything reviewed within is or was available on videotape. It updates the other publication and there's very little, if any, duplication of reviews. I like how they also include some more mainstream releases that have a Psychotronic bent (Silence of the Lambs etc...) which like it or not deserve a place here.
If your movie tastes gravitate to the offbeat, and you want to know whether that 3AM horror movie on TV will be worth setting a tape for, this book will steer you right. As with the companion publication, a must have in every B-Movie fan's library. I eagerly anticipate an updated publication.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Homer007 on February 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
From the first time I opened this book three years ago, until the last time I looked at it today, the Psychotronic Video Guide, (and it's big brother, the Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film) by Michael Weldon, has brought so many exceptional movies into my life. I remember my first conquest: after reading a review of "Soul Vengeance," I knew I had to see that film, and when I found it later that year, it was like I'd won the World Series. After that, movies like "Student Confidential," "Nadja," and "City of the Living Dead" came into my life, and it has never been the same. This is THE movie book for fans of horror/cult/odd cinema. There simply is none higher.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By S. Rahe on April 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
...that tries to be everything for everybody.
First of all, I am a huge fan of Weldon's original _Psychtronic Enclyopedia..._, which is why this review is difficult to write. I don't want to give it a bad review, but it is simply a bad video guide.
What made the Encyclopedia so good was that it was comprehensive for a specifc genre--the B-movie. The _Video Guide_, on the other hand, includes many mainstream movies, such as Basic Instinct. Sounds good, doesn't it? Think again.
After a few minutes of looking up movies or just skimming through, you realize that this guide is poorly done. In his reviews, Weldon frequently refers to other movies which are _not_ listed in the guide. It's pretty dang frustrating when the review of Day of the Dead mentions the film Dawn of the Dead, a movie that is not reviewed. Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens a lot.
I don't understand why the author would include so many middle-of-the-road, non-"psychotronic" movie reviews when this guide doesn't even have a decent listing of sci-fi & horror movies.
Finally, this guide has no reliable way of rating the films--the write-ups don't often mention how good or bad the movies are.
I give it (a generous) 3 stars for Weldon's erudite and enjoyably snarky comments on the films. But, if you're interested in an excellent guide to B-films, get a copy of the out-of-print _Psychotronic Encyclopedia_. It's dated (published in the early 1980's, I think), but a much better choice for old scifi/horror/exploitation flicks.
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